Corona SDK Game Engine! Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by newshidstudios, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. newshidstudios

    newshidstudios Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    35
    0
    0
    Developer
    Maryland
    Hey,

    I've recently came across the corona sdk and I am amazed at how much you can do with so little code, I've also scanned through their forums and it seems like almost anything is possible with this engine. It also allows you to cross-develop on ipad, iphone and android using the same code!

    Have anyone tried corona out yet? Also can you post some pros and cons for using the sdk? Thanks!
     
  2. DGuy

    DGuy Member

    May 5, 2009
    6
    0
    0
    Corona is an very cool product; been playing with it off and on since it's early beta days.

    The *ONLY* thing preventing me from using it, is my need for 3rd-party SDKs (specifically AdNetworks like AdMob, Mobclix, etc.) and In-App Purchase.

    IAP seems to be very high on their todo list and Ad network support on their radar somewhere, so I'm taking a wait-and-see (-and-hoping) approach ...

    Having said that, if I was creating a paid app w/o IAP, I'd use Corona in a heart-beat ... :)
     
  3. 99c_gamer

    99c_gamer Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    659
    0
    0
    I'm not a big fan of 3rd party SDKs in the time it takes to learn it I could do everything from scratch. With the added benefit of having full control over everything.
     
  4. Well, first of all, no you can't! There is no way you can create an SDK like AdMob or OpenFeint in less time than it takes to learn it. That's just silly to say.

    It took me about about 2 hours originally to get OpenFeint integrated to Charmed and have high score leaderboards working online. Good luck replicating that functionality in 2 hours.

    For SDKs like AdMob, even if you could recreate it faster (which you can't), you wouldn't have any advertisers, so what's the point?

    Second, with Corona, you literally cannot do those things, even if you want to. If Ansca Mobile has not exposed the necessary APIs to Lua, like In App Purchase, then you are out of luck until they do.

    This is really my main reason for having not used Corona yet, although I did purchase a license for it to support them.

    I am hopeful that with the new relaxed Apple rules on scripting that Ansca will one day allow a more "iPhone Wax" style of integration. With iPhone Wax, your Lua code can call any Objective C code, whether you wrote it or it came from a 3rd party.
     
  5. eJayStudios

    eJayStudios Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2009
    249
    0
    0
    I checked Corona SDK just out of interest, even if I can code with ObjC or C# without problems.

    I just like idea of using it as a quick prototyping tool. I'm sure they will add support to all external things like GameCenter, Ad Mob etc.

    How cool was physics demo with one line of code to enable it?
     
  6. minyx

    minyx Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2010
    58
    0
    0
    To be honest the price tag put me off. It's $349/year and you don't get the source so you could integrate iAd, IAP, Game Center and whatever technology you desire.

    If it was $349 one time I could somehow persuade myself to buy it for the sake of fast prototyping. But $349/year without any possibility to extend the functionality ... nah.
     
  7. brock

    brock Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    134
    0
    0
    Big Fan of Corona

    I'm a big fan of Corona. My studio just made the move over to it and we're very very happy with it. They are constantly adding new features to address some of the concerns stated above. They are valid complaints, but we think the benefits outweigh the negatives by far. We just released our newest game, Zombies Ala Mode, using Corona and it will be on iPhone, iPad, and Android, with a lot less effort than using other tools.

    Also, they have been doing a lot of promo codes for 50% OFF, so I would encourage folks to check it out.
     
  8. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    274
    0
    0
    #8 crazygambit, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010
    I believe the 50% off coupon is still valid. I got it for 50% off and I'm very happy with my purchase so far.

    While there are many limitations (and some are extremely annoying and silly) I can honestly say there's no way I could have made my game without it (not even in such a short amount of time, but ever). I'm getting ready to submit to the store now. The game (while simple) performs great even on older devices, with little to no loading times (something you can't say for something like GameSalad for example).

    I wouldn't consider it if Android is your main platform though. Android support is pretty anemic, to the point I wonder why they even bother.

    Basically Corona is super easy to develop for, has great performance and it's only going to get better from now on (IAP, GameCenter and the like). Definitely take a look at the free trial to see how you feel about it.


    Edit: @brock, congratulations on your game of the week award, I hope it's doing well.
     
  9. Gabrien

    Gabrien Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2009
    5,147
    0
    36
    Don't know about the SDK, but they sure make a damn fine beer!
     
  10. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    274
    0
    0
    Corona just had a pretty major update today and lot of the stupid, silly limitations I mentioned before are gone. The main one being not having support for dynamic scaling spritesheets. Now my game has full retina support, mmmmmmm so pretty.

    Also, now Corona is free to try for as long as you want, you only pay when you want to distribute in the appStore, so you can try for as long as you want, risk free. There's really no reason not to at least give a look.
     
  11. smuttlegiaco

    smuttlegiaco Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    497
    0
    0
    Game Designer
    Germany
    thanks for the info crazygambit. I will definitely download it and give it a try.
     
  12. condra

    condra Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    #12 condra, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
    Corona is now $350. I'm still trying to figure out if that's per year or once off.

     
  13. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    1,674
    0
    36
    Berlin, Germany
    #13 mr.Ugly, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
    its yearly

    the biggest negative thing about corona is that you can't compile your own builds.. you send your data to them they send you back a compiled version, which is a huge negative aspect..

    i would never ever send anybody my complete source.

    and the servers are anything from reliable.. and if they go out of business, or
    they have any problems over there you can't do shit..

    the build on their server is a total dealbreaker, anyone should be able to compile their stuff on their own computer..

    so you are forced to have a internet connection if you want to build to test on your device.. thats as lousy as it gets.. and there is no single excuse for this.. none..
     
  14. condra

    condra Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Hi and thanks for clarifying that for me.

    What a horrible way of doing business. And they are so vague about it on their website.

    I guess it's Cocos2d for me then. Better get started.
     
  15. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    274
    0
    0
    You make it sound like it takes years to complete this process! The process is completely transparent to the user and doesn't take more than a minute. It's not like you have to mail them your code and assets and they'll get back to you with a build when they have the time. As far as I know Unity does the same, in fact every engine I've seen does the same and there are several reasons for that.

    I guess the main one is to stop piracy, but of use to users is that they can make fixes server side that don't require your updating anything on your end. Also for Android it means you don't need to install the Android SDK.

    As for the yearly subscription the way I understand it is that you only need to pay it when you want to submit stuff to the store. So you can essentially develop your whole game risk free and when you're ready to release decide if it's worth the price. You'll need an active sub to make updates obviously, but if you let it expire your game will remain in its current form on the store.
     
  16. condra

    condra Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    I have no problem with building/compiling online. I do have a problem with the really glaring ambiguity in the pricing text in the official Ansca FAQ.

    In fact, if you go to their forum, you will see that I'm in discussion there on the matter of pricing, and there are members and moderators contradicting each other on the thread.

    There is a big difference between BUYING and RENTING software.
     
  17. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    274
    0
    0
    As it was pointed out to you in that thread there really isn't. Sure it'd be nicer if what you paid now entitled you to owning the software forever and unlimited updates, but in the real world that's not gonna happen.

    In the real word you either buy the current version, which you get to keep forever or license the software for a period of time (getting all the updates during that period). Unity being representative of the first type and Corona of the second.

    So in the Unity case you have to shell out for the engine day1, develop your game and then release. By the time you release there might already be a new version (and giving the yearly updates to iphones and now iPads this is very likely), which you'll have to pay for again if you want the features (and you DO want the features). So in the practical sense the software you bought "forever" won't really be useful for much more than a year anyway (does any year old engine support GameCenter, iPad, dynamic resolutions for retina displays, etc). And you want this to be the case. You want your engine of choice to be supported by their creators and continually improved.

    That's really not that different from getting into Corona now, paying the day you're submitting to the store, which will probably give you more than enough time to make a second game with the latest features, before you have to pay again.

    At the end of the day the cost of Unity or Corona compared to the time they save is absolute peanuts. The only real question you need to answer before deciding whether to use them or not is if your project can work within their limitations.
     
  18. condra

    condra Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    I'm sorry but there is a world of difference in my opinion, especially when Ansca are not being upfront about their pricing model.

    There are several pricing models any publisher can choose, and they all have pros and cons for the company as well as the end user.

    My gripe is not about price, but about integrity. Ansca are vague and ambiguous about their pricing model, not only in their official text on their website, but in correspondence on their forum.

    Nice product, but too many red flags for an indie developer on a tight budget.
     
  19. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
    274
    0
    0
    Like I answered you on their forums, there's nothing really vague about it. It's $350 per year. Period. You choose to be confused by that in the hopes that it might somehow fit your budget.

    Let me be clear.

    $350
    PER
    YEAR.

    Now it's not all bad, you have it much better than me. I bought my sub on Halloween for 50% off for a year (the last day of that promo). Even though I didn't even have a game idea at the time. So it was perfectly possible that my money would go to waste if I found it too difficult or eventually got unmotivated (not unheard of in game development). That risk also applies to engines you buy to keep and I'd argue it's the biggest risk for a hobbiest indy developer (most don't ever finish anything).

    You on the other hand only have to pay when you're sure you have a product worthy of release (that should make you more than $350!) so that risk is minimized.

    Also of note, but maybe not that important if you're a one man team, is that now apparently you can have unlimited number of licence seats (since it's free). So if you colaborate with more people, you can all have the same version of the engine for development. Then you just buy 1 sub to deploy to the App Store. Ansca hasn't been too forthcoming about this and I suspect they might not even have realized this aspect yet, but it's a huge gamechanger (I know of people that bought 2 subs in the past to develop on their desktop and laptop at the same time). I know this would have gone much more smooth if my sound guy had access to a real time build of the game while I was working on it. And I believe that is now possible for free (just don't tell Ansca I told you about it lol, it might be a gray area).
     
  20. condra

    condra Member

    Dec 16, 2010
    5
    0
    0
    Thanks again for your time.

    I assure you, I was not choosing to be confused! :)

    I simply read conflicting assertions on different forums. I'm sorry if my confusion, and persistence annoys you or seems idiotic, but I've been trying to decide which route will be the best route for me to invest my time and money in, and I don't want to make a mistake at this early stage.

    Thank you.

    I still maintain that it is not obvious from the current text on the Ansca website, where the only mention of pricing is here:
    http://www.anscamobile.com/corona/faq/

    The text there suggests to me that you buy the software for the 350, and get free updates for a year, but can continue to use it after that point.

    I believe Corona is a great product, or should I say, SERVICE, but unfortunately it is outside my budget. If it was $350 to buy and $99 per year thereafter, I would consider it.
     

Share This Page