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Steve is an R.I.A. and web game developer who has been cultivating an audience for news, stories, blogs and tutorials about Flash, Silverlight, and now the HTML 5 Canvas at their own web site, http://www.8bitrocket.com, for the past 3 1/2 years. He has one of the highest Alexa rankings among Flash game developers blogs.
Steve has worked as a web development manager at Mattel Toys for the past 14 years, helping to create Mattel’s extensive online presence.
Jeff is an R.I.A. and web game developer who has been cultivating an audience for news, stories, blogs and tutorials about Flash, Silverlight, and now the HTML 5 Canvas at their own web site, http://www.8bitrocket.com, for the past 3 1/2 years. He has one of the highest Alexa rankings among Flash game developers blogs.
Jeff has worked as a web development manager at Mattel Toys for the past 14 years, helping to create Mattel’s extensive online presence.
I was expecting a large book on a single topic to be more reference oriented. Rather disappointed. This is no more than an introduction with a fair amount of time spent on a single, simple game project (half the book) plus a large section on the Text API. This book has not helped me very much and I spend 3/4 of my time searching for syntax on the internet. This is by no means a complete reference but really an intro to what the writers perceive as a simple topic. This was my third book on the subject. I learned much more in my first book "The Essential Guide to HTML5" (Jeanine Meyer) and HTML5 Canvas was a waste of money and time. There are 11 chapters in this book: 1 is on text, 2 are on AUDIO (???) and one is on Video, one is on Physics and 2 more are on games... not a lot on drawing on the Canvas. It should have been called "Basic Game Development on HTML 5 Canvas" and it didn't answer my questions on compositing so I consider it spotty at best.
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I like the the start of the book with the introduction of the all the canvas properties, the authors filled the book with easy to follow comprehensive examples. The examples let the reader experiment with the features of Canvas. Most of the examples have some minor cross-browser issues since the canvas element is not stable yet, but the book describes these issues open and sincere which I liked. After the reader gets acquainted with the canvas element the books start with game programming and animation mathematics. The animations and math reminds me of former actionscript book, but still I learned a lot from these chapters. Flash cannot be compared one-on-one with canvas regarding; performance, animation, collision detection and resource management.
After the game sections the book briefly touches mobile applications with phoneGap and 3d with webGL. I liked these sections but I am not sure if these sections are relevant for this book.
But still the canvas is an amazing element and this books opens up a new world in html, for example chapter 5 shows some impressive examples of how easy it is to combine video with canvas; transformations, bitmap filtering its all possible. It is exiting to see that every new browser generation will be faster and will open new possibilities.
It would be nice to see some additional information in the next edition regarding business applications, for example how to overcome sandbox issues when uploading images to canvas.
But overall an extensive guide that helps developing canvas games ( and application )
If you are interested in learning the basics of HTML5 Game Development using the Canvas, this book is packed with information and examples! I had originally chosen it for Chapter 5 which goes into methods of applying game physics like gravity, elasticity, friction, etc., but the book does an excellent job of covering all the fundamentals and then leading you through the development of games like Space Raiders, Geo Blaster, and Micro Tank. There is a lot of code and examples so you can get familiar with the fundamentals in smaller bits before you start wiring them up together into larger games.
Of course, there is a lot of information on drawing shapes, images, and text on the canvas as well as working with audio and video independent of creating games, but applying all of this knowledge to create games is really what kept me interested cover-to-cover.
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