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Corona SDK Mobile Game Development: Beginner's Guide [Paperback]

Michelle M. Fernandez , Michelle M. Fernandez
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 54.38 & FREE Shipping. Details
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars bias against semicolons ? May 10 2012
Format:Paperback
The game examples in the book are necessarily short and simple to understand. The downloading and installing of Corona should be straightforward for most readers. Ah, but be aware of the following, which the author quickly tells you in the first chapter. If you just want to write code that will run under the Corona Simulator, then you do not need to install XCode (which is from Apple) or the Android SDK (supplied by Google). But let's be realistic. Most readers will have an ultimate goal of writing games that will actually run on the iPhone or on a phone using Android. What this means is that for the iPhone (or iPad), you'll have to pay for an iOS application developer license from Apple, which is currently $99 a year. Please do not bemoan this cost. It is still essentially free, compared to how much time you will be coding.

Or suppose you are going to Android. Fernandez suggests that you can avoid downloading the Android SDK unless you will need the ADB tool it has, so that you can simplify your builds and see debug messages. My advice is to go ahead and get the Android SDK. It's worth it down the road.

As for the current book, it quickly revs you up with some short example snippets. Including, sigh, the stereotypical Hello World. I guess the field has standardised on this.

The book also teaches Lua. A popular scripting language for game coders. Some resemblences to JavaScript and ActionScript. The syntax is simple. Though I really do wish they would close statements with semicolons. Lua's designers decided to presumably simplify the looks. But if you have written in enough languages, you should know that having a definite and explicit statement closure symbol is a good thing. C.!C, C++, java, C# etc.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book good - Kindle edition lacks proper code formatting June 3 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this book, on a content level for a beginner it is easily a 4 or 5, however unfortunately the kindle version lacks proper formatting for the code, which means that it is hard to follow the text without formatting internally in your mind. When the Kindle formatting is fixed, I will update my review score.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I made an app! June 7 2012
By russell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I never thought I could do it. But with this book I started from scratch and made a game for the iPhone in the app store! Holy cow I never thought I could do that!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to Corona SDK Oct. 5 2012
By Jeremiah Maher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Corona SDK is a good choice to rapidly prototype and develop cross-platform mobile electronic games. As one of only a few titles on the subject, this book provides a solid foundation for new developers, even if they don't have experience with Corona or the Lua programming language. Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, the formatting of the Kindle electronic version of this book makes it difficult to follow at times, especially through long code examples.

As I already had some experience with Corona, I have not read the book cover-to-cover, but have found several chapters quite useful. The author uses a rather informal style that I expect many beginners will appreciate. At times, I personally found it awkward, and some example code is repetitive. As with many technology subjects, this product is changing rapidly, leaving some techniques in this book outdated. Still, for the target audience, beginning game developers, Corona SDK is an excellent choice, and this book provides a good introduction to get them up to speed.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corona SDK Mobile Game Development Nov. 6 2012
By Edward F. Kurtz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am sorry, but I cannot rate this book as highly as have the previous reviewers. I bought this book because there seemed to be no other book about the Corona SDK, and because the existing reviews were very favorable. However, after trying to use it for actually using the Corona SDK, I have found it to be of very limited help. The Corona SDK is based on the language Lua, and that language applies many concepts from modern computer science, concepts difficult to understand, and not treated at all in this book. This book will enable you to get some apps up and running quickly, but you will soon discover the need for information simply not available in this book.

I think this book is not only inadequate, but misleading. Consider, for example, the section on tables on page 51. Understanding how tables are used in Lua is essential to understanding Lua. This book says that tables contain indexed elements, and that when the index is a string the element is known as a property. Now Jonathan Beebe of Corona, in his tutorial "Understanding Lua tables in Corona SDK", describes tables as consisting of key-value pairs, the key being the location of the value in the table, and the value being anything, including functions or other tables. The keys can be numbers or strings of characters. The definition of tables in this book is at best inadequate if not misleading.

The most helpful information I have found is the following:

Search for "Corona Labs blog Jonathan Beebe"

Lua: Programming in Lua, Second Edition, by Roberto Ierusalimschy

The Programming in Lua book is a gem. However, there is a still need for a text about the Corona SDK which explains clearly how to use it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars semicolons ; :) May 10 2012
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The game examples in the book are necessarily short and simple to understand. The downloading and installing of Corona should be straightforward for most readers. Ah, but be aware of the following, which the author quickly tells you in the first chapter. If you just want to write code that will run under the Corona Simulator, then you do not need to install XCode (which is from Apple) or the Android SDK (supplied by Google). But let's be realistic. Most readers will have an ultimate goal of writing games that will actually run on the iPhone or on a phone using Android. What this means is that for the iPhone (or iPad), you'll have to pay for an iOS application developer license from Apple, which is currently $99 a year. Please do not bemoan this cost. It is still essentially free, compared to how much time you will be coding.

Or suppose you are going to Android. Fernandez suggests that you can avoid downloading the Android SDK unless you will need the ADB tool it has, so that you can simplify your builds and see debug messages. My advice is to go ahead and get the Android SDK. It's worth it down the road.

As for the current book, it quickly revs you up with some short example snippets. Including, sigh, the stereotypical Hello World. I guess the field has standardised on this.

The book also teaches Lua. A popular scripting language for game coders. Some resemblences to JavaScript and ActionScript. The syntax is simple. Though I really do wish they would close statements with semicolons. Lua's designers decided to presumably simplify the looks. But if you have written in enough languages, you should know that having a definite and explicit statement closure symbol is a good thing. C.!C, C++, java, C# etc. What this tells you about Lua is that its code is then by necessity made of short lines. The end of line or newline symbol appears to be the statement ending symbol.

However, as we go further into the book, I do have to say, against earlier expectations, that it seems you can indeed write games of some sophistication in Lua. Especially impressive was the inclusion of a physics engine, so that games can take advantage of a player's intuition.
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