An ultimate list of all the tools needed for your indie game development journey

In the ever-expanding universe of indie game development, the journey from concept to a fully-realized game is both thrilling and daunting. Independent developers, often working with limited resources and tight budgets, face the challenge of bringing their unique visions to life. Fortunately, the digital age has democratized the development process, providing an abundance of resources that cater to every aspect of game creation. From photorealistic PBR (Physically Based Rendering) assets that breathe life into environments with stunning realism, to captivating soundtracks that enhance the immersive experience, the tools at a developer’s disposal are more accessible and versatile than ever.

Creating a game that resonates with players requires not just technical skills, but also a deep understanding of artistry and storytelling. For indie developers, this often means wearing multiple hats—game designer, artist, sound engineer, and marketer. In this vibrant ecosystem, resources like high-quality 2D pixel art assets and comprehensive 3D game asset libraries are invaluable, enabling creators to infuse their games with personality and depth without the need for extensive teams or budgets.

Moreover, the art of sound design and music creation in games cannot be understated. Music and sound effects play pivotal roles in setting the tone of the game, influencing player emotions, and enhancing gameplay dynamics. For indie developers, mastering these elements can elevate a game from good to unforgettable, creating memorable experiences for players.

This article aims to guide indie game developers through the rich landscape of resources available for game creation. Whether you’re crafting a pixel-perfect 2D platformer, designing a complex 3D world, or composing an original soundtrack, we’ll explore the tools and communities that can help bring your vision to life. Join us as we delve into the essential assets and insider tips that can empower your indie game development journey, ensuring that your game not only reaches the finish line but stands out in the crowded marketplace.

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Art Assets

CC0 Textures – PBR Textures

PBR textures that are under the CC0 license

CC0 HDRI Cubemaps, Models and Textures  (use to convert)

Unruly Games PSD Logo Templates – Easy editable logos

Edit with PhotoPea

Unruly Games Simple UI – Clean, neutral UI pack

Kenney Game Assets – Lots of CC0 2D/3D art, UI and audio packs

Game Icons – CC3 SVG game icons

Loads of great icons  for UI and symbol use. Backgrounds, colours and shapes are all configurable.

Dev Assets by Brackeys – Pay what you inc free want 3D textured assets

Cultural Heritage 3D Models – CC0 by Thomas Flynn

Light probe cubemaps

Kay Lousberg Art Packs

RGS Dev Art Packs – Selection of free and paid assets 

SVG Repo – Icons – Free for commercial use under some different licences.

Google Material Icons – Free for use under the Apache Licence 2.0

Feather Icons – Open source icons

Craftpix Freebies – Free 2D game assets

Blockout Textures – Prototyping textures

Quaternius Models – CC0 low poly 3D models

Snyty Store – Low poly Art theme packs

Art Tools

Blender (Windows, Mac, Linux) – 3D and 2D art package and video editor

De Facto standard for free modelling software (check out their features page).

Assert Forge (Windows, Mac, Linux) – Create models from prefab meshes

Make models out of ‘blocks’/prefabs (think Duplo)

Sprytile – Create 3D models from spritesheet tiles (requires Blender)

Crocotile 3D – Create 3D models from spritesheet tiles

Blockbench – Collaborative, online blocky modelling and animation tool

Also is downloadable as an offline, local software package.

PhotoPea – PSD editor in a browser

Texture Packer – Pack individual sprites, icons into a single sprite sheet

Sprite Sheet Packer – Free, online ‘lite’ version of Texture Packer

Free Texture Packer – Open source, cross platform texture packer

ShoeBox – A 2D image toolbox, texture packer, splitter, ripper, bitmap fonts 

Pattern Generator – Create repeated pattern textures/images

Dither Me This – Dither filter for ‘that’ look

Art Resources

Colour palettes based on Indie Games

The Complete Guide to Visual Effects in League of Legends

Recommend YouTube videos for VFX

Audio Assets

Kenney Audio Packs – CC0

Casual Game SFX Pack – CC0

Gamemaster Pro Sound Collection – 8076 sound effects

Audio Tools

Audacity – Audio editor

Bfxr – Sound generator


Stephan Dube Xbox One and PS4 UI Font – Free for commercial use

UX and UI Design References

Game UI Database – Collection of UI elements in games

Huge database of UI elements in many mainstream games for mechanics such as lives, health bars, etc

Interface In Games – Collection of UI elements in games

Huge database of UI elements in many mainstream games for mechanics such as lives, health bars, etc

Collection of resources and books on UX


Blog posts and Wiki pages on different areas of UX design such as Typogrpahy and Color.


A site with A/B tried and tested design patterns for sites to produce higher conversion rates and growth.

Switch Icon Showdown! – Nintendo Switch games icon history

Fiery Mario – Presentation on onboarding users

Game Design Tools

Map generators

City Generator Scrawl
Grid Cartographer Hex, grid, even export to OBJAzgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator 

Machinations – Game balancing tool

Flow graph game balancing tool and test. They do several webinars on how to use the tool including this one where they modelled Hades,

Game Design References – Game Design documents and pitches 

Includes the classic Lucas Arts games, Ninja Theory and Doom.

VR Locomotion Vault

Great collection of all the different movement controls in the VR space. GIFs and breakdowns on comfort, ease of use etc.

Game a week exercise

From the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

11 game themes and examples of games that use that theme. Useful if you need to get out of a creative rut.

Design Games for Game Designers

A presentation of games for teaching students the fundamentals of Game Design

The Theory and Practice of Cameras in Side-Scrollers 

Scroll Back: The Theory and Practice of Cameras in Side-Scrollers

Great article on common camera logic and behaviour with 2D games with some great GIFs to explain

UI and UX review for card games

Nice little twitter thread about UI and UX flow in card games. Highlights:

Make the card recognisable while it’s in your hand. eg name, cost, type, anything that unique identifies it. 

Selecting the card makes it obvious what it does, what it targets and the effect.

x. strike deals 9, not 6, against a vulnerable enemy!

xi. these are the places i can put spider cocoon. interactions with adjacent placements would be highlighted.

And the follow up animation when played

Zelda: Breath of the Wild open world design

How Nintendo Solved Zelda’s Open World Problem (Game Maker’s Toolkit)

Nintendo’s path design breaks linearity, taking the player on a journey full of mini discoveries using smaller landmarks

The landmarks are hidden behind hills/mountains which gives elements of surprise without overwhelming the player

Dark Pattern Games

A reference guide to ‘dark’ mobile game patterns where a dark pattern is: ‘something that is deliberately added to a game to cause an unwanted negative experience for the player with a positive outcome for the game developer.’

Riot Game Design Curriculum

A public course for teachers, workshop instructors etc to teach high school students (and others) the fundamentals of game design.

Programmer References

Helpful git commands for beginners

Great cheat sheet for the most common commands.

Game programming patterns

Common patterns used in games and software development.


Common patterns used in games and software development, walkthrough refactoring code process.

3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development

Free book on 3D math for games.

Math for Game Devs (2023)

Lecture series on maths used in game development

Procedural Content Generation in Games

Game Networking Resources by ThusSpokeNomad

GameCI – Free Unity CI Cloud Build service

Project Management Software – Card game based interface for project management

Designed and made by game developers and is presented in a card game like manner. Looks great for small teams but lacks the powerful queries in other management tools.

Free for up to 3 users and 5 projects otherwise 5 EUR per user per month.

HacknPlan – Integrates the game design document as part of the project tracking

More scalable for teams of teams and has infinitely nestable tasks. Create tasks from the game design documentation rather than keeping the two separate. Used by many indie studios as seen in the showcase.

Has a lot of the features that you would expect for large teams and projects, including metrics dashboard, kanban view, gantt charts etc.

Free for personal use going up to 6 EUR per user for teams.

Basecamp – Suite of management tools and communication.

All in one hub with instant messaging, discussion threads, to do lists, files, scheduling etc all in one package. Flat rate for any team size.

Free for 3 projects, 20 Users, 1GB. Otherwise 99 USD per month.

Notion – Wiki like knowledge base

An easy space to create knowledge base pages to be shared with the team. It’s also capable of planning and keeping track of tasks, calendar etc.

Miro – Infinite online whiteboard

Create your own management workflow and product overview with virtual sticky notes, pinned images, videos. Allows multiple users to use and edit it at the same time. Provides templates for common use cases.

Free for 3 boards and unlimited members.

JIRA – Industry standard project and issue tracker

Industry standard for managing projects which means there is a lot of resources and help available if you get stuck. It has a VERY powerful querying language but can be quite clunky to deal with.

Dashboards, reports, etc are all very customisable so a lot can be automated in terms of sharing data and current work in progress.

Free for up to 10 users.

YouTrack – A programmer focused issue tracker with knowledge base

An issue tracker that was made by developers for developers. There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts and navigation that you would expect from an IDE.

It also now contains a knowledge base to keep reports, documentation etc.

Free for up to 10 users.

Trello – Streamlined card based, virtual board

A column tracker based virtual board that is very straightforward and flexible to use. Subnautica used it in the past.


dotoolkit() – Templates for Presskit and Contracts

Games Opportunities – Funding opportunities

A monthly curated publication with details of upcoming funding opportunities, award entry dates, conference speaker calls etc.

Global Games Industry Guide

Huge resource of links and resources to funding, events, accessibility etc.

Pitch Deck Sample

From Gwen Foster at Superhot Presents

Video Game Pitch Decks

A directory of pitch decks from existing games.

Wargoove Pretend Pitch Deck

Game Conference Guide

List of all the upcoming global game conferences. 

Rawfury’s Developer Resources

Includes templates and examples for MNDAs, pitch documents, revenue graph projections, etc

Investors List

Publisher List (mostly mobile)

Alan’s Gamedev Resources Sheet (Public)

Massive spreadsheet with publishers, localisation companies, porting, etc

Narvik Digest – Games business newsletter

Great newsletter covering the business side of games such as revenue numbers and acquisitions. 

How to Market a Game

List of resources, blog posts about marketing games. There’s a little upselling of his book but even then, there’s a lot of useful information here.

Indie Game Marketing YouTube playlist 

Huge list of videos from a virtual conference by Indie Game Business regarding marketing and User Acquisition.

Game Marketing Campaigns

A database of in depth looks on games marketing campaigns including Fall Guys, Cyberpunk 2077 and Valorant.

GameDiscoverCo newsletter

A great newsletter that regularly posts how users find games to buy and play.

Vestd – Manage share and equity

“Digital equity management, the ability to issue shares & options instantly, a real time cap table, legal docs, the option scheme designer and shareholder dashboards.”

Communication Tools – Multiplayer screen sharing

The founder created ScreenHero before it was brought by Slack. This is one of the few screen sharing tools that supports multiple cursors from each user allowing a more natural conversation flow. ‘Look over here’ can be accompanied with their own cursor movement.

Downside is that the host needs to be able to support a screen share upload to each user which makes it unwieldy for a big group.

Twist – Easy, accessible forum-like communication

A cross between traditional forum and instant chat, with threads as the focus and allowing for more structured conversation while keeping some of the conveniences of instant chat.

Great for asynchronous teams as keeping track of multiple conversations is a lot easier compared to something like Slack or Discord.

Zulip – Instant chat with strong focus on using threads

This is also designed for distributed, asynchronous teams with more focus on threads (or what they call topics) to keep the context of a conversation together.

Jitsi – Free and open source video conferencing

Free, open source video conferencing software with end to end encryption. They also host a ‘quick start’ meeting option at No account needed.

Parsec – 60fps, low latency screen sharing

Parsec was originally designed to allow users to play local multiplayer games without needing to be physically together. It can support a 60fps stream and can be used for more than games. I’ve used it to collaborate with team members where we needed to share the same screen and no other screen sharing software I’ve used supported a high framerate and remote input besides

Discord – ‘Best in class’ instant messaging and voice chat

It’s poor for structured team conversation but is probably one of best services for instant messaging and voice chat. 

Screen Capture

ShareX – Capture screenshots, videos, gifs (Win)

Fully featured screen capturing software that is free and open source. Can be a little overwhelming in features but being to take a screenshot and immediately make annotations from a single hotkey is great!

Lightshot – Easy image screen capture with annotation support (Win/Mac)

OBS – Screen video capture with multiple input sources (Win/Mac/Linux)

Fantastic screen recorder if you need to record a tutorial, bug, feature request, etc. It does require the use of something like Handbrake to reduce the video file size though. They’ve also released a live virtual webcam feature so you can ‘stream’ via Google Meets, Zoom etc.

Kap – Easy video screen capture to MP4 or GIF (Mac)

Open source screen capture for Mac that allows for basic editing and resizing after capture. Framerates and output type (GIF/MP4) can be done after the capture. Really wish there was a Window version! The closest I’ve found is ShareX.

GifCam – Simple GIF capture (Win)

Editing captures is not straightforward but it’s the best I’ve found to use on Windows so far.

Paid app but offers a ton of features that free GIF capture tools for Windows don’t have. Text, chat bubbles and multiple format exports. – Create beautiful code

Not quite screen capture but allows you to present code snippets in a nice visual way with social media etc.

Web Development Tools

Fill Murray – Quickly create image placeholders of any dimension

URL that can be used for image placeholders

Eg Image that is 200 x 300 – Free JSON hosting

Useful for host configs and static game data that can be updated over the air without a new app deploy.

This Person Doesn’t Exist – AI generated faces

Great for placeholders on site mockups for testimonials. 

Amazing QR – Animated QR Codes

Much more interesting QR code generator and also supports animated GIFs!

(Learn more how QR codes work here


No cookie analytics for 1 EUR a month. Fully compliant with GDPR, ePrivacy, PECR, CCPA, and COPPA and requires no cookie banner.

Image Hosting Services

Catbox – Free 200MB uploads

No ads, simple direct URL to image. – Free text and image uploads

No ads


Note to self to look at interesting tools etc.

Free people to download

AI character animation:

Low poly assets from BitGem:

Texture Generator

Material Maker

NormalMap Generator

Wick Editor – The next Flash editor?

PlayerIO is the fast, easy, scalable & reliable way to build online games. Features such as BigDB, GameFS, Sitebox and Multiplayer makes it possible to build large complex online games without hosting a single server yourself.

Another similar service 

Write your game server in TypeScript/JavaScript. Integrate into your game using one of our client SDK’s. (See presentation overview, and more examples) 

Level Editor designed by the developers of Dead Cells

Game design resources:

Ball base todo ‘list’


BeepBox is an online tool for sketching and sharing instrumental melodies.

All song data is contained in the URL at the top of your browser. When you make changes to the song, the URL is updated to reflect your changes. When you are satisfied with your song, just copy and paste the URL to save and share your song!

Smithsonian Open Access

Looks like lots of images and models to use freely

Learning about shaders:

Blog on hashnode free:

Maximo for characters and animations

Bitmap flow:

Free documentation hosting:

Indie Marketing playlist: 

Another communication, shared workspace thing by Jetbrains

Gridbuilder add on for Blender: 

Localisation ML translations: 

Procedural Sprite Tool

Another tile based map level editor:

Dragon bones

Shader tutorials (Unity?) VC for games specifically color blind palettes Mac screen capture  (replacement for Skitch?) – free loading icons (CC0)

Lots of CC X models 


Flat UI colors

Art version control, still very new: 

Game Design resources:

Docs on funding, resources etc

Fun kid centric games engine

Bitmap fonts for asian languages video editing Video Game Industry Statistics and Facts wikis from GDrive

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Fungies helps game developers create their own storefronts or marketplaces to sell directly to players. Web2 and Web3 compatible. helps game developers create their own storefronts or marketplaces to sell directly to players. Web2 and Web3 compatible.

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