How I Came To Corona

This is a story some of you will have already heard but I feel it might be a good way to start a discussion. I have spoken with lots of you at length and yet I know how very few of you first discovered Corona and what prompted you to start developing.

This is the story of how I came to Corona.

I can’t tell you exactly when I realized I wanted to make iPhone apps because honestly, I don’t know. I had the idea to make mobile applications years ago before the iPhone, even before the iPod – back when snake was so popular on the Nokia 3310.

At some point I just woke up and decided, “OK, today I’m going to start learning how to make apps”.

I did some Googling and came across GameSalad – there were mixed reviews but it seemed like a gentle introduction, the community at that time was very strong and the interface reminded me of RPG Maker, which I loved as a kid.

I spent 6 months or so creating various apps, never publishing, just learning and creating things – then I got my first iPhone and paid for my Apple iOS developer license.

Over the next few months I published a handful of apps I had been working on and although I didn’t have any big hits my apps were overall well received. I enjoyed what I was doing and I was making some money in the process.

Fast forward to October 2010.

GameSalad announced plans for GameSalad Direct. For those of you who don’t know about this, it was a big deal. The idea was that developers would no longer be allowed to publish their own apps. They would give their apps to GameSalad who would then publish them under their own Apple account – and what did they offer in return for forcing you to give up your name? The opportunity to give them a cut of your profits.

That’s right – the idea was that they would take your name and your money.

As you might expect, this did not go well for GameSalad. People revolted and started jumping ship to other SDKs.

While all this was happening I wrote a blog post to express my disgust. This post was seen by a member of the Ansca team who responded to it and I decided if they were reaching out, I would too.

This is how I met Carlos Icaza.

I wrote to him talking about my disbelief at the situation, my concerns for the future and my desire to learn more about the Corona SDK. (At this stage I still had some doubts about how I would go learning something new very quickly – and I did need to find a new tool quickly.)

He responded to my email the same morning and by that evening I was muddling my way through a “Hello World” tutorial.

Over the next three weeks I learned more and more and actually managed to publish my first Corona made app. Three weeks from zero coding knowledge to one published game, complete with physics, accelerometer control and OpenFeint.

This was also the time period in which Techority was born.

Skip ahead to April 2011.

I’d been using Corona for 6 months and in that time I had become more and more involved with the community. I’m a big believer in community and I wanted to help other users, I wanted to meet other users and more than anything I wanted to make the Corona community an awesome place to be a part of. (Coincidentally that is still my goal today – nurture and help grow a friendly, involved, caring and helpful community.)

I got an offer to become a part of the Ansca Team and naturally I said yes. Actually I think it sounded a bit more like “zomgtotallyesyesyesathousandtimesyes!1!!one!” -but either way, I answered in the affirmative.

From that point in time there really was no looking back for me – I became more and more involved, I got to know the Ansca team and I had new ways in which I could help the community.

Finally, in October this year, I was able to go to Palo Alto and spend two weeks at Ansca HQ, (which you can read about on Techority if you wish,) and since then I have never been more certain that Corona SDK was the right choice. The Ansca team is devoted to constantly improving the SDK and making their developers happy and excited about what they do.

And that’s how I came to Corona.

What about you? How did you find your way to Corona?

Peach Pellen :)

16 Responses to How I Came To Corona
  1. Nick Reply

    Hi Peach! Nick G here (“cellphonegaming/ angrycarrot on twitter)

    I experimented with some STUPID ASS PROGRAM called App Inventor from Google. This application was a kind of sort of drag and drop app development type of program. I learned it well, and made 3 games with it a snake game (cuz well you know you aren’t ANYONE until you can make a snake game) then I made a ground hog mash (or mole mash, whatever you want to call it) then I wanted to make a game with physics and basically I got given the bird from App inventor.

    Then I tried Phone Gap, after 2 hours I said F U phone gap I hate you and you should die…the end.

    Then I tried something called “Live Code” which I think at that time was called Run Rev. A guy made a sheep herding game in 3 hours and 16 minutes. Ok, I was kind of impressed at that point.

    Then I tried Game Salad – I was thorougly pissed off at this as the physics I wanted to implement was simply not possible in GS. I guess my dreams vs skills were far exceeded in what could happen, vs what I could do with some tool like app inventor, live code and game salad.

    So then I said “Well F all this, I’ll just learn Objective C”

    THAT was the WORSE MISTAKE I EVER MADE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!!!

    Who the HELL would want to go through that? Learning Objective C was like getting kicked in the nuts with a semi soft toe shoe. Soft enough it was like “Wow this REALLY hurts, but I can kind of deal with it” Then you want to put a button on screen, assign a sound to it and fade it out when you are done.

    I remember reading for a day just to do these things, and about 150 lines of code later had it working! I was like YEA!

    Then I realized that the game I wanted to make (I have my name picked out, it’s not reserved so I won’t mention it yet it’s available!!! hehe) I realized That objective C would take me a freaking YEAR (yea, I am not joking, I even consulted someone to tell me what it would take!!!).

    So Objective C and my dream of making games on mobile platforms faded for a month or so.

    Then one fateful day, my co worker who was looking out for me and was listening to my CONSTANT BITCHING about finding something easier and faster to code in said “Hey I found this thing called CORONA SDK, It seems like a fast way to code, hell physics took a few lines compared to other SDK’s you were looking at”

    That was June 2011, I started looking at it – I was HOOKED like a crack head. I hit the ground running! I had to learn Lua, and Corona SDK API’s and so far it wasn’t too hard. Right now I really specialize in ULTRA complex physic interactions and the like, my games are all based on physics!! Currently, I have 6 projects in progress (that I have”dedicated” myself to complete) along with 19 total (used to be 17) that I have on the radar and I am lining up.

    Then I have as of today………..73 prototypes built of gameplay styles I want to implement. Majority of them, don’t exist in the mobile market, and about 30% of them do – but I have improvements to make…….

    So how I came about to Corona SDK was merely by a mention of a co worker telling me about it. At that point, I basically gave up making games and figured it was ” out of my league” Now I say NOPE it’s all possible in 2d with Corona SDK!

    Carlos is the freaking mother beeping MAN!!! Him and his Co Founder Walter really changed the landscape go game development with the Corona SDK environment. As a kid, I always wanted to make games – but I felt that most methods of that day were a waste of time from a development standpoint. I wanted something kind of easy to use and easy to implement! That was the reason I went with Corona SDK.

    Enough Said – I don’t care wtf others say Corona SDK doesn’t suck a donkey wang. It IS THE DONKEY WANG OWNING OTHER WANGS!!!

    lol, haha

    nick

  2. Peach Pellen Reply

    This is like a blog within a blog! Excellent :D

    I think it’s great you tried other things first; it just helps confirm Corona is the BEST. (I never got into others but I’ve looked at them.)

    I remember previous talks we have had about physics – it is awesome you’ve come so far in such a short time, not just with physics but with all of it. Truly awesome :)

    As to Carlos and Walter, +1000000000. They’re great at what they do and they’re also all around awesome people. I know most people only care that they make a kick ass SDK and keep making it better but because I’m a total care bear I’m reassured by the fact they’re good people, too.

    I haven’t actually heard hardly anyone be critical of Corona (normally they’re asshats anyway) but I guess I agree with your last paragraph.

    …. My blog has been up less than two days and already it mentions wangs in capital letters XD

    Peach

  3. Nick Reply

    I put up a few physics demos I made, nothing fancy just to see what I could do. Each example represents core gameplay for titles I am working on (well except for Slice O magic, that was just something I wanted to see if it was possible).

    These are basic things I tried to do in other environments, while I realize that Cocos2d was a realistic choice that is done in Ob C and well, that OB c stuff can go get on a donkey wang.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/cellphonegaming?feature=mhee

    I agree on Ansca people – I wrote carlos a question about something and he responded back “Hey Nick FTW” I mean, how could you not be happy about that? lol.

    Nick

  4. Peach Pellen Reply

    Cool link – very good stuff :)

    I can imagine Carlos writing that ^-^; He’s never said “Peach FTW” but I suspect that may be because he’s too busy try to avoid my nagging ;) “Do this, do that, I don’t want to wear shoes today!” etc.

    Peach :)

  5. Rodrigo Costa Reply

    Mrs. Peach,

    Just a word: Congratulations!!!

    Sincerely I have no words to describe you (even not knowing you in the “real” world) because you`re the best!

    And so…by YOU (as you know well) I GOT INTO CORONA! I LOVE CORONA!…but I am not like you…3 weeks and 1 app done! I am at the 2nd month already and still unable to get a miserable app! hahaha…and imagine you that I want to make my living from it!! Well…I have to go because I will get it! I need it and finally I enjoy it at all. :)

    PS: Would only love to have a friend/partner getting together here to learn quickly but by now…well…its only me and so I cannot think about stop!

    My best of the best wishes for you Mrs. “P”! :)

    Yours faithfully,
    Rodrigo Costa.
    RSCdev.

  6. Peach Pellen Reply

    Hello Rodrigo :)

    Thank you – I appreciate the kind words. I know I helped to get you into Corona and I am very happy about that!

    Do not worry that you have not yet created your first app – 2 months is a very short time to learn something new and although it only took me 3 weeks, I probably had more time than you do. I was also driven by more than just enthusiasm, I had to succeed to make sure I could protect my name.

    It is a shame that you do not have someone there to assist you but sometimes that’s just how it is – I do not have anyone here to work with either. (Perhaps that is one of the reasons I enjoyed my time at Ansca HQ so much.)

    Hang in there, stick with it – you will make a wonderful app in time, then many more after that :) I know you will.

    Peach :)

  7. carlos m. icaza Reply

    FTW

    c.

  8. Peach Pellen Reply

    Back to work, empleado! *cracks whip* ;)

  9. Kevin M Reply

    Peach,
    I found your blog via the http://learningcorona.com/ site, and I wanted to add my two cents.

    I was introduced to Corona SDK by my dad, who is teaching a class on mobile development at the university where he works.

    The physics system is incredibly easy to get started in, and the simulator is lightweight. An example of this is that I built my first test application (a simple basketball game) from scratch in about 2 hours…on my netbook.

    My ONLY annoyance (and this is a fairly small one at that, thanks to the wonders of VirtualBox) is that there is no linux version of the simulator. I am primarily a web developer (http://www.onkoistudios.com for my main site), and I work almost 100% using the Ubuntu Linux environment. It’s a little bit annoying to have to boot up my virtual system whenever I want to test a program.

    Right now, I’m running the trial version of the program (I’m participating in the mobile development class) with intent to purchase as soon as I have learned Lua and the Corona APIs well enough to justify it.

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Hey,

      Glad to hear you are enjoying Corona – it is a fantastic SDK. (Although 2 hours to get a simple app on device is still very impressive!)

      You could always post in Feature Requests to ask about Linux support; it wouldn’t be implemented tomorrow but Ansca does take all requests on board. :)

  10. finefin Reply

    hi peach,
    here’s my story how I became a corona user:

    Years ago I was studying to become an arts teacher. I had an atelier in my university, drew, painted and built stuff… but eventually I began to make art games (or rather “toys”) in flash, some were parts of my installations.

    The beginning of my little game making career was “DotVille deluxe” for which I was able to find a branding sponsor. $ KA-TCHINNNG! $ Well, then I continued to make flash games, some of them have millions of views.

    And then a friend asked me if I want to make iPhone games. I said yes and for 2 years I was struggling with ObjC, made several apps but none of them changed history so far – uh!

    And then … summer 2011 … I clicked a link in a tweet by somebody. corona SDK, huh? well let’s have a look. When I realized I can use most of my ActionScript skills with it, I spent a day of reading the docs and working on tutorials. On day two I finished my first working prototype of PARALLAX and we released it 2-3 weeks later. Since then we continously added features to the game. And now we have several games in the pipeline and – thanks to corona sdk – 2012 looks bright :)

    cheers
    -finefin

  11. varun Reply

    hello everyone,

    I am preparing game using corona, but i am facing problem in it. In my project “collision” is not getting executed. can anyone help me out with that????

    I doubt that it might be due to unregistered/trial version.. Is this possible???

    Please reply me asap…

    Thanks
    varun

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Hey Varun, you should use the Ansca Mobile forum for questions like this – you will get very fast answers that way.

      The collision not registering will be due to an error in your code; a trial version is not limited in this way.

  12. Darren Reply

    Hey Peach,

    sorry to trouble you, i sent you an email last week. just wondering if you were around to chat at some point.

    thanks

    • Peach Pellen Reply

      Hey Darren, my apologies, I’ve been traveling – should be caught up on emails by the end of the week :)

  13. Twinkieman Reply

    Now that you hopefully saw this notification ding.

    Time to erase this since it’s well you know story of corona which is basically a hot steamy pile of crap.

    -twinkieman +1 (stealth mode engaged)

Leave a Reply to varun Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>