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Corona Composer GUI: do you need it? Check thoughts and the tutorial

Last week Corona Labs announced their new tool, yet in a beta stage, called Composer GUI (graphics user interface), which is pretty cool, by the way. If you haven’t seen it, check their blog.

Minutes later, I received an email from a Kwik user asking about how it would change Kwik’s positioning for the future. You can read about my entire thoughts below but, in a few words, I would like to say that Composer GUI targets a different audience than Kwik. To clarify that, I decided to make a homage to Corona Labs, reproducing their demo in Kwik. See and take your own conclusions:

A Threat Or An Opportunity?

First of all, I believe is too early to say how good Composer GUI will become. As Walter said in his posting, it is in an early beta stage at this moment. So, my words here may not be valid in a short term. Also, I don’t think it is a threat to Kwik or ANY OTHER Corona plugin. A competitor? Maybe. But not a threat. Having worked for so many years at Microsoft in the Office group, I’ve learned that competition pushes you forward to improve your products and expand your markets. Indeed some users may find better to move from Kwik to Composer. However, these are the reasons I see Composer GUI as an opportunity to Kwiksher:

  • At this moment Composer GUI is just available for Corona PRO users. It is not clear yet if Corona Labs will bring it to all Starter and Basic users in a near term. Fact is, 90% of Kwik users are on Corona SDK Starter;
  • Composer GUI feature set is very limited right now, comparing what you can do in Kwik. While Composer can handles linear animations, physics and positioning, Kwik can create full code, with several pre-made interactions.
  • Composer mostly targets developers willing to create levels and speeding up scene compositions. Kwik targets Photoshop users willing to create their own products without (or with limited) external code. Again, 90% of Kwik users are not developers;
  • Composer requires pre-made assets (images with different resolutions, previously created in tools like Photoshop or other image editors), then it requires repositioning of all scene elements. Kwik does this part of the job as well, just with a click of button;

I do see opportunities for Kwiksher in:

  • Providing a tool that exports Photoshop compositions directly to Composer GUI (think Kutt on steroids). This would target designers working with developers, but not willing to create full apps with Kwik;
  • Something like Composer GUI for Photoshop, where the plugin could create/read/update composer projects. A strip down version of Kwik, for example, only with features for Composer users;

  • Or Composer GUI PRO for Photoshop, something like the full Kwik (doing much more than Composer) integrated with Composer GUI.

Again, these ideas may never come up but, I am just trying to make a point that Corona and Kwiksher can (and probably will) continuously work together to provide the best tools for every audience we can capture. Where some see crisis, we see opportunities.

What do you think?


  • Hi Alex, I agree with what you say here, and someone asked a similar question about LevelHelper.

    Kwik is a fantastic tool for Photoshop users. And the opportunities you mention are exactly in line with our approach. Namely, we are adding functionality to the Lua API (e.g. composer API) so that anyone can take advantage of them. We did something similar when we added support for ParticleDesigner-based emitters; the display.newEmitter API can be used by any 3rd party tool.

    • Great to have you here Walter! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and validating that together (Corona Labs and 3rd part developers) we are bringing options to pretty much everyone. Looking forward to see what else you are cooking!

  • I agree Alex, both products target different audiences so I don’t see it as a threat and Composer GUI is still in an early phase of development. Kwik helps graphic artists to create apps with no or basic coding skills. With Composer GUI, no matter how mature it becomes, you still would have to learn to code in order to produce a good app.


  • Hi Alex, I agree with you too. I think there is plenty of room for both Kwik and Corona GUI. As a designer with no code experience, I feel much more comfortable with Photoshop as my starting point. Kwik can offer a bridging point between design and coding and a step closer to Corona or even Corona GUI… I also agree with you that both products could benefit one another. It would be wonderful if both products pushed one another as things move forward.

    Kind Regards,

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