Our latest App of the Week is Garden of Orbs — a very elaborately illustrated and constructed game (with 100 levels) that probably won’t be leaving your iDevice anytime soon.
Now, creators Deric Daugherty and Don Foster of Furious Apps describe how Corona SDK reinvigorated their desire to make mobile games, and how it works great even if you’re “a designer first and novice programmer second.”
Garden of Orbs was originally conceived about a year ago and we (Deric Daugherty and Don Foster) dabbled on and off with the concept for a few months. We attempted to build the game with other drag-and-drop SDK’s but were not able to get the physics quite right, nor the performance levels close to what we needed or desired. The idea was shelved for a time for other concept pursuits.
When Corona released their game engine, we decided to dust off the shelved concept (called Ping Shooter at the time), and start from scratch as our first Corona–built project. It was a struggle at first to find the right look and theme to lay over the game. The “zen” theme we started with was the seed of a “gardenesque” idea which evolved into Garden of Orbs.
We first started developing apps over 2 years ago when my day-job as a self-employed Professional Architect evaporated with the recession. Learning Obj-C was daunting to say the least even though Don had several years of experience working with PHP and Java in our web-dev efforts. We were limiting ourselves to data based concepts while getting our feet wet in app development. Our first app series, Spirit Apps, was launched with Rum Connoisseur in early 2010. We teamed with some experienced C++ Windows OOP programmers that were able to adapt to Obj-C faster than Don and I were. It took us over a year to get our first app out to the AppStore and so far has been well-received and valued with an update rate of over 70% within 1 week.
Corona was able to shave a considerable amount of time off our development cycle for Garden of Orbs. In less than four months, we had a functional and polished game ready for the store. The app went live on February 4, and within 24 hours it was a Top 1000 app overall and a Top 100 app within both of its registered game genres (puzzle and strategy).
We are extremely excited and humbled with the positive initial buzz around Garden of Orbs. The App Store has proven to be a fickle market to understand and cater too. It’s extremely competitive and quite crowded now compared to when we started pursuing it. At the time we started app development, there were no third-party options available for making apps. But once Corona Game Edition came to be, we were hungry and anxious to get started working with it. It’s a remarkable product and has made game development for us easier and faster to say the least. Even for me… A designer first and novice programmer second.
Thank you Ansca for a fantastic product, packed with features and oozing performance. We have many more concepts, both shelved and fresh in our minds; that are ready to go. Stay tuned at Furious Apps for our next big title release!