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Beginning iOS Game Development Paperback – Dec 20 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox (Dec 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118107322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118107324
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #572,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Start writing games for the iOS platform today

Want to start writing games for the iPhone® and iPad®, but you're new to iOS development? This book provides the starting point. No matter your experience level with iOS programming, this beginner's guide covers the technologies you need to know to get started creating fun iOS games. The coverage begins with the tools you'll need, including Xcode® and Interface Builder, then gives you a tutorial in C and Objective-C®, the languages you'll need to develop for iOS. Then you'll learn how to use the Cocoa® Foundation framework and the Model-View-Controller architecture. Once you have the foundation in place, you'll move on to the libraries you need to add graphics, animation and sound, control user interaction, and even allow players to play head-to-head across a network. Learning how to create games should be nearly as much fun as playing them, so this book offers a complete, playable game in nearly every chapter. Each game is created in simple, easy-to-understand parts, building to a full game by chapter's end. Author Patrick Alessi explains all the code line-by-line so you'll always know exactly what you're building.

Beginning iOS Game Development:

  • Teaches you to write games by having you create real working games

  • Details the key libraries for creating iOS games: graphics, user interaction, animation, and sound

  • Shows you how to use Apple's frameworks to make writing games simpler

  • Walks you through ways to effectively debug and test your games

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved. Programmer Forums

Join our Programmer to Programmer forums to ask and answer programming questions about this book, join discussions on the hottest topics in the industry, and connect with fellow programmers from around the world.

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About the Author

Patrick Alessi has built data-centric applications for clients ranging from small business databases to large-scale systems for the United States Air Force. He is the developer of several applications in the iTunes store, and is the author of Professional iPhone and iPad Database Application Programming. He has also developed a variety of real-time systems, graphics intensive desktop applications, and games. Currently, he is focused on developing connected applications and games for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of completed book...cover to cover. Aug. 27 2012
By Me - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Final impression of the book... 3.5/5.0 - Good content...some coding issues.

I am actually pleased with the content and line by line comments. I was able to get the projects to work after some tinkering and did find that the material that was covered provided the resources necessary to build functioning 2D games. As an intro to iOS game programming, I did find that I would recommend this book (with a strong note regarding the coding issues).

The book does cover a lot of ground (for someone who is new at this) and is well written contrary to some books. The coding is obviously not "perfect" but shouldn't distract from the concepts and content that are presented. You can develop your own style of coding as time goes on. The book is not written in a tone that is "exciting". Don't look for a lot of humour or quirky remarks in this book. You won't find any.

The projects, for the most part, are coded individually so you don't have too many issues with mistakes that can be carried over from project to project. I also find the range of projects very good. Peer-to-Peer networking is covered through GameKit, along with some good insights regarding Quartz2D. No 3D/OpenGL ES in this book however. If you are new to game programming (I recommend getting a working knowledge of Xcode interface and the Objective-C programming language, also to be registered with apple as a developer) this book does provide a good starting point.

Buyer Be Advised...some of the code/logic does need to be corrected in future editions or reprints. With a little research you can easily fix these problems; go see the Blog at the WROX website. You also do need two devices to test out the final project that covers Peer-To-Peer networking.

On the positive side...The book is worth buying as a good foundation for 2D game programming. It is very basic but does cover many subjects. Have a look at the table of is descriptive enough to get a good idea of what is covered. The explanations are clear and easy to follow. There are also exercises with answers in each chapter for those interested. Practice makes perfect.

For the lazy are the major topics






Try it your opinions. It's how I choose my material.


Code in Chapter 10 - TicTac

This section has (in my version of the ebook) omitted the <NS Coding> details. In order to fill in this "blank" you should go to the WROX website and download the code for the individual projects. You will also find all the images and sounds required for the book.

Update: Completed chapter 5.
Some minor issues in the coding once again but the coding did produce a functioning "game". The author does cover some interesting topics and does present the foundation for some interesting game ideas.
It should be clarified that much of the resources he presents in his book can only be accessed by purchasing an Apple Developer Package from Apple (...which I highly recommend) It is a good bargain relative to the resources you get and enables you to stay on top of changes in the industry.

No major coding issues...

Section "Try It Out: Building the ScramblePlayer Class" step 8.

NSArray *masterWordList = ... contains doubles of the random word "queue". Simply omit the second entry.


In the following coding comments in the same section the Author makes numerous references to the "chosenWords mutable array". It doesn't exist. These references are to the "scrambledWords mutable array". Don't look for the other array, you won't find it.

Will update further...

Code in Chapter 4 - section "Try it out: Implementing the MindPlayer Class (Master Mind Game)


I''m not going to bother correcting this one...he can do this. Logic doesn't work. Game even gives incorrect output in his test run as printed in his book.. The rack is holding "red, black, yellow, orange" and the player guesses "green, black, orange, orange" and should be told that he has two pegs of the correct color and position. Code logic only picks up that the player has one in the correct position and color, and one of the correct color only. Just put in a guess of all the same color and if you have anymore than one match of color and position, it won't pick it up.


Proof read your stuff and test your code beefour you publish it.

In terms of content, it seems good up to now, simple to follow...needs more screen shots. Gotta get the coding fixed though.


Just purchased the eBook version of this. I use ebooks because I assume that when errors are identified, they will be updated...wrong. ( the time of writing this I had just completed chapter 4. I will update as I progress through the book.)

Code in Chapter 3 - section "Try it out: Modeling a deck of cards"


printf("The first card is %s of %s\n", deck[0].value, deck[0].suit);


should're supposed to be passing the name not the numerical (int) value of the card.

printf("The first card is %s of %s\n", deck[0].name, deck[0].suit);

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entry-level book. June 22 2012
By Michael D. Fox - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First time book reviewer here.

I'm an experienced (21+ years) software developer new to iOS development including XCode, Objective C, Cocoa and the overall iOS development "paradigm". This book has been incredibly helpful to me. What I really needed was an overview of the various areas which I need to become more familiar with (initially I didn't even "know what I didn't know") and "Beginning iOS Game Development" has given me that. I fully expect to eventually shift over to more in-depth material (whether that's books like "The iOS 5 Developer's Cookbook" or Apple's own developer site and forums) but this book has been a really good starting point for me. If you've already got significant experience with iOS development, this book probably isn't for you. But if you're just starting out and want to quickly get up to speed with basic iOS development concepts and get a high-level overview of things, then I'd be hard-pressed to see how any book could do a better job than this one.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book! Feb. 10 2012
By M. Luu - Published on
Format: Paperback
i love this book! it's very informative and easy to follow along. it definitely does a good job at teaching you the objective-c language, the iOS framework, and general game design. there are some minor code and grammer errors in the book but you can figure it out immediately if you have a basic understanding of the language. It's a lot of fun building the many sample games in the book. i love it!

if you're completely new to iOS development, this book is NOT for you. i suggest reading "Programming in Objective-C", then the "iOS Development: Big Nerd Ranch Guide" to get the basics down. You should also take the Stanford iOS development course on iTunes to learn the basic. It's free, so why not? Good luck!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for understanding iOS development April 25 2013
By rsbittorf - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite books on iOS development. I've read several books on Objective-C and the iOS SDK. Many books just scratch the surface and say the MVC design pattern is important but don't give a complex enough examples to show how to implement MVC. I was feeling a bit stuck in my learning - until I read this book! This book fills in the gaps. Everything finally makes sense.

I am now expanding off the knowledge of this book and building some pretty awesome games. You will learn how to build apps like Mastermind, Simon Says and more. The Objective-C chapter for example, has you code a Mastermind game and log it to the console. I started with the basic knowledge from that chapter and eventually built a Mastermind game with an iPad interface. I also took the information about card shuffling from the card games, and created my video poker and black jack games.

Before this book I didn't know anything about Core Animation. After this book I was hired to build an app for a company and I needed to know a lot of Core Animation. This book was my go-to reference! Prior to reading this book I didn't know much about touch / gesture recognizers or even working with various views. Once again this book was my go-to reference for dealing with those topics.

I like that this is a quick read yet still addresses several topics. Game logic, sound effects, touching views, card shuffling, card animation, etc... are all covered. When building my own apps, I think about problems I need to solve and which of the games in this book cover that problem. Then it's like I need touch information from the Simon Says, I need Core Animation from the Memory game, I need sound effects from Breakout, etc.

If you've built some apps that are pretty basic and are looking to move forward, I would highly suggest this book. Even if games are not your focus - you will learn a lot. It just so happens that games are the way these concepts are demonstrated. Also all the code is downloadable so you don't have copy and paste.

This book is a solid 5 stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Book Could Teach a Chimpanzee to Code iOS Games Sept. 27 2012
By jbannick - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book could teach a chimpanzee to code iOS games.

It steps you through coding a series of simple example games, each example teaching a different aspect of iOS game coding.

It has a single focus, iOS games, not apps in general.

The games use Apple's Quartz graphics, not OpenGL ES. All of the examples use the Single View template. Most hard-code the UI as opposed to using Interface Builder.

It favors model-view-controller (MVC) architecture, but also uses some simpler alternatives.

Mostly the games are for the iPhone, though there is one iPad example. There is an iOS GameKit networked game example.

Three of the examples require an actual device, as opposed to the Simulator. Though those examples are still informative without running.

The text is clear and concise. Each chapter builds on the previous one. Each tells you what its going to teach you, teaches you, summarizes. There's a good balance of teaching how the various framework and subsystems work and actual stepping through code.

The book used Xcode 4.2. All of the example code worked using Xcode 4.4.1 with iOS 5. Some of the Xcode screens were slightly different, but not a problem. There were a few typos in the code in the book (not in the downloadable code) but nothing serious.

Not using curly brackets for single-line if-statements cost some debugging time. The color coding of the example code in the book is helpful.

Specially good stuff includes:

An introduction to object-oriented terms and MVC architecture
The iOS app stack, frameworks, and event handling
How to drive Xcode and debugging

The Audio, Animation, and graphics Layers sections are outstanding, as is the Scrambled Words example game.

What it does not include:

Retina displays
How to submit your game to the App Store
How to join the Apple Developer program

This book is a great place for an iOS game newbie to start.

It never leaves you where you don't know what to do next. The combination of "I recognize that" and "Oh, that's how it works" is enjoyable.

With this book and a bunch of chimps we could have a game company.