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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

CoronaRob

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  1. 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. Fabric + Crashlytics Analytics are a great way to learn more about your app’s users and improve the user experience. This plugin allows you to log Fabric analytic data (also known as Fabric Answers) and log crash data via Crashlytics. Mix Line 98 New If “Match 3” games seem a bit too easy, grab a copy of this “Match 5” game template and customize it as your own. Mix Line 98 New is an open-source prototype of both a “Match 5” game and a puzzle game, useful for developing your own games with these themes. Bard’s RPG Starter Kit Bard’s RPG Starter Kit is an excellent choice for those on a tight budget who need lush orchestration for a fantasy RPG game. With a generous offering of battle music & exploration music, this library covers the basic needs of most RPGs. View the full article
  2. Corona Labs’ engineering team has made an important update to the Google In-App Purchase plugin that you need to be aware of. Starting with Corona daily build 2017.3105, the store.init() call for Google IAP is now asynchronous. This means that it will return immediately while it continues to initialize in the background. This change was made to help reduce the number of ANR or “Application Not Responding” messages being reported in the Google Play Console. Basically, ANR reports can occur when Android senses that an app appears non-responsive — this may happen when performing synchronous network activity on a poor network connection. During testing, it’s hard to see store.init() taking any time because it normally completes in just milliseconds, but when users have slower connections, the time can increase dramatically and trigger an ANR report. The solution Because of this change, you should modify how your app uses the Google IAP plugin. While many developers already delay the store.loadProducts() call until the user reaches a place where products are listed, some developers call store.loadProducts() immediately after calling store.init() (the first mandatory call to get things rolling). Under this new model, you should wait until you receive an "init" callback indicating that Google IAP is completely initialized and ready to process requests (this applies to store.restore() as well). The updated version of the plugin generates a new init event which is dispatched to the transaction listener specified within store.init(). This event has the unique event.name property with a value of "init" which you can use to differentiate it between storeTransaction events which must be handled by the same listener. Please see the documentation for an example of doing so. Remember, these changes only affect Corona build 2017.3105 and later. In addition to this update, we have fixed a Null Pointer Reference (NPR) error in the Amazon IAP plugin. This fix is available in all versions. View the full article
  3. Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics. Tracking velocity Games usually include objects that move. Knowing when they hit something is a common event to track, but another thing you might want to react to is when an object stops. In this thread, a couple of developers address this matter. Controlling the console log fonts (macOS) Maybe you have a really large monitor and the text of the Corona console is a bit on the small side. Wouldn’t it be nice to adjust that or even make your own theme for the console window? In the Corona Simulator for macOS, you can do just that — jump to this thread to learn how! Target in range? In this post, the question was posed how to trigger an action when an object is in range of another. In Corona, many people use physics sensors for this, but there are other ways to take action when two objects occupy the same space. This thread includes some alternate thought processes on the issue. 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. View the full article
  4. Corona Labs is pleased to announce our new publishing service to help Corona developers get their games to success. From the announcement: Learn more about it from Corona Labs. View full story
  5. Corona Labs is pleased to announce our new publishing service to help Corona developers get their games to success. From the announcement: Learn more about it from Corona Labs.
  6. For the past three months, Corona Labs has worked to make Corona a more friendly platform for creating first-class games and applications. This includes: Making Corona completely free. All of the main functionality, including our native extensions (formerly Corona Enterprise), is now available for everyone. Removing all royalties that impacted larger publishers. Simplifying the distribution of advertising plugins. Today, we are pleased to announce that Corona Labs has partnered with several publishers to help app developers promote their projects and achieve greater success. With these new publishing services, Corona Labs and its publishing partners will take your app from start to launch to post-launch support with features ranging from localization and culturalization to global distribution and in-game analytics. If you have a cool project built with Corona but perhaps you don’t have the expertise for promotion or your marketing budget is limited, Corona Publishing can help you. Visit our website for more information on this exciting new service! View the full article
  7. Corona Labs offers over twenty monetization plugins that we strive to keep maintained and up-to-date. Usually these updates are transparent and we notify you via posts to the Monetization subforum. Occasionally, however, there are breaking changes that we need to make you aware of. Specifically, the latest update to the Appodeal plugin has two breaking changes which may require that you update your code: The "video" ad type has been rolled into the "interstitial" type. Thus, in various API calls like appodeal.load() and appodeal.show(), "video" will no longer work. However, you can control the choice of video vs. static interstitial ads through the Appodeal Dashboard. tvOS support has been removed. In other words, if you’re building for tvOS, the Appodeal plugin will no longer work. These changes will affect developers using Corona build 2017.3068 (the current public release) or later. If you wish to use the older plugin version, you’ll need to use an older daily build of Corona. View the full article
  8. You can make stunning games with Corona, but you can also make amazing non-game apps. We would like to introduce you to Starting With Soil from Supertapp Interactive. In partnership between Whole Kids Foundation and the Center For Ecoliteracy, Supertapp worked with Monstro, a video and animation specialist, to produce this beautiful, interactive educational app. The Whole Kids Foundation wants the app to improve child nutrition through education and inspiration, helping kids make healthier food choices. The app helps them understand where their food comes from and see how organic values impact the food they eat. Supertapp created Starting With Soil in Corona and built a framework to manage the different scenes without having to spend hours hand-coding each scene independently. The app was released on June 30, 2017 on iOS and Google Play. Check it out! View the full article
  9. 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. Image Slider Image sliders are useful in countless types of apps and games, and this Image Slider plugin offers a robust set of features and customization options to meet your needs. eBook Template Perhaps you dream of making a beautiful eBook in Corona, but you’re not sure where to begin. This wonderful eBook Template handles a lot of the back-end work for you, letting you focus on your story and art! Animated Boys / Animated Girls DionArtworks has generously created a series of Animated Boys and Animated Girls, all featuring multiple animation sequences. They may be cute but they still carry guns! View the full article
  10. With the new unified Corona (Corona + Corona Native), some developers have asked how to include plugins in Corona Native projects. The process outlined here is for iOS only, but we plan to post similar instructions for Android Studio soon. IMPORTANT: The process outlined herein requires daily build 2017.3103 or later. Essentially, to use plugins with Corona Native builds through Xcode, you must include them in build.settings just like you would for Corona Simulator builds, for example: settings = { plugins = { ["plugin.openssl"] = { publisherId = "com.coronalabs" }, }, } From here, you must run a process which contacts the Corona Marketplace and confirms that you have an active license for the plugin(s). If confirmed, Corona will install the library files and link them to your project. Procedure To perform the process described above, simply follow these steps: Open your project in Xcode. In the Xcode tool bar, click on the active scheme button and select Download Plugins: Click on the Run button to download the plugin(s): In the Xcode tool bar, click on the active scheme button and select your main app. Now you can build your app with any plugin in the Corona Marketplace. Note that you’ll need to download the plugin(s) each time you add or change plugin settings/inclusions within build.settings. REMINDER: Unless you need access to specific native libraries, offline builds. or you are building native-based plugins, you can (and should) build and ship apps using the Corona Simulator and Corona Lua APIs. Essentially, while some specific tasks may require Corona Native, they should only be implemented by developers who have previous experience with native functionality. View the full article
  11. It seems like Corona developers are creating more and more fantastic apps! Neon Poly by Lobster Claw Software leverages familiar gameplay from classic games like Tetris™ and 1010 to create a new twist on the “place pieces” puzzle game genre. Neon Poly offers three types of pieces: squares, hexagons, and triangles. You get three random pieces to play with the goal being to clear enough space so that you can continue playing new pieces. In addition, you can earn experience and use various “powers” to clear parts of the board. The game uses programmatically-generated graphics that leverage some of Corona’s powerful graphics capabilities, creating a very stylish visual appeal. The game is something you can immerse yourself in for a few minutes or several hours. Each board shape has three sizes that affect the challenge and length of play. Neon Poly is hot off the presses, having just been released on June 21, 2017. The game also received a major review, landing on the front page of AppAdvice and earning a 9.0 out of 10! It’s available for free with in-app purchases on both the Apple App Store and on Google Play. View the full article
  12. Welcome to this week’s From the Forum. In this post, we highlight a few Corona Community Forums posts that cover important topics. Removing words Many apps need to work with data and sometimes developers need to get values from the middle of a string. In this post, learn how to use the Lua string library and pattern matching to pull number values out of a string containing other characters. Thank you Markus! Corona developer Markus Ranner has been working on his own game Ice Trap and needed some special effects. He decided to extend Corona’s built-in transition library with additional convenience functions to make these effects easier. Check out the awesome gift he contributed to the community. Tiles, tilesets, tilesheets Sometimes computer terminology can be confusing for even experienced developers. In this thread, the question came up: what is the difference between a tile sheet and a tile set and just what are tiles? Learn about the difference and some great resources to help you use them. 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. View the full article
  13. Making games and apps can be fun, but what’s more fun is when other people play your games or use your apps. In many cases, you build it, publish it to the various app stores, and then watch those installs… not pile up. Equally important as your artwork, your clever design, or your awesome coding, marketing apps is an area where many developers lack the skills to do it properly. In this month’s issue of The Business of Apps, let’s look at a few resources that can help you understand how to get your game or app seen and rocketing up the charts! How to Research Your Next Game’s Target Audience for Free In this recent post, Justin Carroll from Launch Your Indie Game discusses how to determine your target audience, research the demographics, and see what your competition is doing to get users on board. He points you to several free tools to analyze these aspects. 5 Cost-Effective Ways to Market Indie Game Apps Once you know your target audience, you need to actually market to them! Naman Kapur, product marketing head at ShepHertz, covers five important ways in which you can effectively market your game. How to Make Effective Official Game Websites Really Fast Once you start marketing your site, people need to learn about your game, where they can buy/download it, or see a trailer. We go back to Justin Carroll in a post on gamedev.net where he discusses building an effective website for your game. These tips are all great ways to help you succeed. Learn them, use them, and get your games and apps known to the world! View the full article
  14. Cowboy Gold Round-Up Platformer was released recently by Corona developer Mike Hempfling of Crave Creative. In this game, you must navigate through the levels, collect gold, and kill or avoid various monsters and traps. What’s noteworthy is that the game was built using the free Sticker Knight Platformer template, available in the Corona Marketplace or from our Getting Started guide index. Within a few days after release, it was featured in the top 30 listing in the “Free Action Apps” category of the Apple App Store (United Kingdom). Cowboy Gold Round-Up Platformer is available for free on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore. View the full article
  15. 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. Firebase Auth Need another awesome tool in your Firebase suite for Corona apps? The Firebase Auth plugin allows you to log in through Firebase Auth for iOS 8.0+ and Android 4.0+. RPG Music Collection – Vol 1 RPGs are always enhanced by a compelling soundtrack. This excellent audio pack features 10 loopable music tracks, great for RPGs, JRPGs, adventure games, dungeon crawlers, and more! 4-Directional Game Character Sprites This pack is suitable for 4-directional games, shooting games, running games, platform games, and side-scrolling games. Includes both .PNG and 3D Blender files! View the full article