Microsoft unveils cloud-based development environment, Azure Game Dev VM

During Wednesday’s GDC sessions, Microsoft unveiled a publicly-available version of its Azure-based development solution, aptly called Azure Game Dev Virtual Machine (VM, for short). The offering’s goal is to help developers facing the modern challenges of hybrid and remote work, by providing a feature-filled virtual environment for teams to be able to work in a controlled, collaborative environment.

Azure Game Dev VM offers an impressive stack of features ranging from on-demand compute tasking, globally-accessible and persistent desktops, shareable desktop and asset functions to collaborate with team members remotely, and ultimately reduced build times due to included technologies, such as Incredibuild.

Perhaps just as important as the unveiling of the development platform however is the announcement of the partners providing their respective technologies to enable developers with a turn-key solution. Some of those partners’ technologies include:

  • Unreal Engine
  • Quixel Bridge
  • Perforce’s P4V Client
  • Parsec
  • Incredibuild
  • Blender

Additionally, as one would expect from Microsoft given their previous Game Stack-focused endeavors, the GDK, DirectX, and Playfab SDKs are available in the Azure Game Dev VM, as well as Visual Studio CE 2019.

Additional information on the platform (such as how to begin the migration process) can be found in the blog here. Given the challenges development studios have faced during the pandemic with distributed development, the news should come as a relief, especially for newer studios that are still attempting to build workflows and a suite of tools.

Daniel "Knottian" Knott

Software and Systems Management Engineer. Lover of Xbox, gaming, and all forms of media. Husband and feline shepherd, co-host of You Had Me At Halo, news sleuth, mod, and team responder.

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