REVIEW - Foundation Game Design with HTML5 and JavaScript


Foundation Game Design with HTML5 and JavaScript


Rex van der Spuy


Apress (2012)




Stefan Turalski


April 2014



Reviewed: September 2013

I must admit that whilst choosing the Foundation Game Design with HTML5 and JavaScript for a review I was not aware that I was signing up for a 750-pages long paperback brick. In retrospective, I shouldn’t have been surprised as the subject domain is vast! It seems that we have not seen those killer HTML5 apps, because since late 2011 most experts (well, mostly experts) were busy churning books on and around the topic. Last time I checked ca.320 titles were published, ranging from beginner’s overviews, through definitive guides, various cookbooks and recipes, focusing on performance, mobile development, usage of particular JavaScript frameworks or IDEs, toping the pile with whole book(let)s dedicated to a specific HTML5 tags and APIs.

Within such variety the Rex van der Spuy’s work holds, in my opinion, a strong position in the entry level tier. It will not help you to write next single-page, WebGL based 3D game, utilise WebSockets, local storage nor geolocation, but it will definitely assist in establishing solid basic knowledge. The clear narrative, helpful illustrations and thought-through code samples help reader to stay engaged and find himself fully immersed and comfortable in the sea of HTML5 tags, JavaScripts and CSS code. Rex does not set prerequisites, thus even a total beginner, who never closed a HTML tag, will learn enough basics whilst going over first ~300 pages. A reader whishing to jump straight into learning about HTML5’s specific techniques, may need to scan through the first half of the book, as each subsequent chapter is based on preceding discussion. However, there is nothing wrong with that and it is well worth to brush up on modern web development tricks.

I must admit that getting the code samples to work triggered this peculiar joy of seeing pixels moving around a green screen (note to editor: green screen should be crossed in final text) browser window, more or less along the intentions expressed in code. For that reason only I would recommend this book to everyone trying to pass her love of coding to a next generation of programmers.

P.S. Please be careful whilst ordering print edition, it seems that some copies are seriously mis-formated.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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