I've ran into the same issue, banged my head for a long time until I got the info scraped together from here and there. I've got a follow-on question mainly to the Cocos2D-guys, perhaps @birkemose can help out here:
What's the suggested way of dealing with the graphic files in v3.3 and onwards, regarding the file suffixes etc. - in the situation that one does not want to use SpriteBuilder? CCFileUtils is being deprecated so I was hoping to find some best practices for handling generic cases.
For example, my case is: my game's releasing on iOS7, i.e. iPhone 4 and onwards (i.e. retina-iPhones only), and iPads, where we have both retina and non-retina. Thus I need only hd art on iPhone, and on iPad it's designed so that the iPhone hd is suitable for iPad non-retina, thus I need "2x" hd for the iPad retina: I'll get by with two sets of art in my case. I would like to skip the whole suffix mess as I see v3.3 supporting "autoscaling" much more.
I should actually be able to pull it off with just one set of art, and set the CCSetupTabletScale2X to YES (that would use the -hd for iPad and scale it to 2x for iPad retina)?
However, with the out-of-the-box setup of v3.3, if I leave the -hd suffix out, the art is scaled to 2x on the retina iPhones. There is a setting for the scaling (can't remember the name right now), can that be set globally so that this scaling is not done (and thus I get rid of the -hd naming convention so I can forget about CCFileUtils settings), but so that the iPad retina scaling is happening automatically?
A related question is the losing of the CCSpriteFrameCache (well, it's there I suppose, but just not supported via the API as in v2.0, or then I'm misreading the API docs...): TexturePacker is a convenient way of handing the scaling and naming of files in these situations. Best practice around this nowadays? I can cope with the upscaling for iPad retina while prototyping, but would naturally really want to have only the iPad retina set as my main set, and downscale that to for the iPhones and non-retina iPads.