If you are looking for a brilliant introduction to cocos2d, then look no further then “Learn iPhone and iPad cocos2d Game Programming”, by Steffen Itterheim, published by Apress.
I came to know about this book surfing Steffen’s own website, which is entirely dedicated to his book and cocos-2d, and I was actually a little reluctant to buy it at first. Indeed, I had already read several other books by Apress about programming, and iOS programming specifically, only to my deception and I was not willing to waste some more money. So, during the first two months of my playing with cocos-2d for a smaller project I was working on in my spare time, I preferred relaying on the information that is freely available online, in the cocos-2d forum and other sources, like Steffen’s website, and Ray Wenderlich website.
Well, if you give a look at those websites, it should not be difficult to believe that I quickly became full with a sort of mystical respect for those people and their all too evident skills, and so when I started getting serious about cocos-2d for another project, it was pretty natural deciding to give Steffen’s book a try. Hey, that was no mistake!
I will not go into much detail here about the book’s content. You can find all the info you need it about it on Steffen’s website and also have a look at its content somewhere. It suffices to say that the book covers all the ground stuff that you need to develop your own game: sprites, layers, tilemaps, scrolling, particle effects, collision detection, and so on. You can find in this book what you expect from a book: a coherent collection of topics, each treated with sufficient depth and completeness so as to give you the sensation that you are getting both the details and the big picture.
What strikes me most, in comparison with many other books about programming and software development that are laying around at my place, is the thoroughness and depth of analysis and presentation. You will not find here completely made-up, scarcely realistic attempts at building trivial sample programs – you know what I am referring to, I guess, those sample programs that you delete almost immediately from your hard disk, or that you don’t even bother to code because you see there is not much “meat” in them. The kind of sample programs you find in “Learn iPhone and iPad cocos-2d Game Programming” is evidently of the kind that you will constantly need and reuse in your own creations, both at the level of coding and of design.
Overall, my feeling is that there is real knowledge and expertise that is generously shared through this book. It is not only a superficial understanding of how things work that is packed into this book, but years of hands-on craft at making games.