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Building HTML5 Games with ImpactJS: An Introduction On HTML5 Game Development Paperback – Feb 25 2012
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Developing Games with Impact
About the Author
For more than 13 years, Jesse Freeman has been on the cutting edge of interactive development with a focus on the Web and mobile platforms. As an expert in his field, Jesse has worked for VW, Tommy Hilfiger, Heavy, MLB, the New York Jets, HBO, and many more. Jesse was a traditional artist for most of his life until making the transition into interactive art, and he has never looked back.
Jesse is a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft focusing on Windows 8 and Gaming. He is an active leader in New York's developer community. He is also active in the online community as a writer for several development sites including Adobe Developer Connection, O'Reilly Media, Inc., and Activetuts+. He can be found on twitter at @jessefreeman. Jesse also speaks at conferences and does workshops, which you can find schedules for on his website at http://jessefreeman.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It's a great quick read and a bargain if you're curious about the benefits of using Impact for your projects. Aside from the slight misdirection the book's title implies, it's wonderful writing and worth the money.
This book is perfect for me since I am a c# xna game developer trying to transition to html5, but it might not be as easy to someone else starting out.
So, I was super excited to see Introducing HTML5 Game Development was available from O'Reilly. Anybody who knows me or who reads this blog knows that I love technical books in general and O'Reilly's books in particular. It seems almost like a subject has 'arrived' when they publish a book on it.
And Jesse Freeman certainly delivers. The book clocks in a terse 122 pages (although I'm using the electronic version for purposes of this review) and covers the process of putting a surprisingly complex platform game together using HTML5, starting with the planning stage, going through the whole process of programming the game, and concluding with the distribution of the game (including publishing it as a native iOS game even!). He spends quite a bit of time on the planning stage, which is something that's usually not covered in such a short book; I think that Mr. Freeman understands one of the big constraints on game creation-- actually completing the game. I've certainly suffered from this issue myself, and I know it's something that the average game designer/programmer certainly struggles with, so the attention given to this subject is welcome and very helpful. It makes me think that it might be great to see him write a larger volume someday on the subject of 'getting it done'.
The reader is stepped through the process of making a platform game called 'Resident Raver', and along with all of the standard steps like player movement, enemies, sprite animation, scoring, HUDs, and sound, all the supplemental processes like creating sprite sheets are covered as well. Using Photoshop to create sprite sheets is discussed in some detail, which I found really helpful. Although I often use Photoshop, I typically use specialty software for creating sprites, so this is one area where I really learned something. Finally, the challenges of cross-browser compatibility and issues inherent in mobile browsers were addressed. Even though HTML5 is much more compatible with mobile devices than Flash, there are still issues that complicate matters. Mr. Freeman discusses these issues and ways to address them. Overall, I found the content in the book to be well organized, informative, helpful, and written in a compelling voice. Mr. Freeman is a great writer who conveys his knowledge really well. He should consider writing more on this subject.
So while my initial impulse was to reduce the score I gave this book because it requires a relatively costly tool, I instead decided to score it on its own merits. I would never, for instance, score Essential Actionscript 3.0 poorly because it requires a $600 tool. I'll just mention that I think that for beginners-- exactly those for whom this book is largely intended, $99 might be balked at. Also, it might not have hurt to mention in the title that it's all about Impact rather than HTML5 in general. But as far as I'm concerned, Impact and this reasonably priced, well-written book are well worth it, nit-picks aside.
Updated to 3 stars. This book is good if you have chosen and want to learn about the Impact framework.
Updated to 5 stars. I noticed that the cover on this book was actually renamed from just "HTML5 Game Development" to "HTML5 Game Development with Impact.js". That is awesome and very clear now. I've moved my rating to 5 stars. The book is very clearly labeled now. Thank you.
but it doesn't get much past the beginning.
I was really hoping for a variety of enemy AI codes. I was disappointed to find that the only example offered is the one that comes with the Impact JS jump and run demo: the Spike creature. I did learn how to modify a kill call, which was nice.
I like the book, but it's short and I want more.
I'd like more code examples.