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on 6 January 2012
Disclosure: I have written this review having received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.
This title is a timely introduction to an area of growing significance. HTML5 starts to resolve issues of application development both on the web and on devices. By implementing interfaces in HTML and Javascript, a wide compatability layer is leveraged. So what could be more cutting edge in this area than game development in HTML5 ? Games are a challenging application of the technology, so this is a great and fun way to learn more.
This may interest both game developers looking for new opportunities, as well as web developers expanding their HTML5 knowlege.

In this book the author introduces the new HTML5 technologies and their historical context. Then chapter 2 advises on tools to download and install. In chapter 3 Javascript is covered from the basics of the language to related frameworks, such as jQuery as well as server side environments. For readers with web development knowlege, this concise coverage should be mostly a common knowlege. Anyone new to the topics would be advised to research further, and I would suggest deeper learning of Javascript. However in chapter 8 alternatives to Javascript are presented - effectively compiling to javascript.

In chapter 4, ambitiously titled "how games work" the author focusses on an example using a javascript framework (simple game framework) and covers topics related to game development including for example game physics. Again, some readers with background in games will already be au fait with all this, but otherwise the reader would do well to further research approaches to game design and development.

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.
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2012
This book is a great introduction to game programming for anyone who already has some relevant experience (particularly good HTML experience or similar technologies such as ActionScript). It covers a great deal of ground, and manages to give a fair amount of background on each. However, it's a bit sloppily written, with the author often skipping between topics without explaining what new assumptions he is making. For this reason, I can easily see a beginner to HTML5 or game programming being confused by much in the book.
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