Learned the basics. What's next?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by omgitssum1, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. omgitssum1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    I've just finished a book on the basics of Objective C and Xcode and my ultimate goal is to make a game (specifically a slot machine game). I have no idea how to get to that goal. I have the game idea planned out, but I haven't made a single app before (other than the book tutorials) and I don't know where to start the actual programming.

    My questions:
    1. Coding: How do I start out writing my classes for the game? How do I know which methods to use, which methods exist, etc. for my game? Or maybe a better question would be: where should I start? (keep in mind that C and Obj-C are the only language I know)
    2. Am I still far from making a game or app? Should I be following tutorials? I just feel that the apps made in tutorials aren't very relevant to my game.
    3. For my particular game (slot machine) is Obj-C the only knowledge I need? Will I need to learn non-Apple frameworks/engines like Cocos2d? Will I need to learn OpenGL? What type of games are Cocos2d and OpenGL for?

    Finally, any suggestions for books or websites that could help me at this stage would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read and answer these questions.
  2. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sea of Tranquility
    1- As far the frameworks go, there is nothing that can't be done, and there is a method for every thing you can imagine :) What classes to create and what to subclass will vary from programmer to programmer. But these things only come from experience, and there is not a single answer as such.

    2- It's true that there will be very few general programming books that will run you through the steps required to make a game. But a slot machine game is fairly trivial and does not require you to be a game designer. Anyways, if you know Obj C and have some preliminary knowledge of Foundation and AppKit, you are good to start with your game. You can make a working slot machine with a UIPickerView.

    3- Game engines are typically required when you are rendering and manipulating multiple objects in your game. They usually make it easier to manage objects. But in this case, they are not needed, unless you are making a very rich, dynamic slot machine, with fire works and explosions. You may start with Cocos 2d as it is easier to understand. But I would not suggest you dive into OpenGL, unless you have a strong knowledge of C++.
  3. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    maybe now that you've learnt the language and Xcode you should do some specific game tutorials.
  4. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I very much enjoy tutorials from Ray Wenderlich. He has a book full of them, which I'm sometimes tempted to buy, but thus far I've found what he posts for free online is good enough:


    I'm a little confused how you claim to know so much but don't know how to get started, though... surely you can drag and drop a few UI elements in Xcode to make your interface? Then it's just a matter of hooking them up to a little bit of code...?

    Getting started is just: Open Xcode, start a new project, base it on a single view, use a storyboard (even if you don't think you'll need one... it'll make it expanding your app later on easier, I think.) Add your code to the view controller it makes for you. Done?
  5. omgitssum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    Thank you guys very much for your responses! They have thoroughly answered my questions. I guess I just need more experience. I will look further into using UIPickerView and looking for more tutorials.

    @ArtOfWarfare: I only know the basics. Drag and dropping is simple, but it's the actual coding that I don't know where to start. As I said, I haven't made an actual app from scratch on my own, so I don't have the experience to know where to start coding, how to form the logic for the code, etc. Regardless, thank you for your response and for the link.
  6. larswik macrumors 68000

    Sep 8, 2006
    After I finished my first book on C. That is where I went to a City College I wanted to hop right in to iPhone programming but they said I should start with basic programming if I wanted to be successful in learning. I was bummed about taking a dead language of Pascal even though I read aC book and write a blackjack game. But it was the best thing I ever did.

    Not only did I learn lots more about programming they also address how to start projects. Every week they gave us a task we had to do in Lab and it was so worth it.

    If you can. I recommend a basic class at a city college. School should start again in August. It is so worth it and you will learn how to tackle projects.
  7. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    descending into the Maelström
    Did the book have exercises? Did you do them?

    Exactly what book was it? Title, author, edition number?

    Writing a program essentially consists of:
    1. Describe what should happen, step by step.
    2. At each step, break it down.
    3. If a breakdown of a step is simple enough to implement, do it.
    4. If not, then break down that step into sub-steps.
    5. Apply recursively and repeatedly until program is done.

    If you don't have a written description, make that. If you have a written description but it's not detailed step-by-step, do that. At some point you should be able to see how the pieces and the steps fit together in a logical way. Then design and write the classes and methods for that logic.

    The exercises in a book give a written description, and you're expected to do the step-by-step breakdown, design, and logical implementation. But if you skip the exercises, you haven't applied anything. Learning how to program requires writing programs from nothing but descriptions. If you can't do that for the program you want, then pick a simpler program or exercise and solve that completely.
  8. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Coding, like learning to play the piano or to play chess, can't be learned from a book or lessons without lots of practice. Books or websites without writing lines of code and getting them to work won't help you.

    Don't worry about relevance yet, just write code to solve some problem and get it to work.

    Start writing some tiny programs, then bigger programs, then simple apps, then get more complicated apps working, and eventually you will know better where to start with developing a game app.
  9. omgitssum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2009
    Sorry for the late response!

    @larswik - Thanks for the tip! I will try to see if my city college has any classes I can take.

    @chown33 - My book did have exercises, but I chose to skip them (that might be why I'm struggling right now). It was Steve Kochan's Programming in Objective-C 4th ed. And thanks for the step by step breakdown! I'm convinced that I still need more experience.

    @firewood - I realize that now. I need more practice and experience. Thanks for your response!
  10. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    descending into the Maelström
    Go back and do the exercises. Start with the last chapter. If you can't do them, go to earlier chapters until you find one where you can do every exercise. Then do every exercise in every chapter forward.

    For a large number of mathematical problems of varying difficulty, see Project Euler:

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