How Learning Cloud 9 Could Save You Money And Time.

Why I Chose Cloud 9

To start learning Phaser, the JavaScript game framework, I introduced myself to an interesting alternative development environment. Initially, I got up and running with Visual Studio Community edition on Windows 10. I was already comfortable with Visual Studio from my experience at work. After a while, I went back to the Phaser documentation and saw a section under “Getting Started with Phaser” that I had previously skipped. The section called Part Three “Run in the Cloud,” introduced me to Cloud 9.

“Run in the Cloud,” what would this mean? First, my code could run from the Cloud 9 environment (in the cloud). And second, more interestingly, I could use the Cloud 9 IDE instead of Visual Studio.

Cloud 9 IDE

Developing with the Cloud

The Cloud 9 IDE is entirely web based, no downloads necessary. Since the Cloud9 IDE is a web application, you can develop your game from wherever you can run a web browser (even on a Chromebook).

The development environment can be customized in a number of ways. I chose the HTML5 workspace template, which includes its own virtual web server. This is an important point since, according to the documentation, Phaser is required to be run from a web server.

To run my game on the virtual web server, I open my game page (index.html) and click on the Run button in the menu. The output in the terminal window shows the web server starting up and then provides a link to my game. Clicking on the link opens my game into a new browser tab.

Run Cloud 9

This web server is useful in the development and testing phase. However, for a more permanent home for your game, I would recommend a hosting service. For my game project, I am using GitHub Pages.

I signed into Cloud9 using my GitHub account, so my workspace was already setup to have access to my repositories there. With my project on GitHub, I can work in a more traditional IDE like Visual Studio and push my changes to my git repository. I can then pull those changes down to the Cloud9 environment and vice versa. Cloud9 also supports integration with BitBucket repositories.

Is Cloud 9 for You?

If you don’t want to use a git repository for file management, the Cloud9 IDE supports uploading and downloading your files directly.

Cloud9 has many more features and options than I’ve mentioned here. If you have an interest in a cloud-based development environment, I would say that Cloud9 is a great starting point.

Here are some features of note within the Cloud9 IDE:

~ Marvin Sevilla

This was a guest post by Marvin Sevilla, a Youngstown Game Developer member, and was written for the July 2017 YGD Newsletter.

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