I am breaking my vow of blog silence for an important reflection. Kids are the future, and OGPC is part of the solution. What a great event! I had the pleasure of being a volunteer judge again this year. This was my 3rd time judging. These are some bright young kids. Its interesting to see them and their struggles. They are real struggles people in the workforce and self employment have every day. They wont know the value of this experience for time to come. Some may never, the vast majority of the kids were super engaged. This was really inspiring and if I can help one or more of them make a good decision down the road its all worth it.

The Organizers were OGPC Alumni! This is great. They went through what these kids went through a few years back. It was great to see how positively it influenced their lives. They are certainly proud of it too. So is that proof this works? Well if it inspires a handful of kids from the hundreds participating then I think so. I know it does more than that, but its a resounding success year after year. The volunteers did really well (my part is small if not trivial, but I am proud to be part of it for my little part as a game professional judge.)

The key note speaker, Daniel DiCicco, spoke from the heart and his experience. It was very inspiring to the kids (and at least this adult) is always intrigued to hear about fellow successful developers trials and tribulations!) They were riveted like they were basking in the glow of greatness. I've seen these kids not as interested in a speaker, and well, this was NOT the case. So even if Dan feels that he has or has not achieved greatness is totally unknown to me and moot since those kids he spoke too showed me he was great! ;) For many of them Dan has reached the pinnacle of what they would consider a complete success in the games industry. Thanks for that Dan! I enjoyed meeting him, his family, and seeing the joy of their togetherness. From my brief encounter I can tell he is a complete, grounded, and rounded person (and I may be *slightly* biased as he has given me and my wife so much joy as a MOO2 fan looking for the 'proper' 4x fix, but thats for another post for another time ;).

Daniel DiCicco

Volunteers are always needed please help if you can!


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. ;) 

Meredith Cook, of MulchMedia.com, gave a great talk to the local Adobe user group meeting (PDX Adobe) here in PDX about her experiences helping make Flip the Bird. I was her colleague/wing man to handle any technical questions, but that is not what made it great. She is a thoughtful, well organized speaker, no ones time was wasted for the sake of the well organized narrative she gave. I may be biased, but her story was well received.


All the nitty gritty details (and links to the updated slide deck) can be found here on her Blog.

She did a great job, the meeting location was much improved over the closet they got stuck in last time (so I am told.) It was fantastic to meet the organizers and people in the community interested in learning and already doing this kind of thing.

Grind, Hustle, & Payoff. That is our mantra right now. And never forget the battle cry... "FFAP!" "For Fun And Profit!" what else! (This really is still a hobby job atm.) If something is truly fun, the profit part follows. I am always seeking balance, but don't get me started about mainstream marketing, that is a bridge too far right now without some serious help from a larger firm/platform. Can we even afford that? Can we even support growth. Questions we need to ask, be ready to scale. We know how to increase server capacity, that plan is in place.

Porting Doodle Army to Windows 8 and Android continues. Rapidly.

ALERT! We have a fix for Doodle Army 2 right on the heals of the 1.7 release. We introduced a bug in the Bluetooth code late in the game (and the fix is sitting waiting for review at Apple now.) [sorry about that!]

On the topic of Doodle Army 2 hacking. We do really care to solve this. We are trying to stop it. We are going to start a thread on reddit at some point to ask the dev community for thoughts on how to stop it as well as community ideas. So rest assured we are watching. We have names, game center accounts, we know who many of you are. And when we can can confidently say without a doubt, we are nailing these punks on a few vectors. You will see them drop off the scoreboards one of these days if they keep it up. We have spent too much time and money on these guys having their fun at the expense of the honest gaming community. It bugs us. It really does. There is not a planning meeting it does not come up. If it was easy it would be done. Period. Give us time, hang in there. We are going to roll out ways for the community to deal with it as well. We are catching many in game hacks as is possible, and when we do those folks are rendered inop as possible. BUT we have to be super careful, if an accidental detect occurs and we take action, to us that is just as bad if not worse as hacker deterrence, and if that is happening we need to know. We have to be super careful.

Damn hackers. Go away, bug another game. The real lame part is the code is optimized for minimal network involvement and that makes a lot of hacking vectors easy, but reduces lag. Any fix we put in puts load ont eh server (++$) and network load (++lag). The cost is in the wallet and network performance (WHICH really makes you stand up and say, oh hey we found a fix for this particular hack [there are many btw] but it doubles/triples our server costs. SUCKY huh, I am trying to figure out where on the doll I made the hackers touch to get them to do their thing... I know it is mostly script kiddies  but the hack devs gave them the hack capability, those guys can go frag themselves.) So we will have to try out new server side code and see what the game play is like (hopefully not bad!) So I see LOTS of testing in our future...  That is why this is TAKING forever to solve.

Well I a lot has happened since last update. Lets see if I can summarize.

Doodle Army 2 (DA2) has gotten a lot of attention this round. It was due. We have always had a serious hacker problem. It stems from an architecture choice made from its inception that makes hacking easy. At the inception it was easy to handle bluetooth near proximity networks, and community policed. You just walk over to the offender and knocked the device out of their hand and had words ;).  I could care less about the piracy of in app purchases. I give a lame kudo for keeping a buck or two out of my pocket per script kiddy using your hack. Its a game after all, and those purchases function within the normal expected bounds of the game experience, but what I can not abide by is people hacking to gain "1 shot" kills, infinite life, etc. That affects the positive multiplayer experience in a negative way, which effects the number of people who want to play, etc. So DA2 is getting some serious client and server tweaks as we take steps to make it annoying to hack, etc. The sad part is it ups the amount of work the servers have to do, so it actually costs us more. A downer, but that work has went well. We added some new weapons. Fixed some odd bugs (rocket launcher and map related. We had some issues integrating an ad framework into DA2, that slid us to the right several weeks.

In other great news we are still working on an Android for Doodle Army (the original) and now we are just starting a port to Windows 8. It is a matter of time before we are simply building games in an agnostic as possible fashion then porting to every platform. The days of use being a one platform pony show are coming to an end.

Zombie Road Rage is doing well enough. Not super amazing, but interesting to see how many people are still playing (about 1/15 the amount as DA2)

Flip the Bird... (Flop the Bird) Well the kids love him. We see him going free someday when we have a slow moment. Otherwise it is just underwhelming. We think we know part of the problem. It needs a tutorial, and a 

I am sure I am leaving out something interesting... In any case I better get back before someone realizes I have slipped out of my enclosure.

What I really want to do is fire up Dwarf Fortress and Tekkit (Minecraft)... But that will have to wait... There is much work to be done yet.

Sound advice from Jeff Vogel  (on February 9, 2012) of Spiderweb Software for the indie: "Find your niche and own it. Accept what you can't change, be as awesome as you can, charge what you're worth, and stand proud on the ocean floor."

Jeff Vogel is one of the long term success stories I like to aspire to. He works hard, loves what he does, and as long as he keeps delivering the quality goods I expect he will continue to do well. I've never spoken to him, but if I do I think I will simply say "Thanks for all the fun and advice!" He has had a great influence in where I am and heading today.

Thanks Jeff! Thanks for all the RPG loving over the (dry) years! Thanks for encouraging and sharing as much as you do! Its the kind of stuff that fuels my forges here at CodeWorx!

Is it just me? But I find the following technologies to be very exciting.

I am watching closely to see how the following 3D related technology *advancements* turn out (when they come out). If they do half of what they say they do they are still pretty cool to behold!

Something from a group called Euclideon:
Unlimited polygons! What if it wasn't about polygons anymore? I am keeping a tight watch on these blokes to see how they do!
The narrator... well... we can talk about him later. He has quite the radio voice. Maybe it is that and a combo of the Aussie accent. I'll leave it at that. Just work through the narrator if he annoys you, its worth grokking what they are showing.
Here is the one I think was just smart and I want it today/now/yesterday:
I could see these tools added as a must have suite in any major animation tool set. It may put some modellers out of work, or they would just spend time elsewhere on the models (less on structure and boning, and more on getting more stuff done.)
All of these ideas/advancements get my 3D adrenaline pumping (in a good way!)

CodeWorx Studios

Welcome! Satisfaction *not* guaranteed. Mileage may vary.