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Up Topic Gosu / Gosu Exchange / Useful tools for game development
- - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-06-21 16:23
Okay, making a sticky thread for people to share some good content creation tools. Feel free to also add websites, especially if they're free for commercial games too. Unclear licenses help nobody though. :)

I'll start with Sculptris:

Coming from DrPetter of Ludum Dare fame, it's a free Windows tool which makes 3D modeling and texturing VERY easy and fun. Can apparently be used for commercial stuff; donationware :)
Parent - - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-06-21 16:51
One more from DrPetter, a classic in Ludum Dare competitions: SFXr, and its Mac port cfxr. There's even an iPhone app :)

Creates random 8-bit style sounds for several typical situations which can be exported as WAV files. Quite a staple in the LD compo, close to being overused. If used with some taste still better than nothing. ;)
Parent - - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-08-23 19:04
It should probably be noted that WAV files generated with SFXr caused quite some trouble in the last Ludum Dare competition. Something with their formatting prevents SDL_mixer from loading them, and they stutter (?) in FMOD as well. So you should probably run all exported sounds through Audacity before shipping them with your game.
Parent - By darkhog Date 2014-01-06 22:46
Thanks for heads up! Though I encode anything to ogg anyway to save space (even if single sample in wav weights only say 14kb, when you have like few hundred of those it all adds up and ogg even at 100% quality is smaller than wav).
Parent - - By aboutruby Date 2010-10-01 21:28
I know I've used SFXR many times in the past, and not just for gamedev.  It's also been ported to Flash!
Parent - By RavensKrag Date 2010-10-11 23:23
Hmm, this looks quite interesting.  I like how it has the option to export your files to .wav and it seems relatively deep.  Perhaps I'll check that out when I have some time to fiddle around ^_^
Parent - - By jlnr (dev) Date 2011-04-01 18:13
Aaaand the next iteration of SFXr (in Flash):
Parent - - By RunnerPack Date 2011-04-01 20:55
Wow! I didn't think it was possible to improve on SFXr! :D  The name makes no sense, though :P
Parent - - By erisdiscord Date 2011-04-02 03:07
Well, the Mac port was called cfxr, presumably for Cocoa. Maybe the b is for browser?
Parent - By RunnerPack Date 2011-04-02 04:50 Edited 2011-04-02 04:59
Maybe the B is for "bargain". :D
Parent - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-11-28 15:23
Mac port of Sculptris:

I'd grab it as long as its free. Sculptris has been acquired by the Z-Brush makers, who knows what they're up to! :)
Parent - By Basic Date 2011-06-15 20:48

Great for people who don't like dealing with audio programs/

Online audio converter, supports a load of formats for the upload, and you can download them in the usual .mp3, .ogg etc.
Parent - By jlnr (dev) Date 2011-12-04 22:17
I didn't know there was something like stock photos for video games, but you can actually get some tilesets here (or a full set of playing cards or whatever):

I am just not sure if exclusive licenses are possible after the fact if your game goes big. Oh well, that's a problem I'd like to have. :D
- By ippa Date 2010-06-22 15:13
For pixel-art and tile-animations I use the free version of

I find it slightly better then, which I used before and feel is more for doing traditional terrain-tilesets

For editing/convert (to spacesaving oggs for example) sounds I take from I use
- - By pythong85 Date 2010-06-22 18:13
For simple music, lmms is okay (Windows and Linux only).
It's free and simple to create music (just use a youtube-10-min-tutorial and you can start), but unfortunately not really professional (yet)
Parent - By shawn42 Date 2010-06-23 15:22 is a great music generator
- - By kotakotakota Date 2010-07-18 19:23
Here is my list of free and open source software that I recommend (and have used for clients commercially)  Everything I list here is cross platform and available on Linux with at least some support for Windows and/or Mac OS X:

2D stuff:
Gimp - for 2D image manipulation
Krita - same thing as above
MyPaint - painting application for pen tablet users (like me!)
Alchemy - chaos based sketching application (again, preferably for tablet users, although not required)

3D stuff:
Blender 3D - my favorite 3D application.  Very powerful and a HUGE feature set, including a built in 3D game engine.
Wings3D - great for quick 3D modeling.  I don't use it much, as I find Blender to be nicer... But a lot of people like Wings.

Programming IDEs:
Netbeans - I use this for Java, C++, C, PHP, and now, Ruby.
Geany - A great lightweight IDE, very easy to use, supports what seems to be every language under the sun, and is essentially a drop in replacement for your normal text editor (such as gedit, kate, or notepad for you Windows users)
Eclipse - Netbeans's rivaling IDE.  Its very nice, although personally, I prefer Netbeans.

Source control:
Concurrent Versioning System (CVS)

Other stuff of interest:
openSUSE - the wonderful Linux distribution I use.
Terminator - an improvement of Gnome-Terminal
zsh - a replacement for bash with many good features
Konsole - the Linux terminal I use under KDE.  I prefer it over Terminator.
Parent - - By erisdiscord Date 2010-07-19 04:40 Edited 2010-07-19 04:43
I second Blender. It's pretty daunting at first glance, but get a tutorial and I think you'll find that it's a lot easier than it seems. I went from knowing nothing to having a decent Second Life sculpt in less than a day. It's also pretty compact! The installed size is under 50 MB on OS X. Compare this with a beast like Maya or DAZ Studio that requires hundreds.

I used to like Wings3D too, until I learned Blender. I recommend this one if you just can't get the hang of the other. :)

Oh yeah, and I love GitHub. When it came time to decide on a VCS, I chose git so I could use GitHub. Another one of those things that seems daunting at first glance but turns out to be pretty easy to use.
Parent - - By banister Date 2010-07-19 06:07
Second Life is creepy as all hell......

Parent - By erisdiscord Date 2010-07-19 18:41
Yessir. I'm not on there for the community; I sign on like once or twice a month with a couple of friends because there's something we want to build. :)

I do know someone who runs a private island sim and makes enough money renting virtual land to pay for the costs plus a little extra spending money, so it's pretty cool if you've got some cash to invest and you're good at running a business. I'm no such entrepreneur, myself.
Parent - - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-07-19 06:19 Edited 2010-07-19 19:27

> I chose git so I could use GitHub

I really, really would pay for a site that was a nice and clean as GitHub but for SVN. I mean, the forking wouldn't really be that much fun but I never got it to work with git anyway. GoogleCode is just acting weird too often :( Then again, the userbase would have to be big or interconnected with GitHub, and that's not gonna happen for religious reasons.
Edit: For some reason the GitHub guys actually seem to have svn support. o_O I thought it was just hateful joking. Going to check that one out.

+1 for GoogleCode though because you can easily edit your wiki pages via SVN.
Parent - - By erisdiscord Date 2010-07-19 18:43
I tried SVN and it was kind of a pain to use; more so with multiple contributors, I gather. I'm curious what the draw is. :)
Parent - - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-07-19 19:41 Edited 2010-10-01 23:50
How many projects mentioned on this board have more than three people committing anyway? Most of them only have one BDFL ;) I think the number of branches is the deciding factor between SVN and git. I didn't like branching when I had to use them in Subversion once, but that was once and years ago.
Parent - - By Basic Date 2010-07-19 20:03
The thing that attracted me to git was it was supposed to be easy to fork features. So every time I wanted to add a feature to a project I could fork it and then merge it when it was ready, but git confuses me a little (It is true, I am easily confused!). However Heroku ( makes rails publishing so simple with git (slightly off topic I know, but I think its cool :). I am reading up on SVN as I think is more widely used, and I hate using TortoiseSVN
Parent - By erisdiscord Date 2010-07-19 21:44
Git seems to be gaining ground with the Rails community over SVN (especially since the Rails project itself uses it), so if you're already using it then you should probably stick with it. :) I developed a Rails application with Mercurial and it became kind of a pain installing plugins because I ended up with a bunch of git repositories in my mercurial repository. Yuck. I'm thinking of switching over to git next time I update the application.

Also, yeah, we're veering off topic. Oops!
Parent - - By banister Date 2010-07-20 02:02
but still, what is it about SVN that you like? just that you're familiar with it?
Parent - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-07-22 09:32 Edited 2010-07-22 09:35
Example of the day: I love the robustness of how you can just checkout or even rip out, update and commit a subfolder in SVN. (It's what's running in the background right now. ;) SVN server got moved to a badly connected machine and I just need to work in some subfolder where the tax stuff is floating around.)

But mostly I like that it does exactly what I want/need, not much more, and with commands that I find intuitive ("revert" being my favorite example, because I revert all day) ;)
Parent - - By kotakotakota Date 2010-07-22 15:13
The main thing about SVN is that it is what the non programming community would think of when they hear version control: With a solid user base and a long history (at least in comparison to many of the rising version control systems), more people have heard of it and have used it.  Therefore, when choosing a base for their own project, many people end up using what they are familiar with, which would be SVN.  Its similar to C++.  Everyone knows what C++ is, even non programmers, and therefore, C++ tends to be the first language that most people learn, or in many cases, attempt to learn.
Parent - By jlnr (dev) Date 2010-07-22 19:59 Edited 2010-07-22 20:08
I think SVN is C and git is C++, then. Or SVN is Windows, and git is Linux. Or SVN is Notepad, and git is vim. git is probably better in gazillions of geeky ways and its most prominent users *live* in source control and use those (Linux kernel, Rails). And if you ask people in the know, only the conservative half will suggest using the former alternatives.

But the point about GUIs is pretty strong I guess. Most Windows people (including me when I fix Gosu ;)) never even *installed* a command-line SVN, but just used Tortoise's context menu instead. I guess then comes Eclipse integration in terms of market share.
Parent - By aboutruby Date 2010-10-01 22:42
I don't think GitHub has SVN support.  At least no more than importing SVN repositories, and then using Git from then on.  GitHub is great, but use what works for you.
Parent - By banister Date 2010-07-19 06:12
I used to use Geany until i sucked it up and learned emacs. Not a bad editor, and some of the dark themes are pretty sexy
- - By kotakotakota Date 2010-07-22 00:15
Some of you might be interested in Milkshape 3D:
I am personally not much of a fan but if you are willing to spend $35, its not a bad package for someone less comfortable in 3D.

Also, looks like Blender 2.53 (Beta) might be released today! That has major usability improvements over the 2.4X series, so some of you may be interested.
Parent - - By newbie Date 2010-08-02 19:35
I agree with kotakotakota. Milkshape IS great for beginners, but Blender is WAY better with tons of users, great tutorials and even particle effects :) Now if only I could find that stupid Python download...
Parent - By partymetroid Date 2010-10-10 15:28
Blender ( is now at 2.54 beta and comes with an AMAZING new sculpting toolset.  There are also OOGLE and OOGLES of tutorials out the there for beginners.  I highly recommend ( for tutorials...

They recently came out with a complete tutorial package, covering basically every Blender topic.  (  I haven't bought it yet... but from what I know from Jonathan Williamson's free tutorials, it's bound to be superb. :D
- By BlueScope Date 2011-05-01 19:18
Not sure if it fits too well in here, but since jlnr already posted some in-browser-stuff, I might as well throw it in...

I'm talking about which basically is nothing else but a regular expression testing machine. I've found it pretty damn helpful for the bigger expressions, and am still using it today because I just can't wrap my head around remembering all of that stuff :/
So yeah, maybe someone can utilize that.

Then of course, there's which is a catalog of game development companies and publishers. For those of you who look for insider contacts, I've been told by someone interested in it that it's quite a handy source.
- By Jwosty Date 2011-08-08 20:37
I use RubyMine as my IDE, and Gimp is an awesome image manipulator. It's open source too!
- By RunnerPack Date 2011-11-30 14:46
I haven't tried (or even downloaded) this yet, but it looks very useful. It's a work in progress, but it seems to already have some nice functionality.

It's AIR, so it runs on Mac/Win/whatever.
- By jlnr (dev) Date 2012-01-17 04:58
I don't often link to for productivity, but when I do, it is about sound effects:
- - By Dschinghis Date 2012-01-30 05:00
git, a million times git!

At the very least, having a filesystem-level undo has saved my bacon more times than I can count, and once you figure out branching you'll see your coding confidence being to soar as you realize you can always go back to a known state. Want to try a crazy new idea, or refactor a huge swath of code? Don't even worry about it, just branch and go. I've used source control before (perforce, svn, horrible old VSS) but having git so available, so fast, and so bulletproof entirely changed how I work as a programmer. No joke!

On a more game-oriented note, I just found myself using the ruby-prof gem ( to generate cachegrind output, which can then be loaded and analyzed in the free KCacheGrind. You can have ruby-prof spit out cachegrind reports like so:

require 'ruby-prof'

result = RubyProf.profile do

printer =
f ='tmp/call_tree', 'w')
printer.print(f, {})

If you're trying to optimize your framerates, just have the game do a (preferably) automated and repeatable set of repro steps during the loop, and once the steps have completed, open the file in KCacheGrind and you can see exactly where your program spent most of it's cycles. The results can be surprising, and surprisingly effective. I was lagging frames really badly once I got up to a certain number of onscreen objects, and spent time trying to optimize iteration and variable creation and got nowhere. Fired up the cachegrind viewer, though, and immediate saw several million calls to a color calculation method deep in an inner loop. I didn't realize it was being called that deeply, since it was layered seven or eight levels deep from the top of the show/update stack inside a call to an accessor method. I cached the value, re-ran the tests, and immediate saw an almost 25 FPS improvement on the same test battery.  O_O
Parent - By allcaps Date 2013-08-07 00:16 Edited 2013-08-07 00:41
Never heard of ruby-prof, and it has changed my world now that you've shown me the light.  Thank you!

Also +1 to git.  Even if you don't intend to share or work as a team, it helps keep track of changes and lets to plow forward with reckless abandon with zero chance of tragedy.  Amazingly helpful!
- - By jahmaican Date 2014-06-17 09:16
We don't want this thread to die, right?

So, I don't really like any pixelart/sprites/tiles editors out there, but the one I dislike the least is Aseprite:
I still use 0.9.5 and they recently released 1.0 - it costs $10 to download, but you can compile it from source for free. Gotta try it, because it seems I might finally like this one a lot.
Here's a nice palette to use with Aseprite:

I found two nice browser based chiptune makers, great if you don't know much about music and still want to make your own soundtrack. I know there are also some quite simple standalone trackers, but I always had troubles with them.

This one is quite complex, yet still fairly easy to use.

This is as basic as possible, if you are more than 5 years old, you should be able to create something reasonable with it in no time. When you find yourself participating in a game jam and have like 30 minutes left, go for it.
Parent - By jahmaican Date 2014-07-02 20:54 Edited 2015-10-13 18:02
I just bought a new PC and I got some free soft, including Stagelight (it's cheap anyway):
Looks like another way to create soundtracks - simple and user friendly, with piano rolls and drum tracks. Plus loads of instruments included. I would recommend it if Chirp (mentioned above) is not enough.
- - By jahmaican Date 2015-10-09 12:20
Overlap2D seems like a nice tool for non-tiled level design:
Parent - By Cassy Date 2016-02-12 04:31
Nice, didn't know that one, thanks, it's going to help me a lot for my game :)
- - By jph98 Date 2016-03-02 00:12
Piskel is great for 2d pixel graphic development -
Parent - By cnr Date 2016-03-11 07:57
JPixel (pay-what-you-want) is also worth checking.
- By cnr Date 2016-03-11 07:53
After author of "Developing Games With Ruby" (

Maps editor: Tiled Map Editor (free)
- By rremedio Date 2017-10-03 14:52
Deflemask is an awesome chiptunes tracker, emulating a bunch of old sound chips accurately, such as the YM2612 (Sega Mega Drive). It runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Its page says:
So you can make music for:
SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive
SEGA Master System
Nintendo Game Boy
NEC PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16
Nintendo NES
Commodore 64
Arcade System (SEGA X/Y boards)

But you can also use them in your Gosu games =)
Up Topic Gosu / Gosu Exchange / Useful tools for game development

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