2D Apple Games by Tutorials: A Post-Mortem | Ray Wenderlich

As we sunset 2D Apple Games by Tutorials, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the book and give a little post-mortem.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.raywenderlich.com/6305-2d-apple-games-by-tutorials-a-post-mortem
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Press ‘f’ for respects. Nice write up. Of course, we can’t forget the game that truly started it all:

https://www.raywenderlich.com/71-spritekit-tutorial-for-beginners

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VERY disappointed to hear this! It was a very good book. I assume Apple is not planning on discontinuing Spritekit? Hopefully you will continue to have tutorials as Spritekit is updated?

Carey Thompson

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I’m also disappointed, 2D technologies is something that I put in my apps.
This book helped me.

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Count me in with the disappointed. I loved this series of books and Sprite Kit. I’m not interested in being any more cross-platform than iOS/tvOS/watchOS/MacOS and Sprite Kit handles that wonderfully.

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Love this book! Learned how to code my first game from this book

I understand and appreciate the decision and would take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to the whole RW team for a great Book that inspired me and countless others in developing Apple Games. I have published 8Conga, 8Cat, 8Bugs, 8Spaceman and 8Racer (5 complete games!) based on/inspired by the book. So, goodbye 2D and welcome the new age of advanced gaming experiences (Unity/Unreal).

Q: Would the same reasoning apply to the current excellent 3D Apple Games by Tutorials?

Nooooo! I just purchased the book this year!

On a serious note, this reference enhanced my knowledge of sprite kit and it didn’t disappoint. I’m actually launching a game soon based on the lessons provided by the writers so yes, I’m a bit sad but I do understand the reason for discontinuing further updates. Unity or Unreal… it’s going to be a tough but exciting road ahead. For me at least.

Extremely sad decision :’(
This was one of the very first first books I bought from here (hard cover), and one that I enjoyed very much.
SpriteKit is a wonderful tool that I use not only for games, but also for animated and fluid interfaces.

Recently, I’ve been writing my engine based on SpriteKit (a Danmaku engine, so really a lot of maths), enjoyed the fact that particles have physical behaviour and can be controlled. I don’t know/think I can port this work to other multiplatform engines, especially when it comes to optimization (thousands or more particles on screen, affected by gravity and magnetic fields).

I hope you’ll continue some of the work in a “Games by Tutorials” book, that would cover Apple’s gaming tools. Things like GameplayKit, ReplayKit, procedural map generation, etc. All of these tools are nice, natively integrated and easy to use for an iOS developer.

Thanks everyone who participated in the book m(_ _)m

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Shame! I had tons of fun going through this on a Pacific flight. It’s still quite useful and really well written with some funny comments.

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Ohh, Nooooooo!.:scream: This book is helping me become an IOS developer. It is a gem :gem: to learn IOS development and for indivudual developers spritekit is completely free. No book like this anywhere.

I would like to know if no updates or sequels what will be the option. Unity? I didnt want to learn C# because of alot of effort on Swift.:weary:

It would be helpful to know the main reasons why should we look toward a different direction, at least to dry some tears. :umbrella:

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@hcastellanos22 I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the book!

Regarding your question of why we recommend a different direction than SpriteKit, here’s my unfiltered personal opinion on the matter (I know some may feel different):

  • SpriteKit does have a benefit over Unity/Unreal Engine in that it’s a bit easier to learn if you already have iOS and Swift knowledge.
  • However, SpriteKit also has two major drawbacks: a) professional game developers almost never use SpriteKit, as Unity/Unreal Engine are far more powerful, and b) SpriteKit locks you into only making games for iOS, while you can make cross platform games with Unity/Unreal Engine.

My personal opinion is that in the long run, you’re far better off biting the bullet and learning C#/Unity or Blueprints/C++/Unreal Engine if you have the goal of making great and successful games, rather than taking a “shortcut” with SpriteKit and then regretting it later.

And as I mentioned in the post, we have tons of tutorials and books for learning Unity and Unreal Engine development, so that should help you get quickly up-to-speed.

I hope that answers your question!

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I’m kind of disappointed by this. I bought the PDF version ( I already had the paperback ) on the premise that it would be updated and now I find out that it won’t be so that’s rather frustrating. It was a good book and I’ll be sorry to see it go.

As far as a post-mortem goes, if you’re not massively familiar with the X-Code UI some of the navigation descriptions were challenging. Often the constraints didn’t quite work the way the book said and the book missed a number of @objc references. Nothing unsolvable but definitely challenging at times. The X-Code suggestions about where to put @objc’s saved me more than once.

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I think the real concern here is if you guys are seeing less and less developers using Spritekit, then Apple is probably seeing the same thing. So the real question is: “Will Apple continue with Spritekit/Scenekit or just drop them and let developers use the third party technologies?” Yes it does make sense to use the better tools/tech that are more powerful and supports cross-platform, etc. but small developers who wish to stay in the iOS realm probably won’t benefit that much from them.

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Thanks a lot for this wonderful book. I learned programming with the help of this book and I am finishing my first game on SpriteKit and Swift.

However, this news make me worry about the future of SpriteKit and my future as an indie game developer. Since there were no updates on SpriteKit from Apple for the last two years I have a question: if Apple decides not to develop SpriteKit will I still be able to make updates to my game when the new iOS comes out? Or should I start learning Unity/Unreal already?

P.S. Unity is a powerful engine and it has obvious pros like “cross platform” and “you can get a job in the industry” but it has cons too like long builds, heavy .ipa, overheating iPhone, old C# so I choose SpriteKit.

Thanks again for your brilliant work.

Thank you for the reply, a frase really made me to think again, That I could regret it later” :thinking:. Maybe it is really the real issue for me. I will start reading Unity tutorials and meybe thats the way i have to go. Thank you!!! :grinning:

Oh no, that was rather disappointing to hear. I hope you will reconsider the decision as this is a very useful book.

I’ve gotten permission from Ray to start my Unofficial 2D Apple Games by Tutorials Update Page so folks can still make use of this excellent resource. My reasons:

  • SpriteKit and SceneKit are the only game engines available on Apple Watch
  • Seamless integration with the entire platform is critical with wearables.

@richardn, hopefully this should help you! I’ll keep a look out for the issues you mention.

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Awesome! The best of luck to you. I’ll definitely follow the page. :slight_smile:

I would say this is a very bad decision and is not aligning with keeping development Apple and Swift. Everyone should note that SpriteKit is the way to go when it comes to develop to WatchOS as well.