If you are already a Python developer, or you’ve been told that Python is an easy language to learn, then you might be tempted to use Python for 3D game development.
However, if you want to build your dream game, it is important that you take some time to learn the tools that are most important to the game’s success, and not just the tools that you already know.
Before we dive into whether Python is a good language for game development or not, there is another important question to answer first.
Can Python be used for 3D game development in the first place?
Python can be used for both 2D and 3D game development. There are a number of Python Libraries that you can use if you want to develop 3D video games with Python . Panda3D lets you develop 3D games while PyGame is usually used for 2D.
As a matter of fact, you can pick from a huge number of languages to build 3D games. One of the main Graphics Libraries used to build games is the OpenGL library, and this library can be used by a huge number of programming languages including Python.
So in theory, most major programming languages can be used for 3D game development, but that doesn’t mean that using them is a good idea.
Is Python good for game development?
It all depends on your goal and your scope. If your goal is just to build video games as a hobby and you don’t really care about making the perfect video game, then who am I to tell you what tools you should have fun with?
Python can be a good option for prototyping 3D games for fun with the help of 3rd party libraries.
However, if you are planning to build a serious 3D game project, and you want to go with Python just because you know the language or because you think it is easy to learn, then I would say Python is not a good option at all.
While Panda3D is fine and all, the major game engines in the market are Unreal and Unity. Both of these game engines do not support Python as the primary programming language.
Godot is another game engine that is increasingly popular, and it doesn’t support Python either. Instead, it has its own language that is similar to Python .
So if you are planning to build a commercial video game, I would say you should first pick the right game engine for you, and then use the primary language that the engine supports.
C++ is what Unreal engine supports, while Unity primarily supports C#.
I personally suggest that you go with C#, but I am probably biased since I have been using Unity and C# for more than 4 years. You can learn more about what programming languages are the best for 3D game development by reading this article.
How to build 3D games with Python?
If you are determined to use Python as the primary language for your next 3D game, how do you actually do that?
While you can use the OpenGL library directly by calling its methods from Python, this is usually not the best option since it will require you to reinvent the wheel to create the most basic features that can be created in far less time with the help of game engines.
One of the game engines that you can use is called Panda3D. It is an open source library that handles some of the major stuff for you.
To learn how you use the library, you can either head to the documentation on their site, or you can go watch some YouTube tutorials that can help you get started. The community behind this library is not massive though so you might have a hard time finding great resources for everything you need.
Another option for Python is PyGame. I would have suggested PyGame instead of Panda3D, however, PyGame is built with only 2D in mind, so it is not an option when it comes to 3D games.
Again though, I suggest that you work with another language entirely if you are planning to work on a large video game. You can use Godot’s GDScript which is similar to Python , but is supported by a powerful game engine.
That is it from my side today. Here is a quick summary for you:
While python can be used for 3D game development, I would recommend that you don’t force yourself to use it if you are planning to work on a large commercial video game. Instead, pick the best game engine for your requirements, and then use the language that is supported by that engine.
If you are interested in reading more, you can check these articles during your free time: