Indie Developer
Mobile Apps & Games
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About a year ago I decided that I would begin developing mobile applications and games. As a long time software developer I spent some time evaluating the different options that were available.

My Requirements

  • cross platform - iOS and Android
  • mature set of programming tools
  • active developer community 
  • documentation and examples on the web

What I looked into..

What I chose and Why ...

Built with Corona SDK
After playing with the 3 tools for a while I settled on Corona SDK. 
  • It met all of my requirements
  • Did a decent job of provided access to most of the device capabilities that I needed access to.
  • It has many great and affordable 3rd party tools ( I will write about my favorites in the future).
  • I was able to learn the Lua language very quickly.
 

 

Compromises ?

There were a few things that I did not like about Corona Labs product , none were a show stopper and some of the issues have improved over the last year.
  • My biggest concern was that the actual builds are done on Corona Labs Servers. This makes you totally dependent on them. If they go out of business then - its Game Over. While this is still a concern, the company seems to be doing OK. During the last year one of the co-founders left the company, and I have been watching and continue to watch very closely.
  • They use a yearly subscription model $375/year to create iOS, Android, Nook and Kindle binaries. The good news is the free trial never expires so you can wait until you are ready to publish your first app before you pull the trigger. This was a bit on the expensive side but not outrageous.
  • Documentation was a bit out of date, Clunky Forum --- There was some stale documentation on the site and the Forum software was very basic and was frustrating to use. GOOD NEWS: The Api documentation has been revamped and is 1000% better. I read that the CEO is also considering revamping the Forum .... I can only hope !
  • Corona Labs seems to cater to the new and beginning programmers. This is not really bad but the forums have tons of beginner questions. I would like to see them have seminars for more advanced users as well.

Why not Gideros or Moai ?

I really wanted to use Gideros, you do your own builds, About the same cost as Corona, but not as mature of a product. But it gets better all the time. I found out about Moai in mid 2012 - this looks killer, fully open source and you can create your own iOS and Android bindings. It's not for the faint of heart, the docs are sparce and you are expected to be a pro developer. I have a feeling that I may switch over to this in the future. But for the time being I will stick with Corona SDK in order to get projects done faster.

Why Not HTML5/Phone Gap

This has its place for business apps but is not suited for games. I am not a big fan of javascript and that is where most of the coding is done. The nice thing is that in Corona SDK you can do a web view and run HTML5 code in it .

Summary

After almost a year of kicking the Corona SDK tires, I like what I see. Corona Labs has improved in its engineering discipline over the last 6 months and has become very transparent with their roadmap. Time will tell if they can continue to deliver on their promises. The SDK gets better with each new public release and they are quick to deal with all of the rapid changes in the mobile computing world ( i.e. iPhone 5 and iOS 6)
 

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  • #gcu2016 way to go dad https://t.co/qaHFICUc5Q 1 year 6 months ago
  • @CoronaGeek thx. Watched it today at the "day job". I am happy for you. Please KEEP your sense of humor. Keep it geeky as well ! 4 years 10 months ago
  • @curvedlightsol #22 is posted now. Experimenting with hosting live on Monday and rebroadcasting on Wednesday. Still working things out. 4 years 10 months ago
  • @CoronaGeek when will you post episode 22 ? Inquiring minds want to know.... :) 4 years 10 months ago
  • @curvedlightsol thank you! I'm very excited about the road ahead. It's going to be an awesome ride. 4 years 10 months ago