TL; DR: Customize your development environment. It’s good for your soul.
Having a customized development environment is just as important -in terms of productivity- as having a powerful computer or a comfy chair. And nothing beats the pleasure of having everything you need at the reach of a single click.
Choose an awesome Text Editor
This is the place where you will spend most of your time, so you must make sure you are comfortable using it. You want a text editor that suits your needs, but first you must ask yourself what needs you have and what your preferences are. Do you prefer having a lot of functionalities and using a pretty heavy program doesn’t bother you because you either have a powerful computer or a powerful patience?
If so, Visual Studio Community may be the best option for you. On the contrary, do you prefer having a lightweight IDE/Text Editor that runs smoothly and sacrificing some functionalities isn’t a big issue for you? Then I have some options that might be worth to take a look at it.
- FlashDevelop / HaxeDevelop (if you are working on Flash or Haxe projects)
- Sublime Text (pretty popular and a really good piece of software)
- Visual Studio Code (Visual Studio meets Sublime Text)
- Atom (the text editor made by the Github team)
[For Windows] Replace that ugly command shell
Oh, the classic Windows Command Prompt. But just as you moved on from Solitaire to whatever-you’re-playing-to-kill-some-time, sometimes you find some new and better tools to work with.
Would you like to have multiple tabs on your console? Wouldn’t you prefer to have some syntax highlighting? There are A LOT of cool and helpful things you can’t do in your classic Windows Command Prompt.
I recommend using this: ConEmu
You can thank me later.
Customize your FlashDevelop Environment
Not working with Unity? More power to you!
Whether you are still developing some flash applications or getting into the exotic world of Haxe, FlashDevelop is one of the best IDEs on the internet. It’s lightweight, fast, customizable, open source and looks really good. There are a ton of useful plugins and themes you can make use of.
(For Haxe developers, there is HaxeDevelop, a modified version of FlashDevelop that adds some useful functionalities).
Do you have a standard class with some boilerplate code that you repeat again and again? Repeat no more!
You can have your own class templates and you can create them in the context menu inside the ‘Add’ section.
- Click on Tools\User Config Files
- Go to Templates\ProjectFiles\HaxeProject
- Create a new .hx file which will be your template (I suggest duplicating the Class.hx file and renaming it)
- Inside your project folder, right click on a folder and select the ‘Add’ section. There you will find your new template.
Another thing you may find really useful (especially if you are working with Flambe, a popular HTML5 framework for Haxe) you can customize your toolbar to simplify starting up the default localserver and testing the game.
- Go to the folder you’ve installed FlashDevelop (or HaxeDevelop) and enter the Setting folder.
- Inside that folder, you will find an XML file named ToolBar and copy it (the file, not the content).
- Inside FlashDevelop, go to Tools\User Config Files.
- Go inside the Settings folder and paste there the ToolBar XML file.
- Open the XML file and start adding your own buttons.