Why Game Development is a Great Way to Learn Programming

Programming is at the heart of every video game project. You can’t create it without generating the code to handle the logic of your game. Whether you write it yourself or use a visual scripting tool, the code must be created to have a functioning video game. You can learn programming by developing your own games.

Can I Learn Programming by Developing Games?

Yes, game development can be a great way to learn to write code. It involves several programming skills, such as object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, graphics programming, physics, artificial intelligence, and more. Developing a game requires you to understand how to solve complex problems, implement logical and mathematical concepts, and create efficient code that can handle real-time performance requirements.

Why Is Game Development More Effective Than Traditional Classes for Learning Programming?

Game development is more effective than traditional classes for learning programming because it provides hands-on, practical experience in developing complex programs. Plus, game development is fun and engaging, so you are more likely to keep trying and finish projects. Furthermore, you learn programming quickly because you get to see the results of your work in action.

Imagine you travel to a country where you don’t know the language. Even if you don’t take formal classes, you eventually pick up the language and start talking. The reason for this is that you have no choice if you want to live in that country. This is the same concept with game development and programming – you don’t have a choice but to learn it.

Can I Get a Job as a Software Engineer From Learning Game Development?

More and more companies nowadays hire bright people, even if they don’t have a formal degree. Companies realize that formal education is not the best indicator of a good worker. So they might also look at your portfolio of software you have created. If you have a portfolio of great games, this is a strong indication that you are proactive, can finish projects, and have strong software skills. So yes, if you have a robust portfolio of projects, you might get a position at a company.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things you will never learn in game development. Formal education can provide you with a unique set of skills. For example, you can’t learn embedded programming by developing games since you have no interaction with hardware components. So if you want to become an expert software engineer, game development can teach you some software skills, but further education will be required.

What Types of Games Can I Start Developing To Learn Programming?

You can start with simple games, like Pong or Tetris, and gradually work up to more complex games as your skills improve. As a general rule, 2D games are much simpler than 3D games since 3D environments have more layers of complexity. Animations, 3D models, textures, and lighting are much harder to create in a 3D world. So I suggest starting with simple 2D games and working your way up.

How Do I Learn Programming Through Game Development?

Many resources are available online. Resources such as tutorials, forums, and game development communities can help you learn and improve your programming skills. These resources will give you the tools to start your game development journey. If you are ready to make games, GameMaker Studio is a recommended option as it is free and user-friendly.

GameMaker provides a visual scripting tool for creating game logic, which automatically generates code based on the logic you’ve created. Once you have viewed the code and its visual representation, it becomes simple to understand how to write the code yourself. This is an excellent way to learn programming irrespective of the programming language. Once you understand the fundamental concepts of coding, you can learn any programming language you want. Check out the Beginner’s Guide to GameMaker Studio 2 on YouTube.


If you have read this short article, you now understand that game development is a popular way for people to learn programming. However, it is worth noting that game development requires significant time and effort and may not be suitable for everyone. You must be willing to invest the necessary time and effort to successfully complete game development projects.

It is also worth mentioning that game development is not the only way to learn to program. Building websites or creating applications for PC and mobile platforms are other options that can teach you the basics of software development. It is important to explore different options to find what interests you the most.

If you want to learn more about game development, you are welcome to read other articles on my Night Quest Games Blog. And if you have more questions about indie game development, I encourage you to read the Indie Game Developer: Most Important Things You Need To Know article. Good luck!

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Featured article image includes art made by upklyak on Freepik.

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