Cocos2D Book and 360iDev

An announcement about the Cocos2D book written by Rod Strougo and Ray Wenderlich, and a note about the 360iDev iPhone conference. By Ray Wenderlich.

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I'm co-authoring this upcoming book on Learning Cocos2D!

I'm co-authoring this upcoming book on Learning Cocos2D!

This is a post to let you know how 360iDev went, fill you in on some news I announced there, and show you guys a cool video!

First, the news. I will be co-authoring an upcoming Cocos2D book published by Addison-Wesley, along with Rod Strougo!

Rod has been working on the book for some time now, and has kindly asked me to come aboard to help him wrap up the book since he has a baby coming along!

Rod has done an amazing job with the book so far. It covers all the most important aspects of Cocos2D, including chapters on:

  • How to use Cocos2D actions
  • How to create multiple scenes and menus, and link everything together
  • How to create monsters and levels with AI and state handling
  • In-depth material on using animation techniques and particle effects
  • How to use tile maps to make fluid side-scrolling games
  • Much, much more!

My favorite part of the book is it takes you step by step through creating a complete game from start to finish called Space Viking – a game about a kick-ass viking transported to an alien planet. I think this is great because it’s one thing to learn the basics of how to use Cocos2D, but it’s another thing to learn how to put everything together to make a fun and playable game.

Space Viking Screenshot

By the time you’re finished reading this book, you’ll have practical experience making an awesome game from scratch! You can then take the concepts you’ve learned (and even some of the code!) and use it to turn your own game idea into a reality.

What Will I Be Working On?

I’ve written two chapters so far, both on Box2D. In the first chapter, you learn the basics of Box2D, and with it make a mini-puzzle game. You add a bunch of Box2D objects decorated with sprites into the world, and use physics and mouse joints in order to move a frozen Ole into a particular spot where he’ll get melted by the sun.

Box2D Puzzle Game

In the second chapter, you learn the more advanced and cool features of Box2D, including stuff like complex bodies, joints, forces, impulses, and the like. With this, you make a really cool side-scrolling platformer game where you ride in a mining cart over rocky terrain on an alien planet, jumping over obstacles, riding over bridges, and even battling a boss at the end with a cinematic boss fight!

Box2D Cart Game

Think of these chapters like an epic-length tutorial series from this site. They’re written the same way – write a bit of code, see it working, feel awesome, rinse and repeat :] And every detail is explained step by step so you really understand what’s going on.

The next chapters I’ll be working on will be about Chipmunk and Game Center integration. More on these later!

Show me the video!

But hey, don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself! Here’s a video for the game you’ll be building from start to finish in Chapter 11 with Box2D and Cocos2D.

Wow, that’s cool art and music!

The fact that it is cool automatically means it wasn’t done by me :] Props to Eric Stevens for the art and Mike Weiser for the music!

And of course, this book wouldn’t be possible without the great work done by Ricardo Quesada, Erin Catto, Scott Lembcke, and the many others working on Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk. Props to each of these guys for not only making amazing tech, but amazing and open communities as well.

Now About 360iDev

360iDev was an absolutely amazing conference. In fact, I’d say it’s the best conference I’ve ever been to! If you are an indie iOS developer, you need to save up your pennies and go to the next one, if at all possible!

Why? First of all, the talks were amazingly interesting and useful. I particularly enjoyed Noel Llopis’s talk on the power of in-app purchases, Brian Robbins’s talk on building a non-hit driven iOS business, and Josh Clark’s talk on iPad Design Headaches.

The Game Jam at 360iDev was also very fun. Basically a bunch of iOS devs came into a room with their laptops and hacked out a game overnight (8PM-10AM)! Luckily we were fueled with a lot of pizza and Red Bull. It was a great learning experience – I made a real simple game with my lovely wife called Pet Santa. I was also happy to see several guys participating in the Game Jam remotely as well!

But by far the best part of the conference was was the opportunity to meet a bunch of fellow iOS developers and chat with them in the sessions, in the halls, etc. It was great to just hear what people were working on, compare notes and ideas, and get to know each other in general. I met too many awesome devs to list everyone, you know who you are :] I really enjoyed getting to talk to you – please keep in touch! :]

So thanks again to John Wilker, Tom Ortega, and the rest of the 360iDev crew for running a great conference and giving me the chance to speak!

How’d iOS Programming 101 Go?

For those of you who didn’t already know, I gave a day-long session on iOS Programming 101 at the conference.

Overall, I think it went well! The class was very well attended, and we got through (almost all) of the planned material, and a bunch of people told me they enjoyed the course and learned a lot.

However, if I had to do it again, I think I would cut about half the material I tried to cover in the day. I wasn’t sure what pace to go at, and I think the class would have benefited with a slower pace so they could have more time to try out and master the concepts in the hands-on sessions, rather than trying to cover more material faster.

If you attended the class and have any suggestions for if I ever run something like this again, please let me know!

By the way – if you’re interested in the code from the class, it’s posted here.