Consider this question which is asking about setting up MonoGame.

I closed it (as off-topic, "how to get started). But I am interesting in seeing the consensus on this class of question in general, which I've taken to calling "setting up a development environment" questions.

These take the form of things like:

  • How do I use library X with IDE Y?
  • How do I compile library X as a [static|dynamic] library?

and perhaps even

  • Why do I get these errors running this library's tutorial?

Should we consider these on-topic or not?


I think they're generally off topic. How to set up development environments isn't a task that's specific to game development. They're also questions that are often overly broad and essentially asking where to get started or for a tutorial.

However, concerning your last point, I do believe there could be some cases where these questions are on topic. Cases where the technology being used is specific to game development and the exception is specific to the technology. For example, a shader expection might be something that qualifies, a null pointer exception would not. Those can be considered on a case by case basis.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I agree. Almost invariably they also boil down to "read the documentation" (when documentation is available) on either the library or the base IDE or toolchain. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Dec 18 '13 at 18:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Setting up a development environment can be a nightmare. Docs are frequently out of date nowadays, and doing something like linking a jar in eclipse or another project in xcode can make you want to tear your hair out. If the question is well worded, it will help someone to get started with development \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex Stone
    Jan 9 '14 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @alexstone They can be asked on stackoverflow.com. They're not on topic here. If you want to make an argument for them being on topic here, you can post it as an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – House Mod
    Jan 10 '14 at 0:15

I think this falls under all the other 'is it us or SO/UX/whereever' type of questions. If asking questions about how to mod a game/engine are on topic for us than, as long as no NDAs are broken, I would assume that how to set up those games/engines for doing just that to be an on topic discussion.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The argument I have against this approach is that it is setting a precedent for a certain kind of "how to get started" questions as being acceptable. Furthermore, we're generally against considering questions asking for the same thing except in a different language or with a slightly different technology stack as distinct (they are usually closed as duplicates), and that would result in essentially result in this site maintaining generalized documentation on installing various bits of software. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1430
    Jan 12 '14 at 3:03

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