Aras Pranckevičius wrote on the Unity blog about the new frame debugger feature they added to their editor: Frame Debugger in Unity 5.0. The hack, he calls it, is very simple and just consists in interrupting the rendering at a given stage and display whichever frame buffer was active at the moment. Just a couple of days of work; most of the work went into the editor UI.
From the article:
There’s no actual “frame capture” going on; pretty much all we do is stop rendering after some number of draw calls. So if you’re looking at a frame that would have 100 objects rendered and you’re looking at object #10 right now, then we just skip rendering the remaining 90. If at that point in time we happen to be rendering into a render texture, then we display it on the screen.
This means the implementation is simple; getting functionality working was only a few days of work (and then a few weeks iterating on the UI).
Illustration from the article: “Here we are stepping through the draw calls of depth texture creation, in glorious animated GIF form”
The following video showcases Livity, an extension allowing live coding in Unity. It definitely reminds the ideas presented by Bret Victor in his talk, with the step between coding and viewing fading away as iteration time gets close to zero.
During last year I tested and adopted two tools for my environment: the Anonymous Pro font and the Solarized color palette. After months of use, there is no way back: the difference of comfort is significant, and any text application allowing to be configured so gets them on my work stations.
Solarized has a repository of configuration files for various applications. Unfortunately those are made by different people, with different tastes, and thus the color choices are not consistent from one application to another. This means you may still have to go through a good deal of tweaking if this is annoying to you.