Use real Python code to automate machines, robots, drones and more: Program self-driving vehicles; crack passwords; apply machine learning; automate logistics; use image processing to guide missiles. Gain real coding skills and solve exciting bite-sized programming challenges.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (102) - 85% of the 102 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jan 30, 2024

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Working together with YOU. Together we can make JOY OF PROGRAMMING the best experience for improving your coding skills while having fun: Balancing difficulty, finding edge-case bugs, improving the tutorial for beginners, adding new levels and new machines that you would like to see, making the level editor as intuitive to use as possible, improving the longevity of the game by supporting level designers and eventually mod creators. We envision the future of the game as a programming playground to continuously support your growth as a programmer.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“An Early Access period of up to 12 months is planned.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We plan to add more content (levels and machines), try to improved stability and performance based on your feedback, and we plan to add full Steam Workshop support for sharing mods and custom asset.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The Early Access version of JOY OF PROGRAMMING contains a solid experience with a lot of content and gameplay. It is well playable, mostly feature complete and has content for about 5-10 hours playtime. Steam features like cloud saving, leaderboards and achievements are already live. Partial Workshop support is already included to share your code solutions with other players.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“That is still to be decided, but price will probably increase slightly once we leave Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We already make active use of the Steam forums and our Discord to involve everyone interested:
  • Feedback to adjust difficulty
  • Suggestions for new machines and new levels
  • Bugreports (in-game form available) to fix major and minor bugs
Read more

Buy JOY OF PROGRAMMING - Software Engineering Simulator

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About This Game

JOY OF PROGRAMMING - Software Engineering Simulator is an immersive 3D programming puzzle game about automating and controlling realistic machines, robots, drones and more using real Python code. Build actual coding skills while playing, solve exciting bite-sized programming challenges and progress to unlock new programming features and improved machinery. Prior programming knowledge recommended.

Automate logistics to quickly transport items    Stabilize robots with control feedback (PIDs)
Write navigation code for cars           Crack passwords with brute-force
Solve classical algorithms and data-structures  Accurately control sniper rifles
Use image processing to count coins              Apply computer vision to guide missiles

Get it now and dive into your programming adventure!

A Fair Warning

JOY OF PROGRAMMING is not a casual game. In fact, it is one of the most difficult games on Steam. It offers the real programming experience: Lots of thinking, hard work, gathering information, debugging and some frustrations. But you will also learn new skills, become a better developer, and most of all enjoy that sweet sensation of finally cracking a hard problem.


  • Tutorial levels to get you started with the programming concepts in JOY OF PROGRAMMING
  • Create your own puzzles with the included level-editor
  • Find collectible factsheets with interesting computer-science tidbits
  • Earn stars by completing levels and use them to unlock new programming features
  • Work towards achieving many different certificates for completing all levels in one category
  • Real programming: No pseudo code, no imaginary language. Instead, fully functional python code with your favourite packages like numpy, pandas, scipy, pillow, sklearn and more. Some basic prior programming knowledge (in Python or otherwise) and a strong interested in programming is recommended.
  • In-game IDE: A codemirror based in-game Python IDE offers syntax highlighting, auto-completion, docstring tooltips, debugging, auto-indentation, code-folding, copy/paste and undo/redo. Advanced users can also opt to use external IDEs like VSCode or PyCharm instead.
  • Realistic challenges: From robotics to abstract algorithms and creative coding - the full breadth and depth of computer-science awaits.
  • Open puzzle design: Each level has many different valid solutions.
  • Clear goals: Each level has one mandatory goal and up to three optional goals.
  • Immediate feedback: Never wonder whether your code is working. Get immediate, incremental feedback on each good (or bad) step towards a working solution.
  • Performance metrics: Compare your best solution anonymously with others with respect to speed, memory usage and code length.
  • No hard locks: Never get stuck on a single level, there are always several open challenges available.
  • Optionally submit your solution and your code to the leaderboards and share it with the world.

Designed By A Computer Science Professor

The game is developed primarily by a single developer, who also happens to be a computer science professor. An accompanying Youtube series by the developer is in the works to showcase example solutions for each level and walk through them step-by-step. Explaining the reasoning and programming principles along the way to help beginners get into the game and learn actual programming. The series will also feature selected community solutions to discuss other approaches and potential improvements.

Level Editor and Modding Support

An innovative Python based level editor allows creating and scripting new challenges, which can also be shared via the game's Workshop. Most current levels and all future levels included with the game are created with this editor. Support for importing custom assets like 3d objects, sound files, videos and images is planned to be included by the end of Early Access.

Happy Coding and get JOY OF PROGRAMMING now!

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10/11, x64 only
    • Processor: Core i5 8400, Ryzen 5 2600
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 1070
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: SSD recommended
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10/11, x64 only
    • Processor: Core i7 9700k, Ryzen 7 3700X
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: RTX 2070
    • DirectX: Version 12
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: SSD recommended

What Curators Say

7 Curators have reviewed this product. Click here to see them.

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