From the Forum — Issue #1

From the Forum — Issue #1

From the Forum

Welcome to the first installment of a new series on the Corona blog: From the Forum. In this series, guest blogger Alex Jackson will highlight outstanding threads from the Corona Forum. The goal is to bring attention to the most captivating, interesting, and thought-provoking discussions taking place in our very own backyard.

Please visit the forum to join these conversations or start your own!

1. First app challenges

A fascinating discussion is going on regarding what is, arguably, the most important question an indie Dev has to answer: “How do you get people to buy your app?”

Getting traction with the public is difficult in any industry, and game/app development is no different. However, posing this as a problem can be a lot of the problem! If you were doing everything right, you wouldn’t have trouble generating interest or sales. As many of the comments in the thread suggest, a successful developer needs to combine a killer app with a competent marketing campaign, motivated beta testers and a healthy amount of luck to turn a labor of love into something people just can’t put down.

I think that we can all agree there is no perfect recipe for app success, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get out of the kitchen! Head on over to the original thread and put in your two cents.

2. Graphics 2.0 color migration

Anyone who has been around Corona since the 1200’s era of releases knows how simple the setFillCollor scheme was. Love it or hate it, the new public beta brought with it a host of changes. Including moving to a larger color set and effectively expanding for HD colors.

The reasons are obvious: with devices specs increasing exponentially, the ability to present new and vibrant images through our apps is a powerful tool. Getting your game onto an Ouya hooked up to an HDTV or a newer device that can handle higher color output makes your app stand out. However, with every new change comes pain. There is a significant amount of us who find the change is dashing months of hard work. This can be a demoralizing situation and cause the best of us to become lost in frustration.

No matter upon what side of the fence you fall on, do yourself a favour and check out the discussion going on over in the APIs forum. The real treasure is finding out the fantastic and talented David McClusky has created a tool that will allow your apps to use the older color model without the 0/255 implementation. More than that, the thread has given David’s work the limelight that it deserves. Head to the link to join the discussion and see what else David has been cooking up!

3. A level editor to call our own

Super Mario Brothers. Legend of Zelda. Metroid. Castlevania. What do all of these games have in common? If you answered ruggedly handsome leading men, you’d be wrong (and Samus will want a word with you!). The commonality is that they all have immersive game play that takes place in vivid game worlds. I’m showing my age here, but I still remember getting nervous every time the sun went down in Castlevania 2!

Now, with Corona, we have the chance to create these experiences ourselves. As developers, the game play part has to be our wheelhouse. While Corona Labs (and other third parties) have discussed a native level editor in the past, the ease of the SDK and the lua language has spurred our developer family to bring their own takes to life! Third party developers have picked up the baton to provide users with a level creator to call their own. First there was Lime, then Grout, and now the stalwarts Dyson122 and Caleb P are completely crushing it with the Million Tile Engine and Dusk, respectively.

Whip your way over to the original thread to find out how a couple indie developers are poised to take the Corona world by storm!

About Alex

Alex Jackson is an indie developer and the founder of Panc Software, specializing in retro-style gaming. He has created several mobile applications, enjoys long walks on the beach, pixel art, and reading the Corona forums. Contact him by email or follow him on Twitter: @pancsoftware.

Rob Miracle

Rob is the Developer Relations Manager for Corona Labs. Besides being passionate about helping other developers make great games using Corona, he is also enjoys making games in his spare time. Rob has been coding games since 1979 from personal computers to mainframes. He has over 16 years professional experience in the gaming industry.

  • Daniel Williams
    Posted at 13:24h, 03 January

    I love this idea! So much happens on the forums that’s almost impossible to keep track of everything that goes on. I hope from the forum is posted at least every other week. Corona Geek should talk about this stuff too.

  • Alex
    Posted at 14:49h, 03 January

    Glad you like it Daniel! I’m going to keep pulling the strongest takes from the forums. If you have any suggestions for future forum segments, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

  • Kerem
    Posted at 16:48h, 03 January

    Great idea!!! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    I also can’t help but notice that perhaps 80% of time Corona staff spend on the forums is to help repetitive beginner questions and/or from newcomers kicking the tires. Perhaps a community supported FAQ area could help reduce this workload and allow Corona staff to be able to spend time responding to tougher questions. Just a thought.

    • Alex
      Posted at 06:29h, 04 January

      Sounds like you’re hinting at a user-maintained wiki? This is a great idea and I would be 100% on board. I have a feeling, though, that Corona (Inc) will see that as splintering effort; if new folks aren’t searching the normal API documentation and/or the guides/tutorials, there is a very slim chance they would go through the effort to locate, search for and utilize a completely separate resource.

      For instance, I am constantly providing links to tutorials, API docs, guides, third party resources and other forum threads to new users to assist with resolving issues. I feel like T and G apps’ Resource Center should be the first stop for any new Corona user, but it seems like it’s incredibly rare that people are starting from those links.

      Obviously I’m not Corona staff so this is all my opinion, and if they run with it, I would be happy to participate!

      • Kerem
        Posted at 10:59h, 04 January

        Agreed. I see your point. Great work with this material and thanks for all your help on the forums.

  • helios
    Posted at 07:39h, 06 January

    well, i saw the Falling Words app made with COrona. .i have the same questions over again .how do you effectively integrate facebook to corona??? like share the app, let the app post on your wall everytime a round finishes, etc. . Facebook INtegration is number 1 !

  • Pablo Isidro
    Posted at 07:26h, 08 January

    Thank you so much! Now we can discover a lot of interesting threads with this section!!

  • Nick
    Posted at 21:45h, 08 January

    Corona Levels. After seeing the demo in person, I’d like to see this actually happen 🙂

  • David
    Posted at 09:23h, 17 January

    Hi Alex,

    first off, awesome idea for a guest post ! i’m sure that interesting gems in the forums will be given more exposure that they deserve.

    also thanks for the mention of my dmc_kolor library ! i just want to say that the forum URL you listed in the article isn’t the right discussion – here’s the correct one:

    i’ve been using dmc_kolor in a large biz app I’m currently building and it’s been working very well. i also created two other libraries afterwards which add some additional old- and new-style functionality – dmc_display and dmc_native. the great thing is, with these work-arounds, legacy Corona code doesn’t have to be updated right away (or ever) for it to still function. i can tell you that this makes my clients happy 🙂