Using sprite sheets in Cocos2d and Tiled (part 1)

In today’s post I’m going to enter in more detail in a very useful topic for game development: Sprite Sheets. I introduced this topic in two of my previous post, but did not enter in detail. I received some feedback pointing out that there is some interest on sprite sheets and how to use them in conjunction with Texture Packer and Cocos2d. In addition, I’m also going to explain how to use sprite sheets as your source library for creating maps on Tiled. This will probably be a large post, so I’m going to split it into two parts.

Super Mario World Sprite Sheet

Super Mario World Sprite Sheet

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Game Center integration – leaderboards and achievements

Today’s post is going to be a pragmatic and technical one. I’m going to make a brief introduction to Game Center integration for your games. I decided to talk about this topic today because I found some things that I was not expecting about Game Center. So, I going to share my experience.

As you may know, Game Center is Apple’s solution to social gaming experience. It’s not the best social gaming experience, but its acceptance has been very high among iOS users and it’s quite easy to implement. That’s why I finally decided to only support Game Center, forgetting about Open Feint or Plus+.

game center icon

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devUp11 – First iOS congress in Spain

Last Friday 18th of March was a clear milestone in my professional live. I was invited to give a little talk at devUp11 in Barcelona (Spain). The talk was, obviously, about New Sokoban 🙂 This article is going to be my personal story about the devup11.


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Target audience considerations (part 2)

Today’s post is the second part of an article about target audience and its implications on the development and commercialization of your app or game on the AppStore. You can find the first part here. In this second part I’m going to try to apply the theoretical concepts discussed on the first part onto my current project New Sokoban.

We talked about that it is important to fix the target audience of your game or app. And we also talked about that it is extremely difficult for your initial projects to do so… So, I’m doing my best 🙂 Anyway, I decided that I would like that the target audience for New Sokoban would be mainly casual. The reasons for that are mainly two: (1) casual gamers are the most and this means more potential downloads. (2) My family and friends are mainly casual gamers or even non gamers. Therefore, working on a casual game allowed me to receive more valuable feedback in early stages of development. Some years ago, I worked on a hardcore project (not for my own) and it was really frustrating to talk about that to family and friends and notice that they were not really interested on that, despite on their efforts to simulate interest. So, this time I realized that I needed all the support I could get and this also inclined me to start a casual game project.

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Target audience considerations (part 1)

In today’s post I’m going to talk about a quite tricky topic: target audience and its implications on the development and commercialization of your app or game on the AppStore. First of all I would like to clarify that I’m not by no means an expert about this topic. Everything I’m going to say is based on my experience with paintingWalls and New Sokoban. So, comments on this post will be specially appreciated 🙂

Probably when you start your first project that is intended to be published you don’t think about your target audience seriously. You probably focus on creating a great app or game and assume that this will be enough to reach mass market. Usually this is not true. Usually you need to create a great app for your target audience. And that implies that you need to fix or select your target audience first.

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Tools for creating a game

In today’s post I would like to review the tools I used to perform the different types of tasks involved in the development of New Sokoban, my first iOS game.



When saying “development” I mean those tools that help me generating the code of the game. So, the first one is Xcode, the main development IDE for creating any kind of app for any of the Apple devices and computers. Xcode comes with the Mac OS. I have not used any other IDE on Mac OS, so I can’t compare. But I have worked on Windows and Linux using Visual Studio for C++ and Netbeans for Java, among others.

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New Sokoban – The art of making art

In today’s post I’m going to talk about art asset creation for New Sokoban. My artistic skills are limited and I am an autodidact in this field. So, I needed to create the art for New Sokoban taking into account this limitations. My idea was to create abstract assets playing with plain colors and some basic effects like shadows and border strokes.

I started with the game screen because I felt that it was the most important one and that it would set the artistic path to follow. In the following image you can see what was my first try.

New Sokoban Art creation - First try
New Sokoban Art creation – First try

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Creatinology is a mental illness that makes people’s brain creativity skills constantly fight to their brain technology skills“. Of course, this doesn’t exist (yet) but if so, I would have it for sure. I have been a lot of years working in a technology environment where people only were interested on if “it works or not”.

So, in some sense, my professional education is technology predominant. When my brain tries to think about work (even if the work is making games) it is difficult for me to avoid trying to solve the technological problems first in my mind. “Is 3D or 2D?”, “Needs animations?”, “Particle effects? If so, how would I implement it?”. This are the kind of questions or thoughts that I still need to train my brain to avoid when thinking about making games or, in general, any kind of app.

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Designing New Sokoban

In this post I would like to explain a little bit what New Sokoban is (or should be). I’m going to describe in a few paragraphs the first steps of the design process. However, I have been working using an iterative methodology, constantly revising all the aspects of the game, including the gameplay design. So, actually, the design phase could not be considered to be absolutely completed yet 🙂

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