Development Tools

  • [code]
  • [tools]

This article lists some tools that you’ll probably want to get if you’re doing Ares coding.

Code Editors

Do yourself a favor and get a decent code editor for managing code on your local PC. Editors offer syntax highlighting, project browsing/searching, source control integration, and more. Here are some good ones:

Github Desktop

GitHub Desktop is a nice tool that makes it easy to work with GitHub. It’s available for Mac or Windows.

For help using GitHub, including GitHub desktop, see the Git tutorial.

You can use GitHub to move code between your test environment and your real game.

Test Environment

It’s helpful to have a place to test your code that isn’t your main game. That way you can make sure everything works right before unleashing it on your players.

Dual Droplets

The simplest and quickest way to set up a test game is to just get a second droplet and install a new copy of the game using the standard installation instructions.

You don’t need a separate host name for the test game; you can just use the droplet’s IP address as the host name.

Installing on Your Local PC or Mac Using Docker

You can also run Ares on your local PC or Mac using Docker Desktop. Though not technically a “virtual machine”, Docker’s container service shares many similarities and essentially lets you run Ares in an Ubuntu Linux environment on your own PC.

See Running Ares With Docker for details.

Installing on Your Local PC or Mac using a VM

Virtual Machine (VM) software will let you run a full instance of Ubuntu Linux within your local PC or Mac. There are several popular VM software packages out there, including Oracle VirtualBox and HashiCorp Vagrant.

You’ll want to create a new VM using the Ubuntu base image. From there, you can install the game using the same basic process described in the “Set Up the Server” and “Install the Game” steps DigitalOcean Self Install tutorial. Use the VM’s Private IP for your hostname. You can usually get this from the ifconfig command in the server shell.

To connect to a game running on the VM, you may need to set up port forwarding. This makes it so when you go to localhost:4200 on your PC the traffic is sent to the VM. For example, you could create ports to forward from localhost ( to the VM’s Private IP (Guest IP) for ports: 22, 4200, 4201, 4202 and 4203. To set this up, you will need to find the Port Forwarding settings on your VM. Details may vary for your system. Once port forwarding is enabled, you can connect to the game/web portal using localhost:4201 and localhost:4200.

Mudpuppy@AresCentral has graciously contributed an automatic installer using Ansible that may help automate the installation onto a VM. This is also not officially supported.

You may have heard of games trying to have a test instance installed on the same droplet as their regular server. Getting multiple games running on the same droplet is challenging. It can cause performance issues on your real game, and it’s very easy to accidentally mess up the configuration and/or database on your real game. If you choose to go this route, you’re on your own.