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10 Free Softwares for Game Development

Updated: Nov 16, 2019

Find great tools for starting out Game Development with zero budget.



INTRODUCTION


Game development is fun!! This is precisely the reason why many get into game development. The joy of creating something new and awesome which you can proudly say is made by you is unparalleled. But the sad truth was that in the past fun didn't necessarily mean affordable. Back in the time professional and functional tools for developing games was available only to the larger companies and the public had little to no access to those tools and most if not all available softwares were more or less unaffordable by an enthusiast Game Developer. This deterred many from taking Game Development either as a passion

or profession.


Thankfully things are greatly different now. Companies have been aware of the fact that people are more likely to use a software for their commercial works if they began learning with the same software to begin with. They mostly provide free licenses to students with Indie licenses available for smaller Indie companies or individuals who have most likely transitioned from being Students to a full time Professional.


Also, Completely Free alternatives are available for Developers on a tight Budget. 10 of the most popular softwares and tools are listed below


GAME ENGINES -


1. Unity

Unity is one of the leading Game Engines today, first announced and released on June 2005 at Apple Inc.'s Worldwide Developers Conference, developed by Unity Technologies . It is a cross platform Game Engine with support extended to more than 25 platforms as of 2018. The Game Engine can be used to create 3D, 2D, VR, and AR content along with other simulations and experiences. Unity has also been adopted by industries outside Games including Film, Architecture, Automotive, Engineering and Constructions.

Find out how to install unity here.


Unity is free for hobbyists and for companies with a revenue of less than $100,000 per year. Paid licenses include a Plus and Pro subscription. You can find more details about Unity and the license plans offered at www.unity.com

2. Unreal

Developed by Epic Games, Unreal Engine is a Game Engine showcased for the first time in 1998 in the first Person-Shooter game Unreal. It is another leading Game Engines today geared towards extremely Photo-realistic Real-time Graphics which has been successfully used for various games of genres including Platformers, MMORPGs and others although it was originally developed for First-Person Shooters. Unreal Engine offers a complete suite of powerful and flexible tools for all the artistic and development needs for Game Development along with great real-time Visualization tools for other design related disciplines like Architecture and Films. The Engine is also source available for customizing and debugging along with tools for VR, AR with cross platform support for both PC

and Mobile.

Now Quixel Megascans are free for Unreal Engine Users. Find out more here.


Unreal Engine is completely free for personal use and you only pay 5% of your revenue when you use it commercially. Head over to www.unrealengine.com for more details


3D MODELLING -


3. Blender

Open Source and completely free, Blender is a dream come true for a Game developer. With tools for 3D modelling, Sculpting, Texturing, Rendering, Compositing and many more, blender is one of the most feature packed softwares out there for Industries like Game Development, 3D art, ArchViz, etc. The newest release of Blender, Blender 2.8, brings forward a completely revamped UI and many more amazing features to the hands of the Developers and Artists alike. Blender also had its own Game Engine called the Blender Engine but was discontinued in the newer releases. Blender also provides a real-time Renderer Eevee for fast ideation and a GPU powered Cycles renderer with Nvidia Optix powered denoiser for fast and clean renders along with features like node based PBR workflow for materials authoring. Blender is a complete package for almost all your Graphical needs.


Fully free and feature packed....Find more about blender at www.blender.org

4. Magicavoxel

Magicavoxel is a tiny 8-bit light-weighted software for creating Voxelart Models for your games and other 3D needs. Made by Ephtracy, Magicavoxel is a very robust and capable tool for Voxel art which includes tools for modelling and painting your voxel models along with a integrated GPU based interactive Path Tracer for rendering out your models. It's completely free to use both for Commercial and non-commercial use.


If you are into Voxel art Magicavoxel is definitely for you. Get Magicavoxel now at www.ephtracy.github.io


GRAPHICS -


5. GIMP

GNU Image Manipulation Program, Commonly known as GIMP, is an open-source Image Editor for your Graphics needs. You also have options for 3rd party plugin integrations to customize and enhance your productivity. Whether if you have a need for photo manipulation or for creation of original artwork by digital painting GIMP covers all

your needs.


GIMP is a great program and is completely free. Available for Download at www.gimp.org

6. Sketchbook

Sketchbook is a powerful raster graphics software geared towards expressive drawing and concept art. Developed first by Alias Systems Corporation and later acquired by Autodesk, Sketchbook was originally a Commercial software before evolving into a Subscription model. Now Sketchbook is shipped as a Freeware. It has all the tools you need for Digital Painting with features to customize brushes, use multiple layers, pressure sensitivity, PSD export, flipbook and animation creation and more. It is available for both PC and

Mobile Devices.


Amazing software for getting your ideas out to the whole world. You can get Sketchbook from www.sketchbook.com


ANIMATION -


7. Dragonbones

Dragonbones is a Free Open-Source 2D bone animation Tool which has runtime libraries and tools for many Game Engines. You can animate 2D sprites without having to painstakingly draw each frame in the spritesheet but by animating bones after rigging the 2D sprite instead. It has robust tools for animation including IK animation and rigging, weight painting, and more. It is a great alternative for 2D sprite animation tools as most other softwares can be a bit too pricey for an Indie Game Developer.


Easy to use, Free and Open Source. Find out more about Dragonbones at www.dragonbones.com


VIDEO EDITING -


8. DaVinci Resolve

Originally Famous for it's Color Grading tools Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve has evolved to be one of the best Non-Linear Video Editing (NLE) application for Windows, MacOS and Linux. Along with the commercial version of DaVinci Resolve, called DaVInci Resolve Studio, which costs $299, Blackmagic Design also ships a free edition with reduced functionality which is quite capable for day to day use. It also has a compositing tool called Fusion and you can get great functionality for audio with Fairlight which is also included in the software. If you are making a game trailer, an in game cut scene or any other video editing task DaVinci Resolve is an awesome and capable software to use.


Feature packed and highly stable....Head up to www.blackmagicdesign.com and check out other awesome features of DaVinci Resolve.


SOUND -


9. Audacity

Another Completely Free Open-Source software, Audacity, is an amazing cross platform audio software for boosting up your Game's audio to the next level. It runs on Windows, MacOS, and GNU/Linux . It's easy to use and is a multi track editor recorder 3rd party plugin support is also available with accessibility for writing your own plugins. Audacity produces high quality sounds with many Import/Export formats with Batch

Export functionality.


Find the solution for your audio needs at www.audacityteam.org


PROJECT MANAGEMENT -


10. Trello

One of the best Project Management tools out there , Trello is robust and feature packed with a Visual Overview of whats been worked on and who's working on it. Originally made by Fog Creek Software in 2011, it was later sold to Atlassian in 2017. Trello makes it easy both to collaborate with your team of Developers in a very streamlined way or keep track of your progress as a solo developer. Trello's free tier can do most of the work necessary by a team of Indie Game Developers.


Get it now at www.trello.com


CONCLUSION


There has been no time as awesome as now to start Game Development. Finally finance doesn't have to be a reason to follow your passion to create amazing games . Thanks to this new and awesome Game developers are starting out with Game Development and many amazing Indie titles have been made. This is the best time to become an Indie Game Developer, so start your Game Development journey with zero budget, Good Luck.


With Love From VOiD1 Gaming


**VOiD1 Gaming is not sponsored by any of the above companies. This list is in no particular order and preference of the softwares are solely dependent on the user interest. All trademarks appearing in this list are registered trademarks of the respective companies.**