- Series: Game Design
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 31, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780321898388
- ISBN-13: 978-0321898388
- ASIN: 0321898389
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Also, the author is very responsive to any questions you may have.
The Web Game Developers Cookbook is great. Here's what you can expect: A general process for building different kinds of games, introductions to game design terminology and tools, working code examples and lots of how-tos. What was most instrumental to me is the use of game engines throughout the various games. They really help you get stuff done. Evan explains just enough to be productive.
For a tech writer, you can either boil the ocean, boil a sea, or travel around to different ports of call. This book is the latter and I believe I made a great investment.
Don't buy this book if you're looking for a boiled ocean. Do buy this book if you're looking for a really great way to get started with that game idea of yours.
Lastly, the writing style is friendly and not heavy handed like some tech books.
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.
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.
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.
As a launching pad, I found it even better. I have a lot of ideas for games that never really take off because it seems so intimidating to take on a big project or to create something in a genre I've never thought much about before. This book gives solid advice on what libraries to check out, what to consider when building and how to really start fleshing out a game.
By the end of each chapter, you won't have the perfect game. You'll have a working game that you understand every nuance of. You'll know how everything fits together and it's so much easier to carry on from there.
Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to start building games in the browser.
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.