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Best Languages for Game Development 2023

June 30, 2023


Single-player and multiplayer games use the best game development programming language available.

With a market that not only rivals but can, at times, outperform the movie industry, game development is always in need of new developers. More and more development companies are established each year, and every one of them needs good ideas and knowledgeable coders.

One question that comes to mind is what language you should use when creating a new project. There are many available options, but not all of them are the best languages for game development.

What is Game Development?

Game development is the art and science of creating video games. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. A complex and comprehensive process is followed to develop games that align with the needs and preferences of users. Game programmers must start by defining ideas for the game’s genre, story, characters, and gameplay mechanics by capturing them into a blueprint.

Once the blueprint is in place, programmers will write code to bring the game to life, artists will create visuals, and audio engineers will work on sound effects and music. After extensive testing and bug and error fixes, the game will be released and distributed to the public.

When developing games, the systems must be lightweight and even nestable to work properly. As with any other project, your choice of tool can drastically influence the result. So here is a comprehensive list of the most important and popular programming languages within the video game development sphere. Let’s start the grind and spawn right in!

1. C++ Is Used By the Pros

Indeed, many big-house developers using Source, Unreal Engine, or even Godot rely on C++ code. This may seem odd given the age of the language, but it has certain advantages and use cases that make it incredibly handy. In a race for the best programming language for game design, C++ may be leading the way. 

The major pull toward C++ is the fact that the language is object-oriented. Entire sections of code can be condensed into a single “object” or word and then put into the code. This allows for massive reusability for common assets or actions, translating to easy and fast work. 

C++ is also a very customizable and form-fitting scripting language. If you needed to make an entire engine for a new series of games, C++ would be a great choice. The only real drawback to C++ is its complexity for beginners. Luckily, it has many years under its belt, and helpful aids are easy to come across from many sources.

2. JavaScript Runs Web and Mobile Games

Interactivity and easy web integration are what make JavaScript a special language and a contender for the best language to learn for game developers. It’s another language with a lot of time and research, enabling many other functionalities that other languages do not provide.

If you plan to make a game that runs on HTML5 formats, along with mobile and iOS, JavaScript will be your best friend. Front-end developers frequently use the language to add interactive elements to websites and other programs. This alone is a huge advantage for web-hosted games.

Mobile platforms also benefit from JavaScript writing because they are integrated into web processes. JavaScript works well for mobile games to best use a smaller and more compact screen. Well-optimized JS writing can turn the small workspace into an interactive and alluring game space. 

3. Python Is the Gateway Language

If you are just beginning your journey into game design or coding in general, then Python is a great place to start. The language itself is made to look less like regular coding and more like human speech. This dramatically helps lessen the time spent learning the language and gets you working faster. 

Once you have learned Python, you have several choices you can make. An example of why this language is included in the list is Godot. This game engine uses a homemade language called GDScript, which is an offshoot of Python. Learning one will familiarize you with the other and get the ball rolling even faster. 

You could also use Python as a springboard to learn other development languages. Familiarity with the basis on which code works will make learning any other language that much easier.

4. Lua Can Be Hidden Amongst Other Languages

This may be surprising for some, but we can back it up. Lua as a language is already in use in several game industry giants, such as Age of Conan and Angry Birds, and is a driving force in CryEngine source code. Being lightweight and relatively anti-lag enables a lot of this.

Lua is also a very nestable language. You can have entire segments of Lua written in between the lines of another language, and it will flow seamlessly. Being able to mix languages like this opens up your options for how a project can turn out.

Using more tools and having them at your fingertips is always good, and coding is the same way. Where one may enable certain aspects, a mixture provides many more. 

What Language is Best for Game Development?

Truly, the best language for game development is all of them. The result of your game will directly be tied to what language you use and how you do it. Find the language that creates the effect and the environment you want, and get started with coding the next big hit!

Willdom Helps you Choose the Best Programming Languages for Game Development

Are you trying to find your most efficient language? Have great ideas but not enough technical skills? This is where WillDom can come in and help. 

We have a wonderful roster of world-class professionals who can help you with any needs you may have for your project. Through our staff augmentation services, we can also connect you with programmers with significant game engines expertise. 

Contact WillDom today and gain access to a specialized talent pool ready to take your game to the next level. Literally!

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