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Learn iPhone and iPad cocos2d Game Development: The Leading Framework for Building 2D Graphical and Interactive Applications Paperback – Dec 2 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2010 edition (Dec 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430233036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430233039
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.4 x 26 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #593,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Steffen Itterheim is a professional games and tools developer. He has worked for Electronic Arts Phenomic for the past seven years. Be it scripting, programming, or foreign languages, he's done it all. He has extensive experience with game localization including non-western languages and locales, and he also knows the Lua scripting language inside and out. He learned English by watching too much American television. Steffen currently lives in Ingelheim, Germany.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa8261d4c) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7cba174) out of 5 stars An excellent introduction and more for cocos2d Nov. 27 2010
By ARC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A disclaimer: I am not a game programmer. But I am a techhie, who usually picks up on new things very quickly. My interest in iphone game programming began a few months ago. My first game was using just the UIKit but then I discovered cocos2d and saw how simple it makes things. You will find a zillion (literally) tutorials on the web on cocos2d (one big reason being its so simple to use). The author of this book mentions some of them in his credits page. But there is a problem with the web tutorials: While they are great to start you off, they don't get into much details on advanced things like memory optimization, etc.

Now onto this book: I've been tracking both this book, and another one (which is about to be released) and I bought the e-book version on day one of its release. The credentials of Steffen are just right (EA games). When I first started reading the book (first few chapters), I thought he was over simplifying stuff too much - for example, encouraging us to ignore apple's memory management guidelines, sticking to cocos2d autorelease mechanisms, and also using "tags" to find sprites instead of maintaining a pointer to them. This is what the cocos2d tutorials on the web say, and that is what he says too. So I thought he hasn't spent much time trying to analyze better mechanisms.

But then, as I read ahead, Steffen starts getting into details on how to pack memory, increase performance with various tips etc. that certainly went beyond what you can infer from reading web tutorials. It became obvious, once I was beyond the first 60-70 pages that he knows what he is talking about.

Here are the pros of the book:
a) It's really the first good book on cocos2D that you can buy. You theoretically could just read the many web tutorials, but some of them give you incorrect information (for example, using NSTimer directly with cocos2d - which will mess up CCDirector's pause/stop, for example). Steffen's book is thorough and well thought out and caveats are outlined in each chapter based on his experience

b) The book covers the particle system well enough. I am glad he spent time on it.

c) On Parallax scrolling, he also covers infinite parallax scrolling, which I think any game programmer doing parallax will eventually want

d) While this may be obvious to game programmers, I never knew about the coolness of SneakyInput - a 3rd party library that already implements console controls for the iOS. Steffen covers this well

e) While there are many tutorials on tilemaps (it took me 30 minutes to learn how to use tilemaps from a tutorial by SDKTutor on youtube), Steffen goes one step ahead and dedicates a full chapter on isometric tilemaps (3D effect in 2D space). That is wonderful

f) Steffen dedicates a full chapter on Box2D (and a bit of chipmunk) and the nice thing is he takes it to another chapter where he shows how to build a pinball game that integrates Box2D with cocos2D in a working game. This is great on two counts: 1) Box2D has many tutorials, but most of them stick to a bouncing ball. They don't spend too much time showing more details on how to integrate it with a CCSprite (besides that common loop code) and merge it well into a more complex cocos2d game. In Steffen's game, he takes it several notches ahead. Box2D or chipmunk play an important role in how to make a game look real by physics (think angry birds and the cool tower toppling calcuations) 2) He explains Box2D well to a point not to get into the math but enough to know how to use it

g) He covers GameCenter as well - though I have not yet read that chapter

Now the con:

a) There are several typos. I find this odd because his is not the only book. I found typos in many other apress books. This being a programming book, typos mean the code won't compile. Thats almost unpardonable. I wonder why apress isn't more diligent about this
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7cba018) out of 5 stars Do Not Order The eBook Feb. 19 2011
By WH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The content of this book is pretty good. There are a lot of good sources of picking Cocos2D on the net, but it's always nice to have a good resource from which to learn a new framework. The code examples are *mostly* complete, but I noticed in a few areas that the author didn't include some crucial code that forced me to go dig into the accompanying source code to figure out what was missing. Minor annoyance, for sure, but it'd be nice to not have to leave the book and start doing diffs to figure out what was missing.

My biggest complaints really center around the eBook edition of this publication: The author and publisher have recognized a series of poor-quality images that somehow managed to creep into the final edit of the eBook version, but have done nothing to rectify the situation. It has been three months of vain promises that it would be fixed, without any real action that would indicate follow through. For an industry that is experiencing turbulent times in a digital age, this is more evidence that people can find better service from alternative sources, than the legitimate ones. While I realize that the author is not responsible for this kerfuffle, I cannot recommend buying this book, if for no other reason than the publisher is not responsive to fixing an issue that they clearly should own.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7cbaa44) out of 5 stars Badly needed book for cocos2d Dec 6 2010
By Naveed Ahmad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was looking for documentation. This is the very first book on cocos2d and was badly needed. I have gone through many of the short tutorials on the web and was able to make prototypes from it. After reading half of this book i realized there were still many things not in the web sites. After reading the first 8 chapters a programmer should be able to develop a working game. It has lots of useful tips, programming good practices in it. I will definitely recommend to any iPhone game developer.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7cbab04) out of 5 stars A great introduction to the world of Cocos2D iOS game development Jan. 21 2011
By Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like many other aspiring iPohne game developers I started out with very little knowledge in programming and chose the iOS plattform to get into this exciting new field. That was almost a year ago and some months later I had selected Cocos2D as the graphics engine for my game. It's free, it's open source and it also has a constantly growing community that writes tutorials and helpful comments on forums.
When I started to learn how to use Cocos2D it was very hard to find good online documentation. I can't say anything about the current official docs or the wiki because I've learned everything I needed to know from this book, reading source code (both from the engine's source and from the line-drawing-starterkit I bought, which was also created by Steffen Itterheim) and asking questions on forums. I bought the book from Apress' alpha book programm where you get new chapters as pdf files as soon as they are written. That way the book got me going long before the official release and now that it's released I own the final e-book version as well.
Even though I consider myself as a complete beginner I had no problems to understand the different topics covered by the book. I found both the language and the explanations in this guide to be easily understandable and written with a lot of foresight. The author has a habbit of always answering questions that come to my mind in one of the next sentences. He not only covers all the basic concepts and functions of the game engine in several motivating little game examples that the reader can recreate and or modify, he also gives a lot of information about other topics. Whether you want to get a primer on iPhone game marketing, finding freelancers, game design advice or finding commercial source code projects to learn from, no chapter passes without giving you some valuable hints that go beyond the covered Cocos2D topic.
I'm not going into detail on single chapters as I've read some of them only in the preliminary alpha book and even skipped some that where not relevant for my project. But I can say that this guide also works excellently as a reference book.
In only a few weeks of using this book I learned so much that I now seldom need to look something up at all and things that where cryptic mysteries to me turned into easily understandable concepts used in my daily programming work. This leads me to my conclusion for "Learn iPhone and iPad cocos2d Game Development" - 5 stars!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7caeec4) out of 5 stars Great Intro to Cocos2D For Experienced iOS Developers March 19 2011
By McFly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been developing iOS apps for over a year, and I recently became interested in developing a 2D game. There are a lot of Cocos2D tutorials scattered throughout the web, but I wanted a structured course laid out for me from start to finish, so I bought this book.

The book gets off to a rocky start. There are some really frustrating errors like referring to the incorrect image in Chapter 3. Also, I feel like the book didn't do enough to thoroughly explain some of the core introductory concepts of Cocos2D like scenes and layers. Despite this, I supplemented with info online, got help in the Cocos2D forums, and stuck with it. It was worth it because the rest of the book if filled with very detailed, in-depth examples. The book walks you through a side scrolling shooter game from scratch, isometric and orthogonal tilemaps, physics engines, and more. The best part is, the author not only describes the code, but also the tools used to create the game assets like animation editors, particle effect designers, and tilemap editors. All of the tools are either open source or very affordable. The only drawback of the book's examples is that the examples are so lengthy it's easy to lose scope of the overall architecture of the app which can be difficult to go back and figure out if you're a beginner.

Overall I would recommend this book to experienced developers who are interested in developing 2D games for iOS. Even if you already feel comfortable with Cocos2D, you may be able to learn from this book. There are a lot of helpful optimization tidbits I don't think I would have picked up on otherwise, like multiplying by 0.5 instead of dividing by 2 because this is faster.

I would not recommend the book for someone new to Objective-C or iOS development. In my opinion, it doesn't really cover any of the basics you would need to become proficient enough in those areas in order to understand the book and develop a game on your own.

If you do buy the book there are also a few things to keep in mind:
1) Don't buy the eBook. Based on other reviews here it's unreadable.
2) The code in the book is written based on an older version of Cocos2D (0.99.4). This isn't a big deal at all. You can download the older version from Cocos2D's Google repository and you'll be able to work through the examples with no issues. After you understand Cocos2D it should be no problem understanding the changes and upgrading to the newer version.
3) When you read the book, the author will often present a large block of code that can look very confusing. He will then describe the code in the paragraphs that come afterward, so I found it best to just skim the block of code and then refer back to it while reading the description that follows.