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As a seasoned mobile developer, Aaron Isaksen has been building apps since 2003. When it came time to build his latest iOS game, Chip Chain, Aaron turned to Corona Enterprise to make his app truly sparkle. Read about Aaron’s experience with Corona Enterprise, and the unlimited development possibilities the platform provided.

My company, AppAbove Games, has been making mobile games since 2003. So when developing for iOS, we chose Corona SDK Pro because it’s fast for prototyping, Lua is a great language for embedding into our legacy game projects, and Corona provides many helpful built-in libraries. Network client programming is very simple, rapid UI development is easy, and the graphics API is great for making polished 2D games.

It surprised us how fast we got Chip Chain together, given our previous experience with C++ and J2ME. Using the built-in features of Corona Pro, we polished our game quickly and extensively: we added particle systems with Particle Candy for Corona, added rich animated menus, integrated with Amazon S3 for run-time configuration, wrote live A/B test systems, translated into 9 languages, and were ported to iPhone 5 almost immediately after its release. All of this stuff can be done by anyone who has Corona Pro.

As a studio with several profitable games behind us, we had a little extra to invest, to help us maximize our revenue and reach the top of the charts. We wanted iOS 6’s Single-Sign On support for Twitter and Facebook, Tapjoy’s Offerwall so we could cater to users who won’t buy IAP but are willing to engage with a video for free in-game currency, error tracking reports sent directly to our server any time a user found an error, Flurry event parameter tracking for more accurate segmentation analytics, and a couple of iOS UI libraries written in Objective C but not available in Corona or Lua. None of these things are necessary to make a great game, but we are overachievers and wanted it all immediately!

So, we made the upgrade from Corona Pro to Corona Enterprise and we were amazed at how easy it was to add all those extra features in just a couple days! Lua was designed from scratch to be easy to integrate into C, so it’s shockingly simple to integrate a well-written Objective C library. I’d say it took us no more than 2 programmer weeks to get all the features implemented.

Debugging is also quite easy with Corona Enterprise, since you can run directly in the iPhone Simulator or on-device by just hitting the XCode play button because compilation is done locally instead of on a server. The Corona Simulator is still a lot faster for rendering graphics, but XCode is nice when testing features that are specific to a device.

For an experienced game studio developing top high quality games with Corona, I definitely recommend investigating Corona Enterprise, if it makes sense for you. I found it increased our productivity, paying for itself very quickly.

If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer! Be sure to check out Chip Chain on the App Store to see what you can do with Corona Pro and Corona Enterprise.

-Aaron Isaksen

Owner, AppAbove


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18 Responses to “Guest Post: Chip Chain – Built with Corona Enterprise”

  1. Tyler

    I’m curious to see some of your previous apps. It appears AppAbove’s account on iTunes only has Chip Chain on it.

    Reply
    • Aaron Isaksen

      Hi Tyler, All our previous apps are for flip phones and feature phones, which are still common in other parts of the world. This is actually our first mainstream smartphone game.

      Reply
  2. Jurgen Penne

    Hi Aaron,

    it would be nice to see an example of integrating mission iOS UI libraries via corona enterprise, since I’m currently test driving it!

    Nice work,

    Jürgen

    Reply
    • Aaron Isaksen

      Hi Jürgen,

      We implemented Twitter SSO, Facebook SSO, and MBProgressHUD (an open source activity indicator). Which of those UI libraries are you interested in?

      -Aaron

      Reply
  3. David

    By the way, Aaron, the app looks fantastic. I downloaded yesterday and played for a bit and it is really fun and well made. Congrats.

    Reply
  4. Dean Murphy

    Great app. Everything is so polished and the game is quite addictive.

    My question, how did you achieve the bounce on the menu screen items, is that done through corona physics or transitions or just native objective c?

    Reply
  5. N Rodregus

    This game reminds me of Mahjong, where you have to move the blocks of similar designs. While I was not that good at Mahjong I love this game.

    Reply

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