Welcome to the sixth installment of From the Forum. In this series, guest blogger Alex Jackson highlights outstanding threads from the Corona Forum. The goal is to bring attention to the most captivating, interesting, and thought-provoking discussions taking place in our very own backyard.
Please visit the forum to join these conversations or start your own!
1. So Many Flavors… Which One Should I Pick?
Data maintenance is of utmost concern to many of us. High scores, leaderboards, consumable IAP items, and “app state” information are all viable necessities within the data setup of a mobile app. But which database is best for you? MySQL, SQLite, JSON — there are several quality options.
An interesting thread was started to identify which database solution is suitable for certain applications. In this thread, Rob Miracle weighs in on the options between existing vs. “roll-your-own” MySQL options, and fellow Corona developers discuss their own solutions as well. If you’re creating an app that needs background data maintenance, head over to the original thread and find out which solution be right for you.
2. For Those Who Think Box2D is a Dinosaur…
From Angry Birds to World of Goo, physics implementations add a new layer of complexity to on-the-go gaming. Corona, with the Box2D physics library, has a robust physics solution, but a lot of people seem to think that it’s too old and inflexible to make agile changes in the mobile app arena.
Enter png2box2d. This is a feature of Box2D that allows us to graph out vertices which follow the contour of a .png image, then use those graphed points to form a complex physics polygon. This is an interesting feature which allows us to make some interesting terrain and object shapes without manually tracing the individual shapes.
Check out the original thread and see if this feature can help in your next physics-based Corona game!
3. Get Aboard the “Push Engine Express”
Having a scalable solution for push notifications and turn-based multiplayer can be very useful in the modern gaming ecosystem. Allowing two people to connect from across the globe and enjoy a shared gaming experience leaves an indelible impression, and the PR benefits can be incalculable.
Corona developer Nick Sherman is working on a new service that uses parse.com as the back-end for push functionality while maintaining a modular front-end that can be used in any application. Some of the features he’s stated for inclusion are:
- Find which of your Facebook friends play the game.
- Download Facebook pictures of friends and other opponents.
- Display potential matches (random or Facebook friends).
- Search for users by email, username, etc.
- Send push notifications to opponents and remind them to play their turn.
These are captivating features which almost any game developer would like to implement, so run (don’t walk) over to the original thread and get in from the ground floor. A beta version is just around the corner, so keep an eye on new developments.
Alex Jackson is an indie developer and the founder of Panc Software, specializing in retro-style gaming. He has created several mobile applications, enjoys long walks on the beach, pixel art, and reading the Corona forums. Contact him by email or follow him on Twitter: @pancsoftware.