Game developer resources

For coders, one of the most difficult aspects of creating a game is finding the graphics and sound resources needed to bring a game to life. If you can't pay someone to produce resources for you, you'll have to either find someone willing to work with you for free, buy them pre-made, or find free resources.

Your first step should be to check out if what you want has already been made - whether it's available for free or at a price. If, for example, you're making a space shooter, you'll be in luck as there's plenty of free space ship, laser-like, and explosion graphics and sound around. Check out the list of resources below for sites that stock free and paid graphics and sound. There's a good chance you'll be satisfied with what's already out there.

If you can't find anything out there, or if you're particular with what your game needs to be just right, paying someone to create exactly what you need is the best option - assuming you've got the cash. This way you get exactly what you're after and won't have to compromise your vision.

If you're strapped for cash but can't use something off the shelf, but you have skilled graphic designer or artist friends, you might be in luck. Ask around. Otherwise, hit up game developer forums and see if you can sway a friendly internet person to help you out. There's plenty of enthusiasts who might buy into your vision and be happy to work with you for free.

Get started by checking out the many sites providing graphics and sound below.

Sound effects resources

Tags Categories Star ratings Approx number of sound effects
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Large collection of audio with a nice interface. Decent prices.

Yes No Yes 20000
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Open source, huge database. Good community feel.

Yes No Yes 151574
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Moderate size, good quality

No Yes No 5510
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An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Yes No No 360
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Large collection of purchasable sound effects. Prices are fairly reasonable.

Yes Yes No 120000
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Medium sized set of sounds presented with a moderately usable interface

Yes No Yes 1500

Music for licensing resources

Tags Categories Star ratings Approx number of music tracks
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Good commercial music, good price. Fairly large rap beats focus - but most suit any purpose. Typically high tempo.

No Yes No 750
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Great interface for good quality music. Large database.

Yes Yes No 123646
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An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Yes No No 528
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Dated interface, but decent selection.

Yes Yes No 120
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A huge collection of music and loops, including creative commons licensed

Yes Yes Yes 300000
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A decent collection of creative commons licensed music for podcasts, videos, games and so on.

Yes No No 6000
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A great modern site for a large collection of music tracks at fairly low prices

Yes Yes Yes 88000
Yes No No 150

Graphics resources

Tags Categories Star ratings Approx number of graphics 3D 2D
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Some great graphics here, including the tileset for Tyrian, freely available.

No No No 250 No Yes
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An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Yes No No 2496 Yes Yes
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A large, modern marketplace for Blender files. Many are creative commons licensed.

Yes Yes No 6600 Yes No
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A large commercial collection of 3D models

Yes Yes No 8000 Yes No
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Excellent 3D model packs, A couple of packs is typically enough for a pro 3D game.

No Yes No 1000 Yes No
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Cheap packs of Unity-compatible 3D models

Yes No No 300 Yes No
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A large collection of free textures for commercial use..

No Yes No 13000 No Yes
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A large collection of textures for use in 3D graphics

No Yes No 5000 No Yes
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A great collection of vector graphics ideal for indie computer game design and development

No Yes No 100 No Yes
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A decent selection of mainly isometric, categorised, 2D and 3D royalty free graphics assets

No Yes No 250 Yes Yes
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Vector graphics for game developers. Assets, backgrounds, sprites for mobile games, pc or xna games…

Yes Yes Yes 175 No Yes
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A simple png of 420 pixel art icons for use in an RPG

No No No 420 No Yes

Game development blogs

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Personal site for Matthew S. Burns. Worked on games large franchise games like Call of Duty and Halo, now independent.

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Comprehensive collection of detailed articles on game design theory and art

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Detailed posts with a focus on game writing and story

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Game design, reviews, and "other random stuff" by an MIT graduate professional game developer

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Daily blog posts from a group of game developers

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Detailed game design articles by Soren Johnson, many from Game Developer magazine. Worked on games like Civ 4 and Spore

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Miscellaneous game development posts from an industry veteran

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Video game thoughts from the creative lead of a small development studio

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"Analysis of the state of game design from high upon my Ivory Tower"

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Game notes, reviews, and design articles from an HTML5 game developer

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Articles about game sound from British sound designer, composer and writer, Kenneth Young

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Game design and art posts

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