Andreas Löw has released an updated version (v2.1) of his Texture Atlas creation tool called Texture Packer (Pro). The Pro version ($17.95) provides you with a GUI interface, the non-Pro version ($9.95) is a command line tool. The latter actually runs behind the scenes in the GUI version.

Here’s the list of changes introduced in Texture Packer v2.1:

The free version is now enhanced so that you can create textures up to 2048×2048 pixels without paying a single cent!

The free PVR/PVR.CCZ previewer lets you view the images – just doubleclick them in finder! Including preview for PVRTC.

Other features:

  • *.pvr and *.pvr.ccz previewer! (free for all)
  • AutoSD allows automatically creation of standard resolution images from highres images (–auto-sd) (pro/cli)
  • Process *.tps files from command line (pro)
  • Drag’n’drop sprites to tree view to add them
  • PVRTC2/PVRTC4 compression
  • Enhanced color reduction quality (pro/cli)
  • Additional dithering algorithm (Atkinson)
  • Linear quantization
  • Nearest neighbour quantization
  • Premultiply alpha (pro/cli)
  • Option to disable automated alias creation
  • Choose heuristics for MaxRects algorithm (pro/cli)
  • Creation of non power of 2 textures

The update is available using auto-update or download from: http://texturepacker.com/download/

Read more about the Texture Packer features, read the Texture Packer manual (PDF) or go directly to the shop (Share*it!).

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Today I’d like to present you a long post made by Markus Nigrin about How to spice up your Game with Particle Effects. He talks about how to use particle effects in your Cocos2D game to, well, great effect. Of course he is using Particle Designer, and he was amazed how few people at the 360iDev event knew about PD. So I thought it can’t hurt to mention it one more time.

Markus’ blog is generally well worth taking some time and digging deeper. He has a post on adding a “News” text (or image) into your game and what effect it can have for marketing and how he got back into programming after 15 years of being a manager, and partially inspired by Ray Wenderlich‘s iPhone Programming 101 class held at 360iDev.

Back on the topic of particle effects, I recently created a very simple but very effective snow storm effect. You can check it out in Particle Designer’s shared effects list (it’s called “SnowStorm”) or download the SnowStorm effect in the Cocos2D plist format. There’s also a shared “PeeFX” effect that I created, subtitled “stream of urine”. Those are from a project I’m currently working on. Hmmm … pee and snow?

Keep guessing. 😉

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Dan Nelson has worked on his Cocos2D based game BATAK Duel (view it on iTunes) for 5 months. He received dozens of requests from fellow developers to share his source code. About 3 weeks ago he made the game’s source code available for purchase, for $297.

The feature list is quite impressive:

– A Complete iPhone Game Framework, can easily be customised for your next game!
– Seamless OpenFeint integration
– Learn how to set up OpenFeint achievements
– How to set up a menu system with multiple sections
– How to save and restore user settings
– How to implement a Singleton object for global variable support
– Discover how to create Fire and Smoke Effects
– How to set up a visually impressive ‘opponent ladder‘
– See how to use Particle systems to create superb visual effects (for example, a huge storm with torrential rain!)
– How to detect when a fast moving object has been touched by the player
– How to play multiple sound effects simultaneously
– How to play and pause music
– How to pause and resume the game
– How to handle the input of player ‘unlock codes‘ using a UITextField control
and a super cool transparent pop up keyboard!
– How to set up a smooth scrolling ‘Credits‘ section

Read Dan’s announcement or go ahead and purchase the BATAK Duel source code. What’s more, Dan has setup an affiliate link that you can put up on your website. For each sale made through the affiliate link you’ll get a 35% commission ($103.95). To make use of the affiliate link you have to register as affiliate with e-Junkie and select the BATAK Duel Cocos2D Source Code product.

By the way, you get the full Xcode project and all of the art, music and sound files but the asset files are not intended for redistribution, eg. you can’t include them in your own game.

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Todays link is one that I came across recently and I believe you’ll find that very helpful. Simon Skinner (@vultuk) wrote a blog post and published the source code for his implementation of a UIScrollView-like page scrolling layer implemented with Cocos2D. It behaves similar to browsing photos in the Photo application, with snapping and bouncing and all that. See this video:

Read Simon’s article on the Debug, Design, Assemble, Play (DK101) blog and grab the source code here: Implementing Page Scrolling in Cocos2D

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Linkvent Calendar, Day 3: MVC with Cocos2D

On December 3, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

Today’s link is about the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern and how to implement it in Cocos2D. Bartek Wilczyński from Poland has written a two-part tutorial about how to implement this design pattern, and explains why this is a good design choice:

How to implement MVC pattern in Cocos2D game – Part 1
How to implement MVC pattern in Cocos2D game – Part 2

While I was reading that, I remembered that Jeremy Flores had created a github repository with his implementation of a MVC pattern in Cocos2D. He dubbed his project Cocos2D-MNC, as in Model-Node-Controller. The code is published under the MIT license.

The MVC pattern is somewhat similar to a game object component system that I described here. For both systems, the general idea is not to subclass CCSprite and put your game logic in there. CCSprite already is a complete visual representation class for your player, enemy, and what not. But in some cases, you need more than one sprite, or a combination of a sprite and particle effects. Once you get there, it’s much better to have a CCNode containing (aggregating) all the visual elements of your game object, while handling all the game logic of that object and updating the visual elements. The CCNode becomes the controller, controlling the views. As the views (sprites, effects, GL drawings, etc.) move on screen, the controller node polls the visual nodes for state information and runs the game logic code, which in turn may update the views.

In very simple terms, this is my pragmatic approach of the MVC pattern that also works quite well. It’s definitely already a big leap forward compared to extensively subclassing the CCSprite class. If you notice that you’re doing that a lot, you should do yourself a favor and read up on the MVC design pattern.

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Nate Weiss, author of the commercial iPhone Game Kit, would like you to help build the first community driven RPG game for the iPhone. Read his announcement.

He wrote a game design document for you to wet your appetite and learn what needs to be done. It’s an ambitious project that I believe would be awesome to take part in, especially if you don’t have the time and energy to build a complete game project by yourself, but you still like to take part in fruitful game development activities. What the game needs most is to design levels using the popular Tiled Map Editor, and new artworks for tiles, characters and cutscenes.

You do need to have a copy of the iPhone Game Kit to participate, but currently it’s on sale with 30% off and costs only $69. For that you get the complete source code and assets for the Quexlor action RPG and a 150 page game development eBook. I think his product and ebook are excellent and well worth the money, and I’m currently running two ads for Nate on a voluntary basis. You can learn more about the pros and cons of the iPhone Game Kit from these independent reviews:

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

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Linkvent Calendar, Day 1: Attraxxion Postmortem

On December 1, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

December 1st, 2010.

It’s the time of year again where we all get in the mood for gifting and loving and caring and, oh well, that kind of crap. On the bright side, it does mark the beginning of 25 exciting days, each packed and gift-wrapped with a brand new link of interest for Cocos2D developers. Now that’s the spirit! :)

Attraxxion Postmortem

And the first link comes from John Talarico, co-founder of Runaway Creations, Inc. He posted a two-part Postmortem about their first Cocos2D based game Attraxxion (App Store: full version / free lite version) following the regular What Went Right and What Went Wrong convention of postmortems.

Attraxxion is a physics puzzle game that involves gravity, shooting masses at the proper angle towards the sun so that eventually a solar system forms and is able to harbor alien life. The game has been in development for 7 months by a team who didn’t have any previous Mac development experience but they have extensive experience developing software in general.

Attraxxion Postmortem, Part 1
Attraxxion Postmortem, Part 2

Add your link to the Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar

Do you have something to share with the Cocos2D community? I haven’t received enough submissions to fill all the days until Xmas, although I do have enough links to post one each day, I’d rather post a link to your website or blog post.

Cue dramatic music: da-da-daaaaah!

On November 26, 2010, in book, by Steffen Itterheim

I got my shipment of books. Must be 20 copies. That box is HEAVY!

This marks the point for me that I actually realize what I have done. What have I done?

Now I know… I can hold it in my hands. :)

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