Making your own in the game can be a daunting task. If you have no programming knowledge or graphic program knowledge it’s hard to know where to start. We have covered video game creation programs for beginners in the article here, but now let’s talk graphics.
Below are a few useful resources to get you started and I am to update them over time. To get games assets created for your latest project you have the following choices:
- Do them yourself
- Source free graphics
- Hire a freelancer
- Buy out of the box and ready-to-use graphics.
Do It Yourself
If you are doing it yourself then I would recommend the Adobe Creative Suite, but if you have no budget the download Gimp (a Photoshop clone) and Inkscape (an illustrator clone). The best place to go to for tutorials is obviously YouTube and one great round-up is from AskGameDev that has a video listing many great resources.
The best advice here is to keep it simple and keep animations to a minimum. If this is your first game, this advice goes double. Start simple and just complete something small.
Source Free Graphics
There are various places to get free art and I know a few developers who have found usable game graphics on opengameart.org and openclipart.org. Although you can find some gems on here the graphics tend to be inconsistent which can make your game look cheap. Other great resources include the free section in Itch.io and the amazing Kenny.nl.
Hire a freelancer
Prices per hour vary from $5 on http://www.fiver.com to $100 an hour if you are after a professional 3D artist. The trick here is to ask for a package deal and have a complete list of the assets you want. This way the designer knows exactly what he needs to deliver and you know what to expect. Be sure to include the various animations, any in-game screens, buttons, etc as you don’t want to keep going back. Haggle over the first cost they give and request all editable files on final payment.
You can either go straight to the designer themselves or you can use services such as odesk.com, elance.com, freelancer.com, and microlancer.com. For well know artists you can’t go wrong with Glauber Kotaki (2D pixel artist who worked on Rogue Legacy) but if you wanted a selection then you can contact the various artists on DeviantArt
Ready to use game assets
As game development has not been so accessible for a long time this is a relatively new market. Many of the game software websites have their own market places such as the Unity Asset Store and the Stencyl Forge (found within the Stencyl software). Otherwise, the best place to go for 2D game graphics is Graphic-Buffet.com followed by Graphicriver.net. The graphics are fully editable so they can be tweaked to fit your game or they can be used straight out of the box. If you are looking for graphic bundles, then you can’t go wrong with the free svgs you can get from Design Bundles (search “gamer” for some great game backgrounds only $5)
Obviously, everyone would like their graphics to be unique but when you’re starting out is great to have some great graphics pre-designed for you.
As I have mentioned I will update this post with new resources as I remember/find them. Please add any you know of in the comments and I will add them to the list.[Updated: 20/02/2021]
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