Charge More (or let us donate)

I’ve been using Codea since its release. I started on a generation 1 iPad (the original!).

I paid once, and have benefitted from years and years of updates.

Keep the “Buy once; use forever” option because not everybody can pay for endless app subscriptions. But for those of us who can (and should) pay more, add optional subscriptions:

  1. $25/year
  2. $50/year
  3. $75/year
  4. $100/year

Again: Make the subs optional. But add them so we can choose to give back. There is NO app in the store I’ve gotten more value out of for so little cost. It feels wrong somehow.

Thank you for your incredible work. I use C#, Objective-C, Swift, Java, blah blah blah for work, but Lua for fun. Combined with your snazzy IDE, it’s just delightful.


I’ve only been using Codea for a couple of years but I couldn’t agree more.

For something I’ve used almost every day since for one purpose or another I feel I’ve more than got my money’s worth.

An optional subscription sounds like a great way to give back for those of us who want to.

Fantastic app and amazing community make it a hidden gem in my opinion. Keep up the good work guys! @sim @John @jfperusse


Thank you both! Working on Codea full-time would be a dream, at the moment I’m lucky if I get to sit down at 11 PM to start work :sweat_smile:

An optional subscription sounds like a great idea. Perhaps we can limit some non-essential features to a subscription (early access to beta features, custom icons, other fun things)

I’ll talk with @jfperusse @John and @unsung_lee to see what they think


Don’t argue with me! Take my money!

I wouldn’t paywall features, though. With the differences in income across customer bases, it always hurts to see others not get Feature X/Y/Z because of those differences. Especially students. Back in those days… yeah. I have a little extra dough now, but it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started making enough to really live on without eating canned tuna fish every night.

Whatever you end up doing, just know that Codea is amazing. It feels like old school coding (that is: it’s fun), but it also gives me 120fps performance with everything from the physics library to tweening (the tweening really saved my butt on a recent project). Oh, yeah… and Apple Pencil, shaders, accelerometer… we even have an Objective-C bridge. It’s NUTS!

And Air Code? Are you kidding? How did I get all this for so little? I don’t even remember what I paid. If I worked it out by Codea.Cost / Codea.TimeUsed it’d come out to pennies a day. If even that.

Subs might not bring in a ton, but every little bit makes a difference. I’ve waited over the years to see Codea soar in popularity, but somehow it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. One of the strangest human behaviors I’ve witnessed is that people are drawn to the more expensive products.

It’s puts in mind those blind wine tastings where it’s demonstrated, again and again, that people expect to like the most expensive bottles, but choose the cheapest when they don’t know what they’re getting.

All that said… why did I wait a decade to leave a review on the App Store? Honestly, I’ve taken Codea for granted, methinks.

All the best to you people :vulcan_salute:


@Neopoleon Though I totally agree with not paywalling anything, I expect there could be a balancing act to play here where a small incentive like custom app icons which would be totally superficial could potentially lead to a few more subs.

Just to be clear this is just my take and have no idea if there’s any evidence behind it.

Either way, small features or not. Count me in.


I don’t buy any apps that require in app purchases. My opinion is they created the app for one purpose only, make as much money as possible and don’t worry if the app is any good or not. Set the hook and wait for the bite.

An app should be created to do what it was intended to do and then charge a fair price for it. If the app is any good, more people will buy it and that’s where they’ll make money. Updates will get more users to purchase the app and the current users will spread the word.

If you like the app, then you could donate somehow. A better way might be to get friends to purchase the app who might get their friends to purchase. That could get a lot of users to purchase which might be better than a one time donation.

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I tend to agree with @dave1707 that apps when bought should be for the life of the app, receiving small upgrades over the years to polish and repair. New versions however, with significant changes should command an upgrade fee, and significant extensions could also command additional funds.

That said, personally I don’t mind a small payment for recognition of the work done by the TLL team for the work they have put in over the years, but that should not be compulsory.

@Neopoleon - I find it a bit odd that you have only just posted about upgrades options, having joined this forum within a couple of days ago. Were you a member in the old forum?
Are you a professional developer ?

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We would have liked to follow the paid upgrade model (i.e. charging for major upgrades like Codea 1 → 2, 2 → 3, etc). However that model is not supported on the App Store. It’s very hard to do and would require a lot of dev work to get right, which is not where we would like to spend our time.

We have, in the past, had in-app purchase in Codea for aesthetic things (editor themes, wall papers). I like the donation idea suggested, and bundling it with things like new app icons and fun optional stuff seems like a fair way to go

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We used in-app purchase in Shade to offer a demo version for free, then there was a once-off purchase if you wanted the full product after using the trial. So I think IAP can be done in a reasonable way. I subscribe to a few apps as well (those where I am invested in the continued maintenance of the product).

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you could add an iap that lets me set my own wallpaper. I’ve been using the tree picture but I’d love to add a screenshot of something I made in Codea myself.
just cosmetic stuff as iap is fine.

another suggestion would be ready to use asset packs (sounds, models…)
…characters complete with a few animations and a rig to customize them too…

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There is nothing wrong with accepting donations, but there are some considerations, regarding whether one should increase the price or not.

Do not forget that there are many libraries/engines which allow you to write games, such as Löve2d, raylib, SDL, allegro, Tcl/Tk, and all of them are available for free, and even smallest paygate reduces the popularity of certain program manyfold.

For example my friend wanted to try cargobot out, but he only got iPhone, not iPad, and it turns out that the download is limited to iPad. Unlike android you can’t just download an apk file and install the program anyway to see if it will work, even if less usable due to smaller icons.

So I was wondering if installing Codea first and then installing cargobot from it would work around this problem or not, but if it wouldn’t and he doesn’t end up using it for programming either, then it would be money wasted.

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Cargo-Bot runs on an iPhone, I tried it, but it’s totally useless. You only see a small section of the game and you can’t scroll around to the other parts. If he can get an older iPad for a few bucks, that would work, but that could be a lot of money just to play a game.

I don’t even use the app very often but always want to fund the creation of developer tools. I would support a yearly license or a mechanism to donate to the continued development of the app.


I don’t even know how to code and I feel what you say and feel I also posted something similar 3 days ago you might want to check it out.