Which Game Development Language to Learn?

I was having a chat with Christiano Lima Santos, my former Game Design teacher at Instituto dos Jogos (Games Institute), earlier this morning, when he said that he is planning on creating a Basic Development course at the Institute. Then he said that he’s actually teaching the same subject at a live course, and that people were complaining about his programing language choice: Pascal. They say that he should be using C or C++ to teach them the basics, because these are the Industry’s Standard Language. Maybe those are the standard, but imho this picture is changing already.

If I was in his place I would have probably chosen the same language, or even a simpler one. And I think that most developers will agree that the more robust a language is, the more complex is it’s entry point, specially when one have never coded a single line in his entire life, or didn’t even heard of programming at all. Right?

This subject had reminded of a post on Raph Koester’s blog where he is asked about which would be a good programming language to learn. Flash showed up a good bit on the comments and right now it has been used not only in casual webgames, but also in more robust desktop projects. The indie companies are also very fond of it due its low cost – Adobe Flash CS3 costs $699 – and the tools it provides.

So, what would be better, to learn Pascal or ActionScript 3? I still think that the more simpler a language is, the more easy it is to be taught to someone, but as Pascal isn’t in the scene for a while now maybe it’s not a good choice if it’s going to be the only one language to be taught. I think the best approach is to have at least two languages, a procedural one and an object-oriented one. The former would be used as entry-point and the latter as the real deal.

Finally, if you’re a student learning Pascal as your first-ever programming language don’t get scared or frustrated, because it might be a small step, but it is a step. Remember that a journey is made of a lot of steps, and after you’re walking steady you’ll be able to go for longer strides.


One Response

  1. Hi, guys!
    I’m surprised and glad with this post! 🙂

    I didn’t hope my words were so inspiring to you.

    I hope people start to think and look for “the easiest way to reach a goal”, no “the way experts are tracking today”.

    Experts were beginners and they didn’t skip steps. Think about it!


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