Earlier in a review here and here and here we reviewed Particle Candy, Text Candy and Widget Candy for Corona SDK. X-PRESSIVE have worked hard on their libraries and made it available for the Gideros SDK. While Text Candy is being worked on, both Particle Candy and Widget Candy are available for use.
It was interesting to have a look at the libraries for a couple of reasons. In an earlier HowTo article we ran the Code sample available with Corona adapting it for use with Gideros SDK and found that it was faster than the original Corona code. Secondly, while the language used with both Gideros and Corona is Lua, the approach is slightly different, where Gideros uses a slightly more advanced Object oriented, Corona uses a slightly simpler programming api. This point is a double edged sword as it can be both a good and a bad thing. However, from a developers perspective the resulting code with a slightly more structured object oriented methodology, the code is much clearer and crisper.
So on getting a copy to play with and review, we started the app and the first thing that I must admit is that X-PRESSIVE know how to present. There are so many libraries that can do similar things, we have reviewed them in the past or in some cases even helped a couple of developers with shaping the library in terms of mentoring them with code, etc. While scrolling though the various effects that can be achieved with particle Candy, each demo can be construed literally as an app in itself. Compile and run the sample file, you might have an app that could have the potential to go viral. The demos are amazing and polished. Without going into the history of Particles and Emitters and the history of how this developed through the years, it is a simple concept and to top that, it is also non-interesting. However when you look at the demos, the same bring uninteresting particle emitters suddenly become the polish on your app, that make your app pop, Bring it to life.
The second library Widget Candy is rather an interesting one. I say interesting because it helps the developer create themed UI components. Something that is very important to keep a uniform look and feel. You get check boxes, grouped elements, buttons, dialogs, scrollable lists, etc all that make your app easy to work with and best of all Cross-platform. These can be themed with simply changing the sprite atlas and your components have a new look and feel. This reminds me of Linux where from the Window Manager you can alter the look and feel of the windows.
This library was earlier available only for Corona and now that it is available for Gideros as well, any developer that wants to make great looking apps using a Lua based framework could choose either option between Corona and Gideros but have the uniform api of the Candy Libraries. The code and methodologies to use these libraries are the same, so there is no new learning curve involved.
In a discussion with the author at X-PRESSIVE Text Candy was not released earlier as Gideros supported Bitmap Fonts, however many used the Text Candy Libraries for the Text FX more than for just Bitmap Fonts. The author has some plans to release this for Gideros soon.
These are libraries that must be available in a developers toolkit. You can have a look at the Video and images and decide for yourselves at http://www.x-pressive.com/ParticleCandy_Corona/media.html
You can buy your own copy of these libraries from http://www.x-pressive.com/ParticleCandy_Corona/download.html and http://www.x-pressive.com/WidgetCandy_Corona/download.html