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Last week, we launched a new public release along with Corona SDK Starter. I want to give you a quick update on all the great things we are adding to make Corona awesome for cross-platform app development. I also have some announcements on what we are doing in open source.

Before I go on, I just wanted to clarify a few things about last week’s announcement:

First, Corona Pro is currently available at $349. If you subscribe (or are already a subscriber) you will be able to renew for another 2 years. This is a fantastic time to get in before prices go up on May 1.

Second, I want to share our philosophy behind Corona SDK Starter. The goal is to allow you all to create real apps for FREE. That includes using your own custom splash screen, which is the typical restriction you see on products that are “fake free.”

The other thing, which I realized is worth explaining, is that Starter is going to be a continually evolving product. That means as time progresses, we are going to continue to explore how we can bring premium features and make them available to Starter developers. We are going to push the envelope on how we can do this to empower you, and still run a business so we can continue to innovate.

That’s all I’ll say for now, though the tidbit on open source applies to Starter developers, so if that’s you, keep reading!

Graphics

So last week, I showed you our awesome demo of 5000 fish at 60 fps. The great thing about that demo is that it shows we are building on a really solid and fast foundation as we think about adding awesome new graphics features. The big takeaway here is that we are trying to build an engine that lets you do amazing graphics features in real-time. So think of Photoshop and Illustrator effects without the progress bar. Pretty ambitious, but that’s our goal.

In terms of what we’re doing this week, we’ve broken ground on refactoring the architecture of our core engine code. The goal here is to make it easier for us to cleanly swap in the old and new graphics engines for things like regression testing. At the same time, we’re investigating render to texture support in the core renderer.

Plugins and Daily Builds

Daily Builds are going to resume tomorrow morning (assuming nobody broke the build). One of the check-ins you’ll notice is the following:

Gluon/Mac: Enable simulator device builds for iOS

What this means is the simulator will be able to do device builds that incorporate plugins hosted on our servers. We still want to do more testing before we let you play with it.

On top of that, we’re also hard at work building a growing library of hosted plugins. It will start small, as initially it will include plugins that we write or plugins that are written by 3rd party partners. The goal is to expand this out so more folks can write plugins that are hosted, but we want to be methodical about this.

Open Source: ‘widget’ and ‘gameNetwork’ for Corona Cloud

When we open sourced widget v1, we did it with the intention of making your lives better and to minimize the impact it had for those of you who weren’t quite ready to jump to widget v2. Our intention was to put more control into your hands.

We realized that we could do a couple of more things to make your life better and more manageable. Specifically, we’re going to open source ‘widget’ v2 and the ‘gameNetwork’ UI for Corona Cloud.

Relationship to Daily Builds

This is going to be especially useful for those of you who are using Corona SDK Starter. You will not have to wait until the next public release to get some critical bug fixes to these libraries, some of which are going in tomorrow’s Daily Build.

Our plan is to keep this reasonably in sync with what we’re putting out in Daily Builds.

License

The source code will be made available under a BSD license. If you use the open source version of either of these libraries, we’ve added a minor requirement that you add the following somewhere in your app (e.g., the credits):

This product includes software developed by Corona Labs Inc. (http://www.coronalabs.com).

Contributions and Pull Requests

We’ll be posting these on our github page by next week.

If you’re interested in helping us make these libraries better, we’ll be putting together some guidelines on pull requests.

* * *

As you can see, we’ve kept hard at work, even after a monumental release. I look forward to sharing more with you, from inside the Corona Labs kitchen!


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22 Responses to “Corona Weekly Update + Open Source”

  1. Byron

    Walter.

    Can you give us a rough estimate on timing for Graphics 2.0?

    Are we talking weeks or months?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Chris

      I also hope it will bring us something useful (i’m not sure how many dev’s need 5,000+ fishes or other sprites at the same time on a small screen).

      Shaders / Filters would be top – allowing us to use blur+treshold for real liquid simulations.
      Free-Form-Deformation would be also nice to animate through code and not with dozens of spritesheets.

      Reply
      • Walter

        Absolutely, lots of cool rendering features are coming. The 5,000 fish was just to show that we have a really fast engine so as you add filter effects on a display objects, add particle effects, or do things like deform rectangles, you’re doing that on a really solid and fast foundation.

        Reply
        • Chris

          I didn’t mean to be mean ;)

          Let’s see what filters you can come up with.
          And yes, for particles this might be awesome. Lot’s of Gore!! ;)

          I hope someday Free-Form-Deformation will be something in the pipeline.
          Thanks for the reply!

          Reply
          • Walter

            No worries.

            By free form deformation, do you mean distort the corners of a rect or distorting a mesh?

          • Chris

            I’m talking about distorting a mesh, rather than only the 4 corners of the rect.

            Something like that: http://www.cocos2d-iphone.org/archives/40

            But basically yes, more like Mesh-Distortion from Illustrator/Photoshop/AfterEffects.
            Best one is the one AfterEffects has – you can specify how the Grid is defined (let’s say 2×2).
            Then you could actually animate each point programmatically – allowing you to make more or less subtle animations, without the need of making spritesheets.

            Realworld example: You want to animate huge trees wobbling in the wind. You can rather use a huge spritesheet, build it from diffrent smaller parts and rotate those or you could actually use a mesh to distort it.
            That could be even more complex, allowing bezier curves to i.e. mimic waves in the water etc.

            Just something that could be really nice to have and save texture memory. ;)

    • Walter

      Definitely this year. In fact, easily less than half a year, but more than a few weeks. Is that rough enough? :)

      Reply
  2. Alla

    I don’t know why you want to change the price of corona pro?
    There is no any excuse or reasons for that! Isn’t 349$ enough?!

    Reply
    • Walter

      Hi Alla, if you were a current Pro as of the April 4th announcement, we have automatically extended your Pro subscription for another 2 months.

      As long as you renew before your subscription expires (or become a new subscriber before May 1), you can renew two more times at $349/year.

      Reply
  3. James

    So does this mean that if we are currently a subscriber and want to lock in at the $349 rate, we will need to purchase 2 years worth ($349 x 2 = $698) before May 1st, or does this mean that for the next 2 years, we will auto renew at the $349 rate?

    Reply
    • Walter

      Hi James, you’re locked in as long as you have a current Pro subscription as of May 1. Then, next year you’ll qualify for the renewal of $349/year. Just FYI, our store does not currently auto-renew so you’ll have to manually renew — we’ll send you a reminder :)

      Reply
  4. Olivia Slater

    sounds exciting and big jump like monkey, amazing work and keep it up with Corona SDK update. no beta no alpha only believe in final version.

    “The goal is to allow you all to create real apps for FREE”

    Great job Walter and Corona.

    Reply
  5. Greg

    Hi,

    Q1 – re Starter – Will this give you instantaneous builds? Or will there be a wait time before the server starts building?

    Q2 – re ” open source ‘widget’ v2″ – does this mean, if we were on starter, we would pull down latest version of the libraries to effectively get what would be in daily builds re fixes to widget v2 bugs?

    Reply
    • Naomi

      In addition to Greg’s Q2, I’m wondering what it means to open source widget v2.0 and gameNetwork to Corona Cloud. Does this mean, if we don’t use Corona Cloud, the open sourced widget v2.0 would not be available and could not be used?

      I’m really not sure how the use of Corona Cloud relates to open sourcing widget v2.0. (although I can sort of imagine how it may relate to gameNetwork.)

      Reply
      • alexf

        @Greg Q2 – you are correct. As starter, you will get the widget and gameNetwork related updates from GitHub, and those updates will be kept in sync with what goes in the daily builds.

        @Naomi: Nobody said anything about the cloud being a condition to use Widget 2.0. gameNetwork uses Cloud (so you have to have an own account to be able to use the gameNetwork plugin), but Widget and gameNetwork are primarily opensourced for the reason Greg asked in q2 and i confirmed.

        Hope this helps,
        Alex

        Reply
        • Naomi

          Great. Thanks for clarification, Alex. I misread the sentence that reads “widget and gameNetwork for Corona Cloud” to mean, both widget and gameNetwork are to be open sourced for Corona Cloud user. My bad.

          Reply
    • Walter

      Hi Greg,

      Q1. Starter builds are on a lower priority server than Pro builds, so sometimes there’s no wait, but sometimes there is. We’re monitoring load times and if they get really bad, we’ll put more servers up.

      Q2. Yes, the idea is you would pull down the latest from github and that effectively gets you the latest daily build fixes wrt widget v2.

      Reply
  6. Gilles

    Hey Walter,
    I’m a business app developer, does this, in any way, fix the fact that we cannot print using Corona?

    Reply

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