purplelilgirl

makes games & other things

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Creating Games with Cocos2d for iPhone 2

Packt Publishing recently released a new book called “Creating Games with Cocos2d for iPhone 2”, written by Paul Nygard.

The name is a bit confusing to me, the 2 in the book title refers to the book being the second Cocos2d book from Packt or 2 as in Cocos2d version 2.0?

Anyway, the book in detail from their website:

Cocos2d for iPhone is a simple (but powerful) 2D framework that makes it easy to create games for the iPhone. There are thousands of games in the App Store already using cocos2d. Game development has never been this approachable and easy to get started.

"Creating Games with cocos2d for iPhone 2" takes you through the entire process of designing and building nine complete games for the iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad using cocos2d 2.0. The projects start simply and gradually increase in complexity, building on the lessons learned in previous chapters. Good design practices are emphasized throughout.

From a simple match game to an endless runner, you will learn how to build a wide variety of game styles.

You will learn how to implement animation, actions, create “artificial randomness”, use the Box2D physics engine, create tile maps, and even use Bluetooth to play between two devices.

"Creating games with cocos2d for iPhone 2" will take your game building skills to the next level.

You will learn:

  • Control sprites with touch, joysticks, and tilt controls
  • Use sprite sheets, particles, and plists effectively
  • Learn multiple approaches to solve common challenges
  • Integrate cocos2d with the Box2D physics engine
  • Use third-party programs for joystick control, tile maps, and more
  • Implement Bluetooth to play across multiple devices
  • Learn game-specific A.I. design methodologies

Looking at the book’s Table of Contents, I see that there are 9 different games that will be taught in the book. Like all other Packt books, Source Codes are included.

There is a memory game, “Thanks for the Memories” (which reminds me of the Fall Out Boy song). It’s basically a memory card game. A Match 3 game, Whack-a-Mole, Snake, a breakout game, "Light Cycles of TRON" game, pool, a scrolling shooter, and an endless runner. They are pretty run-the-mill games.

This book is aimed at readers with an understanding of Objective-C and some familiarity with the cocos2d for iPhone 2.0 framework.

I’m not through reading the book yet, so this is it for now. Sorry >.< I’ll write the review as soon as I’m done with it.

You can get the book on the Packt website: http://www.packtpub.com/creating-games-with-cocos2d-for-iphone-2/book

Filed under cocos2d book packt iphone development review

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purplelilgirl plays with photo caption apps

Photo Caption Apps, apps that literally just put, well, captions or text on photos. I think it’s those emo/inspirational quotes all over Tumblr that inspired these text over photo meme(?) thing. So a seemingly simple purpose, actually has quite a few apps that are dedicated solely to it. 

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I went to Beitou, Taiwan today and took a couple of pictures, and placed a couple of captions on them.

So I played with InstaQuote, Typic, Tiny Post, Overgram and Instaplace (“Insta” and “Gram” is the new “i”?).

First  up it’s InstaQuote, it’s basically a text caption thing for Instagram, it’s actually it’s whole name- “InstaQuote - Text Caption For Instagram”. By the way, this app is free.

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So being Insta “Quote” and all you can start off with writing a quote, but since am not a quote-y person, I just typed the name of the place I went to.

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You can use one of your photos as the background or use one from the background packs. Oh you have to buy the background packs. Separately, and they cost about a dollar, each.

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So stingy me used one of my own photos. Guys, check out the Thermal Valley in Beitou. Steam is literally rising from that body of water. Pretty, but smells like sulfur.

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Oh and then you can pick one of the styles. A couple are free, but the rest requires a Pro upgrade.

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You can change the Text Color and the Punch Color.

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You can also change well, Text Size, Alignment, Line Spacing, etc. I don’t really get what Frame Width is though.

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You can “Fine-tune” the font, like change the font, but it also requires the Pro upgrade.

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And finally “Open in Instagram”.

So from this:

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The photo came with a “natural” filter, with the steam rising and all.

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+InstaQuote. Oh it comes with a watermark.

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And finally Instagram-ed.

Should I rate these apps with stars? If ever, I’m not really sure what to give this app. It’s okay and all, but a lot of stuff requires the Pro upgrade or some In App purchase.

Next up, Typic, I noticed this app because it was featured in the New and Noteworthy section when it first came out. And app screenshots from iTunes look really pretty. I’m not sure if it had always been free, but anyway, it’s free right now.

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The splash screen is kind of cute.

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The featured picture is different every time you load the app, and I found that quite charming.

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So you can take a photo or choose one from your library.

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The app has a scroll view type interface, and you just slide across to go to a previous or next screen.

So this app actually comes with filters.

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The filter made my photo really pretty, I think.

You can tap on the Caption button to type your well, caption. Adjust Text size, font etc. Some fonts need to be bought too. But the free ones are good enough for me.

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And then you can, well type your caption.

This photo is taken at the Plum Garden. Plum flowers can apparently bloom in winter, or maybe these were just token.

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You can also add frame, in black or white. And if you chose frames, you can even adjust the corners to be a little rounded.

And you can also change your text color, black and white is also the only option though.

You can make your picture a litter blurry, to emphasize your text, but I chose not too, since the flowers are just too pretty.

You can also adjust your text opacity.

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And yes, “Open in Instagram”.

So from this:

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To this:

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No need to add filters and stuff in Instagram anymore. Oh and no watermarks either.

Next, next, is Tiny Post. It’s free.

Tiny Post is kind of interesting because it’s not just a caption app. It has a social networking thing going on too.

You have to sign up for an account first, and then you’d have this profile, and whatever photo with caption that you make will appear in your profile.

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It’s pretty, pretty basic. You take or choose a photo and then you’d get to this page.

Where you can well, type your caption.

And then change the font of your caption. I’m not a big fan of the childish looking fonts though.

And look, filters! Filters named after places, quite pretty.

So this:

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Became this:

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Pretty basic, and slightly boring.

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And there it is in my profile page.

This doesn’t have “Open in Instagram” in its Share options though, but you can share it to Facebook, Twitter though. Oh and Copy it’s URL, which means this photo is actually on the internet, then? Right, social network-y and all.

And then there’s Overgram. Over and Instagram, get it? This one is free too.

This app looks pretty hipster. Check out the splash screen:

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This app can produce pictures like these apparently.

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It starts off pretty standard. Choose one of your photos or take a new one. I like this user interface. It’s pretty slick.

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You can crop it. Since it’s going to eventually end up in Instagram, it has to be cropped into a square.

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Like the screenshot says, you can double tap to edit the text.

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You can even change the color, while you’re at it.

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Do you remember seeing a yellow triangle in the previous, previous, previous screenshot? So you slide that out and you get this round dial of a UI, which you can slide to see a variety of options.

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Like… oooh… cool fonts… Upgrade for more fonts. But the free ones are pretty cool already.

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Align…

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Size…

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And of course, “Open in Instagram”.

This app doesn’t come with filters since it probably figured that Instagram already has them.

So from this:

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This is the Beitou Library. It’s a pretty eco-friendly building, and it’s one of Taipei’s green libraries.

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Overgram produced this. It has a watermark. But you can remove it with a Pro upgrade, which costs about a dollar.

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Plus a filter in Instagram. Oh and when you use Overgram to share to Instagram, it by default has this description already, the pretty standard “I made this with…” spiel, plus a tons of hashtags. So people can actually find your post easily. And one of the hashtags is like #pleaselike, so the nice strangers on Instagram will actually Like it. And Likes are always give me a nice feeling.

Finally, Instaplace. Instaplace, given the key words in its name, it adds the name of the place where the photo was taken as a caption on your photo, which you’ll eventually put on Instagram. It’s free today, but for today only I think.

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So you choose or take a photo and that it usually automatically adds the location. Or you can also use the My Place or Locate button to help it detect the location.

There are a bunch of skins:

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I think the skins are pretty cute. Some went a little overboard with the logo placement, though.

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And then you hit that giant share button there, to share.

From this:

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To this:

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Yes, it has a watermark too. But I like recently discovered that you can remove it in the Settings (hidden in the More button).

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This adds a bunch of hashtags too to your Instagram post. So yeah, likes.

And that about sums up my trip to Beitou, but my photo caption apps (slowly becoming) addiction does not end there.

Some other pictures that I took and added captions to:

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So follow me on Instagram? @purplelilgirl

If you guys want me to check out any apps that you made, feel free to contact me, I don’t charge for reviews.

Filed under apps beitou instagram instaplace instaquote ios over overgram photo review taipei taiwan tiny post travel typic iphone App review