Friday, April 6, 2012

Review of "Introducing HTML5 Game Development"

I had the opportunity to read "Introducing HTML5 Game Development" by Jesse Freeman as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review program.  I received a free copy of the book for this purpose.

My main criticism of this book is that it has a very misleading title.  I came in expecting to learn how to use HTML5 and JavaScript to build games.  Instead, I found a tutorial of how to create a game with a commercial game development framework called Impact.  (After looking at the product page again there is a subtitle  'Developing Games with Impact'.  That still sounds to me like the games you develop with this book will have an impact, not that this is a guide to using Impact.)  The code samples in the book are useless unless you fork over $100 for a license to the Impact framework.  The author mentions that other good free and open source frameworks exist but doesn't cover any of them and spends very little time on the underlying technology in HTML5 that allows game development like this to work.

There were some sections on game design and techniques used by the author when he creates games.  Those ideas transcend any particular framework and I found them interesting.

If you are looking for a guide on how to use the Impact framework to build a game then this is a great introduction and I recommend it highly for that purpose.  It is well written and has plenty of example code.

However, if you are looking for an introduction HTML5/JavaScript game development, this is probably not the book for you.

For more information, see the O'Reilly product page here.

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