March 29, 2018

How to Use Microsoft, Unity, and Perforce for Game Development

Game Development
Version Control

You have an idea for what will undoubtedly be the next new blockbuster game. The game will be a visually rich, immersive experience, and you want it to reach the broadest global audience possible. You have talented designers, writers, and coders. But what platform do you target, and how do you execute on the development?

A January survey of game developers indicates that the PC platform continues to lead all other platforms in developer interest and support. There were 4,000 developers who answered the survey, and 60 percent said they’re currently working on games that will be released on the PC.

First problem solved – you’ll target the PC for development. But how do you execute on that?

What Free Game Development Software Offers Easy Integration for Designers and Developers?

You need a set of tools that are easy to use and easy to integrate for your designers and developers. We’ve got you covered there too. Use:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 to edit and debug
  • Perforce Helix Core to manage your video game assets
  • Unity as a game engine and to edit scene designs and game UX

These three tools give you ease of use. But more importantly, they provide the power and performance you need to build, test, and deliver your amazing game to the world. Read on; your prospective fans await!

Universal Windows Platform and Visual Studio

Using Universal Windows Platform for Game Development

Microsoft raised the bar for making it easy to get games on their platform. Their Universal Windows Platform (also called UWP) is an app platform that’s available on every device that runs Windows 10. That includes tablets, laptops, desktops, Xbox, and Holo Lens, among others.

So why do developers use UWP? When you develop for UWP, your game ships in a single package, and it provides you with a unified distribution channel to reach every device.

If the target for your game is primarily Windows, and if UWP is a fit for your team, you’ll want to try Microsoft Visual Studio. If you’ve worked with Microsoft Visual Studio recently, you know it’s easy to go from zero to product delivery in almost no time. The C# language and access to Visual Studio gives you access to all the powerful features of the platform from inside your game.

Using Visual Studio for Editing

Ready for editing? Visual Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It lets developers create with better productivity via features like IntelliSense. IntelliSense is the famous “code completion” feature that not only takes care of typos but also gives you the parameters of functions, and helps with variable names and methods — cutting back on memorization and typing.

How to Manage Video Game Development Assets

Helix Core has become incredibly popular with the largest AAA game studios. Customers rely on Helix Core because of its performance at scale. It’s lightning-fast and keeps source code secure. Helix Core can also handle large binary files – like build artifacts and containers, digital artwork assets as movies, high res graphics, renderings, and sound files.

The Perforce Helix federated architecture lets you collaborate across time zones and continents. If you have a team in New York doing graphics, a studio in LA doing characters, and a team in Seoul doing scenery, everyone needs to work together seamlessly.

With a distributed team, everyone can work together, and Helix Core will securely manage the digital content in a single repository. All this happens while automatically and quickly syncing files to your large, distributed teams.

To make life simpler for designers and other non-coders, Helix Core has plugins for popular tools like Photoshop, 3ds Max, and Maya. This lets team members access files in the version control system without learning arcane commands — they can work from inside their favorite design tools.

Using Unity for 2D and 3D Game Development

Unity is the game development platform for creating high-quality 2D and 3D games. It lets developers work with graphics and create the game’s user experience. Some of the industry’s most popular games were created and published using the Unity engine.

Unity is one of the leading game engines and is embraced by a global development community. It’s easy to install and easy to get started. At the same time, it has incredible depth, documentation, and great support that lets you build the world-class, highly successful game you envision.

When Three World-Class Toolsets Come Together

Each one of these tools is popular and powerful as a stand-alone solution. But when the three world-class toolsets come together, the possibilities are almost limitless.

Create and Edit Unity Scripts Inside Visual Studio

Microsoft offers an integration for Unity that’s built into Visual Studio 2017. With this integration, you can create and edit Unity scripts inside Visual Studio. Visual Studio lets you debug Unity scripts, so you can quickly identify issues in your game by setting breakpoints and inspecting variables and expressions.

Use Helix Core to Manage Unity Projects and Visual Assets

Helix Core has the P4VS Plugin for Visual Studio, which seamlessly embeds features of the Helix Versioning Engine into the Visual Studio IDE. Check out, check in, lock files, compare files, browse code, manage versions, and more. Your Unity projects and the graphics you created in Photoshop, 3dsMax, and Maya can be easily managed in Helix Core.

Get Started With Free Video Game Development Software

Small game development studios can start with the best tools. If you’re designing and building your amazing new game, the three partners discussed here offer free versions of their respective solutions.

Everything described is seamless to setup. Use Visual Studio as the integration point, and the three tools work together out of the box.

This is the beginning of your success story. The Unity-based game that you build for UWP can be published on the Windows store from within Visual Studio. And then it becomes a hit.