Finding useful resources and tools can be a daily struggle for the everyday Indie game dev…
We recently spoke to an array of different indie devs to find out what resources and tools they found to be the most useful to them. All of the following resources have been recommended and suggested to us by real indie devs – as part of the indie game initiative meaning this article is extra special! In this article we take a look at:
Trello for Management
Trello is a simple to use yet effective management tool that will help you arrange and map your game’s development. Sometimes you may find yourself trying to remember what you need to do next or find that you want a visual way of seeing how far you have left till the end of your game. Trello allows you to manage this process privately or publicly meaning you can also keep the media and your community constantly informed on the development of your games.
itch.io and gamejolt.com for uploading small games
If you’re not ready to release your game to steam greenlight or don’t have the funds or backing you can easily upload your games to these two great websites. Itchio is a growing store for all indie games and allow you to add a game for anyone to play. You can even set prices or receive donations for your games. Game jolt is another good resource for uploading games although this is for your free games only. The best thing about it is you receive a small share of the ad revenue that your games bring in meaning if you have a popular game you may be able to have enough money to fund your next project.
Unity3D for game development
For an all round great engine that offers both free and premium services is Unity3D. In recent years this is becoming the more popular choice for indie devs as it now allows you to create either a 2D or 3D game. After you pass the large learning curve the software is extremely user-friendly meaning you can get to grips with it fairly easily (besides if all else fails there is a ton of user help guides, documentation and videos that can help you).
Tweet Deck & Buffer for your social needs
A key part of being an indie dev is using your social media effectively. Both Tweet Deck and Buffer allow you to manage, maintain and schedule all your tweets in one simple place. Tweet deck was built especially from the twitter developers to allow brands and individuals to be able to manage the constant flow of tweets we face on a daily basis. Whereas Tweet Deck is an all round web app and software that allows you to add and remove multiple columns of what you want to see, buffer allows you to schedule all your social media connections from one place.
Youtube for help and research
One hero among the mix you may forget about is YouTube! Offering thousands upon thousands of hours of tutorials and information YouTube is by far one of the most useful tools that any newer indie dev could use. If you ever find yourself in a pickle or wondering how to do something you can always count on YouTube to have some form of answer ( even if it is a 10-year-old child talking on their parents laptop)!
Inkscape and Gimp or Illustrator and Photoshop for design
Throughout your time as an indie dev you are going to find yourself going through a lot of designing. Obviously its up to your budget and preference which one of the two you go for. Inkscape and Gimp are the free alternatives of Illustrator and Photoshop however the Adobe software does offer more in the way of features and support.
Bitbucket for Repository and Bug tracking
Bit Bucket is kinda like GitHub but they feature more enriching features and can be harnessed to release the potential of your game. This is really a coder’s dreams as it breaks down the communication barriers you may face and will work universally on pretty much any device you throw at it. It also works as a good bug tracker as users can submit information to it and you can take note on it.
Using Ad tools can be a great way to fund your next project or earn yourself a bit of extra revenue. It can be more difficult to find a good ad network but thanks to these recommendations it should be a breeze. Tap for Tap is great as you can either gain money from ads you show on your game or use this to show your game as an ad on other people’s games. If you want to really boost your ad revenue you can also use EverPlay or Adcolony which will play a video ad in between a loading screen on your game.
Flurry offers advertising solutions and analytics for the in-game experience of your game. With Flurry you can get basic insights into your users and app performance, or set up an advanced analysis of complex events to get a deeper understanding of everything your users are doing. Crazy Egg is perfect for seeing how your users are interacting with your website and on your web game. It generates a heat map so you can see where users are clicking across your page and game so you can better optimise it.
Audiomicro for Audio Resources
There are far too many audio editing programs out there to recommend a good one for you, but what we can do is recommend a great site for you to find and download high quality pieces of audio. If you have the budget for your game you can download different sound effects/audio from Audiomicro and have a fully fledge licence to include it within your game.
One Sky App for translation
If you aim to release your game on different platforms around the world and want to offer different languages you can use this recommended tool which allows you to quickly find and translate your games. The great thing is that its fairly cheap in comparison with hiring a full-time agency to translate your game.
Other Resources and tools
There are thousands of resources and tools out there for you to use! Not to mention the many tools that were recommended to us such as Pixelmator, Pixen, iDraw, Prepo, Glyph Designer, Audacity, Pro Sound Effects, eLance. Evernote, Reflector and much, much more. If you have a suggestion of something you think we should add please feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article.
Should we continue articles like top resources & tools for indie game developers?
We hope you will find these resources and tools useful and will take them away with you on your latest project or build. If you find articles like these useful, let us know and we will make ensure to continue a whole series of related articles for indie devs. Please do share this among the community so others can also find and use these tools in their daily lives!