A few weeks ago, Gibibyte Games released their first mobile game, Color Confusion, after building it with Corona SDK.  The game currently is available on the Android Market (free version too!), Amazon Appstore, and most recently was chosen by Barnes & Noble for their NOOK Color tablet.

Not bad for a first try! 😀

The Gibibyte team is comprised of four distinguished specialists:  Paul (developer), Ellie (graphics), Chase (lead beta tester), and Lilly (associate beta tester).  Their foray into gaming apps was born out of curiosity, and turned into a whole family endeavor!

And I’m kinda mad we didn’t hire Chase and Lilly as our summer interns.

Paul, Gibibyte Games

I’m an Oracle programmer by day, and have been curious about mobile app development for some time.

A few months ago, I tried out the Android SDK and worked through a few of the tutorials.  However, there seemed to be a steep learning curve and the curiosity faded.  Between juggling a full-time job and family, I needed a tool that was easier to learn and more user friendly.  Something that allowed for rapid prototyping and shaping of ideas, while we brainstormed game concepts.

It was then that I stumbled upon something called Corona.  After watching the demo video and seeing there was an absolutely free unlimited trial, I decided to give it a try.

That was a defining moment, as it completely changed the summer for our entire family…

After spending a few hours with Corona, I realized this is exactly what I was looking for.  It addressed the issues that squelched my curiosity a few months earlier.  Not only did it allow for rapid prototyping of my game ideas, it also included numerous sample projects that showcased various Corona features.  These sample projects made it clear how powerful and feature rich Corona actually was.

Now that I was sold on Corona, I just needed a game idea — that’s when the rest of the family started to get involved.  My daughter, Lilly, was in kindergarten and learning her colors.  We started brainstorming on game concepts and landed on a game that involved mixing colors to create new one.  We called it Color Confusion.

With Corona, I was able to take Color Confusion from a concept to a working prototype in a few short days.  During that time, I realized a feature of Corona that was not obvious at first.  The amazing user community!  When I had one of those “how do I” questions, the user forums were a gold mine.  I am continually amazed at the willingness to help and share by the forum members.  It’s not uncommon to observe seasoned Corona developers sharing valuable code, they worked hard to get right, with the community.

Team Gibibyte: Lilly, Paul, Ellie, and Chase

The coding of Color Confusion took about a week, while the graphics took a little bit longer.  Ellie had never done graphics work before, and spent several frustrating weeks trying various tools to make the job easier.  She has now settled on some tools and is much more familiar with their abilities.  During that time, Chase and Lilly spent considerable time play-testing Color Confusion, and providing feedback from a kid’s perspective.

Together, we were able to complete Color Confusion in about one month, working on it nights and weekends.

That’s the power of Corona! :-)

  1. I love the part about “And I’m kinda mad we didn’t hire Chase and Lilly as our summer interns.” Very cute Hetal!

  2. That is a wonderful story. I tried a similar but more ambitious project during an extended family vacation. My plan was to involve my nephews (in the 7-10 year old range, several are huge video game addicts) to help me build a game. I would have them sketch out levels and my goal was to have them work though the process and see a somewhat functional game on the iPhone by the end of the week. Surprisingly, the one nephew who I thought would go ape for this just wanted to play the games and had Zero interest in building a game. His younger brother though came up with his own game concept and stuck by my side as we worked through the game. It was a great bonding time for us and I hope to eventually finish and publish the game for him.

    As for my first game, my 20 and 24 year old son’s provided game play testing and feature suggestion. Getting the family involved is a great idea! Cudo’s on your game and working with the family!

  3. With so many others focused on releasing an iOS version first, with the “we’ll release for Android if it does well” – I’d be interested why you guys decided to go the Android route first.

  4. Hi Dale, the main graphics tool I use is Adobe Fireworks. Some how when my husband first asked me to help him with just a couple of graphics, it turned into doing all the graphics! Funny, I thought this was just going to be his little hobby 😉 Not sure how he got me so involved….but I did use it to my advantage. I told him I needed a nice, new shiny computer if I was going to do his graphics 😉

  5. I love your story. My wife is more of a programmer than I am and she helps out when I need it. I’d like to get more people involved in my projects. I think the loneliness is the hardest part of working for yourself.

  6. Thank you for your comments Nick! We are very lucky that we enjoy the same things together. In my real job I am an IT Consultant (work from home, yay!) and fix computers for fun on the side. Building an app is a whole new beast! I love it and hate it at the same time! It can take up so much of your free time, so the whole family has to be on board if you are going to do this as a hobby. That is why we try to get the kids to feel like they are a part of it too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>