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WebGL Game Development


For some time I’ve been involved in a Project, great part of which consists of OpenGL rendering engine. And although my part of the job was completely unrelated to it, on occasions I needed to dive into that code and try to understand what it does and extend it’s functionalities (copying buffers for making screenshots, for example).

And honestly to the guy, that does not know a thing about OpenGL and how stuff is done there, it was pretty rough.

So I thought I should learn a thing or two. And since JavaScript has always been quite close to my heart, I thought I should try learning WebGL, because the concepts should be very similar.

When I started looking for proper literature, turns out, there’s not really much written about WebGL yet, you can count them on one hand. But one particular book took my attention, because it combined my interest in WebGL with my hobby, game development. It’s called „WebGL Game Development” by Sumeet Arora.

And I loved it from the first page, because it has a very interesting setting. You are in future, were whole world is ruined and attacked by mutated monsters, and it’s up to you to save it, through creating water, weapons and army to defend your planet, through the tutorials provided in this book. I have never seen a book doing something like that, and it was awesome.

But don’t let this funny sci phy setting misguide you. The book takes the topic very seriously, from 3d geometry to best practices and code optimization. And if you miss the step or skim through something, you are going to get lost very quickly, so you must take every paragraph seriously, you are in the middle of the war, after all.

One of the great advantages of the book, that it not only provides you with the basics of 3d geometry and OpenGL, but also the best way for it to be applied in the browsers using JavaScript. As you see, by default, there are no tools in JavaScript to handle 3D objects, so the book also suggests the best libraries to aid you. Thus the book will also be very valuable, even to those who are experienced in OpenGL, but never worked with WebGL in JavaScript environment.

Additionally to that it also briefly describes 2d rendering and even multiplayer options in JavaScript, making it even more valuable in the context of game development.

For the newbies, like, it may seem a lot to take in from the start, but eventually you will be running examples and tweaking code to create your own interesting effects. The most important task is to embrace the basics, and this book, does a really good job, to help you achieve it.

WebGL Game Development by Sumeet Arora

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