Pile-o-Gears — Speed coding with Jaws

Pile-o-Gears is a simple, yet addictive platformer built by Christer Kaitila using the Jaws engine. Just another platform game, you say? Not quite! Consider that this particular game was built in only 48 minutes (with some help from existing code)!

The smooth framerate and limited development time fed my intrigue of Jaws, a 2D game library which supports both canvas and DOM-based elements. The simplicity of syntax and separation of game logic is thoughtfully done. A basic game setup in Jaws looks like so:

jaws.start({
    setup: function() {
        // Initialization code -- called once
    },
    update: function() {
        // Game logic -- called each game tick
    },
    draw: function() {
        // Drawing logic -- called each game tick, AFTER update()
    }
});

In particular, separating the update() and draw() method calls allows you to optimize your repaints which can slow down your intervals—something we will cover in-depth in a future tutorial here on CreativeJS. Jaws is far from alone in the JavaScript game engine arena, but it will be great to see what else can be made with it.

Do you have any experience with Jaws or other gaming engines? We’d love to hear your experiences! Also be sure to give Pile-o-Gears a few minutes of your time to play (so you can be awesome, too) and read up on Christer’s experience while you’re at it.

4 thoughts on “Pile-o-Gears — Speed coding with Jaws

  1. I’ve had a fair bit of luck with the enchantjs engine. I had taken a look at Jaws, as well, but a flip of the coin had me trying enchantjs first. Their documentation seem to be equally as terse as one another — just jsdoc stuff, from what I can find.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Kevin! I’m a big fan of Ippa Lix’s work on JawsJS. I think that what makes the best game engine for rapid dev is one that is “content controlled” – in this case, being able to “draw the game” in photoshop rather than having any level editor data file import hassles. To see a more polished game using this exact same codebase (representing about 8 hours of work, nearly all of which was in photoshop), check out my GDC pirate kart game, Leaping Lizabeth and the Rising Lava of Doom:
    http://www.mcfunkypants.com/2012/rising-lava-of-doom-html5-game/

    • Pretty fun little game, managed to get to the end :D. I’m really interested in using this Jaws library as a starting point for a game, it looks pretty lightweight.

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