New game: Mahjong Cards

I’m happy to announce that my new game, Mahjong Cards, is finally available on the App Store. It’s been a long time in the making but it’s finally finished. :-)

Mahjong Cards is the classic mahjong solitaire but for people who like playing card games.

Here’s a video that shows the game play:

Mahjong Cards is $2.99 USD and is available for iPad from the iTunes App Store.

If this sounds like a fun game, then grab a promo code while it is hot. [Update: all promo codes have been taken]


The iOS Apprentice is now available in print

I’m pretty excited to announce that my book The iOS Apprentice is finally available in print. It’s a whopping 800+ pages. I know some readers have printed out the PDF version for easier reading, but now you can simply buy the book. ;-)

iOS Apprentice, Second Edition

The print version is identical to the latest PDF (v2.1), which is completely up-to-date with iOS 7 and Xcode 5. If you already own the PDF and you’d like to get the printed edition as well, then you’re entitled to a nice discount. You will receive an email shortly with instructions on how to upgrade.

You can read more about the print version at and pick it up from Ray’s online store.

The printed edition of the book is also available from Amazon. So if you’re still looking for a last-minute Christmas present… :-)

Like the book? Leave a review!

For everyone who has already bought the iOS Apprentice, I have a favor to ask.

I’d really appreciate it if you could you leave a review on Amazon. Until now we’ve only been selling the book directly through Ray’s website. We’d like to expand to places like Amazon, so we can also reach beginning iOS developers who don’t know about yet.

But without any reviews from readers, books on Amazon don’t get much love. So if you have a minute, hop on over to Amazon and leave a review. Honest and fair is all I’m asking for.

Many readers have emailed me to say how much they loved the book, so now we just have to convince the rest of the world that this is the iOS development book to buy. :-)

Thanks and happy holidays!

Better easing and tweening with Sprite Kit

Sprite Kit, new in iOS 7, has a handy feature named actions that make it really easy to move, rotate and scale your sprites. However, a big downside is the omission of timing functions beyond the standard ease in and ease out.

I contributed two chapters to iOS Games by Tutorials on making your games more juicy. You can really bring your games to life by adding very simple effects that are combinations of movement, scaling, and rotation with custom easing functions. Something like this (a bit over the top maybe):

The SKTEffects demo app

Unfortunately, SKAction only lets you do basic ease-in and ease-out — none of the fancy bouncing effects like you see in the demo. So I wrote a set of classes that make it easy to create such effects. Until now this code was only available for readers of the book, but now it’s open source on Github, including the demo app.

Of course, you should still get the book. :-) It’s great for making the most out of Sprite Kit for iOS 7 and OS X.


The iOS Apprentice Second Edition for iOS 7 is now available!

It took me longer than expected, but my book The iOS Apprentice is now fully updated for iOS 7 and Xcode 5. This 900+ page book explains everything you need to know to start making your own apps. I completely revised it to be up-to-date with the latest frameworks and best practices.

In The iOS Apprentice you start making real apps right away. The book consists of four huge tutorials and each explains how to make a complete app from start to finish. It starts out simple, even if you have no or little programming experience, but by the end you’ll have four apps under your belt — and a pretty good understanding of how everything fits together.

iOS Apprentice, Second Edition

You can get The iOS Apprentice at, the internet’s most popular iOS programming tutorial site.

Even better, the complete first part (out of four total) is totally free of charge. Just sign up for Ray’s newsletter (using the form on the home page) and you’ll be able to download the PDF and source code files right away. So you’ve got no reason not to try it out. :-)

As always, this is a free update for existing customers. You can find the new downloads on your My Loot page at If this doesn’t work for you, then sign up with the email address you used to buy the books, or use the contact form to get in touch and we’ll get it sorted out.

One-game-a-month update

After a good start in January, I have to admit that not much has come of my plan to push out one new game each month. Shame on me!

February: I started work on a clone of Defender of the Crown (an Amiga classic), or at least the strategy portion of it. Alas, I got no further than the very basics:

My February game for One Game a Month

The goal is to conquer all enemy territories by sending out your campaign army. You only have one army and you don’t know where the enemy armies are.

As far as strategy games go, this one is pretty simple. But as I’ve never made a turn-based strategy game before, starting with something simple won’t hurt. I do want to revisit this game at some point because I like the idea.

March: No work on a #1GAM game but I did give a 15-minute “blitz talk” at NSConference, which was really cool to do. The topic: why making 12 games in 12 months is a good idea. :-)

My argument was that doing a challenge such as One Game a Month is good for learning to finish projects instead of just starting and abandoning them a week later. In addition, imposing constraints on yourself – such as an extreme time limit — help you become more creative.

My blitz talk at NSConference

If you’re into iOS development you should really buy the NSConference videos, they are great. And visit the conference next year!

April: I don’t know if this counts, but I did a remake of Juicy Breakout. This game is from a talk by Martin Jonasson and Petri Purho titled Juice It or Lose It. They show how to take a boring breakout game and make it really awesome, not by changing the gameplay but by adding tons of cascading animations and other effects.

The original game was done in Flash and their presentation isn’t really about the actual code, so I thought it would be cool to remake the game in Objective-C and Cocos2D for the iPad.

Juicy Breakout for iPad

Pssst, here’s a little secret: I’m making a tutorial video out of this for Stay tuned for that. :-)