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List of useful Game designing tools

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Vanamerax, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Note: This list is specifically for Game Design. For a full list of Game Development Tools, go here

    For the sake of everyone's interest, here is a list of useful tools and applications that help you designing your game:

    Project Management & Collaboration:
    - Trello: Team management and project planning
    - Pivotal Tracker: Per Project management, has a task point system and completion velocity tracking. Free for one user
    - Wigio: A free online group collaboration program
    - Base Camp: Project management and file sharing tool
    - Google Hangout - To discuss designs with a distributed team
    - Evernote: is great to easily write your game idea, code idea .. everything!
    - Podio
    - RealtimeBoard: Digital whiteboard for collaboration and project management
    - Padlet
    - Slack: Text based chat app that uses a channel system for team mangament and discussion

    Diagram / Graph drawing:
    - MS Visio: highly recommended!
    - Lucidchart: Online program to draw graphs (technology trees or diagalogues)
    - yEd Graph Editor: Free cross platform graph editor
    - Dia: A free program to easily draw graphs (technology trees or diagalogues)
    - FreeMind - Free Mind Mapping Software. If you don't know what mind mapping is I highly recommend you learn!
    - DrawIO: Online free web program to draw diagrams, intergrated with cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive

    Writing:
    - CelTX: Free web-based scriptwriting tool
    - Scrivener: Writing tool

    Image Editing:
    - Photoshop: Probably the most wide-spread option in the game industry
    - GIMP: Free alternative to photoshop, with plenty of features!
    - Inkscape - To draw mock-ups of UI's in real-time using Google Hangout
    - Paint.Net: Intended as a free replacement to the basic Paint program in Windows

    3D Modelling:
    - Blender: Free 3D modeling with lots of great features
    - Sketchup: Free 3D modelling tool aimed at architecture. Can be very useful to quickly draw some level designs or layouts!

    Screen Capturing:
    - ScreenPresso - For capturing screen shots, design ideas, gameplay, mockups, errors, ...
    - Puush: Capture screenshots of active window or a selectable area, automatically copies link
    - CloudShot: Screen capturing addon for dropbox
    - ShareX: Screen capturing software with lots of features

    File Sharing:
    - Dropbox: get up to 50GB for free when also installing the app on your smartphone! Also automatically syncs local files between multiple devices (referral link, get 0,5GB extra!)
    - OneDrive: get 15GB for free with your Microsoft account (referral link, get 0,5GB extra!)
    - Google Drive: get 15GB for free with your Google account (but online created documents dont use this free space)

    Misc:
    - Articy: Draft: All-in-one game design tool
    - Audacity - Free Audio Editing & Recording Software
    - Moqups: UI/UX wireframing tool, free and web based
    - ProtoIO: Web based prototyping tool for (mobile) UI design

    Oh, and don't forget that the old pen & paper also are extremely useful game design tools!


    Other Game Design Resources:
    ArtStation is the new cghub, if anyone needs inspiration/ideas

    A nice blog for game design:
    http://gamedesigntools.blogspot.com

    Youtube channel with many Game Design topics:
    Extra Credits

    If you have any suggestions, please comment and I'll add them to the list! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  2. dreamlarp

    dreamlarp

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    We also use:
    https://wiggio.com/
    Wiggio is a completely free, online toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups.
     
    John3D and Teila like this.
  3. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks, Ill add it to the list :)
     
  4. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    - Pivotal Tracker: Per Project management, a lot like Trello but has a task point system and more organizational options as well as completion velocity tracking. Free for one user.
     
  5. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks, added!
     
  6. PJRM

    PJRM

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    There is http://www.icescrum.org.
    IceScrum is your free and open source agile tool: scrum, kanban, xp. It helps your teams to manage your agile developments.

    I like this one. You can install and use it if you like.
     
  7. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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  8. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Danny-vda likes this.
  9. Asvarduil

    Asvarduil

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    Teila likes this.
  10. superpig

    superpig

    Insert bacon, receive bugfix Unity Technologies

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  11. TheSniperFan

    TheSniperFan

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    Depending on your definition of "tools" it might be a bit of a stretch, but I'd say pen & paper.
    I'm serious. Ideas shouldn't only exist in your head, you should write them down.

    I have a small notebook and a pen next to my bed. More than once I already got up in the middle of the night to write stuff down. That way I can reconstruct my thought-processes from months ago today.

    Edit:
    @superpig, you don't happen to be a ninja, do you? o_O
     
  12. randomperson42

    randomperson42

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    Yes he does.
     
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  13. superpig

    superpig

    Insert bacon, receive bugfix Unity Technologies

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    I can neither confirm nor deny that I may be a ninja :D
     
  14. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Teila likes this.
  15. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks for the suggestions! Updated the list

    Haha yeah that is what I thought. Suggestions coming in quicker than I can keep up with :)
     
  16. Teila

    Teila

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    Great thread! Thank you.
     
  17. SubZeroGaming

    SubZeroGaming

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  18. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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  19. Robota

    Robota

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    www.evernote.com is great to easily write your game idea, code idea .. everything!
     
  20. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Other - FREE - useful tools:

    * Google Hangout - To discuss designs with a distributed team
    * Inkscape - To draw mock-ups of UI's in real-time using Google Hangout
    * ScreenPresso - For capturing screen shots, design ideas, gameplay, mockups, errors, ...

    and the #1, #2, and #3 game design tools? .... pencil, paper, and a whiteboard.

    Gigi
     
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  21. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks for the suggestions! updated the list :)
     
  22. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Community generated content! Love how people are collaborating in this forum. Let's sticky this for a few days and see where it goes.

    Gigi
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  23. DevKirbyrawr

    DevKirbyrawr

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    Cloudshot, a program that will make your impr pant button a uploader of photos to dropbox with some cool options like direct links ^^
    https://cloudshot.codeplex.com/
     
  24. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks Gigiwoo! :D

    Updated the list, also started categorizing stuff
     
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  25. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    TortoiseSVN - Free Source Control for Windows
    FreeMind - Free Mind Mapping Software. If you don't know what mind mapping is I highly recommend you learn!
    Audacity - Free Audio Editing & Recording Software
    Anim8or - Free Very easy-to-use 3D modeling program. The first one I used to learn with.
    Blender - Free 3D modeling. I think most people are familiar with this but I did not see it on the list.

    I am sure I have many more if I take a look around my hard drive.

    Are you wanting only free tools? Or beneath a certain price?
     
    metaldc4life likes this.
  26. gurayg

    gurayg

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    I've tried many diagram graph drawing software but this one tops on my list. A cross platform freeware.
    yEd Graph Editor
    Also a cross-platform and free for batch image manipulation and file viewer.
    XnviewMP
     
  27. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I will also add 3D modelling tools to the list, now that you mention it.

    Of course free programs are always welcome, but Im also adding paid services/applications to the list (I think I will improve indication between free and paid programs soon)

    Thanks! That graph editor does indeed look very nice, better than the other alternatives I've seen so far! Updated the list
     
  28. superpig

    superpig

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    Be careful that this doesn't become a general-purpose list of 'any tool for game development.' This is supposed to be the game design forum...
     
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  29. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    In that case, scratch all except FreeMind from my list.
    Mind Mapping is very useful in design.

    The others are definitely for content creation and the admin/management tasks associated with game development.
     
  30. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Yeah I know, although I think some quick modelling/sketching can also belong in the list. Some of the other programs could be doubtful however.
     
  31. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    ^ This. A curated list needs ...curation ;).
    Gigi
     
  32. superpig

    superpig

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    Yeah, I think it's fine to include some quick '3D-sketching' tools and things like that, just best to keep it design-focused.

    If anyone wants to start a thread for more general-purpose art tools in the External Tools forum, go for it!
     
  33. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Sure, let me copy over the thread and start trimming this one down to essentials
     
  34. dreamlarp

    dreamlarp

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    Though here is one that is good for design.
    http://www.chatmapper.com/

    Helping with story and conversation even thought mapping I think.
     
  35. Computerkid23

    Computerkid23

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    Dont know if it was mentioned here but another one for streamlining thoughts and building the backbone of the game that i have used is https://workflowy.com/

    has android app (i believe iOS too) for easy access on the go
     
  36. Xian Youang

    Xian Youang

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    My suggestion for project management & collaboration is web Kanban board with real-time collaboration features called online Kanban Tool. The idea behind it is simple - you visualize your tasks using coloured cards and placing them on a virtual whiteboard that is divided into columns (workflow stages like: backlog, to do, doing done...). You share tasks with your team, prioritize, schedule (it has calendar) track working times (app has time tracking), analyze (check out analytics and time reports) and improve the performance. In addition Kanban Tool allows you to share comments and files (integrations with Box, Google Drive... ) and receive notifications about changes. My team loves it.
     
  37. PandaLaaaabs XD

    PandaLaaaabs XD

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    Guys, I'm a newbie in game development.
    super newbie, I mean Like NEWBIE.
    I know some programming languages like C and HTML or Visual Basic
    But I dont know where I can download the animator thingy .
    please guys I need help T_____T
    I'm just a sole developer I'll try something like Rock, paper and scissors Game with some graphic design and simple
    code. It's just a sample program and then I will try the average ones :)
    Thank you guys very much you're all big help ^_^
     
  38. ArmandoR

    ArmandoR

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    Hola soy nuevo desarrollando para unity y estoy teniendo problemas con cosas muy sencillas alguien que pueda ayudarme
     
  39. Deon-Cadme

    Deon-Cadme

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    Just points from my professional work:
    • Project Management : MS Project
    • Diagram / Flowcharts Tool : MS Visio , I highly recommended it, have tried everything I could get my hands on with the hope to find a cheap alternative but nothing compares so far to Visio.
    • Writing : MS Word , everyone should have it installed on their computer even if they are not designers. There is also the free, web version now but it isn't as good but a decent substitute for smaller projects. Also, I highly recommend to store and organize your concept, pitch and design documents etc in a MediaWiki. It is wonderful to work with, extensions can further improve it and even the bosses at Sony Entertainment was really impressed when they saw what we were doing with it. A small benefit is that you can create and share accounts with restrictions when there is people outside the company that need your GD or other document. No more sending word files every time you update stuff, they just login to their account and read ;) I am never gonna make another game design document in Word again.
    • Image Editing : Photoshop is a no-brainer here, but I also recommend that people consider Illustrator.
    • 3D Modelling : Game designers do not model stuff, takes too much time from their primary tasks but there is a mountain of tools for people that are interested like Blender (my fav) Maya, 3D Studio and so on... We also got the dedicated sculpting programs that every artist should look into.
    • File Sharing : Professionals keep as many of their files as possible in a closed network for security reasons. If you send something, get a mail, encrypt the files and give the receiving party the password separately over a call or similar. The Wiki was an exception but we kept it under some extra security.
    Lots of pens and lots of paper. Most professional designers that I know typically carry a small notebook and some pens with them wherever they go in case they get a good idea. The pens often got different colors so that it is easier to make advanced sketches. A tablet with a pen can of course serve the same purpose, I even got a keyboard dock in my bag :)

    Another recommendation is to get an external hard-drive or something similar that you can store and organize your reference material on. It is worth gold and every good designer or artist typically carry one around. It is a pain to find something that is organized by other people but it is a breeze to pull something out of your own drive while you talk about that "thing" in Halo XX. Just make sure that you are allowed to have an external device with you when you work for other companies, some do not allow it.
    It is a good idea to have your own copy of a program that allows you to take screenshots of the screen and something that can download any video stream from the web. There is a lot of resources out there that you might want to store for private use.
     
  40. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    Kind of surprised no one had already mentioned this, although I also want to ask if anyone has a better option.
     
  41. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Oh you I came across Visio, forgot to add it to the list I guess. Thanks!
     
  42. Deon-Cadme

    Deon-Cadme

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    Its the king of the hill within at what it does but I personally hate the default settings with a passion. I always have to make several changes before we get along, but it is a love story when we do :D

    Anyways, the closes alternative that I found to Visio was Lucidcharts and I use it together with Google Drive. I dislike subscriptions but it is definitely cheaper then Visio... on the other hand, Visio is a one time purchase and you can stick with a single version for a very long time. Depending on what you do, Illustrator might also be an optional program for the task.
     
  43. RespawnDespair

    RespawnDespair

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    Recently i stumbled across draw.io, far superior to Lucidcharts if you ask me (and my team).
     
  44. princeWIGUAN

    princeWIGUAN

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    I use padlet.com for my character design and ideas.

    It looks something like this.

    Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 9.29.54 PM.png
     
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  45. nuverian

    nuverian

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    I use RealtimeBoard for a collaborative whiteboard to drop sketch, post ideas and it's awesome:
    https://realtimeboard.com/

    Cheers
     
    Alphageek likes this.
  46. Petethegoat

    Petethegoat

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    I'd strongly recommend getsharex.com as a superior screen capture program for Windows at least. It's insanely feature rich and customizable, just a really good program. :)
     
  47. BigDaz

    BigDaz

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    Isn't it a bit naughty to post links under the heading "for everyone's interest" to sites where you personally benefit from referrals?
     
  48. superpig

    superpig

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    Are you talking about the Dropbox and OneDrive links? Users who use them to sign up get the space bonus as well, so I don't think it's so bad. Might be more ethical to put a note next to the links, though.
     
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  49. QualixInteractive

    QualixInteractive

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    I recommend Podio for project management of all sort. It has a sharp interface plus android/iOS app that works really well.

    Go take a look https://podio.com
     
  50. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    Well, the people signing up via those link doesn't have disadvantages compared to a regular signup. As superpig said, both parties even get extra bonus space, so it benefits both. A note to indicate a referral link wouldn't hurt though.

    I also updated the list
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014