This site has been the birth-place of several books on software development. The first was The Essential Guide To Flash Games, released in 2010, published by Apress/Friends Of Ed.
This book was born out the tutorials we posted on the site in the four previous years. All new and previously unpublished material, the book covered writing Flash games from the ground-up using all the skills we had mastered building games over the previous decade.
The book was published in the height of “Flash Game Era”, and it shows. One of the chapters covers “viral Flash Games”, and instructs budding game developers how to publish their games with viral advertisements on the now defunct (but beloved) Mochi Games platform.
This book was supposed to include information on publishing to iOS devices. However, just a few days before the text was being finalized, Steve Jobs announced that “Flash would never be on the iPad”. This threw us, and the publisher for a loop. However, all ended well. Flash still had a few good years left in it after this , and unlike 90% of the books published every years it went on to make a profit.
We still get emails about this book, from people trying to learn to make games in Flash. It’s always nice to hear from people who have been inspired to make their own creations from the information provided.
In the process of promoting the book, we created this fake “Infomercial” for it an posted it on Youtube.com. This was at the time of “The Snuggie” which at the time we felt was the best/worst product ever made. See if you can spot “The Snuggie” hidden in the video.
- You can get the source code for the book here! (New location)
- Having Trouble?: Read the Errata FAQ here: http://www.8bitrocket.com/2010/05/03/essential-guide-to-flash-games-errata-f-a-q/
- Play The 10 Games In The Book (most of them still work! You need Flash installed and running in your browser though). You will notice many of them they all have a very “retro” feel. Sue us, that’s what we like.
.Our 2nd book was HTML5 Canvas , published by O’Reilly in 2011. This book came directly from our experience with Steve Jobs, Flash, and our first book, The Essential Guide To Flash Games. It became apparent to us that Flash, running in a browser, was going to disappear.
We were not happy about this. Both of us has spent the previous 10 years basing our careers on building kids entertainment web sites and games in Flash. However, with the writing on the wall, we looked for what might be the “replacement” for Flash and we found it in the HTML5 Canvas.
This was actually the first book ever published on the subject and led to speaker slots for us at several DevCon 5 developer conventions and a few teaching engagements at major corporations.
It was a very popular title for O’Reilly, and spent a few days in the #1 Slot on the Amazon Game Programming charts in 2011. It sold well enough that O’Reilly awarded us with framed covers of the book to commemorate sales (photo to the right)
In what we felt was a salute to our old favorite technology, we dedicated the book “To Flash”. We thought it was cute and irreverent, until our dad died three months later, and we wished we had dedicated it to him instead.
Our third book was the 2nd Edition of HTML Canvas, released in 2013. The book was completely overhauled, and we added 30% new content. This version of the book was even more popular than the first. It was translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Korean (and possibly other languages).
It is now used as a text book and is still in print, almost four years later.
The source code the 2nd edition is available here:
Anything is possible. One of us has been working on a generation-x memoir based on the Atari Memoirs series on this site, but as for technical books, we will have to see might interest us in the future.
Want to read the full story of ho these books came together? See the Stories below
- Atari 800 Christmas 1983: Newly Scanned Photos
- River Raid 2020: My High Score Finally Arrives
- S3:E25: 1981 – Atari VCS Christmas
- The Pitfalls Of Trying To Recreate Atari Christmas 1982 in 2020
- S3:E24: Three Ghosts From Christmas Past
- Atari ST/E Santa Goes Berzerk #1 Exploring the STOS Standard Feature Set
- Pokey Player Sound Tool (Atari 7800)
- XEGS Games Carts that should have been – if Atari had decided to continue. Vol 1
- Atari ST / STE / Mega STE Activision Game Reviews Vol 2: From Galaxy Force 2 to R-Type 2
- Into the Vertical Blank: Generation Atari S3:E23 Companion Video
- Using A8bit #fujinet to play “Pet” Galaga from – Homesoft Game Disk 404
- S3:E23: Why We Are Thankful for STOS: The Game Creator
- Zamboozal Poker Dice – Atari ST (1990)
- STOS Tutorial #2: Brute force Blitter Sprites, Joysticks and more.
- STOS Tutorial #1: Setup STOS On Hatari and Blitter Hello World
- S3:E22: Haunted House and the top 27 Scary Things For Atari Fans
- Atari ST / STE and Mega STE Activision Game Reviews: Action / Arcade Games Episode 1
- S3E21: News Update! Plus the Top-50 Toys and Products from the 1977 Sears Wish Book
- Atari ST Series Computer Games that Rock Vol 3
- Atari ST Computer Games that Rocked the Hardware Vol 2
- S3:E20: The Ballad Of Castle Park Arcade
- Atari ST Computer Games that Rocked the Hardware Vol 1
- Missing STOS Extension Files: FOUND!
- S3:E19: How Fujinet and Irata-Online Give Plato New Life
- Number Crusher 7800 Homebrew Demo Videos #1 and #2
- Book Review: “The Making Of Karateka” by Jordan Mechner
- S3:E18: News Updates and Musing On The Amazing “Karateka”
- S3 E17: Our Top 50 Favorite Games from Atari
- Atari 7800 Zone/Sprite Benchmark tool
- S3:E16: GCC Part 2: Ms. Pac-Man and the Sad Fate of the The Atari 7800
- Video: Legacy of the Beast a 2nd look and Aeriform Q and A
- S3:E15 How A Few MIT Dropouts Became Atari’s Secret Weapon
- Anco Kick Off for the Atari 8bit. Written and Video Review.
- S3:E14 Tempest, Yars’ Revenge And The Advent Of Hardcore Games
- Xenon 2 Atari STE – 8bitchip HD Version with DMA Sound
- S3:E13: Common Off The Shelf Dad : A Father’s Day Story
- Legacy of the Beast Home brew for the Atari 2600 review and game play of the beta
- Review and Video game play: Tempest Elite +, Megaoids, Venture 48K, Animal Keeper
- Video and text review: Atari 400/800/XL/XE Prototype Carts #1: Tower Toppler, Super Pac-man, Berzerk, Xenophobe
- S3:E12 :Atari News In A Time When You Probably Shouldn’t Care About Such Things
- ST-LOG Feature Scan: Ancient Corridors. A Three part guide to Dungeon Master by Bob Retelle Issues 24,25,26
- S3:E11 Interview With Game Developer Jon Williams
- The Atari 8bit and ST Games by Jon Williams
- S3:E10 : May 2020 News And Notes For Those Who Grew-Up Atari
- Zeno Fighter Prototype Game Retrospective Video
- Champ Games Atari 2600 Robotron 2084 Beta (First public release)
- Brickbasher – 2600 (WIP) – My first Atari VCS Game
- Atari 7800 Homebrew Carts Play time #1. Time Salvo, Baby Pac-Man, Froggie, Moon Cresta
- S3:E9: One Left Turn: Discovering the Atari 8bit Computers In 1981
- S3:E8 Westworld Redux 1976: Our First Venture In An Arcade
- S3:E7 Discussion with Curt Vendel about the Atari 7800 XM Module
- S3:E6: I Want Candy. Atari’s Biggest Mistake Part 3: A Discussion with Curt Vendel
- S3:E5: Monthly News and Notes for those who grew up Atari.
- S3:E4: Atari’s Biggest Mistake Part 2: Game Player Non Expandable
- S3:E3: Dan Kitchen Interview Part 2: The First “Pro Brew” Game Developer
- S3:E2 Dan Kitchen Interview Part One: The Rise Of The Kitchen Brothers
- S3:E1: Atari’s Biggest Mistake (part 1)
- S2:E19 : It’s A Clip Show! “Best Of” moments From Season 1 and Season 3 Preview
- s2:18 Bonus #2: Pork Chops And Retro Games Sizzle At CES 2020
- S2:E17: Bonus – Book Review Of Galaga From Boss Fight Books And More!
- S2:E16 Finale: The Best Atari Christmas Ever
- S2:E15: The Atari 7800 and ST. Our Next Gen Super Systems
- S2:E14 – Asteroids 40th Anniversary
- S2:E13: Mind Games And The Haunting of the Vertical Blank
- S2:E12: Star Wars and Atari In The Vertical Blank : Part 2
- S2:E11: Star Wars and Atari In The Vertical Blank : Part 1
- S2:E10: Playing Outside in Generation X
- S2:e9: DragonStomper And The Birth Of Console RPGs
- S2:E8 The Exact Moment Nintendo Won the Video Game War
- Armageddon In The Morning (The Alarm: “Sigma” Album Review)
- S2:E7: Claw Hammer : Father’s Day Special Edition
- S2:E6: Why We Collect Atari
- S2: E5 Electronic Games Magazine
- S2:E4: The Top-10 Worst Real-Life Products For Classic Video Gamers
- S2:E3 We always wanted to work for Atari
- S2:E2: Going, Going, Gone
- s2:E1.5 Friday Display List: Feedback and response
- S2:E1: The Disappearance Of Charlie Chuck : Where Is Atari’s Food Fight?
- Commercial Off-The-Shelf, Dad : Why My Dad Never Joined The Computer Revolution
- “Perfect!” : Book Review: Galaga By Michael Kimball
- Bonus Podcast: A Trip To The Retro City Festival In Pomona, CA
- S1:E10 Christmas In The Vertical Blank
- s1:e9: The Weird Family Thanksgiving In the Vertical Blank
- S1:E8: The Bronze Age Of Arcade Games
- S1:E7 – Playing Together, Side By Side
- S1:E6 – Interfaces are where two worlds collide
- Atari Play field – Atari ST games #1 : Michtron.