Can Kotlin be used for Game Development

Can Kotlin be used for Game Development?

Yes, Kotlin can be used to make games but it is not popular and well suited for Game Development. You can use the KorGE game engine to make games with Kotlin, it is worth noting that the Kotlin game development ecosystem is not mature enough to make highly 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. Kotlin is better suited for making Android applications and is preferred by Google over Java.

Since its release by JetBrains for modern multiplatform applications in 2016, Kotlin has grown and gained a lot of popularity to become one of the most loved programming languages.

According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2021, Kotlin is loved by 61.55% of professional developers versus 38.45% of developers who dreaded it. Google announced in 2019 that Kotlin will be the preferred language for android app development.

Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed, general-purpose programming language. It is designed to interoperate fully with Java, meaning that libraries written in Java can be called or referenced directly in Kotlin code and libraries written in Kotlin can be referenced in Java. This provides a lot of advantages and features for both Kotlin and Java developers.

Kotlin is used to make mobile applications, server-side applications, web frontend, and more. Although Kotlin helps developers to build many types of scalable, and robust applications, it is not popularly used in Game development.

WHAT GAMES ARE MADE WITH KOTLIN?

mobile game

There are not many popular games written with Kotlin, some of the notable ones include

  • Horde,
  • TetroCrate,
  • Asteroid++,
  • Magic Maze Island,
  • Magic Hat,
  • Tangler,
  • Quilly’s Adventure,
  • Ore Infinium,
  • Dinoleon, etc.

other programming languages such as C++, C#, or Lua are preferred for making games.

KOTLIN GAME ENGINE

Making Games with Kotlin is challenging because there are very few game engines that use Kotlin for game development. KorGE is the most popular game engine that uses 100% Kotlin for game development.

The KorGE game engine has many amazing features for making games. Some of the features include a powerful editor embedded in IntelliJ IDE, a live debugger to live-debug your games, etc. You can deploy games to Android, Web, iOS, and Desktop.

There are other Kotlin game engines such as LibKTX and MiniGDX. KTX is a Kotlin game framework built on libGDX. It aims to make libGDX as Kotlin-friendly as possible without completely rewriting the API.

MiniGDX is a minimalist 3D Multiplatform Game Engine In Kotlin. It makes developing simple 3D games easy.

If you plan on making powerful games, using Kotlin is not the best choice, there are very few Kotlin resources for game development. Plus, there are not many game engines that support Kotlin for scripting, which makes it hard to develop games quickly and efficiently.

Most modern game developers do not use Kotlin 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 KOTLIN FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT?

There are many programming languages and platforms that you can use as alternatives to Kotlin for game development. Here are some of the popular ones:

UNITY (C#)

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.

platforms supported by Unity
Platforms supported by Unity

Unity is also used in other industries such as Film, Automotive, Architecture, Military, Engineering, Construction, etc.

CAN I USE KOTLIN IN UNITY?

You will not be able to write direct Kotlin code in Unity, but you can use Kotlin source files as plugins. The Unity platform supports plugins for Android written in Kotlin, meaning that you will be able to add a .kt file into your Unity Project and it will be compiled when you build an Android player.

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 (JAVASCRIPT, C++, GAME MAKER LANGUAGE)

GameMaker Studio is an easy-to-use game engine for making 2D games and offers limited use of 3D graphics. It has a drag-and-drop feature that makes game development easy. You can also use programming languages like Javascript, C++, and Game maker language for advanced features.

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.

Others include Godot (C++, C#) Panda3D (Python), Amazon Lumberyard (Lua), CryEngine (Lua), Phaser (Javascript), Blend4Web (Javascript), and many others.

These alternatives will help you to build games for many platforms and they have a huge community of developers. Kotlin does not have a big game development community compared to C#, C++, Lua, or Javascript, a big community around a language is helpful in case you have challenges during development.

CONCLUSION

It can be seen that Kotlin can be used for Game development but there are very few games made with Kotlin, and it is not popular among game developers.

If you want to make games for many platforms and consoles efficiently, using Unity (C#) or Unreal Engine (C++) is the best approach.