Most video game players have probably heard about APIs but do not know what they are or what they do. APIs are very important in the world of technology today and they have had a huge impact on almost every other industry, including video gaming.
An API (Applications Programming Interface) is an interface that allows different software intermediaries to communicate and share data. APIs are used to define the calls and requests that are made, how they are made, conventions followed when making them, and the data formats used.
APIs in Video Games
APIs perform the same task in video games as they do in any other application. However, there is much more to be shared in video games. APIs for video gaming share data, rules, specifications, and settings among others. They also communicate with other applications, operating systems, and libraries to embed and share gaming content.
Different APIs perform different tasks in video gaming. Developers using APIs in their games might end up using many APIs to make sure that they have met all their requirements. There are APIs used for managing things like graphics and sound while others are used for other artificial intelligence requirements. This shows how important APIs are in the world of video games.
Video game APIs can also be used for;
- Retrieving data on things like game characters.
- Getting gaming statistics.
- Developing other applications that rely on video game data.
- Managing the video game database.
- Retrieving subscriptions to a video game.
- Creating video games with an augmented and virtual reality.
- Analyzing video games.Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/fortnite-computer-game-game-gamer-4129124/
Common Video Game APIs
- Dota 2 API: Dota 2, developed by Valve Software, is one of the most played games on Steam. They have developed the Dota 2 API that makes it possible to integrate multiple players into the video game. The API also allows developers to get information about things like players, teams, tournaments, leagues, and matches.
- The Poke API: This API allows developers to access The Poke database that contains all the details that they could possibly want to get related to the Pokemon games series. They can retrieve data about the berry flavors, and characters using the API.
- League of Legends API: League of Legends is a free online fighting video game. They offer an API that developers can use to get information related to the game such as champions and player statistics.
- RAWG Video Games Database REST API: This is one of the most popular video game APIs used to grant developers access to information about video games. It allows one to search for video games from more than fifty platforms, retrieve video game information such as developers, publishers, descriptions, and genres among others, retrieve information about digital stores where games are sold and get similar games.
- Internet Game Database API: This is another popular video game API used to provide video games, companies offering the games, and information about their employees. The database is comprehensive and is used solely for bridging the gap between the video gaming industry and the gamer community by providing all information about video games to gaming professionals.
Finally, the major decision video game developers make when developing video games is which libraries and APIs to use. This is because there are many libraries available today that perform key gaming tasks. Developers also need to make sure that they choose libraries that are supported by their target platform. For instance, some libraries might work on a platform such as Microsoft Windows but might not work on PlayStation.
However, they can find frameworks that they can use to ease development for different platforms. Without APIs, video games would not be where they are today. They have even contributed to evolving gaming from a niche community to a multibillion-dollar industry.