Brian Lewis, on 06 October 2012 - 09:29, said:
What language should I look into learning? I've heard conflicting opinions on each option.
C# - Most will tell me to jump straight into C# and work with XNA, but that leaves mutli-platform out of the question. I'm not too concerned about multi-platform, but I think it's a good option to leave open.
Java - So, that would lead me towards Java. I'm not a fan of Java, as a user. VM always seemed bulky and slow, with tons of vulnerabilities.
C++ - C++ might be a little bit too much of an undertaking, but I can see the benefit of learning proper memory management out of the gate. However, it might add too much time to development where, say, C# has XNA that handles a lot of the work out of the box.
Python - I see Python as an alternative, but I'm not sure I want to venture too far off the beaten path. Python is a very elegant language that I could pick up rather quickly, but the games I have seen developed in Python leave me wondering how capable it -really- is.
XNA has a working open-source and multi-platform implementation, MonoGame
. It has already been used in several commercial titles. This makes XNA an excellent choice not only for the awesome language, tooling, documentation and API, but also to develop your game for all existing mobile and desktop platforms. At a much higher level, you also have Unity, which is widely used in the game industry and is also as multi-platform as engines go. If you want to learn C#, the best book I know of is a free one: The Yellow Book
. Recently updated for C# 5 as well!
: the VM is anything but slow: the best implementations (Hotspot) can optimize code beyond what the best optimizing C++ compilers can do. However, the Java language is kinda boring and I don't know of any good game APIs for it. If you want to target the Java platform I suggest using the Scala
language; it's quickly gaining ground as a better language for developing Java-based applications.
: depends what you want to do. If you want to program games, bad choice. The multitude of pitfalls, slow compilation and poor error reporting will just get in your way; performance-wise, there's no way you'll beat what the .NET or Java VMs offer you unless you really know what you're doing and in specific circumstances. Most likely, your game will simply be less portable, less performant and a lot less feature-rich because you'll spend most of your time fighting the tools and language rules. Yes, C++ is widely used by the big game studios: that's because they have the specific need of extracting maximum performance out of closed and unorthodox platforms. You don't, so you don't need C++.
great for learning and experimentation, PyGame is an excellent game development library. This one IS
slow however, but if 2D NES-style games are your objective you shouldn't run into performance problems anytime soon.