Okay, I’m sitting here on a Friday night, waiting for what we think is the last build before Corona Game Edition Alpha 1 can be pushed out the door. At that time we’ll have a welcome celebration…. we’ve said we wanted to push it out every week for the last 3, and it just hasn’t quite come together. Corona 2.0 Beta 4 and 5 have taken priority, and there’s been one thing after another to keep us occupied. Meanwhile we keep adding features, which means the docs have to be updated, and Evan keeps futzing with the demos because, well, it’s just so much fun to play with. So knock on wood, we’ll have it ready in a matter of minutes. This time for sure!

What is Corona Game Edition anyway? Our existing product, Corona SDK, is the fastest way to create apps for iOS and Android, and lots of developers already create games with it. Corona Game Edition ups the ante to include a metric ton of game specific features that will help you create incredibly compelling and entertaining titles, without a ton of sweat.

First, there’s physics. What does that mean? Collision detection, bouncing, joints, friction, gravity, etc. all of which can make a game a lively and unpredictable experience. In Corona Game Edition, all of these are much easier to use than in a raw physics engine library. A crate bouncing off the ground takes about 9 lines of code in Corona. All the hard math is internal to Corona, so you just have to think about the gameplay.

Second, there’s sprite sheets. A sprite sheet is a series of frames for an animation, packed into one OpenGL texture for performance and because texture memory is limited on device. With Corona Game Edition, defining and using animations using sprite sheets is straightforward. It’s easier than ever to bring characters and objects to life. An animated sprite can also easily be used as an object in the physics engine (one line of code!) — just imagine what might happen if a bird collides with a squirrel (assuming you have the artistic skill…)

Third, there’s social features. For Game Edition Alpha, we chose to implement OpenFeint. We’re still evaluating this because of the rapidly changing landscape of social gaming networks and some technical issues (lack of Android…), but as of this writing this is pretty clearly the leader in the iPhone gaming space. And again, Corona makes it super easy to integrate it into your game.

These are the major reasons we think Corona Game Edition is your ticket to game developer nirvana. We want to relieve you of the burden of coding (pointers, reference counting, etc etc), and let you concentrate on the elements that make your game unique and fun to play.

Check out the documentation available online. Sign ups for the alpha begin in a matter of days. So what do you think of Corona Game Edition?

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