The video game programming is one of the most attractive sectors for many users. Although a few years ago creating a video game was considered a very complicated task, today anyone, with minimal knowledge, can create their own game. In addition, the video game industry is one of the most important and the one that generates the most money, so, for many, it is even a way out and a job opportunity, either in a large company or independently.
The way of creating video games has changed a lot. What used to take hours of work and design can now be implemented very easily through an API. In addition, today there are tools that allow users to create their own games even without the need to know programming.
As always, there is no perfect programming language or tool for creating video games. Each tool and each language has its advantages and disadvantages. And, therefore, in this article we are going to analyze what are the best alternatives that we can choose to start giving free rein to our imagination.
Programming languages to create video games
Although it is true that games have been created in the most unimaginable programming languages, if we really want our games to have a certain quality, certain professionalism and not to complicate ourselves more than necessary, we must focus our development on one of the following languages.
In addition, we must bear in mind that the games are not programmed in plain text (unless we want to), but that thanks to the complete and simple programming IDEs this is done through scripts that are loaded in the programs that we will see later.
One of the most widely used programming languages in video game programming is C ++ . This programming language is object-oriented and among its main characteristics is that, if we have programmed the scripts and all the code correctly, the execution time is very low, and allows developers to have control over the hardware, which is translates into far superior game performance.
C ++ has a fairly simple learning curve, and mastering it helps us learn to program in other languages. Most programming IDEs are compatible with this language, and it is also the most widely used to create large-scale games for PlayStation and Xbox.
This is another of the favorite programming languages among video game programmers. C # is characterized by being easier to learn than C ++, but it is also somewhat more limited. This programming language is not as flexible and compatible as the previous one, but some engines, such as Unity, allow programming in it.
As with C ++, mastering this programming language can open many doors outside the world of video games, since in Windows environments it is one of the most widespread.
Java is another of the most widely used programming languages in the world. This language is characterized by being multiplatform and having great flexibility, so we can do anything with it. At the utility and design level it is similar to C ++, and thanks to the large number of frameworks for 3D development we can do everything with this programming language.
The problem with Java is that it runs inside your virtual machine, which means a loss of performance when playing games. Loss of performance that, in other languages like C ++, does not exist.
Many video game engines, such as Unity, officially support this programming language, so if we have experience with it we can use it to create all kinds of scripts within the game. In addition, it has a large number of libraries and frameworks designed for creating 3D programs, such as games.
Other video game programming languages
In addition, other programming languages can also be used to create video games. Markup languages, such as HTML5 and CSS3, are also widely used when creating games, especially if we want these to be multiplatform and can be run within any web browser, regardless of the operating system.
Python is another great, very flexible and cross-platform programming language. This programming language can be used for practically anything we need. And, of course, for the creation of video games it was not going to be less. Python has several frameworks focused precisely on game programming.
Programs and tools to create video games
We already know the most known and used programming languages in game development, however, what software or what tools do we need?
Depending on our knowledge, skills and the type of project that we are going to create, we can choose some tools or others. For example, if we are thinking of creating a 3D game we must choose a powerful engine such as CryEngine, Unity or Unreal Engine.
We can also find on the net all kinds of programs and platforms designed to allow us to easily create games, even with minimal programming knowledge.
RPGMaker, for example, is one of the most popular tools for creating all kinds of RPG games for PC, mobiles and even consoles. GameMaker, on the other hand, is a much more complete and professional tool to also create all kinds of games, not just RPG, but of any kind. This tool is more complete, and complicated, than RPGMaker.
Cocos 2D is another C ++ based graphics engine for creating all kinds of games. It is not as complete and powerful as the first engines, but it does outperform RPGMaker and GameMaker. In terms of difficulty of use, it is somewhere in the middle.
Of course, game development is not based solely on programming. We must also have all kinds of audiovisual resources that allow us to shape the game. For this it is necessary to resort to software such as Audacity, for audio recording, GIMP or Photoshop, for 2D photographic retouching, and Blender for 3D design and modeling.
Where to learn to create video games
Although at first glance it may seem like a simple task, actually learning all the ins and outs of video game programming can be very difficult. And without the right resources we could have problems.
Luckily, you don’t need to spend thousands of euros on training. On the web we can find a lot of totally free resources that will help us both to start from scratch and to perfect our techniques. Without going any further, on the Udemy platform we can find a wide variety of video tutorials, in various languages, with which to learn programming. Some of the courses are free, and others are usually discounted, finding them easily for less than 10 euros.
Another platform where you can easily find all kinds of courses and resources to learn programming is YouTube . And, of course, all of them totally free.
How to have more job opportunities as a video game designer
As we have seen, we have a good variety of operating systems, and tools, with which we can create games. However, to be honest, not all of them are going to offer us the same job opportunities. RPG Maker, for example, to create your own game, as amateurs, is fine. But no company will hire us for knowing this program.
If what you are thinking about is dedicating yourself to video games at a professional level, the first thing you should learn is to use one of the main IDEs on the market . That is, either good Unity (the best, and most complete), or Unreal Engine (another of the most used in the industry). This is essential in any developer, since they surely use one of these two problems.
And what if we want to be designers? In that case, then what we have to do is learn to use 3D grinding software. Blender, for example, is one of the best in this regard. And with it we can give life to our games.