Who doesn’t love the idea of creating their own video game? It’s a fun project that grants incredible freedom with loads of opportunity at every corner.
The book organizes into five main sections with individual chapters in each section. This is all packed into 444 pages with a short foreword and a lengthy index.
The five key sections break down as:
The second section talks about game objectives, worlds, and the delicate situation of handling player inputs(AKA building game controls).
In the later chapters you get to build unique games from scratch with heaps of source code referenced in the book. Along the way you’ll learn a variety of different game techniques like storing data and maintaining object interactions/collisions on a game screen.
The very last section talks about game production and publishing. This is really fun because you get to read interviews from two talented guys in the game industry. One is the creator of Gamemaker and the other is a creator of the wildly popular Angry Birds mobile game.
Topics include buying and using game assets like graphics and sounds along with finding the proper routes for distribution.
I’m simply at awe of how much content is in this book. It seems like an unknown title yet it’s basically the ultimate collection of guides, tools, JS resources, and game design tips from game professionals.
The author Arjan Egges is clearly knowledgeable with a unique style of writing that just connects well with anyone.
This is one of those books that offers a feedback loop for those who put in the work. When you first start there will be a lot of things you simply don’t understand. But as you work through the lessons these difficult concepts will reveal themselves and start to make sense, which in turn helps you understand even more concepts.
Everything in this book can be followed from start to finish many times and still teach you something new each time. It’s the perfect book for any game developer’s bookshelf and the guided tutorials just seem to keep on giving the more you comb over them.
It’s true that game libraries can save you time during development. But it’s also true that if you rely heavily on libraries you’ll have a tougher time understanding the fundamentals of game programming.
I think this book is the absolute best product you could buy for teaching yourself this content from scratch.
But my only real complaint is the complexity of app development and just how much source code is required. To most readers this will sound like a good thing! And in truth it really is.
However when you’re working through these tutorials you’ll have to constantly reference previous lessons for code snippets. Flipping around can get tiresome and it makes this book a little tougher than I expected.
But in that process I learned a great deal about developing games that can actually work in a real marketplace. And for that I’d say the potential drawback of overly-complex source code is easily overshadowed by just how much knowledge is packed into this book.
While the technicality does ask a lot of the reader, I think this book is well worth the effort. You definitely get out what you put in so I would highly recommend this to anyone that’s passionate about game design.
The extra tips on game publishing and the interviews with professional game designers only add more to this already incredible publication. I’d give this a very high recommendation for anyone that wants to get into JS-based game development.