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Learning Cocos2D (Safari): A Hands-On Guide to Building iOS Games with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk

By Rod Strougo, Ray Wenderlich

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Published Date: Jun 30, 2011

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This is the Safari online edition of the printed book.


Build the Next Great iOS Game with Cocos2D!


Cocos2D is the powerhouse framework behind some of the most popular games in the App Store. If you’ve played Tiny Wings, Angry Birds, Mega Jump, Trainyard, or even Super Turbo Action Pig, then you’ve played a game that uses Cocos2D or Box2D physics. The beauty of Cocos2D is its simplicity. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you start developing an iOS game, especially if you look at things like OpenGL ES, OpenAL, and other lower level APIs. Writing a game for the iPhone and iPad does not have to be that difficult, and Cocos2D makes game development fun and easy.


Learning Cocos2Dwalks you through the process of building Space Viking (which is free on the App Store), a 2D scrolling game that leverages Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk. As you build Space Viking, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Cocos2D so you can create the next killer iOS game.


As you build Space Viking, you’ll learn how to:


  • Install and configure Cocos2D so it works with Xcode 4
  • Build a complete 2D action adventure game with Cocos2D
  • Add animations and movement to your games
  • Build your game’s main menu screen for accessing levels
  • Use Cocos2D’s Scheduler to make sure the right events happen at the right times
  • Use tile maps to build scrolling game levels from reusable images
  • Add audio and sound effects with CocosDenshion, Cocos2D’s sound engine
  • Add gravity, realistic collisions, and even ragdoll effects with Box2D and Chipmunk physics engines
  • Add amazing effects to your games with particle systems
  • Leverage Game Center in your game for achievements and leader boards
  • Squeeze the most performance from your games along with tips and tricks


And much more! So, c’mon! Dust off your notes about that game you’ve wanted to build since fourth grade and get started today with Learning Cocos2D!


Download the free version of Space Viking from the App Store today! Help Ole find his way home while learning how to build the game.

Table of Contents

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxxiii

About the Authors xxxvii


Part I: Getting Started with Cocos2D 1


Chapter 1: Hello, Cocos2D 3

Downloading and Installing Cocos2D 4

Creating Your First Cocos2D HelloWorld 6

For the More Curious: Understanding the Cocos2D HelloWorld 11

Getting CCHelloWorld on Your iPhone or iPad 20

Summary 22

Challenges 22


Chapter 2: Hello, Space Viking 23

Creating the SpaceViking Project 23

Creating the Space Viking Classes 24

Creating the Background Layer 26

The Gameplay Layer: Adding Ole the Viking to the Game 29

The GameScene Class: Connecting the Layers in a Scene 31

Commanding the Cocos2D Director 34

Adding Movement 35

Texture Atlases 44

For the More Curious: Testing Out CCSpriteBatchNode 52

Fixing Slow Performance on iPhone 3G and Older Devices 53

Summary 54

Challenges 54


Chapter 3: Introduction to Cocos2D Animations and Actions 57

Animations in Cocos2D 57

Space Viking Design Basics 62

Actions and Animation Basics in Cocos2D 66

Using Property List Files to Store Animation Data 67

Organization, Constants, and Common Protocols 69

The GameObject and GameCharacter Classes 74

Summary 82

Challenges 82


Chapter 4: Simple Collision Detection and the First Enemy 83

Creating the Radar Dish and Viking Classes 83

Creating the Viking Class 90

Final Steps 105

Summary 112

Challenges 113


Part II: More Enemies and More Fun 115


Chapter 5: More Actions, Effects, and Cocos2D Scheduler 117

Power-Ups 118

Enemy Robot 125

Adding the PhaserBullet 137

GameplayLayer and Viking Updates 141

For the More Curious: Effects in Cocos2D 145

Summary 149

Exercises and Challenges 149


Chapter 6: Text, Fonts, and the Written Word 151

CCLabelTTF 151

Understanding Anchor Points and Alignment 153

CCLabelBMFont 155

Using Glyph Designer 156

Using the Hiero Font Builder Tool 156

For the More Curious: Live Debugging 160

Summary 165

Challenges 165


Part III: From Level to Game 167


Chapter 7: Main Menu, Level Completed, and Credits Scenes 169

Scenes in Cocos2D 169

Introducing the GameManager 170

Menus in Cocos2D 179

Scene Organization and Images 180

Creating the Main Menu 182

Additional Menus and GameplayLayer 190

For the More Curious: The IntroLayer and LevelComplete Classes 193

Summary 195

Challenges 195


Chapter 8: Pump Up the Volume! 197

Introducing CocosDenshion 197

Importing and Setting Up the Audio Filenames 198

Synchronous versus Asynchronous Loading of Audio 201

Adding the soundEngine to GameObjects 215

Adding Sounds to EnemyRobot 219

Adding Sound Effects to Ole the Viking 222

Adding Music to the Menu Screen 228

For the More Curious: If You Need More Audio Control 229

Summary 230

Challenges 230


Chapter 9: When the World Gets Bigger: Adding Scrolling 231

Adding the Logic for a Larger World 232

Creating a Larger World 235

Scrolling with Parallax Layers 250

Scrolling to Infinity 252

Tile Maps 265

Summary 276

Challenges 276


Part IV: Physics Engines 277


Chapter 10: Basic Game Physics: Adding Realism with Box2D 279

Getting Started 279

Hello, Box2D! 289

Basic Box2D Interaction and Decoration 302

Making a Box2D Puzzle Game 320

Summary 332

Challenges 332


Chapter 11: Intermediate Game Physics: Modeling, Racing, and Leaping 333

Getting Started 334

Creating a Cart with Box2D 346

Making the Cart Move and Jump 356

Summary 374

Challenges 374


Chapter 12: Advanced Game Physics: Even Better than the Real Thing 375

Joints and Ragdolls: Bringing Ole Back into Action 376

Adding Obstacles and Bridges 386

The Boss Fight! 396

Summary 417

Challenges 417


Chapter 13: The Chipmunk Physics Engine (No Alvin Required) 419

What Is Chipmunk? 420

Getting Started with Chipmunk 421

Adding Sprites and Making Them Move 438

Chipmunk and Constraints 455

The Great Escape! 467

Summary 477

Challenges 477


Part V: Particle Systems, Game Center, and Performance 479


Chapter 14: Particle Systems: Creating Fire, Snow, Ice, and More 481

Built-In Particle Systems 482

Getting Started with Particle Designer 485

Creating and Adding a Particle System to Space Viking 489

Summary 494

Challenges 494


Chapter 15: Achievements and Leaderboards with Game Center 495

What Is Game Center? 495

Enabling Game Center for Your App 497

Game Center Authentication 506

Setting Up Achievements 515

Implementing Achievements 518

Setting Up and Implementing Leaderboards 536

Summary 543

Challenges 543


Chapter 16: Performance Optimizations 545

CCSprite versus CCSpriteBatchNode 545

Reusing CCSprites 552

Profiling within Cocos2D 554

Using Instruments to Find Performance Bottlenecks 557

Summary 563

Challenges 563


Chapter 17: Conclusion 565

Where to Go from Here 567

Android and Beyond 567

Final Thoughts 568


Appendix: Principal Classes of Cocos2D 569


Index 571