Adventures in Machine Learning

Python Game Engines: A Beginner’s Guide to Developing Games

Python Game Engines Overview

Are you interested in game development but don’t know where to start? Look no further than Python game engines.

Python, a popular programming language, is versatile enough to be used for game development. Experienced game developers may opt for stand-alone game engines, but Python game engines provide a more beginner-friendly option.

Let’s explore the world of Python game engines and discover which ones you should consider using.

Stand-alone Game Engines vs Python Game Engines

Stand-alone game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine, are popular choices for game development due to their robust capabilities. However, they require more advanced programming skills and are often more costly.

Python game engines, on the other hand, use a scripting language that is easier to learn for beginners. In terms of platform support, Python game engines support multiple operating systems, making them flexible and easier to work with.

Additionally, there are various licensing options for Python game engines, including open-source, making them budget-friendly.

Criteria for Selection of Python Game Engines

When selecting a Python game engine, it’s essential to consider the popularity of the engine, ensuring that it has an active community to provide support. Maintained engines with good documentation make the development process smoother.

Finally, consider your current skill level and the engine’s ease of use. Here are some popular Python game engines:


Pygame – This widely used engine provides support for 2D game development; it’s beginner-friendly and has a dedicated community. It also has simple installation instructions.


Pygame Zero – This engine is built on top of

Pygame, simplifying the process for beginners. It has a more intuitive API, allowing developers to focus on game mechanics.


Arcade – This engine is a powerful choice for 2D games.

It has built-in support for sprites, collision detection, and sound. The engine is actively maintained and has excellent documentation.

4. Adventurelib – This engine is best suited for developing text-based adventure games.

It’s beginner-friendly, and developers can create games using natural language.


RenPy – This engine is a popular choice for visual novel creation. It provides support for creating visual and interactive stories and has features such as image manipulation, music and sound support, and user interface development.

Installation Methods

Python game engines can be installed in different ways, but the most common methods include PyPI, GitHub, and GitLab. PyPI (Python Package Index) is the most straightforward installation method; all that is needed is the command `pip install ` followed by the name of the package.

GitHub and GitLab require developers to download the source code and install the package manually.


Pygame is one of the most widely used Python game engines, offering support for 2D games. Let’s explore some of the concepts and applications of


Basic Concepts

To begin, developers must understand the game loop, which is the backbone of any game.

Pygame’s game loop helps keep the game running smoothly.

Developers create objects on the game display using Surface objects, which can be either an image or text. Finally, the event model allows developers to handle user input and update game objects.

Game speed is also essential; developers must ensure the game runs at a consistent speed for a more enjoyable user experience.

Basic Application

Here’s an example of a basic

Pygame program. The program creates shapes and displays text on the game screen.

It also handles user input such as keystrokes.

Advanced Application

Developers can also create more complex applications using

Pygame, such as sprite classes, collision detection, and sound. Here’s an example of an advanced

Pygame application:

– The game creates a sprite class for the player and coin objects.

– The game generates coins at various times, and players must collect them. – The game timer creates a new coin every few seconds.

– Collision detection determines whether the player has collected a coin. – When a coin is collected, the game emits a sound.

– The game ends when all coins are collected, displaying the total number of collected coins.


Python game engines provide an excellent starting point for beginners in game development.

Pygame is a popular engine with a comprehensive community.

Our overview of Python game engines and the in-depth examination of the

Pygame engine can help you start your journey as a game developer.

Pygame Zero

Pygame Zero is a simplified version of

Pygame, making it an excellent choice for beginners in game development. It abstracts away some of the lower-level details of

Pygame, allowing developers to focus on game mechanics.

Here’s what you need to know about

Pygame Zero.

Pygame Zero


Pygame Zero can be installed using PyPI, which is the easiest and recommended method of installation. Developers should use the PIP tool to install the package using the command `pip install pygame-zero`.

On Raspberry Pi,

Pygame Zero is pre-installed in Raspbian Jessie. Developers can also download source files from GitHub and install the package manually.

Basic Concepts

Pygame Zero, like

Pygame, uses a game loop to keep the game running smoothly. The game loop updates game objects, handles user input, and redraws the game screen.

Developers handle user input through the event model in

Pygame Zero, which triggered events for key presses, mouse clicks, and other user inputs.

Pygame Zero’s game loop is more straightforward to use than

Pygame’s, allowing developers to focus on game mechanics.

Pygame Zero provides built-in image handling capabilities, allowing developers to load and display images easily. Developers can also create sprite classes for game objects, which can move around the game screen and collide with other objects.

Animations for sprites can also be created, adding more complexity to the game.

Sprites and Images

Sprites and images are two of the most crucial components in

Pygame Zero games. Sprites are objects in the game, such as characters or enemies, and images are the visual representation of these objects.

Actors, or sprite objects in

Pygame Zero, are similar to sprite classes in

Pygame. Developers define the characteristics and behaviors of an actor.

They can also set the image that represents the actor. The image can be loaded from a file or created using built-in

Pygame Zero shapes. Developers can also set the position of the actor on the game screen using its coordinates.


Arcade is an alternative game engine for Python that provides a more robust feature set than

Pygame Zero while still being beginner-friendly. It offers more advanced features such as a physics engine, particle system, and shader support.

Here’s what you need to know about




Pygame Zero,

Arcade can be installed using PyPI or through GitHub. Developers should use the command `pip install arcade` to install the package.

Basic Concepts

Arcade’s game loop, like

Pygame’s and

Pygame Zero’s, keeps the game running smoothly. Developers create sprite classes in

Arcade, which can have separate methods for drawing and updating.

The `update()` method updates the position of the sprite based on its velocity vector, while the `on_draw()` method draws the sprite on the game screen.

Arcade’s event handling is similar to

Pygame Zero’s, with built-in support for handling mouse and keyboard events.

Arcade also provides a physics engine, which allows developers to create collision detection and gravity effects between sprites.

Advanced Application

Developers can create more complex games using

Arcade by including features such as collision detection, sound effects, game end conditions, and screen rendering. – Sprite classes can be created for objects such as enemies, coins, and power-ups.

– Collision detection provides the game with the ability to detect when two sprites collide, allowing developers to, for example, award points to the player. – Sound effects add to the overall atmosphere of the game, creating a more immersive experience.

– Game end conditions determine when the game has ended. For example, the game may end when the player has collected a certain number of coins.

– Screen rendering determines how the game screen is displayed. Developers can have different layers that overlap each other, such as a background layer and a sprite layer.


Pygame Zero and

Arcade are beginner-friendly game engines, providing a starting point for developers interested in game development. With either engine, developers can create games with custom sprites, game mechanics, and user input.

By understanding the basics of game loops and event handling, developers can create games with desired functionalities and interactivity.


Adventurelib is a game engine designed for text adventure games. It simplifies the process of creating interactive fiction games by providing a built-in parser and game mechanics.

Here’s an overview of

adventurelib and what it has to offer.


Adventurelib can be installed by downloading the source code from the GitHub repository. Developers can also use the PIP tool to install the package manually.

Basic Concepts

As a text adventure game engine,

adventurelib provides the framework for creating interactive stories that a player can navigate through using text-based commands. Developers define the setting of the game by creating rooms, which are connected to create a game world.

Items can be added to rooms to provide interactivity, and actions can be defined to provide functionality. The game engine uses a parser that understands the player’s text commands and provides responses.

The parser is one of the essential parts of

adventurelib, allowing players to interact with the game using natural language. Developers define the parser’s grammar rules, such as defining verbs and nouns, allowing the player’s commands to be parsed correctly.

For example, a player could type “take the sword,” and the parser would recognize “take” as the verb and “sword” as the noun, triggering the appropriate action.

Advanced Application

Developers can create more complex interactive fiction games using

adventurelib by implementing a custom parser. A custom parser allows developers to create their own rules for interpreting player commands, providing more control over their game’s interactivity.

Developers can also experiment with non-linear storylines and more complex game mechanics, such as puzzles and conditional actions.


RenPy is a game engine designed for creating visual novels, interactive stories that are presented using images, text, and sound. It provides features such as a script language, script editor, image editing, sound, and music.

Here’s an overview of what

RenPy can offer developers.


RenPy can be installed by downloading the game engine from the

RenPy website. Alternatively, developers can use the PIP tool to install the package manually.

Basic Concepts

Visual novels, such as those created using

RenPy, are divided into script files that define the game’s story, characters, and interactivity.

RenPy has its own implementation of Python that extends the language with new commands and features specifically designed for creating visual novels.

The script editor built into

RenPy provides an interface for developers to create scripts and manage their game assets.

RenPy provides built-in support for image editing, allowing developers to create and modify images for their games. Sound and music can also be added to the game, providing an immersive audio experience.

Advanced Application

Developers can create more complex visual novel games using

RenPy by implementing custom scripts. A custom script allows developers to create their own game mechanics and interactivity, providing more control over how the game is presented to the player.

Developers can also experiment with more advanced features such as branching storylines, multiple endings, and character customization.


Adventurelib and

RenPy are game engines designed for specific game genres, providing a focused and streamlined development experience. Both engines provide features that cater to their respective markets and allow developers to create rich and immersive games.


adventurelib, developers can create engaging text adventure games that allow players to navigate through interactive stories, while

RenPy provides developers with the tools to create visually stunning visual novel games. The possibilities for game development are endless, and these game engines offer a starting point for developers to jump into the exciting world of game development.

Other Notable Python Game Engines

In addition to


Pygame Zero, Adventurelib, and

Arcade, there are several other notable Python game engines that offer unique features and functionality. 1.


Panda3D is a 3D game engine that allows developers to create immersive games with vibrancy and detail. It offers built-in physics, rendering, and scripting capabilities to create lifelike game worlds.

2. PyOgre

PyOgre is a Python binding for the Ogre 3D game engine.

Ogre 3D provides an OpenGL-based rendering engine, allowing developers to create high-quality games that work across multiple platforms. 3.


PyOpenGL is a Python binding for OpenGL, a popular graphics library used in game development. It provides an interface for developers to use OpenGL functionality in their Python games.

4. Ursina

Ursina is a game engine built on top of

Pygame that provides a Pythonic interface for creating simple and stylized 3D games.

It speeds up game development, especially for beginners who don’t want to focus on low-level details. 5.


PyWeek is an online game jam where developers write games in Python, inspired by a common theme. It’s an excellent opportunity for developers to showcase their skills and learn from other developers.

6. Pyxel

Pyxel is a retro-style game engine that allows developers to create games that look like those from the 8-and-16-bit era.

It provides retro-themed assets and tools that make creating pixel art games easier. 7.


VGE (Visual Game Engine) is a 2D game engine that aims to make game development accessible to beginners. It provides drag-and-drop functionality for game objects and basic game mechanics.

8. PyHiero

PyHiero is a game engine that provides a tile-based approach to game development, allowing developers to create games with custom game objects and assets.

It’s well-suited for turn-based games such as strategy and role-playing games.

Sources for Game Assets

In addition to game engines, game developers also need game assets such as art, sound, music, and fonts. Here are some sources for finding game assets.

1. is a community-driven website that provides free game art assets, including icons, textures, backgrounds, and sprites.

Developers can use these assets in their games without the need for attribution or royalties. 2. provides a library of over 400,000 free sound effects, music samples, and other audio assets that developers can use in their games. Attribution is required for most of the sounds.

3. Incompetech

Incompetech provides a library of free-to-use music in various genres.

Developers can use these tracks as background music for their games, provided proper attribution is given. 4.

Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel provides a library of high-quality, free-to-use fonts that can add a professional touch to games. Developers can use these fonts for game titles, user interfaces, and in-game text.

5. Kenney

Kenney provides a library of game assets, including art, music, and fonts that can be used in games with minimal attribution requirements.

The assets are also available for purchase without attribution requirements.


Python game engines allow developers of all levels to create games. With the variety of game engines available, the development possibilities are endless.

Additionally, sources for game assets, such as art, sound, music, and fonts, are readily available for developers to use in their games. As such, Python game engines provide a community of support that encourages developers to create games and share their creations with the world.


Python, a popular programming language,