The idea of building a game from scratch with only C# is a nightmare for most developers.
With only C# as their tool, developers will take a much longer time to build a full-blown game because they would have to program every function and every asset to make it work. Plus, relying on C# is not a very visual approach to take toward a visual output. And this difficulty contributes to game development slowing down.
However, C# and game development are much more compatible than you think. And in this article, we’ll show you why.
What is C#?
C# is a highly expressive, object-oriented programming language used for a broad range of multi-platform software. Developers often write in C# to build projects intended for long-term use, simply because it’s easy to maintain its code. Apart from its universality, the strength of C# lies in the fact that it is a modern C language, making it easy to update, upgrade, and rebuild your software’s backend.
The language is also known for building cost-efficient software businesses love. It can adapt to new technological trends and quickly meet a company’s business needs. Plus, its syntax flows as smoothly as Java’s. So you can liken C# to something old but reliable, like a vintage fountain pen you’ve been writing with for years or a working sedan you bought in the ‘80s.
Has C# Been Used for Game Development?
It’s possible to develop games with C#, but it’s an impractical route to take. To build a full-blown game with only C#, you have to program everything on your own. You won’t have access to assets that will prevent redundancies in game development, and you won’t be able to see the real-time updates you make. You’re probably wondering, then, how C# can be used for game development at all. The truth is, game developers have been using C# for game development. And they have been doing so with a game engine.
A game engine facilitates game development by giving developers a stable environment to build games with ease. It makes accessible the fundamental game elements, such as audio and graphics, and editors for manipulating gameplay. Moreover, it reduces development tasks’ redundancy through features like the prefab system.
Many popular and polished game engines use C# as its programming language. Unity, Godot, and UrhoSharp are only a few of them. But why is that? Software engineer Harrison Ferrone attributes C#’s popularity among game developers and engines to its accessibility, meaning the language is relatively easier to learn. Developers generally find their game development experience with C# much more effortless, but the advantages of using C# for game development does not end there.
Benefits of Using C# for Game Development
Good Game Engines Use C#
With the stability C# offers, game engines wanted to incorporate the language into their framework. Popular game engines, such as Unity, implemented C# as one of their main programming languages, resulting in plenty of successful video game products. Some of the best works of C# include Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run.
Widely Used Language
C# is a decades-old language that has gone through several upgrades. It was initially released in 2001 by Anders Hejlsberg and Microsoft. Since its release, C# has amassed an enormous following, which translates to reliable community support and comprehensive libraries.
Compatible with Great Tools for Game Development
The support C# receives from its expanding community allows it to grow continuously as a language. And with this growth comes the necessity to keep up with trends in technology — regardless of industry. One particularly relevant industry for C# is video gaming.
Because the video game industry does not show signs of slowing down, Microsoft and millions of C# developers made sure the language doesn’t either. Today, numerous tools and libraries make C# well-suited for game development. One such tool is the XNA framework. It provides developers with runtime components needed to execute games on the Windows platform or the Xbox game console. Through this framework, developers are freed from the taxing work of repetitive coding, making game development faster and easier to manage.
Game Engines that Use C#
Unity is one of the top-performing game engines many big companies and indie studios use for game development. And that’s because Unity makes every gaming experience possible. Its tools, such as the High Definition Render Pipeline, aid in the creation of realistic game assets you can use for 3D, virtual reality, and augmented reality games. Moreover, it has a specific set of features that help with 2D game asset creation. No gaming experience is left out in Unity. And with the powerhouse language of C# in Unity’s environment, it’s easy to see why it’s the choice game engine for many game producers.
Godot has plenty of strong points for a relatively new game engine. It can create 2D and 3D games. It’s easy to install and doesn’t consume a lot of your hardware’s memory. It’s free and open-source, which means you can start working without spending a fortune on infrastructure and other game development necessities. And it allows developers to program through visual scripting and in multiple languages, namely GDScript, C++, and C#. With C#, game development in Godot is speedy. And pairing this speed with Godot’s extensive libraries for its nodes, which are the engine’s game-building blocks, you get to develop games with minimal effort.
UrhoSharp is a lightweight 3D game engine produced by Xamarin and powered by another game engine called Urho3D. Its code, mainly written in the C# and F# languages, makes games for multiple platforms, including iOS. One of the main advantages of using UrhoSharp is its extensive, diverse libraries. Through UrhoSharp’s strong third-party support, games can simulate real-world physics through the Bullet library and access tons of assets through the Open Assets library.
Examples of Games Developed with C#
Temple Run is an endless runner type of mobile game. The player’s objective is to run as long as possible while collecting coins and steering clear of obstacles along the way. In its heyday, Temple Run attracted millions of users and managed to amass a total of one billion downloads in 2014. It’s an astounding feat for the team behind Temple Run, which isn’t even huge. Because the team consisted only of the couple Natalia Luckyanova and Keith Shepherd. Their game engine? Unity.
Hunt: Showdown is the classic first-person shooter game you can play on a gaming console or on your PC. You can choose to play the game either on your own or with two additional players. Because of its impeccable graphics, Hunt: Showdown — developed in CryEngine, another game engine that supports C# — allows players to experience an immersive environment, both visually and aurally. It’s no wonder the game has continuously received positive reviews, even scoring 81/100 in Metacritic.
So is C# a good tool for game development? The short answer is an absolute yes.
Many aspiring and seasoned developers wonder whether C# can develop full-blown games. On its own, it can. But the process will be complicated and time-consuming. Fortunately, many game engines support C#, so it’s safe to say many developers prefer this language.
The top benefits of using C# in game development are:
- Good game engines support C#.
- C# is a widely used language.
- Compatible frameworks and great tools improve C#’s game-building capacity.
Game engines that developed — and still maintain — games with C# include:
Examples of popular games built with C# are the popular mobile game Temple Run and the multiplayer console and PC game Hunt: Showdown.
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