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Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-on Guide to Building IOSGames with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk (Addison-Wesley Learning Series) [Paperback]

Rod Strougo , Ray Wenderlich
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 28.99
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Book Description

7 July 2011 Addison-Wesley Learning Series
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 Cocos2D walks 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.


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.


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

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Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-on Guide to Building IOSGames with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk (Addison-Wesley Learning Series) + Cocos2d-X by Example Beginner's Guide
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  • Cocos2d-X by Example Beginner's Guide 26.35

Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780321735621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321735621
  • ASIN: 0321735625
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Authors

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Product Description


“If you’re looking to create an iPhone or iPad game, Learning Cocos2D should be the first book on your shopping list. Rod and Ray do a phenomenal job of taking you through the entire process from concept to app, clearly explaining both how to do each step as well as why you’re dong it.”

–Jeff LaMarche, Principal, MartianCraft, LLC, and coauthor of Beginning iPhone Development (Apress, 2009)


“This book provides an excellent introduction to iOS 2D game development. Beyond that, the book also provides one of the best introductions to Box2D available. I am truly impressed with the detail and depth of Box2D coverage.”

–Erin Catto, creator of Box2D


“Warning: reading this book will make you need to write a game! Learning Cocos2D is a great fast-forward into writing the next hit game for iOS–definitely a must for the aspiring indie iOS game developer (regardless of experience level)! Thanks, Rod and Ray, for letting me skip the learning curve; you’ve really saved my bacon!”

–Eric Hayes, Principle Engineer, Brewmium LLC (and Indie iOS Developer)


Learning Cocos2D is an outstanding read, and I highly recommend it to any iOS developer wanting to get into game development with Cocos2D. This book gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to write an iOS game without having to be a math and OpenGL whiz.”

–Kirby Turner, White Peak Software, Inc.


Learning Cocos2D is both an entertaining and informative book; it covers everything you need to know about creating games using Cocos2D.”

–Fahim Farook, RookSoft (rooksoft.co.nz)


“This is the premiere book on Cocos2D! After reading this book you will have a firm grasp of the framework, and you will be able to create a few different types of games. Rod and Ray get you quickly up to speed with the basics in the first group of chapters. The later chapters cover the more advanced features, such as parallax scrolling, CocosDenshion, Box2D, Chipmunk, particle systems, and Apple Game Center. The authors’ writing style is descriptive, concise, and fun to read. This book is a must have!”

–Nick Waynik, iOS Developer

About the Author

Rod Strougo is the founder and lead developer of the studio Prop Group at www.prop.gr. Rod’s journey in physics and games started way back with an Apple ][, writing games in Basic. From the early passion in games, Rod’s career moved to enterprise software development, spending 10 years writing software for IBM and recently for a large telecom company. These days Rod enjoys helping others get started on their paths to making games. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rod lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and sons.


Ray Wenderlich is an iPhone developer and gamer and the founder of Razeware, LLC. Ray is passionate about both making apps and teaching others the techniques to make them. He has written a bunch of tutorials about iOS development, available at www.raywenderlich.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Project-based, practical and professional advice 22 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great learning resource, especially (but not only) for those who already have a little experience with Objective-C for iOS. The book takes you through a whole game project, covering everything you should need for a whole variety of different game types. You'll also pick up a lot of valuable advice about writing classes, using XCode and other fundamentals, which is great news if you're still at the beginner / intermediate stage in your iOS programming journey. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear writing, great project 22 Nov 2011
By Job V
This is a great book to study Cocos2d and game development. The book walks you through the development of an actual game with various different techniques and a lot of the standard features of a modern game, including two different physics engines! By presenting code in short bits and pieces and explaining every single line clearly, you soon develop a familiar feeling with standards in Cocos2d and if something is not clear immediately, it will be broadly explained in one of the next few pages.

Although they do explain a lot of basic Objective-C concepts and are really clear on the code, I do recommend having some previous knowledge of objective-c or at the very least of C and some basic object oriented programming. Programming in Objective-C: Updated for iOS 5 and Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) (Developer's Library) is a great recommendation and with this to your side you will surely understand everything offered in Learning Cocos2d.
In general, more than basic knowledge of and a tiny bit of experience in objective-c is not necessary.

It's a really nice book, written in clear language. Little assumptions are made about prior knowledge and working towards a real game is incredibly cool. The authors are extensive in teaching related concepts, like packing sprites together, to provide you with a really nice start in Cocos2d (game)programming.

If you are looking for a book that teaches you to program a 2d (!!) game on the iPhone or iPad, utilizing sprites, this is a great buy. If you're interested in 3d or very complex (vector, procedural) graphics you might want to look into books about openGL ES for IOS.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure brilliance!! 28 July 2011
By Jeffus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been developing with Cocos2D for some months now and I've purchased many good books, which have help my understanding of the Cocos2D Framework.

I must admit, I've been looking forward to this title for some months!! Boy! I doesn't dissapoint!! Well, written, and well delivered. I love the way the code in the book is colored as per the Xcode editor.

Even if you already have a good understanding of the Cocos2d Framework, I think this book will serve as a good reference, as I have.
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2.0 out of 5 stars This text book is too old for 2014!! 9 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So I bought this book (April 2014) as it seemed to be one of the latest books available for Cocos 2D - despite the fact it was published in 2011! Anyway, it is far too old, the code refers to Cocos 2D v. 0.9 - we are now on version 3.0, and there are MANY differences. The fact that this book uses manual reference counting shows how dated it is. There is little point in buying this book as a good proportion of the info is out of date and you will spend 75% of your time trying to convert what the book says to do into modern Cocos 2D.

Notably, the CCActions classes have changed a bit, there are no more CCLayers, the physics has changed drastically since the book was released (it spends 2 chapters on Box2D which has now been dropped from Cocos2D entirely), and the fact that ARC is not used in the book means all the code needs further tweaking! All of this together means it's probably best not to use this book.
The parts that ARE still useful - general game design, basic AI, and possibly GameCenter implementation (I didn't bother trying it, it may have changed drastically too!). It *is* a well written book that covers a lot of ground, but is more likely to hinder than to help in many areas.

Instead I recommend doing some online tutorials as there seem to be very few text books on Cocos 2D, and none on V3 which is relatively recent at the time of writing, and quite different to previous versions in some key areas. Actually it is all quite simple with V3 - especially if you use SpriteBuilder, which can do half of the work for you!
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