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PyGame Tutorial For Beginners: Game Development With PyGame

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24th Mar, 2020
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PyGame Tutorial For Beginners: Game Development With PyGame

Have you ever been enthralled by a video game and wanted to build your own?

If yes, then Pygame can help you do that. Pygame is a platform where you can use a set of Python modules to develop a game. It is an easy-to-understand and beginner-friendly platform that can help you develop games quickly. This Pygame tutorial will help you understand and implement the basics of Pygame. 

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Stepwise Pygame Tutorial

There are several features of Pygame for game development, which you can explore once you know the basics. It is essential to know that Pygame is used to control the graphics of the game that you are developing. Sometimes you can also control the logic of the game. Follow this Pygame tutorial to know the steps to build your own game. 

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1. Install Pygame

You should be able to install Pygame very easily on Windows and Linux. You can install Pygame only if you have a Python programming environment. It is recommended that you use Python 2.7 for this purpose. This will also allow you to create your template for game development with Pygame.

2. Prerequisites

There are particular prerequisites for Pygame, which will help you operate it better. For example, you must know how to work Python first. Also, before you start using Pygame, you should be able to answer the basic questions like what game do you want to build and how. Answering these questions will guide you to develop it better.

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3. Know the syntax

Knowing and understanding the basic syntax used in Pygame is essential to develop your game. These can get complex gradually but can be equally rewarding. Some of the basic syntaxes are:

  • Import pygame – This command is used to access the Pygame framework. It is the first step to start the process of game development. 
  • pygame.init () – This syntax is used to initialize the Pygame modules
  • pygame.display.set.mode ((w,h)) – This syntax is used to access the window on which the game will be played. The dimensions of the window are indicated by w and h, which are the width and the height.
  • pygame.event.get – Since the game will be a series of events, this syntax will help you to empty the events’ queue before adding a new one. 
  • pygame.quit – This syntax is used to exit the program altogether. 
  • () – If you want to update graphics, this syntax is used.
  • pygame.draw.rect – This is an argument by Pygame when the instructions or syntax is not clear. This is a signal for you to indicate more specifics like the color or dimension of the shape of the character. 

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Now, if you want to make your character rectangular, you have to put in the dimensions of the character. For example, width = 40, height = 60 and vel = 5 (the term vel stands for velocity, or how fast the character is moving) 

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Elementary shapes work best for Pygame. Also, controlling the character can look easy, but can end up being quite complicated. To do an easy exercise, you can try making a ball bounce on a window.
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4. Make the game more interactive

The objective of a video game is to interact with the user. To make your game more interactive, this Pygame tutorial recommends the use of images and music.

To add images you can use 

image = pygame.image.load(‘name.png’) 

Here, the image file is “name.png”.

To add music, you can use (‘xyz.mp3’) 

Here, “xyz.mp3” is the name of the music file.

You might ask how to fix the number of times it is played. To specify this, you have to add another command 

The number indicates the frequency of the music track. Here, 0 means the track is played once, while -1 means it is played infinitely.

Read more: Is Use of Python Appropriate in Game Development

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5. Know the limitations

Pygame, although very interesting and rewarding, has its own set of challenges. You have to be extremely accurate with the commands you are putting in. For example, these commands are case sensitive. Also, Pygame is generally used for 2-D games that are simpler. These mostly include shapes and minimal graphics. Also, you have to use several commands for a single graphic, which can be complicated and tiresome.

6. Know the community

There are millions of people using Python and Pygame across the world. There are several online communities, forums, and blogs with both beginners and experts. So, if you want some specific questions answered or want updates on different things in the community, you can always visit these platforms. Moreover, there is a one-week competition called Pyweek held annually where applications are invited. Participants build a whole new game in a week and add to the database of the community.

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Our learners also read: Top Python Free Courses


Pygame is a great and useful skill to possess. It is a simple tool that can help you develop the most robust game frameworks. The biggest perk of using Pygame is the large community around the world and its easy access. It is easy to install, learn, and use daily. This Pygame tutorial recommends using Pygame to learn video game development easily and effectively at home.

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Rohit Sharma

Blog Author
Rohit Sharma is the Program Director for the UpGrad-IIIT Bangalore, PG Diploma Data Analytics Program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Is PyGame considered to be good for game development?

A majority of popular games utilize Python programming for its various functionalities and add-ons. There are plenty of Python frameworks that prove to be useful for building a game. Among all the available frameworks, PyGame is considered to be the first choice of developers. It is an open-source library in Python for creating multimedia applications such as games.

PyGame is the perfect framework for building a fully featured game or even a multimedia program with the help of Python programming. As PyGame is a combination of OpenGL, Native, Python, and C, it is more favored by the developers when it comes to game development in Python.

2Is Python fast enough for games?

If you are looking for rapid prototyping games, then Python is definitely the best choice for you. But, there are certain limitations with its use when it comes to performance. If you plan to build resource-intensive games, it is much preferred to go with the industry standard like C++ with Unreal or C# with Unity.

If you are looking for game development with Python, you should go with the PyGame framework as it is considered a better one compared to the others. Still, if you want to build fast and robust games, then you should avoid going with Python.

3Is Pyglet known to be better than PyGame?

When you are developing a game, speed and performance are definitely the primary concerns for any developer. Pyglet is much faster and also has better performance as compared to the PyGame framework. The main reason behind this is because PyGame is still based on SDL1, and there is no option provided for turning VSync on.

But, if you are new to Python and its frameworks, then it is highly advised to learn PyGame and then move towards Pyglet for game development. This will make it easy for you to get a grip on the frameworks.

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