getting started in JavaScript game development

By now you’ve no doubt heard about “JavaScript” and “game development”. JavaScript is an excellent starting point for not only learning how to create games, but also how to create your software in general.

Before we get started in learning more about JavaScript game making, we should go through some typical tools and libraries that are available for online game content creation.

JavaScript Game Frameworks and Engines

There are quite a few JavaScript game frameworks out there, and when I say “quite a few”, I mean literally “quite a few dozen”. There are many projects in this area, with more springing up from time to time.

HTML5 Game Engines has many many HTML5 game engines and frameworks listed, as well as this Game Engines wiki page.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/toddler-girl-s-in-pool-ball-1296074/
“I found the game engines mommy!”

So where does one start? How can we possibly sift through this massive pile of entries?

Some popular options

If you’re just getting started, then there are way too many to go through and analyze; You can forget about creating a prototype or sample with each one — it’ll take you quite a while.

Here’s a list of some popular options which have proven track records — not only for “beginner easy”, but also for use in high quality online games.

  1. Phaser – “a fast, fun and free open source HTML5 game framework”. It’s tough to argue against reaching for Phaser for your online game development needs. Spearheaded by Richard Davey, @photonstorm, who first cut his teeth with the (then popular) Flash toolkit Flixel, Phaser has a good track record of features and performance across desktop and mobile web browsers.
  2. Pixi.js – The WebGL based game creation engine. While not specifically marketed as a “game engine”, the Goodboy team has put a lot of focus and work into creating an optimized WebGL toolkit that can be pulled into any JavaScript projects — most noteably games.

  3. Create.js – “A suite of modular libraries and tools which work together or independently to enable rich interactive content on open web technologies via HTML5.”. Again, it’s another toolkit that’s not really marketed or branded as a “game engine” per se, but is an extremely popular choice for creating online games. Originally created by Grant Skinner, @gskinner, it is probably the closest library which uses ActionScript3-like lingo and concepts; popular from the Flash era of game creation.
  4. “Vanilla Js” – Depending on your project and game requirements, not using any real framework is also a viable option in the online world of game creation. There are lots of projects which focus on story telling and/or other “low tech” game design which allows for creative use of web programming.

These are some of the more popular options in getting started with JavaScript game development.

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