on 3 April 2014
Really well written, as you would expect from these guys. The bonus chapters available for free online are a nice extension - giving a crash course in texture design, texture atlases, and performance tips and tricks - although they were clearly supposed to be in the book from the beginning as they are referenced from the printed chapters (oops!).
Still, doesn't bother me, SpriteKit is a really powerful and intuitive set of APIs and making games really is very simple with it. Shame it currently can't be ported to Android....ha.
The ease of doing basic stuff in SpriteKit means you very quickly get onto doing stuff like particle effects and physics - so you can really make a flashy game!
It shows you how to do various more advanced things like working with Airplay and getting games displayed on your TV. Shame you need all the kit to actually see if it works, but still - nice to have the info! Note that if you get more than a few chapters in, you might want to get the Apple developer license (and an iPhone!) so that you can run the apps on a real device - but it is not essential unless you're doing the AirPlay stuff as you can use the emulator for all the games made in this book.
My one gripe with this book is that all the games you make are for iPhone only - they could have shown you how to manage resources etc when making a universal game for iPhone and iPad (i know a lot of it is automatic, but even more reason why they could have made all of these examples for both platforms). It's a small gripe - I'd guess that there are free tutorials for it on the author's website (raywenderlich.com)
Now I wish this team would do a more up to date text book on Cocos2D for a multi-platform framework...
on 11 June 2014
I've read quite a few programming books in my time but never anything quite like this before.
They guys and gals who wrote this book are experts in their field but what makes this book so special is they also can write readable coding which they can explain as well.
The book consists of numerous different game tutorials, from a zombie game to the physics engine, to a space invaders using text (this one I must admit was hard going to understand) and a fantastic game teaching how to use tiles and more.
You need to an idea of objective C before reading this book and now I've conquered it, it I'm coding my first app using spritekit.
The forum and sample source code (that works) really makes life so much easier.
If you want to learn spritekit, the this is the definitive book.
on 21 February 2014
I haven't completed my first run through yet, but I have enjoyed reading this so far. I'm about halfway through.
If I had any criticism it would be that I would like a little more / better explanation in some areas, particularly sprite movement and coordinate mathematics and also on game architecture(s) and writing efficient code. Although I haven't yet got to some of the later chapters, which hopefully will cover this in more detail.
The challenges at the end of each chapter are a good test of what you have learned so far and it's certainly going to take me a few read throughs before I'm comfortable with the topic. It's in no way insurrmountable though and with the help of this text I think most people will be able to get a good start in game development.
All in all (so far) a good read for beginning to high-intermediate game development and certainly worth the money, but you will want to have a reasonable grasp of Obj-C / Cocoa / X-Code before starting this topic.
on 12 December 2013
The Ray Wenderlich team have turned out a quality book - well thought through, nicely paced and delivered with a sense of humour too. If you've followed their iOS apprentice tutorial series you'll be familiar with their style of 'learn while doing' which works great for me. Sprite Kit is not for beginners and the authors make a good argument for getting to grips with it anyway, compared to the alternatives. I've gone down the path of experimenting with GameSalad, then Corona SDK with Lua and Kwik2, which all have their place, but realise there are no worthwhile shortcuts to getting up close and personal with Objective-C and the iOS SDK ... if you have the time and determination. The book takes care to fill you in on stuff you might have forgotten from school maths or be intimidated by (e.g. basic trigonometry) and I have the PDF version too (free updates as and when) which I run on my iPad next to my MacBook Pro to maximise screen real-estate for Xcode. Get it, take your time and enjoy the learning process.