Open Source Plugins and (coming soon) Corona Store

Open Source Plugins and (coming soon) Corona Store

At the end of January, I talked about wanting to make plugins more open.

Today, we’re doing two things to make that happen:

Open Source Plugins

First, we are open sourcing Corona plugins on github!

These plugin projects are real-world examples of CoronaEnterprise projects. They come straight out of the Corona plugin directory, the same plugins that our hosted on our build server. They show you how we are using (dogfooding) Corona’s native APIs to extend Corona’s core functionality.

Corona Store

Second, we are laying the groundwork for a Corona Store. The goal is to enable you to sell your plugins (and other resources) to the rest of the Corona community โ€” or make them available for free.

The grand opening won’t happen until later this year, but we are accepting applications for free plugins (you can start charging for it after the grand opening): Corona Store application form.

Also, if you have ideas or are looking for ideas, here’s a couple of resources that will be helpful:

  1. We are making extended CoronaEnterprise trials available for plugin developers. E-mail enterprise at coronalabs dot com.
  2. Lots of real-world examples of Corona plugins available under the MIT license.
  3. A list of feature requests that could be implemented as plugins.

Finally, check out our FAQ.

walter
28 Comments
  • ojnab
    Posted at 13:38h, 01 April

    Great. That’s the way to do it! Thanks

  • Thomas Vanden Abeele
    Posted at 13:46h, 01 April

    Walter, like I said in my reaction when Corona became completely free and therefore my leftover subscription period became “money wasted”: there must be better ways to recompensate Pro users than “giving” them Enterprise, e.g. credit for an upcoming store.

    I must be visionary! I stand by my words: I still feel punished instead of rewarded for being a longtime paying supporter of Corona, compared to complete newcomers. To put things simply: please give Corona Pro users at least the option to convert their leftover months into store credit instead of (for most) a worthless Enterprise version.

    • Marin
      Posted at 14:31h, 01 April

      You paid for the product you wanted. You got that product, right? I payed it also, and I also don’t need enterprise. But as long as I get what I’ve paid for, it’s ok. I can still use Corona as I always did, so why cry about it? You don’t have to pay anything anymore in the coming years. Be happy.

      • Thomas Vanden Abeele
        Posted at 02:13h, 02 April

        Other people are getting stuff for free that I am paying for, as a longtime loyal paying customer. That sounds like a good reason to not like this to me. I’m not unhappy, not crying and I won’t lose any sleep over this, but I find this to be bad customer service, and a disturbing tendency to change the rules while the game is still played. Your personal opinion differs, and that’s fine by me, naturally.

        I run my own business in the service sector with 20 employees, so I know very well that you can not refund hard cash that’s already in the books. But I also know that there are plenty of commercial gestures that you can do as a company using immaterial assets that don’t really cost you a penny per se – except for in a very indirect manner such a missed potential income. Like……. items on an online store?

        • Marin
          Posted at 03:41h, 02 April

          But items on that store that corona owns are already free. Only way they can offer you free items in the future is by denying 3rd party developers their profit?

          I own a small business as well. Just 4 employees here (myself included), so I get it that every penny counts. I know in my case that it does.

          I’m just saying, look at it from another angle. You still get what you paid for, but you don’t have to pay for it anymore when your licence expires.

          I personally don’t use just corona, I use some other frameworks as well. I had a lot of complaints about corona sdk, but since fuse purchased them, they are going in the right direction. A lot of good stuff is happening atm, and I’m happy for them, coz that makes my life also easier. Only thing missing (from my subjective view) is an easy drag ‘n’ drop UI for corona. Like unity3d and a lot of other frameworks use.

          But I will wait it up for as long as it takes, since I don’t have to pay for corona sdk anymore. And also, I’m gonna test out fuse ads just as a thank you note for all the things that are happening atm.

          • Thomas Vanden Abeele
            Posted at 04:20h, 02 April

            Valid points. Regarding the store: it’s a common practice that “publishers” reserve the right to do promotions with the work of authors, ranging from discounts to a free give-aways. In a way, yes, it is denying 3rd party developers a part of their profit. Then again, it is promotion so it could just as well be beneficial to 3rd party developers. I used to be in the music industry, and you would see the same thing here: the record label would print 5000 copies of a record and sell all of them, but the royalty statement would only show 4700 copies. The other 300 were sent to DJs for free so they would play it and help build the success of the song.

            On a side note this does lead to fraudulent or abusive stuff sometimes. Often times, promotion costs are also subtracted from your royalty payments. This sometimes leads to record labels having a “friend” make an expensive video clip for a band, reducing the royalties to zero, and then taking a kickback from the video maker. You don’t want to know how shady the music business is!!!

            But back to free store credit: yes, it could reduce 3rd party profits. It could also increase the profits, if you like a certain product and buy more by the same developer. And lastly: typically these are not lost sales per se, in the sense that many of the purchases with “free” credits would not have happened otherwise.

            Oh well. I digress. I’m not too disgruntled by the money loss: that’s thankfully just a drop in the ocean, and it was foreseen and a conscious decision with budget I had at hand, and good value for money at the time.

            But it is shitty customer service to me, and it puts me off from doing more business with Corona, mostly because the way things went makes me thinks “What will be the next surprise? Mandatory ads when Fuse finds it doesn’t monetize enough from Corona?”

            And lastly, when paid plugins come into the picture, I wonder if we will venture again into a free basic version, and a more “Pro-like” version supported by cool plugins. Nothing wrong with that situation, but then I’m thinking: “Wait a minute, so I didn’t get a refund when Corona went from Pro to free, but I need to pay AGAIN now that I want to go from basic to “better”?

            Oh well. We’ll see what happens. First let’s get that three year in the making Corona project out of the door!

        • Peter
          Posted at 09:53h, 02 April

          What an interesting discussion. It reminds me of a story in the Christian Bible, in the book of Matthew, chapter 20. Like Marin, I’m fine with receiving what I paid for. Anything more is a courtesy on the part of the Corona team.

    • Jay
      Posted at 13:30h, 02 April

      I think you have a valid point. A store credit would have been better.

  • Marin
    Posted at 14:34h, 01 April

    Finally. That’s all I can say about plugins and the market ๐Ÿ™‚

    As far as other things are concerned, only thing missing to make Corona really great is UI tool for managing pics, widgets, animations, transitions, etc. I now that there is Composer GUI, but that simply isn’t a good tool. I know this won’t happen in a near future, but one can only hope that it will happen eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Andreas
      Posted at 03:14h, 02 April

      Hi Marin,

      we used the tool LevelHelper (you get it from gamedevhelper.com) for our game “Freeze!” and a few more successful apps. And we are still using it for new games. Have a look, it really saved use a lot of time (and it generates code for you if you want, like for continuos parallax scrolling backgrounds, collision, box2D stuff, etc.).

      I always thought it would be best for Coronalabs just to integrate LevelHelper by making a deal with the developer instead of creating their own composer from scratch. But who knows, they might do it one day.

      Best,
      Andreas

      • Marin
        Posted at 03:42h, 02 April

        I have a working licence for LH2, so I know about Vladu and his product. Way better then composer GUI, but still way behind something like unity3d has ๐Ÿ™‚

        And yes, it is the best solution for corona atm, so I do use it as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lerg
    Posted at 16:28h, 01 April

    I guess this is not an April Fools prank.
    Great news.
    I’ll make a few submissions. For instance I will try to implement QR Code Scanner, iBeacon, Bluetooth and NFC plugins.

    And remember, you can always hire me to make a plugin for your specific needs.

    • Walter
      Posted at 16:31h, 01 April

      Haha, I was wondering if you people were going to think that.

      • Lerg
        Posted at 16:44h, 01 April

        There is a limit on how many form submissions one can make. I have two more plugins to submit, shall I write an email to somebody?

      • Lerg
        Posted at 16:51h, 01 April

        Ah, nevermind. It is just a temporary thing.

  • Chris
    Posted at 17:30h, 01 April

    Hey – All I can say is lets bring Facebook’s new native UI stuff via javascript into the fold.
    They’re going to release the android stuff, soon, too.
    Holy cow – this would be awesome!

  • Warren Fuller
    Posted at 12:48h, 02 April

    This is excellent, looking over the code examples now!

  • David Grant
    Posted at 12:55h, 02 April

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a while!

  • Landon Cope
    Posted at 14:08h, 02 April

    Great, maybe someone can finally fix the Google IAP3 plugin

  • Marcus
    Posted at 15:12h, 02 April

    I hope I did not read wrongly. Corona store will be for everyone, including non enterprise user? If so, this is the second best news this year from Corona after the Pro version was announced to be made free. With the Corona store, I believe we can make many more interesting apps/games.

  • David Grant
    Posted at 08:30h, 03 April

    Wow so I just read the FAQs for the store and this was my fear when I found out corona was being purchased by an advertising company

    “What type of Corona Plugins can I make?
    We want to see all types of Corona Plugins made and there are hundreds of possibilities.

    The exception is that we will not allow plugins for ad network SDKs. Most ad network SDK/plugins will be provided via the Fuse Powered plugin.”

    Really? Fuse powered is great but let it be known that they are taking 30% of your revenue. I will never give up 30% of my revenue for some tools and ad mediation that I can build myself. Plus fusepowered doesn’t even support the major networks in my field. I they are as good as they claim why not let the users choose what they want and then pick what works best. Admob allows you to mediate their ads with tons of other networks, because at the end of the day they know they are the best and the users will come back to them.

    • David
      Posted at 19:57h, 03 April

      David – Fuse supports a bunch of major networks and many other small ones, and they are adding new ones all the time. Also, a couple of points are worth clearing up:

      1) When you refer to the mediation that AdMob does, Fuse does the same thing – also for free. For many of the networks Fuse supports, developers are able to connect directly, at no cost.

      2) In addition to that, Fuse offers some great segmentation tools and the ability to optimize across IAP offers and advertising, also for free.

      3) When you talk about the 30% share – that refers to Fuse’s AdRally, which is the managed ad marketplace. This means that they actively manage connections to dozens of ad networks to optimize results. Unless you are going to build very sophisticated technology and are planning to employ a whole team of expert Ad Ops people, you will not be able to replicate this.

      So, in summary – if you are thinking about pure, basic mediation (as in AdMob), Fuse is free. Only if you use AdRally – to fully dynamically optimize across dozens of ad networks, is there a revenue share – just like there is with any ad network.

      • endy
        Posted at 00:58h, 05 April

        Hi David,

        Wait, Fuse isn’t just AdRally for us? You are saying this like Fuse and AdRally are two different things for us Corona developers.

        When I read the announcement there https://coronalabs.com/fuse-corona-faq/ it said:
        “Fuseโ€™s IAP and ad monetization tool, AdRally, will soon be available to Corona developers who want to generate ad revenue in a simple, seamless manner.”

        No other announcement since then, although it said “soon”. Also I can’t find anything called Fuse in the plugins list:
        http://docs.coronalabs.com/plugin/index.html
        Same here in the supported ad networks:
        http://docs.coronalabs.com/api/library/ads/index.html

        Thanks
        endy

        • David
          Posted at 10:46h, 05 April

          endy – Fuse/AdRally are almost the same thing (not quite true, but we will explain the difference soon). There will only be 1 plugin for the whole thing and it will be the Fuse plugin.

      • David Grant
        Posted at 06:16h, 05 April

        Hey David,

        My point wasn’t so much the mediation as much as it was just showing that if their network is the best then they should allow support for the rest. Who cares if 100,000 various ad network plugins are in the store, if fuse is the best then everyone will use them. Competition is the key to growing publisher revenue. I actually was one of the few that they reached out to, to try their early beta program and after talking to them for a few hours and being walked through their system, I decided it wasn’t worth it to me. Sure they have some cool tools, but the tools are only free as long as you serve up at least 1 day per user per day is what they told me. If you just want to use the tools then it isn’t free. Their adrally sounds promising but without support for the 3 largest ad companies in my space, I can guarantee you that they wont be able to even hit the numbers I’m hitting and then on top of that they are going to take 30% off the top. While I agree it’s great for some users, for users that have the ability to build the same tools and not lose 30% it doesn’t make sense. I still think handcuffing the users into a few limited ad companies is a bad bad idea for the growth of corona. But then again who cares how much corona grows if no one is using adrally and making the new owners money, seeing as how they put all their chips in that basket.

        IAP is on it’s way out and paid apps are all but dead. Advertising is the way to go and more and more publishers are realizing that. I have corona cards and enterprise so I can build my own plugins, but for those who can’t I think you’re makinga huge mistake not allowing advertising plugins to be sold.

        • David
          Posted at 10:48h, 05 April

          David – Fuse is indeed now completely free, even if you don’t use the AdRally piece – that is a relatively recent change. There are large ad networks available via mediation, with more coming soon. And using AdRally (the managed piece) even as just the last item in a waterfall is always a good idea, although it will usually be able to beat any individual ad network and many developers use it as their top option.

  • endy
    Posted at 14:32h, 03 April

    meh, I was really hoping for a good announcement about ad networks, maybe more info about AdRally.
    /disappointed

  • Ed Maurina
    Posted at 20:07h, 03 April

    I am extremely excited about this. A store is absolutely a requirement for a healthy, vibrant, and growing community.

    Thank you also for giving us a view of the plugins you have.

    Happy dance, happy dance, …