Fat chance! But nice try.
CSIDE for me, all the way. Having migrated from Notepad++, I’ve never looked back.
The main appeal to me personally is the ease of testing, swift bug-finding and fixing, which no ordinary text editor can ever compete with (not being specifically designed for this purpose as CSIDE is) and which for me just makes the whole development process far more efficient, much less frustrating, and definitely much more enjoyable.
In addition to the sheer ease of use where the invaluable Quicktest and Randomtest (CoG’s official testing functions) are concerned — in CSIDE, simply CTRL-T or Shift-CTRL-T respectively — having the game also run side-by-side in the same window as the code editor is perfect for my widescreen desktop setup, while ESC handily toggles between editor-only and normal layout if required (e.g. for smaller monitors). Alternatively, you can ‘slide’ unwanted UI panels out of the way as needed.
When running a test game within CSIDE, there are three functions I simply cannot now live without. The first is the ‘Popout’ facility. This allows me to test each Option of a particular new Choice in turn to make sure everything works as intended, before advancing the main instance of the game to the next significant Choice down a particular route, and then repeating the manual testing of each Option there — all without requiring a game restart or any sort of ‘alpha testing’ code inserted in my files. For game testing purposes, it’s essentially the equivalent of a working ← Back button on your browser…
The second unique testing function is the CSIDE Console, which is extremely useful in a number of different ways but especially helpful in tracking down those elusive logic bugs (which may cause strange things to happen in the game but don’t actually result in a game-stopping error, so can be very hard to nail down without the Console).
Complementing the Console is the third main testing feature, the ability to step through your code (meaning, to run your game literally one line of code at a time from a particular point). This is a last-ditch measure to hunt down the most infuriatingly elusive bugs, but it really is a life-saver in those situations. Indeed, I credit this particular feature as the reason why I still actually have a bit of hair remaining on my head — I’m pretty sure I ripped out the rest back when I used an ordinary editor! (OK, slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you get the gist ).
Those main testing features, together with the fact that CSIDE helps to keep me much better organized (as I have all my design & character notes, reusable code samples and similar stuff as multiple files in a separate but easily-accessible ‘Project’) are what gives me both the confidence and the ability to tackle something as ambitious as Vendetta: Rise of a Gangster — but you don’t need to be pushing the boundaries to also benefit from each and every one of these.
For relative newcomers to ChoiceScript, I should stress that these advanced testing features are all covered in detailed Helpfiles so you can learn and grow with CSIDE at your own pace. In the short term, the features most useful to you will probably be things like the ‘Smart’ auto-indentation, the ability to double-click on any typed *command in your current game file and have it load the actual Wiki page for that command in your default browser, and the ability to have a separate ‘code testing’ project so you can quickly and easily write & test working code before committing it to your actual game files, thereby learning CS through experimentation. Add to this CSIDE’s dedicated, interactive Tutorial for Learning Basic ChoiceScript — among other handy stuff — and you could do far worse than to begin your ChoiceScript authoring adventure using CSIDE.
Oh, and don’t forget that by using CSIDE you never need to download and figure out ChoiceScript’s file system for yourself, either initially or each time CoG updates in future… CSIDE nicely handles all of that side of things for you.