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 All new and previously unpublished material, the book covered writing Flash games from the ground-up using all the skills we had mastered building games over the previous decade.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
- s5:e3 Xenon 2 and the Atari ST Halcyon Days of 1989 Part 1
- S5:E2: Atari 50th Anniversary: Our Top-50 Atari Games (from 2020)
- Atari 8bit Gaming Gems Vol 2: 25 Great Games + Notes and Ratings
- “Orion Assault” 7800 Homebrew
- E27: 68 Reasons Why We Love Mike Peters
- Atari 8bit Gaming Gems Vol 1: 25 Great Games + Notes and Ratings
- Barbie Fashion Frenzy (2008)
- Atari ST / STE Gaming Gems: Vol 5 – 20 more well crafted games
- S5: E1 – Generation Atari
- Atari’s Biggest Mistake: 40th Anniversary of Atari’s Pac-Man-Day, April 3, 1982
- S4:E14: Atari Pac-Man Day 40th Anniversary Documentary
- S4: E13: Bonus Atari ST Games That Rock: LLamatron ++: Llamatron, Jeff Minter and Heart of Neon
- S4:E12 Xmas 1984 : BBS: Demented and Sad, But Social
- December 1984 Computer and Game Advertisements
- Video: What’s in the Cart Box: Atari 8bit Homebrew and Repro Loose Carts #1
- Video: What’s in the Disk Box? #1: Atari ST Commercial Games
- Atari ST Action Issue 55 (Cover Disk #46): The lost disk of Accelerator Hs been found!
- S4:E11 Sanctuary in Pelnor: The First Atari ST Role-Playing Games
- Video: Atari ST/STE Games That rock Vol 4
- Video: Let’s play Paul Lay’s Atari 8bit Scramble port on my XEGS
- Video: Kick Off 2 on my Atari STFM and SC1224 Monitor
- S4:E10: Atari ST Games the Early Years
- STOS Scramble Port #1: STOS CODE Optimizations
- STOS Tutorial #3: VSCODE Plug-in Development Pipeline and MissingLInk Hello World.
- S4:E9: Charley Chuck Has Been Found Alive!
- S4:E8: The Disappearance Of Charlie Chuck – Remaster
- S4:E7: A Joyous Noise: Adventures With The Pokey Audio Chip
- Into The Vertical Blank Season 4 Theme Video
- Album Review: COLOURSØUND II
- S4:E6 Top-10 Atari 400/800 Games Atari Should Remake For The VCS
- Space Raiders 7800 Homebrew Video
- Video: Let’s play Atari 8Bit Ninja
- Video: Let’s play Kid Gloves Atari ST (1990)
- Video: Install, Setup and Play GameBaseST 4.0B
- Video: Atari ST Crazy Cars Series
- S4:E5 Discovering the Atari 400: Star Raiders, Caverns Of Mars, Miner 2049er
- S4:E4: Rest In Peace Marz
- Video: Let’s play Atari 8Bit: X:8 ABBUC Winner 2013
- Video: Let’s Play Atari STE Upgraded Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge (2021)
- Atari SA Analysis: Will They Support Or Throttle The Atari Homebrew Community?
- S4:E3: An In-Depth Interview With David Crane, Garry Kitchen, Dan Kitchen from Audacity Games
- Unboxing VIP Circus Convoy From Audacity Games: New Atari VCS Game (video)
- How The Atari 2600 Almost Killed Me (video)
- XEGS Carts that Should Have been Vol 2
- Our Latest Atari 8bit Computer Videos
- S4:E2: How The Atari VCS Almost Killed Me. Plus the 9 VCS Launch Games And Circus Convoy
- Brickbasher:How The Atari 2600 Almost Killed Me!
- Never Let The Fires Die #26: War and The Alarm Central
- S4:E1: 1981 -Atari Coin Ops Avalanche, Firetruck, Super Bug and Dominos and games you’ll never see.
- 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
- 3:E15: Steve Golson Interview Part 1: How GCC 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