1) a. Is Python a good or great language for game performance, specifically frames per second and smoothness in 3D scenes? The reason I ask this is because Python appears to be a very adaptable language but I wonder if it could be "too good to be true" in the sense of maybe game performance might be the price to pay for all that language adaptability, especially the syntax expressiveness. I don't know but there seems to be some doubt out there about performance.b. How does Python compare to C++ for game performance, all other things being about equal?Depends
. The worst answer in the world to give a newbie, but it's also almost always the right answer. Python gets very reasonable performance for a scripting language, but it is a scripting language
. For a typical 2D game (such as a pac-man clone), it would perform very well. If you're hoping to make Crysis 3, you will most likely find Python insufficient. The issues with using scripting languages over C/C++ or even C#/VB.NET for game development is that you not only gain interpretor overhead, but also lose the ability to play directly with OS interfaces.
As Goran mentioned, on newer hardware, and written by a good programmer, the CPU (interpretor overhead) is not likely to become the bottleneck of any game, it will be GPU, but I feel the need to mention interpretor overhead anyway. I'm old-fashioned.2) Is Python better for people of lesser experience to learn it compared to C++?Yes
, Python is simple to learn relative to C++ and even C#. Not only is it easier to learn, but you will get faster results when creating from (essentially) scratch, which is great for encouraging newbies (and why very few newbies stick with C++ after realizing such alternatives exist). I highly recommend using Python or a similar scripting language to familiarize yourself with programming, even if it winds up being insufficient for the purposes of making your game.3) With all the flexibility of Python, what are it's strengths and weaknesses for games?Strengths
Easy to use
Easy to learn
Many bindings available for open-source game development APIs
Boost.python provides excellent C++ bindings to python, making it easy to use for scripting events, should Python prove to not be performant enough to do all game functionality in.Weaknesses
No direct access to OS and hardware features
Most game programming tutorials are still in C++, few serious game developers use Python4) How do I deal with the issue of an IDE for Python? Is Blender going to be a dead end in one sense of needing an IDE eventually?There is no IDE for Python
-- well, okay, I'm sure somebody's made one by now. But there is no need for an IDE for Python. Python is a scripting language that does not need to be compiled or linked to be run (it is run by an interpretor), so the only use for an IDE in the case of Python would be syntax highlighting, in which case you should find Notepad++ quite suitable.The unasked question: Is the Blender API good for making games?
Blender is a great tool for making 3D models, and it is awesome that they provide a method to easily see those models in action.
I do not think any serious game studio would use it for its entire game. But I'm sure there's someone who has disproved me.
Also, on your last post:As a matter of conscience, I must get enough information in order avoid months or years of learning things which will never be needed again, so I am choosing my path carefully. I know what I want in a very general sense and I am looking for a system which will be a good match to my goals both short term and long term.
Whoa, bro. The only re-learning in game development is between various APIs (X11 vs Win32, OpenGL vs DirectX, etc); and even then, it's more like learning an alternative than it is re-learning; you don't want to dump the old knowledge, only gain the new.
All programming experience is a positive thing. Even if your software is a steaming pile of crap that doesn't run, crashes sporadically and frequently, and every now and then even leaves you with a BSoD, at least you have the experience of making that crap.
All programming experience improves you, as a programmer, as long as you actually learn from it. I look back at code I wrote in '06/'07 and laugh at my inexperience.
Learning Python is never a waste of time, and every bit of experience in Python will carry over to C++ (or whatever language you use next), even despite their vast differences. Painting may not be sculpting, but programming is programming, period.
Unless I'm missing something and there's some urgent reason why you must finish your game in the next couple years, like it's your dream and the doctor told you that you only have three years to live or something, take it slow and experiment. Nobody can tell you the best route to take, we're all still learning too.Personal Recommendation:
Start with Python, use it to make a nice simple game like a pac-man clone. This will likely take you a few months. That should give you perspective enough to decide your next step. Ultimately, I would recommend C# and XNA -- XNA is a great API, C# is a great language, and the .NET framework is probably the greatest I've played around with. Unfortunately, XNA is not portable, and will only work on Windows and XBox360, and I found some requirements of using XNA (not the API itself) to be aggravating after knowing the unbounded freedom of developing games in C++. These requirements will certainly not bother someone who has never had that experience.
Edited by nfries88, 27 August 2012 - 06:09 AM.