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Learning HTML5 Game Programming: A Hands-on Guide to Building Online Games Using Paperback – 5 Oct 2011
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About the Author
James L. Williams is an experienced Silicon Valley developer and speaker who has presented worldwide on Java, user interfaces, and game programming. He created SwingXBuilder, a domain-specific language for creating user interfaces utilizing SwingX components, and is co-despot of Griffon, a framework for building rich applications with Groovy. While riding a coach bus to South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW), he and his team conceived, coded, and created a winning product in the StartupBus 2011 competition.
Top customer reviews
This may interest both game developers looking for new opportunities, as well as web developers expanding their HTML5 knowlege.
Following chapters cover canvas, SVG, and WebGL; each using relevant frameworks, and with good advice. There seems to be wisdom in the choice of framworks, and the material is fairly accessible. As well, in working though examples in each of these technologies, the reader should learn a lot about practical game development. Chapter 9 is an interesting look at server development for multiplayer games and we are exposed to various options. I think in the real world security and measures against cheating, real time latency etc, would make challenging work. The author does not go into discussion of this. But despite this, the material is interesting, and offers coding insights to applicable technology. Remaining chapters are on mobile framworks, and packaging and publishing HTML5 games.
I think the book covers a lot in just 200 pages, so represents an introduction and survey of languages and technologies available. While much information can be gained online, in book form, it is concise and coherent and well explained throughout. I think anyone with an interest would be encouraged by the book, and hopefully deepen their knowlege by trying to make some games and developing expertese in some of the skills required.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is suitable for the intermediary web programmer as well as the beginning game developer. The chapters are logically organized and well written with applicability for the industrial-strength game developer and the weekend hacker in mind, so either crowd will get something out of it.
The code itself stresses best practices and some rather sophisticated syntax structure, with componentization and reuse heavily preached.
The author doesn't really go into any useful detail about any of the topics he covers. Everything in this book is a quick whirl-wind, skin deep tour of various HTML5 related technologies. Any reader could easily garner more educational value out of reckless googling for a few hours about the topics this book covers than they would from taking the time to read this.
If you're already a web developer or even just someone who admires and reads up on current day web development technology than this book will be completely useless to you. In all likely hood, you already know most of what this book has to offer and the contents you don't yet know can easily be learned free of charge elsewhere.
If you are intent on getting a few short books on the topic though there are a number of better ones to start with, some even shorter than this one that still have far more useful content in them.
I wish I could return this book, but there's still hope for you. Skip this purchase and instead get Introducing HTML5 (2nd Edition) or a couple of the pocket references from A Book Apart.
My resource from this time on has been what others have posted on the Internet.
I was excited to hear about the book "Learning HTML5 Game Programming" and even more excited to read it.
Below is my brief analysis of every chapter, but overall I found this book to be quite value to anyone interested in learning HTML5 programming but haven't really explored it, they should really get this book. I am not a professional HTML5 game developer, but as a hobbyiest I found this quite beneficial. It is well written, well organized, and covers what I feel are very important topics. Compared to what books that are currently out there, this is definitley one of best books to get on this subject to my knowledge.
Chapter 1, "Introducting HTML5", give a nice history of
Web technologies and a nice background of the
technologies through the years. While it's not necessary
to read, it is well worth reading.
Chapter 2, "Setting Up Your Development Environment", is
a very welcome and much needed chapter. While most books
would brush over this topic, this book does the courtesy
of dedicating a chapter to setting up the development
environment! On top of an entire chapter, he graciously
suggests free tools to use. As a developer, nothing is
more frustrating than struggling with your development
environment instead of doing actual development! I find
this chapter VERY valuable.
should speak well to beginners that want to make games
covers learning JQuery, JQuery with AJAX, and JSON. This
is valuable and I think it's part of the thoroughness of
the book. I also appreciate how he discusses client side
Chapter 4, "How Games Work", may be the most overlooked
chapter by wanna-be game developers who mistakenly think
"I know all about games". I cannot express enough how
important I think writing a game design document can be,
and thankfully he covers it. In addtion, he covers
Resources API and Networking APIs, which is also very
It is this chapter where goes through life cycle of
developing a Pong game, and then Tic-Tac-Toe, classic
examples, but they work well.
Chapter 5, "Creating Games With The Canvas Tag", is
really the heart of the book, which is appropriate
because I believe the Canvas object is the heart and soul
of HTML5 games. He covers all the basic canvas options
you will need, and even 'Creates a Parallax Effect'
Sound is covered this same chapter. Normally most books
dedicate an entire chapter to sound, but it is still
covered well. MIDI Files are utilized and multiple sounds
are covered as well.
I should also state that practically every chapter has
examples and code samples. These can also be downloaded
Chapter 6, "Creating Games with SVG (Scalable Vector
Graphics) and RaphealJS". In this chapter a card game is
developed for examples and it is quite interesting.
Those interested in this type of development should be
find this chapter a welcome addition.
Chapter 7, "Creating Games with WebGL and Three.js" is
beneficial for those that want to use 3D objects and
extended graphic libraries. Its a good read about
rendering, texturing, particle systems, and real-world
Chapter 8, "Creating Games Without JavasScript" is
exactly what it says. While it's something I wasn't
considering, I find I might want to explore. It utilizes
GWT Widgets (Google Web Toolkit).
It also explores CoffeeScript a bit, then briefly
mentions Cappuccino and Pyjamas
Chapter 9, "Building a Multiplayer Game Server", is a
great read. It covers this indepth and is a lengthy
chapter, as it should be. It goes as far as covering the
'Game Lobby' and covering the use of Web Sockets.
Chapter 10, "Developing Mobile Games", is one of the
longest chapters. It is a topic that could be it's own
book itself, but it's covered quite well here. It's a good read if you are new and interested in developing mobile games, this is the one chapter you should check out.
Chapter 11, "Publishing Your Games", is the final chapter of the book and fittingly so. It talks about how to setup your game so that it runs offline for performance, hosting your own server, publishing applications on the Chrome Web Store. This isn't a chapter that is quickly written, but covers many of the areas of publishing. It's really worth your time to give this chapter much attention once you get to the point of publishing.
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