on September 21, 2010
Having nearly finished the book I thought it would be a good idea to write a review.
Reading the last review I felt even more compelled to write my own. The last reviewer really hasn't got a clue about what this book is about! He tries to pitch it as a book that covers many different technologies in great detail and fails. There is a note on the first page of chapter 2 that tells that totally contradicts what he says.
It is not intended that this book will teach you how to develop in Objective-C or C or teach you everything you need to know about the other technologies in their own right; there are many excellent books and online resources that cover OpenGL and OpenAL in greater detail. We will however cover these topics in enough detail to allow you to understand why we are using them and how.
Thats what I love about this book! It tells you how to write an entire game from start to finish and doesn't bore you with incredibly complex algorithms or low level code or the ins and outs of every technology.
As for the game engine you write, it's very modular so you can include only the bits you need in your game. I wanted to recreate the JetPack game I played when I was younger. With this book I'm well on the way. It's saved me a huge amount of time trying to learn from other resources on the net.
Their forum and blog is quite active too, I've posted a few questions and they've answered promptly.
One thing to be very clear about: this book is largely about tile and sprite-based games, a la Legend of Zelda. It includes a fair bit of information about optimization and the like (the messaging overhead involved in the Objective-C runtime can slow you down, so dropping to straight C is not a bad idea sometimes). The instructions are reasonably clear, although the selection of development tools required is rather extensive. This is part of the problem -- with the increased amount of broadband internet access out there, computer book publishers have come to the conclusion that they don't need to include software with the books. A lot of the software in this book is already obsolete and not supported by its original authors, and some of it is Web-only, making them rather poor choices for any kind of professional development.
However, the book does as advertised -- walks you through the steps of creating a basic game, while giving you enough background to understand what's going on along the way. And that, really, is all you need. Just beware that it might not be very useful a year or two from now.
on February 1, 2011
Poorly edited. Many of the text references to the code use the wrong method names or quote the wrong lines of code altogether. It is absolutely essential to download the source code; there were many occasions where I found it necessary to look at more of the source than was printed in the book to understand what the text was saying. If you are willing to spend the time to sort out these problems, the book is otherwise not bad. The design of the game engine seems solid. The reader definitely needs to have at least a passing acquaintance with Objective C to understand the book. I am revising my previous 2-star review to 3 stars since the book is definitely useful in spite of its flaws. This review is based on the Kindle edition.
on March 27, 2011
I can't believe some recent reviews don't mention it, but if you are using the most recent version of XCode the OpenGL template is completely different from the one described in the book. If you're new to it, you'll be lost immediately. The solution is to download the source code and start from Chapter 3, after that it should be good. It does make me wonder though whether I've learned an obsolete way of doing things that won't be supported going forward...
All that aside, it's a good book. I learn best by doing, and this book covers all the doing you'll need, including things you need to know but aren't necessarily related to IOS or programming, such as sprite maps, fonts, etc.
This is a well-organized, well thought out guide to writing game apps for the iPhone. It's a "beginner" 's guide to writing computer games for those who already know Objective-C, C, Xcode and Interface Builder and have programming experience; so it's more for someone who is already writing iPhone apps but hasn't ever done a game before; it's not for true beginners. That said, the author presents a personal and personable introduction to game design. This part could be read by anybody interested in game design, even beginners. It's a good intro to concepts such as lives, health, storyline, etc. Further chapters are:
Terminology, Technology, and Tools
(Xcode and OpenGL)
The Game Loop
The Particle Emitter
The Game Interface
Game Objects and Entities
Putting It All Together
In addition, there's a free RPG called Sir Lamorak's Quest that you download and play, and as the book progresses, you are analyzing and building this very game.
This is incredibly well done, and you have to give the author credit for going the extra mile to include a game and letting you look under the hood. This is a complete project with a friendly manual.
Personally, I don't have enough programming to actually write the code, but I've still enjoyed the book immensely. As a longtime gamer, I learned a lot about game design. Great job!
on April 9, 2013
Well written and current when it first came out, but unfortunately not very useful any longer.
The Xcode templates in this book are no longer used in game programming and the generated OpenGL code is outdated as well.
As you all must already know, in the world of technology you must have one foot in the present and the other in the future. And so any study aid that you are planning to use must be newly published.
Firstly, this book is not for someone who is a beginner in iPhone development. If you are completely new to developing applications I suggest you join Apple's developer program, download their sample code and read up on their Obj-C documentation.
Before I really got into the book, I initially downloaded their Sir Lamorak's Quest to see what the authors were all about. I'm sad to say that I was highly disappointed. The mechanics and plot were just plain awful and it really shook the confidence that I had in this book. It was one of the worst games I have ever played on my iPhone hands down. However, despite my initial disappointment with the lack of quality in their game I decided to skim through the book anyway and I'm glad I did because I was able to add new things to my iOS bag of tricks.
This book is a good introduction into 2-D tile-based game development in iOS. It gets into the building blocks of making, animating and using sprites, using OpenGL ES, using OpenAL for sounds, game controls, very basic AI, loading and storing data, interaction with your environment, and more! Pretty much all the basics if you wanted to start your very own adventure game.
The most helpful chapter for me was the memory management chapter where they discuss how to detect and prevent memory leaks that can crash your applications. and the OpenAL/Sound chapter. Information in both of these chapters can be used in any application you make.
Despite their awful game, I would still recommend this book to others. It's a good foundation to get you started on the right path and it is full of information that you can apply to other non-game applications, which is always a plus for me.
For those who are into 2-D game development and looking to learn more, I suggest looking up cocos2d, which is a free, community-based iOS library specifically geared towards tile-based game development. I have made a lot of progress using that library myself.
on August 22, 2011
The book is very good for learning the basics to creating an iphone app. The only thing is that it is now behind as far as SDKs go, but that I am sure will be fixed with the next edition. And I do wish ES2 was covered, even though I understand why he did not go into detail with it. So far though, I really enjoy reading and learning from the book. I am only through chapter 4 and can not yet give an overall rating cover to cover.
on April 16, 2012
I've been a game coder for a long time, but never made it to the iPhone. When I decided to move into the platform I literally went down and bought every single book published on iOS development. Then I got this gem. I need to make games, so if you don't need to make games, this book may not be for you. What I found amazing about this book, and why I decided to buy the electronic version as well as the paperback is that it covers it all. So many books I bought try to get away with highway robbery giving you scenarios that you could figure out in a days worth of messing around, yet they take 200 pages to explain, or like a bad self defense class, they solve problems that few mortal human beings ever encounter. This book takes you through step by step from 2D coding to 3D coding. He's honest about where he personally ran into issues, which is refreshing, and offers tons of real world hurdles to watch out for. Where he doesn't code, he offers tons of references so you can explore things in more detail. The sheer tools he outlines for creating great games on the iOS were fantastic. I have to say, this is THE best book on iOS coding out there. Regardless if you're doing a utility app, or a game, I really think he goes through more areas of iOS coding than all the books I own, and that's about 20. I seldom review anything, but I had to submit this review now that I've finished the book.
on September 29, 2012
The 3 most interesting chapters source code, and , above all, the finished game, don t run in the xcode simulator or iPhone , for unexpected reasons.
They compile fine, but simply don t run. The app is terminated after one second.
I call this : lack of care for customers - readers.
Many errors in the downloaded code . For example : In the Final Game source : " if ( a = b ) " I had to correct those ones one by one with : " if ( a == b ) " !!!
If the author doesn t want to make any effort in improving his code, if the author doesn t want to correct his mistakes, why would you buy his book ?
I did it, and I regret it.