Ruby, known for its elegant syntax and powerful capabilities, is not only a tool for web development and scripting but also a hidden gem in the realm of game development. In this post, we’ll explore the exciting world of writing games in Ruby, showcasing its potential and how you can get started on your game development journey.

Why Choose Ruby for Game Development?

Ruby might not be the first language that springs to mind for game development, typically overshadowed by C++, C#, or JavaScript. However, its simplicity and the high level of readability make Ruby an excellent choice for beginners or those who want to quickly prototype their game ideas.

Essential Ruby Game Libraries

To start developing games in Ruby, you’ll need the right tools. Here are some of the key libraries that can help:

  1. Gosu: Gosu is one of the most popular Ruby libraries for 2D game development. It provides basic functionalities like creating windows, drawing graphics, handling input, and playing sounds.
  2. Chingu: Built on top of Gosu, Chingu adds more game-specific functionalities like game states, animation, and collision detection, making it a great option for more complex 2D games.
  3. DragonRuby Game Toolkit: DragonRuby is a more recent addition, offering a professional-grade toolkit that simplifies game development, making it accessible for beginners and powerful enough for seasoned developers.

Creating a Simple Game in Ruby with Gosu

Let’s create a basic 2D game using the Gosu library. Our game will be a simple one where the player controls a character that moves across the screen.

  1. Install Gosu: First, make sure you have Gosu installed. You can do this using the command gem install gosu.
  2. Basic Game Setup: Here’s a simple Ruby script to get you started:

require 'gosu'

class GameWindow < Gosu::Window
  def initialize
    super 640, 480
    self.caption = "Ruby Game"

    @player ="player.png")
    @x = @y = 0

  def update
    @x += 5 if Gosu.button_down? Gosu::KB_RIGHT
    @x -= 5 if Gosu.button_down? Gosu::KB_LEFT
    @y += 5 if Gosu.button_down? Gosu::KB_DOWN
    @y -= 5 if Gosu.button_down? Gosu::KB_UP

  def draw
    @player.draw(@x, @y, 1)

This script creates a window with a player character that can be moved using the arrow keys.

The Potential of Ruby in Game Development

While Ruby is not the industry standard for game development, its simplicity and the supportive community make it a great choice for learning game development concepts and for hobbyist projects. Moreover, developing games in Ruby can be a fun way to improve your programming skills.


Ruby offers an accessible, enjoyable entrance into the world of game development. Whether you’re a Ruby enthusiast looking to explore game development or a game developer curious about Ruby, there’s much to discover and create in this intersection of programming and creativity.