Former commercial 2D and 3D game engine gets its first update as an open-source app.
Looking for an open-source alternative to Unity? (Or an alternative open-source alternative to Godot?) Xenko might be worth checking out. Originally developed by Japanese games and middleware firm Silicon Studio, the 2D and 3D game engine had a brief spell as a commercial product before going fully open-source last year, and this week's Xenko 3.1 is its first update under community development.
It's a couple of years old now, but this trailer for Xenko's short-lived commercial launch gives you a fair idea of what the now-open-source 2D and 3D game engine is capable of.
An open-source alternative to Unity?
Xenko has a feature set broadly similar to Unity or Godot, including a full asset pipeline; a 3D scene editor, 2D sprite editor and UI editor; character animation and pathfinding; and physics and particles.
As you might expect, given that Silicon Studio develops optical effects middleware, its graphics capabilities are pretty good, including support for PBR materials, hair and skin; a light probe system for indirect lighting; and a forward renderer with a standard set of post effects.
Games can be deployed to Windows, Xbox One, Android and iOS – the latter two via Xamarin – and Linux. It also supports the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets.
However, Xenko’s unique selling point is that it is written fully in C#, rather than simply supporting C# for scripting, making it compatible with most .NET libraries.
The 3.1 update also addresses one of its former drawbacks – that the file sizes of packaged games were quite high – by breaking Xenko up into a set of modular libraries. The editor itself is still a single application (although that may change in future updates), but when shipping a game, you can choose to include only those libraries you actually need. You can find out more in the dev team's blog post.
The Xenko 3.1 installer is available for Windows 7+. The source code is available under an MIT licence.