Where to start... "Cocos2d-x by Example Beginners Guide" is a good great book! Turns out one of my Appsomniacs partners has bought this book and also enjoyed its knowledge (votes+=2). Even have cut my teeth and shipped on iOS, Android and Windows 8. The Windows 8 was such a hack job I could never get it cleaned up to do a push request (I think, I should just try, at least put it in my branch. Please nag at me if I don't... It may be a bridge too many not subtle changes. Anyway, I digress, the rest of this about this great book that might help a lot of people on their Cocos2d-x journeys.


1) The first thing that popped out at me when I cracked the spine on this book was the large quantity of and the technical diversity of the contributors. I was impressed with their bio/resumes and the book certainly was better for it.

2) Hang on tight. The gas pedal is binary. The book gets you up and running rather quickly. Almost too quick in some respects, but later chapters make up for that hand holding fast start in ten fold. I was worried at first a lot of bits were glossed over. Do not worry about this stuff. Great details will be given in droves, and when not a good entry point to references often sufficed.

3) I actually appreciated the section (within chapter 2) that was a primer on as well as described why the C++ was arranged the way it was (e.g., what conventions were from the Objective C world and reminders of things you need to remember to do when in C++ (i.e., proper memory management because ARC is not available.)) My favorite quote so far "... relax, and let the framework work for you."

4) The learn by example part struck me as well done. It could always cover more. I was wanton for more after 6 games. Maybe combining this and the ideas found in the iPhone Cookbook you could get even more mileage. Frankly, after you tackle this books examples. I did one a weekend (~4 hours in 1-2 sessions usually) you will be pretty well versed. The games are varied enough and the topics within cover a lot of ground. I will always want more!

5) Chapter 10 is gold for anyone coming from iOS and wanting to break into Android and really use the greatness of what Cocos2d-x brings to the table (IMO anyway.) You are presented a nice 'uncluttered' step by step walk through (albeit the compile sections was 20 steps, but they were important 'no fluff' steps! I am pleased they linked their sources on this one too. Our team put this stuff together by piecing together Android NDK posts and trial and error last year (of course we never thought to share because we never thought we did it right to begin with... it compiled... and ran, so we shipped it anyway...) I think the chapter here would have saved us much time and pain. Luckily you now have this resource to leverage. My only wish was that a little more time was spent on the tricks you have to go through to get as clean as code as possible (not special casing every piece of logic with pre-compiler directives, etc. for each platform.) Maybe a little treatise on design patterns would have been helpful here too. But I guess all of that is really beyond the scope of the book (i.e., a lifetime could be spent learning how to write well designed cross platform C++ code. If anyone knows of a good book let me know!

6) I want to mention the index. It was a basic run of the mill index. Don't get me wrong it was a good and proper index. But I can not help but note this book chapters were laid out similarly to the iPhone book "Creating Games with Cocos2d for iPhone 2", which had a brilliant index (I bet someone hated it... those darn trolls convinced them not to do it this way!) In the iPhone book most chapters covered an entire game by example much as this book did too. The iPhone version's index had a breakdown of a game chapter by game name as a sub index of concepts within it. I absolutely loved that and I dearly missed it in this one. The index is fine as it is, but having tasted the other books additional index by chapter concepts I found myself longing for it as this new book was also a perfect candidate for that format as well. But it is no reason to not get this book if the subject interests you. File this under 'I have to find something to complain about in a review' comments.


I do think beginning, but versed, C++ developers could pick this up and succeed if they try. If you have Objective C down C++ is not really that hard to grok also (and the parts you don't use won't likely come into play as nearly as often as you might think.) Advanced users probably won't get a lot out of it, but if you are street learned on Cocos2d like I have been (and still am learning in many respects) it wouldn't hurt to have gone over this material once. 

Thank for sticking out my wall of text this far. I am pretty sure there is an achievement for having made it this far. ;) 



Why do we call it 'X'. Well because it is our cross platform version. We are heading into testing with Android this week? (I am small part of that project, so I am looking over my shoulder to get confirmation, yes... Chad is nodding that is what he *wants* to do. Ok that is properly caveated. We have the Windows 8 Win32 version working quite well and passing the WACK too! That leaves 64 bit and ARM to be worked out, it is rather non-trivial though. You Surface users will NOT be left behind. I am doing this for you. I really need to get off my desktop and get one I guess. The simulator only goes so far (i.e., Win32/x64)

We are using cocos2d-x to port the existing HD version of the original game over to  the new platforms. There is no reason we have to stop there. We have almost gotten over the tipping point effort wise.

For people looking for help, look me up. I simply have no time to put stuff out right now. I may change my mind if a lot of people want help. Let me throw some search terms out there:
Windows 8
CC_PLATFORM_WIN8_METRO (which I have renamed CC_PLATFORM_WIN8_STORE for accuracy reasons. Metro is not a template type (anymore))
Chipmunk (yes I have gotten chipmunk to compile and run in windows store project. I know the settings. Seriously I will write and share about this, but don't wait. just ping me if you never found it. If anything it will force me to post once, and share if a lot of people are looking for it. There is no reason *everyone* should suffer. I make a good martyr eh! ;)

I have taken the last two weeks as vacation from my day job to just bunker down on this porting and Windows 8 problem for Appsomniacs. The cocos2d template was not v2 (API) so I bit the bullet and made it support that API for the calls we used. A complete update is a bridge to far and I don't trust my C++ 100% yet. It doesn't mean I won't share what I got, in a pinch I'll just send it to you, but eventually I will add it to the official project fork I made. 

Happy super duper holidays. Remember to hug your kids and loved ones. Enjoy the moments and let the less fun parts of life just sit in darkness for a while. The new year will be upon us and we can start to tackle all our open issues with renewed vigor once we take a moment to remember what we are fighting and striving to promote, protect, etc. Am I calling for a holiday cease fire? I guess I am. It has been a really hard week to work on violent games. Really hard. Especially with kids involved. Some of you guys may never get that, that's something you will get with time. An appreciation of life in general comes with time (on average I think that is true.)

For the few that actually read this. Thanks for watching, and see you next update.




CodeWorx Studios

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