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Learn Objective C Online – The Best Courses

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014 in Objective C Language, Training Course Reviews | 0 comments

Learn Objective C Online – The Best Courses

Objective C Books v Online Training Courses I believe that I have found the best beginner course to learn objective C online and it is called “Learn to Make iPhone Apps With Objective C for iOS 7”. But, do you really need to enrol on an online video course to learn Objective C or can you just learn it all from reading books? There are undoubtedly some great books to help you learn the Objective C programming language. I have a couple of these books and I use them as quick reference guides when I need to solve a particular coding problem. However, I did not learn how to write Objective C by simply reading these books. People have different learning styles and some people might be able to rely solely on text books, but for me, I learn much more quickly and effectively if I can watch a video tutorial and then ask questions of the tutor afterwards if necessary. The reasons that I prefer to learn from video tutorials first and then use books for reference purposes include: Having to physically handle a book/e-reader whilst typing code is annoying for me Programming concepts are more difficult to explain in dry print form I find it much easier to follow the code and understand it when someone is explaining everything as it is appearing on the screen You rarely get the chance to ask the author of a book to explain a concept in a different way to improve your understanding So, my advice to you is that you will probably learn Objective C much more quickly and effectively if you enrol on an online training course than if you simply read code and try to learn programming concepts from a book. What About Offline Objective C Training? There are 2 big problems with trying to find an offline Objective C training course to attend. Firstly, very few people will live in an area where there are well qualified experts available to visit your particular college and teach Objective C to the necessary high standard – I certainly looked around in my local area and there was absolutely nothing. Secondly, even if you can find a suitable course, the chances are that it will cost well in excess of $1,000 for a day or so of training and thereafter you will be unlikely to have on-going access to the tutors. I am not a fan of short intensive course since you need time to fully understand each concept (and try it out for yourself in your own time) before moving on to the next module. If you can find and are able to enrol on a longer course, the cost can easily run to a few thousand dollars. Nowadays, there is absolutely no need to attend a physical college in order to learn Objective C or any other programming language for that matter. There are many much cheaper online courses that are produced by experts that are likely to be far more qualified and experienced than your local college teacher. So, which course do I recommend for learning Objective C online, and why? Learn to Make iPhone Apps With Objective C for iOS 7 This is a comprehensive high quality course that will teach you the basics of...

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Make Your Own Flappy Bird Game With Sprite Kit

Posted by on Apr 28, 2014 in Training Course Reviews | 0 comments

Make Your Own Flappy Bird Game With Sprite Kit

The Complete iOS Game Course – Build a Flappy Bird Clone The Complete iOS Game Course is, in my opinion, the best and most comprehensive iOS training product available on the internet today. It is not just a “Flappy Bird” Clone course. It will actually teach you everything that you will ever need to know about making games for iOS devices at a fraction of the cost of a similar offline training course. If you are genuinely interested in learning how to make your own Flappy Bird Game (and much, much more), then this is by far the best online training course in iOS game creation that I have found and I highly recommend it. There are more than 300 hours of course content, including 30 hours of video tutorials, course notes and challenges. There is also an active forum community for this course where you can exchange ideas and solve problems with other students and course tutors. You can read the reviews of past and present students of this course. As I write this, this course is rated as 5-stars by all of those students. The other great thing about this course is that the tutors are so confident in the quality of their training that they offer a 30 day Money Back Guarantee. Finally, there are no monthly membership fees to worry about and you can take as long as you need to complete the course – you have lifetime access to the 185 video lessons so that you can learn at your own pace and return to individual lessons in the future as you build your own games. So, if you think you might be interested in learning to create the next Flappy Bird game, read on … The Flappy Bird Lesson No-one could possibly fail to be impressed and intrigued by the story of the Vietnamese creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen. Before he mysteriously withdrew Flappy Bird from the App Stores, Mr Nguyen is reputed to have been making about $50,000 per day in in-app advertising revenue and and the game had been downloaded about $300 million times! It is a truly remarkable story and one that vividly demonstrates what can be achieved with a little programming knowledge and a very simple game idea. Love it or hate it, Flappy Bird was a highly addictive yet very simple game idea that took him about a week to make. Do you have what it takes to be the next Dong Nguyen? How Can You Compete With the Big Players? Making games for handheld devices like the iPhone and iPad is very different from making traditional console games. Of course, the big players have moved into the smart device market and very often tried to port their complicated console games. However, I and many people like me much prefer to play the simple (but addictive) independently made games and this is how it is possible for an amateur programmer to make money via the App Store. Being successful on the iOS / Android games market is NOT necessarily about making complex games with teams of coders and digital artists. The handheld devices that are used to play iOS and Android games are best suited to games that are relatively simple, but at the same time have something about them that hooks...

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Learn Objective-C Online

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Objective C Language, Training Course Reviews | 0 comments

Learn Objective-C Online

Online Courses vs Offline Courses vs Books? iOS games and applications are written using the Objective-C programming language. It is not the easiest programming language to learn, but there is quite simply no other option if you are serious about iOS development. You will need to buy a book or 2 on the subject of Objective-C, and I have recommended some great texts here. Some people will say that you need to learn the C Programming language first, but most good Objective-C courses will begin by teaching you the essential elements of C first anyway. However, if you are anything like me you will not be entirely satisfied with learning a computer programming language using just books. Personally, I find that my learning is greatly improved when I have access to video lectures and tutorials delivered by experts in the field who are able to communicate and explain complex concepts using visual examples. I like to see the code, see how it works and have someone explain everything about it as they go along. You can try to enrol on an offline Objective-C course. But, having looked into this possibility myself, the drawbacks are: the course dates / times are inflexible and difficult to fit around a job or family life they are very expensive (expect to pay $1,000+ for a good one) once you have attended the course, that’s it – usually no on-going support or access to tutorials hard to find good quality courses in some countries due to lack of suitable experts Fortunately, someone invented the internet and you can now learn Objective-C online at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent offline course. Where to find Objective-C Courses online You can certainly find some free YouTube videos created by people claiming to experts in Objective-C. Some of them may well be experts, but you will have no way of knowing and you certainly DO NOT want to waste your time learning other people’s coding mistakes. You will also find it hard to find anyone on YouTube offering to provide you will a comprehensive education in any programming language and there will be no real support to help you as you progress through the lessons. I learnt a little from YouTube videos, but most of what I had learnt had to be “unlearnt” when I finally bit the bullet and paid for a proper course provided by a real expert. I suggest that you save yourself some time and frustration and just pay for a comprehensive online Objective-C Training Course from the start. These online courses are often NOT expensive when compared with their offline alternatives and it will be money well spent in the end. There are essentially 2 payment models for computer programming courses online: monthly recurring subscription one-off payment I absolutely hate the monthly recurring subscription model – it encourages you to either “rush” through the training or end up spending a fortune on monthly fees. Read my critique of the Team Treehouse monthly subscription courses here. I highly recommend Udemy as a great place to find high quality Objective-C training courses. The main benefits of choosing Udemy are: Courses delivered by genuine experts Single One-Off Payment Lifetime access to course content (videos, quizzes, assignments) Active community of students to engage with as...

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Game Art Creating Software

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Game Art Tools | 0 comments

Game Art Creating Software

The Importance of Game Art It doesn’t matter how good your code is, if your graphics are poor then no-one will want to play your game. This is why professional game-making companies hire teams of artists to create their game art. However, unless your parents are Bill and Melinda Gates you probably won’t be able to afford this luxury. Game Art Options for the Amateur Developer There are only really 3 options: find some free game art on the internet pay for a royalty-free package of game art learn to create your own game art (1) Free Game Art It is certainly possible to find free game art on the internet. The best websites that I have found include: Vicki Wenderlich Opengameart The problem is that it is probably not going to be exactly what you had in mind when you first came up with that killer idea for a game. You will have probably imagined some of the characters and how they would look and act, and have some idea of the virtual world in which they live. But, your chances of fortuitously stumbling upon some free art on the internet that just happens to coincide with the images in your mind are almost zero! Instead, you will end up having to create a completely different game to fit in with the free game art that you have found. Believe me, I have spent hours trying to find suitable free game art on the internet but my searching has never led to anything resembling what I was looking for. The other problem is that, even if you do find something good and use it, you can bet that many other people have done the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that free game art is useless. When you are learning to write code, it is great to be able to download free game art to test your little projects with rather than have to make it yourself from scratch. Those who create this art for free are providing a very generous service to beginners, but don’t expect to be able to rely upon it to make all of your games, especially if you want to make something original. (2) Game Art Packages There are some very attractive looking game art packages for sale on the internet. Generally, the quality of the art will be better that the free game art and it will tend to comprise a full set of graphics that can be used to make an entire game. If you are only interested in making a game for fun then these can be a relatively cheap and quick way to get a complete set of game images. Of course, you will probably not be the only person to have bought the same game art package, but they will certainly be more exclusive than the free stuff. My favourite “game art package” producer at the moment is Justin at Cartoonsmart. His packages are high quality and reasonably priced. If you click on the image above you can see for yourself: (3) Creating Your Own Art For someone that has very limited artistic talent (that’s me!) and no previous experience of using game art creating software (me again!), the prospect of making your own graphics is...

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The Best Objective-C Books

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Book Reviews, Objective C Language | 0 comments

The are only 2 real candidates for the category of the “Best Objective-C Books” and I own both of them. Anyone that wants to learn to create iOS games and applications will need to acquire a solid grasp of the Objective-C programming language. Objective-C is an object oriented language and it is generally recommended that you gain experience in other simpler programming languages before learning Objective-C. However, I ignored this advice and have learned Objective-C without any prior experience of any programming language. There is no reason why you can’t ignore this advice too provided you know where to find great Objective-C books and training courses. Once you have learnt some Objective-C, you will then be able to progress to one of the iOS 7 development books. My 2 Recommendations The 2 best Objective-C Books that I have read are: Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (2nd Edition), by Hillegass & Ward Programming in Objective-C (6th Edition), by Kochan (1) Objective-C Programming The Big Nerd Ranch Organisation has been publishing computer programming books and delivering computer programming training courses for many years. They are not only experts in the field (Aaron Hillegass previously worked at NeXT and Apple), but they are also highly skilled in explaining sometimes difficult concepts to absolute beginners. This book begins by introducing you to the C programming language, before moving on to the more challenging world of Objective-C. Each chapter builds upon the knowledge gained in the previous ones and there are assignments to complete as you progress. To assist your progress through the book, there is a Big Nerd Ranch Forum where you can receive further support and assistance. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn Objective-C.   (2) Programming in Objective-C This book also introduces you to some C language concepts prior to teaching you Objective-C. It is slightly more detailed than the Hillegass book and takes a more academic and less project-based approach. You will not benefit from the same forum support as with the Hillegass book, but it is a very thorough and well written book. You will certainly not be left with the impression that anything of substance has been left out. As with any programming book, it is not one to be rushed and you may need to keep revising things that you have learned in previous chapters. Learning Objective-C is a difficult undertaking but this book does an excellent job of explaining complex concepts in relatively simple terms. Kochan’s book has long been considered one the best (if not the best) introductory texts on Objective-C and, having read it, I can understand why. It is an excellent book and constantly receives high praise from both beginners and experienced programmers. Conclusions I have both of these books and they complement each other well. Personally, I find it extremely useful to have difficult programming concepts explained to me by more that one person. If I had to choose just one of these books, I would probably go for the Kochan one due to its thoroughness. Neither is very expensive so I would recommend both if you can afford them. If you have any opinions about my selection of the Best Objective-C Books, please leave a comment in the box...

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The Best iOS Programming Books

Posted by on Feb 9, 2014 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

The 3 Best iOS Programming Books 2014 The are only 3 real candidates for the category of the “Best iOS Programming Books” and I own all of them. There are now dozens of books on the market that claim to be able to teach you iOS Programming, and choosing the best ones is a daunting task for the beginner. It is vitally important that you get off on the right foot in your programming ambitions and that means that you must choose your books carefully. Not only do you need to find authors that are knowledgeable on the subject, but those authors also need to be able to describe the complexities of iOS programming in simple terms – not always an easy task for those that have developed a high level of expertise. Now, I can’t claim to have read all of the available iOS programming books – life is just too short for such an undertaking! However, I have read quite a few of them and am, therefore, able to tell you with some confidence which ones are good for beginners. I’m afraid that some of the book I have read are truly horrible and should never have been published – it seems that some people are too keen to jump on the app development book-writing bandwagon without first acquiring the necessary skills to write good content! One word of advice  – these books will not teach you the Objective-C programming language in sufficient detail (in fact, the Big Nerd Ranch book doesn’t cover it at all) and I suggest that you read a book or get some training on Objective-C prior to reading a book on iOS. I recommend some books on Objective-C here. These books will also not teach you how to create 2d games using Apple’s new Spritekit. If you are primarily interested in Spritekit, I suggest that you learn Objective-C and then look at this video training course, covering Spritekit and game art creation. My 3 Recommendations The 3 best iOS Programming Books that I have read are: iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (4th Edition), by Conway, Hillegass & Keur iOS 7 Programming Fundamentals, by Neuberg Programming iOS 7, by Neuberg (1) iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide The Big Nerd Ranch Organisation has been publishing computer programming books and delivering computer programming training courses for many years. They are not only experts in the field (Aaron Hillegass previously worked at NeXT and Apple), but they are also highly skilled in explaining sometimes difficult concepts to absolute beginners. This book does not presume that the reader has any prior knowledge of iOS programming and, if you can only afford to buy one programming book on iOS, this is the one that I would recommend. To assist your progress through the book, there is a Big Nerd Ranch Forum where you can receive further support and assistance. Unless you are some kind of freaky programming genius, you will get stuck at some point when completing the example projects and assignments, and visiting the forum is a great way to solve your problems. It is also a great place to meet other people that are also setting out on the iOS Programming journey just like you. The 4th edition was published today (10th February 2014)...

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Team Treehouse Review – Good Value for Money?

Posted by on Feb 8, 2014 in Training Course Reviews | 2 comments

Team Treehouse Review – Good Value for Money?

What is Team Treehouse? Team Treehouse is an online training facility, and one of the courses that it offers is entitled “iOS Programming”. Once you have signed up, you are given access to video tutorials, are invited to participate in tests and projects, and get awarded “cyber-badges” for achieving specified goals along the way. I should point out that you do not sign up for a specific course, but instead pay a monthly subscription that entitles you to access all of their available courses. So far, so good! However, for the reasons described below I will NOT be signing up. How Much Does it Cost? There are 2 levels of membership: Basic & Pro. There is also a 7 day Free Trial available: You can see that the Basic Membership costs $25 per month and the Pro Membership costs $49 per month. I was interested to see what you get for your money, but was dismayed to discover that the 14 day Free Trial required you to provide the company with your credit card details! Why? I simply don’t understand what possible legitimate reason there could before requesting financial information from someone who is accepting a free trial!? I’m afraid it left me with the impression that they were hoping that some people would fail to cancel their Free Trial prior to the expiry of 14 days and they could then charge them, whether or not the trialist actually wanted to subscribe or not. Surely, the most appropriate way of ending a Free Trial is simply to deny access beyond the 14th say unless the trialist chooses to actively subscribe to the service!? So, on a point of principle, I refused to sign up for the “free trial” and I have no direct knowledge of the quality of their courses. However, I have read some reviews of those who have signed up and seen what is on offer and those reviews are, at best, mixed. I have not seen anything to suggest that the courses are any more exceptional than the many other courses on offer. Is it Good Value For Money? For someone like me that has a full-time job and a young family the answer is a resounding … NO! I just don’t have the time to study multiple courses at once and it seems to me that this is the only way to really extract maximum benefit from a Treehouse membership. I have a real problem with paying a monthly subscription for a training service. It is clearly not a cost-effective way to learn complex subjects like iOS Programming for the following reasons: You cannot learn iOS Programming within a couple of months – even if you already have previous experience with other languages. It requires many months (if not years) of initial study, revision, and practical application of that theoretical knowledge to begin to consider yourself to be a competent iOS programmer. Even if you chose the Basic Membership option, it would cost you $300 per year to continue to have access to the training materials; Despite the fact that you have access to all of their courses as part of the monthly subscription, the reality is that (unless you are unemployed or a student) you are unlikely to be able to seriously study more than...

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