Particle Playground is an easy way for developers to customize native iOS particle emitter classes (CAEmitterCell and CAEmitterLayer). You just drag your particle image on the image well, modify some slider values and watch as the realtime preview shows you what you will see on your device when you hit the "Export"-Button.
You get a fully functional UIView subclass that takes care of all of your settings and displays the particle emitter just like you set it up in Particle Playground.
Customizable UIKit particle system
Export your emitter as .m and .h files ready for easy integration in your project
Randomize function for playing around with emitter configurations
Retina-ready UI elements
Drop your particle image in the image well
Manipulate the different properties until you have the desired effect.
Hit export (this will give you 4 files) Now you have 4 files: Your code (.h & .m file), the image (.png) and a savefile (.plist). The savefile is just so you can later open the emitter again.
Drag the image and the code files (.h and .m) in your Xcode project
Make sure to add the QuartzCore framework to your project.
Create a custom view with the class "PPEmitterView" (in Interface Builder or programmatically)
Now just fire up the simulator and watch your beautiful emitter!
Some more things:
The sole purpose of this app is to make it easier to customize the iOS-native particle emitter classes. If you are looking for a particle emitter that works together with cocos2d or another framework you are in the wrong place. Search for "Particle Designer" in your favorite search engine. It's a cool piece of software which - sadly - does not support UIKit particle systems and is not on the app store. (btw: I am in now way affiliated with them!)
Don't forget that your Mac is probably a bit beefier than your iPhone/iPad! A particle emitter with 1000 particles per second may look really nice in Particle Playground but it can really take a performance hit on the device. You should really test that.
If you notice that your sprite image is flipped upside down in the emitter preview window, then you are seeing right. That is what the CAEmitterLayer does. You can read more about it in my blog: http://www.vigorouscoding.com/2013/02/particle-image-gets-mirrored-by-uikit-particle-system/
What’s new in version 1.1
Updated on Feb 22 2013
Landscape support added
Added a new Menu Item "Emitter" with shortcuts for Pause, Reset and Randomize
Added a new Menu Item "Device" with shortcuts for Device selection and Interface Orientation