There is a lot of thought that should be put into the decision of which programming language to use for any given project, and it relies on a wide variety of factors. Aspects such as just how familiar the staff members who would be working with the programming language are, as well as the intended platform/s for the title are things that contribute to these very key decisions.
While there are a multitude of languages that programmers can use to complete a task, there are some that stand above the rest and have earned their reputations as being reliably the best available options to game developers. Here is a small selection of these such programming languages.
It probably shouldn’t come as any surprise that Java finds itself here, especially for anyone versed in programming. The strength of Java comes from its sheer versatility. When it comes time for a development team to decide which language they’ll use to program their game, one of the factors of their job that will heavily influence their decision is whether or not their game will be on multiple platforms. And if it so happens that any given game is slated to be on multiple platforms, then the prospect of using Java becomes a very attractive choice indeed.
Java was designed with cross-platform projects in mind, as it cuts down on the time spent by programmers on any given job that would require multiple implementations. Instead of being in a situation in which they are forced to rewrite the script for an entire game when moving from one platform to another, they can, in essence, copy and paste their work for the most part and make sure that the game functions as it should.
The logic behind this approach results in a two-pronged effect that dovetails beautifully. On one front, less hours are being sunk into programming, and because of this, expenses drop on the side of development. On the other front, with the title now available on multiple platforms, the number of sales that it will achieve rises. On both sides of this equation, profits are being maximized.
C is here for many of the same reasons that Java is here. In fact, it would not be outlandish to claim that C and Java are both so popular because they have so much in common. C is another programming language that lends itself to cross-platform usage, and on top of that, C is just about universally available to programmers. Another added benefit to C as a programming language for video game development is that it is structurally similar to many other programming languages, as it has been a major influence to a good number of them. Much in the way that it is easier to learn a foreign language that is similar to one’s own (such as the Romance languages of Spanish, French, Italian, etc.), the transition of learning a similar programming language if one already knows C is much more seamless.
C++ falls into line with the former two programming languages on account of its compatibility with other languages as well as its—you guessed it—use in cross-platform projects. It may seem like beating a dead horse at this point, but as it applies to the video game industry, the benefits that compatibility and adaptability provide are difficult to match. C++ is useful in the industry for largely the same reasons as both Java and C, and for many developers, it should be taken into consideration.
The fact that these three programming languages share so many of the same aspects should not be seen as a coincidence. There is a reason that they are used to the degree that they are, developers should take note, if they haven’t already.