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First off, I have a bit of programming experience in Java and have always programmed using ViM (even though I recently moved to Sublime Text 2) and I'm trying to learn C# and the MonoGame framework. My question is whether or not I REALLY need MonoDevelop.

So, do I really need Visual Studio/MonoDevelop to develop games in C# and MonoGame?

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No, you don't really need anything but food, water and 37 degrees Celsius of body temperature. :) If you're asking if C# can be compiled without an IDE: Yes. –  Anko Apr 28 '13 at 11:18
may sound harsh, but have you actually tried to use an IDE? –  Stephen Apr 28 '13 at 11:23
You dislike IDEs?? Programming without an IDE is insane. Especially if you have the choice of Visual Studio. This isn't HTML. If you are somehow more effective without IntelliSense, you are a very strange person indeed. If you are more effective without a GUI debugger... well... I simply don't believe you. (I've used the command line debugger for C#, and it's not pretty. And if you're stuck doing "printf" style debugging... don't.) –  Andrew Russell Apr 28 '13 at 11:24
Not trying to start a war, and yes, I have used IDEs. Eclipse and Netbeans. I find they are just really "bulky". @Anko, thank you! =) PS. I should that add you can get autocompletition with plugins in ViM and Sublime Text. –  Ricard-Sole Apr 28 '13 at 11:30
ok I agree eclipse is bulky. But it supports a lot of features you don't want to live without once you now them: Autocomplete, Outline showing all method in a class, Refactoring support (renaming etc.), incremental builds (sparing you time to do full builds on CLI) etc. Does ViM support these features? –  Stephen Apr 28 '13 at 11:34
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closed as not constructive by Byte56, Anko, msell, Trevor Powell, Josh Petrie May 2 '13 at 15:21

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can build XNA projects outside of the IDE (debugging them effectively is another matter entirely), just like any other C# project. Using the MSBuild system.

The specific thing that you need to know about for XNA is the Content Pipeline that you need to process your content. You can build content projects outside of the IDE, but to set them up you would have to edit the .contentproj file by hand (it's XML). The values for that file are exposed nicely through the IDE (using reflection). Figuring out what to set them to yourself will be an exercise in frustration.

Also, I don't think XNA Game Studio will install without Visual Studio also being installed. I don't think there's any other "within the EULA" method of getting the DLLs necessary to run the content pipeline.

So, in the interest of sanity and practicality, you should probably at least install Visual Studio, even if you insist on not using it. Although, once you've got it installed - you should give it a proper go - it's rather excellent. For XNA you probably want VC# 2010 Express.

I haven't checked on MonoGame for a while, but last time I looked you needed to use the XNA Content Pipeline to build a few kinds of content, like fonts. I have heard that they're working on their own content pipeline solution - not sure how far along that is coming. But otherwise the situation should be similar to XNA.

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