I was probably four hours into coding Dungeonism before I discovered the 2D game engine cocos2d. It’s good that it didn’t take me longer because those four hours were essentially wasted. I was already intimidated enough by the strange syntax of Objective-C and the prospect of having to manage memory myself, like a sucker. There was no power left in my brain to grapple with the basic iOS frameworks.

cocos2d was originally written for Python, but it’s been ported to Objective-C, and it’s become a very popular way to make iOS games. It provides an intuitive way to create sprites, move them around, and recognize touches. It also makes it simple to create menus and to switch between scenes. In no time, I recreated everything I’d done from scratch (not much) and was ready to import some the images I had from the Dungeon Escape prototype. Gladly, I left behind grappling with graphics and user input, and I was able to really work on the game. Fantastic.

And Dungeonism doesn’t even use the physics engines Box2d (used by Angry Birds) or Chipmunk, which are integrated into cocos2d for iPhone. It’s no wonder there are so many games that use cocos2d.

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