Where to Find Great Game Assets?

Game Assets

It’s a question I’m asked daily, Indie Game Developers just starting out their new side careers, Game Development Students, Professionals we’re all facing the same problem! Where do I find GOOD assets for my project. It’s very hard to find game artists willing to work with you on your ideas let alone work with you for free on the hopes and dreams that one day the vision will make you both millionaires.

Unless you’re one of the privileged few to have found or made a solid team online to work with then your out of luck when it comes to affordable customized good quality game assets and so I give to you the 11 places that I find game assets for my solo work.

P.S. there’s no reason why you cant buy an asset pack in unity only to use those graphical resources in Game Maker or RPG Maker now I’m no lawyer so don’t quote me on that check the license.

Open Game Art

This place is amazing there are so many great assets hidden in the depths of open game art however it is littered with for lack of a better word… crap and their filtering and searching features are sub par at best. There really is some great stuff here but you’re going to have to look hard to find it!

Gamedev Market

While it hasn’t been around for very long this marketplace has quickly taken off seeing hundreds of Game Asset designers flocking to start selling their art here. It has a great rewards system and a good sense of community you’ll be sure to find some gems on this one.

Unity Asset Store

This asset store has one of the largest communities going they have so many resources available its not funny. Most of the resources are geard towards 3D Users but nevertheless they still have a sizeable 2D category.

Graphic River

Still my personal favorite the Envato Marketplaces are some of the best going they have stricter moderation on the content that is uploaded which means all the artwork is usually higher quality game ready type stuff. This is the first place I check when I’m looking for assets just due to the sheer number they have. They also have really good searching and filtering features and a bunch of sister sites for everything like logos, sounds, video effects etc.

RPG Maker Web

It goes without saying that these assets are going to be geared towards Role Playing Games but if that’s your thing then this is your place! All of the game assets you find here are going to be pre-formatted for use in rpg maker versions but they are still great and I use them all the time.

Game Maker Marketplace

YoYoGames has only recently launched their market place but its started to grow you’ll find some decent assets here but again like open game art this marketplace has no to limited moderation or quality control so we’re going to see a lot more get rich quick schemes in here but thankfully it has decent content filtering and search capabilities.

GSHelper

This used to be called the Game Salad Marketplace but it was changed to GS Helper, And as would be implied by now this is the marketplace created and used by the Game Salad community I cant say I’ve had much experience with this one but looking through their pages they have a few decent assets so I though it was worth a mention.

Graphic Buffet

A relativly small marketplace with some fairly good assets. Most of this stuff is SVG so it would be a good fit for any game with ‘that style’ if you get what i mean? 🙂

Game Art 2D

pzUH is a guy from Indonesia with some serious art talent. You’ll probably find his assets floating around the internet on all sorts of market places because he has SO many damn good ones again most of this stuff is going to be SVG so unless your game is ‘that style’ then these probably wont be that useful for you but if it is ‘that style’ then you are in for a treat!

Kenny Assets

This dude is an absolute legend in the indie development community he has created an ever expanding library of assets that caters to essentially every single need that could ever be needed. Kenny’s assets are CC0 which means absolutely royalty free…. no purchases, no watermarks, no credits, no limitations absolutely nothing these are yours once you download them to do whatever you want with.

Kenny does take donations and if you do use his work i’d seriously recommend buying him a couple of coffee’s because the work he has done for free… in his own time… for the goodness and kindness to everyone in the game development community should be rewarded Buy Kenny Totally Optional

Scirra Royalty Free Assets

Brought to you by the people who made construct and construct 2 comes the Scirra Royalty Free Asset Marketplace! Quite a few nice assets over here so again I thought I’d mention it. I don’t use it often but I have used it once in the past.

UnLucky Studio

This one was suggested by a reader who left a comment on this post! I checked it out and this site appears to offer some great free gamedev resources as well as some guides for programmers to create their own art and a udemy course.

Craftpix

This one came in an email to me from the website owners, i had a look through their site and it looks like they have plenty of quality assets so i thought i would add it to this list for you all!

Challenging my wife to a death match!

I’ve been working on this game with a good friend @FutureistTeletex (website) for the past day two days and its finally gotten to a playable point.

With that in mind i decided it was a smart decision to challenge my wife to a match of local co-op! here are the hilarious results.

Who do you think won! Comment your answers it will decide who’s cooking this week!

Game Design – Pay Attention To Detail

PolishingHello everyone today i want to talk to you about attention to detail. this is the simplest technique we as developers can use to improve the quality of our games.

Lets first define what attention to detail is. According to a website attention to detail is “thorough in accomplishing a task with concern for all the areas involved, no matter how small” now everyone i want you to read this three times 😛 because its one of the things we often forget easiest.

Mario Old Vs New

So lets begin by paying attention to the details of something lets take a level from a popular game and analyze the subtle details.

I’ve attached two screenshots of Mario here one from the 90’s and one from not much has changed right? the graphics appear sharper we can attribute this to the  massive increase in resolution and content design tools and obviously there’s a lot of changes to the internal engine of this game as its now presented in 3D but fundamentally not much has changed. So what do we see here that is common to both games.

Layered Backgrounds
Vivid Color Schemes
Unobtrusive GUI Elements
Clear Indication of Direction
Foreground Elements
Reused Elements (Land masses, Goombas, Pipes and Bricks)

So these are the details that make these games visually amazing. now i want to first state that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the games i am about to show. I have just found a few indie games by some random developers on Google images im sure their games are fantastic but we will be using them for analyses purpose.

Indie Games

If we look at these games under a microscope and compare their elements to list of elements i extracted from the Mario games you’ll notice that they all lack the same things.

The backgrounds are static.
They don’t have a matching color scheme.
There is no clear indication of direction.
There’s no foreground elements.

Now i don’t mean to criticize these games at all i merely state this in the interest of improvement so what could these developers have done to improve the quality of their games.

Parallax

lets talk about the backgrounds first a lot of platform style games employ a technique called parallax scrolling for their backgrounds. take the image to the right it is composed of 5 layers each moving independently of each other at different speeds the further back the image is the slower it moves and this gives you a real sense of depth to any game that scrolls but fear not, this technique is also use able in top down games and isometric games and even 3D games check out diablo 3 to see how parallax backgrounds are used.

diablo paralax

as you can see more clearly after i outline the geometry with blue there is a background drawn in perspective with the game and placed in the background with a very slow parallax speed to give you the feeling of height over something. this also reduces the amount of geometry to be drawn to the screen by the gpu and makes diablo run buttery smooth on even lower spec pc’s.

So now lets talk about color schemes and general game tone most games all follow one theme and color scheme if you look at Mario you can see all the colors are bright and vivid but if you look at that diablo screenshot above you’ll see its a brown and yellow them indicating we are in some sort of desert city. I think the problem a lot of beginner developers and indies face is not knowing what colors work. I think i have a tool that can help you http://colorschemedesigner.com/ this is a fantastic website that i use all the time.

Zombie MarioAlso please don’t be afraid to recolor your sprites lets say we are in a post apocalyptic scenario and we are using Mario sprites recolor them to match the theme of your game. This is my interpretation of what yoshi’s house would look like in a post apocalyptic version of Mario? So if your making that game desaturate your images and make the colors slightly warmer this is not necessarily the best example as I did it in 30 seconds but it shows you the idea sprites can be matched and the tone can be changed with simple color tinting

I cant explain GUI design in a short blog post as its an entire best of its own so all I will say on that is keep it minimal, use clear fonts, and only show the user what they need to see?

mzl.vbndvzpr.320x480-75Here is the interface from one of my latest games “Just Drift” its ultra minimal, pause button on the top right, and at first the text makes no sense whatsoever but after playing the game for 30 seconds you realize instantly from top to bottom it is Score, Speed and Remaining Time

So lets spend a little bit of time talking about clear direction in your games this is more of a level design topic and i personally fall victim to this every time. not that many people know this but the coins in Mario were originally there to give the player a hint on where they should be going and why did they use coins? well apparently miyamoto stated that he was going to use fruits and other objects but it might confuse the player and make them worried of taking damage so he decided to use coins! because everybody wants more money and its abundantly clear that money is not going to cause your character any damage. It is this kind of attention to small details that helps turn a game into an icon.

And since foreground objects and reusable objects fall similarly into the section about backgrounds i will end this article with some advice for you all.

Think in great detail about your players, look at every object you add to your game and ask yourself the question why is this object here what purpose does it serve and if you cannot come up with a reasonable explanation for this then remove it or find something that fits better.

Bank Robbery Plans – Non Suspicious Version

Robbing Banks Not Cool
Robbing Banks Not Cool

Bank Robbery Plans – Non Suspicious Version 0.1

One Line: Enter a bank, walk to the teller, rob her and escape without getting caught. Three Line: Player enters a local bank, the screen is bright, player drags finger to the teller and taps the rob button upon robbing the lights go out and the player must remember the path he/she took to enter in order to escape. enemies pause while your not moving Art Style: Orientation: Landscape Suggested: tiled floors, solid walls, desks. all NPC objects are emoticon style faces. guards are placed strategically around. your players face is normal until you commit the crime then you become a criminal face. When the robbery is done the room goes dark, the guards have a ring of light around them, the player has a ring of light around him. Game Play Overview: Player enters target zone. from the main entry. there could be 1 or more exits it is upto the player to decide which one to remember the path to this leads to strategic decisions 1 exit may be impossible but another may be easier. When the player is moving, the input leaves a trail of dots for the player’s sprite to follow. Upon robbing the bank the lights go dark, red / blue siren lights will flash from the exits indicating police presence outside and providing ambient lighting. all NPCs stop moving now the player uses his finger to leave behind pacman dots that your character will follow you must now find your way to an exit. Difficulty will be presented in three  forms, level size, guard count, alerter status. An easy level will be the size of the screen, a harder level may require some pre-exploration before robbing the bank in order to find the exits. (potential feature: eps, exit positioning system 😛 its like gps for exits or perhaps a tool that has a cooldown to unlock the reward (such as a drill, picklocks or sci fi hackery stuff)) A harder level may contain guards at every exit. but contain ‘heros’ or ‘alerters’ when a hero or alerter sees you he will inform the nearest guard to him/herself of your ‘spotted’ location that guard will then move to that point potentially leaving an exit unattended if you strategically let an alerter see you.

Theoretical Time Required = 23 Hours SlackerFactor = 1.8776 Actual Time Required = 43.18 Hours  (23 Hours * SlackerFactor)