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Q: Why would I want to program a game in Python, Ruby, or Perl if C is faster?
A: Speed is obviously essential for games , but most of the slowdown of a particular game engine occurs in only a few places. Many companies opt to do the bulk of their game development in a high-level language, and then delve deep into C or assembly for specific, processor-bogging graphics. Python and Ruby were designed with this mind, so they lend themselves well to extending themselves in C or any other language. Lua itself is created with C, and can also work with that family quite easily.
Q: What types of games are usually developed with these languages?
A: Python has been the engine behind a number of titles but is widely known for allowing companies to easily and quickly create graphically rich, Myst-like worlds , and cartoon-animated games like the award-winning titles from Humongous. It is also the glue behind a few major motion picture CGI shops , used in various ways for computer graphics production. Lua has been a hidden secret of game companies for a decade and has been the scripting agent behind a number of popular games on platforms ranging from handhelds to PCs to the Xbox. Normally Lua is used for game scripting, and not the game engines themselves. Ruby is still gaining in popularity, and many of its larger game projects are still in development. Until recently, Ruby was regarded mostly as an all-purpose OOP language, and much of its development thrust has been in enterprise-level Internet applications. Ruby is capable, however, of the same sorts of game development that Python is and has a few extremely strong graphics and sound toolkits and libraries.
Q: Why is it easier to find projects with Python and Lua than with Ruby?
A: Ruby is just as pervasive as the other two languages, except that the bulk of development and documentation is happening in Japan. Ruby enthusiasts claim that the language is much more popular than Python in Japan, which is evident by the growing number of Ruby books that are available in Japanese.
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