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Game programming

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I will fill in this page later if someone else doesn't. There is merit to this. It's sometimes difficult to find the right libraries or resources required for video games. Though I doubt this will be very useful, it's still necessary. --Fontain (talk) 20:18, 27 January 2014 (EST)


Game programming is complicated. It can also be a great way to practice your language. Before you even think about any serious game/multimedia programming, you should know the language that you're going to use to a decent extent.

Aside from the programming itself, a good game needs decent graphics, sound/music, and story. Just having "ideas" for your game isn't good enough, but can be a good start.

Another important point: Making your own "engine". Don't. Or at least, don't in the way that you think you're going to: Don't try to visualize the perfect game and then make an engine around it. An engine, especially for someone that programs unprofessionally, is something that is built on, and added to. The features of an engine should be able to apply to many different aspects - they should be reusable. [Will add some good links about engines in general later]


A game engine is a collection of framework and libraries that manage all the aspects of game development (physics, rendering, networking, etc.). They usually come with a scripting language to allow you to program the behavior of the different components, and some come with an editor that allow you to visualize these components in a graphical interface.

  • Unity is one of the most popular game engines out there. It features an editor and uses C# as its main scripting language. It is also responsible for most of the trash and shovelware that was released on Steam since the dawn of Steam Greenlight, mainly because it is very easy to learn (the official website provides some decent tutorials). The basic license is free but requests that you use the default Unity splash screen.
  • Unreal Engine was paid until May 2015, but, following the success of Unity, it picked the same business model (free with a few restrictions that should not bother hobbyists). Like Unity, it features a powerful editor. Unlike Unity, it uses C++ as its main scripting language, which make it harder to learn than Unity.
  • LÖVE is an open source game engine geared toward 2D games development. It uses Lua as a scripting language and is simple to learn and use, making it well suited for beginners.


/g/'s general recommendations:

Pleb tier: "Game Engines" such as Unity/UDK/CryEngine. Seriously, don't use these. It is just a waste of your time when you could be learning programming and actual game development.

Java: JmonkeyEngine. BSD license. There is a myth that Java is too slow for games. This is entirely false. It was true in the early 2000s, but with modern techniques java code is as fast as native code. Don't listen to people who tell you otherwise, or just do a quick google search and see for yourself that java is not slow.
>but muh buttcraft is laggy on my netbook, java must be slow
Notch is a decent programmer, but took some shortcuts in optimization.

A list of open source C++ libraries
C++ graphics libraries:
3D: Ogre3D, Irrlicht

Physics Engines:
Bullet Physics Library

OpenGL-based libraries are suggested as it has the capability of being multi-platform, unlike DirectX (ex: Direct3D).

C#: C++ is generally suggested over C#, but C# is by no means bad. Especially if you're a beginner, C# lets you not have to deal with as much memory management as C++, and C# has helpful frameworks available. Although C# can be a convenient way to make applications that assist in your overall game, ex: a Mapper

Python: PyGame

Note that many scripting languages can be used on top of the base engine, ex: AngelScript

All of the libraries listed above are licensed under free licenses.

Graphics, Physics, Audio, Networking, etc.

More Resources