Survey: MonoGame Tools Project

I’ve been playing around with the WPF interop sample lately in my spare time (between other projects, crazy) and I’m thinking about working on some kind of tool for MonoGame developers as my next project.

The tool would be in a similar style to Code and Web’s Texture Packer or Physics Editor (great tools btw).

But I’m not intending on creating another texture packer or physics editor, my intention is to solve a different problem faced by MonoGame developers. Perhaps some sort of GUI editor, scene editor, level editor or entity creator.

What I want to do in this thread is gather some ideas for tools that you might have? What kinds of problems do you face during development that could be solved by better tools? What is your current process for creating content? Do you already use other tools?

Getting my assets packaged and compiled for the various platforms is the biggest issue I face while using MonoGame.

These guys tried and failed to get funding for an Asset Pipeline Editor, which suggests there’s not enough demand for it:

I would have bought it though.

I’ve recently been very impressed with the editor in Unity and being able to tweak values with the game running. I’d love to see something similar in MonoGame, but it looks like a difficult thing to do.

I remember seeing this when the campaign was going. It does seem like a lot of work and considering they asked for $25,000 and only got $500 suggests that either the demand was low or perhaps nobody knew about the campaign.

That said, maybe we could cut down the requirements (at least as a discussion point) to just the most important features and see how that looks? What would you consider to be a minimum viable product?

For me personally, making small 2D games hasn’t really required a complicated asset pipeline. However, the whole point of building better tools is so that I can ramp up the process and produce better games faster.

When working with 2D textures, 3D models, sounds and fonts I’ve hit problems at getting things that work on all platforms. Some of it is just a case of knowing what is required for each platform and this info being a bit hard to discover. I’m looking forward to improvements in the MonoGame Asset Pipeline, but I think the APE project proved that not enough people were willing to pay for this and their expectations were a bit high.

It sounds like the first solution to this problem is documentation. I know as programmers we all like to solve problems with software, but at the end of the day even the programmer needs to know this information somehow.

This is exactly what the new Pipeline GUI tool is aiming to solve. We would love to get more feedback on it.

We’re close to having the Mac and Linux port of it running too.

I’m really trying to solve that…

I was hoping for more people to dive in and help writing it, but so far it is just 2 or 3 of us contributing little bits when we can.

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Wow. I didn’t even realize this existed. It looks great Tom :smile:

Maybe a pinned thread in the forum will get more people involved. Like most things, if people don’t know about it they won’t even know what they are not doing :wink:

I’ll give it a try. We’ve had an issue up on GitHub about it for months and the documentation is pretty prominent on the website… seems hard to miss to me.

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t pay much attention to the github issue list unless I’m actually working on the MonoGame source code. I guess I consider github to be where the source code lives. So, yeah, I dunno. Maybe it’s just not clear to the community how things are supposed to work around here.

As for the documentation on the website, yes it’s prominent, but if you want people to help I think they need to be asked directly. As it stands the first page of the documentation says it’s a work in progress which kind of implies someone else is doing it.

If it was me I would do this:

We need help writing the MonoGame documentation!

As you know, documentation is what separates good open source projects from forgotten ones and as it stand the MonoGame documentation is only a little way to being great. If we all band together, we can make it great!

This is call out to all MonoGame developers willing to help if you have tutorials, code snippets, experience with the various platforms, youtube videos or any other form of documentation. Let’s gather it all together in one place and make MonoGame even better.

Followed by instructions on how to contribute…

I’d be glad to help. I can’t guarantee to find enough time to contribute significantly, but I can try.
How can we contribute? Is the documentation sync’d with the github repo/wiki?