LevelHelper 2 PRO – Corona SDK Beginners Walkthrough – Part 1

I’ve been using Vladu Bogdan’s excellent game development products ¬†on and off for some time now, but I’m particularly excited about the new LevelHelper 2 pro¬†application. It supports Cocos2d and Spritekit but what I’m interested in is its capabilities with Corona SDK, and here’s why: it’s not just a level editor, it’s works as a full Corona SDK IDE! I really don’t think Vladu has publicised that enough (or even at all).

Note: at the time of writing Vladu has not realised any tutorials for Corona SDK but he has for Spritekit and Cocos2d, I would recommend going through those as I am going to be fairly sketchy of details not strictly pertaining to Corona SDK.

Anyway, let’s get on with it with a brief tour of the user interface. Run Levelhelper 2 and create a new project.

level helper opening screen

Select “Create a new project”. Give it a name and select Corona SDK as the engine. Next from the predefined schemes select “Universal Landscape”.

levelhelper project definition

You will notice that a list of devices has appeared in the Supported Devices section – we will get on to this later. Now click next and select a location to save the project. Click create project and a dialog will appear:

use basic project

Make sure you select “Use Basic Project”. If you don’t you will almost be completely blind as to how to proceed (well… I was). You should then see the following screen.

levelhelper main screen

The first think to do at this point is see some action so you can get an idea of what is possible. Click on the “Play” icon in the top left of the screen and hopefully the Corona Simulator should load and run a cool little demo app.

corona sdk demo app

Nice!

Ok, so going back to the user interface. Briefly on the left you have the Project Navigator/Scene Navigator, on the right you have a series of “Inspector” windows for properties, physics, joints, animations, camera and clone nodes. The centre part of the screen is the actual scene itself, and it has a lot of weird pink boxes.

scene view

These are actually a very cool feature. If you recall when we created the project we selected Universal Landscape in the supported devices option, and then a list of devices appeared in the window. Well, each pink box represents one of those devices. If you select a different phone in the dropdown list above you will see the black box change to represent the selected device. This means can see exactly how the layout will look on each phone.

Ok, let’s continue.

On the left, click the project navigator icon (the folder).

project navigator

you will then see a standard Corona SDK project. Double click the config.lua file

corona sdk ide

And as you can see, you have a full IDE. Even if you run the project you get the Corona SDK console

corona sdk console

In part 2 we will start to look at how to add items to the a level.

Update. I have continued this series here

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