Unity CI/CD Demystified: Part 2: Trigger Events and Running Tests

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 min

Welcome back to our Unity CI/CD journey. In Part 1, we nailed down the one-time setup to kickstart our CI/CD pipeline.

It's time for Part 2, where we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of the events to trigger our workflow and running our automated tests.

Let's dive in!

Update .gitignore

Before we create our workflow, we need to ignore the files generated by GameCI. Update the .gitignore file with these lines:


Setting the Trigger Events

First, we need to define when our CI/CD pipeline should kick into action.

We'll do this in a file named .github/workflows/main.yml. with the following workflow definition:

name: Test, Build, and Deploy with GameCI
      - main
      - 'Assets/**'
      - 'Packages/**'
      - 'ProjectSettings/**'
      - opened
      - synchronize
      - main
      - 'Assets/**'
      - 'Packages/**'
      - 'ProjectSettings/**'
        description: 'Release to [iOS, WebGL, testFlight]'
        required: false
        default: ''

A lot is going on here, but let's break it down:

  • on: This section is where we specify the events that trigger our CI/CD workflow.
    • push: Our workflow will fire up when there's a push event to the "main" branch. We are also filtering this down to specific paths within our repo. We're only interested if changes happen in the actual Unity project. Anything else, and our CI/CD pipeline ignores them.
    • pull_request: Our workflow also triggers when a pull request is opened or synchronized (updated) in the "main" branch. And yes, we're narrowing it down to those same paths.
    • release: The workflow is also triggered when we publish a release.
    • workflow_dispatch lets us manually trigger our workflow through the GitHub Actions interface. We have an input field named **release_platform **, which allows us to specify where to release our project. This input will help us run only the necessary jobs. Perfect for testing intermediate builds that aren't meant for customer's eyes.

Building and Running Tests

With the stage set, let's get to the real action - building and running our Unity project tests.

This job is the most important one, as it is responsible for running the unit tests

  name: Build and Run Tests
  runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    # Checkout with lfs
    - name: Checkout Repository
      uses: actions/checkout@v3
        fetch-depth: 0
        lfs: true

    - name: Cache Library
      uses: actions/cache@v3
        path: Library
        key: Library-test
        restore-keys: |
    - name: Run Tests
      uses: game-ci/unity-test-runner@v2
        UNITY_LICENSE: ${{ secrets.UNITY_LICENSE }}
        githubToken: ${{ secrets.GITHUB_TOKEN }}

Now, let's dissect this job:

  • runs-on: We specify that this job should run on an Ubuntu-based runner using the latest available version.
  • steps: This section contains a series of steps to be executed for this job.
    • Checkout Repository: This step checks out our code repository. We're diving deep into the Git history with a fetch depth of 0 and grabbing those Git Large File Storage (LFS) files with the lfs: true flag.
    • Cache Library: This step caches the "Library" directory, making subsequent runs faster. We specify the directory path, a key for the cache, and the keys to look for when restoring the cache.
    • Run Tests: This step runs our Unity tests.
      • env: Used to set the environment variables
        • UNITY_LICENSE: It sets the Unity license environment variable to the value stored securely in secrets.
        • githubToken: Since this action needs GitHub access to report the test results, it uses the GitHub token stored in secrets.

Set Workflow Permissions

To view test results as part of the Github Status check, we need to provide write permissions for our workflow

Go to Settings > Actions > General > Workflow permissions and choose Read and write permissions. By default it is set to Read repository content and packages permissions.

Workflow Permission

Preparing the Project

If the project builds in the editor but fails when we run the workflow, its likely because of missing packages.

Luckily, its a simple fix.

Verify Packages

Ensure that these entries are present in packages/manifest.json:

  • com.unity.2d.sprite
  • com.unity.inputsystem
  • com.unity.test-framework
  • com.unity.textmeshpro

If any of these packages are missing, add them using the Unity Package Manager. Remember to commit the changes in packages/manifest.json and packages/package-lock.json.


Stay tuned for Part 3, where I'll cover building the project to target different platforms.