Linkvent Calendar, Day 17: Controls & Usability

On December 17, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

Nikita Gazarov is the developer of Chopper Defense HD for iPad, a fast-paced Tower Defense meets Arcade game … type of game. Hard to describe, better see for yourself:

For the Linkvent Calendar he wrote two articles about gameplay usability. In his first post Virtual Controls Usability he describes the dual-stick implementation he used in Chopper Defense, and what the problems and solutions to that were. In his second post he goes into detail about The Sins of Accelerometer Controls, as experienced in games like Fly Effect Real 3D while Tilt to Live does almost everything correctly.

Linkvent Calendar, Day 16: Animated Water

On December 16, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

How did they make the animated water in the background of Wheeler’s Treasure? That’s probably a question you’ve never asked yourself but it’s in fact a very interesting process that one of the developers explains in this video:

The original post on the Two Lives Left blog, dubbed: The cool effect that no one noticed includes the download of the water texture.

Continuing with yesterday’s Box2D Car demo I’d like to stay on the topic of Box2D and present to you the Tilemap based Box2D world put together by theTconcept, a website hosted by a group of italian and mexican designers, writers and coders.

In their tutorial they explain how to create Box2D collisions from a Tiled Map Editor world, by using the object group layer. The one you can use to place arbitrary rectangles on in Tiled. The resulting Xcode project is available for download.

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Linkvent Calendar, Day 14: Box2D Top-Down Car Demo

On December 14, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

Jeff Hodnett has ported a popular Flash ActionScript Box2D Car demo to Cocos2D:

Box2D Car Demo

The car uses two revolute joints for turning the car and two prismatic joints to add driving force (torque?) to the car. The Xcode project is available for download and the virtual thumbstick controlling the car is provided by the popular SneakyInput library.

Linkvent Calendar, Day 13: Balloon Ride Postmortem

On December 13, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

Today’s Linkvent Calendar entry comes from David Sutoyo. His second Cocos2D game, Balloon Ride, was published on the App Store on Dec 1st. David took some time to write a postmortem about making Balloon Ride. He starts out by saying that programming in Objective-C is hard, game design is even harder but marketing is the hardest part. However, he concludes that the overall design process is fun and he is now toying with the idea of using Corona because programming in Lua is simpler than Objective-C.

David also wrote a mini-postmortem about his first Cocos2D game Memory Flash.

Watch the Balloon Ride gameplay video:

Linkvent Calendar, Day 12: Indie Challenges

On December 12, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

Yesterday I introduced you to the Rampant Coyote with his Eight Tips to Help You Finish Your Indie Game. Today’s Linkvent Calendar entry follows in these footsteps with a blog post from Owen Goss titled Indie Challenges.

Actually, it’s two posts and it follows his original, enthusiastic post I’m Indie, and I’m Proud. Surely it can’t be all good, so Indie Challenges throws some light on the challenges indie developers face, such as unstable income, blurring the lines between life and work, the paperwork (@Owen: there are tax consultants for that, and I pay just over €40/$60 per month – well worth it!), occasionally feeling like a failure (@Owen: no, you’re not alone, been there … repeatedly – but much worse is to feel like a failure when you’re employed and still believe that you depend on that job).

I’ve found this post through #iDevBlogADay which is a wonderful website of high-profile bloggers putting out two posts every day. A few days ago I joined the waiting list as #52.

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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Stepping a little outside the bowl that is Cocos2D today. I’d like to turn your attention to a very prolific indie developer who has been around for many years. His blog was instrumental on setting my mind towards wanting to become and indie developer. I’m talking about Jay Barnson, better known for his blog Tales of the Rampant Coyote.

In his blog post dubbed Eight Tips to Help You Finish Your Indie Game he collected and published these 8 bits of wisdom:

#1 – Keep It Simple
#2 – The Secret of Scheduling and Budgeting
#3 – Make It Playable as Fast as Possible
#4 – Develop a Cautious Relationship with Scope / Feature Creep
#5 – Be Able to Carry the Project on Your Back
#6 – When In Doubt, Cut It Out
#7 – Save It For the Sequel
#8 – Power Through the Valleys

I specifically value #1 and #3 very highly, with #2 being very important to actually make measurable progress. Measuring your progress in small steps is what’s going to make you feel good about your project and that will keep you going.

I urge you to take #4 through #7 very seriously. I wish you strength for #8, that’s what’s going to hit all of us and in fact, it probably killed thousands of times more cool game projects than big companies cancelled for budgetary (is that a bird?) reasons, or simply because the decision maker hadn’t slept well.

Have a look at Jay’s indie game shoppe at Rampant Games, he sells his own and other indie developer’s titles.

Side Note

As a side note, Jay recently blogged about the web-browser based Lord of Ultima game that launched earlier this year. It’s the game I walked away from, so naturally I was interested to read what the Coyote had to say about it.

His review blew my mind, Jay hit so many nails on the head – both about the good and undesireable aspects of the game – it was unbelievable. Besides it was also fun to read and his conclusion being “Ultima is dead” is exactly what is wrong with the game. In and of itself nothing, the game is actually quite fun and well thought out, but using the Ultima license for that kind of game while not making good use of it … well it’s clear it would bring some more players into the game but ultimately (pun intended) it is severely damaging the brand. Ultima as we old-schoolers knew it, is indeed dead. Lucky for us, we don’t need no Ultima anymore because there’s something better for us!

On the other hand, that also means there’s a future for Ultima. One in which our kids remember Ultima as a series of actually quite good webgames. Oh well, that might not be too bad after all, if I set my “everything was better in the good old days” mind (it starts to develop once you pass age 30) aside for a moment. :)

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 10: Free Cocos2D Webinar

On December 10, 2010, in Cocos2D Linkvent Calendar, by Steffen Itterheim

UPDATE: here’s the summary of the webinar which includes a link to the recorded session.


Mohammad Azam will be hosting a FREE webinar: Introduction to iPhone Game Development Using the Cocos2D framework.

This webinar takes place TOMORROW (Dec 11th)! I replicate his blog post here with the crucial info:

The webinar will help getting the new comers get started with iPhone development. It will be all code based with minimal or no slides. The webinar will be hosted on www.freebinar.com. Additional details are listed below:

Webinar URL: http://www.freebinar.com/highoncoding1
Date: 12/11/2010 (December 11 2010)
Time: 11:00 AM (US Central Time)
Limit: 150 people

Mohammad is originally a .NET programmer and frequent speaker at tech events. Recently he started diving into iOS development. He has written several tutorials about Cocos2D and he’ll get another Linkvent Calendar post soon that lists all of the Cocos2D screencasts he made. Follow him on Twitter @azamsharp and check out his iosdevblog.

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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