I did a lot of research to find something that would help our design students break through their fear of coding. I’ve taken coursework in XCode and Objective-C, and I knew that using those tools would be a daunting task for the typical design student. I thought cocos2d might be the answer, and even created a tutorial handout for a first lesson. When I finally discovered Corona, it blew cocos2d out of the water – much in the same way that it did Flash, which I had used previously to teach app porting.
When I found the samples, videos, and written tutorials for Corona, I was completely exhilarated by the brevity and sensibility of the Lua coding and the ease of the user interface (compared to XCode – yikes). I soon realized the robustness and power of Corona and I became absolutely convinced that we had to build our apps/game creation classes around it. Code testing in real time with the Corona simulator completely surpassed XCode’s. I could imagine the excitement of my students as they easily performed feats like adding physics with a few lines of writer-friendly coding. I felt an immediate intimacy with the code that harkened back to my days with Director Lingo. I also appreciate the fact that our students will be able to afford Corona once they graduate and will join the incredible growing army of Corona-powered app, e-pub and game designers with the experience that they gain from our classes.
Robert Morris University’s President, Michael Viollt, has indicated his desire for our Graphic Design students to be able to produce interactive e-books, online magazines, etc., because of the increased employability of students with such abilities. Corona not only makes this possible; it makes it incredibly more probable. Corona Labs is even giving our students permission to professionally publish one app per student per quarter to the App Store and Android Market, as long as it’s published under RMU’s name.
Finally, I was bowled over by the enthusiasm of the Corona community of forums, blogs, code sharers, and tutorial creators (including many free video versions). These are individuals with an incredible zeal for this interface who are eager and willing to share their expertise for Lua code examination and game concept advice. People like Peach Pellen in Sydney, Australia even provide hand-holding sympathy to help “newbies” get through the initial barriers of finding their voices in a new language – even one as user-friendly as Lua.
With such a rich availability of online resources, they will have so many places to turn after they leave my class that I will not worry about them.