C# Game Development is the process of creating a game using C# as the programming language.
C# (pronounced “C-Sharp”) was developed by Microsoft with Anders Hejlsberg as the principal designer and lead architect in 2000. It was later released with Visual Studio .NET 2002.
C-sharp is a general object-oriented programming language and one of the most popular programming languages because it is both powerful and beginner-friendly. C-sharp enables developers to build all types of games that run in .NET.
.NET in game development
.NET is a cross-platform and open-source developer platform for building different types of applications.
You can create .NET applications for many operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and mixed reality devices. These applications include web applications, windows applications, mobile apps, and games.
With .NET, your code and project files look and feel the same no matter which type of application you’re building. You have access to the same runtime, API, and language capabilities with each application.
Visual Studio is an excellent Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for developing games.
Visual Studio developed by Microsoft comes with the .NET Framework, including the Common Language Runtime, and the Visual C# programming language.
As of 2021, Visual Studio 22 version 17 is released, which includes the most recent version of the language is C# 10.0 in .NET 6.0.
Visual Studio is used by many game developers because it works seamlessly with game engines.
What is a game engine?
A game engine is a set of rendering and mathematical operations that simplify the complexity of game development. A game engine provides you with the following components:
- Math Engine: Responsible for all Linear Algebra computations, such as Space Transformations.
- Rendering Engine or graphic engine: Responsible for rendering 3D models and various graphics effects, such as shadows, lighting and particle systems.
- Physics Engine: Responsible for solving the equation of motion.
- Collision-Detection System: Responsible for detecting collision among objects.
You can create incredible 2D and 3D games using game engines, but you can definitely develop a game without a game engine.
Do I need a game engine to create C# games?
Many developers choose to develop a game using a Game Development Engine. Game Engines can make the process of creating a game much easier and enable developers to reuse a lot of functionality.
The game engine will take care of rendering for 2D and 3D Graphics, physics and collision detection, sound, scripting and much more.
Depending on the complexity of your game, you may need to implement the components mentioned above. If you are developing a small game, for example Tic-Tac-Toe, you need only a fraction of what a game engine offers.
Another example would be if someone was making an Indie game, they would be much better off creating a custom engine that includes just the few aspects of a game engine instead of everything the game engine offers.
It’s often a matter of learning to use what’s available, then eventually wanting to achieve something more than what the existing game engine offers. At which point you have to make heavy modifications or roll out your own game engine.
You need to detail what you mean by “complex”. A good game engine takes care of all the following:
- Rendering on a stable frame rate
- Input handling
- User interface
- Resource management (images, sound, data files)
- Saving/loading your game
- Physics (2d or 3d)
Ask yourself, do I know how to code each of these to create my game in C#?
If you want to learn how to program the things the game engine can do for you and reap the benefits learning might bring to you, then click on our C# tutorials and courses.