Game developer resources

9   ~ Page posted 12 Nov 2012 by unlikekinds  

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.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 360

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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Approx number of sound effects: 47000

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

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Approx number of sound effects: 5510

Open source, huge database. Good community feel.

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Approx number of sound effects: 151574

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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Approx number of sound effects: 1120000

Professionally designed game sound effects at very affordable prices.

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Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of sound effects: 8076

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.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 360

Large collection of royalty free sounds and music.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 2750

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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Approx number of sound effects: 1200

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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Approx number of sound effects: 219000

Medium sized set of sounds presented with a moderately usable interface

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Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of sound effects: 1500

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

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of sound effects: 663000

Music resources

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

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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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Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 750

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

Great interface for good quality music. Large database.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 123646

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

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Star ratings: Yes
Approx number of music tracks: 300000

Dated interface, but decent selection.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 120

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

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Approx number of music tracks: 6000

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

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Approx number of music tracks: 88000

Nice set of $5 music tracks

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Approx number of music tracks: 150

Royalty free music by Bensound

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Approx number of music tracks: 69

Large collection of royalty free sounds and music.

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of music tracks: 250

Graphics resources

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

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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.

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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.

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

A large commercial collection of 3D models

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 8000
3D: Yes
2D: No

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

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

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

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

A site that specialises in icons for your game's UI

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 2804
3D: No
2D: Yes

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.

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

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

A categorised collection of free, high quality pixel art b y Luis Zuno

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Star ratings: No
Approx number of graphics: 300
3D: No
2D: Yes

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

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

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

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

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

Game dev books

This book provides readers with an in-depth exploration of 3D game engine architecture. It covers state-of-the-art software architecture principles in the context of game engine design, investigates the subsystems typically found in a real production game engine, surveys engine architectures from actual shipping games, and explores how the differences between game genres can affect engine design. Topics covered include large-scale C++ software architecture in a games context; engine subsystems including rendering, audio, collision, physics and game world models; multi-player engines; tools pipelines for modern games.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 18

Takes programmers through the complete process of developing a professional quality game, covering a range of topics such as the key ""gotcha"" issues that could trip up even a veteran programmer, game interface design, game audio, and game engine technology.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 17

Provides an introduction to AI game techniques used in game programming.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 11
<p>Creating robust artificial intelligence is one of the greatest challenges for game developers, yet the commercial success of a game is often dependent upon the quality of the AI. In this book, Ian Millington brings extensive professional experience to the problem of improving the quality of AI in games. He describes numerous examples from real games and explores the underlying ideas through detailed case studies. He goes further to introduce many techniques little used by developers today. The book&#39;s associated web site contains a library of C++ source code and demonstration programs, and a complete commercial source code library of AI algorithms and techniques. &quot;&quot;Artificial Intelligence for Games - 2nd edition&quot;&quot; will be highly useful to academics teaching courses on game AI, in that it includes exercises with each chapter. It will also include new and expanded coverage of the following: AI-oriented gameplay; Behavior driven AI; Casual games (puzzle games)...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 9

Thoroughly revised, this third edition focuses on modern techniques used to generate synthetic three-dimensional images in a fraction of a second. With the advent of programmable shaders, a wide variety of new algorithms have arisen and evolved over the past few years. This edition discusses current, practical rendering methods used in games and other applications. It also presents a solid theoretical framework and relevant mathematics for the field of interactive computer graphics, all in an approachable style. The authors have made the figures used in the book available for download for fair use.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 7
<p>Written by an expert in the game industry, Christer Ericson&#39;s new book is a comprehensive guide to the components of efficient real-time collision detection systems. The book provides the tools and know-how needed to implement industrial-strength collision detection for the highly detailed dynamic environments of applications such as 3D games, virtual reality applications, and physical simulators. Of the many topics covered, a key focus is on spatial and object partitioning through a wide variety of grids, trees, and sorting methods. The author also presents a large collection of intersection and distance tests for both simple and complex geometric shapes. Sections on vector and matrix algebra provide the background for advanced topics such as Voronoi regions, Minkowski sums, and linear and quadratic programming. Of utmost importance to programmers but rarely discussed in this much detail in other books are the chapters covering numerical and geometric robustness, both essent...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 11

Anyone can master the fundamentals of game design - no technological expertise is necessary. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames. Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. While touring through the unusual territory that is game design, this book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses - one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology. Anyone who reads this book will be inspired to become a better game designer - and will understand how to do it.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 6
<p>Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications, 2nd edition presents the core mathematics necessary for sophisticated 3D graphics and interactive physical simulations. The book begins with linear algebra and matrix multiplication and expands on this foundation to cover such topics as color and lighting, interpolation, animation and basic game physics. Essential Mathematics focuses on the issues of 3D game development important to programmers and includes optimization guidance throughout. The new edition Windows code will now use Visual Studio.NET. There will also be DirectX support provided, along with OpenGL - due to its cross-platform nature. Programmers will find more concrete examples included in this edition, as well as additional information on tuning, optimization and robustness. The book has a companion CD-ROM with exercises and a test bank for the academic secondary market, and for main market: code examples built around a shared code base, including a math...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 6

Covers mathematical concepts that are needed to develop 3D game programming and graphics.

Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 4
<p>&quot;Game Feel&quot; exposes &quot;feel&quot; as a hidden language in game design that no one has fully articulated yet. The language could be compared to the building blocks of music (time signatures, chord progressions, verse) - no matter the instruments, style or time period - these building blocks come into play. Feel and sensation are similar building blocks where game design is concerned. They create the meta-sensation of involvement with a game. </p> <p>The understanding of how game designers create feel, and affect feel are only partially understood by most in the field and tends to be overlooked as a method or course of study, yet a game&#39;s feel is central to a game&#39;s success. This book brings the subject of feel to light by consolidating existing theories into a cohesive book. </p> <p>The book covers topics like the role of sound, ancillary indicators, the importance of metaphor, how people perceive things, and a brief history of feel in games.</p> <p>The ass...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 3
<p>Direct3D 11 offers such a wealth of capabilities that users can sometimes get lost in the details of specific APIs and their implementation. While there is a great deal of low-level information available about how each API function should be used, there is little documentation that shows how best to leverage these capabilities. Written by active members of the Direct3D community, Practical Rendering and Computation with Direct3D 11 provides a deep understanding of both the high and low level concepts related to using Direct3D 11. The first part of the book presents a conceptual introduction to Direct3D 11, including an overview of the Direct3D 11 rendering and computation pipelines and how they map to the underlying hardware. It also provides a detailed look at all of the major components of the library, covering resources, pipeline details, and multithreaded rendering. Building upon this material, the second part of the text includes detailed examples of how to use Direct3D 11 i...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 4
<p>The definitive OpenGL Shading Language reference AND tutorial - now fully updated and revised for the latest version * *Includes extensive new coverage, including a thorough discussion of GLSL for OpenGL ES, the emerging standard for handheld media devices. *Clear, approachable, and relevant examples that help programmers quickly address the challenges they&#39;re most likely to encounter. * Authored by experts who have been intimately involved in the design and evolution of the OpenGL Shading Language. OpenGL Shading Language, 3/e is the definitive guide to creating graphics applications with the newest version of the OpenGL Shading Language. Using this book, graphics programmers will learn how to exploit the full performance and flexibility of modern GPU hardware to create stunningly realistic and creative effects. One part reference, one part tutorial, this will be their go-to source from the moment they begin learning the language until they&#39;ve become seasoned experts. Th...
Mentions on Game Developer Stack Exchange: 4

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