Cocoa Game Programming Workshop

Do you have $10 and the desire to quickly get up to speed on game programming and Apple’s Cocoa framework? I did.

I recently finished a book on Objective-C and Cocoa programming that gave me a pretty good introduction and base for developing applications on the Mac. Though the book was helpful, I still felt lost when it game to taking my recently acquired knowledge and applying it to games.

Enter Cocoa Game Programming Workshop, by David Hill from SpiderWorks.

This $9.95 eBook walks you through developing your own Gauntlet clone.

Well okay, not quite the Gauntlet I remember but certainly a big step forward in putting together a simple tile-based hack-n-slash type game.

The finished game isn’t really the goal though. What I got out of it is a solid base for moving forward with my own Mac game project. Hill, fills in the pieces I was missing and gave me just enough of a start that I feel like I can move forward.

Some of the helpful things I picked up that will definitely help moving forward:

  • Subclassing a Cocoa Custom View to serve as the main game view
  • Displaying images on the screen using NSImage objects
  • Reading and Writing XML documents
  • Accessing resource files (graphics and sounds) included inside the application bundle
  • Setting up a timer with callback functions (selectors)
  • The Cocoa sound API and using NSSound objects
  • Handling Keyboard input
  • Refactoring Objective-C

The book really is geared towards a beginning game programmer. I imagine someone who knows Cocoa and Objective-C to even an intermediate level could probably put this simple game together. But for someone like me, who has no real prior experience with Apple’s development tools, this seemed like the perfect introduction.

There’s enough information to get a game up and running without getting bogged down in too much of Cocoa’s details. Now, I can get started and pick up what I need as I need it.