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Author Topic: Making games - resources  (Read 8138 times)
Posts: 44

Busy bee!

« on: September 16, 2009, 12:52:36 pm »

Just thought I'd share some useful links for making 2D games.

As a developer my first hurdle (after having the game idea) is always graphics. If I draw anything it always takes me ages and I begin to lose motivation because I have to make compromises. The end result never looks like I imagined it would either. There is only so long you can look at your hand crafted squares and blobs (programmer art Wink)  before you get fed up of looking at your own game. To overcome this shortfall I've gathered links to open source or free to use graphics over the years.  Anyways here are some of the links :-

Ari Feldman's SpriteLib GPL
256 colour graphics for a variety of classics like centipede and space invaders.

Reiner Prokein Tile Sets
True colour graphics for isometric games.

Lost Garden
Good articles on game design processes and several true colour graphics collections including Sinistar.

First Seed Material
RPG zelda style

There are two ways to make worlds for your sprites to move around in :-

1) By hand
2) Use a tool.

Designing levels by hand is very tedious if you have lots of different sprites and large levels. Its much easier if you use a tool. Some developers roll their own but I've settled with Tile Studio.


Tile Studio also allows you some control in defining the output file format. Failing that, you can always develop your own data parsing tool.

I would recommend that you save your work often because I've had it crash a couple of times Sad. My only other problem with the software is that it will reorganise your tile bitmap so you have to use the one it creates.
Posts: 39

« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 05:39:22 pm »

Here at Reboot studios, we've used the following software to develop Project One:

  • Mac/Aln - The original assembler/linker (used by CJ mostly), running under DOSBox. We even have the NDA to prove that we have a legit copy Smiley
  • Smac/Sln - During development I personally provided bug reports to the author currently it's producing a 100% identical copy of Project One binaries as Mac/Aln
  • Notepad++ - Phenomenal editor! Okay, we use about 1% of its function set (who needs syntax highlighting when writing assembler anyway? Wink ). We just use it as a tabbed Notepad mostly. (Oh and we can call DOSBox so it can assemble our code with a single keystroke)
  • GFA Basic 32 - A more or less compatible version to the Atari 16/32 version. Used to create the waves for Project One, as well as any other data conversions we might need. 10000000 times faster and smaller than Visual Basic. Its status is "abandonware", which means gray zone - hell, I'll use it as long as I can Smiley

  • Paint Shop Pro 7 on PC - Last version before it turned to shit!
  • Degas Elite on Atari ST - Still used by sh3!
  • Godpaint On Falcon - Again, sh3 uses this fanatically Smiley

505 was unavailable for comments - he must have used some Soundtracker compatible program though Smiley

Level creation
Mappy - Quite good editor, can export data as dc.w statements (using a uber 1337 script written by CJ). Can be used to make multi-layered maps, isometrics, etc, etc! The pro version has some very nice stuff too. Recommended!

We used a custom program written by me in GFA Basic 32. At some point I plan to upgrade this from a series of small procedures that make the waves into a GUI version. The current version will be released along with the P1 source code base Smiley
« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 06:50:50 pm by ggn » Logged
Posts: 44

Busy bee!

« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 08:17:31 pm »

For quickly knocking up conversion and data processing command line tools I'd recommend Perl. I've used the one developed by ActiveState Corp for years.


Perl is fantastic at string manipulation. Its also a good "edit and go" language. All you need to use it is your favourite editor and run it from a DOS box. Theres no compiling or linking phase. Its ideal for the one file source code fans ;-). LOL!

For hex file viewing I've found Cygnus Hex Editor FREE EDITION to be very useful :-

Cyrano Jones
Posts: 37

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 11:07:16 pm »

I'll throw some in here

Paint Shop Pro 3 (Older one is much better than the new one)

hex editor

Posts: 44

Busy bee!

« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 12:28:55 am »

@CJ :
The XNView32 link appears to be malformed. This one defaults to English too.


Pickford Bros - Free to use
A good selection of free to use bitmap fonts in a variety of sizes.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 12:41:35 am by GroovyBee » Logged
Posts: 44

Busy bee!

« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 02:21:59 pm »

File formats
Various file format information can be found here including BMP, AIFF and WAV :-

Jr. Member
Posts: 70

« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 07:32:30 am »

Back when I was working on a game, I loved...

NotePad++ As noted above, excellent text editor
PaintShop Pro 8 7 and 8 are both excellent. I have them both (legally, with discs and manuals). I have never used Photo Shop, and never will. PSP8 FTW.
MilkShape 3D Not sure how useful this program is for Jag development, but I've created hundreds of models with this app and love it. I don't believe it's free, but worth whatever it costs.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 09:22:24 pm by kgenthe » Logged

Posts: 44

Busy bee!

« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 07:35:57 pm »

Its a while since I read this book but Designing Arcade Computer Game Graphics by Ari Feldman was quite interesting. Its available online here :-

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