Danger Tank has been completed and is now with Apple being reviewed. It’s been a long time coming and has been a great learning experience for me, I’ve come to know and love Cocos2d for iPhone very much. I thought I’d share some of my biggest lessons learned while writing this game, so here they are as a handy bulleted list:
- Design your code – I’m a hacker (ethical) by trade and as such am used to cobbling together code in a quick-and-dirty manner to get different tasks done quickly. As my lecturers always used to say, a little design saves a lot of time. I can honestly say that if I’d even just scribbled down some rough classes in a diagram first, it would have helped.
- Whenever you have a problem, dip into Cocos2d’s documentation before you go about solving it yourself. There’s been quite a few helpful functions that I didn’t realise existed until I’d already re-written them, mostly for vector mathematics. ccpAdd, ccpSub, ccpMult, ccpDot, ccpCross etc. All of these are your friends.
- Don’t expect too much of yourself. Programming throws up difficult problems, sometimes in places that you don’t expect to find them. Don’t get upset if you end up spending an entire day trying to implement some tiny part of your game and don’t get anywhere. Take a break and refocus
- Check out freesound.org for some free-to-use sound effects. Danger Tank!’s sound effects are all excellent and are sourced almost exclusively from there. Don’t forget to credit the original authors.
- If you’re gonna do your own graphics, get a drawing tablet. I have a Wacom Bamboo that I got for about £60 and it’s awesome. Also a decent drawing package will help. GIMP is good for free, but I use Serif’s Drawplus.
- Test your game a LOT. If you’re obsessive like me, this shouldn’t be a problem cos you’ll want to fiddle with it all the time anyway. All I can say is that how my girlfriend didn’t go mental from the continuous explosion sound effects I’ll never know. But testing is important, so give it to others to try and listen to their feedback. Danger Tank! had a few modifications due to suggestions from my testing team: Thanks to Ween, Al and Kirsty for their input.
So there you go, I hope that was both interesting and informative! Danger Tank’s fate is now in the hands of the Gods (and Apple, although I in no way want to link the two).