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Learn GameSalad for iOS: Game Development for iPhone, iPad, and HTML5 (Learn Apress)

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In 2007, Apple revolutionized our way of living by introducing the iPhone, but most important was the birth of iOS. Today, iOS is used in the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Via the App Store, a new business model has emerged that offers more than 500,000 applications and games, resulting in 25 billion downloads. This new business model is a huge opportunity for game entrepreneurs and hobbyists as there are more than 100,000 games in the App Store.

GameSalad is on a mission to help you to be an active actor in this revolution. GameSalad is a powerful, graphical 2D-game development engine for iOS. According to GameSalad, more than 3% of the games in the App Store are created with the GameSalad Creator, its development tool. The Creator has been downloaded more than 150,000 times since 2009.

The power of GameSalad comes from the fact that no programing knowledge is required. You read correctly: NO PROGRAMING at all! You focus on your game logic, and via an intuitive WYSIWYG interface you design your games with a few drag and drop actions. Forget the long learning curve of object-oriented programing (OOP) and Objective-C; this is no longer required with GameSalad.

However, this power does not come without a few constrains. For instance, you can only develop 2D games. Also, you are limited to a specified set of features—important ones but not complete compared to the iOS SDK. Don’t worry—these constrains still leave you with an infinite number of games to create!

GameSalad comes in two versions: free and pro. The free version is obviously free of charge, whereas the pro version costs 299USD per year. I cover the differences between these two versions in Chapter 1.

The book is divided in three parts. Part 1 provides you with the fundamental skillset for GameSalad. Chapter 1 offers step-by-step tutorials for installing all the required tools on your computer to get you started with GameSalad. In Chapters 2 and 3, you design a fully functioning and classic game, Pong, and you get familiar with scenes, actors, attributes, and behaviors. You then create a new version of Arkanoid in Chapter 4, consolidating your skills and using the accelerometer for the first time. Chapter 5 concludes the first part of the book as you remake Space Invader and add new tools to your arsenal.

Part 2 spices things up with more complex features and projects in GameSalad. In Chapters 6 and 7, you create a fully functioning Angry Birds-like game, learning the required physics and creating a very advanced menu system. In Chapter 8, you add music and sounds to your project and implement a very powerful visual effect with a labyrinth game.

Part 3 completes the journey by bringing your game to the Apple Store. In Chapter 9, you finish the Arkanoid-like project started in Chapter 4 by polishing it in Game Center and adding features. Chapter 10 illustrates some non-game apps with GameSalad. You also learn about the device clock features. In Chapter 11, you publish your game on the App Store via a very detailed step-by-step tutorial. Chapter 12 offers a brief introduction to game promotion in Chapter 12. You learn the main tactics to get your game visibility so that it can potentially be the next big hitter!
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