Tools and Resources

If you’re interested in learning how to make games, here is a list of all the tools as well as video tutorials I’ve used to help me learn how to be a game developer:

1. Blender
Blender is without a doubt the most useful 3d modelling tool I’ve come across. There are thousands upon thousands of tutorials available on youtube as well as a large collection of extensions/add-ons to help you create your vision.

Useful links:
Blender Guru
High quality and attention to detail tutorials for complete beginners. Great lessons for proper workflow and techniques.

Sebastian Lague
Great tutorials for character creation, texturing, rigging and animating in blender. (also has tutorials for Unity)

2. Unreal Engine 4

UE4 is my engine of choice. A large selection of incredibly powerful and easy to use tools makes it preferable over Unity in my opinion. The blueprint environment is perfect for someone who can’t code like myself. I don’t ever feel limited by the engine. If you can code, C++ is the language for UE4. Unity uses C# in comparison (although there are plug-ins to use C++).

Useful links:
UE4 Academy
UE4 Official Youtube Channel
A collection of videos made by the team at Epic Games (creators of the engine) to teach you how to use the engine, whether it be for game design, architecture or visual FX.

Tesla Dev
Very easy and fast tutorials to learn the basics of blueprints.

Pally qle
More advanced and specialized tutorials on blueprints.

OnlineMediaTutor – 4 Hour video tutorial
This is an all in one video teaching you how to use the tools of UE4 to create a landscape, basic level design, basic blueprints and lighting.

Kemal Günel
Amazing lighting tutorials to make your games look great.

Funny in-depth C++ tutorials specialized for game development.

3. Photoshop
As low as $9.99 a month with Creative Cloud bundles.

Photoshop is the world’s best, industry standard image and design software. There are free alternatives that are great and will do the job such as Inkscape, GIMP or Krita but nothing ever really matches Photoshop.

Useful links:
Basics in Photoshop
A good starting point in learning how to use photoshop.

Seamless Texture Tutorial
If you’re going to make games, you need to know how to make seamless textures.

Pixel Art Tutorial
If you need pixel art, this can be a good starting point. Brackeys is a great channel for Unity developers also.

4. Smart Normal Map 2.0
Free, in browser

Normal maps are essential to make great looking textures. This handy little tool creates normal maps for you automatically. All you have to do is upload your texture and it will do the rest. It has a few settings to change the intensity of the normal map also.

NormalMap Online
Similar to above, also provides ambient occlusion and specular maps. I prefer the normal map results of the above link personally, but AO and specular maps are useful also.

Really good software, amazing results. Expensive for personal use though when the online alternatives are suitable.

5. Tree It
Amazing free software used to make trees. Comes with textures and very advanced yet easy to use tools to customize how your tree looks. It’s also easy to export to blender or straight into UE4.

$19 a month
The industry standard for foliage modelling. If you want the best foliage in your games, this is the option for you.

6. Makehuman

The absolute best open source character creation software. Automatically rigs your models and comes with some preset clothing options. Loads of customization options are available to make every character unique.

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