Many use the native Android development kit or SDK from Google because it’s free. To get anywhere with Google’s SDK though, you need to be well versed in Java and XML. There’s actually a steep learning curve to develop applications with Google’s kit.
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Alternatives do exist like PhoneGap, Titanium Appcelerator and of course, Corona. However, most of them carry a pretty hefty price which is not ideal for independent developers. Corona, for example, is a subscription based service which usually costs about $349 a year for a license. Fortunately, Corona Labs just made their development kit free to use for mobile development specifically for projects that will garner an annual income of $100,000 or less.
Why do you, or anyone else for that matter, care about Corona? The answer to that is simple. Corona uses the LUA programming language instead of Java. For starters, LUA is much easier to learn than Java, especially if you have previous coding experience with languages like Basic, C or even Python. Furthermore, LUA is open source, just like the Android OS.
LUA is actually used in a lot of different software that exists today including modern games like World of Warcraft, and media apps like VLC media player. Long story short, it’s been used quite extensively for software development in the past. Corona Labs have already provided hundreds of tutorials, examples and sample programs for reference while developing software with their SDK.
The Corona environment has actually been developed primarily for use in creating games. Virtually all objects are handled as an OpenGL object by default. Needless to say, game development is much easier with the Corona SDK when compared to Google’s.
There are plenty of additional development features including Facebook, sqlite3, cryptography, and networking support. There’s even an integrated 2D physics engine, with extra support for joints, collisions and variable gravity.
Coincidentally, Corona Labs also implemented cloud features earlier this year to allow developers to provide different account storage functions in their applications. Apps developed with Corona can provide users with online accounts, leaderboards, achievements, turn-based multiplayer gaming, push notifications and chatting. Along with the free version of Corona, there will also be a free version of Corona’s cloud services for developers to use, albeit with limited features.
Corona also includes an inbuilt simulator that allows you to test your application on a large variety of devices, all of which are equipped with differing screen sizes. Unsurprisingly, you can do the same with Google’s development kit, as well.
Once your app is finally ready for release, you can submit it to the Google Play store, Amazon and even Barnes and Noble right through Corona. You can even produce iPhone or iPad apps with Corona too if you want to cross the fence.
So, if you’ve been planning to develop an Android game, but you’ve held off until now, it’s certainly the perfect time to get started.
Source: Corona Labs