Codea Play

SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
edited February 2012 in General Posts: 5,417

The competition end date is Saturday, February 18.

Codea Play

We've been working on a lot of Codea related things. I want to share this one with you.

Codea Play Icon

It's called Codea Play and it will be a free, universal iOS App. Codea Play is designed to show off your best projects and games, and to give people a sample of what Codea is all about. It will include a fully featured editor that can edit and run a single Codea buffer — that's one tab, one edit session, and the full Codea engine.

Codea Play Screenshot


We're announcing the first competition now. The theme is games. Simple, fun and polished games.

The top entries will be released with Codea Play.

The competition end date is Saturday, February 18.

  • Entries should be complete games rather than prototypes. Complete simply means the game has a simple menu, game, levels, scoring, and a game-over screen. Some of those may not apply to your game, but you get the idea.

  • Simple, focused ideas are encouraged. Take something fun and polish it, make it a game.

  • Entries should work in fullscreen mode. I suggest they incorporate the standard Codea buttons unless there is a very good reason not to.

  • Entries are encouraged to take advantage of unique Codea features, such as allowing players to record videos of their games.

  • Entries should work in portrait or landscape orientation, or both. It should lock its orientation to whatever it supports rather than breaking when the device is rotated.

  • Entries should use WIDTH and HEIGHT to layout graphics. Do not assume a fixed screen size.

There is no specific theme. If anything, the theme is simple and polished. Take a cool idea you have and make it shine, make it a great experience from start to finish. Keep your expression simple and concise, don't tackle something too complicated.

Custom sprite packs are allowed, though by no means necessary. If used, ensure they are not too large - under 2 MB is a good guide. I realize this involves a little bit of hackery in the current version of Codea, but we don't want to stop people from using them if they would like to.

You are encouraged to share your project as you develop it. Make a thread for it on the forums, use the new 'Competition' category. Feel free to post project updates in your thread.

We don't know if there will be prizes yet - though we have some thoughts.

Technical Info

  • How to submit? We will set up a competition submission email address shortly.

  • How do I test my entry on iPhone? The winners will get beta access to Codea Play (as well as Codea) so they can export a .codea package and import it directly into the pre-release Codea Play on iPhone for testing.

  • I don't have an iPhone. If you have a winning entry and no iPhone/iPod, we'll make sure it works.

  • When submitting an entry, please also provide us with your name and a link you would like us to use to link back to you. This information will be displayed on the Codea Play home screen.



  • edited February 2012 Posts: 273

    What do I think? Wow. Just wow. Looks great. Feels (not the right word but you know what I mean...) great.

    Codea Play is a fantastic title. Well done lad (lads?).

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    Thanks @Blanchot! Glad you like it.

  • Posts: 159

    Wow from me too! I love the icon and title :)

    So am I understanding correctly - Codea Play will essentially be a cut down version of Codea that acts primarily as a gallery of the best stuff created with Codea, selected by you guys? (and then also an editor so people can take the engine for a spin)

  • Posts: 1,255

    Yea! Can't tell you how happy I am to see this.

    Perhaps the best feature you could have added. I love it.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 130

    Nice Title, Nice Icon, Nice Interface... Good News... I love it! But, For me it's a little problem. I have not spent time needed to learn Codea, so, I will attend the next competition. I want to mean, I will join in the next competition. =((

  • Posts: 37

    Wow! Great looking app guys, I'm very excited like everybody else..... I must learn programming faster - is there a Keanu Reeves Matrix style learning method? " I know Lua...!!!" Good luck to the entrants :)

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    @frosty that's exactly right.

    Thanks for the responses, everyone. We'll set up a proper thread or page for the competition.

  • Posts: 2,820

    YAY! FINALLY! Dang. I wish I was allowed to skip from 7th grade to 10th so I could learn geometry... Next, when you mean "Take something fun and polish it, make it a game.", we can't use already built code (like code in the examples) and add a little to it and re-skin it? That's not my plan anyways. I felt discouraged when people just re-skinned apps and put it in my competition. I have no chance of winning, but I'll enter... I can't tell you how excited and happy I am. Are you ever goon to add a utilities and library's section? Thanks you SO much!

  • DylanDylan Admin Mod
    Posts: 121

    No one is stopping you learning geometry @Zoyt, you have the internet at your fingertips (though I guess trying to understand linear algebra at year 7 is probably a big ask.)

    Don't let the school system slow your learning down. If you want to learn something, you are probably ready to.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 2,820

    I'm thinking about doing a course with iBooks 2 textbooks this summer :-) And I just noticed that when this is released, I will be able to run code on my iPhone :-D (I wont go crazy with the smileys). But a quick ting to add in 1.3.1 for iPhone developers is an supportedOrientation(IPHONE_LANDSCAPE_LEFT), and iPhone portrait and iPhone upside down... When this is enabled, a button in the debugger bar would show that changes the view to iPhone. AHG! I keep having sugustions and I am never thinking Codea is done... This thread just made my day :-D

  • beebee
    Posts: 381

    Great app. Congratulation, 2LL! Hope this app would boost the Codea app sales. :)

    While both Codea Play and the competition have been expected as both have been discussed since a while, but the editing ability on Codea Play did surprise me. I thought it would be just for read-and-run Codea codes. Albeit the limitation -one tab only- it would still be able to code nearly everything. How if a project has more than one tab? Is it become uneditable? Or simply can't be imported to Codea Play? Don't you think it would canibalize the Codea app sales, @simeon?

    About the competition, though I have some codes already been written, I don't think I would have enough time to finish it and give it a chance to compete. I've been very busy with my job lately. Anyway, to everyone who intend to enter the competition, I say: give us your best shot and good luck! :)

  • Technical statement/question

    saveglobaldata() disallowed, yes?

    I can't think of any other disallowed commands besides not coming out of fullscreen and that print(), watch(), etc. will not be able to be displayed.

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    @Zoyt You can submit multiple entries, though given that the focus is on getting something polished (it's harder than you think), I wouldn't recommend it.

    @bee Thanks for the feedback! I don't think it will cannibalize sales. You can't create multiple projects. You can copy and paste big projects from the net (as long as they are all in one file). This is a good thing — it lets full Codea users show their work to anyone with Play. But since there's no project import there's no situation where you can try to import a project with multiple tabs.

    @Ipda41001 You're right, there's no reason to use saveGlobalData(). Projects are self contained. Also the standard display mode (sidebar) should probably not be used, it goes against the theme.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 2,820

    So... Is the editor going to work on the iPhone? And how will you import code without using .codea files? Will you add a .pcodea file? You got me over excited :-D
    EDIT: Which is a good thing...
    EDIT #2: Just to clarify, this is a Codea viewer, Codea lite, and Code Gallery? Is it really true?! Awesome :-)

  • This is awesome! But I wish the competition was pushed back a little, I'm going on vacation with my girlfriend from Feb 9 - Feb 17 and I don't want to be coding while on vacation with her if I can help it. If I was just on vacation by myself, coding a game is exactly what I'd be doing, though. :-)

  • Posts: 2,820

    Me too. I really have to learn a (really) hard jazz band piano peice (Four), but I'll see what I can do in the meantime.

  • BortelsBortels Mod
    Posts: 1,557

    @zoyt - you'd cut and paste.

    For the competition, if you have something that wins, they'll give you beta access to both Codea and the player; the beta codea still has .codea file import/export. I expect the player will not import or export, but the winning programs will come built-in.

  • Posts: 2,820

    So it does cover all 3 catagorys :-) Thanks TLL!

  • Not sure if this will help but this is a little frame about the size of a iTouch. If I understand things correctly, the below shows the approximate size of a iTouch.

    function setup()
    function draw() 
        background(40, 40, 50)
        fill(0, 33, 255, 255)

    This isn't meant to imply that we are limited to portrait. This is just how I set it up. While the rules say it should work on both iPad and iTouch, this rect will show you how visible things will be at 320x480 0r 480x320.

  • Posts: 2,820

    I was just about to say you can always bring it in LoveCodea and set the width and height on conf.lua to an iPhone screen size.

  • Has a release date for Codea Play been announced yet?

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    The competition deadline is Saturday, February 18. Don't worry too much about time zones — we'll allow some flexibility if it's still Saturday wherever you are when you submit.

    @Juggularity we can't give a definite release date until Apple approves it. And it won't be submitted for approval until the results of the competition are integrated, which will be a couple of days after the deadline.

  • Posts: 159

    @Simeon Just wondering... would you have any objection to the author of one of the winning games writing a non-Codea version of their game and releasing it as a standalone app/game on the App Store?

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    edited February 2012 Posts: 5,417

    @frosty not at all. Though I've mentioned earlier that we're releasing the engine portion of Codea soon as open source. It will be out shortly after Codea Play — so the Codea version could even be put on the App Store.

  • Wow! I Love the icon, Name and the Great Looking App. The only Thing for me is i have much to do in School. i already wrote a game in Case you start a competition, but you said it should have scoring, hah, but my game is a adventuregame... But the next competition will be Mine! Muhahahahah! Not. I'll try to Set up something, and Enter the competition, but i dont think I'll Get something acceptable till then.. Thank you so much for this competition!!!!

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 2,820

    So... Is this kind of a Codea Viewer? I know you can send code to them and paste it in, but can the user save the project?

  • JohnJohn Admin Mod
    Posts: 635

    You basically have one tab to play with. It saves the code but you can't create new tabs or new projects. So it lets you try out the features but isn't practical at all for significant projects and you can only have one thing at a time.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 622

    Will users of Codea Play be able to access the source code to the winning entries in a single tab directly in the application?

    Said another way, the winning entries will be like the examples in Codea. The users can copy them and edit them. But, they are limited to editing in one tab and they only have the choice between one copy tab of one example or one tab of their own experiments.

  • Posts: 2,820

    I agree with Ipda41001. That should be possible. Also, we should be able to save code as a runnable app, but not get the code so it acts as a Codea Viewer :-)

  • Sorry for all the questions

     also provide us with your name

    Is that True Name or will an alias suffice?

    Though, I make light of it, it's a serious question.

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    An alias if you would like. However you would like the project credited.

  • Instead of adding a limited editor to it I would just add the feature to view the code.

  • Posts: 2,820

    @Ldsguy1 has a point. Then you don't have to deal with the editor on the iPhone... Bit if it's already done (which I'm assuming it's fairly close), don't bother.

  • Posts: 2,820

    Alright: Quetion roundup:
    1. Does the coding work on the iPhone.
    2. When we code something in the demo coder, will we be able to save it but not edit it?
    3. Will the examples be in the normal Codea?
    4. Will we be able to view the code of the projects?
    5. If there is an an iPhone coder in the demo, will it come to the full Codea?

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 622

    And related to that, will the buttons take up a similar footprint and be in the location as shown here

    function draw() 
        background(123, 115, 30, 255)
  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417


    1. Yes. That's the plan.
    2. It will save your edits, but you only have one project, with one "tab."
    3. I would like to include them as examples in Codea.
    4. Probably not — if you want to do that you will be encouraged to get the full Codea.
    5. Maybe


    The buttons will be exactly the same as those shown in displayMode(FULLSCREEN). That is the back, pause/play, reset, tweet, and capture buttons. So the same footprint that they have now.

    I realise this takes some control away from your projects, but I'm in favour of giving the user complete control over the engine while they play your games. This allows them to see how the system works, to a very small extent.

  • BortelsBortels Mod
    Posts: 1,557

    Hmmm. I think there's value, in the player, of allowing people to view the example code. It might be a good thing to show people how easy some of this actually is. I know the thing that tends to "sell me" on a new language is being able to see source of something I might actually want to do, to see how difficult it might be. Not that there's not lua source floating around anyway.

    I'm actually thinking you should be even more restrictive on the coding - one project, one tab, and maybe 100 or 200 lines total. People are gonna hack it, and if they can drop arbitrary projects into the directory, "one project" isn't a big thing, and I think tabs are cosmetic only, aren't they (I mean I could do all of my class definitions in the main tab, right?)

    Then you give em source to the examples, but they're all to big to run in the included editor. :-)

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    @Bortels tabs are technically not necessary to run complex projects, but they make complexity a lot more convenient to view. I wouldn't dismiss them as cosmetic only — convenience is a very important function.

    The main reason the code in the examples won't be visible is because we won't have the ability to show tabs on the iPhone's tiny screen. Dumping all the code into one large buffer would look pretty crazy for the sorts of games that will be included with the app.

    There's nothing against letting them view the code, though. It could be put up on the web with a link inside the app.

  • Posts: 2,820

    Thanks for the answers Simeon. I was thinking that this could cover the Codea Viewer app and so someone could paste in code, save the code, but not edit it or get it back. That was my point. On #4, if you mistook me for being able to edit them, I didn't mean that. Just viewing them. I also get your point about the limited iPhone space, but I really think that one of the amazing features of Codea is the lack of extra coding for some things. I think that might be relevant to trying to get users of the full Codea. Maybe make it so you can scroll to the side on the iPhone? And you might as well go for #5 if you do it in the free version, but I understand it's more work for adding updates...
    Thanks a lot! I'll stop bothering you now.

  • Posts: 176
    There's nothing against letting them view the code, though. It could be put up on the web with a link inside the app.

    Where other source files can be placed for easy copying... :-))

  • Posts: 176

    Swipe left or right to view different tabs on iPhone? Or

    <<  CurrentTab  >>

    where the angle brackets are buttons to cycle through them? As you can tell, I am really wanting an iPhone editor! Always available coding, anywhere!


  • Posts: 2,820

    I agree with @jlslate

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    Nice solution @jlslate!

  • Posts: 2,820

    Little enchancements on that idea: two finger swipe and one finger to go left and right in te textbox so the code isn't wrapping so much?

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 176

    On second thought, you don't even need to buttons.

    SecondTab | ThirdTab | FourthTab

    Swiping left gives you

    ThirdTab | FourthTab | LastTab

    Swiping right three times gives you

    FirstTab | SecondTab | ThirdTab

    Tapping on any tab selects it.

    Tab names can be trunkated on the ends if too long


    EDIT: I can't count - swiping right TWO times...

  • Posts: 176

    Gee - after adding several more tabs on an existing project, I discovered the existing editor works on the iPad pretty much exactly as I thought it should on the iPhone. Is the issue that you don't want to give up the space at the top of the editor? How about a small button that shows/hides the tabs, or a 3 fingered triple tap?

  • SimeonSimeon Admin Mod
    Posts: 5,417

    Yeah it's the space at the top of the editor that I'm concerned about.

  • Posts: 2,820

    So use gestures

  • Posts: 176

    Then I think the best is the 3+3 gesture to show the tabs, swipe to move, tap to select, then they disappear.

  • edited February 2012 Posts: 65

    I think a gesture identical to what notification center uses would be ideal*, to reveal a drop-down list instead of tabs. But I'm not sure you can do that now that notification center exists? Would it play nicely? You've probably already thought of it.

    • in conjunction with the other ideas mentioned above like swiping left and right. On that note - since you can detect whether a swipe comes from the edge of the screen or not, both moving left and right within the tab, and changing tabs could be a single finger. 2c.
This discussion has been closed.