There’s no arguing the fact that Unity is among the top gaming engines used by the majority of fo game developers. It’s tools and features have allowed the developers to craft gaming solutions which engage the audience and offer exceptional gaming experience at the same time. Unity has several features, starting from 3D modelling to quick graphics rendering, which makes it the perfect gaming engine for building mobile games.

However, back in 2017, the biggest challenge Unity developers experienced was to use the engine on MacOS. Even though there was a fully functional version of Unity for MacOS, the default IDE, MonoDevelop, made it strenuous for the developers to use Unity and its tools effectively.

This is when Microsoft jumped in as a saviour. The tech giant released a dedicated and fully-functional IDE, Visual Studio for Mac, which could be used to effectively run Unity on Mac. The majority of the Unity developers decided to make a jump from MonoDevelop to Visual Studio, mainly due to its user-friendly interface and advanced functionality.

The tool has made it easier for the mobile game developers to turn client’s gaming idea into a feature-rich mobile game. Since the launch, Microsoft has released several versions, along with exciting updates, of Visual Studio for Mac. Today, we are going to share our opinions on Visual Studio for Mac and why it is one of the best IDEs to run Unity on Mac.

These benefits will help you understand why Mac users should choose Visual Studio over the default one to run Unity on their device. So, without any further ado, let’s start the list.

How to Setup Visual Studio in Mac for Unity?

Before starting with the list of benefits, let’s first take a look at the actual process to setup Visual Studio in your Mac device. Keep in mind that to run Unity on Visual Studio, you’ll at least require Unity 5.6.1. It was the first version of Unity to support Visual Studio.

Though it is a good strategy to have Unity’s latest version, you should at least be running the recommended version. Now, simply open Unity and under the External Script Editor tab, choose Visual Studio.

That’s it, whenever you’ll open a new C# script from Unity, it’ll open on Visual Studio editor. This is how easy it is to set up Visual Studio on your Mac device. Now, that you are familiar with the setup process, let’s move towards the benefits of using Visual Studio for Unity on Mac.

Benefits of Using Visual Studio for Unity on Mac

One Click Debugging

One click debugging is probably one of the biggest perks of using Visual Studio as an IDE for Mac. Developers can debug the entire code with a single click, which makes the IDE most efficient and less time-consuming.

Moreover, with the Visual Studio debugger, developers can easily identify and remove bugs to make the entire code error-free. The developers can also step into their code by setting breakpoints using the Visual Studio debugger.

With the Visual Studio debugger, developers can also inspect the entire debugging process to analyze any substantial changes being made to the code. Overall, Visual Studio makes the entire debugging process way easier in Visual Studio.

Quick Navigation

When developers switch to a new IDE, navigating through different elements is their biggest challenge. However, that’s not the case with Visual Studio. The developers have kept the entire interface of Visual Studio same as Unity, making it easier for everyone to find all the elements.

Having the same navigation, the game developers are likely to be in a familiar interface, which means there’s zero learning curve. Moreover, the entire file structure is the same as Unity. It means that finding all the scripts within the project won’t be a hassle at all.

Easy Refactoring & Restructuring

A gaming project, on an average, has hundreds of different modules with thousands of lines of code. In such a scenario, it is completely natural that some of the elements of the code require restructuring and other alterations.

There can also arise a situation when the people working on a certain project change and the new developer may want to execute a different process. In any case, it becomes necessary to alter the code so that it meets current preferences.

Fortunately, refactoring is a fairly easy process in Visual Studio. The IDE has a wide range of built-in refactoring options, making it easier for the developers to make changes to the code. It has a dedicated Quick Fix tab as well, which allows developers to perform alterations without having to manually write code. Some of the options of the Quick Fix tab include:

  • Convert to Static Method
  • Convert to Protected Partial
  • Convert to Internal Partial
  • Convert to Protected Internal Partial

IntelliSense for Unity Messages

If you have worked on Unity in the past, you already know what Unity Messages are. These are the methods which need to be called from time to time to execute different operations. Earlier the developers need to memorize the signature for each of these messages, which was quite strenuous.

With Visual Studio, however, there’s no need to memorize the exact signature, thanks to IntelliSense. The feature uses autocompletion to automatically complete the Unity messages. This saves time and enhances accuracy at the same time.

Source Control

Source Control or version control is yet another interesting feature of Visual Studio for Mac. Version control is a dedicated system which allows the developers to save and manages files under different versions. This allows the entire game development team to access a single file at the same time.

The source control also contains the entire project history and information about every revision ever made to the project. As a result, the developers always have a record about the entire history of the project. So, even if new developers start working on the project, they’ll know from where to pick up.

Wrapping Things Up

The IDE that one uses can have a huge impact on the entire mobile game development process. An IDE like Visual Studio has a wide range of features that make it the perfect option to execute precise and accurate game development process. If you have been looking for a complete solution for Unity, Visual Studio is your answer.

Ranjit Singh is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RV Technologies. In the past 10+ years, he has focused on helping clients to expand their business through the best digital solutions. Leading a team of 100+ employees, he knows how to implement the best market practices to transform a client’s business growth and help him achieve dedicated goals.
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