Corona vs Marmalade vs etc...?

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Abscissa, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Abscissa

    Original Member

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    Hi, I've done indie gamedev in the past (used to be a regular here once-upon-a-time), but I got sidetracked by webdev for a number of years (yuck!) and am now getting back into games.

    I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with mobile 2D engines like Corona, Marmalade, etc. While I'm no novice to indie gamedev, I'm brand-new to this particular branch of it, and could some some perspective. How do Corona and Marmalade compare? What have been your experiences with them? Any good links?

    All I know so far is just what's on their respective websites.
     
  2. NicolasGB

    NicolasGB New Member

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    Hi Nick,

    From what I gather, Marmalade is not a game engine. It is a framework, a low level SDK. So the good thing is it runs on every OS (iOS, Android, Symbian, Brew, Blackberry...) and you can program in C++. The downside is, well, it's not a game engine, so it won't come with librairies for such things as handling menus and buttons, a level editor, etc. You'd have to spend over a month developing a game engine on top of the low level layers, and that engine would be cross-platform. I've heard a programmer say it's a pretty neat solution if you're going to make a string of cross-platform 2D games and can invest the upfront time to build an engine.

    I've had less feedback on Corona, only that it's based on the Lua scripting language which is supposedly easy to use but difficult to optimize.

    You could also look into Cocos2D, an iOS librairy. Probably your best shot if you're going to make iOS only 2D games. It was also ported over to C++ bearing the name Cocos2D-X.

    Personnally my company is using Unity. It's not ideal for 2D games but the authoring tools and cross-portability make it well worthwile.

    Note: I'm not a programmer myself so please do take my words with a *rather-big* pinch of salt ;-)
     
  3. 30BelowStudios

    30BelowStudios New Member

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    I would give Corona a shot. Easy to learn and you can build an entire game without a subscription. A subscription is needed to publish to the app store though. Also a great community in the forums.
     
  4. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Just to add, someone has developed a free open source engine to sit on top of Marmalade. It's called IwGame and it's very nicely written.
     
  5. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    good find on IwGame...
     
  6. mimog

    mimog New Member

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    I have a little experience with Corona and I honestly don't like it. I don't like the fact that in order to build you have to use their server, which can take a long time and 6 months ago when I was using it, support for stuff like a textbox into which user can input text, using the mobile keyboard, was really horrible.
    Furthermore the Lua language makes some errors really hard to catch (being dynamic and all) which can be counteracted with good debugging support and nice long stacktraces, but Corona does not have those so debugging was really difficult most of the time.
    I stopped using Corona because of these issues.
     
  7. therevillsgames

    therevillsgames New Member

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  8. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Monkey is good but it's a different language to learn and use. It's well worth having a look but it does mean putting your game into a different language. The thing I like about Marmalade is I get to work in DevStudio on a PC using C\C++. If you're just targeting iOS and Android and don't mind a splash screen it's just $149.

    They also have an Apps Program. They'll give you a financial incentive to join, act as a publisher (they take 20% so fairly reasonable), and you also get a free SDK license. You can submit a non-Marmalade app but it will need to be converted to using Marmalade.
     
  9. mwtb

    Original Member

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    Looking at the features of Marmalade it's a pretty fair stretch to try and compare Monkey to it based on the price point. Marmalade comes with a 3D graphics asset pipeline, out-of-the-box support for standard physics libs, a UI library, networking, compression and a bunch of other stuff that Monkey doesn't provide or only does so in a less than fully-featured way.

    If you're a C/C++ coder primarily interested in iOS/Android then the price differential is nowhere near enough to make Monkey look like the better option.
     
  10. wazoo

    Original Member

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    Just pick one and do it

    Okay...this is giving me flashbacks to when the topic was "HGE vs. bmax vs. DX5 vs.."

    I will be ignored, but I will give you the best advice that I wish someone had told me so long ago.

    STOP looking. START doing.

    The "best" engine is the one you've picked.
     
  11. MikeHart

    MikeHart New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a lot of experience with Corona, Monkey and Gideros Studio. While Corona looks good on the outside, you are bound to use what is there. You can't extend it yourself and your wait sometimes 2 years that requested things are added. Also your apps get compiled on their server and even when you distribute the app, it phones "home" to their server. A great compatition to them, because they use LUA too and their API is pretty similar is Gideros Studio. The engine performs faster than Corona's and the features are implemented in a more advanced way. There best features, development wise, it the integrated code editor and the ability to test your app on the fly on the device. It will be transfered to your device via WIFI within a few seconds. Also Gideros exported native projects. Ah, before I forget. It supports native plugins on IOS allready and with the next update on Android too. If you like LUA, then this is your choice! It also cost only 140 USD a year if you want a splash screen version. If you don't mind a splash screen, you can use the free version forever.

    If you love to learn a new language and love TOTAL freedom, then Monkey is the tool of choice. It's core api is pretty simple but the user community has extended it already a lot with addon modules.
    It will cost you only 120 USD one time.

    Check out Gideros and Monkey. They perfom better, are less expensive and give your more freedom as a coder.
     

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