Video game development is a lucrative business. The global gaming industry is worth nearly 200 billion dollars, which is only forecasted to grow over the coming years. As a result, more organizations are getting interested in game development.
To build games, you must understand which programming languages are best suited for game development. Game developers have several options, but not as many as in web development.
If your organization is interested in developing games, this post will explore the most popular programming languages for game development. Unfortunately, building a video game requires time and additional resources, such as game engines.
You will need more than a programming language to develop games. However, the programming language game developers use sets the foundation for the entire game development process.
Top Game Development Programming Languages
The programming language best suited for your game development project depends on the type of video game you want to create. For example, do you want to build mobile games, console games, browser-based games, Android games, or iOS games?
There are different game programming languages that are ideal for each type of project. The best programming language is the one that helps your organization achieve its goals most efficiently and is comfortable for its game programmers.
When discussing game development languages, the most important programming languages to cover are:
Other programming languages could be used in game development, such as Swift or Kotlin. Still, game developers do not often use them since the alternatives listed above are better languages for game development.
C++ is an object-oriented programming language built for machine readability. Object-oriented languages organize code into reusable, self-contained structures called units.
These units are movable, so game developers can reuse them and build complex video games without developing everything from scratch. However, this programming language is complex and challenging for beginners to learn.
C++ is the foundation of most major console and Microsoft Windows games. In addition, C++ is the most widely used coding language for building game engines. A game engine is an environment where game developers build and host their creations.
A game engine is responsible for every aspect of a game, from environmental design to the physics controlling the game. Therefore, to gain complete creative control over your game, you need to develop a game engine, and C++ is the best programming language for the task.
However, creating game engines is time-consuming and expensive. However, popular game engines such as Unreal, Godot, Lumberyard, and Cryengine use C++.
While you don’t need to use C++ to develop games using these popular game engines, knowledge of the coding language will give a game developer far more control and customization over the game engine.
C# is a high-level programming language simpler than C++ and easier for humans to read and understand. In addition, the syntax used by C# encourages reusability, and its built-in compilers reduce the amount of runtime errors.
C# is popularly used in game development as a scripting language that tells the computer what to do as a player progresses through the game and is responsible for the game’s mechanics.
Additionally, C# is the default video game programming language of the popular game engine Unity 3D, the top game engine of choice for game developers.
Unity 3D powers popular mobile games like Pokemon Go and is one of the most widely used engines for VR game development. If you are interested in VR game development or want to use Unity 3D, C# is one of the best programming languages.
Java is a very flexible cross-platform programming language used effectively in game development. Some of the most popular mobile games, like Mission Impossible III and Minecraft, were built using Java.
Java is a great programming language because it is beginner-friendly. People who are new to coding will have an easier time learning and writing Java than most of the other programming languages listed in this post.
However, just because Java is easy-to-learn doesn’t mean you should underestimate its game development capabilities. One facet of Java that makes it a compelling game development option is its multithreading abilities.
With multithreading, two sets of instructions can be executed simultaneously. For example, one thread can run gameplay logic, and another can handle graphical rendering.
Python is a beginner-friendly programming language with a syntax designed to be readable by humans and looks the most like the English language. Python is the least widely used language in this post for game development.
However, Python is a great starting point for beginners, and it has its own game development library, PyGame, which is helpful for new developers interested in game development.
In addition, Python is very similar to GDScript, which is used in the game engine Godot. GDScript was built to mimic Python, and it possesses many of the features that make Python such a beginner-friendly language.
Lua is not a widely used programming language outside of game development. However, Lua is a lightweight language, which creates a small memory footprint with little to no drag.
This programming language was used to build one of the most popular mobile games of all time, Angry Birds. In addition, it can be used on popular game engines such as CryEngine and Gideros Mobile.
Lua is also capable of running on Virtual Machines, making it a fast and efficient game development language.
Game development can be a lucrative venture, so it makes sense to explore all of the possibilities and options available to your organization. If you want to learn more about game development and the programming languages best suited for the task, reach out to a skilled development company like Koombea.