So how can beginners and the scrappy self-taught among us overcome the challenge of learning new vocabularies and concepts in Node.js? Perhaps by making a game. Games are familiar, fun, and engaging. They get your creativity and problem-solving skills going, and they are a great opportunity to create and learn on your own in your free time. If you make a game and it sucks, congratulations: you have completed the most important rite of passage, and you are now officially a game developer.
I encourage more seasoned Node.js developers to make a game and share the code with others who are just starting out. Your fun project might be just the push someone needs to advance through the self-paced learning process.
Here are links to two fun Node.js projects I built this year. The source code is available for these projects as well.
- ConnectedNES: a WiFi modem peripheral and twitter stream for the original NES game console.
- the dealwithit bot: A web app that uses computer vision to drop pixelated shades on everyone in a photo.
If you're interested in trying your hand at making a Node.js game, here are a few other open-source games and amusements to get you started. Most of these are accompanied by step-by-step tutorials.
- Anagrammatix: A multiplayer word game by Eric Terpstra.
- FrozenBot: A voice-activated singing doll by Gabrielle Crevecoeur.
- netpong: An online Pong clone by Opher Vishnia.
- Node.js Drawing App: A collaborative canvas by Martin Angelov.
- Real-time Chess: An online chess game by David Washington.
- Node.js for Beginners by Maciej Sopyło
- NODESCHOOL by... lots of collaborators!
- Programming--the Real Basics! by Chris Heilmann
I also keep a running list of coding bookmarks—all languages, all skill levels—in the Resources section of No Bad Memories. Do check it out!
Working on a game with Node.js? Reach out on twitter if you do that sort of thing. I'd love to see what you're working on!
Posted November 20 at 8:48 AM while hanging out in Nashville.