Deciding the best programming language to use when designing games is probably a common dilemma that most enthusiastic game designers face. Arguably, nearly all programming languages can be used in game design, including advanced languages such as C++ and Python. However, some languages offer more benefits than others. That aside, your choice of programming language determines the game engine and framework to use and your games’ development process in the long run.
All these factors make it challenging to choose an appropriate language. Below are some of the best programming languages game developers can use.
- Easy to design browser and mobile games
- Games are easy to share
- Less resource-intensive
- Stable programming language
- Limited 3D graphic options
- Quite slow
C# is another popular and general-purpose coding language with wide applications. The language combines the functionality of C++ and Java. Generally, with combined capabilities, the language is easy to use and object-oriented. Games designed from this language offer the utmost scalability and efficiency. C# is the primary programming language for Unity Engine, with the entire Unity library built around it.
Some popular games built from this language include Stardew Valley, Cuphead, Osiris, and Hearthstone.
- Beginner-friendly language
- Best for windows games
- Efficient and scalable
- Has advanced security features
- Primarily works on Microsoft’s .NET
- Not efficient as Java or C++
Initially known as C with Classes, C++ is an object-oriented language with various features. Programmers can use the language with ease, enabling users to create programs with great readability without losing its advanced features, such as good memory management. With such a general-purpose outlook, the language has also enjoyed many applications in the gaming industry. Some modern game engines, including the id Tech and Unreal Engine, are built on C++. Among the games designed with C++ include Gear 5, ArcheAge, Kingdom Come, and Soulcalibur VI.
- Efficient and fast programing language
- Advanced features
- Has the largest support community
- Plenty of programming resources and free courses are available
- Difficult to learn
- Lacks modern game design features
Java is among the popular programming languages built for general computer programming purposes. According to its design, the language requires fewer dependencies than other languages. This means that games and other programs built on this language are compatible with different systems, as they don’t rely on underlying system architecture.
With such flexibility, Java is overly beneficial in the game design realm. While it doesn’t enjoy an extensive application in the gaming industry, several desktop games are built on Java. It is also a top priority coding language for Android gadgets, which is why most developers use it for designing mobile games. Popular games designed on Java include FIFA 11, RuneScape, and Minecraft.
- Best for mobile games
- Uses modern technology, such as multi-threading
- Independent language – games can run anywhere
- Easy to use
- Limited community support
- Few Java-compatible game engines exist
All programming languages can be used for game development. However, get to understand every language’s target platform, developer options, features, and more, before choosing a language to use. Beginners should consider the learning curve required before designing games with a specific language. If you need some training on programming before embarking on game design, courses from your local kids’ coding school are beneficial. You can also find a list of Linux Gaming Distros in this page if you want to use Linux as the development environment.