Our games need to look unique. There's nothing we can do to fight that. Good artists are great at creating amazing characters and environments but programmers can open a whole new world of possibilities and customization by leveraging the power of shaders.
This book is the first in a series of 4 books and will provide you with the basic understanding of what a shader is, why we need them, how colors are represented, how to display a texture on screen, and how to mix colors using blending modes.
About the series
In the past few years, while working on Nubarron and 4drop, I got really frustrated about the lack of information on how to design shader effects in 2D. Most of the books and tutorials are about 3D, and one may thing that transfering that knowledge to 2D is easy. Well.. not really.
I found out that there is a sub-set of basic techniques that are pretty useful in 2D, and don't require you to learn a lot of the 3D stuff, specially lighting models, the first thing that every shader tutorial/book talks about.
The series is aimed at independent game developers that want to make their own 2D games visually unique. You’ll need some understanding on programming. If you can code your own logic in C# scripts inside Unity you’re good to go.
If you haven’t coded a game in the past it’s likely that these books are not for you. I suggest you take an introductory Unity course first, work on some prototypes until you’re comfortable with programming and then read the books.
The series will help you differentiate your games from others that use nothing but built-in shaders, make use of the GPU to generate movement and effects on static sprites, generate full-screen effects and learn techniques to do illumination on 2D scenes.