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About this blog

Announcements, stories and industry interest posts for users of Corona, the 2D game engine from Corona Labs.

Entries in this blog

CoronaRob

In this post, we explore a three-part blog series from Sara Casen, the co-founder at Midnight Hub, a five-person development team in Sweden. While many Corona developers are solo or small two-person shops, many others are working with even larger teams, but regardless of being solo or part of a team working smarter is always a good thing. While all of this might not apply to your situation, it’s certainly worth thinking about.

Lake Ridden Screenshot

Lake Ridden is a story-driven first person mystery filled with puzzles, developed by former Minecraft and Paradox devs, in Sweden.

Part 1 – Avoid Brain Damage From Working With Games

According to Casen, the average career span of a game developer in Norwegian countries is about four years after which they are burned out. Long work-weeks, stress, unrealistic deadlines and other pressures create more problems that have to be solved. In this series she addresses how working more manageable hours lead to more productive hours.

Part 2 – Making Your Game With The ABC-Recipe

In this part of the series, Casen talks about the ABC method for building your game up which has the net effect of defining deliverables in a more productive way. This is a unique way to look at managing your project from development to deliverable.

Part 3 – Burning Money, Brain Power and Morale To Make Your Game

In the final part of this three-part series, Casen discusses resource management and how to manage more than time and money to get your team to their maximum efficiency without burning through all of your resources regardless of it being financial or human.

There is a lot of good information in these three posts that will be really helpful for any studio, building games or any other software product.

 


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CoronaRob

Featured Game: COLOR FENCE

The crack team at McPeppergames UG (haftungsbeschraenkt) & Co. KG has scored big with their game COLOR FENCE. It got featured by Apple on the front page of the App Store in the “New Games We Love!” category. McPeppergames was founded in 2013 by educator Daniela Mach and mobile game veteran Chris Noeth with a focus on high quality kids apps, but they also produce games for everyone.

COLOR FENCE is a game where your job is to wall off blocks of a set of colors while excluding other colored blocks. The game starts simple and ramps up in complexity and challenge quickly. The game includes multiple themes and has surprise modes as you move through the game.

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COLOR FENCE is available from the Apple App Store for free with in-app purchases.

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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Migrating Enterprise

Corona has been offering our native builds as part of the core for a while now. There has been considerable modernization of the App template that projects are based upon. Several Enterprise developers are wanting to move forward and this thread covers various ways to move from the legacy Enterprise template to the modern Native template.

Pushing objects

Trying to add linear impulse to objects should make them move straight, but you can also get your objects to move oddly too. This thread helps “straighten out” that movement.

Looping or events?

The original poster wanted to know the best way to move objects in a back-and-forth manner. Corona offers several ways to do this and our great development community stepped up in this thread to offer some suggestions.


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

During the DevGAMM conference currently going on in Minsk, Corona Labs was pleased to meet up with the winner of the first #CoronaDefoldJam “Best Corona-made Game” winner, Viacheslav Bogomazov from Buryatia, Russia. Viacheslav created the game Sword of Power during the gamejam.

For his efforts during the gamejam, Viacheslav was awarded 10,000 installs of his game. Corona Labs appreciates the efforts of everyone who participated. There were several well polished entries that show what can be done with a game engine like Corona.

Photo of the Best Corona App creator recieving his prize

Corona CEO Stepan Solovyov awards Viacheslav Bogomazov his prize for “Best Corona App” during the #CoronaDefoldJam at the 2017 DevGamm conference in Minsk.

 

Let’s all congratulate Viacheslav for his fantastic entry.

You can download it from the itch.io page and give it a spin!


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CoronaRob

If you haven’t peeked into the Corona Marketplace recently, it now offers dozens of plugins and assets, from art packs to audio tracks to useful utility plugins. Periodically, we will highlight a few exciting products which can help you develop your dream app using Corona.

Little Automobiles

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Olan has created a great sound library for you to use in automobile related games, such as racing games, etc. Check it out!

Android Camera View

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Plugin guru Scott Harrison has created a plugin that lets you show a camera preview as a native object for Android.

Android File and URI Manager

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The Android File and URI Manager plugin from CNK Software lets you access files on your Android device’s external storage and it’s free!

 


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CoronaRob

Corona developers Ryan Gainor and Zach Philip with PerceptTech have created a free course on developing Corona-based apps. The course is delivered via email with daily lessons sent to your inbox.

You will learn Corona basics, from installation to displaying objects on the screen to implementing physics. You’ll even learn cool tips for animation and audio.

To get signed up for the course, visit https://percepttech.co/ and give it a go!


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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Modules, modules, modules

Developers love to build their own libraries. The bigger they get, the more important organization of the code becomes. In this thread, learn some strategies for maintaining modules in your code.

Moving containers

The original poster’s question was curious how to move a display object so that it only shows part of the object, depending on the position. Think of moving a character in front of an X-Ray machine. Enter containers. This thread goes into quite a bit of depth on how to use containers to partially reveal objects.

Cool Lua syntax

The original poster saw some Lua syntax that wasn’t familiar. Enter forum superstar @roaminggamer with a great explanation on single line conditionals to populate variables in this thread.


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

Do you love Corona? Here’s a great chance to tell us and win a prize!

 

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On your own personal blog, write a post in your own words telling the world why Corona is your 2D engine of choice.

  1. Make sure your blog post links to https://coronalabs.com
  2. Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CoronaLabs
  3. Make a post on that page that announces your story and links to it.

If you do not have a personal blog, you can use your own Facebook page, just make sure to post a link to it on our Facebook page. Feel free to share your link on other social media channels like Twitter!

Look at http://popsiclegames.com/blog/why-we-chose-corona-sdk-as-our-game-engine-2/ as an example.

Our team will review all submissions posted before November 24, 2017 and select the best of the best. We are going to look for several great stories to feature on our Stories page. Do you have a great story to tell? Have you achieved success with Corona? How have we improved your lives? The more details the better!!!

We will select five winners from the submissions. In addition to having your story featured on our website’s Stories page, each winner will receive a one year license to the Corona Pro Bundle. The best overall story will also receive 10,000 app installs if they have at least 2,000 total installs and have an app store rating of 3.5 or higher.

We can’t wait to see the stories you have to tell!


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CoronaRob

If you haven’t peeked into the Corona Marketplace recently, it now offers dozens of plugins and assets, from art packs to audio tracks to useful utility plugins. Periodically, we will highlight a few exciting products which can help you develop your dream app using Corona.

Action Game Soundtrack

Logo-150x150.jpgMuzStation Game Music has recently added a totally free set of action sound tracks for you to use in your projects. Check it out!

2D Cartoon Castles

cartooncastleicon-150x150.pngThis art asset from QotoQot includes dozens of stylized cartoon buildings, across seven genres that you can use to provide structures to your game.

localnotificationsicon-150x150.jpgLocal Notifications

The Local Notifications plugin from Jacob Nielsen provides access to the macOS Notification Center where you can send and schedule notifications for your macOS based app.

 


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CoronaRob

Word games are a popular genre which is a strong suit for games #MadeWithCorona. A great example is Word Cook from Dean Hodge, or you may know him better as IcySpark. Based on a cooking theme, you take a series of letters and see how many words you can make with them.

Word Cook contains over 1,000 levels to stimulate your brain as you progress up the culinary ladder with increasingly difficult puzzles. The game contains impressive graphics and animations that are common with many of today’s high caliber games. It also features hints and the ability to ask friends for help.

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Word Cook is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play as a free app with in-app purchases.

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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Building rooms

Corona developer extraordinaire Alex@Panc posted this fantastic informational post on how to generate rooms procedurally using the Binary Space Partitioning Tree method. If you want to generate rooms for a dungeon or other map methods, this will be worth your time to read.

Bouncing around

Physics collisions can be tricky to implement when you want to have full control over the interaction between objects. Roaminggamer does a great job explaining how static, dynamic and kinematic objects interact with each other in this thread.

Range to target

In this thread, a developer wants to know how to increase the distance between objects that are related to each other. Our community came together and offered up some great suggestions and code to help with the problem.


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

Icon_Resources_Plugin.pngWhen making Simulator builds, Corona magically binds plugins to your app for you. However on Native builds, this process is not automatic. Much like we did for Xcode builds, we have come up with a way to help you get your Android based plugins into your Android Studio project.

Unlike Xcode, where you run a Download Plugins scheme and we do all the work for you, we offer a command line script that will read your build.settings file and download the plugins to a common folder. From there, it’s your responsibility to integrate them into your Android Studio project. Each Android plugin may have additional settings and configuration that you need to complete before you can use it.

The script is located at android/download_plugins.sh as part of the App template you start new projects with. To download plugins for an existing project, copy the download_plugin.sh to your android folder and run it from that folder.

Hopefully this will help you with your native Android based Corona projects.


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CoronaRob

Apple_Calendar_Icon-150x150.pngOne of our roadmap items was to give you access to a plugin that will let you manage calendars on iOS and Android devices. We are pleased to announce the availability of this plugin for beta testing.

We would love for you to give this new plugin a spin and let us know how it works for you. To get started, visit the the Corona Marketplace and activate the plugin.  You can then follow the integration documentation to add it to your project.

For iOS you will need to add permission strings to your iphone→plist table. Android permissions will be added automatically for you. If you run into issues with the plugin, please let us know in the forums.

 

 

 


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CoronaRob

If you haven’t peeked into the Corona Marketplace recently, it now offers dozens of plugins and assets, from art packs to audio tracks to useful utility plugins. Periodically, we will highlight a few exciting products which can help you develop your dream app using Corona.

Character Sprites

dionartworks-150x150.jpgDion Artworks has recently added even more of their great Character Sprites, which are great for various platformer, side-scrolling and running type games at a very affordable price.

Google Vision

googlevision-150x150.pngThe Google Vision plugin from Plant Pot allows you to process images looking for face, logo and landmark detection, optical character recognition and more. Check it out!

Account Kit Plugin

accountkit-300x170.pngThe Account Kit plugin from Scott Harrison lets you manage logins without usernames and passwords using Facebook’s “Account Kit”. It will let you manage logins via email or a phone!!


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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Dynamic level modules

In this forum post, the original poster was interested in how to best manage level data for a large number of levels. Using local .lua files was loading large amounts of unneeded data. Corona’s developer community came to the rescue and offered some great suggestions on using SQLite and tools to help manage it.

iOS 11 and icons

Apple changed the rules on app submissions with regards to icons. However, even with the new methods listed here, several developers still ran into a few additional issues with their Apple app submissions. This thread covers fixing many of them.

Google Path Traversal vulnerability

Every Corona developer with apps on Google Play were notified last week that Google would start enforcing take-downs of apps that continue to have this Google Path Traversal Vulnerability issue. Daily build 2017.3145 addresses the issue. See this thread for a full discussion on how to tell when Google is happy with your update.


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

It seems that when it rains, it pours. As has been reported in the forums, the Splash Screen Control plugin has stopped working for some Corona developers. Fortunately, as of this post, we believe we’ve solved it.

The problem originated around two different issues. For Corona Native users, a change to a background API was being applied incorrectly. This was resolved last Friday and we had Native builds back up-and-running quickly.

For Corona Simulator users, we addressed an issue with the cache busting after your plugin expired and you renewed, but that caused a database issue involving multiple records. We have been working diligently to solve this matter and you should now be able to resume builds using the Splash Screen Control plugin.


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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Checkmarks

In this thread, our original poster was looking for various ways to animate a checkmark. Our enterprising developers chimed in with several ways to create checkmarks on the fly.

Puggle

Long-time Corona developer Graham Ransom, mastermind behind Glitch Games and their amazing adventures, has created a new code library for you. Many of you have used his various “GG” libraries over the years, so check out this new awesomeness!

In-game currency

“Where do you get started?” was what the original poster asked. Check out the advice in this thread about some considerations when implementing an in-game economy.


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

Now that iOS 11 has been officially released, there are several things you must do to prepare iOS apps for submission to Apple. Also, the upcoming iPhone X creates some unique challenges when creating a user interface, so we’ve added some useful new APIs to help you adjust your UI.

Icons

Starting with iOS 11, Apple now requires that you include an Icon-1024.png file in your app package. However, current Corona-built apps cannot find that file correctly using the CFBundleIconFiles table. Thus, to make this work today and going forward, you must switch from using static icons to using the modern Images.xcassets package.

Starting with daily build 2017.3144, you can easily implement the Images.xcassets method — simply consult our Managing Xcode Assets guide for instructions.

Safe areas

The iPhone X creates a unique challenge for app developers. Between rounded corners and the sensor housing protruding into the screen, developers need a way to know where they can safely place critical UI elements so that they are fully visible and accessible to users. Toward this end, Apple has provided this helpful guide outlining what you need to do.

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In short, you need to fill the entire screen, including areas outside the “safe area” (the darker region bounded with the red line in the illustration). Also note that the iPhone X has an extra-tall aspect ratio of 2.165:1 — surpassing even the 2:1 aspect ratio of the Samsung S8 — so for a Corona content area size of 320×480, you will need to fill a total area of 360×693 for the iPhone X screen and iPad screens.

Even more importantly, your app should not place important UI elements like buttons, scores, navigation elements, etc. outside of the “safe area” on the screen. In truth, the “safe area” is not a new concept with the iPhone X — for instance, TVs have overscan areas and some mobile devices utilize status bars and soft button rows where you shouldn’t be placing UI elements.

To address this, starting with daily build 2017.3135, we added several new properties and a new function which you can use to determine the safe zone on the screen. These additions to the display library include:

Please click through to the documentation for examples on how to use these.

Conclusion

In addition to the above features, we are preparing a new iPhone X skin for the Corona Simulator, to be released soon. In the meantime, you can start preparing your apps for the iPhone X, test them in the Xcode Simulator, and submit them to Apple using the iOS 11 SDK.


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CoronaRob

Many Corona developers head into their first project all alone. While working with a team can help in several ways, it’s simply not an option for many aspiring developers. In this digest, we highlight a few articles on the concept of “going it alone” as a solo game developer. Hopefully, these tips and suggestions can help make your game a success!

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Climbing an impossible mountain: the struggles of making a game alone

In this post by Ed Key, he talks about many of the issues that face solo developers like managing choices, combatting loneliness, and staying motivated. As the article progresses, he continues on to topics like fear of failure, anxiety, and self-doubt.

Mayhem above – The do’s and don’ts of a solo dev

As a game developer, there are several things you should consider doing, and some which you should avoid. In this post by Eder Beldad, he covers topics like planning vs. lack of planning, scheduling your day, and limiting the scope of your project to something manageable.

Top 10 tips for solo indie game developers

In this post, discover ten tips that can help solo developers achieve success. These include topics from “keeping it simple” to “building up a fan base.”


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CoronaRob

If you haven’t peeked into the Corona Marketplace recently, it now offers dozens of plugins and assets, from art packs to audio tracks to useful utility plugins. Periodically, we will highlight a few exciting products which can help you develop your dream app using Corona.

Coronium Core

2017-09-12-15-00-21-logo.pngCoronium returns in full force with Coronium Core, the ultimate cloud sidekick for your Corona apps and games. Check out this all-in-one Lua application plugin/server built specifically for Corona developers!

Like Button

2017-09-11_19-39-36_-_Like_Button-300x17The Like Button plugin from Corona maestro Scott Harrison allows you to easily display the Facebook “like” button on iOS and Android. Check it out!

Casual Game Music Pack 2

2017-09-08-15-02-24-CGM2_DVD_BIG-300x263Casual Game Music Pack 2 includes all of the essential music, jingles, stingers, and sound effects to kickstart your game!


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CoronaRob

Code Adventures: Coding Puzzles For Kids by Daniel Ivanov is a great educational game where children can solve brain-challenging puzzles to learn basic programming techniques. The goal is to help Aurora, a cute little fuzzball that is lost, find a way to get home.

The game consists of 30 levels, some with single goals, others with multiple, that will require children to use logic and creative skills to complete. It also includes plenty of hints to keep players from becoming stuck.

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Code Adventures: Coding Puzzles For Kids has been featured in over 150 countries in the Educational and Puzzle Games category and it made it to the feature banner on the home page in Russia. It’s available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore for $3.99.

App-Store-Icon_200x200_badge.png google-play-badge.png amazon-icon-badge-large-200.png


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CoronaRob

Since our last public release (2017.3068) in April, our engineers have been very busy updating Corona, continuing to provide a world-class 2D development framework. This engineering cycle has focused a lot on stability and adapting to new business models, but we’ve managed to add in some pretty cool things too!

Corona Enterprise is now free

Starting with build 2017.3100, Corona Enterprise became free. We re-branded it as Corona Native and it’s now included in the unified Corona application. With this public release, Corona Native is now available to everyone.

Windows Simulator updates

We have also focused on improving the user interface for Windows users. Now you can stop builds in progress by simply clicking the “Stop” button. The build process also has a visual indicator of its progression. Finally, we have reduced the Java dependencies, although you will still need the 32-bit Java JDK installed.

Google IAP Plugin

This plugin was updated to make its initialization asynchronous. Prior to this, Corona would “block” while waiting for the initialization to complete. Because of this update, if your app currently makes calls to APIs like store.loadProducts() or store.restore() within main.lua, these calls will likely execute before the plugin has finished initializing, causing them to fail. Since this change affects builds 2017.3105 and later, if you’re updating from the previous public build, this change will affect you and you should read this post for steps on updating your code.

Facebook V4 Plugin

The Facebook V4 plugin had the same issue with initialization blocking which increased “App Not Responding” (ANR) errors on Android devices. Because updating the existing plugin would have caused a significant breaking change, we created a new plugin, plugin.facebook.v4a, so you can migrate at your convenience. For more details, see this post.

Changes to native text field input types

We added "decimal" keyboard type support for native.newTextField() on all platforms (previously it was only available on iOS). We also added a "no-emoji" keyboard type that prevents users from entering emojis, although it may still be possible for users to “paste” in emojis on some platforms.

Physics time scale APIs

Two new APIs were added to the physics library, allowing you to set/get the time scale of the physics simulation — see physics.setTimeScale() and physics.getTimeScale().

Apple in-app purchases

The Apple IAP store.* APIs now work on macOS and tvOS, in addition to iOS. Also, the iOS 11 requirement that apps support store-initiated purchases has been added.

Font metrics

We have added new APIs to help you compute the baseline and other metrics for fonts, allowing more control of vertical alignment for text objects in relation to other graphical elements or text objects of different fonts/sizes.

Plugins

  • AppLovin — Previously, AppLovin was only available as a revenue-share plugin. While this is optimal for developers with smaller revenue streams from ads, those with higher income prefer a fixed fee. As such, AppLovin is now available as two plugins: free (with revenue-share) and paid ($199/year). Now, as your income profile changes, you can use the best plugin as needed.
  • Facebook Audience Network — Similar to how we made both a paid and revenue-share version of AppLovin, the F.A.N. plugin is now available in both paid and revenue-share versions.
  • BatteryState — This new plugin allows you to either get battery events or query the battery system to determine how much charge the battery has, if it’s charging, unplugged, etc.
  • NanoSVG — You can now import some SVG graphics as Corona bitmap textures using this plugin.
  • Collision Filters — This plugin is designed to circumvent the math and complication of creating physics body collision filters using categoryBits and maskBits, letting you assign user-friendly names to “categories” of objects in your physics simulation without worrying about internal binary values and sums which are liable to change as you adjust game behavior.

 


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CoronaRob

Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics.

Engage impulse engines

Corona allows you many different ways to move things, but if you’re using physics you can give objects a push or an “impulse.” In this post, the original poster wanted to know how to add random impulses to objects to get them moving.

Great balls of fire!

In this thread, a developer wanted to know the best way to make fireballs bounce up and down with a natural gravity-like effect. Corona super-developer @roaminggamer comes to the rescue with ways to use linear damping to control the bounce better.

File dialogs

If you’re building desktop apps, you probably need to implement things like file pickers or other OS-type dialog boxes. Corona veteran @starcrunch recently provided the Tiny Dialog plugin and this post is a shout-out from a thankful fan!


Do you have a particular forum thread that was helpful for you? Let us know about it! Email support@coronalabs.com, put FTF: and the forum title in the subject, and include the URL in the email. We will consider adding it to an upcoming edition of From the Forum.


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CoronaRob

Entries for the #CoronaDefoldJam are starting to show up! Today we preview one #MadeWithCorona candidate that’s still in development but looks amazing so far, Heavy Vertical.

The theme of the jam is “Running out of power” and, in this case, Corona developer Santi is translating the theme literally. In Heavy Vertical, you have to land your cargo before running out of power!

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#CoronaDefoldJam runs until October 1, 2017 and it’s not too late to enter. See the original announcement for more details. If you have an entry in progress, please set up your itch.io page and let us know about it in the community section of the game jam. Maybe we’ll feature your entry here!


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