From the Forum — Issue #86

From the Forum — Issue #86

From the ForumWelcome 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. Keep rockin’ all night long…

Expanding Corona’s reach into brave new places is exciting. Now that developers have two new platforms for which to deploy, the potential to surprise and delight is at an all-time high. I for one am looking forward to how future developers spin magic out of thin air with the new tools at our disposal.

Keeping with this theme, well-known plugin savant Develephant has released really cool plugin that hooks right into Spotify. He even included a demo, which lets you play samples right from the interface while leveraging some native APIs. He is working on getting the plugin spun up into a fully-fledged Corona-delivered plugin in pure Lua, so incorporating it into projects will be as easy as a couple of lines.

Head down to the original thread to kick the tires on it and report any issues that you find.

2. Optimal download sizes and what you can do to achieve them

I think we are all really excited about the possibilities that desktop builds bring about. Games and apps alike will have new life, bringing with them new crowds of interest. We’ve already seen new folks picking up and experimenting with Corona, looking forward to the promise of quick development times and access to new markets.

Getting desktop builds working is just part of the battle, though. After that,  we as developers need to identify just who our releases will be targeting. If you’re looking to have folks get a major push behind your program, it’s going to be need to be easy to obtain. And with that, we need to start thinking about app size. This is a drum I’ve beaten several times before, because I think it is one of the major hallmarks of a professionally-developed app or game: The ability to slim down an initial download, and obtain audio and visual assets on an as-needed basis.

The thread below discusses several ways to get this functionality in your release, each with relatively low overhead and a very high rate of return. The smaller the app, the faster the download, the quicker the game gets played, loved and passed around. Check out the original thread and get a leg up on your development cycle right now.

3. Getting started on custom collisions? Get the crash course here!

The Box2d physics engine is really good at certain things. It feels real when you’re implementing it and testing it on “launched” physics objects and it’s a great entry-point to learning the Corona event system. As developers progress along their journey, they might find that they need a bit more control over their physics implementation. At that point, they start thinking about making their own physics engine!

It can be a daunting task, but as is always the case, having a clear objective and a well-articulated outline makes developing your system much more efficient. The below thread is a great example of the baseline start for your very own non-physics collision detection. It talks about the well-known Min/Max checks, and ratchets up the intrigue by going over “what if the objects stop touching?” Head on over to the original thread because I could never do it justice!

About Alex

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 Segreta on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Amazon devices.

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