Juan Linietsky has written into Phoronix about the work he's done for years on game engine development. With his lead engine, the Godot Engine, it's been revised several times and has been powering "dozens of games published for PC, consoles, and mobile."
The tech has now proven to be quite mature and is now very complete and according to its developer to be on-par with Unity, or arguably superior to Unity when it comes to the area of 2D and animation support. The engine also doesn't rely on any external, closed libraries for scripting, physics, or other features. Besides all major PC operating systems, the engine is also supported by the Xbox and PlayStation along with all major mobile platforms.
Making this project even more interesting is that he's about to open up all the code... Linietsky wrote in an email to Phoronix, " I'm not interested in selling it, as that requires a huge amount of money for promotion and support, I'd rather license it as an open source, MIT license engine."
He had originally written into me for feedback on how to go about promoting and marketing an open-source game engine. "
I just have no idea how to release it, promote it, etc. It's a strange situation because It's a very mature and proven engine and none of the open source game engines even come close to it in terms of functionality and features."
The Godot Engine is expected to be released under the MIT license. The only code being held back is code pertaining to game console support that isn't redistributable. The plan is to release the open-source Godot Engine by February for the GDC game developers' conference.
For those curious about the game engine, it has a built-in editor similar to Unity, a GUI tool-kit, 2D/3D physics support, a 3D renderer supporting the OpenGL ES 2.0 feature-set, and an optional simplified language for creating shaders and post-processing effects.
Juan Linietsky has already provided Phoronix with access to the engine and demos to be released next month as proof of the work. There's also tutorials and other documentation to go along with the engine -- another area often lacking among open-source game engines and more broadly open-source projects in general.
The Godot Engine can even support BlackBerry 10, exporting to HTML5 using ASM.js, Google Native Client, and other targets.
Stay tuned for more details on the open-source Godot Engine in the weeks ahead! Overall, from initial impressions it appears to be a very nice engine for being MIT-licensed and could prove competition for the many open-source games with their id Tech engine lineage. With the modern feature-set, vast documentation, and built-in editor hopefully Godot will be able to take off for open-source gaming in 2014.