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Unity Help Deciding On New Language

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  Okay, first things first. I am new to the community and am looking to find a new programming language for making simple 2d games, mainly on windows but I would be open to mobile or browser if it was easy enough to get into. I have been programming in BASIC (qbasic and then QB64) for nearly a decade and am fairly efficient at it. I enjoy it, but I am looking to branch out to maybe something with a bit more "shelf life" moving forward. I don't really care much about speed or super powerful programming. Its just a hobby right now.


            Ideally I would like to learn a language that has:


*fairly easy/ simple syntax (preferably better than C++)

*simple ways to draw/print to screen without 50 import declarations or API's or whatever

*easily compiles to executable without jumping through hoops to make a stand-alone game.

*Not overly complicated file I/O commands (mainly for save games and whatnot, in QB64 it would be something like 'OPEN filename FOR INPUT/OUTPUT AS variable')


           Languages I have tried and did not care for:


- C/C++, I understand it is one of the best and most powerful languages, but I do not care for the syntax and don't plan on making a career out of simple game programming anytime soon

- Java, I actually like java quite a bit, but IMO its not very practical for simple game programming due to overly long disorganized feel and particularly strict OOP style.

- Objective C, same reasons as JAVA

- actionscript, I somewhat enjoy actionscript but it still feels a little disorganized to me, looking for something a little cleaner.


           Languages I am interested in but not sure about:


~Python: I like the syntax a lot, it seems pretty clean and versatile. basic graphics seem easy from what ive read. But, ive heard creating exe or stand alone games is pretty complicated, which is a bummer.

~Ruby: ive heard that Ruby is super simple to learn and actually pretty powerful for a high-level language, but I also heard its not very practical for game programming. Also, I wonder about compiling exe, etc.

~Lua: don't know much abut this? any comments?

~Other Basic-derivatives. Newer more developed basic-derived languages might be the answer, but there are a ton and I don't want to spend the next six years sorting through them all. Any help here is appreciated.


Any suggestions are appreciated but please add detail relevant to my information.

Thanks everyone!

Edited by blesseddisciple

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You might like C#, DarkBASIC, or maybe GameMaker.

Anyway, your best bet is to try each language-of-interest out for a while (a couple weeks or less). Create simple programs to test out each one of your requirements that you listed, and if the language doesn't fit, try the next one. After you've tried them all you'll be able to choose which one you think fits your style the best. Edited by Nypyren

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DarkBasic actually looks pretty sweet. Seems to be much more developed than QB64. I will definitely switch over, although I was hoping to learn a non-basic language moving forward. Gamemaker doesn't offer enough mechanical programming for my taste. I will look into C#, thanks

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Lua is a blast! You can use love2d library they used Lua. Leadwerks engine on steam used Lua as well and it's an easy engine to make 3D games in too. Lua is one of the most embedded scripting languages around and used in a lot of AAA studios for game dev.

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Thanks for your reply, Alberth. I appreciate the information you provided. As far as compiled goes, I just want a language that doesn't make it overly complicated to create an executable. Basically, I want to know that if I make a cool game I can save it to a disk on pop it in a different PC 5 years from now and it will run with having to download a bunch of old outdated stuff. I want portability, not for commercial purposes, just more for personal archiving.

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Ah, ok. Yeah, I can see the purpose of that :)


I consider executables mostly as "throw away" data, and use the source code as archive.


An executable runs at the platform that you compiled it on. Microsoft takes an effort to keep old stuff running, so it mostly works there (at least it used to, as I am not  a Windows user, I don't know how that evolved to now). I use Linux instead, where I update to a new OS version about every 6 months, where libraries that you use are typically updated as well, and binaries of the previous version just fail to start (note that a Linux system provides pretty much every standard application that you need, and a lot more that you don't need, so it's not as bad as it sounds). Building your own programs from source is the normal thing to do. Having the source around also means you can just fix things, and rebuild, rather than being stuck with an old executable that you lost the source of.


Even at source level, you're not completely done though. Different languages have different ideas about backwards compatibility. Older C/C++ source code will continue to work, Java source will also continue to work (Java is extremely conservative, even to the point that it sacrifices some functionality of its own new features to stay compatible).

Python 2 lasted about 10 years, where Python 3 is now the newer version that everybody migrates to.


I don't know about the other languages.



Obviously, if you use a language, you read about it, which means you'll know that new versions are coming out, and you'll know what new features it brings. Generally they also state whether it's compatible with an older version of the language (at source level), so you know whether your source compiles on the new version.

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Rust? It's the cool toy around these days, powerful language, compiles fast and safe code. There are some nice collections of libraries, which help starting from zero
(like piston).

Downside, you have to deal with complex things, like ownership, borrowing etc...

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Don't know rust, but a concept like ownership is required anyway, if you scale up to larger programs and you don't want to go mad.


Basically, "ownership" expresses what object is responsible for what other objects. In languages without garbage collection, the owner is typically responsible for releasing the memory of its owned objects afterwards. It is often extended that owners can make changes in owned objects. Any other object that wants to make changes, has to either take ownership from its previous owner, or ask the current owner to make the changes. This is often also clearly defined.


Together, it makes it predictable what part of the variables may get changed if you make a call to some other object. If you are working on some modification, and you make calls to other code that may also make modifications in the same object as you're working on, nasty surprises are lurking around the corner. By making ownership and these rules explicit, you can predict in advance whether such problems may happen, and take counter measures.

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