Game developer resources

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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.

Also check out this curated list of free unity assets.

Sound effects resources

An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Tags: Yes
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 360

A fairly large database of free, good quality sound effects, for use in your games or videos.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 5510

Open source, huge database. Good community feel.

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Categories: No
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of sound effects: 151574

Large collection of royalty free sound effects and music with a nice interface. Decent prices.

Over 100,000 music tracks, with a handy sub-genre search, and over 47,000 sound effects. The sound effects are awkwardly categorized as a genre.

Formerly iStockPhoto Audio.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 47000

Over a million sound effects, on a site that claims to have been around since 1997. Approximately $3 per sound effect.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 1120000

Large collection purchasable sound effects, organized into categories, with particularly good tagging, and a very nice interface. Price is approximately $3 per sound effect, but also has a subscription model where you pay an amount per month for a certain amount of sounds per month.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 219000

Large collection of royalty free sounds and music.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 2750

Fairly extensive collection of some nice graphics for your games. Most of them are free, and there’s some gems in there. They also offer some paid assets, for a low price.

Tags: No
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 360

Professionally designed game sound effects at very affordable prices.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of sound effects: 8076

A collection of packaged sound effects of good quality, particularly sci-fi sounds effects.

Some are paid, and some are available for free, and royalty-free

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Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 1200

A large database of sound effects, organised into categories, with tags. Prices from $1, up to around $5.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 663000

Medium sized set of sounds presented with a moderately usable interface

Tags: Yes
Categories: No
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of sound effects: 1500

Music resources

An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Tags: Yes
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 528

Good commercial music, good price. Fairly large rap beats focus - but most suit any purpose. Typically high tempo.

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 750

Great interface for good quality music. Large database.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 123646

Large collection of royalty free sound effects and music with a nice interface. Decent prices.

Over 100,000 music tracks, with a handy sub-genre search, and over 47,000 sound effects. The sound effects are awkwardly categorized as a genre.

Formerly iStockPhoto Audio.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 108000

Royalty-free music available for purchase. Although the interface is a bit dated, the selection is quite nice. Interestingly they also make available their entire catalogue of music for $38.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 1340

A huge collection of music and loops, including creative commons licensed

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Categories: Yes
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of music tracks: 300000

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

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Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 6000

A great modern site for a large collection of music tracks at fairly low prices

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of music tracks: 88000

Bensound is an attractive website with royalty free music available for purchase, for use in YouTube videos, video games, and the like. The music tracks are categorised, and the site is clean and pleasant to use.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 197

Large collection of royalty free sounds and music.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 250

Nice set of $5 music tracks

Tags: Yes
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 150

Graphics resources

Some great graphics here, including the tileset for Tyrian, freely available.

Tags: No
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 250
3D: No
2D: Yes

An open community database of sfx, mfx and gfx. Aimed at the indie devs. Quality varies.

Tags: Yes
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 2496
3D: Yes
2D: Yes

Excellent 3D model packs, A couple of packs is typically enough for a pro 3D game.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 1000
3D: Yes
2D: No

3DOcean is a large database of 3D assets produced by a community of artists, including models, textures, shaders, and scripts. For a monthly fee, an unlimited amount of assets can be downloaded. The site is now part of Envato.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 63000
3D: Yes
2D: No

A great collection of vector graphics ideal for indie computer game design and development

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 100
3D: No
2D: Yes

A large, modern marketplace for Blender files. Many are creative commons licensed.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 6600
3D: Yes
2D: No

A simple png of 420 pixel art icons for use in an RPG

Tags: No
Categories: No
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 420
3D: No
2D: Yes

A decent selection of mainly isometric, categorised, 2D and 3D royalty free graphics assets

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 250
3D: Yes
2D: Yes

A large collection of free textures for commercial use..

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 13000
3D: No
2D: Yes

Google’s Poly service was set up in late 2017 to provide free low poly models for user, mostly in AR or VR applications.

Poly features tools to upload your own models or remix the models of others.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 8889
3D: Yes
2D: No

A large collection of textures for use in 3D graphics. Formerly known as CGTextures.

Tags: No
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 5000
3D: No
2D: Yes

A marketplace of professional higher quality 3D models, with prices to match. The collection is quite extensive, and the site is easy to navigate.

Tags: Yes
Categories: Yes
Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of graphics: 93101
3D: Yes
2D: No

Game development blogs

A lovely blog for gamers and game makers with lots of technical and creative tutorials, and post mortems from game developer Dan Kenny

Detailed tutorials, analysis and giveaways are available at this handy, frequently updated blog for game developers

A long lived blog for game developers, featuring news, tutorials and in-depth analysis

A popular blog about game design, featuring analysis and reviews

A varied blog about game design, development, and production from an experienced industry game dev turned indie, with a number of iOS titles under his belt. Also includes discussion of the business side.

Detailed, technical articles on the fundamentals of the plumbing of game development, with a focus on networking and physics. From The Network Protocol Company, who appear to be a consultancy for, you guessed it, game networking.

A blog about game design centred around the design of Magic the Gathering, by veteran designer Mark Rosewater. Although not strictly about video game design, the principles explored apply to all flavours of game design.

A blog from veteran game designer Tadhg Kelly, a regular co tribute to gamasutra and Techcrunch. Excellent insights into how to go about thinking about game design.

A popular blog from professional game designer Chris DeLeon. Cred: worked at EA, had impressive success with games for iOS.

Discussion of the theory of game design, and theoretical aspects of development as it relates to their game, Overgrowth.

Great reads on game design, particularly in the strategy space by professional game designer Keith Burgun. Founded his own studio, wrote books on game design.

Comprehensive collection of detailed articles on game design theory and art