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I'm a web developer with a keen interest in game development for the iOS platform. I develop mostly with Ruby for the day job but I have dabbled quite a bit with Java in the past, random world generators, platform games, space invaders etc, never anything serious though and only using Java2D.

It seems to be an extremely steep learning curve to get into iOS game development, so my question is where do I start?

I'm not particularly interested in 3D initially, top down / isometric would probably suit the first game I have in mind.

Can anyone recommend a good skills path to learn through, or any videos/tutorials or books to get? I realise this will take a while but I'm happy as long as I know I'm on the right track.

Thanks, Matt

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closed as not a real question by Tetrad Oct 21 '11 at 17:02

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

"Where do I start?" is a pretty broad question, and not really suited for StackExchange. Plus, there's already some general "where do I start?" questions asked already. That said, cocos2d is a common choice for iOS game development. – thedaian Sep 9 '11 at 15:04
It's broad because I literally don't know what technologies I should be learning first, which makes it pretty difficult to research without a pointer from someone that knows ;) Thanks for the Cocos2D tip, I'll check it out. – matthewrk Sep 9 '11 at 15:13
At times like that, it might be a bit better for you to stop by chat. It's the best place for narrowing down broad questions: – Noctrine Sep 9 '11 at 16:14
The problem with this question is that there are really two problem sets here. The first one is "how do I make games", which has already been beaten to death (for example: here). The other one is the iOS-specific questions (where and how much to use Objective-C, Open GL ES stuff, etc. See also this question. – Tetrad Sep 9 '11 at 16:31
Another problem is that we don't know your goals. Would you rather just use a turnkey engine to get something up on screen as quickly as possible, or would you want something a little more code heavy? Are you interested in actually learning the 3D math or do you just want a library function call to point your camera at something? Those kinds of things. – Tetrad Sep 9 '11 at 16:32
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are interested in iOS game dev the best possible way to become familiar with it is to just code. Code up some small projects first to get the hang of things. I would check out 10 iOS game projects to get you started . This is exactly the type of thing I am talking about.

From there, come back with any technical questions you have from those experiences and you will be on your way to making a sweet game!

If you're not interested in doing that then do some simple searches related to this question and you will find plenty of resources and cool books.

Here is a book for @matthewrk engine reference. Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-On Guide to Building iOS Games with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunkbook update

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Thanks, those examples look to be very helpful! I was researching Cocos2D books after thedaian's comment, this one seems to be more up to date than the one that you suggested?: Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-on Guide to Building IOSGames with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk (Addison-Wesley Learning Series) (Not sure if I can post a link so there's the title), published July 2011, as opposed to December 2010. – matthewrk Sep 9 '11 at 15:48
Ya man, the more up to date the better. I always read tons of reviews on my books before I go ahead and grab 'em. – KRB Sep 9 '11 at 15:54
Updated the book I posted because your find is def a better resource. @matthewrk – KRB Sep 9 '11 at 16:01

I really enjoyed Learning iOS game programming. It's an amazing book for beginners that holds your hand through the development process to ultimatly end up with a complete game (which the author released on the App Store as a free game). I'm pretty sure everything is included with the book (assets and such) and it doesn't really make any assumption about prior knowledge of OpenGL, OpenAL, etc (although minimal knowledge of Obj-C/C is a plus).

What I also really enjoyed is that it doesn't use any game frameworks (Cocos2D, Box2D, etc) and that's important for me because I prefer learning about the underlying technologies (OpenGL/OpenAL in this case). I think it makes my learning experience harder yet more complete and satisfying. If that's not your thing, then this book might not be for you obviously :).

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Thanks, that one does sound good, might be worth me picking that one up after the Cocos2D one mentioned above as an introduction to OpenGL ES, one comment says its written for 1.1 though rather than the current 2.2, I'm not sure how much difference there is. If there's another edition out by then I'll definitely pick it up! – matthewrk Sep 9 '11 at 19:34

Also if you do not want to learn Objective-C you could also try either GameSalad Creator, which is mostly graphical with some scripting or Corona SDK, which allows you to program lua on the iPhone. The advantage of these two approaches that they save time and allow for fast prototyping. Most 2D Games should be possible with those two development tools. The disadvantage if you want to distribute your games you need to pay some fee and there might be things that are not possible.

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