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Cocos2d for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook Paperback – Dec 15 2011
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About the Author
Nathan Burba is a game developer, student, producer, and entrepreneur. He graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Computer Science in 2008 and began working toward an MFA in Interactive Media at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in 2011. He founded Logical Extreme Studios LLC in 2011 and plans to release his first iOS game, Golden Age Baseball, in early 2012.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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!Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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)
I have bought many of the other books on this subject. I have to congratulate that this is the only book out there, out of the many I have tried, where all the examples actually built and worked on the simulator and on the phone without a glitch. All of them. All the other books you are lucky if the examples build without many errors, then if they do they don't display on the simulator or phone. I consider them tax write offs. You really want the examples to work because you can't copy and paste code correctly from ebooks and retyping every last letter is really to no benefit unless you are also learning to type at the same time.
The authoring is right to point and by example. It is a combination of many small examples of how to's.
For example, one of the many things on my bucket list was to be able to drag objects around smoothly using physics and a mouse joint.
That is one of the many small examples in the book. And it actually worked professionally right out of the box.
I have also gone through many Googled up internet examples and most of them are partial, don't work and/or are outdated. Or they were surrounded with too much code not relevant to want you where searching for, hence making it very hard to learn by example.
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!
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.