ArticlesBlog

12 handy free productivity tools for game designers

12 handy free productivity tools for game designers


If you’re an indie game designer, chances
are you have to wear lots of hats, just like me. On top of writing and coding, we generally
have to dive into level design, posting online, and all sorts of stuff! That’s why today,
I’m sharing 12 tools that I use on a daily basis to speed up my work. Let’s get started! Number 1: Shoebox. Shoebox is what its name suggests: a shoebox
full of wonderful tools! It extracts sprites, generates sprite atlases, bitmap fonts, and
does much more! Cherry on the cake: Shoebox’s UI is slick and very easy to use. It all works with drag and drop. Please note that you need to have the Air
runtime installed to run that application. Number 2: Caesium. Caesium is a fast, open source image compression software. I’ve tried out a few in the past,
and Caesium really shined for its efficiency. With this software, you can quickly optimize
both your JPG and PNG files for your website or your game’s build.
I used it to compress my bank of reference images from 12 gbs down to about 3.5 gbs. It’s Windows only. Number 3: Bulk Rename Utility. Another free gem! Bulk Rename Utility is a batch renaming tool. Its interface may look
a bit daunting at first, but it offers a lot of flexibility. Whether you need to add an
index to your files’ names, rename pictures using their metadata or pretty much anything
you could think of, this software does the job! It also gives you a preview of the names
it will generate in real time. Once again, it’s a Windows only software. Number 4: Tiled Map Editor. Tiled is simply the best free tile map editor available out there! Once again, it’s an
easy to use piece of software, with a clean interface. It offers a solid autotile feature,
and tools to quickly generate or add variations to your levels. Not only that, but with Tiled,
you can generate data such as shapes and variables to later use in your game engine as interactive
elements! It’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Number 5: Bfxr. Bfxr is an online tool that excels at generating placeholder sound for your games. It’s perfect
whenever you’re prototyping a pixel art game or participating in a game jam. It is
also available as a standalone version for both Windows and Mac. Number 6: Picasa. Picasa is my picture manager of choice. It
is clean and easy to use. It integrates with Google Plus, which is a… plus, I guess?
But it offers one powerful feature that all artists will love! Need to create a reference,
or mood board for your next painting? With Picasa, you just have to select a few pictures,
go to the create menu and click “Picture Collage”. Voilà! It’s Windows only. Number 7: FastKeys. FastKeys does a great job at automating tasks.
It’s a text expander, macro manager, and auto completion software. You can add shortcuts,
setup mouse gestures, create your own context menu… FastKeys offers many, many handy functions.
It is very discreet, but it’s great to be able to paste text without formatting or to
lower your speaker’s volume just with your mouse wheel. It is available for free with occasional reminders to buy a license. Otherwise, it only costs 10 bucks. Number 8: Keepass. You may not have expected a tool like Keepass
in that list: Keepass is an account and password manager. It offers a safe way to store all
of you online account data in one place. Not only that, but it can type your account credentials
on forums and social networks faster than light! You can also open a list of websites
from within the software, and categorize your accounts. Let us now take a look at some web-based tools! Number 9: Trello. Trello offers a visual and flexible way to plan your projects! On Trello, you can organize
your team’s work with cards and todolists. You can upload photos and add colored labels
to your cards, discuss tasks… It’s visual, it’s intuitive, and it works with simple,
drag and drop interactions. On top of that, Trello works well in conjunction with Dropbox
and Google Drive, if you need to share files with your teammates. Number 10: Buffer. Buffer is a tool for social media. It makes
easy to queue up posts on your social network accounts, and to share articles or pages you
stumble upon online. It offers some analytics on your posts as
well. Although the free version is limited as far as what you can do, Buffer covers most
of your needs as an indie game designer. It is also very easy to use, and available as
a Chrome extension. Number 11: Conjure.io. Conjure is pretty amazing. If you need to work with an artist, you’re going to love
it! This tool permits you to share your design, get interactive feedback, and approve or disapprove
pieces. It handles versioning and variations of your designs beautifully! In that case,
you really have to take a look at it to understand how clean and efficient it is. All I can say
is that it’s an excellent tool to work with your art teammates, and freelance designers. And number 12: Habit RPG. Last but not least, let’s take a quick look
at this wonderful online app. Habit RPG is a gamified todolist. It rewards you for getting
your work done, which is quite motivating! It feels very unique and practical thanks
to its dailies system! Dailies are simply recurring tasks you need to tackle each day. On top of that, you can queue up general tasks that you have to do to earn more experience
points and rewards. If you’re struggling to get work done, Habit RPG can help. That’s it for this video! I hope you enjoyed it! Is there any tool you’d like to add
to the list? Please share it with everyone in the comments below! This list is just about useful tools I use on a daily basis, so it can definitely be
extended. If you liked the video and want to see more,
you can subscribe to my channel! And don’t hesitate to follow me and message me on social networks! ♥ Thank you for watching… ♥

Comments (40)

  1. 12 handy free productivity tools for game designers http://buff.ly/1E66fqw #gamedev #html5 #indiedev #construct2

  2. Thank you, this is a very useful compilation.

  3. great video 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to compile the information into a video 🙂

  4. Great quality video! Glad to see Trello up there

  5. pixlr.com is a good photoshop like image editor. Good for those simple image fixes on computers that dont have photoshop installed

  6. Thanks for the tips! Great video.  Anyone that has dealt with renaming in windows will be happy to learn the power of Bulk Rename.  Also hoping to find some useful tools in Shoebox.

  7. Great list! Definitely have a new set of bookmarks when I start digging into some designing.

  8. how interesting, very pro, my friend!

  9. Great video, exactly what I needed.

  10. Excellent-thanks. 

  11. Thank you for this list! I'd also like to suggest Coffitivity. It's great for writers and developers who want to work in a more creative-friendly sound environment. https://coffitivity.com/

  12. Excellent video. I subscribed, and jotted down about 4 tools from this list to investigate.

    For those for whom Picasa isn't quite powerful enough, I highly recommend Zoner Photo Studio. 

    Also, ShareX for screenshots

  13. Sir, you are a god's gift to humanity. Thank you extremely

  14. Just wanted to say a GIGANTIC thank you for this video… Especially for Shoebox… I can't begin to describe the feeling of liberation of drag & drop a PSD file and have all the magnificient layers exported as single files. Beautiful flow & framework. Gros merci encore. 😀 (from a new fan… hehehehee ^_^ ♥)

  15. We have shared the video on GameMarketeers. Check this out: http://www.gamemarketeers.com/videos/12-handy-tools-for-game-designers/

  16. @GDquest your channel is amazing! Just discovered from the radial health bar, simply liked very much the design and overall feel of your channel!
    I'm trying to do my first game and researching a lot before going ahead 😀

    Keep up bro! Cheers!

  17. Ça je le poste direct sur le mur de mon école ! Ils ont l'air excellent ces outils (perso j'utilise régulièrement Trello et bfxr).

  18. No GraphicsGale and Piskel? :/

  19. Thanx bro…it's very usefull

  20. Thanks for pointing out some of those web tools. Conjure looks pretty interesting, and Habit RPG is actually an idea I had years ago but never got around to seeing through, glad someone else had a similar idea and followed through on it, totally going to have to check that one out.

    For those of you on Linux like me, there are some alternatives to several of the Windows only options.

    Instead of Caesium see the following blog posts; there are several useful commandline utilities for these tasks:
    http://linuxcommando.blogspot.com/2014/09/how-to-optimize-jpeg-images.html
    http://linuxcommando.blogspot.com/2014/09/how-to-optimize-png-images.html

    Also, Caesium has a CLI version that is crossplatform:
    https://github.com/Lymphatus/CaesiumCLT

    Instead of Bulk Rename Utility use:
    KRename – http://www.krename.net/home/

    Instead of Picasa use:
    Digikam – https://www.digikam.org/

    Instead of FastKeys use:
    AutoKey – https://github.com/guoci/autokey-py3

    Instead of KeePass use:
    KeePassX – https://www.keepassx.org/

  21. I'm 98% sure our school laptops which are macs, have picassa on them

  22. Habit RPG is exactly what I've been looking for for a while! I've even thought of making my own quest-reward task list to use as I couldn't find anything. Thank you! I'm so happy. :'D

  23. Thanks for introducing me into Tiled! I have always had problems with tiling my sprites without resizing the image.

  24. You ought to take a look at LabChirp. This sound designer beats Bfxr / Sfxr.

  25. Thanks for the App and Software, I already installed Trello and now I'm going to explore the other things and also I'm going share to my Circle ^^

  26. This video has 666 likes, no like it ever again

  27. Evernote is a very useful tool too.

  28. You can do tutorial to learn how to make a video games

  29. For bulk renaming, I prefer the tool massren (https://github.com/laurent22/massren). It allows the user to open a list of files in the directory the tool is placed in inside of a text editor, making it easier to edit many files at once using the many useful features one might find in their preferred editor.

  30. Thanks for this vídeo GDquest, it is very Goooooood!!

  31. "Bulk rename utility" – how about just using Far, F6 and "*" mask? Not only will it get the job done, but there's no competition between Far and windows explorer when it comes to long and heavy work with files. Once you try it, you'll never go back to the old ways, it's that much faster with all the shortcuts. And free as well.

  32. Cherry on the cake B)

  33. Dito is a nice tool if you copy and paste a lot.
    it is basically an extended clipboard with a search function.
    http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net/

  34. Does anyone know if there's a Shoebox equivalent for linux? Sprite clipping and registration editing would be so amazingly useful over here too…

  35. Love these videos

  36. Thanks for suggesting Keepass instead of LastPass to your subscribers. LastPass has been hacked twice and isn't safe as Keepass which has strong encryption. And LastPass isn't open source, if it has some kind of backdoor you'll never know.

  37. Bulk Rename Tool and Trello are brilliant! I've used them both for years. I've heard of HabitRPG -> Habitica, but haven't dived in. Thanks for sharing the other useful suggestions too.

  38. Thanks for the free tools, GD!

Comment here