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Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook [Paperback]

Nathan Burba
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 54.38 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Dec 12 2011

Over 100 recipes for iOS 2D game development using cocos2d

  • Discover advanced Cocos2d, OpenGL ES, and iOS techniques spanning all areas of the game development process
  • Learn how to create top-down isometric games, side-scrolling platformers, and games with realistic lighting
  • Full of fun and engaging recipes with modular libraries that can be plugged into your project

In Detail

Cocos2d for iPhone is a robust but simple-to-use 2D game framework for iPhone. It is easy to use, fast, flexible, free, and Appstore approved. More than 2500 AppStore games already use it, including many best-seller games. Do you want to take your cocos2d game development skills to the next level and become more professional in cocos2d game design?

Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook will help you reach that next level. You will find over 100 recipes here that explain everything from the drawing of a single sprite to AI pathfinding and advanced networking. Full working examples are emphasized.

Starting with the first chapter, Graphics, you will be taken through every major topic of game development. You will find both simple and complex recipes in the book.

Each recipe is either a solution to a common problem (playing video files, accelerometer steering) or a cool advanced technique (3D rendering, textured polygons).

This cookbook will have you creating professional quality iOS games quickly with its breadth of working example code.

What you will learn from this book

  • Render, manipulate, animate, and optimize Cocos2d sprites, primitives and particles
  • Learn advanced graphical techniques including 2D lighting, rendering textured polygons, and drawing 3D primitive shapes
  • Use third party libraries for data, networking, and more
  • Gain a deep understanding of the Box2D physics engine
  • Create multiplayer networked games and games with intelligent AI actors
  • Learn tips, tricks, and best practices used by professional game developers

Approach

This book is full of fun and engaging recipes with modular libraries that can be plugged into your project. Each recipe consists of explained code accompanied by screenshots for your understanding.

Who this book is written for

If you want to elevate your basic Cocos2d project to the next level, this is the book for you. Some understanding of Objective-C and Cocos2d is recommended. People with some programming experience may also find this book useful.


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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars many examples of methods for iOS games April 12 2012
Format:Paperback
It would certainly help if you already have started coding in Cocos2d within the Apple iOS environment. Burba does not waste space on how to install it. The book helpfully points out that Cocos2d is approved by Apple for its App Store program. Keep in mind that this of course does not mean that something you develop with it will automatically inherit that approval. Like every other app for Apple iOS, you need to submit it and wait for the presumed approval.

The merit of the book is the sheer number of recipes. Covering every aspect of game programming you are likely to need. Now this does not necessarily mean it will have the precise answer to some coding problem you have. But the sweep of the book's examples increases the odds that you can glean programming hints from a recipe.

The complexity of the recipes varies considerably. Each chapter is about some overall topic, like audio. Often, the introductory recipes in the chapter are about basic usages. For the audio chapter, this inlcudes how to play sounds and music, and how to play streaming audio. But a chapter might have as its final examples some recipes that pull in much harder logic. So the audio chapter ends with an example of how to use speech recognition and Text to Speech [TTS]. This uses the well known Sphinx Knowledge Base package from Carnegie Mellon. The book's explanation is all too brief. It just hints at the underlying complexity of the speech recogniser. Useful however if you want to pursue an advanced app with sophisticated user input modality.

Another chapter, on Artificial Intelligence and logic, is perhaps slightly hyped. What it gives as examples of AI are just algorithms, that are not particularly intricate.
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Format:Paperback
If you've had some experience with development in Objective C on the iphone, and want to learn how to develop games, this is a great cookbook. The book starts with an introduction to graphics, animated sprites, and OpenGL, but delves quickly into more advanced topics, such as writing and reading using different file formats, creating an isometric game 'engine', integrating box2d physics, and using the A* algorithm for pathfinding.
I've been creating games for a few years, and did learn some good tips and techniques in this book, but some of them I had already learned through trial and error on my own.

So if you have programming experience, and have started game development in the past, or created a small game, this book could save you lots of time, learning tools needed to create full games, versus figuring it out on your own over a long period of time. If you're already an experienced game developer, and newer to using Objective C, this book might still be useful for seeing how to translate from development on other devices to on the iphone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cooking Cocos Feb. 1 2012
By mko TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Cocos2d for iPhone is a typical cookbook. That means you will find here lots of recipes useful during iPhone development. Book is well structured. Each chapter is devoted to different aspect of development. There are topics covering basic topics like simple graphics manipulation but also cover physics related ones. One remark here. Not all topics are strictly related to Cocos2d. It can be slightly misleading by tittle that implies Cocos2d library will be discussed in the book. For example JSON, XML and PLIST are covered by TouchJSON, GDataXML and Cocoa libraries respectively. The same refers to SQLite related topics. You could argue whether this kind of topics should be put into book devoted to Cocos2d ' no matter what, tittle suggests it is strictly graphics related. On the other hand, maybe it can be useful as sooner or later you will face these issues during game development.

What I liked about the book? The structure of the recipes. They are nearly identical and you always know what to expect. At first, you get the description of the problem, how to prepare the environment, and eventually how to code the solution. There is also an explanation of how and why everything works. From time to time you will also find 'there is more' section that points to valuable resources.

What I didn't like? I think there are too much source code in the book. I know it is easier to read when you have the code in front of you, but I am pretty sure that most of the people will use the book together with their laptops and XCode running aside. So, in my opinion, basing on example source codes would be just fine. And the book would occupy less place on the book shelf.

Anyway, I think it is worth considering to by this book (at least e-book format) just to have some nice recipes by you hand. Not all of them are applicable in each case, but still, they cover quite a loot of topics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now. No, seriously. Buy it now. Jan. 31 2012
Format:Paperback
We absolutely guarantee that just about anyone will find the book worth way more than its price in time saved. To see for yourself, head over to the book's website -- [...] -- and check out the Explore The Book section for videos and explanations of the recipes in each ' and download the demo apps. Yep, the demo apps, there's free demo apps up on the store for you to check out the recipes in action: check them out at [...]and see for yourself how to *really* support a book!

Also check out the book's thread on the cocos2d-iphone forums for some subtle understated commentary like
' 'This book looks like it is going to be a requirement in every developer's library!'
' 'Ok, I have read a handful of recipes and I am completely sold. This is an awesome book.'
' ''every developer needs to have this book.'
' 'this book is an absolute must for anyone developing cocos2d apps.'
' 'Great book, instant buy!'

Gee, gushing much? But it actually does deserve all that and more. Let us take the very first recipe, 'Drawing sprites'. Oh for crying out loud, you think, how does that merit a recipe? Is this thing going to be full of fluff I already know? Well, no actually, that simple sounding recipe goes over drawing from files, images, textures, and frames; explains mipmapping and batch nodes; and tops it off with colorizing rectangles. Well, that is pretty good for a first recipe, isn't it now.

The first graphics chapter goes on to cover not only common drawing and animating but movie playing, particle effects, simple 3D effects, texture animation, palette swapping, screenshots, parallax, and lighting. Pretty much a worthwhile purchase already, and we're barely started!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samples alone are worth every dime! Jan. 6 2012
By Brad Parks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's tons of samples in this book that cover a diverse set of topics in Cocos2d.

Having been in the Cocos2d forums for over 2 years, I know that most of these samples touch base with complex topics that *will* be of value to almost every cocos2d developer.

Here's link to video overviews of each chapter on YouTube. In short - GET THIS BOOK!

Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook

Chapter 1 - Graphics
[...]

Chapter 1 - User Input
[...]

Chapter 3 - Files and Data
[...]

Chapter 4 - Physics
[...]

Chapter 5 - Scenes and Menus
[...]

Chapter 6 - Audio
[...]

Chapter 7 - AI and Logic
[...]

Chapter 8 - Tips and Tricks
[...]

Chapter 9 - Ads, Networking and Social (Extra via email)
[...]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immediately Useful! Jan. 28 2012
By fattjake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are a Cocos2D developer this book will save you some serious time. I was immediately able to make use of the platformer A Star algorithm in a project I am currently working on. I recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great cookbook March 12 2012
By R. Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is filled with code examples on how to do various things with Cocos2d. There are lots of different things covered and the author has a project available to see everything in action. The time you save makes it well worth the cost.

I admit the explanations are a little on the short side, but this is a cookbook after all, so I can't fault it for that. On the other hand, you should be prepared for that if you intend to purchase it.

If you are new to Cocos2d, you're better off with "Learning Cocos2d" by Wenderlich as it`s meant for beginners to Cocos2d.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now. No, seriously. Buy it now. Jan. 31 2012
By Alex Curylo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We absolutely guarantee that just about anyone will find the book worth way more than its price in time saved. To see for yourself, head over to the book's website -- [...] -- and check out the Explore The Book section for videos and explanations of the recipes in each ... and download the demo apps. Yep, the demo apps, there's free demo apps up on the store for you to check out the recipes in action: check them out at [...] and see for yourself how to *really* support a book!

Also check out the book's thread on the cocos2d-iphone forums for some subtle understated commentary like
* "This book looks like it is going to be a requirement in every developer's library!"
* "Ok, I have read a handful of recipes and I am completely sold. This is an awesome book."
* "...every developer needs to have this book."
* "this book is an absolute must for anyone developing cocos2d apps."
* "Great book, instant buy!"

Gee, gushing much? But it actually does deserve all that and more. Let us take the very first recipe, "Drawing sprites". Oh for crying out loud, you think, how does that merit a recipe? Is this thing going to be full of fluff I already know? Well, no actually, that simple sounding recipe goes over drawing from files, images, textures, and frames; explains mipmapping and batch nodes; and tops it off with colorizing rectangles. Well, that is pretty good for a first recipe, isn't it now.

The first graphics chapter goes on to cover not only common drawing and animating but movie playing, particle effects, simple 3D effects, texture animation, palette swapping, screenshots, parallax, and lighting. Pretty much a worthwhile purchase already, and we're barely started!

Second chapter covers user input of varying types, including virtual joysticks, d-pads, and accelerometer; nothing too novel here, but useful time savers here if you're newish to cocos2d.

Third chapter covers data management; reading and saving plist/JSON/XML ... and even SQLite and Core Data. Probably not much completely new to you here either, but the details of working with sprites and the like are handy.

Fourth chapter is on physics and is a particularly valuable one for those of us weak on the background there; focusing on Box2D, takes you from basic setup through impulses and forces to joints, bullets, ropes, and ending up with a 2.5D isometric game engine! That's a pretty standout one there.

Fifth chapter, `Scenes and Menus', is mostly pretty straightforward but still handy code. The sliding menu grid and minimap are particularly nice.

Sixth chapter, "Audio" is another notably useful one, nice explanations of sound manipulating, positioning, metering, recording, iPod library usage, and finishing up with creating a MIDI synthesizer with MobileSynth and then speech recognition/synthesis.

Seventh chapter, "AI and Logic" is well-nigh invaluable for those without a background in it; basic waypoints, targeting, line of sight, flocking, pathfinding (the "in a Box2D world" getting special mention, good luck figuring that one out without some help!) and finishing off with discussion of Lua integration.

We figured the last chapter "Tips, Tools, and Ports" was a bit weaker; the tools picked here mostly aren't up to the currently regarded best of breed mentioned in yesterday's roundup, and the cocos2d-x and cocos3d intros were too short to really be of much use. But hey, still worth a read.

Closest thing we have to a real complaint is that you have to email the author to get the extra chapter which was omitted from the print versions; really, how hard would it be to put it as an addenda in the electronic versions most of us are going to be buying anyways? But hey, if mild inconvenience is the worst whine we can come up with, that's pretty solid.

So, yeah. We pretty much can't imagine anyone developing with cocos2d who won't find something in here well worth the price; for those just starting out it might be a bit over your head, but it would make a perfect second step after one of the introductory books or our starting recommendation --[...]/ -- so buy it now!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great examples, not so great instruction March 11 2012
By golightly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With this "book" purchase, you are basically paying for example code that you more or less need to sift through in order to figure out what is going on. The book itself offers very little instruction or learning beyond that of "here's something neat you can do in cocos and here's the code (you already have because it came with the book), but printed out (which itself is not very readable in the e-version)" I found the "why" or "how" it works to be fairly lacking. That, combined with the fact that the code is difficult to read in the e-version makes the book itself also of limited utility. Ultimately, you are paying for the code that accompanies the book. As for understanding the concepts, it's back to scrubbing various online forums yet again.
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