You have probably heard of APIs, but that does not mean you necessarily know what they are or how they are utilized. Well, APIs have many uses, and without their use in the video game industry, gaming would not be what it is today. Read on to discover more.
What are Video Game APIs?
In basic terms, an Application Programming Interface enables two applications to communicate with one another. In the world of video games, APIs allow software applications and programs to interact with each other. That means they can share data, specifications, rules, settings, and much more. Game APIs can also interact with operating systems, libraries, apps, and others to share and embed gaming content.
When developers use video game APIs and libraries, there is a broad range of libraries available. For instance, some libraries manage key features such as a game’s sound, graphics, and rendering, while others manage artificial intelligence tasks like path-finding. The specific API and library for developers to use are determined by a specific game’s target platform. For example, Wii libraries are not available for Windows development and vice versa, although there is a framework that enables cross-platform development.
What can video game APIs be used for?
Game APIs have a multitude of uses. For instance, they can be used to develop specific third-party applications and retrieve data, statistics, subscriptions, analysis, rewards, game parts, maps, events, and much more. Also, game APIs can be used for creating virtual reality and augmented reality video games. And they enable better game database management.
You can find APIs for most popular video games and gaming platforms. For instance, the futuristic web game EVE Online is a hugely popular game in which players can explore outer space as elite spaceship pilots. Its accompanying EVE ESI APITrack is the official RESTful API that enables EVE third-party development. And the video game broadcasting and chat community Twitch has an API called the TwitchTV APITrack that provides access to data from its platforms, such as information on the channel and its users.
Popular Video Game APIs
You can find countless game APIs that all have their uses and specifications. Some of the most popular video game APIs that are available include:
- The RAWG Video Games Database API. This free RESTful API enables developers to access the largest open video game database containing over 350,000 games for more than 50 platforms.
- The Poke API. For a broad database detailing everything concerning the main Pokémon series of video games, from the characters to the berry flavors, you need to look no further than this fully-built RESTful API.
- IGDB. The Internet Game Database API provides data on video games, games companies, the companies’ employees’ information, and much more. IGDB focuses on both consumers and video game professionals to retrieve insightful and unique data.
- Dota 2 API. This API enables the integration of multi-players for the massively successful game Dota 2. You retrieve data about tournaments, teams, players, matches, leagues, and much more.