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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849695067
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849695060
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 917,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Selim Arsever

Selim Arsever is a Senior Software Engineer working as a consultant in Switzerland. Over the last 4 years, he has been developing gameQuery (http://gamequeryjs.com), an open source game engine based on jQuery, as well as other JavaScript games and demos. He has been giving several talks on the subject and thinks that there is nothing more interesting than using tools beyond what they were initially intended for. You can follow him on twitter at @SelimArsever.

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By Domenico on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
It's really a good introduction, not only to web based game development. The techniques learnt in the book are useful to start game development, but also to add animations effects to usual websites without heavy flash components.
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By Edward Oates on 10 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very readable. Straight to the meat of js games in bite size chunks. All code emailed to you on request as promised in the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A good, not great, title for beginners 6 Jun. 2013
By Matthew Durgavich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
jQuery Game Development Essentials by Salim Arsever is a new entry in the long line of introductory game development books. jQuery is, of course, the immensely popular Javascript-based web framework that has proved to be a powerful tool for delivering engaging front-end experiences. Coupled with modern browser features such as Canvas, Web Workers, and offline-storage, quality games can be realized in the browser without using plugins such as Flash.

The author has assembled a collection of code used for games in a library called GameQuery which is available from his website. The text uses inline code samples and does a good job of defining code where it is used, rather than force the reader to grab the source or take it on faith.
Unfortunately, web technology is a fast moving target, and any written book is going to be, by definition, behind the curve. Great technical books can and do exist, and one of their strengths come from the timeless lessons they weave into their material.
Fortunately, some of the content Arsever covers does exactly that. Unfortunately, the remainder consists of an uneven treatment of a very broad grab bag of topics, leaving a beginner - the intended target audience for this book - lost and apt to augment their knowledge with online resources.

jQuery Game Development Essentials starts with a brief introduction to jQuery. It is immediately apparent that Arsever expects the reader to be fluent in Javascript. The first two chapters introduce the concept of sprites, a bread-and-butter technique for 2d games, by way of using jQuery to insert tags into the DOM and manipulating their positions through CSS. Sprites, and spritesheets, continue to be important technologies for modern games. It's unfortunate that other means of drawing to the screen, such as the now ubiquitous <canvas> are not discussed especially since there are a number of third-party jQuery plugins designed for this purpose.

There is some apt discussion about avoiding common performance issues related to jQuery, such as continually modifying the DOM, as well as some best practices like preloading assets before starting a game. A game main loop is discussed, as well as a discussion about the drawback of using Javascript timers. It is odd that the relatively recent technology, requestAnimationFrame, is mentioned only in passing and is not worked into any samples.
At this point, Arserver largely ignores jQuery in favor of plain Javascript to explain game programming techniques like 2d collision detection, input handling, eventing, and animation. CSS3 Transformations are introduced, but only after "classic" CSS positioning is used. A holistic example that shows why a developer would choose one over the other would've been illustrative.

The bulk of Chapters 4 and 5 focus on tile-maps for use in building a top-down, RPG style game. The code written in the earlier chapters is augmented here. Arserver really dives deep on this topic, fleshing out the issues related to placing tiles, enemies, interactions between the player and non-playing characters, et cetera. He concludes the chapter with a small discursion on isometric tile systems, points out some challenges but then quickly hurries on to what feels like more comfortable terrain.

Chapter 6 introduces the use of jQuery's AJAX support for asynchronous loading of game data. With this technique, he demonstrates loading tile maps on demand (similar to how Google Maps works) as well as loading other game script resources.

Chapters 7 and 8 introduce multiplayer gaming. Immediately, the material takes a right turn into the land of PHP and MySQL. While PHP is certainly a very popular server-side technology, and MySQL has a strong install base, entire books have been written on each of these topics. Arserver does himself a disservice here, since he has a very limited amount of space to tackle two weighty technologies. Lots of PHP and SQL code is thrown around, with some color commentary about security and scalability. Topics such as hardening your online game against malicious users are introduced, but the solutions proposed such as using odd variable names or the uglification of your Javascript source speak to tricks instead of real security. Again, these are big topics deserving of their own books and have complexities that are beyond the skill of most beginners. Ultimately, this chapter feels too unwieldy to really connect with the reader and would likely have been better spent discussing lighterweight topics like a leaderboard.

Chapter 9 deals with designing content for mobile browsers, an important consideration for today's web offerings. Important rules-of-the-road are discussed, such as the limited memory, CPU cycles, and rigidity of the browser implementations. Other than cautioning developers, the author offers no concrete suggestions for dealing with mobile performance shortcomings.

The final chapter deals with audio, a critical piece of a game experience. The current state of the art for playing audio in the browser is brittle, and the author readily acknowledges this. Some means for mitigating the lack of a robust solution in the browser, such as using a tag or the Adobe Flash player are mentioned. The HTML5 <audio> tag is mentioned, and a lengthy discussion of the Web Audio API is presented. It is clear that Arserver thinks it is the future, but it would be nice to see practical examples of audio playback with today's crop of browsers. For instance, games often coordinate animation with audio in a seamless fashion that requires low-latency playback. How can a developer accomplish this in today's browsers?

jQuery Game Development Essentials is an ambitious book in scope. A lot of ground is covered, which ultimately dilutes its message. jQuery is used for comparatively little of the book's examples; it's primary uses are for inserting and removing nodes from the DOM, altering CSS, and invoking XmlHttpRequests. That's a lot, and jQuery shines for these tasks, but there is a lot more that framework can do. Coupled with some of the excellent third-party plugins that exist, a lot of the book's code could be simplified.
While some of the writing contained awkwardly phrased English and some slight inaccuracies, the tone and style were easy to follow and kept the reader engaged. Although experienced programmers might find little new here, this book nevertheless is a decent introduction to game development on the web.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
good book for intermediate jQuery users 16 Jun. 2013
By Simon Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you've got a desire to write games using the DOM and already familiar with basic javascript and at least some experience with jQuery then you're the target audience of this book. If that sentence contains words you don't comprehend then I'd do some additional reading first. Decent understanding of html, OOP and maybe having a smidge of PHP knowledge definitely won't hurt either. But, if you've done some basic selecting with jQuery and maybe implemented a plugin you found on the web or two you'll be fine. But you're gonna want to be not afraid of code. So it's not exactly for everyone.. but if you are in the target audience you'll find a wealth of information inside.

Basically the book is a crash course in building a game framework from scratch. The book , including animation, motion, building a game loop, loading levels and much more. The examples are broken up into a series of short games. Each of the games explaining building up on a basic concept and explaining why it does what it does, and sometimes going back and improving on a concept from an earlier chapter. It starts with frogger and winds up with multiplayer online rpg thing. Chapters 1-6 are a great resource covering everything from basic sprites all the way up to isometric tilemaps and occlusion but then ...

Chapters 7-9, however, go a bit off kilter.. 7 is a half-hearted summary of building a php database backend, 8 is for integrating with twitter and facebook and finally 9 mobile development. All of which are simply too big and complicated topics to get a single chapter in a book and/or have nothing to do with jQuery. And you'll be repeated warned to never use the examples in chapter 7 in a real game.. which seems to pretty much defeat the purpose of the book.

Chapter 10, however is a great resource for all the headaches and pitfalls that are involved in implementing HTML sound. In fact it's probably one of the nicest summaries of the mess that is HTML sound that I've read, and how to implement it in the framework we've been building.

++ Overall, a lot of tech books seem to go into obsolescence fairly quickly, but the core knowledge in chapters 1-6 is going to be pretty rock solid for a long while and worth the price of admission.

++ Grammatically and logically the book is presented well with concepts that build upon each other.

+- Code samples for the most part make sense, however the author has a tendency to as he puts it 'avoid typing' so he abbreviates lots of function names which gets a little confusing


Good book, lots of useful jQuery implementation tips
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Exactly how a game dev book SHOULD be 22 May 2013
By GrimPanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I did a review on my blog at grimpanda.com, but I thought I would share it here as well, so I copied/pasted the most relevant bits. I loved this book!

In the preface, the author asserts that the book is recommended for beginners of web development who have at least some knowledge in Javascript/jQuery. While this is certainly true, let me be the first to say that it's usefulness extends far beyond the new developer. If you can sit down at your keyboard and write a fully featured jQuery multiplayer mobile/browser game without needing any assistance, this book isn't for you. If, on the other hand, you are weak in any area ranging from jQuery utilization, building your own game engine frameworks, server code for efficient multiplayer game features, utilizing social networking effectively in your game or launching all of this onto a mobile device, then this book *is* for you.


Too often I pick up a book and get a couple chapters in only to realize that they pulled out all of the stops right at the beginning and then ran out of air. Even more common are books that present information in fragments that are difficult to implement in any meaningful way. In the end, the reader is left with another space on the bookshelf filled with a nothing more than a very poor, overly-worded reference.

Not so with jQuery Game Development Essentials. Selim Arsever, the books author, leads the reader carefully down a path of understanding and knowledge gathering. Arsever begins by familiarizing the reader with critical concepts, before moving easily into an approachable but powerful game example. The simple, single screen game, teaches the programmer important cornerstones such as collision detection, game states, and input calculation; A foundation the reader can build upon solidly while continuing the journey forwards to more developing more robust skills.

Throughout the publication, Arsever keeps the reader engaged by using easy to read, simple language. While your skillset and understanding will continue to ramp up as you progress through the chapters, the difficulty does not. Again, this is due in large part to the books meticulous ability of explaining the foundation before moving on to the more advanced sections.

That is probably my favorite feature of this book. Pretty often I am able to follow books in this category in the beginning. Inevitably however, I end up getting mired down in the language as the text progresses. Usually, I end up just pasting code and giving up on reading the chapters explaining it. This leaves me feeling unsatisfied and well... a little sad! Not so in this book! I was able to read through each and every chapter as if it were the first. I really can't stress my happiness with this major detail.

Building Blocks

As I've already mentioned, the book carefully leads the reader from concept to concept in text, and mirrors that growth in the actual coding. There is no useless information in this book. No fluff code, or stupid games that teach nothing. Each page is designed to progress you that much further in your journey down this awesome road.

While not strictly so, the layout sort of follows a "learn it, build it, improve it" workflow. Arsever will introduce key concepts, discuss them in an intuitive manner, then have you working with relevant code. Only after introducing the simplest possible answer to a problem will the reader then move on to make it more robust. In this manner, it is very easy to take in the information in a modular method.

After you have a decent working prototype, he will usually spend quite a bit making sure that we can take the basics to something modern and exciting. Anything from integrating social networking into your game to allowing your new game to respond to user touch!


Here's another aspect of the book that really drew me in. There are many times throughout the publication that Arsever takes time to `care'. I say `care' because he obviously spent a great deal of time thinking about YOU the reader. He doesn't just shove directions down your throat, but takes the time to inform you what tools are available for the upcoming tasks. He understands that not everyone can afford the most expensive tools, so wherever possible he links us to open source and freely available alternatives.

On top of that, he points points out whenever possible, areas that might need additional attention. For example, he knows that social website API's change often, and instead of simply leaving you with some code that may not work over time, he explains how you can stay up to date in the future. These little things really impress me. I don't feel like I was taken for a quick buck or two and left hanging. I feel more like I'm being taught and privileged enough to learn from the best.

Wrapping Up

In jQuery Game Development Essentials you will move from a single screen web game to a multiplayer RPG to distributing your creations across mobile networks. It not only promises this, but does so in spades. Selim Arsever gets you from 0 to 60, no, 0 to 100 in red carpet fashion. He shrugs off the pitfalls of other books in the genre without issue. It's easy enough to follow from cover to cover, that if you are a complete beginner you will have no trouble. It's feature packed enough that even a seasoned programmer will find more than enough helpful information to take their experience and knowledge to the next level.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Book full of useful information! 21 May 2013
By Marin Nikolovski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I think that "jQuery Game Development Essentials" is an excellent book, because it gives its readers a lot of information how to create games with jQuery and JavaScript. The topics in this book are well chosen and cover a lot of game development techniques that are needed for creating a single-player and multiplayer games and integrating them with social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

The book is divided into several chapters and by reading them the readers will learn:
* about the general principles and design patterns that are used for video game development;
* how to create a single-player platformer;
* how to extend the single-player code in order to create a multiplayer game;
* how to optimize the code, so that the games that are developed can utilize the resources that are available to them to the maximum;
* how to protect the developed game from hacking;
* how to integrate the developed games with Twitter and Facebook.
Each chapter is written in a clear way and begins with an introduction of the goal that should be achieved, followed by a detailed tutorial of how it can be achieved, ending with a conclusion that describes what was done in the chapter. Each tutorial contains step-by-step explanations, followed by a sample code. They are also accompanied by links to useful articles or references to other books that the readers can use in order to broaden their knowledge.

Although I'm mostly pleased with this book, I have some remarks about it:
* The book only gives a short introduction into jQuery and JavaScript - the book is filled with a lot of sample codes and, in order to analyze them successfully, you need to have a solid knowledge of jQuery and JavaScript. However, this is not a very big problem, because the author pinpoints some external articles and books that can help the readers to learn everything they need to know about them.
* The step-by-step explanations that are given in the book are general and are not enough to develop a game (the author is missing some of the steps). But, this is not a very big problem, because the book comes with sample projects that the readers can analyze and debug, so that they can observe in real-time what is actually happening.

I recommend this book to anyone who is planning to, or is already doing game development. It is full of content and you can learn a lot from it. The author gives his best to cover as much topics as possible and make the readers more familiar with the crucial design patterns that are used in game development. The best part of reading this book is the fact that the explanations that are given in it are general, so they can be reused in the other programming languages as well. I have been developing games for several years and I found this book very useful. Definitely worth buying it!
Book Review: jQuery Game Development Essentials by Selim Arsever 4 Jun. 2013
By Matthew Christian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
jQuery Game Development Essentials by Selim Arsever was first published in April 2013 by Packt Publishing and includes ten chapters for jQuery and JavaScript web developers who are interested in developing games with jQuery. Whether you are a web developer, interested in jQuery, or just generally interested in games the cover of this book may catch your eye. But, does this little resource inspire or fall flat under its own (light) weight?

'jQuery Game Development Essentials' is comprised of 10 chapters that vary in the types of content you will create as you work through it. There are three main game styles developed through the book: a retro arcade game (Frogger), a 2D platformer (Super Mario Bros.), and a top-down tile map role-playing game (The Legend of Zelda). Also included are a few chapters that branch off of these games and implement other features such as Facebook integrated leaderboard tracking, multiplayer, or audio. The following is a detailed listing of the chapters you will find in this book:

- Chapter 1: jQuery for Games - A general introduction to the aspects of jQuery that are specifically useful for game development

- Chapter 2: Creating Our First Game - Create a basic game framework that allows you to utilize and manipulate basic sprites while creating a simple arcade game in the style of Frogger

- Chapter 3: Better, Faster, but not Harder - Extension of Chapter 2; rewrites specific portions of the code added in the previous chapter to make the engine perform better (hence the chapter title)

- Chapter 4: Looking Sideways - Develops a 2D platformer in the style of Super Mario Bros. that includes features such as tile maps, collision detection, parallax scrolling, and object oriented coding within jQuery

- Chapter 5: Putting Things into Perspective - Modifies the tile map strategy presented in the previous chapter to allow for a top-down tile map role-playing game (RPG) such as The Legend of Zelda and introduces sprite occlusion and new methods of collision detection

- Chapter 6: Adding Levels to Your Game - Updates the engine to allow you to load tile maps that include more useful functions such as specifying start-level and end-level specific tiles; also shows how to load remote tile map scripts (i.e. a script at an external URL)

- Chapter 7: Making a Multiplayer Game - Develops on the RPG created in Chapter 5 to support multiple players through the use of player accounts, client-side synchronization of player positions, and server-side combat

- Chapter 8: Let's Get Social - Several features are added that integrate with Facebook and Twitter including a basic leaderboard, server-side verification (cheating prevention), and achievements

- Chapter 9: Making Your Game Mobile - Introduces several modifications to support mobile devices including detecting the mobile device's browser, touch controls, an installation process, device orientation, and web storage; also gives consideration to mobile device performance

- Chapter 10: Making Some Noise - Adds audio components to the developed engine through use of HTML5 to allow the playing of sound files

Wow, now that is an extensive list of content for a single 244-page volume. Like any book, some chapters will be more useful than others (I'm looking at you Chapter 1) but overall they cover a lot of ground and they do it in great detail. 'jQuery Game Development Essentials' isn't only a book on game development, and it isn't only a book on jQuery, it is a book that features both and blends the two together quite amazingly. If you dig under the jQuery coated surface this book is a focused game development volume at heart. It is apparent from the chapter overviews that you start simple and build as you progress but you aren't only building jQuery, you are building game development concepts found in games built using C# to C++ to Flash. One of the best things I can say about this book is that, despite the title, it isn't only a reference for jQuery, it is a reference for game development.

Though 'jQuery Game Development Essentials' is written for readers with knowledge of JavaScript, jQuery, and front-end web development, the majority of the book is unfortunately difficult to follow. The reason for this stems from the fact that all code printed in the book is in chunks in each chapter and it is never really explained all that well where that code needs to go. In almost all cases, the code in the book is already written and simply put on the page with the preface of 'here's a function, this is what it does'. It's almost as if the writer intended the reader to open the source code (which can be requested and subsequently emailed to the reader through the publisher's website www.packtpub.com) and just follow along as the book explains what is happening. Do not pick this up expecting step-by-step instructions; it is a volume that explains code that was already written by the author. That means taking anything away from this book feels like you're copying the author's work, which isn't a huge deal until you want to grab the portion on parallax scrolling and you need to copy it out of the source code and read half a chapter on what it does. If the book simply just taught you what to do in the first place you wouldn't have to copy and research the functionality of the concept.

'jQuery Game Development Essentials' was one of my first forays into working with jQuery and nearly my first entry into game development for the web. During my time with the book I felt like I was relearning some of the core game development concepts I had learnt through the years, for the better. Yet, I felt like I was reading through someone's commented code and was simply being shown 'here's what I did' rather than 'here's how to do it'. I would recommend this book if you are knowledgeable with jQuery and interested in game development using it.

Score: 4/5

Book Information
Language : English
Paperback : 244 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : April 2013
ISBN : 1849695067
ISBN 13 : 9781849695060
Author(s) : Selim Arsever
Book Website: http://www.packtpub.com/jquery-game-development-essentials/book

Excellent game development concept undertones
Targeted towards jQuery and JavaScript users
Interesting projects leave room for independent improvement

Feels like it should be read with the full source code sitting in front of you
Prefers to show what the author wrote over teach
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