Python in game development?

Tim Rowe digitig at
Sat Jul 22 22:28:00 CEST 2000

In article <39781665.24F4C5B8 at>, paul at (Paul 
Prescod) wrote:

> Sean Wilson wrote:
> > 
> > Hi,
> > 
> > > From a game programming perspective, you can probably consider 
> > > Python to
> > > be dirt-slow, though. The trade-off is a lot of power for speed, but
> > > that power can help you gain back speed because you can be a lot 
> > > smarter.
> > 
> > Before I started trying to write my own scripted language I tried to 
> > find
> > some tutorials and articles on them but couldn't get them anywhere. 
> > Someone
> > directed me towards python but I couldn't find anything about the 
> > virtual
> > machine it uses. How does it work and why is it so slow?
> I think by now Martijn wishes he had spoken more clearly. Python is only
> slow compared to assembly language and C. It is quite reasonable in
> performance compared to other scripting languages!!!
> Python may be slower than your language because it has more
> sophisticated flow control. In particular, Python's function calling and
> name lookups are very flexible and not as efficient as in less flexible
> languages.

To put the same thing another way, there tends to be a tradeoff between 
development time and execution time. Python stacks things heavily in 
favour of development time, assembler and C stack things heavily in favour 
of execution time. Until somebody makes a radical breakthrough the 
tradeoff is inevitable, which is why Python is not really in competition 
with C, C++, C#, Ada, assembler, etc. It is more in competition with 
things like Perl and BASIC (though frankly I don't see it as much of a 

I say a tradeoff is inevitable. Of course, it /is/ possible for a language 
to stack things /against/ both development time and run time. But I won't 
name names ... :-)

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