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Setting Up MonoGame

Our first step in getting started with MonoGame is to get the right development tools installed. That's what this tutorial will cover.

There are two broad paths to MonoGame development. One is using MonoDevelop, which is an open source C# editor. (It can actually do more than C#.) The second is to work in Visual Studio.

Ultimately, I want to cover both of these in this tutorial, but for now, I'm just going to cover one: MonoDevelop. (Maybe you can help me here. If you want to go through Visual Studio or Visual Studio Express, and it's March 2013 or later, send me an email to remind me that I said I'd do this eventually.)

Getting Mono Installed

Mono is the open source implementation of the .NET framework. This is what C# and MonoGame run on (not to mention MonoDevelop) so we'll want to get it installed first.

You can get this for free from here: http://www.go-mono.com/mono-downloads/download.html

Currently, the latest version is 2.10, but 3.0 is expected soon. (It's currently in beta.) I suspect when it's ready, people will be better off getting the 3.0 version instead.

On that page, click 2.10.x and then select the Windows icon (or another operating system if you're on one) and then below that, click on Mono for Windows, Gtk#, and XSP.

This will download the installer. When it gets done downloading, you'll be able to install it, but in the mean time, you can probably go start downloading the other things below.

Installing Gtk#

On that same page as above, you may also need to install Gtk#. It's listed just under Mono for Windows, Gtk#, and XSP. To be honest, I'm not sure if you need this. It seems like it is included in the previous download, but when I originally installed this, it didn't work until I installed Gtk# separately.

(If you're feeling adventurous, try skipping this step, then let me know what results you get. If nobody needs it, I'll remove this step.)

Installing MonoDevelop

Once Mono is installed, you'll be able to install MonoDevelop. (Though you'll be able to download this before Mono gets finished installing.)

You can get MonoDevelop from here: http://monodevelop.com/Download

The current version is 3.0.6, but it looks like they've got a 3.1.x in beta. Either one (or any newer version) should work for what we're trying to do.

When it finishes downloading, and Mono is done installing, go ahead and run this installer as well.

Installing the MonoGame Add-In

MonoGame comes as an add-in for MonoDevelop. (The same thing applies on the Visual Studio side as well, but we're not getting into the details of that right now.)

You can get this add-in from Codeplex, where it is hosted: http://monogame.codeplex.com/releases/

Click on the link that says MonoGame 3.0 MonoDevelop Package.

Once you've got MonoDevelop installed and running, open it up and do the following:

  • On the menu, click Tools > Add-in Manager.
  • Click Install from file… on the bottom left corner.
  • Browse to find the MonoGame file that you downloaded, which should have an .mpack extension.
  • On the dialog where MonoDevelop tells you it is going to install the package you've chosen, select Install.

With Mono, MonoDevelop, and MonoGame all installed, you're ready to move on and make your first game with MonoGame!

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