It’s great when 2 companies come together with a common goal that has potential to significantly benefit the indie community.
Coming from As3 development, I was spoiled for choice when it came to IDE’s, with FlashDevelop arguably being one of the most intuitive development environments in existence (and free!).
So when I started adopting Unity I was taken back by this here Mono Develop IDE. I was shocked. “How the hell can people work like this?” I wondered.
Mono develop does a lot of things wrong, and it’s often not until you embark on a massive project that you start feeling it’s burden. Complete reloading of the environment when a script is open, double clicking a script from Unity not opening the correct script in Mono, unsatisfactory auto completion and hot key support, annoying line formatting and lack of accessibly customization.
A few months ago Microsoft decided to make it’s Visual Studio development environment free through it’s Visual Studio Community initiative.
Visual Studio Community is really nice once you get it running with Unity. It just ‘feels’ better. Most seasoned developers will relate to this. It’s like driving a BMW over a Honda, as the driver you may not understand or care about how it is different, but you just know it is based on the tactile feedback. That’s kind of the experience I had with VS after coming from Mono.
Unfortunately it’s not always seamless to hook up VS as there are a couple of steps to go through to sync up your project, and they do not always work as advertised.
Which brings us to yesterdays exciting announcement. Microsoft and Unity have partnered up with a focus on integrating VS into Unity in a more meaningful way. This is fantastic news and I for one look forward to having an alternative to Mono available out of the box without any setup.
From Microsoft’s Director of development said “Together, we are making it even easier for game developers to use the rich capabilities of the Visual Studio IDE to develop games for today’s most popular platforms. Each of these top gaming engines’ installers will now offer the ability to co-install Visual Studio Community on Windows, along with the plug-ins required for Windows developers building for these engines.”
So keep your eyes open for a Unity update, it’s going to be gnarly!