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October 19, 2012 / iunkn

Testing your games with VS2012

With VS2012 there are multiple options to test your games – LocalMachine, RemoteMachine and Simulator. Let’s take a look at them one by one:

Deploying to Local Machine

This is the default and most basic option which you are probably already aware of: Once you export your game from Construct 2, you should be able to open it with VS2012 and hit F5 and your game should execute on your local machine.

Deploying to Remote Machine

Most of the developers generally have a developer machine and typically a less powerful test machine to test their game (like a tablet – have you preordered yours? :)) During development you will develop your game with Construct 2, export as Windows 8 app and test it on your dev machine(with mouse and keyboard) which is pretty straightforward. But how do you deploy and test on your tablet/test machine(to test the touch behavior)? A low-tech solution would be to create a package in VS, share it out in your HomeGroup or even low-tech (but effective nonetheless) solution is use a portable USB drive. – you will install the package in your test machine and try your game.

Clearly the process of creating the package, copying it over, then installing  will become cumbersome after a few times and you will start reducing the frequency of testing it on the tablet. Alternatively you can deploy directly to your test machine quite effortlessly with the following steps if  both your test machine and your dev machine are in the same subnet:

1. On your test machine (say Surface RT) download and install Remote Tools for Visual Studio. (Make sure to get the installer corresponding to your machine’s architecture – arm for Surface RT).

2. Launch the installed Remote Debugger from Start Screen. You may be prompted for giving permissions for remote debugging. Accept it.

3. On your dev machine, select Remote Machine as the target and hit F5. You will be provided with a Remote Debugger Connections dialog to configure your remote machine. If you have properly followed 1 and 2 and both your machines are under same subnet, you will find the remote machine under “My Subnet”. You can select it from there and you are good to go. VS will package your game and deploy and launch it on the remote machine.

(If you face any trouble setting this up refer to this post for further clarifications)

At this point, you can frequently test your game on the local machine (for example with mouse/keyboard)  and remote machine (for example a touch machine) just by changing the target option from VS2012. Quite convenient.


One final option that VS2012 provides is to use the built in simulator. If you select this option, it will launch a simulator and deploy and launch your game. This is especially useful to test various resolutions. Be sure to check out how your game looks in different resolutions using the simulator.


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