Video game development
March 29, 2018

Microsoft Visual Studio Game Development: Tips and Tools

Game Development
Version Control

Microsoft Visual Studio is the top IDE for game developers, according to our recent survey. Here, we cover tips and tools for Visual Studio game development.

Read along or jump to the section that interests you the most.

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Why Use Microsoft Visual Studio 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.

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 Visual Studio. If you’ve worked with 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.

Visual Studio for Editing

Ready for editing? The IDE available for Visual Studio game development is ready. It lets developers edit easier 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.

Visual Studio Is a Game Dev Favorite

A majority of the 300+ game development professionals we recently surveyed use Visual Studio. Find out what else they had to say about game development trends and challenges today — and what it takes to get ahead. Get the full insights in the report.

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Additional Tools For Visual Studio Game Development

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:

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. 

Using Helix Core with Visual Studio

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.

Perforce 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. Helix Core securely manages the digital content in a single repository. And it quickly syncs 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 with Visual Studio

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 most popular 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.

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Visual Studio Game Development Is Better with Perforce

Each one of these tools is popular and powerful as a stand-alone solution. Version control is the foundation for your game. And when combined with Visual Studio and Unity, you get a world-class toolset. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Best Version Control for Unity

Microsoft and Perforce offer integrations for Unity. With these integrations, you can create and edit Unity scripts inside Visual Studio and save them in Helix Core. Visual Studio lets you debug Unity scripts, so you can quickly identify issues in your game by setting breakpoints and inspecting variables and expressions. And Helix Core ensures that you always get the latest file, fast. That is why it's the best version control for Unity.

Best Version Control for Visual Studio

Helix Core has the P4VS Plugin for Visual Studio, which seamlessly embeds features of the Helix Core 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 For Free

Small game development studios can start building with the best tools for free. Using Perforce, Unity, and Visual Studio for the game development process gives you access to AAA quality.

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

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