Tag Archives: labs

Tutorial: Android TV App Development

I recently got my Maddie Bear’sSnack Time game published for the Android TV console. Since I was one of (if not the) first person to do this with Corona SDK, they asked me to write a tutorial about it.

mbstTV

Check out the tutorial here: http://coronalabs.com/blog/2015/01/13/tutorial-creating-android-tv-apps/ and you can go through step-by-step with a working example of how to get your app on the Android TV.

Kaboom: Kwik Particle Emitter Plugin

A week or so ago, my colleague Alex Souza asked me to beta test his new plugin, “Kaboom“. It is an add-on for Kwik Photoshop plugin that lets you create particle emitters for your universal Corona apps. The benefit of using Kwik and Kaboom is that you can create full mobile applications with special effects without having to write a single line of code. Everything is done by placing artwork in Photoshop and telling it what you want it to do.

Within 5 minutes, I was able to create this:

I even wrote a tutorial on how to use Kaboom to create a similar project, which can be found here. If you order Kaboom within the next 2 weeks, you’ll actually save $20 off of the regular price, so it’s definitely worth acting quickly.

Please note: Corona Labs has not officially announced whether or not particle emitters will be supported in Starter or Basic versions of Corona SDK. If you’re a Pro user, you can use Kaboom today, but it’s unclear if Starter and Basic users will be granted access.

Kwik 3.0 Now Available

Last week, Kwiksher released their latest version of Kwik Photoshop plugin. I was fortunate enough to be part of the beta testing, and helped CEO Alex Souza discover some of the bugs before the final version was released.

Kwik v3

I was even able to release Maddie Bear’s Birthday for the iPad using the beta version of Kwik.

maddie bear's birthday

Kwik now is compatible with Corona SDK’s new storyboard tool called “Composer” as well as their new Graphics 2.0 anchor point system. It offers a revamped interface and a plethora of new features and settings that were not available in previous versions. You can now add monetization with iAds and AdMob, splash screens, in-app purchases if you’re a Corona Basic, Pro or Enterprise subscriber, and you no longer have to deal with the annoying task of enabling Adobe Flash to run the plugin.

kwik

Kwik has also switched over to a subscription business model to allow for more updates in order to keep up with the ever changing world of mobile app development. When Apple or Android make a change to their operating systems, Corona Labs has to follow suit, which in turn makes Kwiksher have to follow their lead.

There is also another huge benefit to their new subscription model. Let’s say you have an idea for a storybook app, but you’re not ready to make a huge investment in software in case your app doesn’t make you a lot of money or in case you just don’t end up liking app development. You can download the Corona Lab’s Starter Kit for free and then just do a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription to Kwik, depending on how long you’ll need it.

You can also have your script reviewed, have video chat support, and pretty soon, Kwiksher can even publish your app to all of the major app store for you via their services program.

My latest book, Maddie Bear’s Birthday, would have taken much, much longer to develop had I not used Kwik. It saved me days worth of coding. Check out my app at MaddieBearBooks.com to see what is possible with Kwik.

Maddie Bear's Birthday for iPad
Maddie Bear’s Birthday for iPad

Kwik “Next”

Today, Kwiksher announced its upcoming software “Kwik Next”, or as it will officially be called, just “Kwik”. Kwik will offer a variety of improvements to the user experience, a new pricing system, and a plethora of new features. Kwik will now be on a subscription service rather than a one-time fee. Those familiar with Adobe CC, Corona SDK Pro, and Lanica software have probably noticed the recent trend of subscription software. I’m glad Kwiksher chose to switch to subscription because Corona SDK is constantly changing to keep up with the changes in the Android and iOS ecosphere, which means Kwiksher also has to constantly change. Now instead of having to buy a new version every time Apple decides to change the iOS standards, Kwik users will always have up-to-date software.

A Kwik software subscription also means that you can now do a 3-month plan in case you just want to quickly publish your book idea. A 3 month subscription is expected to go for $99 USD as of the time of this writing, which is a great price for indie developers and children’s book authors. A year subscription is expected to be priced at $249 and also gives you the ability to vote on the next feature you’d like to see implemented into the software.

Right now, Kwik is still in beta and looking for users to help test the software. Kwik 2 customers can join the beta team for about $149 USD. You may be asking why you’d want to pay to beta test software when most companies offer it for free. In this case, the $149 gets you a 15 month subscription to Kwik, which saves you about $200 ($249 for 12 months + $99 for 3 months – $149 Beta = $199) and this deal is only good until Corona Labs lifts the new storyboard NDA. The new version of Kwik will run on the officially supported Storyboard tool once it’s finished by Corona Labs, whereas Kwik currently runs on director. So this deal could last a day or it could last a couple months, it’s hard to say. Regardless, I joined the beta team as soon as I could, which brings me onto this next segment.

Installing the new Kwik

A lot of Kwik users had trouble getting the software setup initially, which Kwiksher has addressed with this new version. Now when you run the software, it takes you through step-by-step, and copies any text you’ll need to your clipboard for you.

installScreen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.46.53 AM

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.46.57 AMScreen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.47.08 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.47.11 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.47.14 AM Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.47.18 AM

If at anytime you need assistance, you can click on the Help button and it will take you to a video tutorial of how to install it step-by-step. The Settings window now has an option for Colored Icons, which is a great new feature that I’ll show you momentarily.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.47.50 AM

The new Kwik panel also has a built-in showcase for Kwik-made apps when it first opens. You only see the ad until you start a project or open an existing one. The panel also gives you easy access to pre-made templates if you’re new to Kwik and want to see what is possible. Your previous projects are also listed in the panel so you can quickly open any project you’ve worked on in the past.

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 8.38.51 PM

Now onto the colored icons. The colored icons allow you to quickly (kwikly?) see what interactions go with each group. Here we can see that Animations is a yellow group, so anything listed in yellow is an animation. Pink are related to Interactions, Purple are Physics, etc. This will be especially helpful to newer users. Now you won’t have to wonder where to go for say, Body Properties, you can see that they’re purple, so they must be under the purple Physics panel.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.55.29 AM

Another new feature is the ability to search for items. In my first project test, I had a few interactions for ball objects. Rather than having to look throughout the Kwik panel for anything named “ball”, I could easily look for them using the new search tool.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.57.06 AM

Another new method of searching for specify items is to look by the type of interaction or property you’ve assigned to it. Here I looked for anything that had a Physics Body.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.57.36 AM

Those are just a few of the new features available right now in the new Kwik beta. If you’re hesitant to sign up now, you can still buy Kwik 2 until the end of September, which is not a subscription or you can wait until the final version of Kwik is released and download the free trial, which will allow you to create a few pages for free.

Screen Shot 2013-09-12 at 6.56.36 AM

Overall, I think the new Kwik looks and feels great to use and I’m very excited to see what Kwik will bring once Corona Labs releases their new storyboard tool. I think the subscription plans of $99-$249 have something to offer every indie developer regardless of budget and Kwik will be a great investment for children’s book authors.

The Phrase Game: Updated!

For the past couple months, Daniel Williams and myself have teamed up to create a new game app called “The Phrase Game”. I’m happy to announce it’s now available for iOS, Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Android!

For the initial release, we created 50 puzzles to solve based on popular phrases and idioms. We just released a free bonus pack of 25 puzzles that are a little more challenging as well as an additional trophy. We’re hoping to continue releasing periodic updates that give players more puzzles and trophies.

Kindle_1Kindle_2Kindle_3Kindle_4

Built with Corona SDK

Download Now!

itunes amazon google

New iOS Game Submitted

Coffee Grab - Copyright 2013 Greg Pugh - GP ANimations
Coffee Grab – Copyright 2013 Greg Pugh – GP Animations

I just submitted a new game app to Apple and I am awaiting its approval or rejection. I created it as a learning experience, as I have never created a game app or have used any sort of ad program. I have filled out all of the information for iAds, Inneractive, etc. accounts in the past, but never utilized them.

I always thought banner ads made apps look kind of cheap and I didn’t like having to compensate screen real estate to accompany them. I was also weary of making game apps because it seems like once a user finds a bug or glitch, they leave terrible reviews criticizing the app, the developer, and the developer’s mother.

To step away from my comfort zone, I decided it was time to publish a free game app that utilizes an ad. I still didn’t want to use banner ads though, so I opted for a one-time fullscreen ad that the user can close before the game starts.

It was actually very easy to implement an ad using my Inneractive account. I signed into Inneractive, created a profile for the app, which generated an App ID. Then I placed this code on the Choose Level screen of my game:

ads = require “ads”
ads.init( “inneractive”, “app_ID” )
ads.show( “fullscreen”, { x=0, y=0, interval=60 } )

Then on the screen where the game starts I added: ads.hide();

It’s a pretty straightforward way of implementing an ad into an app. Hopefully you’ll all be able to play Coffee Grab in the near future.