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Best Resources In iOS Development – July 18th 2011

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Another excellent week to be an iOS developer, and some big news in the department of iOS game development with the release of  Cocos2D V1.0.0 and the opening of the Moai SDK beta to everyone.  Also some great open source libraries and tutorials were shared.

If you have written a tutorial, open source library or tool that you would like to share you can submit the url here.

I’ve been contacted a number of times about advertising on this site so I decided to add support for BuySellAds, and added a section for small button ads.  If interested you can check out the advertising page here.

Here are the resources from the last week in order of popularity:

Open Source: Easy Multistroke and Single Stroke Complex Gesture Recognition On iOS – A couple of great libraries if you are looking to quickly implement complex gesture within your app.

Open Source: iCade Library For Easy Integration In iOS Games – Library that allows you to easily support the iCade classic arcade box/controller for iPad.  Makes a good example if you are trying to support a specific bluetooth interfacing device.

Tutorial: Manipulating Images With Touch Gestures – A tutorial with sample code demonstrating how to add touch features for image manipulation.

Tutorial: iOS Map Kit For Beginners Guide – A getting started tutorial for those beginning with the iOS map kit including a tutorial on displaying data from XML locations on a map without using any libraries outside of those included with  the iOS SDK.

Open Source: Active Record For Core Data Library – A great open source project modeled after Ruby On Rail’s ActiveRecord for more straightforward data retrieval.

News: Cocos2D Game Engine v1.0.0 Released – News about the highly popular Cocos2D game engine finally reaching the v1.0.0 release.

Tutorial: iOS Multithreading With Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) Basics – An excellent step by step guide beginning with the basics on multithreading with iOS ‘s Grand Central Dispatch.

News: Moai SDK Game Development Kit Made Available To All – The lua based open source Moai SDK has now opened the beta for anyone to download and use.

Tutorial: Calculator App Style Glossy Buttons With Core Graphics – An explanation of the technique used to create buttons just like the calculator applications that come with iOS devices.

Tutorial: How To Use The iOS Keychain To Store Names And Passwords – A guide on using the iOS keychain in order to securely store usernames and passwords.

Thanks for reading, please bookmark and share this post!


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News: Cocos2D Game Engine v1.0.0 Released

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As you may have noticed if you have been reading this site for awhile, I occasionally mention product updates. This one is pretty significant as after numerous release candidates the incredibly successful open source Cocos2D iPhone game engine has finally released v1.0.0.

There are an incredible amount of feature updates since the previous official release of Cocos2D. This update from the last release candidate itself even adds support for non-power of two PVR textures.

If you are interested in some in-depth Cocos2D game development training please take this survey.

I will be getting together with a successful Cocos2D expert and putting together a comprehensive training course.

We will be giving out some free copies to those who fill in the survey. You can get to the survey by clicking here.

You can read the full feature list showing the updates included in v1.0.0 vs the last major release:
Cocos2D v1.0.0 Release Notes

Steffen Itterheim, author of the Learn iPhone and iPad Cocos2d Game Development book has created an installer that you can run on your Mac to easily install Cocos2D 1.0.0, Cocos3D and all the templates automatically.  You can find it here.

You can find the Cocos2D source on Github here:
https://github.com/cocos2d

Exciting news for Cocos2D devs.

Read more: iPhone Dev News


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Tool: Easily Gather Sprite Data For Box2D And Generate Cocos2D Code

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Found out about a pretty cool tool for those looking to develop games using Box2D (especially if you’re using Cocos2D — but really good for anyone using Box2D) called SpriteHelper.  It is a notch above the other tools I’ve seen doing similar.

What the tool allows you to do is easily gather information on any sprite such as UV, the vertex positions, position of the sprite within another image (for those of you using spritesheets), and the dimensions of the sprite’s rectangle — but most importantly the tool allows you to easily drag and create an outline around the shape, telling you if your shape will work with Box2D, you can then use the generated data, or even generate the actual Cocos2D code for your Box2D shape. Check out this video demo/tutorial:

The tool is currently only 0.99 cents at the moment in the Mac App Store. No word on whether it will go up in price.

You can find it here:
SpriteHelper

What I think really makes this tool different is just the ease of use, and the small details added to the tool that make things a bit easier.  If you are using Box2D, and especially Box2D and Cocos2D this should be a good time saver.

Thanks to the creator Vladu Bogdan for mentioning it in the iPhone and iPad development forum.


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Notable iOS Game Engine Updates

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Going through the dozens of comments awaiting moderation because of my absence I noticed several comments about a couple of changes that have occured with the Sio2 Interactive game engine and the Corona SDK.

As many visiting this site probably know I have been maintaining an open source iPhone game engine and commercial iPhone game engines on this site for some time, and I appreciate the comments that allow me to keep those listings up to date.L

First, the Sio2 Game Engine.  The engine has been updated and many new features have been added, including a simulator for Windows, and the ability to write C++ code for Sio2 in visual studio.  You can read more details about the new version here.  The new version is no longer open source as was mentioned in several comments.  The “legacy” version is shown on the page, but after clicking through the maze of links you end up with a popup stating the open source version is no longer available.

Now, the Corona SDK.  Corona previously had a time limit of 30 days for which you could use their tool without paying a licensing fee.  There is no longer a time limit so you can now work as long as you like with the trial without having to pay.  So if that has been standing in the way of you trying out their tool you no longer have to worry about it.

Look for more updates tomorrow as I continue to fix plugins (WordPress can be a bitch to come back too after not updating for a couple of months), and catch up on iOS related news.


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XNATouch: Microsoft XNA Games Running On The iOS Platform

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Microsoft’s XNA has persevered and become popular with hobbyist game developers on the Windows and Xbox 360 platforms.   While I haven’t really fooled around with it much, I’ve always felt it would be nice to be able to develop XNA games that ran on the iPhone. A project known as XNATouch aims to make this possible.

Apple has spoken out against cross-platform development, but it appears that the MonoTouch project bringing C# to iOS development has persevered, and XNA Touch has been created for MonoTouch developers.  This has brought the ability to program 2D games using C# and XNA to the iPhone with 3D apparently in the works.  There is also a similar project for Android, so theoretically games would run on the iPhone, Android (through another open source project), and Microsoft platforms including the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform.

You can find the project here: XNATouch at Codeplex

The project is still in active development, and if you’re a hardcore XNA fan you will want to check it out.

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