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Corona SDK: Create a Balloon Game

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Read Time: 5 mins

In this tutorial series, you'll learn how to create a Bloons Inspired game. The objective of the game is to shoot at the balloons to pop them all...Read on!

Step 1: Application Overview

Using pre-made graphics we will code an entertaining game with Lua and the Corona SDK API's.

The player will be able to shoot an acorn at the balloons by touching the screen to charge and releasing to shoot. You can modify the parameters in the code to customize the game.

Step 2: Target Device

The first thing we have to do is select the platform we want to run our app within. By doing so, we'll be able to choose the size for the images we will use.

The iOS platform has these characteristics:

  • iPad: 1024x768px, 132 ppi
  • iPhone/iPod Touch: 320x480px, 163 ppi
  • iPhone 4: 960x640px, 326 ppi

Because Android is an open platform, there are many different devices and resolutions. A few of the more common screen characteristics are:

  • Google Nexus One: 480x800px, 254 ppi
  • Motorola Droid X: 854x480px, 228 ppi
  • HTC Evo: 480x800px, 217 ppi

In this tutorial, we'll be focusing on the iOS platform with the graphic design, specifically developing for distribution to an iPhone/iPod touch, but the code presented here should apply to Android development with the Corona SDK as well.

Step 3: Interface

A simple and friendly interface will be used. This involves multiple shapes, buttons, bitmaps and more.

The interface graphic resources necessary for this tutorial can be found in the attached download.

Step 4: Export Graphics

Depending on the device you have selected, you may need to export the graphics in the recommended PPI. You can do that with your favorite image editor.

I used the Adjust Size... function in the Preview app on Mac OS X.

Remember to give the images a descriptive name and save them in your project folder.

Step 5: Sound

We'll use Sound Effects to enhance the feeling of the game, you can find the sound used in this example in Soungle.com using the keyword pop.

Step 6: App Configuration

The config.lua file will be used to make the application go fullscreen across all devices. This file shows the original screen size and the method used to scale that content in case the app is run in a different resolution.

Step 7: Main.lua

Let's write the application!

Open your prefered Lua editor (any Text Editor will work, but you won't have syntax highlighting) and prepare to write your awesome app. Remember to save the file as main.lua in your project folder.

Step 8: Code Structure

We'll structure our code as if it were a Class. If you know ActionScript or Java, you should find the structure familiar.

Step 9: Hide Status Bar

This code hides the status bar. The status bar is the bar on top of the device screen that shows the time, signal, and other indicators.

Step 10: Import Physics

We'll use the Physics library to handle collisions. Use this code to import it:

Step 11: Game Background

A simple graphic is used as the background for the application interface, the next line of code stores it.

Step 12: Title View

This is the Title View, it will be the first interactive screen to appear in our game and these variables will store its components.

Step 13: Credits View

This view will show the credits, version, and copyright of the game. This variable will be used to store it.

Step 14: Game View

The game view is composed by the TextFields that store the score, targets, and available acorns. It also displays the balloons, a restart button, and the squirrel that shoots the acorns. Add the following lines to your code to handle these elements. The squirrel and acorn graphics are from openclipart.org.

Step 15: Variables

These are the variables we'll use. Read the comments in the code to know more about them, some of their names are self-explanatory so there will be no comment there.

Step 16: Code Review

Here is the full code written in this tutorial alongside with comments to help you identify each part:

Next Time...

In this part of the series you've learned about the interface and the basic setup of the game. Stay tuned for part two, where we will handle the logic of the application, buttons behavior, and more. See you next time!

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