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Storyboard/Composer is finally here!

After many months waiting Corona Labs to release their new Composer API (their official scene management library that is now replacing Director, the one Kwik has been using since its first days, previously known as Storyboard), I am glad to share that, since build 2014.2150, the new library is available. Before anything, a would like to thanks Alex Frangeti from Corona Labs, who dedicated hours helping me to make the code compatible with the library. What a great guy!

IMPORTANT: only Corona Pro and Enterprise paid users can access the daily builds. Corona Starter and Basic users will need to wait a bit more till the next Public Release. If you are NOT a Corona Labs’ paid user, DO NOT INSTALL the newest version!

It took much more than expected and I wished I could release it sooner. However, you know this decision wasn’t mine.

Below, super important things you must know before to download:

  • The new API is in beta and it is only available for Corona paid users, with access to Daily Builds. The majority of Kwik users are using Corona Starter (the free version), which does not offer access to daily builds;
  • The code for the Composer is completely different than the current one for Director. Therefore, ALL projects will need to be published again after installing Kwik 3.0.beta6;
  • As mentioned above, MANY things will break with the new publishing module – this is the reason I am keeping it as a beta tool yet. It is my expectation that the ones trying the new plugin will report the issues and the fixings will come promptly.

In details, if you are a subscriber of ANY paid version of Corona:

  • Download any build equal or higher than 2014.2150;
  • Download and install Kwik 3.0.beta6;
  • Create a new project or open an older one and Publish all pages;
  • Look for errors in the Corona Terminal;

What is the “big deal” with Composer API?

The new scene management (Composer plus internal coding) eliminates the barrier of pages with more than 200 variables, have a much better global variable control and is faster than the previous system.

IMPORTANT: Due the new coding system, projects with external coding will need to be re-write. The big change is the way layers (and groups) are named in Kwik “Next”. Up till now, if you have a layer named “abc” and wants to change its transparency, you would write:

abc.alpha = 1

The new syntax is:

layer.abc.alpha = 1

As you can see, all layers and groups are now prefixed with “layer.” – if you forget to add this prefix, your code will not work.

Also, in the past Kwik used the group named menuGroup as the content owner of all elements in the page. In Kwik 3, this group is named sceneGroup, to keep compatibility with Composer API common reference.

Another thing you may need to check in your external code is the way Kwik 2 named global variables:

_G.varName = 1

In Kwik 3 the global variable is referenced this way:

composer.varName = 1

Lastly, transitions, timers and animations in Kwik 2 are prefixed differently than in Kwik 3. In Kwik 2 they are named (bold if the prefix):

transitionStash.name = transition.to…
timerStash.
name = timer.performWithDelay( …
gtStash.gt_name = gtween.new…

In Kwik 3:
composer.trans.name = transition.to…
composer.timerStash.name = timer.performWithDelay( …

composer.gtStash.gt_name = gtween.new…

 

Talking about code: FLASH is gone in Kwik!

Till now, Kwik needed Flash (and its horrendous setup) only to allow the entry of external code (sadly the editable text box in Photoshop does not work with multiline and have different issues depending on the platform and the CS version used). Also, Adobe is gradually “killing” the usage of Flash in CS development (starting in 2014, no CC version will be compatible with scripting using Flash anymore).

With beta 6, I removed the text area to accept direct code. From now on, the only way to bring external code into Kwik is to creating the code in a .txt or .lua file and pointing the file path in one of the “external code” windows in the plugin.

To avoid people “crying” they lost their, previously, pasted code in previous versions, the new Kwik automatically detect if a manually code existed before and creates an external file with its content. So, no extra work for you.

With that, the Welcome/Setting process changed a lot (a new page and video will explain it for new users), not needing to configure Flash anymore – it seems I can hear the “claps” from here 🙂

So, where to report bugs and when they will be fixed?

Please use the forums to report any bugs found. I tested Kwik beta5 in several different projects but, only real users find real bugs. The sooner you start to use the new build and report issues, the faster they will be addressed.

It is my goal to fix all problems, keep polishing the interface and adding new features during January. With the “big ones” being fixed till the end of the month, I plan to release the official “Kwik 3.0” in the first weeks of February.

Meanwhile, if you are NOT a Corona paid user or are working in the final pages of a real project, my recommendation to you is to keep using Kwik 2 or Kwik 3.0.beta4. To everybody else, lets “put some dirty in the hands” and discover with Kwik “Next” can do for you.

I am very excited. Are you?

 

9 comments

  • Yea … Really glad to hear that things are coming together.

    A comment regarding Daily Builds.
    In giving some consideration to purchasing Corona Basic … When clicking on their Pricing Link … I see in their list of what is available with the Corona Basic Plan … Access to Daily Builds is NOT offered. Has something changed that is not on their website that you know about since you indicate daily builds for Corona Basic in this blog.
    Thanks for all the hard work…

    • Linda, you are right. Corona Basic does not offer access to daily builds. I updated the text above to make it sure. Thanks for catching up this info.
      Alex

  • Amazing.
    I’m currently starting a project with a client using Kwik. He’s doing most of the job with Kwik and I need to create some specific scenes for him (this scenes are using some Corona Enterprise features and native code). It seems the new way to add custom code (with external .lua) is great for my need. Can you confirm that we can mix Kwik scenes with pure Lua scenes?

  • Any news about the 3.0 and public release of Corona SDK 2014.2150?
    I’ve to start 4 new projects and would like to start with the new 3.0.
    I’m a paid user, but unfortunately just with Basic 🙂

    • I wish I had news from Corona but, unfortunately, I don’t. Regarding Kwik 3, beta4 (for non Corona Pro or Enterprise users) are stable (although still exporting to Director).

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