Author: Todd Moore
Aimed at: Beginner iPhone/iPad game developers
Pros: Great introduction and walk through of completed game
Cons: Too simple in places, doesn't cover Objective-C
Reviewed by: Bill Cunningham
Want to build a game for the iPhone or iPad in a week? From scratch? Then this book is for you!
This book has the subtitle Turning Your Game Ideas into iPhone & iPad Apps and covers the basics of Xcode, animation, movement, touch, sound, physics and artificial intelligence. The book also covers the practical aspects of image creation and sound effects as you enhance and improve an ever more sophisticated game.
Chapter 1 covers the standard introduction and installation of Xcode and how to get around in the IDE. This chapter gives a great overview of the IDE and its functional areas. Simple and straight forward.
Chapter 2 covers the starting concepts and the first pong type paddle game, including adding multitouch to the interaction to get those paddles moving! Sprinkled throughout the chapter are gotchas between iOS3 and iOS4 changes. Also touched on are gestures and sounds.
Chapter 3 covers creating the graphics for your game, display resolution including how to handle Retina displays, the application icon and how to hook all those into the project.
Chapter 4 is the physics of the game and how the paddles should move, how to deal with animating the paddles smoothly without jumping, and problems with touch points and how they affect display and game play.
Chapter 5 is all about sound, sound formats, and conversion utilities. It also contains sections on recording and covers editing them with audacity. This is a great starter chapter to get going if you've never had to deal with sounds in a program before. Great primer.
Chapter 6 adds a computer opponent to the air hockey game. Progressing from a simple random controller to a more sophisticated state machine controller. This chapter really explores the steps from simple concepts through the missteps one would take during development.
Chapter 7 covers preparing, versioning and marketing in the App store. It also covers common failures that can get your app rejected from the App store, such as not displaying an appropriate dialog when internet connectivity is required. Lastly it discusses advertising, create a lite version of your app and how to market and track your sales progress.
This book is light on Objective-C, so if you've never done any programming with it you should pick up a companion book, but if you can follow the examples and don't care about what is going on underneath, this is a great starting book for game programming.