Growing List of Game Development Tools and Resources

September 18, 2017
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If you’re like us, we had no clue where to start in the 3D game development world. For that reason, we compiled a list of useful tools, assets, and resources for your game development needs. Suited for the tenured developer to the beginner, there is something in this list for everyone. We tried to steer clear of the same cliche “Top 10 game engine” spam you’d usually read about, and focused more on resources that you could utilize regardless of what engine you’re using. Let’s dig in!

Listed in Alphabetical order:

3DRT – You can find characters, vehicles, environments, and buildings. at 3DRT. Both for purchase and for free!

arteria3d – 3D Model and Audio asset packs can be found here, consisting of Adobe/Mixamo FUSE, Unity, and Unreal 4 assets. Beautifully created and applicable to fantasy, sci-fi and your other various projects.

Blender – Thinking about making your own 3D assets? Look no further. Blender is a FREE 3D asset creation software. it has a fairly broad user base, consisting of more than just game developers. Blender also has its own store to purchase assets. (Note: Check out BlendSwap while you are at it. This is a HUGE Blender community).

BFXR – Sound generation software built into your browser! Produces an “8 bit” type sound, which could be cool if you are going for that old school feel. It’s also free!

Coherent Labs – These guys provide professional solutions for User Interfaces (UI). Create a stunning and high-performance user interface for your game based on the HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Not free, but you can request a demo!

FreeSFXThey have more than 250,000 royalty free music files and sound effects. This site can also work for you if you have audio production/sound design experience, you can create your own profile and gain a following through it.

Freesound.org – This is quite literally free sounds. More than just for game development, this is one of the largest communities for royalty-free sounds.

FroGames – Looking for wizard, warrior, or commoner type character models for your RPG, RTS, or MMO? FroGames has em! This is a great asset for indie developers looking to produce something set in the medieval times, as they are reasonably priced.

Game Icons – Nearly 3000 icons for your game can be found here. These can be downloaded in SVG and PNG format. Icons are a simple way to help your users understand how to play your game! These could be used in menu systems and other various UI’s.

Game Textures –  a MASSIVE library of textures for your game development needs. Plans start at $10/month which includes 300 downloads, reasonable for an indie developer or team.

Houdini – A great Unreal plugin that allows you to use node-based workflows (Node-based workflows are ideal for linking media objects and effects in a procedural map) within the Unreal engine itself.

IKinema – Here to help you “achieve stunningly realistic animation during gameplay”. AAA games like Guitar Hero and Scalebound were made with this professional animation software. They offer a free 14-day trial for some of their products as well.

Incompetech – This site is more focused on royalty-free music, especially helpful if your game needs a little background noise or something to really place the player in the action.

Inkscape – This is a great free SVG / PNG editor. This tool is extremely useful for quickly designing UI assets like menus and health bars.

Make Human – One of our favorite tools that we’ve come across, Make Human is a free and open source software for making 3D human models. Boasting 1170 Morphings for effective parametric modeling. This tool allows you to manipulate age, gender, height, weight, facial features and more.

Map Editor – A free tiled map editor (mostly for 2d projects).It supports orthogonal, isometric and hexagonal maps and has a fairly active forum community.

Open Game Art – One of the biggest online forums for free game art and assets. You can find 2D and 3D art, textures, music, sound effects plus more!

Share CG – A free to join community where you can find tutorials, videos, and 3D models. They also have a pretty decent sized repository of software and plugins for 3D model and game development.

Simplygon  Professional grade 3D graphics software for optimization. This software was used for Warhammer: End Times and has been deemed the “gold standard” for Professional 3D projects.

SpeedTree – Another industry standard in the world of 3D renders and animation. Compatible with Unity and Unreal. Its pro tools were used to make Star Wars – The Force Awakens and newly release Destiny 2. SpeedTree is ideal for vegetation modeling animation and priced well enough for an indie developer to afford.

Substance Share – Free to download textures. This is also a place where you can exchange your textures with other designers. You can find materials, meshes, plugins, shaders and more here.

Free3D (Formerly TF3DM) –  Free 3D is a great place to share the 3D models you’ve designed yourself. They allow you to build your own portfolio and show off your skills. FIf you’re looking for it, this site can also help with getting more freelance design work. They have nearly 16,000 models available.

TurboSquid  These guys have a great repository of high-res models. You can find cars, characters, buildings, chairs, landscapes and everything in between. They also hold 3D art competitions!

Vanishing Point –  Here you can purchase 3D models (not just for Unity or Unreal 4). If you are building a game set in the 21st century, and need military, architecture or vehicle models, I would check these guys out.

World Machine – Standalone procedural terrain creator. This means you can quickly create simulations of nature, with interactive editing for realistic looking terrain.  You can integrate this with the Unreal and Unity engines in a combination of ways, allowing you to develop heightmaps, meshes, and textures.

Yobi 3D – A 3D model search engine/repository. Quick access to thousands of 3D models and a super useful 3D file converter tool.

Have any other Resources we are not aware of? Contact us and let us know!

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