Book Review | WebGL Game Development

WebGL Game Development by Sumeet Arora is a set-by-step, example-based tutorial that provides details on gaming logic using WebGL.  The book is about 387 pages and includes 10 chapters.
This book is helps you to start developing Games for web using JavaScript and WebGL(a JavaScript API for rendering interactive 3D graphics and 2D graphics within any compatible web browser without the use of plug-ins).
Direct3D Rendering Cookbook

The Prerequisites

As prerequisite, the reader has at least the basic knowledge of object-oriented programming in JavaScript along with a cursory knowledge of OpenGL ES. However an understanding of basic vector and matrix algebra is required.  This book consists of ten chapters:

  1. Chapter one, Getting Started with WebGL Game Development, covers an introduction to WebGL, basic mathematics such as vectors, matrices and understanding transformations.  Also covers a walk-through of initializing WebGL and finally drawing primitives using shaders.
  2. Chapter two, Colors and Shading Languages, covers how to export 3D model in the format of .Obj from blender and convert the information of  model to Json format. Also covers how to render the models using various shading techniques such as Lambert, Blinn-Phong, Flat Shading and etc.
  3. Chapter three, Loading the Game Scenes, demonstrate how to load the game scene and lighting up the scene using multiple lights and shaders.
  4. Chapter four, Applying Textures, covers how to sample the textures for primitives. Also it will help you how to parsing UV coordinates from blender in the json format.  It will help you to understand mip-mapping technique and types of filtering modes. In the final section of this chapter you will learn about cube mapping and multi-texturing techniques.
  5. Chapter five, Camera and User Interaction, introduces model-view & perspective transformations in order to implement the free camera and orbit camera. Also learns how to handle the mouse & keyboard interactions.
  6. Chapter six, Applying Textures and Simple Animations to  Our Scene, in this chapter,  you will apply textures to the scene and also you will animate the objects.  It will start by simulating a first-person camera and take it forward by giving weapons to the character in 5000 AD. This chapter will introduce you to different animation techniques used in game engines.
  7. Chapter seven, Physics and Terrains, is about simulating physics. It will compare the JavaScript 3D physics engines with each other ( Ammo.js, Box2dweb and JigLibJS). Adding gravity and rigid body to the scene and implementing forces, impulse and collision detection and finally implementing height maps for the terrain.
  8. Chapter eight, Skinning and Animations, covers basic understanding of simple skinning and smooth skinning. It will help you how to load animation data for rigged model. It will help you how to export 3D models from Blender or any other formats such as FBX/Collada/3DS/MD5Mesh and MD5Anim.
  9. Chapter nine, Ray Casting and Filters, presents the following topics: Basic concepts of ray casting,  how to use ray casting in order to implementing picking,  FrameBuffers and implementing filters using framebuffers.
  10. Chapter ten, 2D Canvas and Multiplayer Games, discuss the concepts of HTML-based multiplayer games. It will then discuss Node.js and the Socket.IO API to implement a spectator player who can see what is happening in the game.

In abstract, the book contains a lot of knowledge and interesting topics. The good news is “I have teamed up with Packt to give away 4 copies of this book. All you need to win them is to check the product description here and write in the comments sections about what interests you most about the book , 4 best comments will be selected as winners”

7 thoughts on “Book Review | WebGL Game Development”

  1. The final chapter is really interesting to me. I need a good reference for Node.JS along with WebGL for my project. 🙂

  2. What will most interesting to me about this book is the application of WebGL towards games. I have read the OpenGL series (Red, Blue, Orange, White) since the beginning and they are good to learn API’s with, but don’t necessarily apply them in a project or genre setting. Books that cover that come later when the API has been out for a while. WebGL Game Development will provide a direction into a genre that is fun and learning at the same time and in our “done yesterday, mobile, social” kind of world, timelines are measured as heartbeats. This new books timing is going to set the pace well.

  3. Book definitely looks interesting.

    I’ve done quite a bit of OpenGL and I’m currently writing a series of Screencasts for WebGL. I’m not really covering game development, and I’d love to explore the game development aspect of WebGL and I’m sure this book will offer many insights there.

  4. I’ve been getting to grips with WebGL for about a year now and run a free workshop here in London. I’m curious to see how the author copes without using an existing library like THREEex.js or Babylon.js, and whether a reason is given for doing so.
    I’d be particularly interested in chapter 7 (physics), chapter 10 (multi-player) and which dev tools and other resources, if any, are recommended.

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