JavaScript via Games (part 1)

Most of my experience at this point is with the Udemy JS course How to Program Games: Tile Classics in JS for HTML5 Canvas.

I’ll mention that even though it was not part of the official course instructions I actually used GitHub to make my progress available as I went. This was to learn git and GitHub that much better and so I could pick up progress on various PCs if I wanted. And I ended up using at least 4 different machines to work on this (my git usage is covered in more detail in another post).

I already knew some level of JS and HTML before I started this course. I wanted to go a little more advanced and learn something of game dev in particular. I mean the very basics no-nothing rudimentary level of game creation basics. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I got.

I am often tired of tutorials that seem too basic or at least walk through all the basics yet again. It gets tiring after a while to put it mildly. This course started out slow and basic and ramped up pretty good. And that’s what I want I think: starting out overlapping with my existing knowledge then expanding out into unknown territory.

It starts out with something of a Breakout-like game including testing the game and fixing some apparent bugs left over and finally finishes it. Would I be able to write my own Breakout clone from scratch? I don’t think so. I think I could modify the one created though.

Then he moves on to a two player overhead racing game. The breakout game is re-factored and things are re-named to fit with the new game and eventually some object orientation is introduced. By the end there’s a hardly anything left of the original breakout game.

I don’t know how long or how many takes it took to create all those lectures but the author/creator/instructor certainly pulled it off I think. I didn’t like the quick cuts or the ever so brief on screen corrections that are only there for a moment. It made the course that much harder to follow.

The race car game was based around this grid of different numbers: 0s, 1s, 2s, 3s etc. This grid made up the track and were associated with different tiles that had different properties. This game I most definitely could not re-produce even while following the lectures never mind on my own.

This entry seems to have also turned into more of a review. I actually wanted to talk more about my plan for a process of learning programming JS in particular through game related tutorials. This idea for an entry will have to come later.

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