Book Review: Corona SDK Hotshot

Today I’m going to review “Corona SDK Hotshot” by Nevin Flanagan, which is published by Packt Publishing. If you’re a regular Corona user, you’re probably well past the “Hello World” style tutorials that are available in most coding books, but you may not be ready for expert-level books, either. Corona SDK Hotshot is a great intermediate level book that assumes previous knowledge of the platform and lets you create 10 different game apps.

Corona SDK Hotshot

One thing that I noticed from this book that is different than most, is that the author first shows you how to layout your game idea. Instead of just throwing you into the coding, you first first think about what you want your game to do, how will it function, the screen order, etc. to properly plan out the app. This is good practice for new game developers to draft out their ideas and properly layout the game plan instead of just jumping right into coding and artwork.

Atmosfall

The variety of the games that you develop in the book is nice, ranging from tapping enemies before they get to a certain point, jet shooter-style, RPG, and even a translation app. I think my favorite example was chapter 5’s game, “Atmosfall” because it reminded me of “Vapor Trail” for Sega Genesis (I’m aware that I may be the only person that has ever played this game before). It’s a top-down view game of an aircraft that shoots enemies that also shoot at you, not a new concept, but still entertaining.

The examples aren’t just about the finished product, though. Through the process of building the games, you learn about integrating multiple touches, loading music, algorithms, Game Center, etc., which can help you build games that integrate these features and do not necessarily follow the examples given. Again, this book is not for total beginners who are new to Corona SDK, it assumes prior knowledge.

Overall, I thought this book was good from a standpoint of someone who understands Corona SDK and Lua and wants to create a variety of game types. I picked up the PDF version to read on my iPad while traveling and on my Macbook when I was ready to code. If you’re interested in creating gaming applications, it’s definitely worth checking out.

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