In 4.17, I was able to have the sln open in Visual Studio 2015 and have the editor open. I could make changes in the code. Click on the Compile in the editor to do a hot reload and the VS files would be saved, compiled and hot reloaded.
I deleted the binaries, deriveddatacache, intermediate, save folders. Generated Project files.
I can launch the game from the source.
The below bold line I don’t remember seeing.
CompilerResultsLog: New page: Compilation - Nov 2, 2017, 6:40:23 PM
CompilerResultsLog: Using ‘git status’ to determine working set for adaptive non-unity build.
CompilerResultsLog: Compiling game modules for hot reload
CompilerResultsLog: Target is up to date