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Your dream of creating your own video game has come true. Deciding what programming language you should learn when you first start coding is essential.
Games can be created using almost any programming language, even high-level languages such as Python, but some options offer more benefits than others. Moreover, selecting the correct programming language to learn could also lock you into a specific engine or framework, further complicating your development process. Making the right choice of game programming languages is challenging.
The purpose of this guide, however, is to explain some of the popular programming languages available to you for learning game development and provide information that might be helpful to you. Let’s take a look at the best programming language for games if you’re interested in learning how to code and getting started in game development!
What is Game Programming?
Scripts and code that make video and computer games work are called game programming. The front-end user will see the environment, characters, and actions created using coding languages.
The bones of a game are its programming. Game programming is about structure – but what is the best language for games?
Which Programming Language Should I Learn?
- Games hosted directly on a website are usually the easiest to share because anyone can access them.
- Considering that it is a higher-level coding language, it isn’t as efficient in terms of how fast it performs tasks as other game programming languages.
- Video games generally rely on 2D game graphics since 3D game graphics are restricted to specific frameworks.
- Because HTML5 games are not as efficient, the scope and size of the games are limited.
- Little Alchemy
- New Super Resident Raver
- The Wizard
An object-oriented programming language developed in 1995, Java is a language used for general computer programming. Language design principles aimed to minimise dependencies as much as possible, particularly in comparison to other programming languages at the time. Due to this, Java programs were able to run on a wide range of operating systems since they were not heavily dependent on the underlying hardware.
Java is widely used for application development due to its cross-platform nature. The Java programming language is still widely used for desktop games, despite not being as widely used as other languages. Many mobile apps and game developers use Java as their preferred programming language for Android devices.
Due to Java’s close relation to C++, it wouldn’t be challenging to learn the two together.
- The Java programming language is well-suited to making mobile games since it is the foundation for Android devices.
- Java games can be run almost anywhere as long as the platform supports JVM. Systems such as Linux are included in this category.
- Although Java is an old technology, it can utilise modern technologies for better game performance, such as multi-threading.
- Due to its suitability for server development, Java is well suited to creating multiplayer games without requiring additional libraries.
- Java games are often platform-limited despite their abilities since most modern consoles do not support JVM.
- This system has automatic memory management. However, it is known to cause some game latency issues because of its automatic memory management.
- According to most developers, Java has been used to develop successful games, but it is not the standard choice for game development. It is, therefore, not well supported by the community in this field.
- Compared to other programming languages, Java has relatively few libraries or engines designed specifically for game development.
Popular games made with Java:
- Star Wars Galaxies
- FIFA 11
- Project Zomboid
Developed by Microsoft in 2000 specifically for its .NET framework, C# is a general-purpose programming language. The purpose of this new language was to take the best of C++ and Java and combine them into a new object-oriented programming language that was easy to read and had excellent cross-platform capabilities. To make it easy to develop software.
Due to its relative efficiency and scalability, C# has also found a home in video games. Mainly, it was adopted by the Unity engine, and all modern Unity libraries were built upon it. Unity holds a tight hold on the video game industry because it is used in a large percentage of games.
- C# is relatively easy to read compared to other languages, making it ideal for beginners.
- As a Microsoft-developed language, it is one of the most popular programming languages for Windows PC games. Nevertheless, it is compatible with most modern operating systems.
- By automating memory management, you can focus more on developing your game rather than digging deeper into those aspects.
- Due to its efficiency and scalability, it is ideal for creating game projects.
- The type-safe nature of C# means your games will be more secure and won’t exhibit a large number of unexpected behaviours.
- In addition to its focus on Microsoft’s .NET framework, the language isn’t as flexible as some others on the list.
- The use of C# for games isn’t widespread outside of game engines. As a result, community support almost requires an engine in this case.
- Business applications require C++, but game developers don’t use it as much as general business applications do.
Games made with C#:
- Stardew Valley
- Osiris: New Dawn
The C++ programming language was initially called “C with classes.” It was designed to combine modern principles, such as object-oriented programming, with low-level functionality found in languages like C. The result would be easier program creation with improved readability while maintaining advanced features like memory allocation.
C++’s general purpose nature has made it one of the most widely used programming languages, having software applications and – as this article discusses – games. The C++ language is used in many modern engines, including Unreal Engine, which is why many professionals consider it essential to learn. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most commonly used programming languages in general.
- As a result of its universal usage almost everywhere, C++ probably has the most vibrant community and tutorial support.
- With its close relationship to C, C++ is an incredibly efficient programming language for running many complex game tasks.
- Platform independence makes it easy to port projects across different operating systems.
- When you want tighter control of your game’s performance, it can perform things like memory management.
- Video game projects of any size can use it since it has a high degree of scalability.
- The C++ language is an older language which does not have some of the modern features found in other languages.
- Despite the availability of many game engines, finding lightweight frameworks for C++ game development can be challenging. Developing games with just C++ is also complex.
- Despite C++’s greater control over memory management, it lacks automatic garbage collection, so the developer has to do more work.
- It is also possible to get tons of unexpected behaviour in your games when you use C++ because it allows developers to do more.
- It can be challenging to learn C++ and is not very beginner-friendly out of all the languages on this list.
Popular Games Made with C++:
- Doom III Engine
- Football Pro
- King Quest
HTML5 & CSS3
It is a web development language that enables the structure of web pages, and CSS3 enables the visual elements of the page to display. In contrast, HTML5 alone cannot be used in developing a game; CSS3 alone cannot.
- There is a lot of clarity and consistency in HTML5 coding. There are no ambiguities; it is straightforward and effortless to read.
- It is almost universally known that HTML5 uses an open-source programming language. Troubleshooting support is available online for your own convenience.
- In terms of performance and consistency, HTML5 is excellent.
- Using the CANVAS element, HTML5 allows the generation of dynamic graphics, incorporating online games and using interactive video.
- In order to access HTML5, you need a modern browser.
Games made with HTML 5:
- Kingdom of Loathing
- Nothing to Hide
- Gods will be watching
- Roll It
- Cookie Clicker
The Python programming language was designed to be easily readable by humans, so it is beginner-friendly. It’s a common teaching language in software development because of its syntax, which is the most English-like of any programming language.
New developers can get a good start with Python, which is a lesser-used programming language in the world of game development. PyGame is a game development library that can be learned quickly if you are learning Python.
- Game scripting code that is simple and easy to understand.
- For both Windows and macOS, there are easy installers.
- An easy-to-understand tutorial is readily available.
- Core modules that can be mixed and matched.
Games made with Python:
- Sims 4
- Flappy Bird
- Frets On Fire
- World of Tanks
Learning to code a game doesn’t require a particular programming language. Different developers prefer each due to different features, different target platforms, and different target audiences. Nevertheless, the collection here includes some of the best programming languages for game development you can choose from. Don’t be afraid to explore other languages, too, as you may be able to learn them quickly and expand your knowledge. Game Developers still use many other programming languages and frameworks that take advantage of the different programming languages.
It makes no difference which choice you make. Each is designed to assist you in developing your game project. No matter what language you choose to learn, learning to code is a skill that will benefit you whether you want to use Unity or dive into the challenge of Java development.