State & Roadmap of PlayCanvas

Dear PC-Team,
I’m a happy user of the engine per editor for some years now.
As I’m leaning more and more into it, making it my goto 3d Engine overall I’m also starting to build my own custom tools for it.
Because of that and in generall it would be great to know which features you have on the list and which projects have priority for the team right now / in the upcoming months.

For example the shader chunk system refactoring + the shader node editor seemed very prominent a while ago, while other features like the splat editor or webgpu got more attention in the recent updates.

As I also noticed that some quite active members have left the pc-team over the years(Gustav, Yaustar, Max) and some job postings were on twitter it also would be interesting to know some current infos about the pc-teams overall size and split on engine vs. editor.

Thanks for the heads up, and of course for your great work!

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Hi @Rechi. Thanks for the questions.

We maintain a public roadmap here:

However, it does need to be updated since it doesn’t include a lot of what we’ve been working on recently and doesn’t fully reflect what we have planned for the future. Basically, it’s on my ‘to do’ list to update this! :smile:

Current work streams are:

  • Improving developer resources. We just launched the new developer site and api reference manual of course. Now, the User Manual content is getting a major reorg.
  • WebGPU support. Almost all engine examples now run on WebGPU. We are getting close to having a production-ready WebGPU flavor of the engine.
  • RenderPass architecture for the graphics engine. This is enabling cool new capabilities like HDR bloom, TAA, depth prepass and much more.
  • Engine Examples overhaul. The examples are receiving a comprehensive rewrite to be easier to understand and maintain.
  • ESM support in the Engine and Editor. Full support for import/export, tree shaking, etc.
  • 3D Gaussian Splatting. Engine + Editor support for 3DGS developers. Plus work on SuperSplat for comprehensive splat editing support.

I’m not aware of any major shader chunk system refactoring work still outstanding. The node-based shader editor was delayed last year because we needed to do some foundational work in the Editor. And then, we made the call that some other projects took priority. We plan to revisit it later this year.

Yes. These features are extremely high priority. I am SO excited about the potential for both WebGPU and 3DGS to enable new types of content to be built on the web. So satisfying to see both projects coming to fruition.

You have a good memory - Max left the team 7 years ago! I think this is an excellent opportunity to say that @yaustar and @max are two of the most active community members we have today - and wow, we’re so lucky to have them! @max essentially developed the entire PlayCanvas WebXR integration (plus documentation) all by himself. And @yaustar still helps PlayCanvas developers day in day out on the Discord or on the forum. These guys are superheroes! So massive thanks to both of them. :pray:

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Thanks @will for the very detailed answeres!

I’ve already noticed the new developer site experience! I really appreciate that the PC team puts a lot of time into documentation and also adding examples and tutorials for every new feature.

Great to hear that the shader chunk system refactoring is already complete, maybe this topic is in generall an aspect which could also benefit from some very basic examples / tutorials. I had stumbled across it a while ago in the forums, got a rough understanding on what it does but wasn’t shure if it was still a current workflow.

Of course I understand that WebGPU and Gaussian Splats got major prio, but great to hear that my personal favorite - the shader node editor - is still on the list. Lets see what will take longer, the PC team to get that gem out of beta or my monkey brain to (finally) grasp some basic shader coding :slight_smile:

And great to hear that @yaustar and @max are still around!

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