GLBasic or Corona SDK for mobile game development?

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Hello folks,

I'm new here, and have some basic questions that I hope you folks can answer.

I would like to start programming for Android and iPhone. I have narrowed my options down to either GLBasic or Corona SDK.  Have read about Corona SDK which looks promising but I'm not familiar with the Lua programming language, and it does not support 3D. GLBasic appears more familiar, but I'm just not sure how easy is it to program for these mobile platforms. (I also assume a basic Box2D is easily implementable in GLBasic.)

Any advice is appreciated on the merits/demerits of using GLBasic versus Corona in developing mobile games.  Thanks!  :)

Ian Price

Suck 'em and see.

I can't speak for Corona as I know nothing about it, but GLBasic is certainly the best software option for me and what i want to develop with it and for the systems I want.

The GLBasic demo is free and unrestricted for free pc apps - give it a go. You've got nothing to lose but a bit of time. If it suits your needs and does what you want then upgrade to the full license. There are plenty of demos and examples with the software and this forum that aims to get users up and running quickly.

So give both a try and come back and tell us which you prefer and why. :)
I came. I saw. I played.


Back when Corona SDK had a subscription, I duplicated a lot of Corona SDK's commands in GLBasic for my own framework. Comparing Corona SDK to GLBasic, Corona is like a playground, and GLBasic is like tools to build a playground, so GLBasic will enable you to do more, but you have to put a minimal amount of work in to do the specific things that Corona itself includes. You will never be able to fully customize the Corona commands though.

Now that Corona is free, if your goal is mobile, it's hard to recommend against it unless you plan on creating more involving games. It has a very active community and a lot of source implementations are documented.

For me, I like GLBasic because it supports more platforms, and I was able to include z-sorting in my implementation, which frustratingly, Corona doesn't on a per-imagegroup basis. It's kinda of ridiculous since including this didn't take more than one function and a sort. You can use multiple image groups, but you're kinda screwed if you can't minimize your objects in that way or want to do something like a traditional beat-em-up or RPG with a lot of layered graphics.

Box2D works, but without experience in Corona, I wouldn't have any idea how to implement it with my engine in the specific way that I do. Box2D is kinda clunky with both of them, but works better with Corona. You have to disable them on objects before you kill the instances. I actually think Box2D is one of the reasons they're so weird about implementing z-sorting.

I prefer GLBasic simply because in some ways, I know what's going on under the hood and that's especially because I put the work in to make it work the way I wanted it to. If you don't want to do that from scratch (I haven't included everything from Corona, but I added a lot more in other respects) then maybe Corona is the easier route. Corona for example, makes it very easy to scale your games to work on multiple resolutions and devices. That was one of the harder things for me to put into my framework and it's still incomplete in my map tiling section.

Corona is more appropriate for casual games, but that doesn't mean to downplay what you can do with it. The support and existing implementations are very good. I recommend it for beginners that want to code a little and do things a bit manually. I learned a lot from using it, in terms of how to approach building my own engine/framework. For absolute beginners who just want to drag and drop, I might recommend GameMaker. Unity for 3D is a given, no matter what your level, just learn C# and then practice.


For the record, both LUA and Basic are easy-to-love. What I use right now is Unity (3D) and GLBasic (2D). I used Corona to publish my first commercial game, but then I needed more (like z-sorting, pc/mac/linux, other stuff) and the limitations made it hard to justify subscribing to at the time (approx. $350 a year to build compared to GLBasic 80 euros one-time).


Thanks guys, for your comments.

finnk, if I understand you correctly, for mobile development, you recommend that Corona is actually easier to program than GL Basic, but GL Basic can do more. The scaling to "work on multiple resolutions and devices" sounds like another big advantage of Corona.  Did you also consider Gideros Studio at any time?

I'm not into Gamemaker, and Unity 3D sounds too complicated for me.

I shall try the demo versions of GL Basic and Corona.  Thanks again.

Jonás Perusquía

If it's not too late to recommend, i also suggest you to check out ZGameEditor (ZGE) (FOSS)
Be free and do good things


Quote from: jonaspm on 2013-Jun-02
If it's not too late to recommend, i also suggest you to check out ZGameEditor (ZGE) (FOSS)

Thanks.  Doesn't look like it does iPhone.  At least not yet.


Ive only dabbled with GLBasic so know its pretty comprehensive in what it can/can't do.

I have built a game in the past with Corona. Lua is a great little scripting language and once you get the hang of it you can be really productive with it. I was on the beta for corona and used it back in the day before it really grew popular.

One thing many people don't like is its 'build in the cloud' where you submit your code and get an app. When I was using it you could get your app built straight away but later on I heard alot of horror stories of it taking 24 hours just to get your app built, not good. There's also suspicion that as they build your app it is built with analytics and 'phones home' so to speak.

As above as its now free its worth a look but I would check out the build time.

If you do go the Lua route then you might want to check out Gideros as this targets iOS and Android, uses Lua but you build locally. What happens is the IDE can spit out an XCode project for iOS or eclipse project for Android. It also supports native code plug-ins and has a very active community. Its not free but you can download, build and test apps and only pay when you want to submit to the app store.



Thanks for the advice on the SDKs, Gary.  I've also been following Gideros, but Corona seems to be more on-the-ball/professional with updates whenever a new iPhone model comes out, and I'm impressed with Corona's ease of use.  The submission process with Corona is a definite negative. GLBasic is good from the 3D perspective that is not available on either Corona or Gideros.