Why Ruby? - Developing Games With Ruby (2014)

Developing Games With Ruby (2014)

Why Ruby?

When it comes to game development, everyone will tell you that you should go with C++ or some other statically typed language that compiles down to bare metal instructions. Or that you should go with full blown game development platform like Unity. Slow, dynamic languages like Ruby seem like the last choice any sane game developer would go for.

A friend of mine said “There’s little reason to develop a desktop game with Ruby”, and he was absolutely right. Perhaps this is the reason why there are no books about it. All the casual game action happens in mobile devices, and desktop games are for seasoned gamers who demand fast and detailed 3D graphics, motion-captured animations and sophisticated game mechanics - things we know we are not going to be able to build on our own, without millions from VC pockets and Hollywood grade equipment.

Now, bear with me. Your game will not be a 3D MMORPG set in huge, photo realistic representation of Middle-earth. Let’s leave those things to Bethesda, Ubisoft and Rockstar Games. After all, everyone has to start somewhere, and you have to be smart enough to understand, that even though that little boy in you wants to create an improved version of Grand Theft Auto V, we will have to go for something that resembles lesser known Super Nintendo titles instead.

Why not go mobile then? Those devices seem perfect for simpler games. If you are a true gamer at heart, you will agree that touch screen games you find in modern phones and tablets are only good for killing 10 minutes of your time while taking a dump. You have to feel the resistance when you click a button! Screen size also does matter. Playing anything on mobile phone is a torture for those who know what playing real games should feel like.

So, your game will have to be small enough for you to be able to complete it, it will have to have simple 2D graphics, and would not require the latest GeForce with at least 512MB of RAM. This fact gives you the benefit of choice. You don’t have to worry about performance that much. You can choose a friendly and productive language that is designed for programmer happiness. And this is where Ruby starts to shine. It’s beautiful, simple and elegant. It is close to poetry.