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King is making its Defold game engine open source

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  • King is making its Defold game engine open source

    King's mobile and web game engine Defold is to be made available as an open source project.

    As part of the move, King is spinning out a new software foundation called the Defold Foundation. The foundation's board will be headed by Candy Crush Saga producer Sara Cederberg, who was formerly the director of engineering for the engine.

    With Defold going open source, King hopes that it will bring more transparency to game development, and that external developers will lend their expertise to make the engine better for everyone who uses it.

  • King makes Defold engine open source

    The engine is primarily used to make 2D games for mobile and browsers, such as King's own Blossom Blast Saga.

    King's aim is to invite external developers to help improve the engine and make its ongoing development more transparent.

    To lead these efforts, the company has formed a new organisation: the Defold Foundation.

    This will be headed by King's principal engineer and Defold product owner Björn Ritzl and Candy Crush Sada's producer and director Sara Cederberg, with Women In Tech Sweden's Elin Erksson also on the team.

King’s Defold engine is now open source...

  • King’s Defold engine is now open source through the Defold Foundation

    Developer King has announced that it is making its game engine Defold an open source game engine, allowing anyone to create mobile and web games on it. To make it truly open source King has now moved the engine to the Defold foundation where anyone can access it and tinker with it, with the hope that open collaboration will make the Defold engine better to use for everyone. Dozens of games have already been created with Defold and this move will ensure that many more will be as well.
    Tjodolf Sommestad, Chief Development Officer at King, said
    “We’re hugely impressed by the Defold team, and look forward to seeing many great gaming experiences come to life. We’ve seen millions of players already playing the King games run on the Defold engine and we’re excited to see the community come together even more, with the support of the Defold Foundation.”

Heroic Labs becomes a Defold game engine sponsor

  • Heroic Labs becomes a Defold game engine sponsor

    Recently, game developer King transferred the source code for the Defold game engine over to a new Defold Foundation where they opened up the source and now they have a new sponsor.

    There was a bit of an issue with the initial source opening for Defold, as they initially claimed it was "open source" but their license was tweaked in a way that made it not OSI-approved open source. Now they've moved over to calling it "source available". With that sorted, they're moving onto bigger things.

    Like other such projects, they allow the community to donate money to help development but they also take on corporate sponsors. King, the original copyright holder is currently a "Platinum" partner which provides them around $4,000 a month. Announced today is the inclusion of Heroic Labs as a "Gold" level partner, which should provide them a further $2,000 a month.

King makes its Defold Engine open source

  • King makes its Defold Engine open source

    Ritzl explained that moving Defold to an open source model can help build trust with developers, which is an important aspect of operating a game engine. By providing dev teams access to the source code, they also become more self-sufficient; being able to physically see the code should help them better understand how the engine works. Ritzl hopes that this understanding spills over into the greater development community as individuals share their findings with cohorts.

    Established by King this month, the Defold Foundation’s primary function is to keep the Defold engine open source, and prevent third parties from monetizing it. Based in Sweden, the foundation will continue to update and support the Defold Engine by optimizing it for various platforms, systems, services, and technologies in coming months and years. Ritzl said that he hopes this will result in better accessibility for game developers, which will benefit the games industry as a whole.

    “The foundation is an independent legal entity,” Ritzl explained. “It is in many ways similar to a corporation, but foundations have a separate legal status in Sweden. When a foundation is created, the founder sets a number of objectives for the foundation, and these objectives cannot be changed once the foundation is created. This makes it possible for a founder to ensure that donations given to a foundation is managed according to the wishes of the founder.”

“We have no interest in directly profiting from the success..."

  • “We have no interest in directly profiting from the success of game developers.” Defold creators on engine’s new license and current status

    My name is Björn Ritzl, and I currently work as the product owner for Defold and as a board member of The Defold Foundation. I have worked as a developer for almost two decades, primarily in the games industry, and even longer as a hobbyist writing my first lines of code on a C64 in the late 80s. I have worked with mobile game development since before the smart phones, and I’m a big fan of old school games from the days of the C64 and Amiga.

    The last seven years I’ve worked at King where I joined the Defold team when Defold was acquired by King in 2014.

    In mid-May, two important decisions were made. One of them was switching the engine to an open source model. Could you tell us about the reasons for that decision? And also, why now? Why not, for example, four years ago?

Defold Foundation awarded a grant to bring support...

  • Defold Foundation awarded a grant to bring support of Web Monetization

    The Defold Foundation recently announced another partnership, as they've secured a grant from Grant for the Web to bring in support for the Web Monetization API.

    Currently, Web Monetization is an API that is attempting to become a standard and it's being proposed to the W3C as such. This way, developers doing any sort of web-based game would have a set API to target making things a whole lot simpler.

    Since the Defold game engine, which now has the source code available, supports building games for the web with HTML5, it makes sense to get support for it integrated.

    "Web Monetization is an exciting new and non-intrusive way for game developers to monetize their creations while at the same time offering premium content to their paying players. The grant we have received from Grant for the Web will allow us to explore this new way of monetizing web games and we are excited to see it adopted by Defold developers," said Defold Product Owner Björn Ritzl.

    Also announced is that they will be running a Web Monetization game jam which will be hosted later this year. It's planned to have cash prizes and some "well known names" from the game industry will be involved. You can see the announcement here.

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