Tools for games

Discussion of tools and resources for game developers

Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:32 pm

Hello guys. To make a diffrence, i though that the time has came to give something back to the community.

As we all know, making games is mostly pain in butt, especialy if you are not Jack-Of-All-Trades - talented in all various areas of game developing progress. Many of us have our own speciality: we are graphic artists, music composers, 3d modellers, programmers ect. So when we are quite good in our area of speciality, we have lacks outside of our specialities. We offten find outself being unable to finish the game or make it better - because of those lacks. But internet is a huge place. And if you spent enough time - you can find lots of pearns and gems, hidden deep within ocean of mud. But this procces is quite time consuming, and we offten find ourself looking for the game assets and tools - rather then actualy working on our wonder game.

I for example, have the speciality which is propably the most under-rated and mostly ignored - i am a professional game writer. I write stories, quests, plot, eviroment, creatures, heroes, areas, structures - everything. But as i am a very untalented person i have my hands tied - as long as i wont find a way, to take my ideas and creations from my head - into reality. Thats why from 5 months ive spent alot of time researching various "tools" that could aid me in this procces, and do all the dirty work for me. And this is preety much most if not all of this research results.

But dont get fooled - i am not a flower-power hippy who shares everything he has with the world not wanting anything in exchange. All this tools took me hours, days and months to find and perhaps obtain. Some of them i belive to be a lone owner, or at least one of the chosen few ;)
I am sharing this, as i almost lost all my faith that i will be able to finish my games and make my dreams come true - but i fanaticly HATE wasting resources and selfish thinking. This tools are great for creating assets, but assets are wourthless - if you are unable to combain them into a working game. Maybe you will have more luck and talent then i have/had.

Ill try to provide you with the download link if the tool is freeware, otherwise itll be just a link to their website.

So, to cut the chase:

Name:
Licence:
Website:
Official Description:
My opinion:

[size=150:5qbnwwxu]Animations/Special Effects/Graphics:[/size:5qbnwwxu]

World Machine 3D Terrain Generator
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.world-machine.com/index.php[/url:5qbnwwxu]
World Machine Original grew to become a highly popular application for the creation of landscapes and realistic looking geological features. World Machine 2 builds upon its predecessor and introduces a great set of new tools to enhance the way you create and texture your terrain.

what can i say? its a beast. And even a total rookie can wrap his head around this program in a flash. Rendering is quite fast too.

ExGen
Comersial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.thegamecreators.com/?m=view_product&id=2155[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Explosions and Special Effects. They look good but making animated effects for games isn't as easy as it could be. ExGen is designed to fulfill all the special effects art requirements for your video games. Wrapped in an intuitive interface, the powerful ExGen system allows you to create a wide variety of effects which can then be exported as image's or an AVI animation file for instant use in your games. Texture objects with an explosion animation, or rising smoke, pulsating lights, lazer beams or anything else you can create.

Not bad, but far from Magic Particles power and user-friendly


4 x Freeware Explosion Generators
Freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15566547/Explosion%20Makers.rar[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Each one of them made by diffrent people. Cant remember where i got all of them. Ive packeted them into one rar. As always - download and use at your own risk. i dont take any responsibility if you PC will blow cuz of this.

DoGa
Shareware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.doga.co.jp/english/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
The aim of DoGA is to spread the new born culture of computer graphics to the public, and progress on to the next stage where CG animation is just accessible like any other art form. There are full of animations we can enjoy on TV, in Cinema, on Video cassette, but they are all produced by professionals. The film produced an amateur can rarely be found. But producing a film is much more amusing than just watching them!

A bit old(heck! its almost older then me!) but still very handy. Think of it as Spore: Spaceship Creator from 1985 heh


World Creator
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.inet2inet.com/Main/Main.htm[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Our software will help you create Graphics, Artwork for Games, Web and Media applications. Using our unique Tiling and Masking system you will be creating stunning Graphics quickly and easily. Whether you already use Game Dev Software, Vb / C++, Web Creation Software and are an experienced or novice programmer, then we are sure you will find our products, support and service invaluable.

This is something that propably none of you never heard of. Actualy, even accidently bumping this program over the internet is near to zero. But still, this is preety much the Holy Grail of mapping tools. It has everything from tile maping, blending - animations, SHITLOAD of assets, isometric view, top down, side scroll view. and its cheap



Magic Particles
Shareware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.astralax.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Magic Particles is a special editor that lets to create visual effects based on particle system quickly and visually. Ignescent text, flying comet, autumn leaves dancing in the gust of wind, snowstorm and multicolored fog, wriggly tentacles of outlandish creatures, fantastic silhouettes of plants all these (and many more!) images might not only be created in our program but added to your photos and videos. The program will be useful both for nonprofessionals who just like to decorate private photos and for designers. Want to decorate your wedding photo or add New Year freshness to your movie or banner? There is nothing easier! The program is so simple and easy-to-use that anyone can create special effects of top class just in a couple of minutes and with few mouse clicks

Outstanding program with outstanding possiblities. Its very easy to learn and has mostly drag and drop interface. Has lots of premade templets which you can use as a starting point. The animation can be exported to various outputs such as avi, png or jpg. Its very fun to use even if you are not gamedeving.

Universe Image Creator
Shareware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.diardsoftware.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Create realistic images of deep space. First, create your star field and then add nebula, stars, vortex, lens flares, planets, and galaxies. Requires Windows XP, Vista.

Outstanding easy to use with great final result.


Fractal Terrains Pro
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.profantasy.com/products/ft.asp[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Want to create an entire world in under five minutes? Welcome to FT Pro. Want to generate rivers, lakes, craters and continental shelves? Welcome to FT Pro. Want to generate maps from real world Earth data? Welcome to FT Pro.

I simply love this program. This + a bit of PhotoShoping and you can generate photo-realistic planets textures. If not for that - just use it as your world map, planet surfaces or anything.


iClone
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Real-time animation evolves with 3D Video FX, motion paths, HDR and rapid drag & drop creation inside iClone4. iClone4 combines real-time filmmaking & video production inside one powerful engine. The result is a streamlined production tool for motion graphics, 3D animation, video compositing and 3D stereo creation.

This is truely a mark of evolution in 3D animation. Even i can easly use this program.


MojoWorld 3
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.pandromeda.com/products/mojoworldpro.php[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Want the world? MojoWorld delivers! MojoWorld 3 Professional has unique functionality unmatched by any other 3D software, at any price. Only MojoWorld models and renders complete environmentsas the global context of a planetwith pixel-level detail everywhere, at any distance, field of view, or resolution. Digital effects professionals, advanced digital artists & graphic designers, and video professionals alike can quickly and easily build entire worlds in a powerful, real-time environment, then renderin batch mode, for efficiencyphotorealistic landscape stills and animations. Create the scenes you need by importing 3D objects from industry-standard 3D file formats. Animate your worlds in an unprecedented way: all MojoWorld fractals are implemented in four dimensions, with sophisticated animation controls, so that you can sweep them through time for unique and fascinating effects.

Similiar to World Machine 3D but much slower. Can render a whole Planet (!!) with its mountains, rivers, suns and moons. you just set the options, adjuct them a bit and v'la - you just made a planet. (warning, High-end setting rendering takes ages)

Planet Surface Editor
Freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15566547/Planet%20Surface%20Editor.rar[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Kind a like Fractal Terrain but freeware, more realistic and you can save the image even at hiper-high resolution. A great alternative to FT Pro but with less options


Google ScetchUp
Freeware/Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://sketchup.google.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Google SketchUp Pro is a simple, but powerful tool for exploring and presenting your ideas in 3D. SketchUp Pro is everything traditional CAD software isn't -- quick to learn and intuitive to use.

Possibly the easiest 3d Modeling program ever created. Its kind a buggy though and likes to crash on you.

TerraJ
Freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://terraj.sourceforge.net/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
TerraJ is a set of fractal terrain and solar system generation programs that have been ported from C/C++ to Java.The port has included extensive refactoring, the creation of a documented API to enable reuse of parts of them in other programs and extensions to the original programs such as new Swing user interfaces. Full javadoc for all the classes in the project is available.

All-around tool for planets, solar systems and planet surface creation.

3 x Random generators/creators
freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.gozzys.com/section.php?cm_id=5[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Random Dungeons, Cave , Wilderness Map Creator


Donjon pack of generators
Freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://donjon.bin.sh/4e/encounter/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
just click it. you wont regret it. Mostly planet, system, names.

Creature Creator Standalone Pro
Comersial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.fxrsoft.com/products[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Creating humanoids, aliens, monsters, bugs, and other things that go bump in the night is an easy experience with Creature Creator. Make one-of-a-kind characters for cartoons, fantasy and sci-fi in minutes - by using any of the plugin's library of over 500 pre-defined body parts, which can be tweeked or combined in endless ways for genuine originality. Of course you can also add your own modifications and models to the library to make the possibilities with this plugin endless. If you're serious about your animations, you'll want to add Creature Creator to your toolbox.

Ever player Spore? Remember its famous Creature Creator? Thats the stuff. A blessing and a God send for any non-3d modeller who needs nice models but lacks the skills. shame its soo damn pricy though. And well, its just raw mesh file, you still need something to texture it and make it move heh ;)

Dundjinni
Commercial
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.dundjinni.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Dundjinni is a full-featured fantasy map creation program. It allows users to create walls and floors, place objects, insert text, and more. It boasts an intuitive interface and an impressive selection of objects and textures (over 190 images). It also allows you to author d20 adventures in a simple yet elegant way. Available for both PC & Mac.

A must have for ANY top-down view games. It makes creating new levels area areas so smoth and easy.


CHARAS.EX
Freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://charas-project.net/charas_ex.php?lang=en[/url:5qbnwwxu]
What's Charas?
It is a freeware tool, opened to everyone's collaboration.It works in avery special way: you can use it on the Internet! Charas is a charset generator for RPG Maker the beautiful Ascii tool to make Role Playing Games. Charsets are images that rapresents the moviment of a character on the screen. Because this images are so small (24x32 pixel), it isn't always easy create them from nothing. Because of this, RPG Maker already contains the RTP an already-made collection of charsets, chipsets etc. But, also there are lots of them, usually no one is exactly what we are looking for and, if we don't know how to draw it, we must choose the most similar to what we are looking. Charas will help in this case: with it you can select and put together five different elements to draw (quite from nothing) your charset. Is like a ind of Lego : it gives us the bricks and we build the building. Charas has also his strange (but useful!) possibility to set the trasparency of every used element, so you can build lots of effects.

A must have for any game dev that is working on a jRPG but not only. Easy to use and just cool


Pimp My Gun
freeware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://pimpmygun.doctornoob.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
Pimp My Gun offers many types of weapons for you to build, ranging from pistols to sniper rifles and machineguns. There are also many accessories available, such as:
flip-up sights, scopes, tactical grips, rail systems, bipods, flash hiders, silencers, stocks, magazines, and more.

Absolutly mindblowing. A must have for any and every Side Scrolling Shooter.



[size=150:5qbnwwxu]Optimalisation tools:[/size:5qbnwwxu]

PNGOUTWin - PNG optimizer
Shareware
[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.ardfry.com/pngoutwin/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
You can use PNGOUTWin, an easy-to-use PNG optimizer, to create smaller image files and speed up your website, reach more potential customers, and decrease your bandwidth costs. You can convert and compress to PNG from TIFF, GIF, BMP, and other formats, or optimize your existing PNG files.

A must have. Dont think about using PNG images BEFORE you let PNGOut take care of them.


[size=150:5qbnwwxu]
Articles and References:[/size:5qbnwwxu]

[url:5qbnwwxu]http://www.lostgarden.com/[/url:5qbnwwxu]
You've found a rare treasure trove of readable, thoughtful essays on game design theory, art and the business of design.

The guys doesnt lie. Its a bible for any game dev. period.


PS: ill try to update this thread when ill find something new.
i would also be very greatful if a mod would "stick" this thread - this forums are such a mess mainly because you mostly forget about "sticking" important threads.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:53 pm

Moved to tools/resources.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:36 pm

[quote="Arima":1wqwimnl]Moved to tools/resources.[/quote:1wqwimnl]
thx. ive overlooked the tools sub-forum =\
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:52 pm

I voted no. No offense there, but I think you're losing the reader in a bunch of softwares using most of the time the seller's description. There are a bunch of terrain, particle and cg tools out there, so the real problem is : which one should I use ?

Well, my opinion is hedge by the fact I've been using complete tools for some time now (photoshop, 3ds max or so), and I don't see the interest of having a bunch of softwares when a single program can handle about any task you need to do. It should still help others.

Thanks for sharing.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:20 pm

[quote="Valerien":252sk5c5]I voted no. No offense there, but I think you're losing the reader in a bunch of softwares using most of the time the seller's description. There are a bunch of terrain, particle and cg tools out there, so the real problem is : which one should I use ?

Well, my opinion is hedge by the fact I've been using complete tools for some time now (photoshop, 3ds max or so), and I don't see the interest of having a bunch of softwares when a single program can handle about any task you need to do. It should still help others.

Thanks for sharing.[/quote:252sk5c5]

thats why ive added my opinion as well. as for one program doing all of that task - keep in mind the learning curve. learning almost ANY and ALL 3d modellers takes months or even years, PhotoShop when being rather user-friendly still takes much of time to get used to and master.
Particles for example, Magic Particles can create almost any graphical special effect you can think of, from flames, to stars, to explosions, to smoke, to projectiles, to lasers to black holes to... ect ect. and not only in very user friendly interface but also it can be exported as animation of any resolution with Alpha channel so you can imidietly import it to your game. doind the same in Photoshop is a hard work going frame by frame and i dont know how its done if 3DMax as i havent been using that program.

Same for terrain creation. either be it 3d or 2d. Of course you can make the very same world texture with Photoshop as with FT Pro and Pled. But the thing is: itll not be that good. Thats mostly because you can be a master of Photoshop magic - but still dont know how to draw
a world with all its oceans, landscaped, ect. thats what FT pro or Pled does for you. the very same thing you would need hours to accomplish is done in matters of seconds. Of course, no one stops you to further enhance th texture in PS.
As for 3D terrain - its even worst. When here with Mojo and World Machine its just clicking few buttons and v'la - ready to be used assets are being made.

Of course hand-creation will always beat assets generators. But please try to understand that not everybody have time to learn and/or master 3D Max or PhotoShop. In case of ALL the programs enlisted above - its just hit'n'get. No learning, no mastering. Like ordring a pizza.

And its cool, i dont feel offended in any way. But please understand the idea behind this thread: i am giving you [u:252sk5c5]names[/u:252sk5c5], and knowledge or should i say "awarness" of those tools. What you will do with them is totaly up to you. Keep in mind the "gray area" of contruct users, who are all those mysterious "guest" viewing this forums. Those are the guys with the smallest skills but they want to make game too, just as we do.

Its like with "official complains" in any country. Just a small minority actualy complains in public. But one complainer = 100 others who remain silent. And so is here. The people who will find this thread the most usefull are those who i will propably never hear "thank you" from.
I know, because as a matter of fact - i was one of them for quite long.

so take it or leave it - its up to you, as no one pays me for this and the only thing i perhaps expect in exchange is to respect the time ive invested in this thread creation (coping all the info, pasting links, writing something from myself, checking my whole "tools" folder = 48 minutes)
:)

BTW:
make this in PhotoShop or/and 3D Max and tell me how much time it took.

With Mojo it took me like 5 mouse button clicks.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:21 pm

[quote="Valerien":1xwkna1v]I voted no. No offense there, but I think you're losing the reader in a bunch of softwares using most of the time the seller's description. There are a bunch of terrain, particle and cg tools out there, so the real problem is : which one should I use ?

Well, my opinion is hedge by the fact I've been using complete tools for some time now (photoshop, 3ds max or so), and I don't see the interest of having a bunch of softwares when a single program can handle about any task you need to do. It should still help others.

Thanks for sharing.[/quote:1xwkna1v]

^^ Mmmmkay.

Another angle would be, that he's giving a lot of options so people can try for themselves what they find most useful and most effective for their situation. Not everyone has access to Photoshop and 3ds Max, nor do they have the funds or the desire to get it the alternative way...

I think the only misstep was putting up a poll, perhaps just because I don't understand the reason for it other than maybe gauging interest to decide whether to do this sort of thing in the future. But I say, it shouldn't matter in terms of polls, members just need to share resources and information whenever they have something that can be used, and the more posts like that the better.

... I voted 'yes', by the way.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:23 pm

Sorry to nitpick, but it's "commercial", not "commersial".
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:49 pm

[quote:1xswcdsj]gauging interest to decide whether to do this sort of thing in the future[/quote:1xswcdsj]
glad someone's understand

[quote:1xswcdsj]Sorry to nitpick, but it's "commercial", not "commersial".[/quote:1xswcdsj]
ahh sorry. ill correct that right away.

[quote:1xswcdsj]... I voted 'yes', by the way.[/quote:1xswcdsj]
no need to say who vote how. its not like you'll land on my hate/love list for voiting no or yes :)
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:58 pm

Thing is...
Looking over that list, you can actually make apps that do most of that stuff using Construct.
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Post » Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:13 pm

[quote="newt":2gpyrvih]Thing is...
Looking over that list, you can actually make apps that do most of that stuff using Construct.[/quote:2gpyrvih]

you totaly missed the point of this thread then.
Do i really have to put that big sign "Not for Construct Pro's"...?
isnt it obvious that people who will use this cant do the same using construct...?
I know that Bruce Lee could propably kill a grizzly bear with his bare fists, but most of us still need a gun for such task.
As i said - take or leave it. >_>
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