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Article Written By:
Johann Dowa

An Interview With Ray Wenderlich About The Cocos2D Space Game Starter Kit

If you’ve been trying to develop using Cocos2D on the iOS platform then you are probably very likely familiar with Ray Wenderlich, and his excellent Cocos2D tutorials.

Recently Ray created a Space Game Starter Kit utilizing Cocos2D.  It was almost automatic that I would recommend Ray’s kit, but I wanted to check out everything for myself.

Ray was also nice enough to answer some questions that I had about the starter kit to post on this site.   Here are his answer’s below:

Who’s it for / why would they want it?

The Space Game Starter Kit is for people who want a jump start on creating their own side-scrolling shooter game.  It comes with complete source code for a cool side-scrolling space shooter that you can use as a starting point to build on, saving you a lot of time!

It’s also great for people who want to learn more about making games for iOS, because you can follow along with the epic length tutorials that come with the Space Game Starter Kit and make it yourself from scratch.  It’s a fun process, kind of like building something with a Lego set :]

Any games from the beta testers to check out already in the app store?

One game has already been released known as Space Raid.

What are the requirements?

You’ll need to be a member of the iOS developer program, and have a Mac with Xcode installed.  You’ll also need a device to test with – an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad will do.

To get the most out of the Space Game Starter Kit, you should be familiar with the basics of Objective-C and Cocos2D.  If you’re new to Objective-C, I recommend reading the book Programming in Objective-C 2.0 by Stephen Kochan.  If you’re new to Cocos2D, I recommend reading our book Learning Cocos2D first.

That said, if you’re completely new to both of the above, you can still use the Space Game Starter Kit because the tutorials walk you through everything step by step.  It’s just that there will be some missing pieces in your knowledge that the above books will fill in.

What is the difference between the material in this and the Learning Cocos2D book?

If you want to learn Cocos2D, you should pick up the Learning Cocos2D book – it covers everything you need to know about making a game with Cocos2D.  The Space Game Starter Kit is for people who want a starting point to make their own side-scrolling shooter game, or who enjoy the tutorials on and are looking for some extra learning
and practice.

Are there tutorials covering how the artwork was created?

Nope, but my wife Vicki (who made the art) has a bunch of free tutorials on how to make art for iPhone games on her site:

Is there any information on marketing/marketing assistance provided?

Nope, this is beyond the scope of the Space Game Starter Kit.

Can you give any examples of some tips and tricks that we may not have seen before?

Sure!  Here are some more advanced techniques covered in the Space Game Starter Kit:

  • Moving enemies along bezier paths
  • Defining levels in a property list
  • Using Physics Editor and Box2D for collision detection
  • Power ups and zoom effects
  • Making a universal game that works on normal resolution, Retina, and iPad
  • Efficiently reusing and pre-allocating sprites
  • Multiple enemy types, levels, boss fights, and more!
Is this universal code for both the iPhone and iPad?

Yep, the game works on normal resolution, Retina, and iPad.

Any extra support provided for those who may be have trouble using the kit?

Yes if you purchase the Space Game Starter Kit you gain access to a special forum where you can ask questions and receive support.

For those that haven’t seen the kit yet you can see it in action in the video below:

My Experience With The Starter Kit So Far

I’ve been going through the starter kit myself, and I have to say it is very extensive. I am 76 pages in so far, and haven’t even hit the half way point.  What I like about it is that there a lot of problems being solved in very simple ways showing Ray’s experience (such as with the collision detection, and level definition Ray mentioned in the interview).  I also really like that the game itself is a very simple and versatile idea which you can turn into a unique game without too much effort.

I suggest that if you do decide to pick up the kit that you go through everything once, then look over your code using the book as a reference.  Even if you don’t want to spend all the time learning every detail you can use the starter kit to get a unique game  game in the app store quickly like the beautiful Space Raid game by changing some graphics, adding a few more powerups, and changing the levels around – all this is easy to do with the framework provided.  It could make a great addition to your portfolio.

You can visit the official site for the starter kit here.

Full disclosure: I will get an affiliate commission if you click through a link on this site and purchase.

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