- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1449303455
- ISBN-13: 978-1449303457
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,750,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tap, Move, Shake: Turning Your Game Ideas into iPhone & iPad Apps 1st Edition
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Turning Your Game Ideas into iPhone & iPad Apps
About the Author
Todd Moore founded TMSOFT to create unique smart phone applications and games. One of the few developers to have had two apps simultaneously in iTunes’ Top 20 Paid Downloads, his most popular game, Card Counter, was featured by Engadget, the Los Angeles Times, and CNET TV. Todd’s most popular application, White Noise, was featured by iTunes, Health Magazine, The Washington Post, PC Magazine, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Todd started his professional career as a student trainee for the CIA, and after graduating from Old Dominion University in Computer Science, he designed network security and cyber forensic products. Since then, he’s had numerous appearances in front of audiences: everything from demonstrating how to crack a popular VoIP application at DEFCON 12 to competing on the NBC reality show Treasure Hunters.
Top customer reviews
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It walks you through creating a single simple iPhone game, Air Hockey, from concept to submission to the Apple App Store.
The text is clear and concise but not dry. It reads fast. There appear to be no nontrivial errors.
The approach is incremental, with each chapter building on the previous. The coding of each feature is explained, then demonstrated.
The author coded against Xcode 4.2. His example code worked using Xcode 4.4.1, without debugging, with two minor warnings and some minor differences in generated template code.
The author's code emphasizes simplicity rather than optimal performance; for example, some unnecessary instantiation of temporary objects. The lack of curly braces under single-line if statements and loops is evil!
The app architecture uses the nib approach to GUI implementation, as opposed to hard coding everything or using Storyboards.
The focus is on creation of the game, not iOS app architecture. For example, the puck and paddle objects are really controllers in that they control their respective nib-implemented views.
That being said, the book does walk you from the main entry point, main(), through the AppDelegate, into your own code; providing a solid understanding of how things hang together.
The author's use of the term Artificial Intelligence may be a bit overstated here in that the play-against-the-computer version does not learn anything. However, given the current state of game AI, that is probably a semantic quibble.
What was particularly useful:
The chapter on app submission is clear and thorough. (He has multiple apps in the App Store.) It not only walks you through the submission process, but through the steps necessary to prepare your app for submission, including gotchas. His examples of rejection notices from Apple, their reasons, and their resolutions are brilliant.
Getting inside the author's head as he makes design and coding decisions is also brilliant. Either he had an outstanding editor or the man can just communicate, because there's a lot of substance in a minimum of words.
His tuning of the AI to make the game more enjoyable was enlightening.
His step by step development of a simple state machine is a great introduction to that architecture.
His sometimes subtle solutions were enlightening, such as using View tags in lieu of explicit variables for code simplicity, or his object layout solution to facilitate game play.
His identification and resolution of some iOS anomalies, such as in touch handling could save you some time.
The explanation of how to develop for the Retina display is so succinct that it took several readings to comprehend how simple it can be.
The introduction to Xcode was helpful, even for someone with moderate familiarity with that tool. After reading that section, you might find your XCoding more efficient.
The chapters on graphics creation via Fireworks, and sound creation and editing using Audacity proved useful and informative, even to an experienced game content creator. There are some good references to content sources.
For beginning developers (and, alas, some who should know better) his practical suggestions for file management and version numbering could be useful.
He gives some useful tips on debugging, too.
Some things it explicitly does not cover:
- Automatic Reference Counting (ARC)
Templates other than Single View are not explored. Specifically, OpenGL ES is not used.
The book's title is a bit misleading in that the shake gesture is barely mentioned and has no real part in the game.
The book really does not address the iPad explicitly, though all of the above can be applied to that device.
If you want to learn the fundamentals of iOS app, not just game, development, good complementary works are Aaron Hillegass' Objective-C Programming and Beginning iOS 5 Development, by Mark, Nutting, and LaMarche.
However, if you want to dive directly into iOS game development, this book is a very good place to start.
However, I would like to point out. I was traveling and so excited to get started,
that I bought the Kindle version. I wish I purchased the physical book, and may
end up doing so.
This is not a fault of the author, but a problem with the way Kindle sometimes
handles tables and formatting. In fact the tables, when viewed on my iPad are
unreadable, regardless or which orientation I try.
The next one is on me. When reading, at times, I didn't realize
when the author says "now do x" he intends on explaining it step by step over the next
few pages. I was often trying to figure out things on my own, before I caught on. I took
this as a learning opportunity. However, I found that the book with all of its great information
might in fact be better suited to sticky notes and quick moving around. I love bookmarking
and notes with the Kindle, but for some reason, this book had me longing for physical
In fact, as I finish writing this, I have decided to purchase the hard cover book as well just for this reason.
Overall Love the book - my 4 star over 5 is based on having to buy a second copy, not on the content. Thank you
so much for writing it!
On the down side (and why not 5 stars): even though the book was published in Dec 2011, it doesn't use ARC. And, there is virtually no iPad information in the book - everything is developed for the iPhone. That's ok, except the title of the book greatly implies that it covers iPad apps as well. A chapter converting the iPhone app to work on the iPad would have been great. Or change the title of the book.
Overall, I do highly recommend this book - I learned a lot writing the code and you really understand how Todd developed a complete game from concept through delivery to the app store. Update it with ARC and add an iPad chapter and it would be perfect.
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