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Video Game Programming Languages

If you are interested in a career in video game programming, you will probably find yourself needing to think about both video game design and video game programming in terms of in-depth knowledge of at least one of the following programming languages:

  • Visual Basic. This is a high level language and relatively easy to learn, and is good for turn-based games such as war games and board games. It's advantages are that it can handle both the scene graphics and the game processing.

  • Java. This is good at handling motion, and its object orientation means that character movement and other speed graphics are easy. It also is good at handling distributed processing over the Internet. It is not difficult to learn, and is becoming more popular for interactive games.

  • c++. This is the de-facto standard for games programming, and it handles objects and graphics at speed, as it is a processor based language. However the learning curve for being able to program well and with the sophistication necessary for good games programming is steep, so experience counts with c++. You'll want to be an expert with Microsoft Visual Studio's C++ compiler/debugger, seeing that it's what most are using.

  • MEL. Maya Scripting Language for the 3D workhorse killer app Maya that will make this program sing.

Your video game design often dictates the video game programming language, so many programmers work with all three languages, taking advantage of the best of each. If you are going to learn 1 programming language, make sure you learn c++. It may have the steeper learning curve, but with the complexity of todays video games, it's probably a must.

DeVry University
Location: Various locations

Game and Simulation Programming:

DeVry's Game and Simulation Programming curriculum prepares graduates to join the private and public sector game software industry in a variety of software development roles across the game programming life cycle, including programmer, software engineer and project coordinator. Applications-oriented, the program provides preparation in the math and physics of games; programming fundamentals; game design; modifications (MOD) and massively multi-player online game (MMOG) programming; two- and three-dimensional graphics programming; and simulation and game engine design. Also included is a full complement of general education courses, recommended by game industry experts as critical for well-rounded development team members.

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