13 March 2015
From the Forum — Issue #63
Welcome to the latest installment of From the Forum. In this series, guest blogger Alex Jackson highlights 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. One of these things are not like the other
New Corona SDK developers might be tempted to pack all of their music, database files and other various media right into their app, so that when users download it from an app store, they are getting all of the assets necessary to run every aspect of the app. Often times, this bloats the actual app download size and might turn off potential users from even installing it in the first place.
A method that many developers use is to have the app check for and download any assets that might be required, depending on the functionality the user is attempting to access at any given moment. While this might not work for every app or game, it’s a useful solution when you have a “Get Things Done” style of app or a game that has a lot of unlockable content. There isn’t any point to download the items that the user isn’t going to access. Check out the below forum thread which discusses a possible method to ensure that your app checks for and downloads the right files, every time.
2. If a train leaves…
I always liked word problems. Working out the logic behind why Lucy has 3 apples when Tom has 4 was a constant source of delight for me. Classic “if a train leaves” problems were enjoyable as well, and I want to make sure that everyone knows they are great.
Calculating distance versus time spent moving is a nice trick, but this forum thread is highlighting turning distance into a percentage. Check the original forum post for more info on this, and if you have your own method or a way to extend this type of logic, feel free to throw it in!
3. All signs point North!
With the huge announcement of Corona SDK becoming completely free, the general population are going to realize that it is the optimal package to create games that have the best balance between ease of development and a powerful feature set. The first two “From the Forum” blog posts highlight some useful native and third-party modules that help make game development much more intuitive. However, before starting, it’s always important to lay out an action plan, and decide how exactly you are going to make your game come to fruition.
One of the more common questions we’ve seen lately is, how should I create my levels? The below forum link is just one example, but the answer is always the same. Jumping right in and coding the next “Monument Valley” is everyone’s ideal, but it’s best to start small and build up to that. Using a level editor is, oftentimes, not necessary, especially when your game relies heavily on randomization as a feature!
Check out the below link for some ideas on how a simple game can still have a dimension of difficulty and complexity to it, without designing an entire game world from scratch.
Alex Jackson is an indie developer and the founder of Panc Interactive, 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: @pancinteractive. Check out his new game Crosstown Smash on iOS, Android, and Amazon devices!