It’s an unavoidable fact that game designers are asked to do a little programming. This comes down to new designers often switching their positions in teams a lot, and the nature of game design teams is changeable. It is not surprising for designers to step in and out of a program, clearing up the game programmers to work on anything more complex, just like it is not uncommon for programmers to be discussed during the design process. Getting started in programming can be a little daunting start.
Where to Start?
There are thousands of programming languages out there, but only a very small subset are frequently used, so how does a new game designer-come-developer know where to start from?
There are two main types of programming you should focus on: These are called ‘systems’ programming and ‘web’ programming. Both are necessary, although what you end up doing will mostly be dropping to the focus of the studio and their in-development titles.
Systems Programming: It means programming for a stand-alone application, for example, when a video game run on your machine. The two most popular languages for game designers to learn are C++ and Java. Other common languages are C# for Unity.
- C++: It is a language with a comparatively high entry barrier and a greater reward because it allows more direct control over the graphical processes and hardware which is something crucial in video game design. It uses internal structures to organize code into reusable blocks better ( including classes and objects). It is by far the most commonly used languages for writing game engines, and engines like Unreal. These engines only accept information written in C++. If you are willing to choose only one language to learn, this would be it, because almost every other object-oriented language stems from C++. So learning them would be easier.
- Java: Java is used for everything, from microwaves and printers to complex video game systems. It is a very powerful language with lots of applications, which make it seem like a good choice to learn. Java is nearly related to C++, so learning both the languages alongside each other would not be much difficult.
SQL is used for the back – end database so that the player can reach their account and can easily do other things on the server.
If you are working with the studio that has a web-game focus, it’s helpful to brush up on all these languages, but you reasonably will not require a deep knowledge of them. Hence the language you choose to learn will depend on a lot on where your interest in game design lies!
So which programming languages do you know? Where does your interest lie? Let us know in the comments section!
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