★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

i've got programming experience- how do i start over for iphone?

01-23-2009, 09:16 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 68
i've got programming experience- how do i start over for iphone?

I know there are tons of threads already about "How do I start programming for iPhone?" or "I want to write game for iPhone, where do I begin?" but it seemed to me that the vast majority of these threads were focused on people who had never tried their hand at programming before. This is not my case, so I was hoping for some more personalized advice.

Myself... I won't pretend that I'm some kind of coding wiz-kid, but I'm not a total beginner. In high school (2000-2004), I took four years of programming classes, spending 1 year on Visual Basic and 3 years on C++. The only graphical programming I did was my year in Visual Basic; many basic shooting games were written that year. In C++, I never got past text-based programming for the console, but I feel as though we got pretty deep into programming theory (though it was so long ago I couldn't tell you where I left off). I then spent a year of college (04-05) in the computer engineering program. I quit this after taking my first linear algebra/diff.eq./circuits class, realizing that I really hated all the high level math and that all I wanted coding to be was a hobby. But it turns out that there's not a lot of opportunity for an English major to practice his coding, so I haven't really done anything since then (or really, since high school; I didn't take any actual programming classes in college).
What I'm trying to say, is that there is a fair amount of knowledge up in my brain; even if I can't access it all right now, I'm sure if I started coding again, it would come back pretty quickly. And now, having just received an iPod touch for xmas, I've been feeling an itch to create a really killer game for it.

So with that in mind, where do I begin programming for iPhone/iTouch? I'm assuming I should dive right into objective-C instead of spending my time with C++ again. Is there a book or online lesson targeted at people with general programming experience, but zero experience with objective-c or guis?
I should also point out that all of my experience with coding was in VisualStudio (meaning also that there was a major switch in my life from PC to Mac, if that makes a difference). I briefly tried out xCode several years ago, but couldn't figure it out, so I also need an introduction to that.

Any help you guys can offer is greatly appreciated.
(also, still running on a college budget, so keeping costs down is a plus!)

Last edited by Jaytee; 01-23-2009 at 10:44 AM.
01-23-2009, 10:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 25

I would suggest the best way to start would be install XCode, install the iPhone SDK , fire it up and and go through a few of the Apple examples and read as much as you can about Objective-C all while playing around with examples.

I'm in a similar situation. I've been developing in C, C++ and now C# apps professionally for a total of about 15 years now and want to start playing around with a few iPhone/iPod app ideas that I have. If you already have development experience then that is the main thing. Everything else is just different syntax and new frameworks as you swap between languages. If you can figure out how to use the beast that is Visual Studio, XCode should be a piece of cake.

Once you spend a bit of time with it it'll click and you'll be able to apply what you have already learn before with the new language and feel more comfortable.

The fastest way to learn is jump in and have fun.

Good luck


Last edited by Moog; 01-23-2009 at 10:45 AM.
01-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 430
You can use a lot of your C++ in Obj-C. Absolutely grab some sample code and start simple by modifying it.

Then pick a very standard known game like Pong, or Tic Tac Toe, or something where the rules are very defined and try to recreate it.

Lastly, don't get frustrated when you realize how good VisualStudio is when compared to Xcode.

I've made a lot of games. You've played them.
01-23-2009, 01:26 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 336
Also remember that even after you get the hang of Obj-C, there is the whole "business side" of releasing an app. There's a big difference between "creating a game for iPhone / iPod touch" and "creating a *successful* game for iPhone / iPod touch". If you want to be successful, you'll need to have (or hire) design and graphics expertise, jump through the many hoops for getting your app into the App Store, and learn and do a lot of marketing for your game. We started out by getting a few small consulting jobs in game development and graphics development for other iPhone developers. Then we decided to do our first game once we knew the ropes. Good luck!