Developing games in JavaScript: let’s talk about the basics

Developing games in JavaScript: let’s talk about the basics

Not many people can master the art of coding. Fortunately, in today’s advanced tech world, developing games is easier than ever before. It’s important to know the basic of game development prior to getting a shot at creating the next Angry Birds phenomenon. Using JavaScript to create things can be simple since the coding language doesn’t require many external tools apart from a text editor. The very first thing you’ll perceive in programming is that variables are elementary. They’re used to store data, and in JavaScript variables are written as “var”.
For example:

varplayerName = “Om Nom”;

 

As for the types of variables, there are 3 categories programmers should be aware of:

  • Strings – text that will always be placed in quotes
  • Numbers – these can be positive or negative, fraction numbers
  • Booleans – statements that can be true/false. Programmers can use 0-false or 1-true

 

Arrays and variables

Some of the most common elements game developers will want to store when crafting a game in JavaScript are: name of the player, score or status (alive, injured, dead, etc.). Furthermore, you are free to store anything you want in a variable. Arrays for example, are much like variables but they consist of more than a single value, they’re like lists. In a game, Arrays monitor the items that can be found in a player’s inventory. Incredibly versatile, Arrays can be used to preserve various types of data structures. A table-like structure with columns and rows of values is pretty common. This kind of structure is basic and is commonly used to tile maps.

 

Objects and functions

To create more intricate data structures game programmers depend on Objects. An Object is more like a container that keeps variables, arrays and functions (blocks of code). Here’s how you create an Object:

var player = {};

The process resembles the creation of an Array, however the values attached to an Object are not in order.

When the developer attaches a variable to an object it becomes that object’s property. In order to gain access to its value, it must be called by its name: player.name; in this case, the name would be “Om Nom”. There’s also a possibility to attribute Arrays to Objects. In JavaScript, Objects are extremely authoritative, and should be employed to organize and store data such as information about the player, level details, game settings, and even logic of the game. As the developer keeps building the game, he will ultimately need a place to stock the code’s instructions. For this process he is going to use functions.

Functions permit the developer to produce containers of refillable instructions; additionally, they allow the JavaScript creator to decide when and if a block of code gets excluded. This is a common process where you are advised to mix 2 variables (like a player’s first and last name). Run in JavaScript, the code will execute the command instantly and there will be no ways to go back. Functions allow developers to control how and when an action happens. Considering that functions have their own scope, there’s no way of accessing the first/last name of the variables. Fortunately, you can apply modifications if you use parameters.

 

Loops

Any type of game depends on the Loop, and all game engines contain a single loop known as “game loop”. It basically deals with running and updating each frame in the game, and ultimately drawing it on the display. A game loop draws the graphics and allows a game to advance without making the gamer/user/player perform any new action. Although it’s simple enough to create a game loop, you might want to consider using an EASEJS library in order to benefit from the array of other exciting.

So these are the basics one must consider while developing games in JavaScript. If you found these tips useful don’t forget to like and share our post! :)  

 

This is the guest post by Christopher Austin by Train Games 365!