Thursday, February 27, 2014

Firefox OS Book and What's Next (Game Programming)

I've mentioned this before, but I've been thinking about publishing a book on Amazon covering beginning Firefox OS game programming. As you might guess, the book will consist of roughly 30 blog posts. I'll revise the posts and I'll let you know how I went about publishing a book on Amazon. In keeping with the tone of this blog, my focus will be for people who want to program games but who are not experts and who want to try making things with HTML5 on Firefox OS.

I've already edited about 15 posts/chapters and I expect to edit the rest and publish in about two weeks. Revising for a book takes extra time so I'm planning on cutting back on my posts and catch up on some game reviews.

Here's my tentative list of chapters:

1 -  Introduction - Hello World!
2 -  Pushing your Game to a Device
3 -  Measuring Screen Size from the Inside
4 -  Bouncing a Ball in CSS
5 -  Drawing with Canvas - Part 1
6 -  Drawing with Canvas - Part 2
7 -  Drawing with Canvas - Part 3
8 -  Bouncing SVG - Part 1
9 -  Bouncing SVG - Part 2
10 - Bouncing SVG - Part 3
11 - Touch and more SVG
12 - Screen Orientation
13 - CSS Shell
14 - CSS Collisions
15 - Canvas Collisions in Color
16 - SVG Collisions
17 - CSS, Canvas, SVG Compared
18 - HTML5 Audio - Part 1
19 - HTML5 Audio - Part 2
20 - HTML5 Audio - Part 3
21 - HTML5 Audio - Part 4
22 - HTML5 Audio - Part 5
23 - Vibration
24 - Device Orientation
25 - Local Storage
26 - Asynchronous Storage
27 - IndexedDB Storage
28 - Simple Complete Game - PaddleFox!
29 - Submitting a Game to the Marketplace
30 - Firefox OS Hardware
31 - Resources for Going Further

The code will be retested and will be reformatted so that it fits on Amazon devices (with short line lengths). I'm excited to publish this book and I'm hoping that it will help gain a wider audience for people who want to make games but are intimidated by the more complicated tools of Windows, Android, and Apple development.

What's Next?

After I get the book out, I'm back to writing about game programming. Here are my feelings at the moment:

I've been toying with the idea of writing a space shooter game but also I am seriously drawn to writing an RPG. I've always loved RPG computer games and I've always wanted to write one, but never got around to it. I think this will be what will be next.

I'm going to study Ultima II (my all-time favorite) and also some Gameboy RPG titles like Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy Legends and Adventure, Ultima Runes of Virtue, Pokemon, and Azure Dreams. These simple tile-based games might just fit on a Firefox OS phone. As with earlier posts, I'll examine what works with CSS, Canvas, and SVG. I won't make a full-blown RPG, but I imagine that there will be a long series of posts. And I'm likely to go with some retro art to go with it.

I'll also keep reviewing games!

So definitely stay tuned, but not iTuned!