Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
To use this book, you must have a Mac running Lion or later, the program Xcode 4.5 or higher, and at least a working knowledge of cocos2d. Experience in coding Objective-C and C++ also helps, especially when one of the games uses the Box2D engine, which was written in C++. You can run these games in iOS simulators. If you want to run them in real Apple devices, you must be registered with Apple's iOS Developer program.
In this book, you learn how to create and code nine different types of games: a memory game with a group of squares where you press and turn over two squares, and they disappear if their turned-up images are identical, a match game where you line up at least three identical shapes in a straight line and they disappear (think Candy Crush Saga), a "thumping" game where penguins keep raising their heads from molehills, and fly off the screen if you tap them, a game where a snake you move around grows each time it eats mice, a "brick-breaking" where you hit a ball with a rectangle and it makes bricks disappear when it hits them; reminiscent of the classic Atari game Breakout, a two-player game where the players draw lines using a light, and avoid hitting these lines, a pool game, a scrolling-shooter game with an onscreen joystick, and an "endless-running" game where the player makes a robot shoot his enemies while walking through randomly generated scrolling landscapes.
These are all classic gaming styles, and I liked how the author covered all of them in this book; walking the reader through the process of designing, and then coding, each game. This approach gives the reader a nice introduction and reference to how each type of game is made. There was a type of game that Paul Nygard didn't cover in this book: the hidden object game. If he chooses to make future editions of this book, I hope he includes this type of game in it, because readers might want to know how to make one.
I would have liked to see more specifics on how to tailor each game to different types of iOS devices. If the author could include sections on how to create versions of each game for iPads and iPhones/iPod touches in this book, I think game designers and programmers would find it helpful. Despite this, I found this book enjoyable and informative.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Thursday, December 12, 2013
First, this book walks you through installing iCloud on Macs, iOS devices (iPads, iPhones,and iPod touches), and Windows PCs. Then you learn how to work with iCloud apps such as Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and iWork (Pages for print documents, Keynote for slideshow presentations, and Numbers for spreadsheets), and edit and update content created in all these apps across devices. Apple allows third-party apps to use the feature Documents to the Cloud for saving documents; which are uploaded to the cloud and downloaded to your devices. To see what data and documents are stored on your iCloud account, you can log into iCloud Developer and click on the Documents icon. You also learn how to manage photos with iPhoto and Photo Stream, and iTunes to purchase movies and music, and distribute them throughout all your devices; and do the same with instant messages, notes, and reminders. Entire chapters are devoted to syncing your content with iCloud, and backing up your devices to iCloud; as well as using iCloud with OSX. There is also a chapter on how to use iCloud with Windows.
Perhaps one of the coolest things about this book is learning how to use Find My iPhone, which enables you to locate your iOS device on a map if it gets lost or stolen, and configure it on iOS devices. The Mac has a similar service called Find My Mac, which you also learn how to set up and use. I especially liked how there is a section on how to find your Apple devices on a map using Location Services once Find My iPhone or Find My Mac is set up. This section includes information on how to remotely lock your lost device with another device using a four-digit passcode, so if a thief or anyone else picks the lost device up, they will be unable to use it unless they type in this passcode.
Another cool thing this book teaches you is how find your friends on a map using Location Services using the app Find Your Friends. You can enable them to be show up on a map permanently, or invite them to show up on a map for a specific time frame. Once this time frame expires, they disappear from the map. For those who feel leery about having their whereabouts monitored, know that if anyone wants to track you either way, they must have your permission first.
I found the iCloud Standard Guide informative, detailed, and well written. It makes a very good quick-start book, and I would definitely recommend it to those new to iCloud.
The iCloud Standard Guide is published by Packt Publishing.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Even if you're a Mac user, you can still make Windows 8 apps. All you have to do is get Parallels Desktop 9 for Mac, which enables you to run Windows programs, and install Microsoft Visual Studio, which you will be using to create these apps.
Not a web developer, but a Windows one? No problem. The last chapter describes how to make an XAML app, which is XML-based. Visual Studio has Visual Basic and Visual C++ project templates, and Windows developers can also use C# and Visual Basic when making apps.
I enjoyed Rami Sarieddine's clear, concise, knowledgeable writing, and the way he not only summarized every chapter at its end, but the entire book in the last chapter. I especially thought his introductions to HTML5 and CSS3 in the first two chapters were first-rate. There were times when I felt it would have been nice if he had been just as specific when doing the apps in Visual Studio. For example, I was unclear on how to run an app, and had to figure out how to do it myself. Despite these issues, his knowledge of of Windows 8 really comes across.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I will also be reviewing this book over the next week or so.
Check it out: