Guest Post: How Corona SDK changed my life…

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We’ve heard many users tell us about how Corona SDK changed their life.

However, in Chris Martone’s case, Corona not only changed his life, but also enabled him to change other people’s lives through his Apps for Change project to help children in Africa bring their stories to life on the mobile platform.

Be sure to donate to Chris’ cause at IndieGoGo. (a Kickstarter-type site) and read about his experience below…

Chris Martone, Apps for Change

As a 22-year-old Pharmacy student, my life was on a path set far from my childhood dreams of game design. The growing pressure of a career I had no passion for eventually became too much, and I withdrew for graduate school and spent the next two years wandering aimlessly.

My first experience with apps came in the form of a failed partnership between myself and my then-roommate at the time. I had no coding experience, so I was in charge of media assets while he would write the program in Xcode. He fell short on the coding and, through my frustrations, I knew I had to learn to make apps myself. So I started using GameSalad, but quickly realized I needed something more powerful and dynamic.

I researched all of the popular SDK’s but was drawn to Corona’s cross-platform build capabilities. Little did I know this decision would shape the rest of my life…

I started with a tutorial on YouTube entitled “Corona SDK: Make a game in 8 minutes”. After following that tutorial, I knew I had made the right choice. Corona SDK makes it incredibly easy and intuitive to code. The API and sample apps provided a great structure for me to learn from.

Within a month, I had released my first Corona app, GlowTunes. To my surprise, it was featured on the App Store as ‘New & Noteworthy’ for music apps. From there, things really took off! Within the first month of release, I made more revenue than double what I had paid for my Pro subscription to Corona. (pretty worthy investment, I think!)

Since that first release in May 2011, I have released six different games and apps using Corona, and gotten over 150,000 downloads between them. My most recent release, GlowTunes Christmas, also was featured as ‘New & Noteworthy,’ and was featured during the holidays on the iTunes Homepage under the ‘Fun and Festive’ banner. It was even mentioned on the App Store’s Facebook page!

My latest project is called Apps for Change. I have partnered with charities based in Africa to help  children create, illustrate, and narrate their own storybooks. When they are finished, I will take their storybooks and turn them into apps using Corona. All the profits will go back to the children’s village via their respective charity to elevate the quality of life.

While pursuing this project, I contacted New Charity Era, developers of an iPhone game called Raise the Village. Their game lets you build and grow your own African village via Farmville-style gameplay modeled after a real village in Uganda. Also, the money spent in-game goes towards buying real items for the real village of Kapir Atiira.

The New Charity Era team was so impressed with everything I had accomplished using Corona that they hired me as their lead developer to rebuild their game for Facebook. We are currently fundraising for the new and improved Raise the Village release through IndieGoGo.

In less than nine months, I have gone from zero coding experience to being the lead developer for an up-and-coming gaming company. I completely attribute my success to Corona SDK and their supportive community of staff and developers, (and a little bit of my own elbow grease ;-)). Thanks to the Corona community, I have met countless amazing people, impacted lives all over the world, and finally found my true purpose.

Corona SDK changed my life. Maybe it will change yours…

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This entry has 6 replies

  1. Joakim says:

    Congrats man!

    A very nice story and some hope for the children in Africa!

  2. Nenad says:

    Kudos for your initiative! It is really refreshing to see a beautiful human story related to AppStore, and not the usual dollar figure financial reports! Looking forward to donate, please keep us informed here on your future IndieGoGo / Kickstarter campaigns.

  3. pdichone says:

    Amazing!! Thank you for supporting African children. I am african and I can relate to all the struggles children/people go through everyday. I am now in a position where I can contribute, give back to my Continent, and this video inspires me to do so. Thank you!

  4. Peter says:

    Very inspiring and I am particularly impressed with the charity angle. This shows that there are so many things that can be done with corona and that it is so easy to learn once you get past the fear of having to use a “programming” language.

  5. MDVgames says:

    Congratulation Chris!

  6. Great story! Very inspiring and I’m glad to hear about the charity work… Planning on following a similar route for my own venture, in time.