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The Web Game Developer's Cookbook: Using JavaScript and HTML5 to Develop Games [Paperback]

Evan Burchard

Price: 25.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 Mar 2013

Want to start building great web games with HTML5 and JavaScript? Moving from Flash or other game platforms?  Already building HTML5 games and want to get better and faster at it? This guide brings together everything you need: expert guidance, sample projects, and working code!

 

Evan Burchard walks you step-by-step through quickly building 10 popular types of games. Each chapter implements  a game within a well-understood genre; introduces a different free, open source, and easy-to-use HTML5 game engine; and is accompanied with full JavaScript source code listings.

 

Each game recipe uses tested and well-proven patterns that address the development challenges unique to that genre, and shows how to use existing tools and engines to build complete substantial game projects in just hours.  Need a quick JavaScript primer? Evan Burchard provides that, too!

 

Coverage includes

 

• Mastering an essential HTML5/JavaScript game development toolset: browser, text editor, terminal,  JavaScript console, game engine, and more

• Accelerating development with external libraries and proven patterns

• Managing browser differences between IE, Firefox, and Chrome

• Getting up to speed on web development with a QUIZ game built with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and JQuery

• Creating INTERACTIVE FICTION “gamebooks” that leverage new CSS3 features and impress.js

• Building PARTY games around the lightweight atom.js engine

• Developing PUZZLE games with the easel.js graphics rendering engine

• Writing PLATFORMERS with melon.js and its integrated tilemap editor

• Coding intense 2-player FIGHTING games for web browsers with game.js

• Building a SPACE SHOOTER with the jQuery-based gameQuery game engine

• Implementing pseudo-3D techniques like ray casting for an FPS (First Person Shooter) style game

• Producing a 16 bit RPG (Role Playing Game) complete with interfaces for dialog, inventories,  and turn-based battles with enchant.js

• Building an isometric RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that incorporates server components along with  node.js, socket.io, and crafty.js

• Engaging players with content that encourages exploration

 

Turn to The Web Game Developer’s Cookbook for proven, expert answers–and the code you need to implement them. It’s all you need to jumpstart any web game project!

 

 


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Review

The Web Game Developer’s Cookbook is a fun hands-on introduction both to building games and to web technologies. Learning through making is an empowering, exciting first step.”

Jonathan Beilin

DIY.org

 

“It is not only a book about libraries: it teaches how web pages work, how games work, and how to put everything together. Study one, learn three: best deal ever.”

Francesco “KesieV” Cottone

Web Alchemist, and Technical Advisor at Vidiemme Consulting

 

“A wonderful overview of the HTML5 Game Development landscape, covering a wide range of tools and 10 different game genres.”

Pascal Rettig

Author of Professional Mobile HTML5 Game Development

 

“With a friendly and reassuring tone, Burchard breaks down some of the most well-known gaming genres into their basic ingredients. The Web Game Developer’s Cookbook transforms a seemingly daunting task into an approachable crash course even for those who’ve never written a line of code before.”

Jason Tocci, Ph.D.

Writer, Designer, and Researcher

From the Back Cover

Want to start building great web games with HTML5 and JavaScript? Moving from Flash or other game platforms? Already building HTML5 games and want to get better and faster at it? This guide brings together everything you need: expert guidance, sample projects, and working code!

 

Evan Burchard walks you step-by-step through quickly building 10 popular types of games. Each chapter implements a game within a well-understood genre; introduces a different free, open source, and easy-to-use HTML5 game engine; and is accompanied with full JavaScript source code listings.

 

Each game recipe uses tested and well-proven patterns that address the development challenges unique to that genre, and shows how to use existing tools and engines to build complete substantial game projects in just hours. Need a quick JavaScript primer? Evan Burchard provides that, too!

 

Coverage includes

 

• Mastering an essential HTML5/JavaScript game development toolset: browser, text editor, terminal, JavaScript console, game engine, and more

• Accelerating development with external libraries and proven patterns

• Managing browser differences between IE, Firefox, and Chrome

• Getting up to speed on web development with a QUIZ game built with JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and JQuery

• Creating INTERACTIVE FICTION “gamebooks” that leverage new CSS3 features and impress.js

• Building PARTY games around the lightweight atom.js engine

• Developing PUZZLE games with the easel.js graphics rendering engine

• Writing PLATFORMERS with melon.js and its integrated tilemap editor

• Coding intense 2-player FIGHTING games for web browsers with game.js

• Building a SPACE SHOOTER with the jQuery-based gameQuery game engine

• Implementing pseudo-3D techniques like ray casting for an FPS (First Person Shooter) style game

• Producing a 16 bit RPG (Role Playing Game) complete with interfaces for dialog, inventories, and turn-based battles with enchant.js

• Building an isometric RTS (Real Time Strategy) game that incorporates server components along with node.js, socket.io, and crafty.js

• Engaging players with content that encourages exploration

 

Turn to The Web Game Developer’s Cookbook for proven, expert answers–and the code you need to implement them. It’s all you need to jumpstart any web game project!


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Intro to Game Development in the Browser 10 April 2013
By Christopher Rhoden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most comprehensive survey-style technical books on any subject I have read in a very long time. I'm a developer who hasn't spent any time in the last 15 years working on what the average person would recognize as a, "game." Of course, along with the rest of my peer-group, games were my original inspiration for entering the field. I picked this book up expecting an explanation of the facilities offered to veteran game developers to help them bring their techniques to the web, like the new HTML graphics and audio APIs. What I didn't expect was a demonstration of core game-building patterns and systems, and I couldn't be happier to have found one. There's a chapter that explains ray-casting techniques and leaves you with a working first-person style demo that works beautifully in the browser. Another chapter teaches building a multi-player real-time game.

I'm pretty conversant in the core technologies used in the book, so I was able to glaze over lots of the browser-technology related stuff. For me, the explanations of several libraries as well as core game-development concepts like rendering 3d levels and tiled maps proved invaluable.

It's true that there are some points in the book that might trip up readers who have never written a line of code. While the first chapter runs through the basics of the ubiquitous environment of the browser, it's a certainty that there will be stumbling points if you don't know what a conditional statement is; frankly, this isn't the book for such people. That said, considering the technologies used in the books that are geared towards that group and the reality of their effectiveness (I have tried to read a few introductions to Unity and the like, and they've always been a slog to me), this is going to be the book I recommend to friends who express an interest in building games. When I do recommend the book to a non-developer, I'll just need to make sure that I am there to provide some support and explanation of some of what's going on.

I was extremely impressed with what I was able to build following along with the later chapters in the book. Truly, with minimal adjustments and improvements, the games you get in a couple of hours can be turned into fun, complete experiences. In less than a day, and using the RPG demo from this book, I was able to build something that would have looked at home being played on my SNES. Nostalgic heaven.

The graphics used in the examples aren't amazing, but they're more than serviceable. They also provide a very straightforward extension point to drop in replacements to create games that have a bit more polish. Doing so should give less experienced programmers an opportunity to learn how the demos work a little better. As for the more experienced developers, I expect that they, like me, are quite used to dealing with quick and dirty placeholder visual assets.

If you're a game developer who is interested in starting out on the web, or a web developer who is interested in building games (or even just getting a survey of some available libraries), it's hard for me to imagine a better option.

I'm not the type of person to write a review online unless I have a grievance, but this book was such a fantastic surprise I needed to say something. I've been jumping around in the book and will likely update this review as I have time to reflect a more complete internalization of the contents.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book. Some comments for beginners 1 April 2013
By M. Carson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After more reading: I am upgrading my review from three to four stars, because 1) the author is very responsive, 2) the scope of the book should be valuable to many, and I like the way existing libraries are not only used, but deconstructed a bit and added upon, and 3) the author encourages beginners to seek help where appropriate.

If you are a JS beginner, this probably won't be a cakewalk, even through the first couple of chapters. Check out the demos and ask yourself if those are the types of things you want to learn to create. If so, it's worth your time to work through the book and ask friends (or even perhaps the author) for help as needed.

------

First of all: Big thanks to the author for writing this book. This is just the sort of thing that is needed--coverage of all these different ways of building HTML5 / JS games. Woo hoo!

I just bought the book and have not completed it yet, so this is a review based on my experience through the first chapter. I will update the review as I go along.

I bought the book thinking, "a quiz game in the first chapter...these are usually simple. I will probably breeze through the first half of this book." I'm a beginner at javascript in general, but I've been using jQuery for years. So I was hopeful.

The first chapter went great until I hit the score checking code, which is a pretty good chunk of code with statements like var answers = $(":-checked"), for which the author's explanation is "Next, the value of each one of the radio buttons that has been clicked is added to the answer string..." Whoa. So if you don't know what that jQuery selector is, you are probably lost at that point. And if you DO know what a jQuery selector is, but have only ever used them on classes and IDs, you probably have to really think about this one. There are no code comments, which would have been appreciated as they put a bit more responsibility on the author to explain.

After that bit of code, the author introduces a hash comparison to check the answers, which have been appended to make a long string. The comparison goes like: if(parseInt(theString, 16) === 811124566793) ... this one is followed by a brief explanation that ends with "...so you just string them together, and the long number is just the decimal form of your hexadecimal string." I wanted to really understand this, so I looked up the function parseInt on the web, and I *think* I understand. But the author says "the long number is just the decimal form..."? I just specified base 16 in the function call, so I am comparing two hexadecimal values, am I not? So that's going through my beginner's mind.

At the end of the chapter, the book says that if the code was difficult, read up on javascript in the Appendix. I appreciate that the appendix is there. But really, what's needed is some code comments or a more concrete explanation of how this particular mechanism is working. If this were a work project, and somebody handed me some code to work on and a javascript manual, I'd rather they keep the book and just explain their own code.

I do appreciate that this is a survey of game libraries, and that's one of the main reasons for my purchase. I won't say I regret the purchase, because I am learning and stretching my knowledge. We'll see how it goes from here.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, great way to beef up your Javascript 3 April 2013
By BigSpender226 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So I haven't worked my way through the whole book yet (just got my copy yesterday), but I'm really liking it so far! I'm a project-based learner--I pick up new concepts best when I'm using them to build something cool, and this book really caters to that. Every chapter introduces a new type of game and walks you through more and more complex javascript/HTML5 Canvas concepts and strategies as you go. I'm a pretty experienced web developer so the first couple of chapters didn't really introduce anything new and weren't particularly gamey (the first chapter you make a 'quiz', which is basically a glorified html form), but I guess for a beginner they might be helpful. After the first few chapters when you get more into canvas stuff, things get interesting.

Also, the games themselves are pretty hilarious. The book's not about visual design, of course, so the designs are a little janktastic, but in a 16-bit nintendo sorta way. You can tell the author had fun with it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Started 14 Feb 2014
By Scott Goldsmith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just started reading this book, so I'll update this as I work my way through. It should be noted though that the author's website, which is repeatedly referenced throughout the book is down. The source code used in the book can still be obtained from the publisher's site though.

[...]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very nice book 31 Oct 2013
By Shauli Daon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very nice and well-written, delivers what it promises: a review of many javascript game engines.
I am at the moment debating whether the HTML5 game development is the route to choose, or it's better to choose a C/C++/C# engine (like Unity, Cocos3D-x, etc).
While all will work well in Google Chrome or Firefox, it is still a problem to pack the game as an app (using Phonegap/Mosync).
Anyhow the book is definitely good for web development, not only for games as the engines (such as impress.js) are useful for other purposes as well.
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