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Tools & resources for making your Jam game

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
This is a collection of freely available tools and resources that might come in handy when creating your Jam games, similar to same-titled topic on the old forum made by @Dark. If you use some of assets listed here, please remember to include a proper credit in your Jam entry!

Feel free to post other useful resources you can find. In this case, "useful" should mean something you would personally use (or even already used in past Jams) rather than something that maybe, possibly, would come in handy for others. The general idea is that a concise and well-organised list of great tools/assets is preferred to an exhaustive list of okay ones.

Also, if you have made a tool and are successfully using it, it's great, but I'd prefer if at least one other person confirmed they're using that tool successfully as well. That's because as a developer, you obviously should know the inner workings and tricks available - something other users might not be aware of. Thus, it is preferred that someone else posts your tool here instead of you, as something they personally found useful.

General
Resources that encompass a wide range of categories.
GameMaker Marketplace - contains free and paid assets and code

Mechanics
Useful scripts, libraries, engines, extensions and code generators.
GML scripts - a collection of scripts
GM Toolbox - a collection of all GM extensions

Graphics
Graphics editors, tools and collections. Fonts go here as well.
Editors:
  • Aseprite - for creating pixel art and animations
  • Blender - for creating 3D graphics
  • Inkscape - for creating vector graphics
  • GIMP - a general purpose image editor, similar to Photoshop but simpler and free
Particle tools:
Graphic collections:
  • OpenGameArt.org - collection of a wide variety of graphics contributed by talented artists

Audio
Programs for composing music, creating/generating sound effects and manipulating sounds. Also, collections of soundtracks and sound effects.
Music creation:

Sound effects creation:
  • BFXR - a sound effect generator

Music collections:

Management
Tools for general project management (design, planning, communication etc.), whether for a single person or a team.
None yet.

Miscellaneous
Resources that don't fit into the categories above.
Blender to GM D3D export - a Python script to convert Blender model to GM D3D script
Tileset Champion - for generating scalable tile maps
 
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F

FruitPunchGuy

Guest
Famitracker's pretty good at making 8-bit tracks. I'm currently using it for making game tracks and sound effects (I'm pretty meh tho).
Besides Famitracker, I've also used LMMS. It's pretty similar to FL Studio, using VSTs and all.

Famitracker: http://famitracker.com/
LMMS: https://lmms.io/
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
Okay, I'm going to suggest everything from the old topic because I'm sick of cross-referencing to it.
Music
Spoiler

Cell7
Great list of modules collected by Tapeworm, the creator of Seiklus.
http://autofish.net/cell7/music.html

ModPlug Tracker
Great program for making modules and other music types
http://openmpt.org/features
ModPlug Player
Plays modules.
http://openmpt.org/legacy_software

SoundImage
Original, royalty-free music.
http://soundimage.org/

Melody Generator
Online MIDI generator.
http://www.nici.kun....lody/index.html

aria ENGINE - Free SFZ Sounds
Various free soundfonts.
http://ariaengine.com/free-sfz-sounds/

3.5 GB Of HQ Ochestral SF2
Excellent orchestra soundfonts.
http://www.newground...s/topic/1200140
(http://www.newground...s/topic/1162814 500 MB more)

PatchArena - Free SFZ Instruments
Collection of free soundfonts.
http://patcharena.co...fz-instruments/

Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
Really good free orchestra sound fonts - nearly an entire orchestra.
http://sso.mattiaswestlund.net

Hammersound
Collection of soundfonts of variable quality.
http://hammersound.net

The Mod Archive
A very large music module collection with a public domain section.
http://modarchive.org/
131 module pack by RekNepZ collected from The Mod Archive (make sure to find credit details on the site for ones you use)
https://www.dropbox....odpack.zip?dl=0

MuseScore
Free music composition and notation.
http://musescore.org/

SolMiRe
Convert a MIDI to MP3, can use your choice of soundfont.
http://solmire.com/

GXSCC (Beta version)
Convert a MIDI file to a WAV file using actual 16-bit instruments. Can be used for commercial projects.
http://www.geocities...B236/indexE.htm

MP3Cut
Upload an MP3 file and cut it to whatever length you want.
http://mp3cut.net/

Abundant Music
A very easy-to-use online music generator.
http://www.abundant-music.com/

Soundation
A free online music creator.
http://www.soundation.com

TeknoAXE
Royalty Free Techno, Dubstep, Metal, Rock or Soundtrack music.
http://www.teknoaxe.com/

LMMS
A free open-source music making package. Originally made for Linux systems, but ported to Windows.
http://lmms.sourceforge.net/

Tunafish
Another, older yet simpler music making application
http://www.brotherso...fish-88125.html

KVR Audio
More music stuff (VST, VSTi, and more)
KVR Audio

Akoff Music Composer
A funny little application that converts wave to MIDI. You can make music by simply humming into a microphone

http://www.akoff.com/index.html

FamiTracker
Nice 8-bit music tracker
http://famitracker.com/

cgMusic
MIDI music generator using editable algorithms
Note: May or may not work on a 64-bit system.
http://codeminion.co...s-create-music/

Wolfram: Tones
Procedural mathematical music generator
Wolfram:Tones

FreePD
Resource for public domain music
FreePD

Anvil Studio
Well-known general-purpose MIDI tracker
http://www.anvilstudio.com/

SynthFont
An application good for putting "finishing touches" on your MIDI files, like soundfonts and VST effects
http://www.synthfont.com/

IndieGameMusic
Here, you can request music from composers
http://igmusic.us.to/

FL Studio
Another popular tool for making music
FL Studio



Sound FX
Spoiler

sfxr
Waveform sound effect creator
http://www.drpetter....oject_sfxr.html
as3sfxr
A custom build of sfxr; works in browser!
http://www.superflashbros.net/as3sfxr/
bfxr
Another custom build of sfxr.
http://www.bfxr.net/

LabChirp
8-Channel sound effect creator with randomizer option
http://labbed.net/so...php?id=labchirp

Audacity
All-purpose sound editor
Audacity

Curvesounds by Greenblizzard
A sound creator that allows for hand drawing the frequencies.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=582263

Supersound by tsg1zzn
A sound extension that provides .ogg features and more to GM8.1 users and below.
DLL: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=120034
GEX: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=462692




Graphics
Spoiler

Sparks by Nocturne
Generates effect sprites using particles. Can also generate particle code.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=539511

SkyGen by GVmakesGames
Procedural day/night sky background generator.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=662933

Blender
Free and popular 3D modeling and rendering tool.
http://www.blender.org/

Spritely
Placeholder image generator; pulls image from the internet for placeholder sprites.
https://github.com/g...gelina/spritely

Spriter
Popular spriting and animation program.
http://www.brashmonkey.com/spriter.htm

Procedural Trees by TheSnidr
Another tree generator, but creates scary-looking trees. Open source!
http://host-a.net/u/...dural_trees.gmz

Pixlr
A free online image editor.
http://pixlr.com/

CanTree Tree Generator
A very good-looking 2D tree generator. Very detailed trees of any size can be made.
http://arnaud.ile.nc/cantree/

Particle System Creator by Mercerenies
A GM-made what-you-see-is-what-you-get particle creator that creates code for particle effects.
http://www.sandbox.y...-system-creator

Open Game Art
A resource for general graphics
OpenGameArt.org

CG Textures
A huge collection of textures of all kinds
Note: You must register to download textures. It's free for small textures, but you have to pay for larger sizes.
http://cgtextures.com/

Explosion Texture Generator
A very nice-looking explosion graphic generator
http://www.saschawil...de/?page_id=253

Lost Garden: free game graphics
This site has some amazing looking free game art. Scroll down this page to see them.
http://www.lostgarde...e game graphics

Bleed's graphic collection
A collection of nice pre-rendered 3D graphics by the GMC Member, Bleed.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=460652

GIMP
Powerful free image editor.
GIMP

IcoFX
Tool for converting images to icons that can be used in GM games
IcoFX

Model Processor by TheSnidr
A tool for importing textured .obj models, outlining them, then exporting gml models.
https://host-a.net/u...l_processor.exe

GML Color Picker by seanrr
Easily get the colors you want for drawing things
GML Color Picker

Icon Maker by Big J
A good icon maker for making icons for your GM games
Icon Maker

Spriter
A popular sprite editor, allows you to easily animate sprites and add collision systems and stuff
Use this to add Spriter graphics to your game: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=537492
Spriter
iconverticons.com
An online icon convertor
http://iconverticons.com/online/

The Spriters Resource
A HUGE database of sprites and graphics. You probably shouldn't use them in your Jam game to much because of copyright stuff, but you can use them as bases and references for making your own sprites.
http://www.spriters-resource.com/

Fontstruct
A vector-based online font editor, that also has a gallery of fonts other people have made.
http://fontstruct.com

BitFontMaker2
A font editor that makes pixelated fonts using a simple paint interface.
http://www.pentacom..../bitfontmaker2/
BitFontReader by YellowAfterlife
Simplifies the process of making pixel fonts.
http://yal.cc/r/bitfontreader/




Planning & Ideas
Spoiler

Random Idea Generator by Koder007
A browser-based random game idea generator.
http://codepen.io/Koder007/full/iblAf

The Random Game Idea Generator by Kepons
A somewhat hilarious game idea generator.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=597853

Random Horror Plot Generator by GVmakesGames
A configurable plot generator. It's pre-configured for horror plots, but can be changed to other genres.
https://gvmakesgames...plot-generator/

Seventh Sanctum
A huge collection of generators for many things such as names and plots
SeventhSanctum

Idea Creator by trg601
An html5 app that generates a random idea for a game
http://tyler.co.nf/files/ideagentool/

IdeaGM by N-cubo
Another browser-based game idea generator with over 107000 possible combinations
http://ideagm.n-cubo.com/



Extensions (GML, DLL, GEX)
Spoiler

GMLScripts
A great resource for all kinds of scripts
GMLScripts.com

GM ToolBox
A great collection of DLLs and extension packages
GM ToolBox

Mike Deroche's DLLs
Some good DLLs here
http://mikederoche.com/resources/dlls/

Blijbol
This GM-oriented site has a nice extensions section
http://gamemaker.blijbol.nl/en

Supersound by tsg1zzn
A sound extension that provides .ogg features and more to GM8.1 users and below.
DLL: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=120034
GEX: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=462692



Engines and custom IDEs
Spoiler


NaturalGM
Custom editor fo GM:Studio; has a nice, clean interface
NaturalGM

VEditor
Custom level/room editor
VEditor



Code generating editors
Spoiler

Particle System Generator by Mercerenies
A GM-made what-you-see-is-what-you-get particle creator that creates code for particle effects.
http://sandbox.yoyog...-system-creator

Bullet Pattern Studio by darkwalker247
A GM-made bullet pattern creator that contains many features that allow for complicared pre-planned bullet patterns.
http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=570806



Other
Spoiler

Convertico
Another tool to convert to ICO
http://convertico.com/

Extra Credits
A "series on how to design games well, telling you what to avoid and tackling difficult subjects in gaming".
https://www.youtube....9B0CA00461BB187

Open Broadcaster Software
Useful for making let's plays for Jam reviews, or live streams.
https://obsproject.com/

Chronolapse
A tool for easily creating a time lapse video of your game's creation.
https://code.google..../downloads/list

The Open Bundle
An open bundle of music, and art from web games. Available under the Creative Commons Zero license.
http://open.commonly.cc/

What The Font?
A pretty cool online application that extracts font types and styles from images with text in them by matching against a database. For example, it can be used to replicare the fonts used in text on sprites.
http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/

Zamzar.com
An online converter that converts almost anything to other formats. (For example, PNG to ICO, MP3 to WAV, FLAC to MP3)
http://www.zamzar.com/
 
A

Aura

Guest
@Acr515: This is the GameMaker Community Jam (GMC Jam) so... it's pretty much obvious that the only engine that you are supposed (and allowed) to use is GameMaker. Aside from that, everybody already uses it here. ^^"

@Yal: Please spoiler your suggestion in post #4. The page's gone enormous. ^^
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
In the MISC section you should include Tileset Champion, as it's essential for getting good scaleable tilemaps in GMS:
http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=546371

Another MISC tool would be GMare, an external room editor:
http://gmare.codeplex.com/

For GRAPHICS you might want to include Sparks and Particle Designer 2 for those that want to work easily with particles or particle sprites:
http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=539511
http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=290449

For MUSIC, you can turn any midi track into a Famicom MP3 using GXSCC from Gashisoft:
http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-SanJose/8700/P/GsorigE.htm

And I'd also add Incompetech (Kevin McLeod) to the list of MUSIC resources:
http://incompetech.com/music/
 
A

Aura

Guest
@Yal: Seems so. I have to collapse it every time I open this topic. Quotes with source (name of the author, poststamp and timestamp) are the only ones that seem to be collapsed by default. All the content is explicit in case of manual quotes. At least for me. >.<
 

Alice

Toolmaker of Bucuresti
Forum Staff
Moderator
Just a reminder, people, this list is supposed to be a neat, concise collection of great tools and assets, not a list of all potentially useful resources in existence (with potentially sometimes meaning "if better resources suddenly disappeared").

That's also why I asked for tools you people use rather than merely know about.
If you use it, that probably means it's the best tool you know for a given job and you're better off with it than without.
If you simply know about it without using it yourself, then it's possible it's not that practical after all (just because functionality exists doesn't mean that the tool can be practically used during a Jam).
If you use it, but it's your own tool, there's a chance other people will find the tool confusing.

With that in mind, re-posting the old Tools & Resources thread, linking to a multitude of pixel-art editors (I doubt one person would use all of these at once) or mentioning one sound generator then linking to another one which is "essentially the same thing" seems to miss the point. It's not like I don't appreciate your help, but I'd prefer if it was more directed - keep your list to what you use yourself. Phrases like "I used that and it saved me some time" or "I do all my pixel-art in it" are welcome, too, to make sure you understand what I asked for. ^^'

People might not have time and will to try and learn tens of different tools, so let's give them the best ones. ;)
 
A

Aura

Guest
I have used all the image editors that I linked to for a time long enough for me to suggest people to use them... ^^'

As for the music composition and editing/rendering tools that I linked to, I have been using FamiTracker and Audacity for a lot of time now. (I tried Bfxr and Musagi specifically for this list though.) And I'd like to suggest Milkytracker too:

http://www.milkytracker.org

It's a general-purpose suite for music composition (and way easier to use than Famitracker IMO) that everyone'd recommend. ^^"
 

Tselmek

Member
Regarding sound effects, I use Chiptone which is a visually clearer handy dandy version of sfxr. I've been using it for sound effects whenever I couldn't get a foley artist on board and as far as my use go, it's got most of if not all features sfxr offers but in a more easily understandable environment. It seems to be in development still but the sound effects part is fully-fledged and fully usable.
 

Micah_DS

Member
If anyone is strapped for cash and needs a free graphic tool option for 2D tiling and sprite graphics, I highly recommend Paint.NET ALONG WITH the community-made AnimationEffect.dll (made by "recursor").
That DLL allows you to create GIF animations very easily, and all inside of Paint.NET. It's the fastest and easiest free option I'm personally aware of.

EDIT:
I guess I should note that the AnimationEffect.dll is still a tad buggy (it's still beta), but the bugs are only minor things that I've noticed and it's still very usable.
 
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MikeDark_x

Member
Am I allowed to put copyrighted music in my game jam games?
As far as I know, no
What about uncopyrighted clip art?
Well in such cases I think the one who owns the clip art is the person who made it, so if you have permission, or for example, the piece is Creative Commons, all you'll need to do is mention the artist, and even better, if you don't want that, just get CC0 stuff, you can freely use CC0 stuff without saying who made it
 

zminusone

Member
I have about 4 hours of pretty high quality music on a soundcloud here:

https://soundcloud.com/zminusone

Most of it I think I can make available for a game if it works for yours; however I do have consider your game just slightly since it isn't entirely free for me, since it forever limits the music to a non-exclusive license for instance. Also not everything is available due to previous license agreements, etc. But feel free to PM with details of your game if you find something that might work in your jam and I'll definitely consider it!

Ultimately, I'd like to help as many people as I can! Someone requested really recently so I thought maybe it was worth posting it for the community to consider. Again It's not 100%; I do have to weigh the music's future equity to be licensed exclusively for instance.

-Brian
 

Nocturne

Friendly Tyrant
Forum Staff
Admin
Regarding sound effects, I use Chiptone which is a visually clearer handy dandy version of sfxr. I've been using it for sound effects whenever I couldn't get a foley artist on board and as far as my use go, it's got most of if not all features sfxr offers but in a more easily understandable environment. It seems to be in development still but the sound effects part is fully-fledged and fully usable.
Can I just second this? Seriously it MUST be put on the list... only just discovered it recently and it's still in early stages, but it already knocks SFXR and BFXR out of the ballpark. Seriously, a very, very good tool...
 

Negastar

Member
For music, I like to use FL Studio. There's a good list of instruments and sound effects in the free version, and creating samples/tracks is relatively easy. The main drawback is that you can't open saved projects unless you upgrade, so my suggestion would be to try to finish a song in one day, or make a good sample to reference to when you are ready to finish.
 

Kousenai

Furry Flaebae
As mentioned before, FL Studio is a good program but is a pain to use if you don't upgrade.

I'd definitely like to re-mention Krita - primarily for painting, a very handy (and free!) program for art. It also has a nifty animation feature, since the recent v3.0. Open source, frequent feature updates. I've used it since v2.9. Great program.
 

Dark

Member
For pixel art spriting I recommend a tool called Grafx2:
http://pulkomandy.tk/projects/GrafX2

It can be a bit of a hurdle to learn for people who haven't used a similar tool before, but it's really awesome and worth it. Lots of cool features like a shading tool that uses a custom defined ramp, a good palette system, color reduction, linear/3D gradients with optional dithering, and extensibility with lua scripts.

Also here's a brightness and contrast script I made for it that I always end up using a ton to make my pixel art look nicer https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0NyOdPoeBMheU1iRnprM01sOG8
 
N

nix0nax

Guest
There's a great project management service called Trello. It supports teams aswell. (Though nothing can beat a pen and paper when you're working alone)

And for pixel art I always use GraphicsGale. I'm pretty sure you could use it for regular drawing though it is more pixel art based.
 

Edmanbosch

Member
Management
Tools for general project management (design, planning, communication etc.), whether for a single person or a team.
None yet.
A great tool for project management that I use is http://hacknplan.com/. It has many cool features for game dev such as platform marking tasks to specific platforms, a visual game design document editor, and milestones to mark your progress with your game.
 

ParodyKnaveBob

The Laughing Rogue
Management
Tools for general project management (design, planning, communication etc.), whether for a single person or a team.
None yet.
I read this just now and immediately thought, how's this empty? How's Trello not listed?

Then, before posting, y'know, lemme check the thread (and simultaneously ponder how no one else had mentioned it)...

https://trello.com/ is pretty good too. Simply helps you communicate with others for working on your projects.
Oh. $:^ P

I can attest to this thing being great. It super streamlined and organized communication and project management between one partner and me, and I've even started using it on solo projects (as being better than the Game Information help.rtf). I have one public board -- Card Hunter Battle Replayer, a tool I'm building in GM. (And, ironically, I'm pretty sure I first heard of Trello from KurtBlissZ's post here anyway, ha.)
 
A

Aegirbard

Guest
I wish I had known about this before; I'm certainly going to make use of it in the future to compose music for jams..
 

Lukasmah

Member
Here's a CC0 sample pack (also comes with synth presets). It was made for LMMS because, although LMMS itself is free and all that, the sample licensing is a bit tricky so the assets are being replaced. It's far from complete and is mostly percussion.

https://github.com/LMMS/assets
 

Misty

Member
Yal posted about the Open bundle. I really want this but the link doesn't work. The link is from newgrounds. Does anyone have the open bundle because I don't want to miss out.
 
M

MyChristina

Guest
Hello all!

All of this is very useful, thanks.

I was thinking of organising a game jam with people with no previous experiences either with GM or with programming. Do you know where I could find a toolkit with DragAndDrop features explained and with examples? I think something really, really simple.

Thank you very much!!
 
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