Development Update #7 – Cocos2d Ramblings

Music news, technical framework talk and one design feature. Work on Power Heroes continues.

Composer on board!

I’m happy to announce that I have the highly talented Dave Dexter doing music for Power Heroes! Dave has previously worked on various titles like ‘The Other Brothers’. I’ve heard the first bits already and we are creating some powerful stuff together!

Cocos2d 2.1

Power Heroes is built using the excellent cocos2d framework. When I started development, I downloaded the latest version which, at the time, was version 1.x. Time goes on and currently the latest (stable) version is 2.1. As we all know new versions tend to fix bugs, implement new features and so on, so I decided to upgrade the framework. It didn’t go as smoothly as I expected.

After download was complete and all cocos2d 2.1 templates were installed in Xcode, I created a clean new project and hit ‘Build’. It failed miserably with errors. I tried to figure out what was wrong (I even read the readme.txt!). Maybe it’s because I’m running Xcode 4? Nope, the documentation clearly states: “Mac OS X 10.6 (or newer), Xcode 4.2 (or newer)” (I had Xcode 4.4). What if I set the deployment target to another iOS version? No luck.

After a while I gave up banging my head against the wall and logged into Apple Developer site to download Xcode 5. Clicked ‘Update’ and… “OS X 10.8 required”. I was on 10.7. Well, it’s good that Apple released 10.9 (Mavericks) as a free update.

So in order to run cocos2d 2.1, I had to update OS X and Xcode to the latest versions. I still don’t know why the sample project didn’t compile in the first place, but at least with the latest tools I got it working.

From there it was just a matter of fixing all (close to 100) errors in the actual Power Heroes project. Apparently the upgrade from 1.x to 2.x is quite a big deal! Fortunately the errors were easy to fix, majority of them being simple ‘deprecated’ messages, meaning a slightly different method or variable name. Find & replace is your friend!

Power mode

Last time I wrote about the power mode (or ‘power attack’ as it was then) was in September. In its current form it’s a mode that’s triggered after the player collects 5 power coins, thus filling the POWER meter to its max. For the next 30 seconds, the player is able to kill enemies with just one hit and is invulnerable to their attacks. Great for increasing those kill combos! Additionally, killed enemies may drop items that are not otherwise available for collecting.

I feel quite happy about this mode as it adds another aspect to the gameplay. Only thing left is to add more graphical effects to really give an impression of being on a rampage.