New Corona Game Development Book Announced

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MobiDojo
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Hello Everyone,

I am pleased to announce a new game development book coming out for Corona SDK. It is mainly a beginner's guide for new Corona devs out there, but it does teach you how to work in both iOS and Android platforms.

The following are taught in the book:

• Optimize your game for mobile using touch and accelerometer

• Add sound and music to your game

• Master game physics such as collision detection

• Add achievements and leaderboards with OpenFeint and Game Center

• Monetize your game with in app purchase and advertising.

• Make your game socially aware by sharing messages and scores on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here for more book details.

It is now available for pre-order and should be released in February of 2012. Hope you guys purchase and enjoy!

Thank you!

Michelle Fernandez
MobiDojo
michelle@mobidojo.com
http://twitter.com/chelleshock1219

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nicholasclayg
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I'll keep an eye out for it.

I have Dr. Burtons book, I also have Technowands book.

Basically those show "Beginners" but they "assume" that people coded in another language. I started from SCRATCH in June 2011 in lua. I had silly questions like what is a function? What is the difference between a global vs local variable (and for that matter, a local vs global function) etc etc. I realize these things I had to dive into Programming in lua 2nd edition, but even then that was hard.

What I was REALLY after was a book that held my hand and introduced Lua in a Corona SDK context. Introducing the different things lua has to offer and how that translates to the Corona SDK environment.

Dr Burton had his book out in "beta" for review, basically we bought it and can look at it as it is now with some missing content. Does your book allow this or do we have to wait until the release date? I find looking at the book early allows for suggestions so you don't have a book that just pisses everyone off because the author was afraid of opinions :)

:)

ng

MobiDojo
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It's funny you mention about functions. I do recall in one of my chapters briefly discussing them since there is one that does go in the basics of Lua. While there is a release timeframe, it is still in a draft process and my publisher is still looking for some technical reviewers. I think there is still time to have more. If you'd like to review. Feel free to send me your contact info to my email and I can send it to my coordinator who will be in touch with you.

In this book, I do my best to break down almost every chunk of code. It is mostly geared towards the game development part. Learning to understand how to make a game framework and setting up your scenes. So I guess it is a form of some "hand-holding", but it does go through a process of loading your builds to iOS/Android devices, working the simulator, networking, physics, in-app purchasing, etc...

Best,
Michelle Fernandez
Mobidojo
michelle@mobidojo.com

martin.edmaier
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The link dont works.

MobiDojo
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Hmm... That's strange. It appears to be working on my end. Here is the direct link just in case: http://www.packtpub.com/corona-game-development-for-ios-android-beginners-guide/book

-Michelle

PaulHMason
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It appears that when you buy the ebook you don't get the draft version in the meantime?

darkconsoles
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i dont understand why we need another book for corona, except it will be huge and steps from very basic to advanced stuff in very easy matter to learn...

MobiDojo
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@paul.mason.xbox

All the publication is through a publisher (Packt Publishing). While I'm in charge of the content and other related material that goes into the book, in order to have access to the drafts, you would need to have permission by the publisher to see them. The book is not released until February 2012, so many things are still being finalized now if all goes according to schedule.

If you'd like to be a technical reviewer, you'd get a first glance at the content. It has to be approved by my project coordinator first.

Usually upon release with other books by Packt Publishing, a sample chapter is available to get an idea of what is being discussed according to the subject, but it's still early on till that happens.

Hope that helps. Feel free to contact me if there are any other questions. :)

Best,
Michelle

PaulHMason
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@chelleshock It's not a problem, but it's the first time I've seen pre-ordering of an ebook where you don't get the draft. APress, Manning, O'Reilly etc all allow you to pre-order and and get immediate access to the drafts.

MikeHart
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Hi Michelle,

good luck with your book from a fellow PacktPub writer.

Michael Hartlef

mila.habaer
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If I purchase Ebook, what format is it ?(PDF ?)

If I purchase Ebook, can I also get sample codes etc which are used in the book.

Thanks

MikeHart
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Hi Paul,

I am pretty sure that there will be a raw version of the corona book. I am writing for PacktPub atm and they are making a raw version of my book too. Guess it will take some time.

Michael Hartlef

MobiDojo
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@Mike Thank you very much! Same to you too! I'm sure handling that writing schedule is pretty intense as am I. What subject are you writing about?

I'm not exactly sure there will be a raw version of the Corona book. I never heard any word of it from my editors. I did go through the packtpub site to see a select few have raw versions and some aren't in the forthcoming books section.

@mila.habaer The ebook has options to be downloaded as PDF, ePub and Mobi downloads. All printed and digital copies will include sample code and other assets mentioned in the book. I think once they're available, they can be downloaded through the site.

-Michelle

MikeHart
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@Michelle: Yes, very intense. And I found the format "Beginners book" of PacktPub very limiting.

I am writing about a different tool to create games with, called Monkey. How much time do you have for a chapter? They gave me 16 days for one.

If you want to talk about it more in private, write me an email to mike ( a t) whiteskygames (d ot) com

nicholasclayg
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I have reviewed 2 chapters so far, and I am VERY impressed with the writing style. It's really got a beginners feel to it, without putting you to sleep.

I think this will be the GO TO book for people wanting to develop in Corona SDK.

I'll report more as I get through the content. :)

ng

troynall
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yes !!! local and global functions are my hurdle at this moment.

i think that analyzing a complete program is gonna be the only way for me to learn.

nicholasclayg
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@troynall

You will have that chance! Around chapter 3 (I say this, as Michelle may re arrange content, as this book is in "draft" form) you start with diving right into making a game, which is an old school game but teaches you from the ground up about project organization, groups, listeners, functions etc etc.

I am extremely technical and design & implement call centers, which has nothing to do with programming. That said, I have some idea on how to roll out huge projects, track a large amount of resources and ensure things are done on time and budget. All of that doesn't have anything to do with programming, but does have something to do with programming (I know a contradiction!). Also consider, I am a hyper active attention loser (HAAL, no relation to HAL 9000 lol). I've never been diagnosed, but I know that I'm 95% sure I'm ADHD :)

What's that got to do with this book? I'll tell you. When I pick up technical manuals, books etc I have a tendency to hit it hard and somewhere around chapter.....1 (lol) if the writer isn't engaging me I get all pissed off and walk away. I've read other Corona Books, and those books were not "right" for me like this one is. I think maybe it's a different, but straight forward perspective with good pacing.

That's what I feel about the first 4 chapters thus far:

Good pacing, good layout, recap of what's going on, keeping reader engaged.

I'm finishing up ch 3 and 4, and then sending back the notes and waiting to review the next batch of chapters :)

**Edit

11/04/11 - reviewed chapter 5 and 6 -

This is where this book REALLY shines. You build yet another game (2nd one so far) that is different but really hammers home the basics of the first game.

It really gets into it, covering sprites, animation, tables, score, sound, some physics etc. I learned quite a bit from it. The cool thing was I really didn't have to comment too much, it was very well written and I read it end to end in one sitting, then read it 2 more times, went through the code. I'm very pleased.

11/09/11 Started review of ch 7 and 8 - HOlY CRAP another game!!! This time, it's something different and really cool. You take everything you learned previously and really add on some useful stuff, and different gameplay. Using accelerometer, score, openfient, then there is some twitter, facebook, etc implementation. I'm not doing these chapters justice, but I think after someone reads this book they are going to have a brain full of corona sdk.

The end. :)

ng

By the way, I have twitter

cellphonegaming

angrycarrot (this is my support twitter account for my "company" ...yea it's not quite to "company" status lol)

darkconsoles
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seems like a good reading, when it will be fully available ?

nicholasclayg
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I think it's Feb 2012 - From what I understand, packt controls the release pretty tightly.

MobiDojo
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@nicholasclayg Oh you are too kind! :D

@RSCdev
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I would like to thank you too @nicholas.

PS: As more you tell about the book more I would like it was close to be released.:)

Regards,
Rodrigo.

marlon8
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nicholas,

Where were you able to view the few chapters that you did?

nicholasclayg
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@marlon8 - Yes. I am doing a technical review, which means I review the drafts, make suggestions and test code to ensure what is in book runs correctly. I am up to Ch 7 and 8 currently :)

@Rodrigo - I agree, I am really excited about this book. It builds several types of games, and covers things end to end. It even walks you through setting up provisioning profiles, navigating iTunes connect, submitting an android app, and that whole process. I think these things other books miss, or skip completely.

It all comes down to details I guess :)

ng

@RSCdev
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Hey @nicholas,

Better yet!

I`ll keep waiting and reading your valuable reviews as well.

Regards,
Rodrigo.

PS: Btw I`ve followed you on Twitter...nevermind! :)

nicholasclayg
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Here I am again, to give my thoughts on Chapters 7 and 8!

I feel like crap right now, and I had chapter 8 to review and test - due today. I got some stupid cold or something and it's making me fuzzy.....so I'm going to write freestyle!

Off the top of my head (I'll update more specifics later)

Director class - get down and dirty with this and have a sample game that does everything!

Main menu, options menu, credits menu, open feint.

The thing I learned the most from was the saving of scores, referencing scores and posting those scores online. Jon Beebe wrote a games class sometime back and a portion of that is used here! I never learned so much in such a short time.

Before reading this book, I had games built. The problem was getting all the non fun stuff working (menus, options.....arrrgh!).

That changed FAST I took the example, and RIPPED IT APART LINE BY LINE!! Then I understood how things worked, so I started building my game inside that example.

I can't reveal details of the game I am working on, but it's using very complex physics even in the main menu, credit screens, options. Every menu, is a game in itself, so I had to bolt on a TON of new code (main menu - grew over 710 lines, due to complex animation triggers, multitouch events and physics interactions etc)

That's a shameless plug for a game that has a name, but I can't say the title as it gives the game itself away hehe. The point I make in all of this is I STRUGGLED BIG TIME with director, I was scared of it (ask Peach Pellen, I always kind of complained "I don't get it!I think space monkeys are out to get me").

The way I approached these 2 chapters was to look at the example code, and go through the game see how it plays, what's happening and I took out a notepad and wrote down the things in my head.

Then, I looked at what I wrote and what I saw in the code. I then picked up the Chapter 7 material, and read through it. Since I spent a ton of time (I recommend you do the same) I felt like I was reading the game, but being explained to me in an easy way.

It was really so far my FAVORITE chapters 7 and 8 takes all that stuff you do in the earlier chapters and RAMS IT IN YOUR FACE with reckless abandon (trust me this is a good thing lol).

I know that Facebook, twitter integration etc is coming on the next chapters (ya know, that's what it said at the end of chapter 8 heh).

Anyway, I really look forward to others reading this book. I want them to see for themselves - I want it to be known I am just an advocate, I don't have any vested interest in this book (financially speaking) and I am a harsh critic on everyone. I'm very picky, and I get pissed off at things easily.

This book didn't piss me off - that's rare. I love the material, it makes learning Corona SDK a snap!

Ok, I'm going to drink a gallon of Nyquil or something and go to sleep.

Also, I am not going to read what I just posted above - if there are spelling errors or something that's fine you can deal with it.

ng

Naomi
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How fun, Nicolas! It sounds like the book is really cool and what all newbies would benefit by reading.

I thought, perhaps, and if there's still time to make what-might-potentially-be some *big* changes to the chapter, I suggest the author / book publisher to look into Storyboard API that is now included with Corona SDK.

Also, for saving/loading stuff, consider including ice library from http://developer.anscamobile.com/code/ice -- you need to understand only a handful of command to unleash the power of ice (which makes good use of json and sqlite3). I think it's pretty darn incredible.

And here are the links to Storyboard API related links:

http://developer.anscamobile.com/content/storyboard
http://blog.anscamobile.com/2011/11/introducing-the-storyboard-api/
http://blog.anscamobile.com/2011/11/common-storyboard-api-questions/
https://developer.anscamobile.com/forum/2011/11/16/storyboard-api-questions

Naomi

nicholasclayg
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@Naomi

The SECOND I saw the storyboard stuff get posted, I let Michelle know about it.

Personally, I am mixed on the storyboard API. It's so "new" It's hard to say what will work and not work (like ultra complex scene transitions and crazy menu options like I have right now in my game). Looking at Director vs Storyboard I am liking the storyboard API. I think it's great that Ansca is starting to get into providing an end to end platform (has anyone seen the level editor they are working on that is EPIC!!!!!) to get developers up and running.

Also, as I said I am a new guy to programming I have no background in coding, started June 2011 brand new to everything coding. My opinions are coming from a "Non coder ever" type view which most will find varies GREATLY from the people who have years of experience.

I guess I call it my "simple view" approach. I don't have the rich history of doing assembler language, or fortran or some ancient language that would most likely just piss me off. The first language I saw was Lua - that is all I know and the associated Corona API's. So what I see something is really cool to use a hardcore developer might say "This is too simple, it's not fully featured etc" where to me I am new so it's better than what I am doing.

I want people to keep that in mind the BEGINNERS perspective when they read this book. Honestly, I went into it and start wanting more and more - then realized WHERE is the line drawn? Maybe that line is Storyboard API, maybe it's too advanced, maybe it's not I don't know that is a debatable subject I suppose :)

By default I am in the "BEGINNERS" mindset ya know, because I am a beginner (just sayin'). But for others, they have to reboot the brain and take this stance.

I just realized that may or may not directly tackle concerns or not, but I just write until I don't feel like writing anymore and say what I want to say. That time has ended now :)

ng

Edit* btw, chapter 9 is coming soon. I get to read that hopefully soon :)

Naomi
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Hey, Nicholas, I'm with you, in that, I'm also new to the world of coding/programming. I started fooling around with Lua starting in July 2011. (I heard of Corona SDK in June, but haven't really had the time to play with the code until July -- what a shame.)

So, I totally understand where you are coming from (because that's where I came from.) And honestly, look into ice library. I got my head around JSON after a struggle, but the thought of sqlite simply didn't appeal to me (even though I had a feeling it's something I should learn to use) -- then there came ice and dissolved all my worries associated with save/load routines.

Cheers,
Naomi

MobiDojo
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@Naomi

I'll definitely dig into ice library. I just glanced at it for a couple seconds and already understood how to implement it to some of my game samples instantly!

As for Storyboard API, as soon as it came out a couple days ago, I was all "Oh snap! There has to be a way I need to integrate it into my chapters." I've been used to Director over the past year. Especially since Storyboard has a better support system with Corona, it is definitely on my high priority list. So many changes lately in the past couple of months. My final draft revisions will have to reflect on all that has been improved, added, and so forth. Thanks for the information! I really appreciate it.

@All you curious/aspiring Corona devs

So I'm on my last chapter. Been creating samples, outlining, all that jazz. Been hearing wonderful feedback from some of my tech reviewers that I know of and I'm pleased that all is going well! I have been making this a focus towards a beginner's feel to the point where you can actually create a game and submit it to either the App Store or Android Market. So all those necessary details will be included.

I wish I could discuss everything that Corona is capable of, but I'm restricted to certain topics that are typically necessary and a priority for this type of book. Thus also there's only so much information I can pack in 11 chapters and discuss them thoroughly enough that users will understand. I'm trying to make all my topics worth while to learn without sugar coating it. Meaning, I go into detailed steps for any new information acquired and explain the purpose of it all. So that's pretty much the gist of it. I think Nicholas has been more than happy to update all y'all about his findings without giving too much away. :P I've been a busy bee in high spirits to make this book a great learning experience for Corona developers.

Feel free to contact me if there are any questions. Oh and I'm also in the final stages of finishing a game with MobiDojo, so be on the look out for it in the next couple weeks! Thanks everyone!

Michelle
michelle@mobidojo.com
http://twitter.com/chelleshock1219
http://twitter.com/mobidojo

nicholasclayg
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"y'all" can just call me Nick.

:)

I'm stoked on this book. I would love to give more information as well, but I figure it's best to let the information come out and have people get the "Oh I never looked at it that way" type of approach.

My information providing will be coming to an end once I get my paws on 9/10/11 after that it's game over......sadness....sniff sniff.

Until then I read, and read again everything I have had access to this point.

ng

MobiDojo
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Last night I was doing a random search under Corona and saw that this book is also on Amazon! It was pretty exciting to see.

http://amzn.com/1849691886

TH3ORY
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How much for a copy now february 2012 is too much of a long wait ?? Thanks

marlon8
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How much for a copy now february 2012 is too much of a long wait ?? Thanks.

^
I would like to know this too:)

Phenomsandwich
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Pretty unfortunate that people have to wait that long for a corona book.

MobiDojo
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Hello,

As said in the earlier posts, there are no beta/raw versions available. I am not authorized to publish any content inside the book and any information that is allowed to go out is solely up to the publisher. Sorry guys! What I can say is that a lot of work and thought is being put into this so that it is a quality book for developers to learn from. Many of the tech reviewers are hard at work as well to make this all happen. For now, everything is right on schedule.

Regards,
Michelle

Edit: I forgot one thing. A chapter preview will actually be available on the publisher website, but I am not sure about the eta on that just yet. Thanks! :)

MikeHart
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Michelle,

usually the contract states that you are allowed to publish 10% of the book on your website. At least mine does.

Cheers
Michael

MobiDojo
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@Michael

Ah yes, I overlooked that section in my contract. That's almost as much info as a single chapter. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I think that's why they have chapter previews for all the books they publish as well on their website.

Edit: Though I do have to contact them and inform which info I use from the book.

-Michelle

doubleslashdesign
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I just grabbed this printed book and PDF
Cant wait to get this book and read it.

Larry

www.DoubleSlashDesign.com

TH3ORY
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@Michael Hi is you book for Corona Development ??? if so can i have the link Plz Thanks

doubleslashdesign
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Yeah MikeHart Let use know, I'll grab yours as well.

always nice to have good references.

Larry

www.DoubleSlashDesign.com

MikeHart
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@.TH3ORY , @doubleslashdesign

Sorry no. My book is about Monkey. It just happens that Michelle and I write for the same publisher and it is nice to exchange infos about the writing procedures and the progress along the way.

But reasding that at least 3 books for Corona being written, I am sure that you will have plenty of material to study.

MobiDojo
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@doubleslashdesign Thanks! Much appreciated!

Now on an off topic note in an off topic forum, my game is officially in the App Store! It's called Willy Wiener and the Tunnel of Doom. Check it out!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/willy-wiener-tunnel-doom/id483283595?mt=8

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=070PBxmQdkk&feature=colike

Thanks guys!

Michelle

MikeHart
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Congrats for your achievement Michelle!!!

MobiDojo
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Thanks Michael!

nicholasclayg
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Some further thoughts....

I'm excited about this book. I've applied a ton of stuff I learned from this book through the technical review process. It's one of the few times I actually sat through a book and tore through every example trying to get EVERYTHING to work.

Other technical books, it's a case of go straight to something and do just that and then it sits on the shelf for eternity. This is not the case with this book as compared to other Corona SDK books I've read.

I've been very lucky to get exposed to this and had the opportunity to review it. Before this, my game had some issues - mostly the not so fun stuff like menus, options screens, etc. With the use of the sample games, I was able to rip out the game content and use the menu system as a template for my game (saved me so much time, I laughed). This was something that really separated this book from the other books I read. Project files that made sense and the flow of projects built up on one another instead of just "here is this, ok ya cool"...and " ok here is this and yea ok cool" and then I felt disconnected.

That's my off the cuff opinion thus far, and that was the draft. The timing of reviewing this book came at a most excellent time as I just finished my core game logic and was stumbling with all the menu navigation and scoring system :)

I'll report back again when I officially finish the review, which I anticipate will be within the next few weeks.

-ng

shameless plugs to follow:

@angrycarrot (game studio twitter - updates etc)
@cellphonegaming (my yapping account, where I discuss everything)
wwww.angrycarrot.com

nicholasclayg
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I have finished my review for this book.

Wow, what great content and this was 'draft' form!

I've been comparing other books, I'm VERY fair, and this appears to be the book other books will be compared to.

I'll write more later, I'm off to CES2012 now :) going to see some ultra thin HDTV's and look at some new toys :)

-ng

shameless plugs to follow:

@angrycarrot (game studio twitter - updates etc)
@cellphonegaming (my yapping account, where I discuss everything)
wwww.angrycarrot.com

newbie2013
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Michelle, I look forward to reading your e-book when it comes out - when in February?

Nick, you sound like a PR guy for the book! :D

Mike, off topic, how does Monkey compare with Corona SDK? I used to code in Blitz and am now exploring my options.

MikeHart
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@Robelong: Monkey is a complete different beast. You can't really compare them, because the weakness of one tool is the strength of the other one.

newbie2013
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@MikeHart: Interesting regarding Monkey vs Corona. Thanks for your opinion.

MobiDojo
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@robleong Thanks! I'm hoping late February, if it stays on schedule. Lots of finalizing to do with it still.

nicholasclayg
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@robleong lol. Yea, I know I sound like a PR dude, but I only get excited about stuff that I like, and I'll rip things apart if I don't like it.

I'm looking forward to the final product as well :)

ng

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