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Getting your gaming dev on will be much easier with VS 2015

Developing games in Visual Studio 2015 will be easier than ever! Soma announced last week that Microsoft and the Visual Studio team is working very closely three gaming engine developers, so closely that in the future there will be "co-installation" of these engines baked in. As someone who blogs about developing with these engines, that will be huge!

Visual Studio for Game Development: New Partnerships with Unity, Unreal Engine and Cocos2d

Game developers build the apps that hundreds of millions of users play every day across a wide variety of devices, from Xbox and Windows to iOS, Android, and the Web. For many years now, it’s been great to see Visual Studio be one of the industry’s most popular tools for game development, used by big game studios and indie developers alike.

Today, we are taking support for game development in Visual Studio forward in a big way through collaborations with three of the premier independent gaming engine providers: Unity Technologies, Epic Games, and Chukong Technologies.

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. In addition, we will make it easier to discover and use the tools for Unity, Unreal and Cocos2d from within Visual Studio 2015.

You can learn more about today’s partnerships on the Unity, Unreal, Cocos2d and Visual Studio sites.

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Each of these engines supports a broad array of today’s most popular gaming platforms, and through their cross-platform game development frameworks, expand on the existing cross-platform mobile development support in Visual Studio for Cordova (HTML), Xamarin (C#) and C++. Here’s just a sampling of the platforms supported by these three frameworks:

  • Cocos2d supports web browsers and native platforms including OS X, Windows, iOS and Android.
  • Unity supports 21 different platforms, including Xbox One, SteamOS, OS X, iOS, Android, Windows, WebGL, Oculus Rift and GearVR.
  • Unreal Engine 4 enables developers to deploy projects across platforms including Windows, Xbox One, Playstation 4, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5 as well as Steam VR, Oculus Rift and Gear VR.

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Visual Studio Partners with Unity, Unreal, and Cocos2d Game Engines

A moment ago, Soma blogged that today we’re announcing that Visual Studio has partnerships with three of the top gaming engine providers: Unity Technologies (creators of Unity3D), Epic Games (creators of Unreal), and Chukong Technologies (creators of Cocos2d). The gist of the partnerships is that these three gaming platforms will provide an easy way to install Visual Studio Community, and Visual Studio will have an easy way to create games on these three platforms.

We still have engineering work to do to deliver on the co-installation, but if you’re a game developer or someone who wants to learn to create games, these partnerships will make it a lot easier to acquire the best tools for the job – pulling down Unity along with Visual Studio and the Visual Studio Tools for Unity all at once, for example.

In the meantime, you can still use Visual Studio with each of these products just as you do today, by downloading the tools separately and installing them. Just install Visual Studio 2013 Community, and get Unity (and the Visual Studio Tools for Unity), or get Unreal or get Cocos2d.

Looking Ahead with Visual Studio 2015

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Looking towards the future, Epic Games and Microsoft are working together closely to ensure full compatibility with Visual Studio 2015 in later releases of the engine. Visual Studio 2015 is expected to release some time later this year. Watch for upcoming announcements surrounding the support of this anticipated update.

Unreal Engine 4 supports a range of platforms, including Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, SteamOS and HTML5, as well as VR platforms including SteamVR, Oculus Rift, Morpheus and Gear VR.

Together with Microsoft, Epic is making it easier than ever for you to use the rich capabilities of the Visual Studio IDE to create anything you can dream up.  

We look forward to seeing everyone who is able to attend the Microsoft Build Developer Conference, which kicks off April 29 in San Francisco.  We’ll have more to share about all things Unreal at the event and in the weeks leading up to the 4.8 release as well.

Visual Studio for Game Development: New Partnerships with Cocos

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Today, Visual Studio takes another step forward in supporting game development by partnering with its premier independent game engine provider: Chukong Technologies.

Together, we are building easier ways for game developers to use the rich capabilities of the Visual Studio IDE to create games for today’s most popular platform. The popular game engines’ installer will now co-install Visual Studio Community on Windows, along with the plug-ins required for Windows developers building for the engine. In addition, it will be easier to discover and use the tools for Cocos from within Visual Studio 2015.

The partnership allow a collaborative effort to make the necessary game development engine and tools available to a broader base of developers. With Visual Studio Community, the popular IDE that professional developers will be free on non-enterprise usage. Also across Unity 5 Personal Edition, Unreal Engine 4, and Cocos, other free options for these game engines will also be available.

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  • Will Unity continue to use .NET 3.5 as a base or will we finally get upgraded?  I know it's actually Mono under the hood but I'm ever hopeful for an upgrade!

  • So which engine is a better path?  I know that is probably like asking which OS is better, but for someone who is just looking at learning this stuff, is one long term better than another?

    Right now I have been doing tutorials in Unity 5.  Should I switch to Unreal or Cocos or does it really matter?

  • ZionZion

    Hi SheldonS,
    I would (as a beginner myself) recommend either Unity or Cocos2d. Unreal has a steep learning curve, and I would recommend starting in Unity if you were to go that path. If you are looking into developing mobile applications both are good. But Cocos2d isn't very multiplatform.

  • @SheldonS: I was writing games in C# with XNA so Unity was the likely choice. There were a lot of things about Unity that I didn't like: the interface, MonoDevelop v. Visual Studio, and stuff I purchased on the Asset store wasn't always the most straight forward to implement. I was about a month in when UE4 came out and after watching the workflow between C++ and Blueprints I was immediately sold. It all depends on which is more comfortable for you but I recommend trying out each for a solid month or two.

    I disagree with Zion about Unreal's steep learning curve: you can make a game entirely in Blueprints and there are a lot of tutorials and samples to get you started. It took me just a few days in Unreal to surpass my skills in XNA and Unity... not only that the Blueprint system is actually teaching me to be a better programmer.

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