Godot logo

Godot Tutorials For Easy 2D & 3D Game Design

ResourcesGame Design Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you(learn more)

The free Godot game engine is a great way to practice game design on your own.

Many concept artists get into game design out of curiosity, a love for gaming, or as a way to expand their skills. And the open source community offers plenty to get you started.

But even with free software like Godot, there is a learning curve. It’ll take some practice to get your first game working and it’s certainly not easy.

That said, Godot is a solid engine to get started learning the basics of game design and bringing your ideas to life. And these free tutorials are super beginner-friendly so anyone can dive in and start learning.

Getting Started – Godot 3

View On YouTube

In this video you’ll learn how to jump start Godot 3 with a full setup process from start to finish.

Specifically this video focuses on Windows users but the setup is very similar for Mac and Linux. You basically need the installer and the SDK.

But this guide also helps with some minor features and working on demo projects.

All of the demos can be downloaded right here so you have easy access to lots of code samples to study.

If you’ve never used the software before then you’ll have a steep learning curve. This video certainly won’t cover everything but it has enough to get you comfortable as a beginner.


Platform Game Tutorial

View On YouTube

So this tutorial is a little more detailed and much more hands-on. Over the course of 27 minutes you’ll learn how to develop a simple platformer game from scratch.

This comes from the HeartBeast YouTube channel which is packed full of game dev guides. But this is one of the few videos touching on Godot for beginners.

Note there’s a good mix of content in here between coding and design work. So if you’ve already got some custom game assets you’ll be set to rumble.

If you have no scripting knowledge it can be tough to dive in head-first. But many newer game designers start with GDScript which is their proprietary higher-level language that should be easier to code over C# or C++.


Basic 3D Game in Godot

View On YouTube

Handling 3D content is a lot more difficult than simple 2D side-scrollers.

But there’s also a lot more you can do with a 3D world if you build it right. And this tutorial is designed to get you started with a free guide on making a game with golf physics.

Basically you’re taking a bunch of shapes and moving them around in a virtual world. The instructor Jeremy Bullock has a great teaching style so you should be able to follow along, even with minimal background in game design.

Plus there’s not much coding in this video so you can work primarily in the GUI to create the game from scratch.


3D Tilemaps with Gridmaps

View On YouTube

Here’s one more video from Jeremy with the same high quality recording and instructions. But this time you’ll be learning about gridmaps, a feature unique to Godot and very well documented.

You’ll start by learning how gridmaps work and how to gather 3D meshes for use in a gridmap.

These work much like tilemaps for 2D games, however in the 3D world things get a lot more complicated.

If you want to design your own 3D games with Godot you’ll have to do a lot of practicing on your own. But this video should at least get you familiar with the idea of gridmaps and how they’re setup.


Introduction to Tilesets

View On YouTube

Let’s also cover a little on tilesets which are crucial to any 2D game.

Whether you’re designing a top-down game or a side-scroller, tilesets are a necessity to create the world. This means you should have some graphics ready to go, or at least have some downloaded from the web that you can play with.

The GDquest YouTube channel does a lot of these tutorials and they’re all super educational while also being pretty short.

For this video it’s only about 8 minutes long but that’s just enough to get the gist of tilesets on your own.


Introduction to GDscript

View On YouTube

Earlier I mentioned the GDscript language and its popularity for Godot. Well this video gets into far more detail on the scripting language for beginners.

Keep in mind this is still a newbie tutorial so you’re not gonna become a scripting god overnight.

Yet over this 20 minute video you will learn a lot about how scripting works, how the syntax should look, and how to perform some really basic techniques all in code.

The biggest challenge here is learning how to read the code yourself.

Understanding strings, arrays, loops, and other fundamentals will radically improve your workflow in Godot.


Game Interface From Scratch

View On YouTube

This might be one of the longest tutorials in the entire list but it’s well worth the time.

Most games have some kind of interface whether that’s a health bar, an indicator for total number of lives, or perhaps some far more complex items. This 30-minute video shows how to design a custom game interface all within Godot.

It does assume some existing graphics but you can download those right here if you want to see the before & after.

This guide touches upon some basics of interface design and they’re pretty important for aspiring game designers.

But this content is just a freemium alternative to the GDquest premium courses. Those range from $10-$60 but they’re incredibly detailed and will easily take you from a novice to a pro in no time.


Godot Pokémon Clone

View On YouTube

So this is a multi-part tutorial but as of right now only part one has been released. Here’s hoping for the rest to come out soon!

This free video comes from Stein Codes, a YouTube channel on pixel art and general game art & design. For this specific tutorial you’ll learn how to create overworld sprites from Pokémon characters and how to create movement.

I’m assuming the end goal is to create a fully working game reminiscent of Pokémon, all from the Godot 2D engine.

Keep your eyes on this channel for more updates to this series. It seems like a great way for enthusiasts to pick up Godot by creating a really fun project.


Godot Shaders Tutorial

View On YouTube

There’s a wide variety of shader types that you can use for your games. This topic is definitely more of an intermediate level concept, but it’s something everyone should learn.

In this tutorial you get a front row seat on how to design your games with shaders, work with existing shader options, and ultimately navigate all of this in Godot 3.

Note that Godot actually has its own shading language and this comes as part of the tutorial.

All of this may seem like a lot, and in some ways it is pretty complex. But tackle this subject a little bit at a time so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.


Create A Base Character Scene

View On YouTube

This very practical and detailed tutorial comes from GDquest and is a freebie from one of their premium courses.

It dives right into the topic of inheritance and how to design a scene with base character movement. If you’re unfamiliar with inheritance I’d actually suggest this video first since it does a great job at explaining the subject.

But with the GDquest video you’ll already have graphics and a scene setup, so you’re just learning how it works from a design standpoint.

However since this is just a free preview it does not show all of the coding aspects to create the movement. That comes in GDquest premium videos on their Gumroad.

Start with this free video and see what you think. If you like their teaching style I do recommend going premium if you can afford it.


Horizontal Platform Movement

View On YouTube

You might notice that in this tutorial, also from GDquest, we’re learning on Godot 2.

Some of the interface features have changed and it does look a little different. But on the whole you can apply these lessons directly into Godot 3 and beyond.

Horizontal movement is some of the easiest stuff you can learn when first starting game design.

But the process is actually fairly complex and does take time to master. This video does an excellent job covering the basics, including scripting, for anyone new to Godot.


3D Camera Rig

View On YouTube

Working on a 3D game comes with far more challenges than a simple 2D game. One topic that deserves some real attention is camera control.

If you search online you can find some free scripts to help with this. But you should understand how cameras work first before moving into other people’s code.

That’s where this free 12-minute video can help. It talks about the camera rig in Godot 3D and how to setup a rig that’s fully expandable yet easy to manage by itself.

I would recommend this for people who are already comfortable with the absolute basics of creating new files for a game and setting up a 3D world. Once you’re past those basics it’s a good idea to get into camera work.


First Person Controller

View On YouTube

Here’s one more multi-part tutorial that covers a first person controller project from scratch.

All of the code is free on GitHub if you want access to the final result. That code may easier to study for more intermediate coders since you can break down the process step-by-step and really analyze each section of code.

This combines a great deal of 3D knowledge for setting up the scene, the camera, and controller features like climbing up stairs. But given everything you’ll learn this is absolutely a tutorial worth following.

Really I’d argue that all of these tutorials are worth your time. They just approach teaching at different levels and for different methods of game design.

For an open source project Godot has to be one of the best game engines out there. Especially for beginners who want to dive right into game design and build really cool stuff fast.

If you’re looking for even more content just browse YouTube and see what you can find. It seems like every month there’s tons of new tutorials out there.