Book Review – Introducing HTML5 Game Development

Apr 2, 2012   //   by Richard   //   IT  //  No Comments
Book review by Richard Hamilton of Introducing HTML5 Game Development

Introducing HTML5 Game Development is a short 120 page book that is an easy, concise read that provides an excellent introduction to building a 2D side-scrolling HTML5 game using Impact, a JavaScript game framework. While the author notes that there are free JavaScript game frameworks, he chose to base the book on Impact since it “has an extra level of polish I haven’t seen with anything else so far”. Unfortunately, for the reader who would like to follow along using Impact, this means that you must spend USD$99 to purchase Impact since there are no trial or lite versions available.

I personally found that it was not necessary to purchase Impact as the book does a great job explaining the steps and providing screenshots that allow you to understand and follow the process. Chapter 1 introduces you to Impact and the additional programs that you will need to install, including the links to download them and a brief explanation on how to install them. Chapter 2 discusses in-game graphics and how to build automation scripts in Photoshop. Chapter 3 introduces the reader to game design and provides a detailed sample game design document that I found very interesting and helpful. Starting in Chapter 4, the book shows you how to build a game. This chapter was extremely well done and included all of the necessary components of a game including developing levels, maps, collision maps, classes, players, monsters, health, weapons, and so forth. In Chapters 5 and 6, the book shows you how to add text and sound to your game. Chapter 7 creates various screens including the opening, closing, credits and settings. The chapter also discusses the importance of keeping track of in-game analytics using Google Analytics. He wraps things up in Chapter 9 with references and links, but not before discussing in Chapter 8 how to debug your game and how to compile it for native iOS.

The author does a very good job at setting the reader’s expectations. By way of example, he states that the “book is not for developers who are looking to build fully cross-browser and mobile games with JavaScript”. On the other hand, he states that the book targets all levels of game developers and prior programming knowledge is not a necessary requirement. However, I think it is important to note that this book is an introduction, and in my opinion an individual with little to no programming knowledge will need to learn significantly more about programming before they are in a position to develop their own HTML5 games. In this regard, the author provides links throughout and at the end of the book to assist the reader to obtain additional information.

Overall, I thought it was an excellent introduction to developing 2D side-scrolling HTML5 games using Impact. My only wish was that he provided links and guidance on how to use a free JavaScript game framework.

Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me as part of the O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program on the understanding that I would read it and provide an honest review. If you are looking to join a review program, I highly recommend that you consider O’Reilly’s. Full details of the program can be found by clicking on the following:

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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