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Assuming the worst - where will you go after Corona?
Started by ray6 Feb 20 2020 07:00 AM

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13 replies to this topic
corona future xamarin flutter unity
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#1

ray6

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I cringe as I write this, but it's a question that's heavy on my mind. I know that by asking it, I'm opening myself up to insult and howls of outrage from the True Believers. I'm a True Believer too, but I've been down this road before.

 

So, the TL;DR version: Suppose Corona SDK dries up and blows away. What will you use in its place?

 

My reason for asking the question: Many years ago, I was a paying customer of GarageGames, and an avid user of the Torque Game Engine. The entire Torque product family, actually. GG had priced their game engine so that it was affordable to startups and indie gamers. They had built up a massive and devoted user community. The user community was so enthusiastic that it took Torque far beyond what GG could do with it. GG was really good about either incorporating some of the best stuff into their product and crediting/compensating the contributors, or helping the contributors to monetize their add-ons, plug-ins, packs, and games. GG held periodic workshops and an awesome annual conference.

 

Then, the same sort of thing happened to GG as was recently announced for CoronaLabs. The user community persists, although it's much smaller and less powerful than it was. After several disappearances and reincarnations, the Torque product line is still around. It's open-source and supported by the user community. But the user community has shrunk and Torque isn't really a force in the game market anymore. Most former Torque aficionados have moved on to different game engines.

 

GarageGames itself had a couple of reincarnations, and is currently a division of a larger company, and it doesn't do much besides program gambling machines and online gambling sites.

 

So, I'm still learning Corona, and Lua alongside it. I'm still developing apps in Corona. I don't plan on stopping. I hope and expect that the Corona momentum will continue after May 1, and that the user community will take the baton from the corporation and run a winning race. And I wish all good things and bright futures for the great people at CoronaLabs who have created this masterpiece.

 

But if the worst happens, and Corona SDK, like Torque, is no longer a viable development platform, where will you go for multi-platform app or game development? Xamarin? Google Flutter?

I tried Unity, but the SDK bogs down my PC so badly as to be unusable. There's got to be something better. Lighter. More nimble. More like Corona SDK.



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#2

nick_sherman

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You can't do games in Xamarin, it's great for business/productivity apps though. Apparently it can be done in Flutter but not sure why you would when there are better alternatives.

 

I use Unity quite a lot but agree it's not exactly lightweight, sends my mac's fans into overdrive. There's loads of others to try that I haven't got round to - Godot, Defold, GameMaker Studio etc. 


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#3

schizoid2k

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I've been thinking about this for quite a while (even before this announcement), and my decision is to continue to use Corona in maintenance mode for my existing games.  For new games, and in cases where I want to re-write or provide an overhaul of an existing game, I am going to use Unity.  Its kinda ironic, since I spent some time last year converting a Unity game to Corona.

 

I agree that Unity is not for everyone...  there is a bit of a leaning curve.  It is powerful, but it comes at a price.  The latest Unity release has made it much easier to develop mobile games, and if this was available early last year, I may not have needed to convert an existing game back to Corona. (I did love the experience of doing so though!)

 

Currently, I am re-writing a Corona-based game I developed in 2012 (using Unity) because I just can no longer add features/enhancements easily or seamlessly.  They feel "tacked on" at this point.

 

I do hope Corona sticks around and becomes better than ever, but at the same time I am very hesitant to start a new (large) project.  App Store changes, monetization changes, etc. takes a large effort and are generally time specific.  Technically, I am sure Vlad can do it given enough time (and income... he has to support himself and family).

 

I also have 3 Plug-Ins in the Marketplace, and I have not decided what I want to do with them.  2 are free, 1 is paid. A 4th one is unreleased.  I guess my decision will be based on feedback from the community.

 

I hope this helps.  I do not plan on abandoning Corona (been using it for almost 9 years), but at the same time, I need to be a bit realistic and plan for the future.


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#4

carloscosta

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I started learning Flutter last year. For business apps is 100x better and faster than Corona. I hate learning it, since it's not really a language (dart is), and it's more memorize things than learning it. I'm bad memorizing stuffs. For games Corona is still 10000x better. Since 99% of my apps are business apps right now, I'm going full Flutter in my next projects, and only hopping that my other +20 Corona apps will not stop working in the next year or i will need to convert them 1 by 1.

Unity I made a game back in the day when Unity was only starting to walk...didn't enjoy it also, but saw the potential of it.

Corona was love at first sight. Easy to learn, good manuals, and good support. To bad the marriage is over, but that's life.


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#5

agramonte

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I am not going anywhere at least not in the near future, but if I had to it would be defold. It is 2d and lua. Easy transition for me.


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#6

Gil44liG

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I'll quote my post from a different thread in case you haven't seen it. Will add a bit more on my reasoning, though, so that it was of more value for this thread.

 

No real reasons to switch from Corona as of now, so I'm staying.  :)

 

Unity is just an awful mess to me, and UE4 is pretty meh when it comes to 2D, so if I were to switch to something with an editor despite hating those, I'd go for Game Maker Studio 2. It was the least revolting to me out of the three after some basic tinkering.

 

Stuff like LÖVE and MonoGame is also neat due to the overall workflow being a lot more like Corona's, so those would be most likely replacements for me.

 

Also, I don't see how anyone could be outraged having read your post, it's perfectly valid to consider options and manage risks. I'm a "True Believer" myself and have only used Corona for any serious game projects for ~8 years, but I'm also regularly tinkering with other engines/frameworks just because I enjoy the process and prefer to be aware of how's everything done in other tools.
 
To me, the most important feature currently is the support of a variety of platforms, consoles especially, with Switch being the most interesting target for me at the moment. Unity is the king of that, but as I've said, it's a terribly bad tool in my book, especially for 2D (and I'm not interested in 3D at all) — why would I even go the harder route of indie gamedev if I'm just going to torture myself every day, might as well do it in some office with stable income and all the benefits. :D Corona's already doing most other stuff I need it to, so if I switched, it'd be to something with Switch support (ha). Otherwise, it'd be easier to hire a porting company for a Corona port. 

 

With Unity, UE4 and LÖVE out of the way for the aforementioned reasons, that leaves me with MonoGame and GMS2. Normally I would shy away from anything with an editor, but honestly, from what I saw, GMS2's editor wasn't too annoying, while C#'s ecosystem is just not something I like, so GMS2 probably wins by a slight margin.
 
As for the risks of staying with Corona, I'm just not considering it a risk at all when we're talking about the pleasure of working with, in my opinion, the absolute best 2D engine/framework out of so many I've tried over the years. I don't have 50 apps to port, and I'm perfectly fine with porting the several projects I have, especially since it wouldn't take me long to do so.

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#7

agramonte

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The worse scenarios for me is that they don't release the source code as MIT and delete the repo. Anything short of that I'll be fine. Of the pending things the only one that worries me is the androidX build thing because I am not much of a build person. My mind just can't get around the dependencies.

 

For the type of apps I make I am fairly sure I can even replace the opengl with something that apple will accept in a few weeks. If the code is available somewhere and it is MIT I can do that. it probably won't be good enough for fancy textures, sudo 3d or 1 million sprites, but for my apps it would be sufficient.


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#8

w967

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No platform creates gaming and business apps other than Corona and flutter

If so I advise you to learn corona with flutter together

 

Your mind can learn more than one language on the same day.

 

--------

warning:

the flutter platform considers gaming apps a second-rate guest


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#9

Gil44liG

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The worse scenarios for me is that they don't release the source code as MIT and delete the repo. Anything short of that I'll be fine. Of the pending things the only one that worries me is the androidX build thing because I am not much of a build person. My mind just can't get around the dependencies.

 

For the type of apps I make I am fairly sure I can even replace the opengl with something that apple will accept in a few weeks. If the code is available somewhere and it is MIT I can do that. it probably won't be good enough for fancy textures, sudo 3d or 1 million sprites, but for my apps it would be sufficient.

 

Yeah, exactly. Even though I doubt I'd be able to efficiently add any huge features on my own (without spending too much time), MIT means I can temporarily switch to a different engine and earn some money with it to eventually hire someone else for adding the features I need. Making Corona pretty much an immortal engine with this license change.


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#10

SGS

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For me a rewrite in Unity is a no-brainer!  Just something I do not wish to do.

 

My games, after all are 2.5D and adding true 3D would be a win - albeit it at a massive cost.

The future is so unsure and that is what I dislike the most.


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#11

pixec

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The worst case scenario might be corona code becomin sentient and then becoming skynet. When machines are using humans for batteries - I guess that was matrix - but i wouldnt care about game dev then
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#12

yosu

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Good topic to bring up. For me, i am considering Cocos2d as they use Lua (& C++).  They also support 3D to some extent.

 

Unity is good but too heavy for me, but I will consider it again when going to 3d. Flutter is good, but just afraid it could be those google-for-fun projects and just die off later on. There are lots of such fun-projects.

 

But I will be with Corona as all of clients projects are on this, and re-writing and retesting them is too much work.


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#13

Michael Flad

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I'll keep using Corona for projects it's the best tool for - no need to think any further. If anything will happen that makes this impossible at some point in the future, I'll evaluate the then available options and decide which of those is the best one to help me do what I want to get done. In just a very few years from now this may, or may not, be a completely different set of options than today. Things don't change that fast at the moment but then, nothing is forever. It's just the speed of change that's different.

 

Even at the moment I use two different Lua based frameworks because one of different needs/features/limits.


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#14

Rob Miracle

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For what it's worth, we have changed the license already to MIT: https://github.com/coronalabs/corona

 

Check that concern off your lists.

 

Additional sub-modules have also hit the repo: https://github.com/coronalabs/

 

 

Rob


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