Python Setup

We’re writing games in Python, so that means we need a Python setup. In this section, we’ll download and install Python, get an editor to use for our coding, and create a project.

Note

This tutorial focuses on Windows, but everything covered works fine on macOS and Linux as well.

Python

Installing Python on Windows is quite easy. Head to the Python download page and follow the instructions to download Python 3.6.1 (or higher.) During the install, make sure to click the checkbox on the first screen to put Python in the Windows PATH.

PyCharm

When you’re writing code, you need a tool that helps you with your Python. This tutorial uses the free and open source program called PyCharm Community Edition. PyCharm is a full-featured IDE (integrated development environment).

There’s a lot to learn, but don’t worry, we’ll introduce it gradually.

Project

As PyCharm is launching, it will ask you to create a new project. Let’s make one called Arcade Tutorial. Let’s also make a virtual environment. When working on projects in Python, you often install packages which others have published. You don’t want packages for one project to conflict with another. Virtual environments give this kind of isolation.

Terms Used

  • Project. A collection of files and everything else needed to work on an application in Python and PyCharm. Meaning, your workspace.
  • Package. People around the world write new things for Python. Rather than put all of this in Python itself, Python provides a way to get these “packages” and install them into your Python.
  • Virtual Environment. A way to isolate the work you do in one project’s Python setup from another.