New blog

I haven’t been blogging here much lately, but I’m intending to make up for it with a new blog at matthijshollemans.com.

I’m currently writing about the development of my game Mahjong Cards.

Originally I intended to bundle up the interesting bits from my development journal into an ebook, but instead I’m publishing everything on the new blog (plus whatever else comes to mind).

At some point I will retire the “hollance.com” website but I’ll make sure the interesting posts are moved to the new blog and the links keep working.

Mahjong Cards is now free

My latest game, Mahjong Cards, is now available as a free download (ad supported).

If you haven’t seen it yet, Mahjong Cards turns mahjong solitaire into a card game. It has the same rules as classic mahjong solitaire, but instead of tiles with Chinese symbols you play it with regular playing cards.

Turtle Level with Stars

So if you’re looking to chill out with a fun game, get the free version for iPad from the App Store. :-)

P.S. If you have a minute, I’d really appreciate a review. Ratings and reviews are a big deal on the App Store — they can make a huge difference for the popularity of an app — and this app could use some fans. Thanks!

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 raywenderlich.com 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 raywenderlich.com 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.