From the Forum — Issue #141

From the Forum — Issue #141

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!

Prefab versus on-the-fly: does it really matter?

I used to wonder why we needed so many different options to modify the textures and objects that Corona empowers us with. If I can do it in Photoshop, wouldn’t that be enough to get it into my program?

Oh, how silly I was back then! Now I’m coming to realize that modifying textures and objects on the fly, according to user input, gives users so much more ownership over their experience when playing our games. I knew that wrapping my head around the concept was going to serve me well in the future.

This forum thread talks about the differences between all of the fun options we get to play with. Have a question? Don’t be shy — ask it so we can all learn together.

Won’t someone please think of the children?

Catering our apps to kids under 13 years of age is a bit of a tightrope walk. Are you doing yourself a disservice by potentially pigeon-holing your game into a niche, only to be found by a significantly smaller audience?

Heavy questions to be sure. Trying to adhere to the standards imposed by Apple, Google, and other app stores to gain entry into the coveted “Kids’ Section” can be unclear as well.

A Corona developer recently had similar questions, so Corona support engineer Rob Miracle dropped by to lay down some important facts and documentation with regards to what the app stores are looking for in a child-friendly app. Check out the original forum thread and gain some valuable knowledge on the subject!

Multidex and Android bloat

There is a very good chance that, as a Corona developer, you have never encountered or had to worry much about “multidex” as it applies to the Android build process. However, multidex support is necessary to allow more complex apps to exist in the Android ecosystem.

The quick and dirty is:

Android application (APK) files contain executable bytecode files in the form of Dalvik Executable (DEX) files, which contain the compiled code used to run your app. The Dalvik Executable specification limits the total number of methods that can be referenced within a single DEX file to 65,536, including Android framework methods, library methods, and methods in your own code. Getting past this limit requires that you configure your app build process to generate more than one DEX file, known as a multidex configuration.

In some cases, this is a great option, and in others, it might increase the size of your APK without any increase in codebase size. This isn’t a huge issue for those targeting the Android platform, but it is something to keep in mind if you find that space is at a premium for your particular market.

Check out the forum thread to learn how to limit the impact of multidex on your app.

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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