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Unity Extension for Visual Studio Code: Preview Release

Last week, Microsoft released the initial preview of its Unity extension for Visual Studio Code. This extension builds upon the existing C# Dev Kit and C# extensions, providing developers with a comprehensive toolkit for Unity development across Windows, macOS, and Linux. The integration aims to simplify the coding and debugging experience for Unity developers, regardless of the platform while using Visual Studio Code.

The Unity extension for Visual Studio Code brings advanced code editing capabilities, leveraging the power of Roslyn. With the newly updated open-source C# Extension, developers gain access to robust IntelliSense code completion, enhancing the coding experience. The integration of IntelliCode for C# Dev Kit extension further expands the process with AI-assisted features, such as whole-line completions and starred suggestions while coding. Unity Roslyn Analyzers project expands the extension by providing custom suggestions and targeted code fixes specifically for Unity development.

Furthermore, the extension offers debugging capabilities for Unity games. Developers can now debug their Unity games whether running within the Unity Editor or as standalone applications on various supported platforms. By pressing F5, developers can attach the debugger to their game running in the Unity Editor. Alternatively, developers can use the new Attach Unity Debugger command, which presents a list of Unity Editors and Unity Players available for debugging. The official release blog post provides detailed steps on how to start with this extension and it is highly recommended for developers to explore it.

Additionally, users are already praising the extension for its impressive speed and reliable performance compared to the previous Unity extension. On the Unity Forum, a community member wrote the following: 

Just tested it and everything works as expected. It's also pretty fast compared to the previous Unity extension. Huge thanks to the people who worked on this! Now we have an alternative to Rider for Linux...

The extension has also garnered appreciation for offering syntax colouration support for different files. While not providing full support yet, developers find it encouraging, as the same user commented: 

It's also cool that it offers syntax colouration for .asmdef, .shader, .uss, and .uxml files. Though it doesn't offer full support, for example, using random variable names in shaders produces no errors. This is the start at least.

The community has expressed their desire for official support for common snippets, similar to the functionalities of this extension. While appreciating the extension's convenience, a user suggested:

Can we also have official support for common snippets like this extension? Nothing wrong with it, just makes it very convenient to have all functionality in one extension.

In response to the community member's comment, the author of the official post, Jb Evain, expressed gratitude for the positive feedback on the new Unity extension for Visual Studio Code. They acknowledged the suggestion regarding official support for common snippets, stating that the team had recently discussed addressing boilerplate code concerns. While no specific announcements were made, they reassured the community that user feedback is valued and will be taken into consideration for future improvements to the extension.

Lastly, regarding the licencing and usage of Unity extension for Visual Studio Code, the release's official blog post states the following:

C# Dev Kit and the Unity extension for Visual Studio Code are built on the same foundations as Visual Studio, they are licensed under similar terms as Visual Studio. This means they are free for individuals, academia, and open-source development, just like the terms that apply to Visual Studio Community. For organizations, C# Dev Kit and its family of extensions are included with Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise subscriptions, as well as GitHub Codespaces. For additional details, please refer to the license terms.

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