The evolution of many open source tools is
impressive. If it was impossible to compare most of them to paid equivalents a few years
ago, some match the quality of leading proprietary creative software today.
Those tools are not numerous, but a handful of them collectively cover all of the necessary
tools to create a videogame. I picked 13 software for you today. And you will see some of them
used on this channel’s tutorials in the future.
Let’s start by talking about 2d art with the number one: Krita.
Krita is a software dedicated to painting and illustration. It offers an elegant workspace
that will please concept artists and beginners alike. Powerful brush engine, radial symmetry,
perspective guides and other complex transforms… Krita has a lot to offer. For connoisseurs,
its tools feel a bit like those of Manga Studio. Krita’s developers just successfully ran
a campaign on Kickstarter, thus the software should keep evolving at a fast pace.
Number 2: Gimp. Despite its slightly cumbersome UI, gimp is
a versatile image editing software. Where Krita focuses on painting, gimp leans towards
image editing in general. In its current state though, it lacks a bit of refinement and some
more functionality to efficiently create graphics for games. Because of that, it is not good
fit for a daily professional usage. As number 3, we have Inkscape.
Inkscape is a vector drawing software. It is the only solid open-source alternative
to a tool like illustrator or Affinity Designer. Inkscape possesses a pretty good design as
far as basic drawing tools are concerned. Its main defects reside in its limited layer
management, and its slow update cycle. Sadly, it doesn’t offer a true outliner to manage
shapes, like illustrator would. Apart from that, its drawing tools are very responsive,
so Inkscape can be used to draw game assets or to make logos for example.
Let us now talk about 3d with blender, an
amazing tool. Modeling, animation, sculpture, simulation,
video editing and even compositing… Blender covers a lot of ground and excels in many
domains. It largely competes with the most popular paid 3d packages today and attracts
the eye more and more in the entertainment industry. It used to be appreciated for its
powerful UV unwrap toolset and looked down at otherwise. Since then, it evolved at solid
pace and caught up with other great tools. It keeps gaining inertia, notably with the
open-source movie project Goosberry. Number 5: LibreOffice.
LibreOffice is a complete set of office software. Actively maintained by many developers and
businesses, it grows fast. Its design is simple and light. Its toolset is rich. LibreOffice
offers a real alternative to Microsoft Office’s suite. If you need to write game concept documents,
to compile a database in a spreadsheet or even to make animated presentations, LibreOffice
has the tool you need. In order to code a game, you will need an
appropriate text editor. The most famous one as far as open-source software is concerned
is Notepad++, which is not young. It offers everything you need to write code with a great
flexibility. The software’s light, quite reactive and filled with functionality. With
Sublime, it’s probably the most widely spread text editor among programmers.
Number 7: Atom. Atom is another young open-source text editor
developed by GitHub. It is built around individual modules and packages that you can download
to your liking on its website. The software still shows some performance issues when editing
long files, and as of yet it is not capable of loading really large text files. Nevertheless,
its UI looks slick and its ergonomics feel like sublime, the uncontested beauty as far
We are now going to talk about game engines.
I have selected only 2, although they are dozens and dozens of very good open source
libraries out there if you’re looking to make small games. I picked simple engines
with a lively community. I also selected 2 engines I’ve been following for some time
now. Let us take a look at Phaser first. Phaser is an HTML 5 game engine. It possesses
many functionalities and will cover all of your needs as far as 2D games is concerned.
As it is based on the HTML5 technology, the games you create can be played directly in
your browser. It’s a reference for the development of small web games.
Number 9: Godot. Godot is a multiplatform game engine that
offers a dedicated toolset for both 2d and 3d game development. It features its own IDE,
with an integrated animation editor and a nodal system to create shaders. If the free
engine Unity is especially popular since version 5 came out, Godot still has a lot to offer.
Its development is sponsored by the Argentinian game studio Okam, thus the updates are regular
and substantial. With a deep UI revision announced for its next version, Godot is a serious option
to consider in the future. As far as audio editing software and DAWs
are concerned, the situation is not as stunning as in other domains.
As far as I know, there is no serious free contestant to the digital audio workstations
that dominate the market. There is one solid open-source tool on Mac and Linux called Ardour,
but you have to pay using a pay what you want model to get the updates. There is another
software called LMMS which is 100% free. With that sequencer, you’ll be able to create
all sorts of music tracks. However, it is still very far from the modern standards established
by Ableton live or Bitwig. I use FL studio myself, as you get lifetime free updates once
you bought it.
There is one piece of audio software that’s worth a look: Audacity. It is a complete suite
of recording and audio editing tools. Although its UI feels outdated, Audacity is pretty
rich as far as its functionality is concerned. It offers relatively complete audio manipulation
tools, as well as a great variety of effects to cover almost all of your needs. It is a
useful piece of software if you need to record voices, sounds or music instruments for your
games. Let us now talk about music scoring with MuseScore.
For those of you who would like to write sheet music, since its last major update, MuseScore
has made a real leap forward. Its UI is modern, light and delicate, and its tools for note
entry are both simple and efficient. If it still lacks some specific notation elements,
those are not very common and won’t to be missed by most of you. I’m thinking of the
tapping technique for instance. And to wrap up this video, we are going to
bounce back to a tool that has already been mentioned in a previous video. Number 13:
Tiled, the agnostic level editor. Tiled is a complete level editor based on tile maps.
It offers integrated drawing tools to place collision polygons and to setup variables
in your environments. All of this data can be exported and read by many game engines
today. Tiled is notably compatible with the 2 engines introduced in this video: Phaser
and Godot. You now have 13 tools at your disposal to
create games without buying any software license. Those tools are not perfect. But some managed
to find their community and match paid alternatives today. I’m using Blender or Krita myself
in my work. And I was surprised to discover that MuseScore actually offers more efficient
note entry tools than Notion, the proprietary software I’m using right now for scoring.
In the open source world, the mentality of the users as well as the concept of the software
itself is quite interesting: they are accessible to everybody, equally, regardless of one’s
revenues. Using free tools is a way to promote the open source mindset and to keep them alive
for everyone else. You and I can also contribute to their development, be it through coding,
reporting bugs, or writing documentation and creating tutorials.
The goal of the GDquest channel is to make game creation a bit more accessible to everyone.
Thus, in the future, tutorials dedicated to a specific piece of software will focus as
much as possible on open source tools. That way, those of you who can’t afford Photoshop
or construct 2 will still be able to follow every single video.
That’s it for today! If you like open source tools, don’t hesitate to like the video
and to become a subscriber! Do you have questions, critiques or suggestions? Please tell me in
the comments below. I want to thank you kindly for watching. ♥ Be
creative, have fun… until next time! ♥