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From The Blog: Corona Labs annual update
Started by CoronaBot Feb 12 2020 02:58 PM

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#1

CoronaBot

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It’s 2020 and many of you have been wanting a roadmap for the next year. We’ve got several major updates to shed the light on Corona’s future and give you more perspective on your business goals connected to our product.

First, let us separate the business entity Corona Labs from the product Corona. On May 1, 2020, Corona Labs Inc. as a business entity will cease to operate. The main reason for this decision is the difference between income this business generates and operational expenses demanded. We assume that many of you, as mobile business owners yourself, can relate to this move. We appreciate your understanding and would like to thank everyone who contributed to our community growth. We’ve seen a lot of great games and apps produced by you, the community. From large studios to determined indie developers, you’ve surprised us and amazed us.

While Corona Labs will fade into an entry in the computer software corporate history as a business entity, Corona the product will go on as an open source project. Here are the details on how we’re planning to proceed.

TL; DR:

Your existing and new games will continue to work. After we finish with the changes to the Corona Simulator, Native and CoronaCards, there should not be much difference in the development workflow for Corona users.

  1. Some of the Corona Labs staff have expressed an interest in continuing to work with Corona as an as-available hobby project, so some engine development will continue. There is a possibility that engineers would seek funding through platforms like Patreon or Github Sponsors to continue work in larger capacity.
  2. Appodeal will continue to fund infrastructure costs and work with the open source staff to keep the Appodeal plugin up to date.
  3. The Corona open source license will change from its current dual license state (Commercial + GPLv3) to a single, much more permissive license: The MIT License will make building the open source version of Corona easier for you and lift distribution restrictions on your apps and games. If you are using the GPL version of Corona, you can continue doing so in your fork.
  4. Corona Labs will remove Splash Screen restrictions and plugin license checks from Native and Simulator builds. All first-party plugins will be open sourced and be available on GitHub. Corona’s “daily” builds will be built using tools available for Open Source projects, and would be available on GitHub releases.
  5. We will change the Corona Simulator to be an offline tool, building for all supported platforms using local storage as a source for plugins.
  6. Marketplace sales will cease. Vendors will be paid what they are owed, and will have to distribute updates for their plugins themselves. Users will be able to download purchased plugins and assets before the store closure. Corona Labs will stop accepting new submissions to the Marketplace on February, 15. 2020. Self-hosted plugins will be turned on for everyone so community plugin developers can continue to provide plugins.
  7. We will migrate the forums and coronalabs.com website content to another platform, since the current setup is tied to an expensive infrastructure. We may need several community members to volunteer to administer the new Forums. We are still working on what the coronalabs.com website access will become.
  8. The community is welcome to spin up discussion forums. Possibilities include using GitHub’s Issues, Reddit’s /r/CoronaSDK page, a Facebook Group, etc. The community Slack will remain.
  9. The Corona Labs maintained social media accounts will remain open, and we will turn them into sources of useful information for developers (i.e., industry news, development and monetization tips, etc.).
  10. All these will not happen overnight. We are working on changes to the parts of the engine, and will release them gradually, moving the build process offline as well as migrating content to different platforms. We will post updates on the progress, as well as send out one more final email with all the details Feel free to follow Corona on Github or get involved in development. Progress will be reflected in this Github Project.

We sincerely hope that Corona can continue to thrive and that our great community can be more involved in its future. If there is anyone who would be interested in volunteering, a partnership or acquiring Corona Labs, please, contact us by emailing support@coronalabs.com.



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#2

XeduR @Spyric

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Well, as many have said on the forums, this has been a long time coming. I can't express how sad I feel about this, but as the post reads, the reality is that Corona Labs Inc. is a business and businesses need to make enough profit to justify their existence.

 

Now that Corona SDK is moving to MIT license, it could be that more open source developers will be drawn towards it and the engine may live through it. I would also be up for contributing to Patreon or something similar if it would finance at least a part of Corona's future development. Still, the immediate reality is that the engine's future is now more uncertain than ever. There are no guarantees that Corona SDK will remain up to date with all of the mandatory feature updates, like changing from OpenGL to Metal for iOS. I hope for the best, but I fear for the worst.

 

I am still personally invested in the future of Corona and I hope all the best for it and its community of developers. If it would help, and if it would be wanted, I would be willing to become one of the volunteer administrators of the new forums.


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#3

sporkfin

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Count me in for financial support and I'll also be volunteering my time on the new forums or whatever else emerges.


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#4

kbradford

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Very sad news indeed.  We've been working with Corona for 8 years now and have loved the engine.  Count us in for Patreon or whatever is needed to keep a developer working so we can stay up to date with future iOS/Android updates.  Especially the OpenGL -> Metal migration if that's required in iOS 14.


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#5

RustySly

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the news what i was afraid to hear :( but i hope it's best for everyone involved. we are about to release our new game in about two months and would like this great engine to live and continue to thrive. definitely up for financial support via patreon or whatever platform.


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#6

pixec

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This is scary. The admob plugin is still broken and will remain broken, I guess?

I looked at coronas previous owners: perk, fusepowered, appodeal. They were all mobile ad/reward providers and none of them care about desktop/web/consoles as it wouldnt help their business at all, so it figures why there had been no updates that way. It would be great if someone could open source develop admob plugin, but other than that I think corona engine should push forward as game engine and stop forget all business app ideas.

Also, who would the remaining corona staff be? Vlads? Is there someone else who develops the engine?

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#7

Rob Miracle

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@pixec, you are drawing a wrong conclusion around that. Appodeal and the two previous owners pretty much gave Corona Labs autonomy when it came to Engineering. Their main interest was getting their ads SDK on more devices. It was in their benefit for Corona to work on as many platforms as possible since that would keep us competitive. 

 

Rob


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#8

dooq

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Sad news indeed :(. Corona is a great engine. It's too bad the business unit couldn't find a business case to continue building it. Hopefully it lives on well enough in open source


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#9

d.mach

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@Rob : Will you continue working on Corona? Your help in the past was great and what made the whole work on Corona so awesome!

I hope we will be able to still use Corona efficiently in the years to come! Patreon seems like a good idea here!

 

UPDATE: Can someone please make sure the information from the forums will stay available after May please!?


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#10

yvandotet

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Hello,

 

Has a developer, I have questions :

 

- I am actually building my apps for android and amazon store : shoud I continue to work ?

- If I use the latest public release 2018.3326 for windows, should I depend on corona server to publish an application, and win money with In app purchase on google play/amazon store ?

 

Thanks.

 

Sincerely,

Yvan.



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#11

Michael Flad

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As sad as it is, it was also kind of expected to happen. Even though I haven't released a game with Corona I used and use it a lot for prototypes, small private stuff and I still plan to use it to release games and hope to be able to do so in the future. I really really hope the transition will work and Corona keeps to be or becomes an even better maintained engine.
 
So far, it seems they prepared for it in a pretty decent way, probably starting with the release on github, so I'm reasonably confident and especially think it won't be a nightmare like the business end of the Airplay/MarmaladeSDK. So, great job done so far already!
 
A less limiting source license can also lead to some changes that may only be relevant to a subgroup of users and would've not made it into the main dev branch. F.i. LuaJIT is almost absurdly fast and has great support on desktop, but it's a bit hairy on mobiles. So understandably it was not a prio for Corona Labs but now it's probably going to be possible to use with a reasonable amount of work and would allow to make a whole new kind of games using Corona for desktop oriented games.
 
Anyway - hoping for the best so far ... thanks a lot to the, as it seems, team of two (Rob and Vlad) who kept Corona alive in the recent past.

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#12

richard11

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This isn't the news any of us wanted to hear, but we at least now have clarification on some of the things people have felt concerned about over the last few months. We now know why Corona has moved towards an open source license, that Coronalabs are indeed struggling financially, and that there's at least a plan in place that doesn't just mean turning servers off and leaving everybody stuck. Thanks for offering some insight here.

 

My personal concern now, is that without a dedicated team maintaining the core framework, changes to the various platforms are going to inevitably render Corona SDK useless in the long run. Google's recent move towards 64bit only submissions and Apple's move away from OpenGL for example, aren't really the kind of changes that 'the community' would be able to handle on its own. There's been very little interest to date from anybody here when it comes to maintaining the core framework, which has been open source for some time now already. In a nutshell most of us are game developers not toolset developers, and those of us who are a little more robust have still chosen Corona - a Lua based SDK - because we're comfortable with Lua development. The Corona SDK itself isn't built in Lua. I'm a senior developer and consider myself to be competent in a number of languages these days, but there'll likely never be any core development from me - I wouldn't know where to start there.

 

All of this said, I think the biggest change in the short term is going to be the closure of the current marketplace. If we all move on to different marketplaces and lose the central repository it's going to become difficult for anybody to search for suitable plugins. It's also going to be difficult for plugin vendors to reach the right audience - other platforms are flooded with submissions for other SDKs and there are too many of them. Most importantly, once the build system is entirely offline, customers who purchase a plugin aren't then going to automatically pick up any updates to that plugin, which would be a big deal to me as a vendor. Our Qiso plugin will always be a WIP and I'd hate for existing users to not pick up patches or feature additions as soon as they're available.

 

That in mind and as our own contribution to the community, QWeb would like to offer the development of a new marketplace to act as the central repository, eventually replacing the existing marketplace. We're primarily a web development agency and it just so happens that we specialise in ecommerce, so this is our cup of tea really. We have the servers for it, we speak GDPR and PCI-DSS, and we're a plugin vendor within the current marketplace. We're also very busy though and can only warrant doing this if there's enough legitimate interest, so PLEASE read through the following proposal and sign at the end if you'd like us to go ahead with the build.

 

https://campaigns.qweb.co.uk/h/i/456F965EC1EB1A6C


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#13

andavidosp

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First of all, thank you very much for the help and collaboration provided during all these years, I have been a Corona user for 6 years and I hope to continue being so, You have my support and collaboration for anything you need. I have some doubts about it:

1. Will the admob paid plugin still work normally?
2. When the new Corona simulator is released, should I download it in order to compile my applications?

 

Thanks.



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#14

XeduR @Spyric

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@andavidosp,

Yes to both, although the AdMob plugin has been broken for ages. Now that Corona makes even its first party plugins open source, it becomes possible for someone else with the sufficient know-how to fix it.

 

-

 

I've thought about this all for a day now and the news give me both hope for new things and fear for the worst.

 

With the MIT license, everything going open source and with offline builds, Corona becomes significantly more attractive to open source communities and developers in general. For my use, Corona really already has everything I need and almost everything that I want. Sure, there are some things like improving Corona's audio library, bringing video playback to Windows, the built-in ability to use a custom mouse cursor and to constrain the mouse movement to the game window, better resource folder management for Windows, Universal Windows Platform support, etc. but they aren't an absolute necessity for me.

 

In addition, what new features have Corona really received in the past 12 months? It's mostly been about keeping up with Google Play and Apple requirements and fixing first party plugins. There haven't been any major improvements or new features in a long time, but that's been OK with me because Corona is already a great product.

 

The thing that I am worried about is how will Corona be kept up to date with all of the mandatory changes, like the endlessly on-going App Store and Google Play changes. There's no knowing if OpenGL ES will still continue to work on iOS for the next 3, 6, 12 or 24 months from now. If Corona misses a deadline like that, then it won't matter how great the engine is if it can't produce working builds for said platforms. Then we have the non-mandatory, but almost as important features. Plenty of developers have been asking for display.getSafeAreaInsets() to work on Android as well, since developing for Android devices with rounded displays is just guesswork (or plainly ignoring the rounded corners) for now.

 

All that being said, I am thankful for what Vlad has done up to this point and I hope that he is interested in continuing with Corona's development. Rob's support and insights have also been fantastic, even if his hands have been tied with discussing topics like how many engineers were still on Corona Labs' payroll, etc. and I'd also be interested in knowing if Rob has plans to continue after the transition.

 

I doubt anyone knows what will happen. Corona may get a new lease on life and live on for another 10 years as open source project, or it may fade into history like so many other game engines before it. Only time will tell.


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#15

SGS

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I doubt anyone knows what will happen. Corona may get a new lease on life and live on for another 10 years as open source project, or it may fade into history like so many other game engines before it. Only time will tell.

 

I could at some 50 other things that "should be" included in the framework but let's just hope it's the former!

 

I too am concerned about iOS dropping openGL, or any other minor change that stops submissions (like health kit stubs left in builds, etc). 

 

I agree, a great engine that can't compile to app stores is basically worthless.



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#16

andavidosp

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@andavidosp,

Yes to both, although the AdMob plugin has been broken for ages. Now that Corona makes even its first party plugins open source, it becomes possible for someone else with the sufficient know-how to fix it.

 

 

@XeduR why dou you say that admob paid plugin is broken? I've used it the last two years and it works perfectly!
 



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#17

SGS

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Try a reward ad...  That broke last summer and still hasn't been fixed...


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#18

XeduR @Spyric

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There also seem to be some new alignment/positioning related issues with AdMob that some users have started reporting (see https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/77128-admob-full-screen-ads-does-not-cover-screen-completely-on-ios-13/?hl=admob).

 

The issue that I was referring to was precisely the black screen bug that has plagued the rewarded ads. You can find forum threads about it quite easily:

https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/76598-admob-issue-a-black-screen-after-a-reward-video-on-android/?hl=admob

https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/76568-black-screen-when-ad-should-show-ad-mob-plug-in0/?hl=admob

https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/75924-admob-rewarded-ads-with-20193504-gives-black-screen-at-the-end/

https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/75658-admob-rewarded-video-bug/

 

The reason why it has been fixed yet has been simply due to lack of resources. There have been critical issues, like the Android 64-bit build, that have needed to be addressed first. Now if the community can pitch in with first party plugins, then individual plugins like this could be kept up to date more easily.



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#19

Rob Miracle

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@Rob : Will you continue working on Corona? Your help in the past was great and what made the whole work on Corona so awesome!

I hope we will be able to still use Corona efficiently in the years to come! Patreon seems like a good idea here!

 

UPDATE: Can someone please make sure the information from the forums will stay available after May please!?

 

Hi @d.mach

 

I don't know how much involvement I will have after May 1. I still need to work that out. I have a lot of personal issues that are not Corona related that I have to factor in.

 

It is our intention to just move the forums to a much less expensive platform and with the full intent on keeping everything. However we don't know what that migration will be like or when.

 

Rob


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#20

Rob Miracle

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Hello,

 

Has a developer, I have questions :

 

- I am actually building my apps for android and amazon store : shoud I continue to work ?

- If I use the latest public release 2018.3326 for windows, should I depend on corona server to publish an application, and win money with In app purchase on google play/amazon store ?

 

Thanks.

 

Sincerely,

Yvan.

 

Hi Yvan. As far as I know, 2018.3326 will continue to work for the Amazon store until Amazon changes requirements, which they are very slow to do unlike Google Play who makes breaking changes about every 6 months or sooner.

 

If you intend to publish to Google Play, you must use a newer version of Corona like the latest daily build. Going forward we will continue to make builds that can be downloaded and it's our intent to keep them functional for the various marketplaces. 

 

Rob



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#21

Rob Miracle

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@richard11 the GPLv3 license was huge turn off for people who are interested in engine development. I don't think we really though that many Corona developers would get involved when we open sourced under the dual license. We were hoping that some of the people who want to work with open source engines would have gotten involved, but, well GPLv3. With the change to MIT, those restrictions will hopefully attract people who want to do that.

 

I also would like to remind all of the Lua developers out there. A sizable portion of Corona is written in Lua. Widgets, transitions, animations, timer, network.* and a host of other API groups are straight up Lua making Corona API calls. Widgets could certainly use some love adding new widgets, re-theming them with more modern UI stylings and more give people opportunities. The welcome screen is even written in Lua. Sample apps! The list goes on.

 

Rob



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#22

Rob Miracle

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First of all, thank you very much for the help and collaboration provided during all these years, I have been a Corona user for 6 years and I hope to continue being so, You have my support and collaboration for anything you need. I have some doubts about it:

1. Will the admob paid plugin still work normally?
2. When the new Corona simulator is released, should I download it in order to compile my applications?

 

Thanks.

 

1. **PLEASE** Do not discuss AdMob here. There are plenty of "Admob is broken" threads out there you can express your frustrations at us. This thread is specifically to discuss Corona's overall future and not hijack the thread into a particular issue. These are still forums and we need to use different threads/posts to maintain a semblance of organization. Please open new topics for specific topic discussions. 

 

2. You should always look at the latest daily build, look at what changed in the release notes and decide if you need to update to that version or not. However at some point we are going to have to shut down the build servers. If you want to use the simulator, you will, at that time need to get a new version.

 

Rob


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#23

richard11

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@Rob,

First of all - your response about having personal issues to factor in to whether or not you stay active here after May 1st - Hope all is well?

Lua - I actually had no idea so much of the core was written in Lua. I'd had a brief look through a few things when you first went open source and found myself lost in OOP, but perhaps I'll have another poke around at the Lua side at some point.

Patreon - If we do go ahead with building a new marketplace I'd like some of its revenue to go towards core development. As per my post above, I honestly just don't think Corona has much of a life expectancy without a dedicated team keeping up with platform changes. Clearly the current marketplace isn't generating enough income to fund you and I'm not naive enough to think that a replacement will do a better job of that, but others here have already expressed interest in Patreon support and I'm sure more will follow. In which case, do you have any kind of ballpark figure in mind for how much of a backing you'd need to keep whoever is interested from jumping ship entirely?

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#24

SGS

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Being somewhat brutal and self-serving here... I only care about the core SDK being updated enough to meet store requirements.

 

My main concern is that things like Apple maybe dropping openGL is supported by the core.  If not we are screwed.


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#25

Rob Miracle

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@Rob,

First of all - your response about having personal issues to factor in to whether or not you stay active here after May 1st - Hope all is well?
 

 

All is well. It's just not stuff that should be talked about in a public form (it is after all "personal") :-)

 

Rob


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