Below, Sun details the process of going from a programming n00b to a full-fledged mobile game developer in only a few short months.
Like most of people here, we were attracted by the easy-to-learn and easy-to-use nature of Corona. That meant we could take on app development as our major project for the next couple years.
Before Jet Rats, I was a 3D/technical artist who worked in the game industry; my partner Wu Lina was an office worker but also a gamer. One day, we both thought: “why couldn’t we make a fun game by ourselves”
All things are difficult before they are easy. Even though I worked in the game industry, but i never did a whole project by myself. Plus, I only really knew one basic scripting language (Maya). But, like most of fairy tales, you encounter many difficulties before you see the glimmers of hope.
In order to find our proper development environment, we tried both Unity and GameSalad. We spent days — even weeks — to learn just one of them. Along the way, there was something that stopped me and made me think “It shouldn’t be like this!!!”
You know what happened next? Corona dropped from the sky!
We began to work with Corona on our Jet Rats project starting July 2011. Although Corona has no GUI editor, but we think it’s even more friendly and more straightforward than all the other tools we tried! In about 2 weeks, we finished the FPP of Jet Rats. Even though the FPP had no sound effects, no animations, and only have placeholder images with simple gameplay, we felt very excited about what we got done with Corona. It encouraged us a lot and reinvigorated our passion because we never thought game development could be this easy and fun!
As of December 2011, the final version of Jet Rats was finished!
In that five months of production, we actually “finished” the game twice — the first time was in mid-October, but our coding made the in-game performance very slow. This was a pretty significant problem that we couldn’t fix by just tweaking a few lines of code, but we managed to rewrite the whole game by the end of the year anyway.
I can’t imagine what that process would have been like if we didn’t work with Corona!
We have learned a lot from this project, and are very happy we made the choice to work with Corona SDK. In 2012, we plan to design more fun games on both iOS and Android, and hope Corona will getting better and better along the way!