So the last while you’ve probably come to the conclusion that we’d reached the end of the line for cocos2d as a good development choice, what with the original author dropping support and the introduction of SpriteKit, yes?
Well, not so fast there. The good folk at Apportable stepped up to support continued development of both the library and toolchain, and you can take a look at what’s been brewing away there now:
The Cocos2d-iphone team, is very excited to share, what we have been working on for the last couple of months; namely the first preview version of Cocos2d version 3.
Version 3 will be the most extensive update to Cocos2d up to this day! This preview is still in alpha, and is not yet meant for use in production. Instead the idea behind the release, is, to collect feedback on the features and API, before everything is finalized.
Together with the release of Cocos2d, a first version of SpriteBuilder is released. SpriteBuilder is developed out of CocosBuilder, with a focus on improved user experience and new features. SpriteBuilder will manage your resources, graphically build your scenes and levels, do your animations, and your particle systems…
There’s a nice demo of SpriteBuilder in this video, “Apportable – One step iOS to Android”:
Compile Android apps directly from Objective-C and Xcode. Watch Zac Bowling explaining ‘Apportable’ and how to create Angry Birds in a couple of minutes using SpriteBuilder.
Yeah, getting to use a tool like and cross-compilation to Android whilst remaining in the friendly … ok, accustomed … environs of Xcode and native iOS development, that’s a pretty solid argument for preferred choice of platform, isn’t it. And there’s a good bit of other upgrading besides, here’s the full highlights list:
- Starting with version 3, Cocos2d will conform to semantic versioning. This means that point updates will not break backward compatibility.
- The whole API has received a thorough spring cleaning. Private properties have been hidden, naming is more consistent and old broken or unused classes have been removed.
- Much improved touch handling. Any node can now handle touches and multiple touches can be handled on a per node basis.
- Physics has been integrated with Cocos2d and will work seamlessly with your sprites or any other nodes. Best of all, it’s all objective-c!
- Cocos2d now comes with a UI-kit. Add your buttons, text fields, scroll views or sliders with only a few lines or code.
- Improved multi-resolution support. With the new positioning and scaling options making your game work on different form factors, such as tablets and mobiles is a breeze.
- Graphical editor support. Integrated support for SpriteBuilder, where you can lay out all your interfaces, components and even edit your games physics.
- Much improved truetype labels that support outlines, shadows and attributed strings.
- Official cross platform support through Apportable. Your games will now compile for native Android without modifications!
All this, and it still runs back to iOS 5. So be sure to keep the cocos2d option in mind when deciding on a platform for your next game!