Box 2D Creates Exciting Games Using Corona

Published: 12th July 2011
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These days, creating exciting video games is a snap with Box2D. This innovative new engine began as a free open source 2-dimensional physics simulator engine written by Erin Catto. It has quickly found a home in the hearts of developers who are using Box2D along with Corona to build fun, new games with it like Fantastic Contraption, Incredibots, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Transformice, Rolando, Angry Birds. These and other online Flash games are suddenly much simpler to develop for all devices including the iPhone, iPad and Android based devices using the Corona framework.

The underlying engine is built around the Box2D in C++ and published under the zlib license. With Corona, adding physics your games is now a simple task. It’s really a dream come true for those who have never worked with a physics engine before. By using the Corona framework and Box2D, you no longer need most of the coding normally necessary. The Corona SDK takes an all new design approach that eliminates the need for it.

In 2006, Erin Catto created Box2D to accompany a physics presentation given at GDC. It was first released as "Box2D Lite". After that, it caught on fast and was released as an open source on SourceForge on September 11, 2007. In 2010 the project was moved to Google Code for hosting and then by March of 2008, version 2.0 was ready to launch.

Version 2.0 of Box2D came with some exciting upgrades. It introduced continuous collision detection and the API was modified. With these significant modifications, it wasn’t long until the Corona team began to investigate the remarkable features offered by the Box2D engine. They could easily envision the uses for superb game development.

Today, Corona SDK and Box2D combine to offer some fairly marvelous features for both Physics and Collision application development:

Features for Physics:

• Momentum decoupled position correction
• Fairly accurate reaction forces/impulses
• Continuous physics with time of impact solver
• Joint limits, motors, and friction
• Persistent body-joint-contact graph
• Island solution and sleep management
• Contact, friction, and restitution
• Stable stacking with a linear-time solver
• Revolute, prismatic, distance, pulley, gear, mouse joint, and other joint types

Features for Collision:

• Efficient pair management
• Fast broadphase AABB queries
• Continuous collision detection
• Contact callbacks: begin, end, pre-solve, post-solve
• Convex polyons and circles.
• One-shot contact manifolds
• Dynamic tree broadphase
• Multiple shapes per body
• Collision groups and categories

Even gaming features like sprite sheets, Box2D physics, Facebook Connect, and OpenFeint social gaming are no problem for Corona. It greatly helps that Corona games run at native speeds. This causes them to outperform other apps developed in web-based technologies like Adobe Flash, GameSalad or Appcelerator Titanium.

Developers are seeing on the horizon a future filled with physics and collision based games. Whether for android application development or iOS Development, engines like the Box2D will provide powerful and effective tools for mobile development that will result in excellent games that run well and have a multitude of great features. Developers are rushing to take advantage of these tools and with the help of Box2D and the Corona Framework, the sky is no longer the limit.

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