LearnCocosTV 3: Two And A Half Nuts

On January 13, 2012, in LearnCocosTV, by Steffen Itterheim

After a holiday-season hiatus (Happy New Year btw!) LearnCocosTV is back. This episode is somewhat shorter because I had a lot of catching up to do and a lot of chores which aren’t exactly show-worthy. But I did manage to port most of the Kobold2D projects to Cocos2D 2.0 beta. Too bad they look just the same as before.

A bi-weekly Show & Tell about Cocos2D, Kobold2D and iOS/OSX development by Steffen Itterheim.

Episode #3 – Two And A Half Nuts

• Updating Kobold2D to use Cocos2D v2.0 (beta)
• iDevBlogADay: Tips for updating to Cocos2D v2.0
• iDevBlogADay Source Code available on github

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This quick comparison sheet gives you all the info to decide whether to use Cocos2D 1.x or Cocos2D 2.x. Contrary to most programs, a higher version number doesn’t infer “better” or “more”. There are pros and cons for both versions.

At the time of this writing the decision really only boils down to whether you want to use shaders and whether you must be able to deploy your app to 1st & 2nd generation devices. See for yourself, it’s that simple:

Cocos2D v1.x

(+) compatible with all iOS devices
(+) compatible with all libraries
(-) no OpenGL ES 2.0 shader programs

Cocos2D v2.x

(+) OpenGL ES 2.0 shader programs
(-) incompatible with armv6 CPU devices:
iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 1G & 2G
(-) incompatible with these libraries:
Cocos3D 0.x.x, Chipmunk SpaceManager 0.1.2

All other differences to this day are minor, and most new features and bugfixes have been migrated back and forth between versions. For beginners I strongly recommend using v1.x as there’s a lot more documentation available for this version. Those who have no interest in writing shader programs can also safely use the v1.x branch without missing out.

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LearnCocosTV 2: Fixing Bad

On December 16, 2011, in LearnCocosTV, by Steffen Itterheim

Another live report from the front…

LearnCocosTV – Episode 2: Fixing Bad

• Simple Multiplayer Data Sharing Project
• iDevBlogADay: Fast Pixel-Perfect Collision Detection
• Kobold2D 1.0.1 Released:
   o KKPixelMaskSprite, KKScreenshot, Ad Banner rotation
   o Solutions for “failed with exit code 1” linker errors
• Xcode Trips & Ticks

Kobold2D v1.0.1 now available!

On December 15, 2011, in Kobold2D, by Steffen Itterheim

Kobold2D v1.0.1 is now available from the Kobold2D Download page or via github! You’ll find the Release Notes in the usual place.

The most important new features are:

Almost all bugs reported so far have also been squashed. Mainly several fixes related to KKInput, a crash with CCMenuItem* and blocks and an issue that caused Retina mode not being properly enabled.

A few minor convenience methods have also been added, for example CCDirector now has a continuously updated frameCount property that returns the number of frames drawn since the app started, and KKInput now has the anyTouchLocation property if you just want the touch location of any (the) finger on the screen.

Detecting collisions on pixel-perfect boundaries is the holy grail of collision detection in 2D games. As such, it seems like the ideal, if not to say perfect, solution to collision detection in general. Yet, it’s also quite complicated and the straightforward solutions don’t perform very well until you start optimizing the code.

This first post focuses on creating a pixel mask by analyzing the raw image data, as proposed over 3 years ago by Ernesto Corvi. It’s the fastest solution if you want to test if a point collides with a pixel on an image, which also works for rotated and scaled sprites. However it does take some optimizing to speed up detecting collisions between a bounding box of a node and the pixel mask, or two pixel masks.

The alternative solution is to render the two colliding objects onto a CCRenderTexture, as developed by Dani and others on the Cocos2D forum. It is able to detect collisions of arbitrarily rotated and scaled sprites but can be expected to be noticeably slower than a pixel mask. I will discuss this solution in a future iDevBlogADay post.

The results will find their way into Kobold2D, to make the solutions readily available to all developers.

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LearnCocosTV 1: How I maed your Kobold

On December 2, 2011, in LearnCocosTV, by Steffen Itterheim

LearnCocosTV is sort of like a personal sprint review presentation but in video form.

I think that just writing about what I’ve done recently would be rather dull, whereas a bi-weekly Show & Tell video would not only be more interesting, it is also much more encouraging for me to create something cool to show in the first place!

Each episode will update you about what I’ve done for or with Cocos2D, Kobold2D and iOS/OSX development in general, what I’ve learned in the process and what the end results are. Here’s episode one, I hope you’ll enjoy it:

LearnCocosTV – Episode 1: How I maed your Kobold

• Kobold2D 1.0 Released
• Kobold2D source code published on github
• First Kobold2D games published on App Store
• Kobold2D Server moved
• iDevBlogADay: How to use CCRenderTexture…

And no, I’m most certainly not going to run out of TV Show titles to vilify. :D

PS: in case you’re wondering, the video was created with ScreenFlow 3.0.

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Kobold2D v1.0 Released

On November 17, 2011, in cocos2d, Kobold2D, by Steffen Itterheim

Kobold2D v1.0 is now available from the Kobold2D Download page!

This is mainly a maintenance release, I found and fixed all the bugs that had been reported, including some nasty linker issues that occurred with a preference on Snow Leopard. Kobold2D is now thoroughly tested with Xcode 4.0.2, 4.1 and 4.2 under Snow Leopard and Xcode 4.2 under Lion.

Of course the latest updates of cocos2d-iphone-extensions 0.2 and cocos3d 0.6.3 are also included.

And I can’t say it often enough: Kobold2D supports ARC (automatic reference counting) out of the box! There’s nothing you need to do! Just have Xcode 4.2 installed and start writing code without retain, release and autorelease ever again.

Forward Looking Statement

The motto for the next updates is still “Get Connected!”. I want to add more online features and update the KKGameKitHelper class with remote config support provided by AppMynx. I will evaluate ShareKit and hopefully be able to implement that with (if necessary) a reasonably simple interface for Cocos2D apps.

I also have a commercial product for iOS in development that will make sending data over the network a lot simpler. The basic idea being that if, for example, you want to synchronize a sprite’s position and rotation properties with all other devices, you simply write something like this:

[cc lang="cpp"]
[KKConnect addSharedObject:self
identifier:@"Player1"
properties:@selector(position),
@selector(rotation),
nil];
[/cc]

It works with any properties (except id/pointers). Whenever one of the property values changes, its value is sent to all connected devices and assigned to the property of the local object with the corresponding “Player1″ identifier. Dead simple. And coming soon.

Learn Cocos2D Game Development with iOS 5

It’s also no coincidence that the print and PDF versions of the Learn Cocos2D Game Development book (2nd Edition) are available since a few days.

The book uses Cocos2D v1.0.1, the chapters have been significantly improved, Chapter 3 is almost a complete rewrite. There are also two new chapters discussing integration of UIKit views in a Cocos2D app, as well as adding Cocos2D to an existing UIKit app. The other new chapter is about Kobold2D and introduces Lua and Cocos3D.

Readers keep asking me when the Kindle or iBooks versions of the new edition will be out. To be honest: I don’t know. But I’m confident that there will be a Kindle version and one for iBook eventually, and I expect these to be available soon. After all the first Edition is also available through these channels, and so are most (if not all) Apress books. Plus Xmas is coming, just like most companies book publishers are eager to get their best products out the door in time for Xmas.

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