Friday was a Tough Day for a Deadline, but HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition Is Nearly Complete

By Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)

Tough Day for a Deadline, but HTML5 Canvas 2nd Edition Is Nearly Complete

There will be no Atari video game retrospectives this weekend on 8bitrocket. Far too many little ones will not get to experience their own version of the same thing, never have a chance to write about it some day, and never have the joy of spending another holiday season with their families. Our hearts are broken here at 8bitrocket towers. For a site dedicated to things we loved as children and exploring how to re-visit and re-create those memories in many different ways, we just can’t celebrate anything like that right now. What we have is work though, and as anyone who is trying to make it without any corporate backing knows, work MUST go on, no matter what happens, or food doesn’t make it on the table, health insurance premiums are not paid for, car loans and housing payments go un-paid and life just kind of stops and spins like a proverbial hamster on a habitrail.

First, here is a list of the first names of all the brave little ones and their hero protectors that didn’t make it out safely.
I can’t fathom the evil that would do such a thing:


So, with a heavy heart and tears welling up, I crashed through some technical barriers I was experiencing and finally completed chapter 9 of the Second Edition of our HTML5 Canvas book for O’Reilly.

All of the chapters have been updated, revised, and re-written to add new content and replace out-dated or incomplete ideas that simply were not possible on the Canvas when we started on this project 2 and 1/2 years ago. My major focus has been adding in more game development content to the various chapters (especially the two game specific chapters) to have a more complete reference guide for the budding and experienced HTML5 Canvas game developers. Not that the first edition was limited in scope at all, but there was no time or space to cover some subjects that we really wanted to cover, and some that were impossible until this point. I have been working on chapters 8 and 9 (Game Essentials 1 and 2) for the last few months, shoring them up to provide a much better set of tools for myself and anyone who buys the new edition. Steve has been working on updating the physics, sounds, video, text chapters and adding anything new he finds that might be useful across the the entire book.

It has not been easy, especially since the deadline was Friday (a tragic day to even think about work), but I was finally able to get a revised 2nd edition of chapter 9 (Game Essentials Part 2)  complete and to the publisher for a first look. The two game chapters (8, and 9) and the image chapter (4) have been re-written to add in things that I wanted in the first edition but just didn’t have time to fit in: Pixel-based collision detection, A* Pathfinding, Fine and Coarse tile-based world scrolling, and more. I know Steve has been busy adding in Box 2D content and other goodies to his chapters. There is just one chapter left to do for me, number 10. It deals with using Phone-Gap to create a HTML5 based iOS native application, and we are adding in the concept porting a browser game to a touch interface. The first part needs to be re-written 100% as everything about PhoneGap, xCode and the iOS portal has been completely re-vamped since the first edition. Also, more and more people are publishing games on the internet to target mobile browsers and we wanted to add in some “secret sauce” that we have uncovered to make this a little easier of a transition for the developer.

Here are some images from the various chapters that I have written to help give you an idea of what game subjects I have been covering and how they will be presented in the new edition (Tentative publish date March 2013).

Pixel Based Collisions

Pixel Based Collisions

AStar on the Canvas

AStar on the Canvas

Fine Scrolling

Fine Scrolling


I am starting on chapter 10 today, so hopefully the entire first draft will be complete by the middle of the week and then it is on to technical reviewer revisions and Chicago Book of Style red lines to fix.

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