This summer I had the honor of being one of the presenters for the Alaskan Apple User Group monthly meeting. Just a couple months previous I contacted them and asked if they’d be interested in a demo of a framework that makes creating mobile games and apps really easy — and they said yes!
I only had 20 minutes available, so my presentation was kept to the bare minimum. Plus, while the audience was at least somewhat technical, most of them were not programmers, so I had to make things as simple as possible. I didn’t want to look out and see eyes glazing over — or hear the sound of snoring.
Fortunately, Corona SDK is so easy to use it’s not hard to make it understandable to non-programmers.
If you’re ever in the position where you need to explain Corona SDK to people, here’s the outline I used:
1. Quick introduction of myself and how I found Corona SDK.
2. Explain what you’re going to be talking about and assure them it’s been filtered so even non-programmers will understand how easy it can be to start working on their own game or app.
3. Main features of Corona SDK, such as interfaces with the “big boy” tools like OpenGL, allows you to develop cross-platform, integrated physics engine (use Angry Birds as an example of a physics-based game), access to accelerometer, GPS, camera, etc.
4. Show Corona SDK vs Objective-C code comparison to give them an example of what it takes if you don’t use Corona.
5. Example of a game that was built with Corona SDK so they can see what it can do. Show off something you’ve created if possible, either on the device or in the Simulator (I did the latter because my laptop was hooked to a projector).
6. Hands-on demo — open your editor and show them how fast you can get something up and running. Here’s what I showed:
- Use display.newImage to put a graphic on the screen of the iPhone (simulator).
- Introduce the idea of properties of that graphic by using obj.x and obj.y to position the graphic.
- Show how one line of code (transition.to) can animate the graphic.
- Use audio.loadSound and audio.play to make sound happen as the graphic animates.
In just a few quick, understandable steps, you’ve shown how easy it is to get started. People are blown away when they see what can be done. And since display.newImage, transition.to, and audio.play are very “English like” almost nobody is intimidated by the code.
7. Talk about some of the people creating games with Corona SDK. I chose:
- Jonathan Beebe (Doodle Dash) as an example of someone with programming experience who learned Corona in 8 days and made a hit game.
- Ignacio Iturra (Shelly the Shell Master) as an example of a non-programmer who wanted to make his own game so just decided to go for it and six weeks later had a game done.
- Robert Nay (Bubble Ball) as an example of a “kid” who was only 14 when he created his game that has now accumulated more than 10 million downloads.
8. Time for some Q&A. Most people had quick follow-ups to something that I showed earlier.
9. Giveaway time. If you have something you can give away, now’s a good time to do that (and make sure you mentioned it at the beginning to give people an extra reason to stick around). One of the things I gave away was copies of my Corona Project Manager to people who wanted to give programming in Corona a try.
That’s it, and it took right about 20 minutes to do all that. I had multiple people come up afterward and thank me for an interesting talk — and one that wasn’t over their heads.
I didn’t get paid for promoting Corona SDK, I did it for the simple reason that I wish someone had told me about it long before I stumbled across it. And, the more people who get into programming with Corona SDK, the more we will all benefit. A bigger, more vibrant community of developers makes a world of difference.
You may not be a world-class speaker, but if you have some experience with Corona you could probably give a short talk to a local user group or meetup that could pique the interest of the next person who makes something that puts Corona SDK on the map again.
And that’s a win-win for all of us.
If you’d like a copy of the Keynote slides I used or a PDF of the slideshow (the slides follow the outline I listed above), you can get that from this link:
Feel free to use the materials (or change them in any way) to help promote Corona SDK to the folks in your part of the world.