Can Go Be used for Game Development?
Yes, Go can be used to make games but it is not popular and well suited for Game Development. You can use g3n Game Engine or Ebitengine Library to make games with Go, it is worth noting that the Go game development ecosystem is not mature enough to make powerful AAA games.
You will not be making AAA level games, but you will still be able to develop decent games that can attract the attention of many users. Go is better suited for making Web development projects, DevOps & Site Reliability, Cloud & Network Services, etc.
Since its design by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson at Google 2012, Go has grown in popularity and usage in many software development fields, Go has become one of the most loved programming languages by developers in different fields.
According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2021, Go is loved by 62.74% of professional developers versus 37.26% of developers who dreaded it. Its popularity keeps increasing year over year.
Go is used widely for Web development projects, DevOps & Site Reliability, Cloud & Network Services, and command-line interfaces. Although Go helps developers to build fast, reliable, and efficient software at scale, it is not popularly used in game development.
Go is used by a lot of big companies as shown in the image below, but nearly none of these companies below use Go for game development.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GAMES MADE WITH GO?
There are not many popular games written made with Go, some of the notable ones include Gokoban, Bear’s Restaurant, Gizmo, Raycaster, Flappy, Platformer, Blocks, etc. other programming languages such as C++, C#, or Lua are preferred for making games.
Making Games with Go is challenging because there are very few game engines that use Go for game development. Some of the common ones include
- G3N – A games engine written in Go and used to write go-based games and applications. It can also be used to build rich and dynamic 3D representations.
- Ebitengine – A simple 2D library for making cross-platform games with Go.
- Pixel – A hand-crafted library for making 2D games with Go.
- Engo – An open-source 2D games engine for making games with Go.
You can see that there are only a few game Engines and libraries for making games with Go, this means that you will have to do everything yourself, from setting up windows to initializing graphics APIs, interactions, handling input, and many other things.
If you plan on making powerful games, using Go is not the best choice, there are very few Go resources for game development. Plus, there are not many game engines that support Go for game development, which makes it hard to develop games quickly and efficiently.
Most modern game developers do not use Go for game development, if you seriously want to develop games efficiently, using C++, C# or Lua is the best approach. There are a lot of resources available for these languages to help you build your games quickly and efficiently.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO GO FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT?
There are many programming languages and platforms that you can use as alternatives to Go for game development. Here are some of the popular ones:
Unity is one of the most popular platforms for developing 2D and 3D games. Unity uses the C# programming languages for game logic, there are also other features that can be implemented with drag and drop.
Unity has a marketplace called Asset store, where you can download free and paid game assets to quicken your development process. Unity is regarded as a beginner-friendly platform, it is used by big companies as well as indie developers.
Some of the popular games made with Unity include Pokemon Go, Monument Valley 2, Tempo Run, Robocraft, Angry Birds, Sonic Dash, Marvel Strike Force, Iron Man VR, Lara Croft Go, Super Mario Run, and many others.
Unity supports many platforms, once you are done developing your game, you can deploy it to different platforms such as Android, iOS, tvOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, Stadia, WebGL, Oculus VR, PSVR, ARCore, Magic Leap, etc.
Unity is also used in other industries such as Film, Automotive, Architecture, Military, Engineering, Construction, etc.
UNREAL ENGINE (C++)
Unreal Engine is one of the most advanced, powerful, and popular platforms for making 2D and 3D games, it uses the C++ programming language for programming the game logic.
Unreal Engine has also a marketplace that has a lot of resources ranging from art assets to models, sounds, environments, code snippets, and more. Some of them are free while others can be paid for.
Some of the popular games made with Unreal Engine include Fortnite, Brothers in Arms, Golden Eye: Rogue Agent, Medal of Honor, Shadow Ops, Shrek 2, Star Wars, Spider-man 2, Batman Arkham City, DC Universe Online, Mortal Kombat, Transformers, Crash Bandicoot, and many others.
Unreal supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Android, iOS, tvOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, Stadia, WebGL, Oculus VR, PSVR, ARCore, etc.
Unreal Engine is also used in other industries such as Film & TV, Architecture, Simulations, Automotive & Transportation, Broadcast & Live Events, Engineering, medicine, etc.
GameMaker Studio has also a marketplace that has a lot of resources ranging from animations to sounds, backgrounds, fonts, objects, paths, sprites, scripts, shaders, and more. Some of them are free while others can be paid for.
Some of the popular games made with GameMaker Studio include Undertale, Forager, Hyper Light Drifter, Samurai Gunn 2, Webbed, The Tarnishing of Juxtia, Destructivator 2, Fields of Mistria, Flynn: Son of Crimson, Katana Zero, Battleships Forever, Tower of Heaven, and many others.
GameMaker Studio supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Tizen, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, WebGL, Amazon Fire TV, etc.
It can be seen that Go can be used for Game development but there are very few games made with Go, and it is not popular among game developers. The unavailability of well-established Go-based game engines makes developing games with Go very challenging.
If you want to make games for many platforms and consoles efficiently, using Unity (C#) or Unreal Engine (C++) is the best approach.