You have always secretly wished to make a game, any game but have always faced this stumbling block of where to start, so you have searched books in the library, searched online to get results. There have been bits and pieces, videos of how to make a game. In fact someone took the sample from a site and published it as their own. So, the dream of making game sis taking a bit longer than anticipated, right? If you look at the stories on the Internet, there are some that have published a sample game as their own, then there are others that have purchased source code to see how a game was made, others copy sample code line for line and change the graphics to make it look different. Some good folks have made available the code to some open source game. However said, the quest to make a game still remains, there is no comprehensive guide to create a game, nor are there many programs that teach you to make a game. From my experience of teaching at the University, I can add that the way the universities work is to teach the basics, the A-Z of a particular technology but expect the students to write poetry and prose without teaching them the fundamentals of poetry or prose but simply relying on the knowledge of A-Z alone.
All of this is about to change, From Nat Weiss comes the lovely text, "iPhone Game Kit". At first, I must be honest, I was skeptical about the contents of the package, which includes, the book
Upon receiving access to the text for review, and having spend some time reading it (Here, being a developer and having used all of these technologies and having lectured at University helped to understand where the author was leading and trying to achieve) The chapters might jump for a beginner and at some point it can be a little disjointing, which can be resolved by simply re-ordering the chapters. The text is so comprehensive that it cannot be summarised into a few words.
The book teaches the reader about Objective-C, Cocos-2D, concepts of C/Objective-C via these two. So where Type Casting is explained as part of the Cocos-2D Class, it is mainly to do with C and Objective-C, so though the reader is learning the right stuff, it is just the context that needs to be revised.
Despite these little issues that I find as issues, the book is a wonderful resource for all developers, beginner or advanced. It is a handy reference for a few tips and tricks. For someone that has some programming experience but non with Objective-C, can jump right into development and use the frameworks of Cocoa2D and the iPhone Game Kit and create a wonderful solid game.
One can start using the tools like Tiled, Zwoptex and Texture Packer alongwith Cocos-2D and not use this resource at all, however the iPhoneGameKit adds a level of AI to the cocos-2D layer which makes it more useful than just a display and rendering engine. There are a couple of classes that allow creating new monsters and boss enemies with a single line of code. It is just strange that though this could be considered a framework, it is being refereed to as a book (which also it is). ~~ There is a whole community around Cocos-2D and the iPhone Game Kit. In fact the sample RPG game Quexlor which is referred in the game is being worked upon by many developers enhancing it.
From the 149 pages that make up this book and the MB's of resources, it is by no means a small or insignificant resource. I have seen a lot of books that delve into the topic of Game Programming, Objective-C, and iPhone development. This one covers all of these topics and covers them well.
The text is plagued at places perhaps by the origin of the Author, where there are plenty of references to German words, specially like Schwein and lauft (which mean Pig and run) in the graphical resource names.
I would recommend this resource to anyone that is serious in learning to use Objective-C, Cocos-2D and iOS development.
Type : Book
Title : The iPhone Game Kit
Author : Nat Weiss
Website : http://www.iphonegamekit.com
Price : $69.00 (includes Updates for life)
NOTE: Currently, the Author is offering a 30% discount on the price, it does not mention when the offer expires, so it would be a good idea to grab it while you can still get it
Quexlor on iTunes : ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quexlor-lite/id365459321?mt=8 )
Monster Checkers on iTunes : ( http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monster-checkers/id398297726 )
The wonderful people at iPhoneGameKit have been good and are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of this resource. To be that one lucky reader, you have to
1. Follow @whatsin4me and retweet the message "read reviewme.oz-apps.com, follow @whatsin4me and have a chance to win a copy of the #iPhoneGameKit book by RT this msg"