Python is a simple language to start with, and if you’re looking for a quick win in your quest to master all coding languages (the Ultimate Quest!), Python is a good place to start.
To get any value out of the game-making side of Python tutorials, you need to first be familiar with some core concepts of Python. The best way to learn those is through the more mundane functions of Python. By mundane we just mean not relating to games.
We’ve compiled a list of the most useful Python tutorials. This list includes those that teach basic Python elements and those that guide you on a game-building journey.
It helps if you know some programming language before diving into game-making, even if it isn’t necessarily the Python language. Don’t be scared, though. As you go through these tutorials, you will consistently see claims toward how easy Python is to use.
To make games with the Python language, you’ll end up using PyGame. Like we said earlier, some of the tutorials we’ve put together here include tutorials just for Python.
These are best if you have no coding or programming language experience. We recommend learning Python before jumping to PyGame because it will likely make your passage to competency a much smoother one.
If you’re a quick learner and you’ve done programming before (and don’t like listening to our advice, apparently), you could probably manage the challenges in PyGame game development. If it’s too hard, you can always rain check your PyGame lessons and hit the Python introductory tutorials.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Mastering programming languages don’t need to be a sprint. If you think long-term, you’ll realize you have time to do it all. Take it one piece at a time, and absorb the language.
The following courses are ranked by Beginner to Expert level:
5 Courses for Python Game Development
Udemy Python Programming
If you don’t mind dropping 50 bones (see: $50) and watching close to ten hours of the instructional video, this on-demand course over at Udemy could be your fast track to Python success.
It’s a great way to learn the basics if you need video-driven lessons. The free stuff on YouTube isn’t quite as powerful for Python as it is for some of the other programming languages and software out there.
With an average of 4.6 stars across over 3,000 reviews, we’re talking about some high-quality programming. If you’re devoid of any prior programming experience, this course is your ticket into the great unknown. It’ll start you at the very beginning–you don’t even need to have Python downloaded yet.
You might notice this course shares the same title as one of the books previously mentioned. That’s because it’s the same guy, Al Sweigart. It’s hard to find better tutorial material than the stuff Sweigart puts out. Even the official Python pages link to some of his content.
If you liked his free written content, but want his video guidance to help things click, then grab this course. If you don’t like it, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you can take it for a spin and ditch it if it’s no good. We’re big on minimizing risk over here.
A month gives you plenty of time to get through at least a few hours of the program and decide if you want your fifty bucks back or access to the program for life.
Python for Beginners
As is the trend for most game design software companies, Python offers tutorials for its development program. These tutorials can help whether you’re just starting or you’ve been entrenched in Python for a while now.
If you’re new to Python, but not new to programming, your best bet is to start with Python for Beginners. If you’re completely new to programming, Python has you covered with a non-programmer Beginner’s Guide, just for you.
The “standard” Python Guide introduces you to some of Python’s most noteworthy features (not all of its features). The tutorial itself even says that the tutorial is far from comprehensive.
After reading the tutorial you’ll be able to get started using Python. You will likely want to continue exploring the Python database (or other tutorials on our list!) to level up your Python capabilities.
This program is neat, and not just because it comes with its own Facebook group. This FB group is good because it acts as a “help and advice” forum for people using Python.
This tutorial isn’t specifically game-related, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find it useful. Learning all the tricks for the software, even those outside of what you think you’d need for game development, is a good way to develop your Python problem-solving skills.
The LearnPython site has introductory tutorials for those new to Python. It also has more advanced tutorials, which can help those of you who’ve been kicking around with Python for a bit already.
If you’re looking for knowledge surrounding the broader application of Python, this is a good tutorial to spend some time with.
Think Python: How to Think Like A Computer Scientist
If you need to get down to the brass tacks of all-things basic Python, this web-based, text-based guide could be just the thing.
We want to tell you something upfront about this: This guide is thorough.
You can buy the tutorial at amazon.com, but it’s provided for free online. We’ll link to it again here.
This guide starts with topics like breaking down the differences between high-level and low-level languages. If you have no programming experience, you will not be left in the dust. If you have some programming experience, you might find the extra explanations tedious to get through (at least in the early parts of the tutorial).
The guide continues through the Python programming language topics, explaining elements like variables, expressions and statements, functions, interface design, conditionals and recursion, classes and functions, and the list goes on. It’s a long guide. A thorough guide.
The tutorial also includes some exercises for you to practice, prompting you to write different programs and different functions.
All in all, it’s a very helpful guide for getting up-to-speed with Python. It’ll provide a helpful, stable base from which you can build your Python game-designing skills.
Invent With Python
If you don’t mind some “light” PDF reading, this 365-page tutorial, Making Games with Python and PyGame, could be just the thing to get you started making games with Python.
This particular book is for the intermediate programmer. If you have some experience programming, especially with Python, but don’t know how to use your knowledge to make games, then this is exactly the right tutorial for you.
The Making Games book uses game examples from the PyGame library to teach you how to make similar games. The goal of this tutorial is to give you a whole new batch of ideas for using Python software to develop your games. So even if you know Python and PyGame but you need ideas, you could give this book a skim.
If you don’t know anything about the Python language, have no fear. Invent with Python has other options for you. You can use this second tutorial to automate some basic computer tasks using Python, which is a good way to learn the language (and also automate tasks!).
They also offer “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python”, which gives you source codes for completed games and teaches the concept using the provided source code examples. All three books are good options for you, depending on where you are in your programming.
All three of these books are offered for free online, or you can buy a physical copy through Amazon (in exchange for money). There’s even a subreddit for Invent with Python (it’s no Facebook group, but…), you can engage with other Python users who’ve read these books while you go through them yourself.
More Python Development Courses
The Flatiron School offers programs and, more importantly, valuable certifications for graduates of Python courses. For those who are strongly career-minded, the Flatiron school has an employment rate of 93% and an average salary of $76,000 for its graduates. With courses like UX/UI design, software engineering, and data science, your knowledge of programming mixed with these existing courses will only bolster your skills with Python.
Data Camp offers many different courses in Python. Starting with beginner courses, Data Camp covers all of the bases. With multiple classes, hands-on instruction, and examples, Data Camp is offering arguably the best way to learn Python. The instructors are veteran programmers who can instruct you on better ways to use programming in a matter of hours.
Pygame for Python
Python is a coding language celebrated throughout the programming and software engineering communities for being a stable language. People consider it a lot easier to learn than some other programming languages, like the C languages, C++ and C#.
That’s why developing games using Python, and its extension PyGame, is naturally becoming more commonplace.
How to Use PyGame
Pygame, Python’s set of guides and modules for gaming, is an excellent place for aspiring game developers to start their coding and game development journey.
How to Install Pygame
Before you install Pygame, you’re naturally going to need Python to get started. You can download Python straight from the official site.
Once you have Python installed on your system, it’s time for the Pygame install.
The best way to install PyGame is with the assistance of pip, the Python package installer. This makes installing various aspects and modules from PyGame a whole lot easier.
If you need further assistance in installing Python, check out the official documentation.
In general, you’re going to enter the following: ‘python -m pip install SomePackage.’
However, specifically for PyGame, you’re going to put ‘python3 -m pip install -U pygame –user’
The main fundamentals of PyGame are crucial for understanding it as a game development tool. Everything you do takes place on the surface. To fill the surface, type in screen.fill() to fill the background.
Next, we have what we call ‘blitting.’ This is the process of rendering the game objects. You ‘blit’ the object, and it renders it onto the screen.
Then we have the event loop. This is how your game actually runs. This puts your game on a loop until you determine when you exit the loop.
This is a massive part of the PyGame process. You’re going to want to enter ‘pygame.draw.’ This allows the user to draw various shapes on a surface. Let’s look at some options you have.
- Pygame Draw Line
- Pygame Draw Circle
- Pygame Draw Rectangle
Working with PyGame Sprites
Sprites, as you may know, are pixels brought together to create a picture, character, or animation. Luckily, you can use sprites within PyGame.
Game Development 1-2: Working with Sprites
You can create sprites right in the PyGame interface and effortlessly include them in your game with just a few lines of code. All you have to do is type in.
Which opens PyGame’s sprite module. From here, you need to describe your dimensions of the object. If you’re creating a blue rectangle, you’d type in:
self.image = pygame.Surface((50, 50))
self.rect = self.image.get_rect()
self.rect.center = (WIDTH / 2, HEIGHT / 2)
Here are a few excellent tutorials for Pygame. These are various tutorials ranging from beginning modules to more complex projects like creating your first, more basic game.
- Pygame Tutorial for Beginners – Python Game Development Course – Pygame Tutorial Python 3
- Pygame Tutorial | Python Pygame | Intellipaat
- PyGame Tutorial | PyGame Python Tutorial For Beginners | Python Certification Training | Edureka
- Pygame Tutorial #3 – Character Animation & Sprites
- Python Pygame Zelda Game Tutorial for Beginners
Depending on the game, Python, and by extension, Pygame, can be a fantastic asset towards creating games. With these tutorials, you’ll be able to install Pygame and get the hang of a more simple game creation process than another programming outlet.
Whichever you choose to use in PyGame, you’ll hopefully get a good grip on game development, and you can master Python as a coding language.
20 Games Made with Python
Mount & Blade 2
Mount & Blade is a pretty straightforward single-player game that makes it feel truly historical, even though it’s based on fiction. It uses Python scripts as part of its module system. Players have to guard against new kingdoms rising against it while the empire is ravaged by civil war.
Using StacklessPython, Eve Online is a community-driven game where players get to choose their own path in space explanation. The server and the client program used Stackless Python, which is a variation of the Python programming language.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean game used Python and C++ scripting to develop this exciting video game based on the popular ride and movies.
Even though it has ported to other languages, the original Galcon was written using Python.
Similar to its predecessors, Sims 4 is a life simulation video game that has been incredibly popular for years. Module support was prepared using Python as was some of the application coding.
Also known as Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, it’s the fourth version of the Civilization game franchise, this one develop by Soren Johnson. Launched in autumn, 2005, the map editor of the game supports Python.
Frets on Fire
This popular Finnish music video game allows players to earn points by hitting notes that would pop up on the screen, much like Guitar Hero.
World of Tanks
Created by the company Wargaming, World of Tanks featured World War II and early Cold War battle vehicles. It is free to play, but players are able to use premium features for a fee. The game uses Python as its focus for scripting language.
Disney’s Toontown Online is a three-dimensional multiplayer online role-playing game based on a cartoon animal world. Developers utilized Python for writing codes. Panda3D was utilized for the graphics.
Using clear text Python scripts, Battlefield 2 uses some of the game logic with Python. Originally designed by Digital Illusions CE in 2005, Battlefield 2 is a military simulator first-person shooter game.
Conqueror of Empires
This strategy game allows up to four players to battle for victory, expand empires, conquer cities, and attack enemies.
Bloons Tower Defense
Written in Python, this game allows players to try and keep balloons from reaching the end of a course. Pop balloons and complete levels to earn “money.”
This basic version of a snake game has players moving forward with the trail left behind that looks like a moving snake. If you hit the border of the screen or the snake’s tail, you lose.
Avoid various obstacles in space to try and reach your destination. Avoid the asteroids, even as they explode, fragmenting and creating more havoc in your path.
Alien Invasion Game
Using the Pygame Module of Python, it only requires basic knowledge of Python to really understand the game and how it works and was developed.
The legendary oriental action game Metin 2 pits players against dragons and demon lords. Built using a version of Pygame.
The original title of Severence was Blade: The Edge of Darkness and used Python for nearly every aspect of the game, built in C, although the graphics were built in another language.
Test your abilities and learn new skills in this game built using Python.
This arcade-style game takes place in outer space. The player needs to maneuver around various obstacles to follow a certain path to victory.
Try escaping the evil bullet up on platforms, and you’ll be playing Duckjump, developed with Python.
Is Python good for video games?
Python is readable and offers a clean syntax structure, so yes, it is good for video games, and is often considered faster for game development than in Java.
Is it hard to learn Python?
Depending on your dedication level to learning new things and programming, Python has varying degrees of difficulty. If you are an individual who has trouble with programming, Python may be more complicated than for those who are more computer science-minded. I guarantee the best way to learn Python is through the tutorials we have listed.
What is the best website to learn Python?
Overall, the best website to learn Python is from Udemy. Udemy offers users (for a nominal fee), valuable visual aids, and videos that truly make the process of learning Python more accessible and more comprehensive.
Udemy is perfect for beginners not only with Python but programming in general. If you are totally in the dark regarding the ins and outs of programming, Udemy will help you out on your journey to learn Python. No doubt, outside of the official documentation, Udemy is the best way to learn Python.
Which certification is best for Python?
Various certifications help with specific fields, all depending on where you receive it. The number one certification is one you receive from the University of Michigan.
This certification focuses on data and analyzing the data using Python. It has fantastic reviews from former students and earns you a certification in Python after learning in 5 courses. Lectures are interactive and hands-on, something that is key to learning something like Python.
The University of Michigan offers the best way to learn Python for a certification. Some of the courses deal with starting with data, data structure, using databases with Python, and accessing data with Python.
Can I learn Python in 6 months?
With the resources offered in many different locations, both physically and remote, you could learn Python in 6 months. Of course, other factors come into play, like your propensity and preexisting knowledge of coding, Those with a talent for coding could learn Python quickly but fret not if you’re starting out.
Six months is a reasonable time estimate. However, we recommend taking longer to understand and utilize Python fully. The best way to learn Python is by making it slow and learning basics, so you have a foundation to build upon.