Chapter 9 – Particle Effects
Those tiny specks which you can see on your touchscreen after a sneeze.
Not exactly. Of course I mean the cocos2d particle system and its built-in particle effects which will be the focus of this chapter. And no discussion of particles would be complete without describing the workflow revolving around the Particle Designer tool.
Summary of working on Chapter 8 – Shoot ’em Up
This certainly wasn’t the easiest chapter for me to write. I had very ambitious goals, maybe too ambitious for 27 pages. I did manage to sneak in quite a lot though, here’s a partial list:
- how to refactor existing code to make it work better with the new features
- how to pool bullets and enemies together for easier access and better performance
- how to not use too many subclasses, instead relying on type switches
- how to use cocos2d’s node hierarchy as a simple component system for writing reusable game logic components
- how to implement basic movement, shooting and a healthbar as components
- how to detect collisions between bullets and enemies
The not so easy part was striking the right balance. Not going too technical. Not doing too much at once. Not dividing things into too many tiny pieces. But most of all I frequently encountered various bugs in the code, or just unexpected behavior of cocos2d which forced me to spend more time debugging and sometimes backtracking changes than I was prepared for.
After a long and hard work week, paired with physical exhaustion and an late-summer allergy burst, my concentration didn’t allow me to work at 100% capacity. In the end I did manage but it took longer than I had planned, I’m over a day late to submit this chapter. The next one will be easier though, and it has to be as I’m preparing for a short trip near the end of next week. I certainly am looking forward to a couple days off now.
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