Can Swift Be Used for Game Development?
Yes, Swift can be used to make games for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Mac Catalyst. This can be done using the SpriteKit, GameplayKit, and SceneKit Frameworks. However, it is worth noting that you will not be able to make games for android and other platforms using Swift, GameplayKit, SpriteKit, and SceneKit.
Since its development by Apple Inc, Swift has grown in popularity and usage in App development, game development, and server applications. Stack Overflow reported that 5.1% of all professional developers use Swift for software development.
Swift has grown to be the 8th most loved programming language among professional developers. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Swift is loved by 63.56% of all professional developers versus 36.44% of professional developers who dreaded it.
Swift is widely used in app and game development in the Apple Ecosystem, by using Swift in SpriteKit, GameplayKit, and SceneKit, you will have access to many amazing features for making 2D and 3D games. You can also use SpriteKit and SceneKit to make Augmented Reality Games.
You can also use Swift in Godot game Engine by leveraging third-party tools and implementations, but, this is not a popular approach among developers, because there are very few resources to work with when using Swift outside the Apple-provided frameworks.
Swift makes programming game logic relatively easy compared to C++ and other programming languages. Plus, using Swift in SpriteKit, GameplayKit and SceneKit come with rich, amazing features such as animations, physics, transitions, character movement, particle effects, simulation, and more.
Siddharth Shekar and Stephen Haney in their book SWIFT GAME DEVELOPMENT have provided a wonderful easy to follow guide on developing a game from start to finish with SpriteKit, SceneKit, and ARKit. It is a great book to pick up if you want to develop games for the Apple ecosystem.
Using Swift will help you to make amazing and beautiful games that run on Apple platforms, this means you will not be able to make games that run on Android, Windows, Linux, or consoles. This is a huge limitation if you want to make games for many platforms.
However, there are other programming languages and platforms you can consider to make games that run on a wide range of platforms and consoles. This means that you will be able to make powerful games for many platforms without using GameplayKit, SceneKit, or SpriteKit.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO SWIFT FOR GAME DEVELOPMENT?
There are many programming languages and platforms that you can use as alternatives to Swift 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.
These alternatives will help you to build games for many platforms and they have a huge community of developers. Swift does not have a big game development community compared to C#, C++, or Lua, a big community around a language is helpful in case you have challenges during development.
It can be seen that Swift can be used for Game development for the Apple ecosystem using frameworks like GameplayKit, SceneKit, and SpriteKit. However, you will not be able to build games for other platforms and consoles using Swift.
Swift leans towards the development of applications for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is well suited for the Apple ecosystem. If you want to make games for many platforms and consoles efficiently, using Unity (C#) or Unreal Engine (C++) is the best approach.