Home Game Development Building Android Games with Cocos2d-x

Building Android Games with Cocos2d-x

By Raydelto Hernandez
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  1. Free Chapter
    Setting Up Your Development Environment
About this book
Publication date:
March 2015
Publisher
Packt
Pages
160
ISBN
9781785283833

 

Chapter 1. Setting Up Your Development Environment

In this chapter, we will explain how to download and set up all the required tools to get you started with setting up an environment for building games for the Android platform. Although there are huge similarities between the Mac OS and the Windows development environment, we will cover all the details regarding the installation in both of these operating systems.

The following topics will be covered in this chapter:

  • Cocos2d-x overview

  • Setting up Java

  • Setting up the Android SDK

  • Setting up the Android Native Development Kit (NDK)

  • Setting up Apache Ant

  • Setting up Python

  • Setting up Cocos2d-x

  • Setting up the Eclipse IDE

  • Template code walk-through

 

Cocos2d-x overview


Cocos2d-x is a C++ cross-platform port of the popular iOS gaming framework Cocos2d. It was first released in November 2010, and bought in 2011 by Chukong Technologies, a Beijing-based mobile gaming company. Nevertheless, it is still maintained by an active community of more than 400,000 developers worldwide, including Ricardo Quesada, the creator of the original Cocos2d iPhone engine.

This framework encapsulates all the game details, such as sound, music, physics, user inputs, sprites, scenes, and transitions, so the developer will only have to focus on the game logic rather than re-inventing the wheel.

 

Setting up Java


The Android platform technology stack is based on the Java technology; that is why the first item to be downloaded will be the Java Development Kit (JDK). Although Java JDK 8 is the latest version at the time of writing this book, it is not officially supported by all Android versions, so we will download JDK 6, all the template Java codes generated by Cocos2d-x can be successfully compiled with this version.

Note

Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is not enough for building the Android applications, since it only contains the files required for running the Java applications, but it does not contain the tools required for building the Java applications.

You can download the JDK 6 from Oracle at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html regardless of your development environment.

If Windows is your current environment, then after installing JDK you are required to add the path of the binaries folder to the PATH environment variable. This path will look like this: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_45\bin.

Open a new system console and type javac –version, if Java compiler's version number is displayed, then you have successfully installed JDK in your system.

Note

JDK 7 is required for building the applications for Android 5.0 and higher. You should download this version if you are targeting the latest Android versions. But, if you want your game to be compatible with the Android versions that are older than 4.4, then you should pick JDK 6.

 

Setting up the Android SDK


The Android SDK contains all the required command line tools for building an Android application. It has versions for Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux operating systems.

Android Studio is now the only officially supported IDE; nevertheless, Cocos2d-x 3.4 provides only out-of-the-box support for Eclipse, which was the former official IDE for Android development. It is no longer available for downloading, since it is not in active development any more, but you may download Eclipse manually and install the Android Development Tools (ADT) by following the steps below.

Downloading the Android SDK

You can download Android SDK from the link: http://developer.android.com/sdk. At the bottom of the page, under Other Download Options, you will find the option for downloading the SDK tools. Choose the version that matches your operating system.

At the time of writing this book, the latest version of SDK was 24.0.2.

Run the Android SDK Installer and install the Android SDK on your computer.

When the Android SDK finishes installing, it is not yet ready to build the Android apps. So, at the final screen of the installation wizard, mark the checkbox for Start SDK Manager so you can download the required components for building your games, as shown in the following screenshot:

Once the Android SDK Manager starts, select Android SDK Platform-tools and Android SDK Build-tools from the Tools folders. Then select SDK Platform from your desired API level, as shown in the following screenshot:

Downloading Eclipse

Download the latest version of the Eclipse IDE for Java Developers from http://www.eclipse.org/downloads. It will suggest the download versions compatible with your current operating system, select the version that better suits your operating system platform which will either be 32-bit or 64-bit.

At the time of writing this book, Eclipse Luna (4.4.1) was the latest version.

Setting up the Eclipse ADT plugin

Open Eclipse and navigate to Help | Install new Software and add the Eclipse ADT download location, which is https://dl-ssl.google.com/android/eclipse/, as shown in the following screenshot:

Click on OK, then select the Developer Tools checkbox, and click on Next in order to finish the ADT installation wizard.

 

Setting up the Android Native Development Kit


We have already downloaded the Android SDK that allows you to create Android applications using the Java Technology; nevertheless, the Cocos2d-x framework is written in C++, so you will need the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) in order to build the C++ code for the Android platform.

Note

Android's official documentation clearly states that you should use this native kit for specific circumstances, but you should not use it just because you are familiar with the C++ language, or because you want your application to perform faster. The manufacturer makes this suggestion because the Android core API is only available for Java.

Download the latest NDK revision. At the time this book was written, it was 10d. This version of NDK will allow you to build for all the Android platforms, including the latest.

You can download the latest version of the Android NDK for all the platforms from the following link:

https://developer.android.com/tools/sdk/ndk

After downloading it, run the executable file. It will decompress the Android NDK directory on the current path; you need to be aware of this path since you will need it later.

About the Author
  • Raydelto Hernandez

    Raydelto Hernandez is a software engineer and university professor living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He has developed games for BlackBerry 10, Android, and iOS. He currently teaches topics related to game development at INTEC University. At the age of 22, he started teaching at Las Americas Institute of Technology, where he earned the Professor of the Year award many times. Then he the became director of the software development center. He has also taught at UNAPEC University, UNIBE University, and INTEC University, where he is currently a research professor. He is a BlackBerry Certified Builder, Zend Certified Engineer, Certified Java programmer, CompTIA A+ professional, and Microsoft Technology Associate. Raydelto has posted on YouTube dozens of video tutorials on different programming environments, which are also available on his website at www.raydelto.org. Here, you can also find information about his open source projects. Raydelto has founded two technology companies, Soluciones GBH (in 2005) and AST Technology (in 2008), which develop software for all platforms.

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Building Android Games with Cocos2d-x
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