Trying out Corona SDK

I’ve certainly done my share of whining about the otherewise fabulous GameSalad’s various issues.  It was my gateway drug to iOS development, it’s the only tool I’m currently competent with, and I’ll be using it for my near-term publishing.  I’ll probably never stop using it for rapid prototyping, because I don’t think there’s anything in the industry that even comes close in terms of getting an idea into a workable prototype.

However, it’s limitations, especially around networking and social capabilities, have me looking around for new lovers, and after listening to a smattering of Indie game development podcasts, it looks like Corona SDK is what all the cool kids are using.

It’s novel to be programming again, after several years in the no-source-code environment of GameSalad.

So far I’m pretty impressed.  The sexiest thing I’ve seen so far is that I loaded the included GPS example, and, after having only completed on Hello World tutorial, was able to actually get an ad-hoc build onto my phone with no additional instructions in *under ten minutes*.  The free version doesn’t allow large-scale distribution, and has a little pop-up in the App that tells you it’s a trial, but otherwise is fully-featured, so it’s possible to build one’s entire App, including ad-hoc testing, for free, before committing to their $350 annual fee.

I don’t know when I’ll have time for the technical ramp-up necessary to make the leap, and I know that the Apps built with Corona will be harder to test thoroughly due to the inherent buggy-ness of source-code-written Apps compared to those made by GameSalad, but I’m excited by the prospect of being able to make Apps that talk to the outside world, and support things like writeable tables, arrays, and for loops!

Riveting.

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