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Microsoft Releases Tools for Unity

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In the first week of July Microsoft acquired SyntaxTree, developers of the UnityVS plugin for Visual Studio.  Now Microsoft has released the first version of UnityVS since that acquisition, rebranded as Visual Studio Tools for Unity (VSTU).  Marked version 1.9, this plugin supports paid editions of Visual Studio going back to VS2010 Professional.

VSTU simplifies the development of Unity games when using Visual Studio.  This includes the ability to debug Unity code directly from within Visual Studio.  Messages from Unity are accessible through the integration of Unity console’s directly into the VS IDE. 

With this 1.9 release, Microsoft (via SyntaxTree) is promoting the following updates:

  • Faster debugger. Attaching and detaching the debugger as well as expanding local variables is now faster.
  • Faster startup. Opening VSTU projects is now faster.
  • Better handling of C# constructs. The local variables window is now properly populated when debugging iterators or when variables are accessed inside closures.
  • Start your game and your debugging session in one click. This feature is one of our most-requested: you can now attach the debugger and start the game by simply changing the debug target. This is only available in Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.

Looking at the more detailed changelog provided, some additional configuration options are being offered that allow for customization of Unity’s behavior during debugging sessions, and several bug fixes.  The log also notes that due to Unity’s recognition of the prevalence of C#, “VSTU solutions are now C# only and are much faster to load.”

As noted above, VSTU is available on the Visual Studio Gallery for VS2010, VS2012, and VS2013.  Professional Edition or higher is required.

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