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How many hours to learn iPhone game programming?

03-14-2009, 11:58 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 466
How many hours to learn iPhone game programming?

I am a college educated individual with basic computer hardware knowledge. I did some Pascal programming in high school and that is the extent of my programming knowledge. I did take logic in college though, I would imagine that helps.

I currently have quite a bit of free time on my hands and I was wondering how long it would take to learn the programming knowledge to make iPhone games. What is your story?

Thanks!
03-15-2009, 12:58 AM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 226
To frame this post: I have roughly ten years industry experience w/ C in embedded applications, router programming and kernel driver writing. Plus about 4 years of PHP experience for websites and a few years of hobby Java.

It took me about 3 weeks of really struggling with the Apple training videos and sample projects before I started to understand core Objective-C paradigms (like memory management, syntax, delegates, etc).

It took me three false starts and another month with random test programs before I pumped out Cryptograms.

It took me another three weeks to put out Theseus 1.0 with lame graphics and no animation.

I then got hired doing iPhone programming for a startup and spent a great deal of time studying message board threads and reading random sample code. During this time I developed a firm grasp of the core animation paradigms.

I spent the entire Christmas break (morning to night) redesigning Theseus with the engine it has today using my deeper understanding of the Cocoa Touch gfx SDK.

I then spent another month off and on refining Theseus 2.0 -> 2.1.3

I then spent about four weeks of post-work hours developing the engine for Light Jockey (learning how to use OpenGL on the iphone, perfecting the engine, etc).

Hope that gives you a frame of reference for how long it may take to learn and develop a Cocoa Touch app.. good luck!

My Games in the App Store: Theseus,
Theseus Lite
, Cryptograms, Rubehouse,
Theseus HD

03-15-2009, 03:49 AM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonf View Post
It took me about 3 weeks of really struggling with the Apple training videos and sample projects before I started to understand core Objective-C paradigms (like memory management, syntax, delegates, etc).
I'm following a similar pattern. I've been programming professionally for about 5 years now and it really took me awhile to even begin learning how to approach Objective C.

I will say that I struggled off and on by myself for easily a month googling around for tutorials and watching videos, more often than not getting frustrated and giving up for days. The one thing that saved me was the CS193P online lecture notes from Stanford. It was a structured approach to learning how to code for the iPhone and after I went through all the lecture notes (took me about another month as I had a lot of things going on at the same time), I dived into my first utility.

It definitely took me awhile to wrap my head around memory management, delegates, and interface builder and while it's funny to look back now and wonder why I had such a hard time with it, I still feel the learning curve was definitely steep. But best of luck to you!
03-15-2009, 04:20 AM
#4
274.

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03-15-2009, 10:08 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: The Land of The Rising Sun
Posts: 146
It took me a four-day weekend with nothing much else to do to dive into the SDK and learn enough OpenGL ES to get started. I wrote Petri in about a month. That was coming from a Computer Science degree and a year as a web developer (two years ago). But I hadn't really programmed for a while before tackling the iPhone.

Even so, there are still tons of things I keep learning as I go along. So I would say that you can get started easily enough, but in-depth understanding will take a while.

Developer of Petri. Available now on the iTunes Store.

These days I work with Tonchidot on Sekai Camera.
03-15-2009, 10:11 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 546
Quote:
Originally Posted by gillygize View Post
It took me a four-day weekend with nothing much else to do to dive into the SDK and learn enough OpenGL ES to get started. I wrote Petri in about a month. That was coming from a Computer Science degree and a year as a web developer (two years ago). But I hadn't really programmed for a while before tackling the iPhone.

Even so, there are still tons of things I keep learning as I go along. So I would say that you can get started easily enough, but in-depth understanding will take a while.
This is kind of how I feel too. Coming from a programming background with experience in various languages, I didn't have too much trouble getting started. However, I still have to Google references a ton, as well as things I can do easily in other languages. I wouldn't say I'm 'comfortable' in Obj-C yet, but I've used it about 1.5 months and know enough to work on a game.

I recommend an engine such as Cocos2D iPhone to help give you a head start. It will do some of the 'heavy lifting' for you.
03-16-2009, 04:00 AM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,553
Buy or use an premade iphone engine will easily cut your dev time in half as long as you can work with one you like, it's the route i'm going to take by using Unity.

3D modelling, design and sequential artist / GameCenter ID: Diab
03-16-2009, 06:41 AM
#8
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,268
it took me three months of struggling...then i got to busy with my masters and had to drop it, so i have a 75% done project that has been gathering dust since october...but considering no one has released its type of application yet, i may pick it up again in the summer and finish it off