UPDATED: When I first posted this I was dealing with a lot of really stupid problems with XDK. Project crippling plugin issues and other nonsense. When I found Cocoon IO at the time it was working so much better for me than XDK that I wanted everyone to know about it... however since this post awhile back, I currently feel that this is no longer accurate. It is still a good platform but basically depending on your game needs and such or problems you may face, be sure you consider cocoon io if XDK is giving you trouble. At this point they are both good. Both have pros and cons but ultimately both (though things change constantly with software updates / OS updates / plugins,etc) are working hard to be better and its a good idea to familiarize yourself with both of them and then use which ever one you like better till it doesn't do what you need well enough..
------- Rant begins -------
Listen everyone, I know I'm not the only one who's had more than one nightmarish experience with cordova / xdk / phonegap publishing with cranberry plugins not working with a particular version of construct 2 or xdk.. you get build errors.. no idea why? spending hours trying to find the answer yourself or with others..
I have found the solution and so has Volkan.. Cocoon IO!
I was reluctant to get into it.. I was comfortable with XDK and even if it kept mucking up the time.. I did have some successes with it.. but those successes eventually were becoming an unacceptable % of the time i was spending.. to the point where it was looking like Construct 2 was becoming unviable for mobile game development... at least for anyone beyond a hobbyist or people who didn't need to rely on any 3rd party services.
So some people bitch about some stuff.. I'm going to tackle a few of those weak arguments:
But Caleb, they want $500 to remove a splash screen!
this is optional! you don't have to pay $500 to use the service and make a game. you just see a little short splash screen before your game loads. If you think this is unfair.. EVERY unity user who uses the free tools has this and guess how much it would cost to own the software to not have a splash screen with unity.. if you want iOS and Android it would cost you $4500 and ONLY $3000 if you just do iOS or Android.. a steal!
I don't want to have to learn another complicated publishing process
It's not! yes it's a little different than XDK/Phonegap, but it's MUCH easier to manage plugins! OMG once you get in there you'll know what I'm talking about
I love having to make 12 different specific icon sizes with each new project I make in XDK.
Well I love uploading a single 1024x1024 image and let them deal with all of them for me.. seriously.. you might cry a little when you realize you can do it once and just see icons in your builds regardless of device you publish on..
I still have a bad taste in my mouth from Cocoon.JS
I personally never went too far down that road, but I know people were having trouble with it in various ways. It's improved remarkably since then. The fact that they brought in Cordova plugin support is a game changer. This means you're no longer reliant on either Cocoon IO OR Ashley to make working plugins. Cordova offers a 3rd party solution and it works!
I want to use Cranberry / Cordova plugins
You can! That was the big improvement with "IO". They included Cordova plugin support! I have spent seriously.. MONTHS trying to get ALL the plugins I need working with XDK and without fail something would always fuck up and leave me with an almost working game.. in the matter of a couple of weeks of learning / testing XDK I now have IAP, Vungle, Admob and Social Sharing working. I used the native Cocoon IO IAP plugin and Ads.. but Social Sharing and Vungle (from Cranberry) worked just fine.
Cocoon IO has actual Construct 2 plugins created specifically to help use Cocoon IO services directly
Seriously, unlike cranberry plugins which are a wild west of support / breaking SDK versions where these are actively supported plugins by humans who respond to your posts on the Cocoon IO forum to help developers with problems.
Crosswalk is so awesome. I love it's performance and how big it bloats my games
Well I can't help you there. If you use Cocoon IO for Android it is 2mb + your game.. Crosswalk is 19mb + your game.. I had a game i made with crosswalk that was 28mb.. when i moved the same game over to Cocoon IO it came out 13mb.. and great performance.
These greedy Cocoon IO guys actually want me to pay money for their work!
They have a free plan and then have several tier plans (i'm going to be going with Silver myself this week because my time is more valuable than using a free tool that has sapped so much energy from me) but you don't have to pay them one red cent to publish your games. The other tiers off higher priority on compiling, but in my experience the free tier takes about as long as XDK ever took to do their compiles.
Why am I posting this? Because I'd like to see more people in the Cocoon IO forums posting their problems and solutions. Cocoon IO isn't without some getting used too, but I've found that the blockers I hit are able to be moved around without much trouble.. unlike the hair pulling frustration I and others I know have faced..
this tutorial will get you far. you may hit a few other little things along the way, but seriously don't jump ahead.. take your time. start with a hello world project. don't try to pull your completed game over starting out.. if you start simple you'll bring your game over..
also Andy made a book download for $3.. Andy has been incredibly helpful and he's part of the Cocoon IO team. Buy this book if nothing else but a way of saying thank you for helping Construct 2 developers out. https://www.scirra.com/store/ebooks/quick-starter-ebook-1893
If you have questions post them on the cocoon io forum and i'll try to help where I can as well. I hope to see more/all of you sharing your successes with Cocoon IO very soon. I have a couple of games coming out soon.. it's actually nice to go back to fixing actual in-game bugs again rather than chasing down plugin errors and compile problems... Cocoon IO can give you errors too but believe me if you pace yourself, you'll see what I'm talking about.