Article List of FREE tools and websites for game creation

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by David Richard, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    I do not think that this is an appropriate question here. This place is for ANY kind of needs in gaming. Seeing that you can actually voice your characters with different speeds and freely with predefined voices can be usefull to someone.
    I have tried all 3 websites. The best is naturaleaders but again, it is not free for commercial use so I cannot put it in the list. Also the fact that you cannot download the voice without using their software which is also limited to personal use, it's not quit fit for the free for commercial use. As for ttsreader, it only includes 2 languages, at least on the webpage, I did not go further. As for fromtexttospeech, I took ages to create my audio file and I gave up. So these can be good resources and to those that need them or want them I feel that these are good additions but I cannot add them to my free for commercial use list. Thank you VERY much for your contribution and I truly hope that some people will find this usefull!
     
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  2. SarbjitGrewal

    SarbjitGrewal Member

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    I don't have permission to share links but there is much about to share for TTS. I can help you with that.
     
  3. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Krita should be on the list of 2d graphics editors, that goes without saying. Can be used for pixel art, and supports the famous "index painting" method. For Windows, Mac, and Linux.
    https://krita.org/en/

    One of the best free vector illustration apps is missing: Gravit Designer. For Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebook
    https://designer.io/

    Color Quantizer - Essential PNG optimization tool for Windows. Nothing else comes close for PNG processing. If your PNG files are taking up too much file space in your game, try CQ.
    http://x128.ho.ua/color-quantizer.html

    GitKraken - great visual GIT versioning tool without the need of the GIT command line.
    https://www.gitkraken.com/
     
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  4. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    for some reason i can get to download krita, it seems like a nice software to have.
     
  5. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Krita is awesome. Better than Photoshop for painting in my opinion. It's crazy this is free and open source!
    GDQuest has a good number of Krita tutorials related to creating game design assets.

    http://gdquest.com/tutorial/art/krita-tutorial-for-game-artists/

    What problem are you encountering when you say you can't you download Krita? Just download one of the portable zips here, and unzip.
    https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/
     
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  6. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    I'll be checking these out within the next few days, thanks for your submission and a very nice thank you for the links you have provided. In the mean time, people can download these while I check to see which ones I can add to the lists.
     
  7. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    i think the issue was with my pc for some reason. i downloaded the free desktop version and will try it today or tomorrow. from the looks of it it seems very nice, i just hope it is, and that its lighter then gimp for instance.

    Edit: ive tested it abit and from what i can see i like it and will most likely use it instead of gimp. its more fluid and comfortable to work with and it has a nice set of brushes options and edits. id say it defenetly deserves to be known more.

    talkin bout Krita
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  8. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    I don't really see the use of this software and seeing that this software's web page is not in english, could you supply some examples that would make this tool usefull in a game creation process?
     
  9. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Game assets such as sprites, spritesheets, game GUI elements, and backgrounds are often saved as PNG files, in particular ones that require transparency.

    The trouble with most game graphics design and development software is that, while PNG export/conversion is readily available, the optimization of those same files often leaves a lot to be desired. So how does that affect our game publishing?

    Well, compare the following two files.

    First, a sprite sheet exported from Flash:
    [​IMG]

    And the optimized version in Color Quantizer:
    [​IMG]

    Do you notice any visual differences? Only by zooming in quite a bit, and examining these two files VERY closely will you be able to discern any differences. When things move and animate during the game play no-one will be able to see any difference at all.

    The first unoptimized file is 188kb. This version has 12726 unique colours.
    The CQ optimized version is 98kb. This version was downgraded to 300 colours in Color Quantizer, the quality slider slid to the far left to favour gradients, and the quality brush mask tool used to control the colour conversion.

    Almost half the size. Now imagine having tenths or hundreds of PNG assets with transparency. It starts to really add up, and the final publication size of your game may be about 40% larger or even more. This means longer download times (not nice for the user), far more bandwidth to host your game online (extra costs), and potentially you could have included higher resolution assets as well, and still have smaller file sizes. Assets will also be loaded faster. (PS it will NOT reduce the amount of video memory required, of course)

    Color Quantizer isn't the only tool in the business to optimize PNG files. Most image editors worth their salt save 256 transparent PNG files now, but it is either full colour, or 256 or less. Command line tools like TinyPNG, etc. allow for a good PNG optimization too. But Color Quantizer is the ONLY tool on the market with this level of superb control over the visual conversion: in other tools and image editors it just takes much more time and effort, and generally results in less than optimal visual results. Even individual colours can be fixed, if necessary. The transparency mask can be optimized for a specific background colour. The dithering method and amount precisely controlled. Priority slider for gradients or colours. The unique quality mask brush tool...

    Nothing else compares for PNG optimization, either commercial or free. It is still one of the best kept secrets on the web.

    In a nutshell: CQ will help you achieve potentially much smaller game file sizes. Without loss of visual quality, if done right.
     
  10. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Thanks for adding the tools I mentioned. Btw, you misspelled "Gravit Designer" in your list.
     
  11. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    btw, if it makes the file smaller, doesnt it mean it will be more light on the graphics card in a way? you say the opposite but logically i think it shuld be more easy for the gc
     
  12. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    You have been of great help and I have added 3 of the softwares you have provided in the list, very usefull indeed. As for GitKraken, I could not add it to the lists as it's available free but for non-commercial use. But since you have it in your post, if it interests anyone, I'm glad that you provided the link. Thank you very much for the time you took to explain the Color Quantizer, I have refered your post in the software defintiion in the software list as I loved your example and definition!

    Thanks a lot for your contribution.
     
  13. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    where did you see that its for non commercial use? i installed it and as far as i remember it wrote in the license that whatever i produce with it i can use in any way i want, commercial also.
     
  14. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Simply click on the link(https://www.gitkraken.com/), It's one of the first things I see on their homepage just under their download button.
     
  15. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    ooh i thought you talked about Krita...
     
  16. vegacide

    vegacide Member

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    For productivity and time management, i use HacknPlan. (hacknplan.com) It's pretty much Trello designed for games; Comes with a Game Design Document area and everything :)
     
  17. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Nice tool indeed. I added it as it does offer a free service for small indie teams and individual game creators. Thank you for your contribution!
     
  18. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    if mean if you pack your image as external files right, color count reduction help the compression RLE algo of png to get much smaller files.

    but if you just import them in GMS and then have those packed in a texture page with a whole of bunch of other sprite asset does it still worth it ? Did you test that ? (I suppose partially yes - but most can easly get if CQ encode png as 8bit png, and when you import those in 24bit png, you'll already lost a part of it)
    because once imported into GMS the algorythm that will save the ?png? texture page is the one GMS use, not the one of Color Quantizer. And I'm pretty sure if you manage to resize the sprite in GMS with linear/cubic or those algo, all the benefit of the color count reduction going to get lost - same if for some reason GMS resize the sprite when it pack it in the texture page. So there are certainly a lot of tricky things to take care of to keep the gain from file reduction from CQ.
     
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  19. qureshimarwat

    qureshimarwat Member

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    It's a great article this is what I was looking for. Thank you so much.
     
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  20. jb skaggs

    jb skaggs Member

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  21. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Very nice indeed. I have added it to the software list but not the online list as there are many tools similar to this one but it does merit a place somewhere as an excellent tool. Thank you very much for submitting this tool with us game developpers!!!
     
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  22. GMWolf

    GMWolf aka fel666

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    this is actually pretty cool!
    I wouldnt personally bother using it for downloadable games, but this Is almost a must for HTML5 games!
     
  23. JasonTomLee

    JasonTomLee Member

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  24. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Oh! JasonTomLee, this was a very nice software that you shared to us. Very clean and simple interface. Thank you VERY MUCH!
     
  25. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    ive just found this suite, and its great, currently i use it for sound effects and im very satisfied with it, but i see it has more tools avalible like animating and sprite sheets, havent explored them but they are there. check it out

    https://www.leshylabs.com/
     
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  26. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    GMS already has some built-in sprite support amongst many other functions that are presented on this website. BUT, I do fugure that if you need something fast when not on your computer, it's pretty neat to find online tools for sprites and sounds.Thank you for sharing this with us. Very appreciated!
     
  27. zircher

    zircher Member

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    I especially like the sound tool. Just plain fun to play with. :)
     
  28. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    here is another suite that may prove useful to some1, it simply converts audio files to a desired filetype
    https://online-audio-converter.com/
    it also has some basic settings.
     
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  29. Reign

    Reign Member

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    I created a free alternative map maker for game maker studio if anyone has a need for it
    https://defiance.itch.io/map-maker

    In the zip file, I included a game maker project to demonstrate how you can load a map and spawn objects. Personally, I like far more than Tiled, you might too.

    Few pros to using it:
    +Has all the basic tools(draw, copy, fill, replace, copy region, paste region, change brush size, etc)
    +Supports most tile and map sizes
    +Collision information is stored in a grid so you can have collision without objects which is more efficient.
    +Having your maps in separate files has many benefits like player made maps for your game and being able to randomly select maps from a folder for procedural map generation
    +Suitable for most 2d platformers and top down games
    +Easy to save map data which is really beneficial, especially if you have a destructible environment

    0.png 1.png untitled.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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  30. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    I cannot put this for now in the lists as it lacks a bit of simplicity and that GameMaker Studio has most of these functionalities built-in. But I'm still pretty impressed knowing it has been done through GameMaker Studio itself. Thank you for your contribution and I hope some people will find it usefull. I decided to include a special place for projects like these at least to let people know they exist easier than to find it here. I just won't add small descriptions like the others and will link directly to the post. I think people like you deserve a spot somewhere for the effort and time.
     
  31. Reign

    Reign Member

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    Understandable. I would have given it a better UI and made everything more user-friendly, just didn't intend on sharing it originally because I made it for a game I'm working on. I think it's pretty easy to use building off my example project though and it only takes 1 script to use the maps in a different project. I did add a toolbar this morning and overhaul the tile selection area to make it a little more straightforward.

    It was a challenge to write it in game maker compared to the other tile editors I wrote in C++ and python. Mostly wrote it because I wanted to load maps using GMS internal functions, allow players make their own maps without installing GM and have a few hundred external rooms I could randomly load in as I procedurally generate each floor in my game. Can also export all my maps to any format I require to load them into another engine if I need to.

    New toolbar I started adding to it:
    afSo.png 4.png 1.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018
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  32. BigDC

    BigDC Member

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    Thank you for the list, very helpful.
     
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  33. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    [​IMG]
    A major release with major new features and improvements: improved vector tools, SVG support, a new text tool, Python scripting and much, much, much more!

    Amazing this is open source and free! Get it here: https://krita.org/en/item/krita-4-0-0-released/



    Krita for Game Artists Tutorials

    New features include...
    multi-threaded brushes
    New Text Tool
    Improved Vector Tools based on SVG
    Python Scripting
    Improved brush settings dialog
    Colorize Mask
    New Filters: Height to Normal map, Edge Detection, improved gradient map,
    Improved helpers (isometric grid, pixel grid)
    Bigger brushes
    Saving in background
    Masked brushes
    Wet edges
    Shape Library
    A Ton of Fixes
    And much much more

    Krita is open source, and I have sponsored their development in the past by contributing to kickstarters. I am in no way related to the development team. I do part of my game art in Krita (not pixel art: use Pro Motion NG for that), and in my personal opinion it is brilliant for more painterly game art or paint overs based on 3d base objects. It also has really nice assistants to help you draw in perspective easily.

    A while ago there was a question about upscaling pixel art - it's relatively easy to upscale and then paint in details with Krita.

    It's also great for seamless texture and map tiles creation, because a seamless wrap-around mode allows the game artist to quickly build and paint these. And filters can be applied non-destructively, including the new normal map generator - which is really cool, because while you paint and add objects / layers, the normal map is regenerated automatically. So painting a normal map is now possible too.

    Anyway, I think it's brilliant for anyone interested in a free powerful game art/asset creation tool. The reason I posted it here is simply that the question comes up often, and this forum doesn't have a general news section. I thought it'd be of interest to game designers in general, being both free and outperforming even Photoshop for this type of work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2018
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  34. Guest User

    Guest User Guest

    well if it's any consolation it was helpful to me, i didn't know it updated until i saw the thread. i didn't realize the software doesn't have some sort of "A NEW VERSION IS OUT GET IT NOW" that like everything else has. at least that i saw. bah.
     
  35. hogwater

    hogwater Member

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    Do they have better default brushes and did they fix pasting animation frames? That's all I care about.
     
  36. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Thank you for this information! Really appreciated!
     
  37. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    Yes, David Reevoy's brushes are now the default ones (from Pepper & Carrot fame). Copying animation frames works by holding down the CTRL key - is that what you meant?
     
  38. hogwater

    hogwater Member

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    Yeah, I want ctrl + c/ctrl + v in the animation workspace to paste a frame. Clicking on a frame while holding ctrl and dragging a frame where I want it copied is about the dumbest thing I've ever seen.

    But other than that I like animating in it a lot. I'll have to try the new brushes. Previously they just had 12 different kinds of "marker on glass."
     
  39. Rayek

    Rayek Member

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    It's now also finally possible to stack brushes, so that by itself is really helpful in creating more unique looking brushes.
     
  40. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    https://mp3cut.net/
    cuts mp3`s. 1 thing that its cool for it, it automatically detects where there is no sound and marks only where there is sound. this is very useful for people that use lmms for exporting sfx becouse lmms aways exports in chunks of time, like 3 sec 6 sec 9 sec etc. it cant export 1 sec wav file. so theres aways a silent 2 sec after the sfx.
    with this suite you basically, upload, cut, download. easy as that.
     
  41. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    I would have liked to try it but the tools did not show up under Firefox V59.0.2. Perhaps I missed something out but I tried a few of the links on the website and all I have is a description of what the tool does with no link or application shown anywhere.
     
  42. zendraw

    zendraw Member

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    it requires adobe flash, maybe thats why. when i first got to the suite it asked me to activate flash. i use chrome
     
  43. RichHopelessComposer

    RichHopelessComposer Member

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    Heh. GraphicsGale is one of the best pixel art programs out there. It's what I'm using for my game. Sometimes you have to spend a bit of time to learn the software! =)
     
  44. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    Please note the following in the guidlines that are mentionned at the begginning of the post:
    And please note ALSO the following which I mentionned AFTER the guidelines.
    I also spend little time in trying each software as there are many out there. But, the basis of this post is to give people a very quick idea on what the interface and software looks like and what it is used for. But since GraphicsGale has been added in the list, I have considered it because effectively, many people seem to use it which is why this has been written concerning this software:
     
  45. RichHopelessComposer

    RichHopelessComposer Member

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    Yeah, but...I learned how to use GG in like an hour. How easy do you need a program to be to learn when you're going to be spending hundreds or thousands of hours in it?

    What's the logic behind the "needs to take me five minutes or less to learn the program" stipulation? Half the art programs out there have steep learning curves, but pay off in time saved later. If a program is useful and free, why not just add it?

    Well, anyway, it's your thread, so sorry for bothering you. Just seems like a shame if people miss out on potentially super useful programs just because they take an hour of learning to use them. :x
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  46. Briana83

    Briana83 Member

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    This will be a favorite thread for me.
     
  47. ethian

    ethian Member

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    I was using this before. Now, i refuse to use it again as it needs soundfonts to make music with other instruments such as Vibraphones, Rock Organs, etc...
    I was working with soundfonts before
    I was making music just like the ones that make music from Undertale AU's (Use FL Studio, Work with Soundfonts, videogame ones like Earthbound's and GM (All instruments-included soundfonts) ones like SGM)
    but now, i use Mixcraft 7 to make my music as it has preinstalated instruments in a certain way unlike LMMS and FL Studio (Music tools i used before)
    Just because i don't want to infringe copyright because of making notable things because of their notable presense in something famous on the same way as how the compositor of Undertale worked on the music... the Undertale AU artists pretend to work on that same way...

    Here's an example of an Undertale AU song, made with Earthbound and SGM Soundfonts and more:

    (I like this one)
     
  48. ethian

    ethian Member

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    This thread inspires me to use free tools to make my game instead of using the current ones that are... actually...(hidez the truth (Hope you do not mind this))

    Using LMMS and Audacity for Music and Sound, MS Paint and GMS paint tool for the graphics... and a free and best framework for make the games...

    I'll better let the things be like they always was...
     
  49. David Richard

    David Richard Member

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    As I stated in my thread, this is for FREE tools. BUT, I DO encourage people to share other tools even if not free if ever others feel that a payed software gives them more ease in their work. I really apreciate your comment as it can help others have an idea on the differences between a free tool and a paid tool. You will have guessed it though, I won't be putting this software in the list as it is not free and offers not free version. But again, thank you for you comment, very apreciated.

    I did not remove your post because it gives users an idea of the difference between a paid app and a free one BUT please consider this which I wrote in the first post:
    I'm glad that this thread inspired you to use free tools. This is exactly why I created this. I was also surprised by what other users contributed so I could expand the list with their contribution. I do not credit myself for this thread as I thank the whole community to have contributed in having this type of list available for us.

    Game Making is time consuming and as many may have heard, time is money. So spending money over time is not always an interesting solution when some of us are simple game creators just creating a game or 2 for the fun of it. I'm glad that this thread pleases to you people which is why I always keep myself up to date with every comment posted in this thread. It's been a while since the list has not had a new entry but most popular softwares have been covered.

    I am indeed interested in less popular user created addons and softwares which is why I created the last list for users who do not have lots of visibility for their creations which can indeed be very usefull to others.

    I hope you all had or are having a nice summer, vacation or winter, whereever you may be on this planet earth, have a good one!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  50. Mick

    Mick Member

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    I found a nice tool for creating bitmap fonts suitable for GMS. It's called Codehead's Bitmap Font Generator (CBFG) and it it even open source:

    https://github.com/CodeheadUK/CBFG
    http://www.codehead.co.uk/cbfg/

    cbfg.png

    You need to adjust the texture image height so all characters are drawn on one line, then save the image as an image (named ..._stripXX).
     
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