I was friends with Carlos Icaza, one of the co-founders.
Carlos was a diabetic who died too young.
Every time I walk by the Stacks in Burlingame I think of him. We used to have breakfasts there every week or two including our last breakfast before he moved to Miami.
Carlos was a hustlers, sometimes too intense, but he had a great heart.
He used to constantly tell me: don’t be an engineer, be a fucking entrepreneur.
It took me a while to understand what he meant.
I hope Corona or parts of it be around as an open-source project for a long time.
What did he mean?
I always want to build a better "mousetrap", I'm an engineer/product guy first, and he was a hustler first. If my approach was to build a better product, his approach was to be a better hustler promoting a product and getting it adopted.
> an aggressively enterprising person; a go-getter.
But perhaps you never heard of them, but now you have seen their 'name', I know what you are probably thinking these days: Nope not even close, but actually it's perfect timing.
The SEO on this right now doesn't look good right now and it would't be great in the long term. But even then, the product wasn't really generating enough revenue for them to stay afloat and now continuing this under their current name with users using search engines would have been the final nail anyway.
Open-sourcing sounds like the right way to go for a proper send off for 'Corona' the product. Probably needs a renaming too.
Corona has an edge on many other smaller engines because of the broad device support. E.g. it's one of the few engines able to ship to tvOS.
Even if a company itself isn't going out of business, just abandoning one particular product, taking a few steps to ensure customers aren't left hanging would be much appreciated. (Imagine if Google had open sourced Google Reader, for example, instead of just killing it off.)
I maintained a page called learningcorona.com for several years that collected the limited number of tutorials and articles on Corona. Carlos, the co-founder, was very kind and emailed me several times to include the site in the official newsletter and to ensure that I didn't run afoul of any trademark problems (in a gentle way). I appreciated how well he interacted with and supported the small Corona community.
I found the system to be easy to use, and relatively high performance. The only thing that was an issue - at the time - was something very strange, which kinda impacted another app we were building:
Corona had a map component, for google maps - but for some reason, it wouldn't work for Android - only for iOS! So - you could create an app with that component, but if you compiled it to install on Android, it would fail, but you could compile it for iOS and load it on an iphone and it would work fine.
At the time, we had an app idea from a client that we wanted to use Corona for, but because it needed mapping, and that didn't work, we were forced to go with another option (PhoneGap and Bootstrap Mobile), that wasn't nearly as performant - but we could embed a google map easily.
Contact with Corona revealed they were working on a fix to get the map component to work with Android, but it came too late for our purposes (and actually didn't happen until about a year or so after I had left that position and had moved on).
Anyhow - I'm glad that the system will live on, although today there are a ton of other options available for easy cross-platform mobile development. Still, I haven't found anything that worked quite as well as Corona.
I'm sad to see Corona Labs shutting down. I'm happy it's engine will be open sourced.
There is some really great 2D game software in the Lua ecosystem, but hardly any of these products are actual engines.
Defold and LÖVE aren't game engines, they're frameworks giving you load, update, and draw callbacks and some bindings to underlying libraries. None of these solutions will load levels for you, or provide entities or actors.
Polycode is more of an engine than the former two, or even Corona.
I'm sad to see another piece of software slated for end of maintenance in this space, but I'm hoping that it will inspire the development of more actual game engines that do more than provide a collection of bindings.
I've wanted a Lua game engine that loaded levels, provided entities, had multiplayer out of the box, and everything else you'd expect from a game engine and not just some Lua C API bindings to OpenGL, OpenAL, and Box2D.
It turned out I had to build it myself.
Not sure what happened afterwards, but it’s nice to see they were able to open source what they had, and to keep it possible to build old projects locally.
*edit: removed uncertainty about building old projects locally
Hope that it continues living and improving.