Visual Studio Code Ultimate Starter Guide (UPDATED 9/11/2015)

Microsoft has a brand new code editor called ” Visual Studio Code “!

In this post I will go over what it is, what it isn’t, and how you can use it with your Unity and/or Corona projects.

Updated 9/11/2015

Added new features from 0.8.0

You can read the full feature changes of 0.8.0, as well as all previous versions of Visual Studio Code, from the update page.

What is Visual Studio Code?

Visual Studio Code (or “VSCode”) is a new, cross platform lightweight coding editor launched during Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference.

It is not a stripped down version of Visual Studio, nor is it comparable to “Visual Studio Express”. This is a new editor designed from the ground up to give a focused streamlined experience.

Sometimes, you don’t need a full featured IDE. A lot of the time all you need is something to edit files with IntelliSense/Syntax highlighting and maybe some debugging.

I would often use Sublime side by side with Visual Studio. Sublime is a great solution, but Visual Studio Code is a new competitor on the block. It have many of the features and characteristics I like most from Sublime (plus a couple more), and it’s $70 cheaper (a.k.a. FREE!)

How do I install Visual Studio Code?

Installing Visual Studio Code is an arduous process that requires at least 6 hours and a dedicated high speed internet connection.

Just kidding! It’s extremely simple and easy.
Continue reading Visual Studio Code Ultimate Starter Guide (UPDATED 9/11/2015)

oDesk is now Upwork

One of my favorite tools for hiring contractors, oDesk, has rebranded itself. From now on they’ll be called “Upwork”

From their website:

Dear oDeskers,

Together we’ve redefined how people work. What you do every day on oDesk used to be called “the future of work,” but it’s rapidly becoming the norm. We know 90% of US businesses hire independent professionals and they are ready to find more talent online. Continue reading oDesk is now Upwork

Unity 5 Announcements

Today Unity announced a few more details of Unity 5.

They started the event by showing off the amazing graphics capability of Unity 5. Then they talked about their cloud build system, which lets you push your code up to the Unity using GIT, Subversion or Perforce and Unity’s servers will automatically make builds for your game.

Next, they announced a price change. Continue reading Unity 5 Announcements

CoronaCards for Windows Phone 8 now available!

Corona Labs Logo, creators of CoronaCardsAs you may know, I am a big fan of Lua and Corona. As of this Tuesday, CoronaCards now supports Windows Phone 8!

I look forward to seeing a lot more Lua/Corona based apps on the Windows Phone store!

What is Corona and CoronaCards?

Corona is a Lua based game engine to make games for iOS and Android. They are coming out with a new product, CoronaCards, that enables developers to run Corona code everywhere. In native iOS and Android apps, in other engines like Unity and Appcelerator, and now within a Windows Phone 8 Silverlight project. Continue reading CoronaCards for Windows Phone 8 now available!

GameMaker Studio Standard now permanently free!

GameMaker StudioYoYoGames announced today that GameMaker Studio Standard, the first tier of their tool that normally runs $50, will now be free permanently.

Those who follow my blog will know that GameMaker Studio would go on sale, a lot. It’s great that they finally just removed the limited resource free version and made the Standard version available to every developer.

If you are just starting out, or a student learning how to make games, I would highly recommend downloading it. GameMaker can teach you how to code, how to create games, and now let you make anything you want.

They have not reduced the price of GameMaker Studio Pro. That remains $100. Still, never a bad thing to get more features in the free version.

If you haven’t yet, go ahead and download it for yourself!


GameMaker: Studio on sale again until May 25th.

YoYoGames has once again put their fantastic GameMaker: Studio software on sale again.

You can now upgrade your copy of GameMaker: Studio Standard to GameMaker: Studio Professional for $25, normally $50. In addition, you can buy any of the export modules (HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Ubuntu Linux) for 50% off.

Another interesting thing to note is that if you owned the old version, GameMaker 8.1, you can upgrade to GameMaker: Studio Professional for $37.50.

Why get GameMaker?

I’ve said it many times before, but GameMaker is one of my top three favorite game design and development tools. You don’t need to code at all with its drag and drop interface, but once you get more advanced GameMakerScript enables you to do powerful things. One of the best reasons to upgrade to GameMaker Studio over 8.1 is the ability to release for up to 9 platforms.

The basic version allows for very simple games, limiting the number of objects and resources you can have. The Standard edition gets rid of that limit, allow you to make any kind of game you want. You can then release on desktops (Windows and Mac) AND Windows 8 Store for free! In addition to any other platform you buy for 50% discount.

Getting started with GameMaker

If you haven’t used GameMaker before, I released an open source Windows 8 game a while back called “GemRun”. You can use it as a template for your first game, deconstruct it to learn how GameMaker works, or just take bits and pieces as you may find useful in your development.

You can download the project here, or find the link on my resources page.

What Unity plugin(s) do you use?

Last couple of weeks I’ve traveled around helping run various Day of Unity events. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve gotten a chance to meet a lot of Unity game developers. Some with experience, many trying out Unity for the first time.

One of the best features of Unity is the asset store. From there you can download all sorts of assets and packages that help speed up your development.

Which brings me to a question: What Unity plugin(s) do you use?

I’m curious to know which plugins people believe are “must haves”, or were useful for them in their development.

Let me know by leaving a comment, through my Contact page, or in person at Day of Unity Portland or Day of Unity Seattle!


Day of Unity events coming to a city near you!

Microsoft will be hosting “Day of Unity” events throughout the US this month and next. The goal of these events is for beginners and advanced developers alike to learn about Unity and the Windows platform.

There will be prize giveaways, free food, and a lot of fun to be had. Continue reading Day of Unity events coming to a city near you!