Code Runtime Evaluation

As many of you know, I released my first app, StackIt recently. I decided I might as well share what some of the pros and cons of using the Codea runtime was.


  • Lua is a very easy language to use, so most features were easily added
  • Vector graphics - It may not seem important to many of you, but this is GIANT
  • The way Codea is made for drawing (draw as you go, not individual objects) is very useful
  • I don’t have to worry about implemented plugins like physics, etc. on my own
  • Meshes gave me all sorts of power, in fact, every physics in my game is a mesh
  • Codea classes are a breeze to use
  • AirCode saved me about 10 hours - My UI would have been nearly impossible to make without AirCode. Instead of spending about 10 hours on all my UI, I only needed 30 minutes to an hours with AirCode
  • The forum is supportive, helpful, quick responding, not too crowded, not too cluttered with stupid questions answered many times before (but that is happening more often), but in short, it’s the best forums I’ve seen so far
  • I could start the game on my iPad before exporting it to the runtime
  • I can prototype parts of my game on my iPad when on the go
  • I only had to spend $7.99 for it (back before it was $9.99), versus other things like $149 per year for Gideros Mobile or $588 (for the most popular plan) for Corona, which has nowhere near the features of Codea (ex: no shaders, no meshes)
  • Automatically supports devices back to iOS 5


  • No support for SVGs - Why is this important? One of the biggest issues with PDFs is that they can’t have gradients with transparent points. For my clouds, I had to use a cloud with a grey to darker grey gradient, then place a lighten blending mode on it.
  • There are boatloads of bugs in the runtime I had to work with
  • Working with the runtime is like working with a magic, black, undocumented box
  • Things like location services, GameCenter, in app purchases, social things etc. are not supported in the runtime, so I had to write my own (which I’ll share the code soon)
  • Some things I simply cannot do (like integrate Everplay)
  • When working from the runtime, if there is a syntax error that Lua Lint doesn’t find it in Sublime Text (the editor I’m using), the app just doesn’t work (it won’t load any files after the runtime runs into an error). Sometimes, I’ve spent hours sifting through the code I added before my last run trying to find the issue
  • This is not big deal for me, but Codea doesn’t export to Android
  • No Mac Codea - Since I’ll be getting a laptop soon, I won’t be taking my iPad everywhere, so I’ll probably start using Procoding for prototyping, but that’s not as easy to use
  • Codea Runtime not optimized for iOS 7

Overal, it was great working with Codea, but now I’m only using it for prototyping my apps and sucking my time.

P.S. @Simeon - If you could fix some of the cons (that you are able to fix), that’d be great.

Nice summary. I would say the black box issue is the biggest cons, and would possibly solve some of the issues. But, its just getting better and better, really nice for prototyping, best ios app. :slight_smile:

@tnlogy - Thanks.