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iOS Developer's Bookshelf: A Reading List by Rod Strougo

iOS developer Rod Strougo, co-author of Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-On Guide to Building iOS Games with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk shares some of the books in his library that have helped him become a better game programmer. He also shares a few books that are excellent companions to his own for aspiring iOS game developers.
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Rod is the founder and lead developer of the studio Prop Group www.prop.gr. Rod’s journey in physics and games started way back with an Apple II writing games in Basic. From the early passion in games Rod’s career moved to enterprise software development, spending ten years writing software for IBM, and recently for a large telecom company. Rod’s dinner conversations are much easier nowadays. Instead of trying to explain a J2EE asset management system, he simply pulls out his iPhone and starts showing Prop’s games. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rod lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and son.

Books That I Am Reading

Game Programming Gems 8 Game Programming Gems 8 (2010, Course Technology PTR, ISBN 9781584507024), by Adam Lake

The Game Programming Gems series are an essential reference set for any aspiring game developer. While most of the code examples are in pseudo code or C++, the underlying algorithms can be easily adapted to Objective-C and the iOS. The GEMS series cover the really complex and math heavy parts of game development, from graphics, to physics, to networking. I've found the Artificial Intelligence (AI) section particular useful in bringing more depth and intelligence to the enemies in my games.

The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses (2008, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 9780123694966), by Jesse Schell

Jesse's book takes you through the thought process behind designing games. It systematically guides you, the reader, through designing their own games by looking at their game through a series of lenses. This book teaches you to think like a game designer, and improve your own games, showing you ways to understand the purpose and goals of your games, and what practical steps to take your idea and shape it into a fun game.

iOS  Recipes: Tips and Tricks for Awesome iPhone and iPad Apps iOS Recipes: Tips and Tricks for Awesome iPhone and iPad Apps (2011 Pragmatic Bookshelf, ISBN 9781934356746), by Matt Drance and Paul Warren

iOS Recipes is a great collection of solutions to common problems faced by iOS developers. Matt and Paul cover quick and elegant solutions in interacting with UIKit, Core Animation, and other Apple frameworks. Each chapter is broken into small sections covering how to solve a particular problem, including the code necessary to implement the solution. You can read it front to back or jump into a particular recipe for the kind of problem you are facing in your iOS application.

Books That I Recommend Along With Learning Cocos2D

Learning iOS Game Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your First iPhone Game Learning iOS Game Programming: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your First iPhone Game, by Michael Daley

This is an excellent book for getting your feet wet with OpenGL ES and game development on iOS. If you just finished Learning Cocos2D, it will show you how some of the internals (OpenGL ES rendering) work, by having you build a game with just OpenGL ES. In addition, it is a great way to learn about designing and creating tile map based games and some key optimizations in iOS game development. Also available in Safari Books Online.

iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 2nd Edition iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 2nd Edition, by Joe Conway and Aaron Hillegass

iOS Programming teaches the reader many of the concepts we covered lightly in Learning Cocos2D. From memory management, to creating objects, subclassing, and delegation this book firmly builds up the reader's knowledge of development in Objective-C for iOS devices. While most of the content is directed towards iOS applications, the same fundamental language principles apply to games developed in Objective-C for iOS. Also available in Safari Books Online.

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