JavaScript

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JavaScript is a scripting language used by most web-browsers. Roguelikes can also use it as a scripting language (e.g. for scripted events or quests). This allows changing game behavior without recompiling. Some browser-based roguelikes are written in Javascript or its Microsoft relative JScript (and JScript.NET).

Contents

Development Hints

  • Use jsLint[1] to avoid many mistakes that are normally caught by a compiler
  • Javascript frameworks abstract many of the browser inconsistencies. (MooTools[2], JQuery[3])
  • Take advantage of Firebug for Firefox, the Web Inspector for Chrome and Safari and the Developer Tools in Internet Explorer (version 8 and above)
  • Full IDEs are available including Microsoft Visual Studio Web Developer Express, Aptana and NetBeans.

Advantages

  • Scripting languages usually have a faster feedback loop between development and viewing the changes
  • Closures are a powerful language construct that can simplify application structure and enhance readability
  • Any user with a modern browser (on any platform) can run your game
  • A whole new world of easy-to-access graphical possibilities with the DOM or <canvas>
  • Working in a dynamic and garbage collected language takes a lot of the pain out of strong typing and memory management
  • Well supported serialization of data structures using JSON
  • Emerging HTML5 standards provide support for local storage of data
  • Emerging web application stores, such as the Google Chrome Store, provide a distribution platform

Disadvantages

  • Many errors that are caught at compile-time in a strongly typed language will be caught at run-time
  • Existing source for most roguelikes is in C or C++, and not all idioms translate into javascript
  • There are browser differences in javascript implementations and javascript speed, so true portability still takes work
  • Javascript is much slower than C and C++ (however, not all roguelikes require blazing speed)
  • Full filesystem access requires additional plugins


Roguelikes in Javascript

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