Corona SDK Game Engine! Yes or No?

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

  1. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    Well it's not entirely incorrect. You can still use it since it's free now (as of very recently, probably that's what the whole confusion is about). You only pay when (and if) you want to publish to the store again. So depending in how your turn around is, it might be more like $350 every 1 and a half years. You have to be smart with your timing and make the most of the year you have.

    I don't know why you're so hung up on the $350 per year thing. You can freely test it and see if it works out for you for as long as you want. You'll then be much better equipped to decide if it's worth shelling the $350, no one else can make that decision for you.
     
  2. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    well corona is one of the more expensive solutions..

    even if you consider spending time with free i would not recomment anyone.. to start a real project with the free only to decide later to publish or not.. test it.. make up your mind.. then deicde..

    ansca is not a big player and you never know how long they will stay in business.. they can close tomorrow and you'd loose all your work and the ability to update old projects or create new ones..

    at the end everyone should be clear.. that anything else than xcode can be a short road to follow.. you will always be able to use xcode and compile your own project anytime whereever you want.

    if you want to deploy to a device or the appstore you need the 99$ subscription.. nothing more..

    combining that with something like cocos2d will always be 100% flexible.

    implementing ideas via lua might be faster.. but it has huge limitations..

    and you might learn something that will not be usefull in the future.. at one point you might exceed the abilities of the "builder" suites.. and then you neex objective-c, and by then you spend X time learning the "wrong" stuff..

    yes the initial start is easier with something like game salad, or the more advanced corona.. but for what they offer (basic 2d engines) there are better and more flexible solutions avaiable (like cocos2d)

    i understand that its great for an artist to meedle around a bit with lua scripting and have a basic game created.. but that about it.. you meedled around.. you have some product but well.. this is not the real deal, nor will it be ever if you don't really plan to learn the ins and outs of programming..

    but thats up to everybody himself how he wants to handle things and what his plans are for the future..
     
  3. Photics

    Photics Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    Corona is cool.

    Pluses...
    • Active developers - They post a lot on their forums.
    • Roadmap - shows what they're working on.
    • Great performance!
    • Nice middle-ground... not as easy as GameSalad, but easier than Xcode.
    • No splash screen is nice!
    • Price is pretty good... $349 a year is like nothing, considering that thousands of dollars can be made.
    • Cross-platform support... ANDROID!

    Minuses...
    It seems a bit slow at supporting new Apple features, like Game Center, iAds and in-app purchases. I prefer GameSalad because there's no programming. Not needing to code... as the programming language is English... is huge. Plus, you can publish to the App Store for free with GameSalad. Corona is more expensive, except when you count the "Professional" version of GameSalad... that's currently $499 a year.

    If you want performance, no splash screens, something easier than Xcode, you're familiar with Action Script or not afraid to program, you want Cross-Platform support, and you like to see active developers... Corona is good.

    If you want ease of use, something free for iPhone publishing (That doesn't count the Apple Developer registration fee), don't need iAds or hyperlinks, don't care about the Made with GameSalad loading video and performance is not a huge concern... GameSalad is better.
     
  4. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    This is not the case at all. Everything with Unity is done locally, on your end. You have full control over the compilation process, and in fact what you actually get is an XCode project, so you can tweak that and add your own Objective-C code if you want. I've never heard of any other engine which does remote compiling. It's not something I'd ever consider using.

    Again, this is not the case. Most upgrades to Unity are completely free; it's only the major versions that require an upgrade fee. (And "major" is pretty arbitrary--while some free upgrades are primarily bugfixes, they frequently have significant feature updates too.) Since Unity was first released in 2005, there have been only two paid updates, and the most recent one just happened a few months ago.

    Additionally, since you can use native code plugins with Unity, you're less tied to "forced" upgrades. In fact I just released an update that includes retina display support with an older version of Unity that doesn't support it natively. I do have the new version, but they changed the way the Random function works--for the better, I might add, but this particular game kind of depends on it working the old way.

    --Eric
     
  5. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    #25 crazygambit, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
    I completely disagree with Mr. Ugly on this (among other things...).

    Sure xcode and cocos2d will give you lots more flexibility, but what's the point when you're not gonna finish anything? Plus what exactly is so precious and revolutionary you need to do that you can't accomplish with these engines?

    I'm serious about this. I'd love to see your games, that way we'll be better able to determine whether or not they absolutely need the flexibility.

    The usually recommended route of pick up and introduction to OBj C book and start learning the basics is a disaster for most part time hobbyst. You'll probably never get part the introduction and the first few samples. It's just an exersise in futility.

    We agree on the builder stuff. I personally think it's a waste of time to master something like GameSalad for example, where none of those skills are transferrable after you start to outgrow the engine.

    However Lua and JavaScript are real languages and a much more friendly approach to learning programming than something like Obj C.

    I can only talk about my own experience, but I was able to create a game from scratch, being totally new to programming and art, in just 6 weeks with Corona. I'm 100% sure it would have been one of those start, but never finish projects if I had gone the xcode route (even if Mr. Ugly thinks it's crap!). So for me, it was absolutely worth is, since I have a full time job, that's completely unrelated to computer development, I couldn't really afford the time to learn Obj C.

    As for the limitations... They're extremely minor and easy to work around so far. Sure there's no GameCenter yet, but OP integration is like 3 lines of code, so it'll do in the mean time. If it's 2D and you're new to development it's safe to say you won't be reaching the limits of what the engine can do any time soon.


    Edit: @Eric Unity for iOS was released on 2005??? How forward thinking of them...

    We are talking about iOS here. A platform that's constantly changing and evolving. A year old engine will do you no good (no retina, iPad support, etc), since a lot changes in a year on the iOS platform. On a PC engine you might be able to swing that, but not here.

    I wasn't aware of the other points you made, good to know. However I'd like to point out that compiling locally and getting an xcode project have nothing to do with one another. Of all the things I want and would change in Corona, online compiling doesn't even make the list. It's not even a minor annoyance, since I work from home and always have internet access (and honestly can't figure out why you guys are so adamant about this one, what the hell am I missing here?). However getting and xcode project, that I'd actually like to have, though I'm afraid won't be happening any time soon.
     
  6. Photics

    Photics Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2010
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    I think it's nice to actually own a copy of the software, not something that disappears in a year. I don't like cloud computing. I don't like having to send my games to the GameSalad server to have them published. I'm not furious about it, but it is something that I find annoying.

    I usually have Internet access too... but there are two points of failure. Your computer could be a problem or the server could be a problem. It's frustrating when you can't publish because something wrong with the server.
     
  7. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    I see how it could be annoying if the servers were down a lot. But as of right now, it's not even noticeable for me. And to go to the lengths of being a deal breaker for some, I find it a little laughable. Maybe if you're building a 700 MB behemoth, but otherwise it doesn't noticeably add to your compile time at all.

    And if you somehow think it's all a clever ruse to get a hold of your code and assets... yeah, sure.
     
  8. I haven't read the discussion on the Corona forums yet, but reading their FAQ, I can @condra's point.

    They state:
    It makes no sense to say that purchasing Corona gives you a one-year subscription to updates if you can always just download the current version for free. So unless they purposefully withhold updates from everyone else, the subscription doesn't buy you anything.

    Also, the word "purchase" is somewhat misleading. It normally means you own something. If what they are really selling is a one-year license to compile apps on their server, then that is what this section should say.

    My guess is that this changeover to the new pricing scheme was done too quickly, and that issues like this just haven't been completely considered.

    Hopefully they can clean up the wording so it is clearer.
     
  9. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5 Well-Known Member

    Unity was released in 2005. Unity iPhone is simply another publishing option for Unity. The next time you'd pay to upgrade Unity iPhone is with Unity 4.0, which probably won't happen until 2012-2013.

    As I said, most updates are FREE. The updates happen several times per year. Also as I said, you don't necessarily need to upgrade the engine to take advantage of new features. Remember how I mentioned that I implemented retina support using an older version of the engine that didn't natively offer it?

    The fact that you have no control over the process. Maybe you have superfast 100% reliable internet, but many people don't. More importantly, if the company goes away, you're screwed. That's really not acceptable for professional usage. If Unity Technologies vanished, I could carry on using Unity no problem, or at least until it got really really outdated (but even then, there is a source code license available). Also there's no way to do anything except what they give you, so you have to just hope they'll implement everything you want, or again you're screwed.

    --Eric
     
  10. Steve Oldmeadow

    May 22, 2009
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    I've been involved with cocos2d for over 2 years and am constantly surprised by the games that are turned out by people with very little coding ability.

    If you think Objective C is too hard there is a Ruby binding for cocos2d. There is also code in the forum for implementing a Lua binding if you really want to go down that route.

    For less than the cost of a one year subscription to Corona you can get a cocos2d starter kit such as this one which will save you countless hours.

    http://www.sapusmedia.com/levelsvg/
     
  11. newshidstudios

    newshidstudios Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
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    Thanks to everyone for their response's, I'm still kinda on the edge... I just received a email for updates of corona in the new year.... they are listed below

    Can someone help me understand 3 & 4 Please!

    Happy Holidays! An update on what's coming in 2011

    First and foremost, I want to wish you, our development community, safe and happy holidays. Thank you all for your continued support and trust in us and our product. With 2011 upon us, I want to let you know what is ahead and what to expect from us in the first few weeks of January and the first half of the new year.

    1) Big announcements coming soon

    Stay tuned as we will make two major product announcements in January. While we can't disclose what these are yet, we believe they will open up mobile development to an even larger market!

    2) Unlimited trial period

    Effective January, we are no longer going to limit Corona SDK to a 30-day trial period - the Corona SDK trial will be unlimited. We have heard from many of our developers that they want more than 30 days to try out Corona and this is, I believe, a way for developers to really get to know Corona well and understand its full potential.

    3) Daily builds

    We are going to have daily build drops of Corona for you to be on the bleeding edge. The mobile world moves fast, and as much as we try to keep a two/three week development cycle, we also heard from some of you, and how you are willing to try out the latest drops with the latest features/bug fixes. Therefore, within the January/February time frame, we will give you daily access to the latest builds of Corona SDK.

    4) Open bug base

    Since we are going to provide you with daily builds of Corona, we are also going to open up and give you access to our bug base so that you can enter and keep track of bugs. This is a winning move for both of us as we collaborate together in strengthening Corona SDK and making it the industry standard for mobile game and graphics.

    5) Premium support

    We have also heard that a lot of you want access to premium support. We have been looking at ways to best provide you with the support level that you need in order to create award winning games and applications. We plan on rolling this out fairly soon. If, in the meantime, you have any ideas on how we should go about it, please drop us a line.

    6) More features

    We published a road map a few weeks ago and we are hard at work in prioritizing the feature set, dependencies, and everything else that comes with adding features to a product. Which also means that we are looking at services which will allow you to vote and like/dislike a feature so you, our developer, can help us prioritize. I know that in-app purchases is one of the top requested features, and that is going in soon, together with Game Center and others. But by having a means for you to vote, we will get a better sense of what features we can implement next and continue on making Corona that much better.

    I believe that with the feedback that you continually provide us, we are on our way to making Corona SDK the standard in mobile games. With the combination of daily builds, an open bug base and premium support, I strongly believe we will be well positioned to get there.

    Feature implementation, bug fixing, support, and product release cycles are well understood in traditional 'brick and mortar' software publishing. In this fast changing and fast paced mobile world one needs to adjust to the changing landscape fast, and traditional software publishing is no longer the norm. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe that successful companies can't adhere to the traditional publishing model, and what gives us an advantage over our competitors is the fact that we can be quick, nimble and make decisions fast. Open communication and collaboration between you, our developers, and us will be key in the future success of Ansca and Corona SDK.

    When the new year arrives, we will have more information to share. For now, I wanted to let you all know that this is where we are headed the first few months of 2011. And once again, I want to thank you and wish you a safe and happy holiday season.
     
  12. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    3 Means that you can get the latest internal builds (dalily?), instead of what we get right now. Right now we get new versions after they've been thoroughly tested and with many features at once. This is nice for most people, but sometimes if you only need one of the features urgently and it's already been implemented internally, waiting a few weeks for the other features and testing and so on can be annoying.

    Now you'll also have the option to get the features as they're implemented (and possibly be the first to suffer the bugs). I think it's a very nice option to have.

    4 will give you access to the bug database. As of now the process of submitting and tracking bugs is less than transparent, so this is also a step in the right direction.
     
  13. newshidstudios

    newshidstudios Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
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    another question....

    how easy is it to show the simulator through the actual iphone... does it have to be connected to the mac.. please advice, I thought I saw a video of someone testing a corona app right on the device itself kinda like what gamesalad does... I could be wrong thanks!

    Thanks crazygambit for all your help...
     
  14. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    I'm not sure I understand your question.

    To test on the Corona simulator is instantaneos, any changes you make will show immediately after you save (no need to compile).

    To test on device you need to compile an adhoc version using your developer certificate (paying the $99 to Apple) inside Corona (which is just one click) and can copy it to the phone either via Xcode (much faster) or itunes.

    I hope that answers your questions.
     
  15. newshidstudios

    newshidstudios Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
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    Would you have to pay the 399 to install a test version? Basically I want to be able to try the app out on my device before forking over the 399 to corona...
     
  16. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    As long as you have a internet connection you can build to device with the trial
     
  17. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    As of right now you can try Corona for as long as you like for free and pay only when you have something ready to submit to the store.
     
  18. newshidstudios

    newshidstudios Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
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    Thanks....

    BTW... after weighting everything everyone has said here and reading the features of corona,

    Corona completely OWNS! I love it, easy development, able to import to MULTIPLE PLATFORMS (ios, android, etc.), and PRICE! Unity is 3 times this! There is no better way for a non-developer to put out quality work. I've already created some pretty cool stuff just playing with the Lua language.

    Definite buy, hopefully they keep improving!
     
  19. crazygambit

    crazygambit Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2010
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    i just wanted to give the people interested in Corona a heads up that my Corona made game was just released.

    Here's the link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/shelly-the-shell-master/id410176657?mt=8

    You'll be able to evaluate what a complete beginner was able to pull off in 6 short weeks (while keeping a pretty demanding full time job, no social life to speak of whatsoever for those weeks though)

    Even though I'm not anywhere near maxing out Corona's potential, you'll be able to tell what it can do in terms of performance. Also I'd be more than happy to answer any technical questions you might have about the game or the engine.

    (Also, don't blame Corona for the art!)
     
  20. gdhsolutions

    gdhsolutions New Member

    Jan 30, 2011
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    Corona SDk

    I like the tool. A little code goes a long way. Anyone want to work on a project with me? I am short on time and looking for a partner. Thanks
     

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