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Review: jQuery Game Development

Ok Book review time.

I generally read a ton of tech books, and decided to post some thoughts on this one.

jQuery Game Development

If you’ve got a desire to write games using the DOM and already familiar with basic javascript and at least some experience with jQuery then you’re the target audience of this book. If that sentence contains words you don’t comprehend then I’d do some additional reading first.  Decent understanding of html, OOP  and maybe having a smidge of PHP knowledge definitely won’t hurt either.  If you’ve done some basic selecting with jQuery and maybe implemented a plugin you found on the web or two you’ll be set.  But you’re gonna want to be not afraid of code you’ll be fine.  So it’s not exactly for everyone.. but if you are you’ll find a wealth of information inside.

Basically the book is a crash course in building a game framework from scratch.  The book , including animation, motion, building a game loop, loading levels and much more.  The examples are broken up into a series of short games. Each of the games explaining building up on a basic concept and explaining why it does what it does, and sometimes going back and improving on a concept from an earlier chapter.  It starts with frogger and winds up with multiplayer online rpg thing.  Chapters 1-6 are a great resource covering everything from basic sprites all the way up to isometric tilemaps and occlusion but then …

Chapters 7-9, however, go a bit off kilter.. 7 is a half-hearted summary of building a php database backend,  8 is for integrating with twitter and facebook and finally 9 mobile development.  All of which are simply too big and complicated topics to get a single chapter in a book and/or have nothing to do with jQuery.  And you’ll be repeated warned to never use the examples in chapter 7 in a real game.. which seems to pretty much defeat the purpose of the book.

Chapter 10, however is a great resource for all the headaches and pitfalls that are involved in implementing HTML sound.  In fact it’s probably one of the nicest summaries of the mess that is HTML sound that I’ve read, and how to implement it in the framework we’ve been building.

++ Overall, a lot of tech books seem to go into obsolescence fairly quickly, but the core knowledge in chapters 1-6 is going to be pretty rock solid for a long while and worth the price of admission.

++ Grammatically and logically the book is presented well with concepts that build upon each other.

+- Code samples for the most part make sense, however the author has a tendency to as he puts it ‘avoid typing’  so he abbreviates lots of function names which gets a little confusing


Good book, lots of useful jQuery implementation tips