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37

"we just need something where we can check files out edit them and then check them back in and build from the same set of files" Use version control; a version control system (VCS) is exactly what you described, with the added bonus that it stores a history of every change anyone has made. There are lots of popular version control systems out there: ...


26

I think OpenGL and OpenAL are extremely obvious, but beyond that... API Bullet 3D Physics engine, used in AAA titles Chipmunk Flexible and Powerful 2D Physics engine in straight C Box2D Another robust and popular 2D physics engine FPMath C++ template based math library, specifically for dealing with Fixed Point arithmetic (requires Boost) OpenSteer ...


23

Tiled Map Editor From the website: General purpose tile map editor with XML-based map format Supports orthogonal and isometric maps Custom objects can be placed with pixel precision Full undo/redo and copy/paste support Add custom properties to tiles, layers, objects or the map Automatically reloads tilesets when changed externally Resize ...


22

Here is an article about setting up the environment for FlashDevelop so you are purely working with it.


20

Paint.NET http://www.getpaint.net/ 2D Graphics Windows Free Paint.net License Free alternative to Photoshop for basic tasks.


19

As I stated in a comment to your question, I'm very curious for true collaborative editing. I did research some time ago but most solutions just didn't meet the standards: either they were plain text editors with syntax highlight, had insane costs or were unavailable cross-platform (like SubEthaEdit...) Until I stumbled into Saros! It's a neat Eclipse ...


18

We used binary XML heavily for Superman Returns: The Videogame. We're talking thousands and thousands of files. It worked OK, but honestly didn't seem worth the effort. It ate up a noticeable fraction of our loading time, and the "flexibility" of XML didn't scale up. After a while, our data files had too many weird identifiers, external references that ...


17

Product: Audacity Assets created: Audio OS(s) Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac License: GPL2 Summary: Lets you apply effects to an existing sound file, as well as record sounds from the sound card.


17

In short: Develop programs used by others to create something (i.e. tools). A popular and easy example would be a level editor for a game. But this could be a lot more behind the scenes, like some version tracking program, a bug tracker, forums, some checker to verify content is without mistakes, etc.


16

You can use Flash, a 3D Tool or even Photoshops animation feature. Then render the frames to images and combine them to a sprite-sheet. ImageMagick has a great tool for that purpose called montage. Here's a blog post explaining how to use it to create a sprite sheet.


16

Garry's Mod is a mod of the Halflife 2 engine. You can make your own mods of the Halflife 2 engine using the Halflife 2 SDK, or you can try to modify Garry's Mod through scripts. I don't think you're allowed to modify the source code to garry's mod. If he wanted to really make his own "halo" type FPS from scratch, then what he'll want to do is work with the ...


15

Product: Blender Website: http://www.blender.org/ OS(s) Supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, IRIX License: Blender License http://www.blender.org/BL/ Summary: Powerful 3D modeller, renderer, animator and generally great 3D package.


15

If you're looking for free, you can take a look at haXe


15

Recast & Detour is an awesome open source navigation mesh / path finding library. It's potentially got more appeal to larger titles than indie games, but I could definitely see it being useful to anyone wanting decent multi-agent movement in any 3D game. The developer's (Mikko Mononen) blog also has several interesting entries around steering, path ...


14

Inkscape http://www.inkscape.org 2D / vector graphics Linux / OSX / Windows free GPL very good and easy to learn svg editor


13

Gimp http://www.gimp.org 2D / raster graphics Linux / OSX / Windows free GPL free photoshop alternative


13

I highly recommend that you/he check out Unity3D. It's a fantastic game engine with a visual world editor and some solid scripting options. It has a great community and it's totally free to use for indie development. Garry's Mod is great if he wants to just learn and play around, especially with FPS stuff, but I'm pretty sure you can't make commercial games ...


13

A tools programming position is generally about being a force-multiplier for the rest of the development team. The exact nature of the work will of course vary widely from studio-to-studio, depending on the individualized needs of that company. Primarily, however, you would be tasked with creating software that was going to be consumed by other developers ...


12

The Best of the Pack Tiled Map Editor http://www.mapeditor.org/ Mappy http://tilemap.co.uk/mappy.php TME - Tile Map Editor http://tilemapeditor.com/ TileStudio http://tilestudio.sourceforge.net/ tIDE (Tilemap Integrated Development Environment) http://tide.codeplex.com/ Gleed2D https://github.com/SteveDunn/Gleed2D/wiki Worth a Try / Alpha Versions ...


12

Product: sfxr Website: http://www.drpetter.se/project_sfxr.html OS(s) Supported: Windows, Linux, Mac Free License: MIT Summary: Provide a simple means of generating basic sound effects.


12

Font Builder Font Builder does almost everything I need. Both Font Studio and Angel Code's BMFont and perform similar tasks. Here are some of Font Builders features. A QT app, and so works equally well on all platforms. Open source so it can easily extend the app if needed Designed to allow custom image and description(layout) exporters, making it even ...


12

You can use Blender 3D as level editor. In new version, it can export scene in COLLADA format which is very easy to parse. For special objects, just add tags, and then search for such tags in level loading script. With similar workflow, you can use any ordinary 3D tool, just add tags to objects and then do something in your game about this tags. I use this ...


12

The simple answer is: you'll have to learn both concepts and tools. First, you should learn the very basics of game mechanics and game design. Then you'll be able to decide, which direction would you like to go next. Keep in mind, that tools won't do any good without knowledge of the concept. To use your example: if a graphic designer doesn't realize, that ...


12

"Bedard and Fish created their own editor for Fez, called the Fezzer" (Source) If you need a simple 2D tile editor, Tiled is a choice that works for me. There are many others available, some tile-based and some not. A couple more examples are Ogmo and Gleed2D. Note that all they do is create data - you still need some code in your game to make sense of the ...


11

Blender is great if you know how to use it. (I suppose you mean as a modeling software, not the GE) Here's some reasons: It can export to many file formats out of the box, and many you can find, and many you can write your own scripts for importing You can usually find a lot of free models to build on or use as placeholders It's free (as in speech) Due to ...


11

Thermite3D is a voxel-based game engine. It isn't an editor per se. It does, however, have a list of voxel editors on its wiki here: Thermite-Recommended Voxel Editors. Of those, Sproxel, Voxel, and QBlock are all free. Paint3d and Everygraph (Voxel3d) have trial versions, and one not on the list, Qubicle Constructor, has a crippled trial as well.


11

We have a thick C++ framework on top of a thin platform layer, also C++. Porting a game to a new platform is a matter of implementing a new platform layer, which because it's quite thin, it's quite fast to do. Also, all of our dependencies are open source and cross platform libs, such as SDL, Ogg, LibPNG, etc. For example, we have a Win32/DirectX platform, ...


11

Store and edit your levels as normal XML, but have your game engine lazily bake it into binary XML during loading, and save the binary XML back to the disk so that it can load that next time (if the raw XML hasn't changed). Something like this: data loadXml(xmlFile) { if (xmlFile has changed OR binFile doesn't exist) { binFile = ...


10

COLLADA was over-complex in my opinion. Suffered from the designers trying to make it handle every conceivable combination of 3D asset; e.g. every possible vertex/index format and configuration. Sounds great but in practice this placed a huge burden on any piece of software that needed to read the format. It didn't help that every supposedly compatible ...


10

Google showed quite a few of those beasts. This might be close to what you're after http://www.angelcode.com/products/bmfont/ You mention cross-platform, but do you mean the tool, or the output? (which would be cross platform maybe apart from endianness)



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