The Best Coding Languages for Video Game Development

Coding provides the basis for a whole world of technological systems and devices used in our society today. For many, learning to code is the first step they take in their quest for a career in video game design and development. There are many languages, each used for different gaming platforms and attributes. Here are a few of the more notable languages you should learn if you plan on making games for a living.

C++

The quintessential coding language for developing video games is C++. It has been used for years by PC and console game makers. While learning C++ can help you grasp other languages, it should be noted that it’s not an easy language to learn. Once it is learned however, you will have the ability to create complex graphics in games engines like Unreal, Unity, and Sony’s PhyreEngine.

C#

The language is basically added power for developing games on Windows and Xbox, since the language was developed by Windows. The majority of games using C# are developed on the Unity engine, which is used for, among other things, training simulators and software created for first responders. Because Unity utilizes visual actions and is not made for asset-creation, C# is an intuitive language to learn, although not necessarily best for beginners.

Swift

The explosive growth of cell phone use and development has no doubt made mobile gaming a contender in the traditionally console dominated war for gamers. Swift is similar to Objective C and is used in creating games for OS X and iOS, anything played on a MAC, iPhone, or iPad. The language is used in the frameworks Cocoa and Cocoa Touch, with the app development software Xcode relying on it almost exclusively. Master it, and you’ll be making the next Candy Crush in no time.

Java

A great language to learn if you’re just getting into video game coding, Java is a computer programming program that’s been around for a while. Java isn’t widely used in video game development, but it is the main programming language used to make mobile Android games. Web-based games also use Java, in conjunction with Flash.

Lua

Lua is a multi-platform language that is considered lightweight and easy to learn. These qualities make it a fast, fun, and efficient language to use for video game development.

How do I program in Minecraft? Lua can be used along with the computercraft.edu mod to program your Minecraft turtles and world. It would not be used to build a game from scratch, but you sure can have a lot of fun modding your Minecraft world with Lua.

How do I program in Roblox? Lua can also be used to program Roblox. Roblox’s game logic was built with Lua and Roblox’s Studio for game development is its platform to help you organize and program your Roblox Lua code.

Python

Another great Object Oriented language to learn if you want to create games. Python is not highly known for game development but its simple structure and ease of readability lend itself as a fun language to build anything including games.

HTML5, CSS3, and SQL

Along with Java, several other web programming languages are key to developing web-based video games. HTML5 for instance, can be used interchangeably with JavaScript in some instances. CSS3, the newest form of CSS, can be used in conjunction with HTML5. SQL has more back-end processes including trophies, achievements, save points, and other means to measure data during the game. These languages will be your best friend if you’re interested solely in the web game market.

Whichever language you decide to learn, each can be mastered through practice and use of training materials provided both online and in coding schools. Video games are constantly breaking new ground, so staying on top of new languages will put you at the forefront of the industry. A good resource for beginners getting started is a game development coding camp. Or get started by finding kids coding classes near you.

By Hansel

Hansel is the Founder & CEO of theCoderSchool and has been at the heart of it ever since its inception in 2013.