Our recently announced Corona roadmap features a new section named “Corona Game Edition”. I’d like to describe exactly what that is and how it differs from Corona SDK 2.0.
As Walter discussed in a previous post, Corona apps are actually built around a classic game-development structure: an Objective-C/C++ engine driven by compiled Lua. This architecture is common not only on iPhone, but on console games in general.
After looking at the number of apps that our customers have written, as well as apps currently in progress, we learned that more than 50% were game apps. We therefore started to add features to Corona that are primarily of interest to game developers — the most obvious examples being a physics engine, texture-memory optimization techniques, social gaming APIs, and so on. These features will be released as a product that will contain all the Corona SDK elements plus specialized game-development support.
In other words, everything in the standard Corona SDK will also be found in Game Edition, so if you want to develop both game and non-game apps, the Game Edition will cover both cases. Meanwhile, our users who aren’t developing games can continue to use the Corona 2.0 SDK.
“I’ve already subscribed to Corona — how do I get the Game Edition?”
As we’ve already announced, the $99 introductory price for Corona will end when Corona SDK 2.0 leaves beta, which will be later in Q2.
I am now extending the same offer to the Corona Game Edition. Corona subscribers who join at the current price of $99 will ALSO get upgraded to the Game Edition when it ships, at no additional charge. However, this offer only extends until SDK 2.0 is out of beta.
To summarize: we are now offering Corona SDK for iPhone, iPad and Android, along with the Game Edition, which will also target iPhone, iPad and Android, all for a grand total of a $99 introductory subscription. This is a stunning amount of software for very little money! We appreciate our early adopters, and this is our way to show our gratitude to you for trusting Corona for your app development. But, at some point the “early” phase of software must end, and that point is now approaching.
“When will a beta of Game Edition be available?”
An early drop of the Game Edition will ship as soon as the core physics API is reasonably stable, and then we will continue to ship rapid updates until the product is final. We demoed an early build of the physics engine at 360iDev in San Jose two weeks ago. And we will announce the beta release date as soon as possible — believe me, we’re getting this question a lot!
For all you gamers out there, I think you will find the Corona Game Edition a pleasure to work with. Some of the early prototypes I have worked with have surprised me with the performance metrics, and just wait until you see the small amount of code it will take to generate a physics object in Corona.
Our goal and commitment to you is to bring you the very best world-class development tool for iPhone, iPad and Android, and I believe that between Corona 2.0 and Corona Game Edition we will continue to do just that.
“Why not just put all of that into 2.0?”
First, the Game Edition will significantly increase the size of installed apps. By contrast, Corona 2.0 apps start at under 400KB. If you aren’t using advanced gaming features, you won’t want the additional heft. Second, after talking extensively with larger professional game design studios, we’ve decided to invest heavily in making the Game Edition the absolute best way to rapidly create mobile games. We think splitting them into different editions makes sense to our customers.
Carlos M Icaza, CEO