Are you looking for the best tools to make impressive graphics for your dream game? Well, you are in the right place! Today, we are going to share some of the top-rated software in graphic design. All of these tools are ideal both for newbies and professional game developers. Although some of these platforms are paid while most of them are free. You can choose any app that suits your budget.
How to Start a Game Design?
When it comes to graphic design, you must undergo the thinking process and decision making. You have to keep in mind that the gameplay must look good and clear at all times. You do not have to go to college to make the best graphic design for your game. Truth to be told, you do not need any formal education. You only have to stay committed in enhancing your skills through YouTube tutorials and reading informational articles like this one.
Game design is all about conceptualizing the whole thing. You must come up with the initial vision of your game. You must be ready to bring those ideas into life. The aesthetics and characters fall under this scope of game development. It has a lot to do with how the game looks, feels, and entertains the players.
Here is a step-by-step guide in building impressive graphic design for your game.
Step 1. Think about your concept.
I usually start my game design by researching bout my desired theme for the game. If you want a medieval fantasy atmosphere, you must search for the everyday things that you can find in a fantasy world. However, you must not forget to think about something unique that will make your game stand against the others. You must concept and research about the props, ambiance, and environment for the game.
Aside from launching the game, you must also plan about your target audience. It can significantly influence not only the gameplay but also your art choices.
Step 2. Model your objects and characters.
Truth to be told, most people just a book by its cover. Coming up with appealing characters, scenarios, and objects is an effective way to attract more audience.
In creating the graphic design of your game, you must start focusing on your layout. In order the appeal more to the players, you must model a charismatic character that can resonate with the players. It does not mean that you should have well-detailed drawings. Instead, the visuals must only be clean and straightforward, yet attract people.
Here are some of the best Graphic Design that you can use for game development.
- Adobe Photoshop
Platforms: Windows and Mac
Price: Ranges from $20.99 up to $82.99 per month (Subscription-based)
Photoshop is widely used by professional graphic designers, photographers, and developers. It is one of the easy-to-use programs in the market. This software was initially released last 19990, which served as a tool for artists to edit and design images.
With the Photoshop software, you can make 3D artworks and animate them. You can also turn photos into paintings using the brush sets, filters, and advanced tool options.
The reason why most designers prefer Photoshop for game development is because of the special relationship between Photoshop and Unity. Unity is a popular cross-platform game engine that allows us to develop highly flexible games. Actually, you have three main choices in building your game. You have Unity, Unreal, and GameMaker. But Unity and Photoshop are the preferable software to use, especially for young people and beginners. Several graphic designers for game development prefer Photoshop since it is better, faster, and easier to use.
Platforms: Mac and iOS only
Price: $29.99 for Mac and $4.99 for iOS
If you are looking for something cheaper than Photoshop but brings out the same quality, the Pixelmator would be an excellent choice. Pixelmator allows us to turn any photo into art in just a few clicks. This software is an ideal product for indie designers to make their games. However, it is built exclusively for Mac and iOS devices. Last 2011, it received the Apple Design Award for the App of the Year and Best of Mac App Store.
In designing, you can use your Apple Pencil to illustrate more precision in retouching, painting, and drawing. With Pixelmator, you will enjoy the real powerhouse of Mac OS, including the Core Image, OpenGL, OpenCL, Grand Central Dispatch, and 64-bit architecture.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Solaris, BSD, Linus
GNU Image Manipulation Program, also known as GIMP, is a famous cross-platform image editor that is ideal for design with limited budgets. With this software, you can quickly turn any images into masterpieces. It has a wide variety of tools that can bring your ideas into life.
Moreover, this software supports several third-party plugins and programming languages. If you are the developer and designer of the game, GIMP could be a helpful tool in your arsenal. It has the same features as Adobe Photoshop. However, with this software, you can achieve a seamless tile for games, which is difficult to achieve in Photoshop.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Another worth-considering software in graphic design for game development is Inkscape. This software allows us to create vector-based images without paying for anything. Inkscape is an excellent tool for developers who are building 2D games. With Inkscape, you can develop 2D characters, objects, and environmental elements like trees or mountains. In exporting your layout, you can save it as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) or PNG to ensure the high resolution.
- Marmoset Hexels
Platforms: Mac and Windows
If you want to develop a pixel-themed game, then the Marmoset Hexels is the ideal tool for you. Most game developers said that Marmoset Hexels has everything they need. This software is a creative suite of animation, grid-based painting, and design. Its built-in geometric canvas grid allows us to create any pixel style art regardless if we are beginners or professionals. This software is available for both Windows and Mac. It only costs $49.00.
Step 3. Apply texture.
What is the Role of Texture in Graphic Design?
The texture is the surface quality or feels of an object. It may only be a visual thing in graphic design, but it creates a physical illusion that makes the object more realistic.
The most famous artificial textures are crumpled paper, wash-out textiles, and wall surfaces. There are also tactile textures like glossy ink and matte surfaces.
After building up your characters and objects, you may begin applying textures. To find the best texture, you must test different colors and check which one looks good.
When you applied the right texture for all the elements in the game, it will look like a multi-dimensional graphic from various angles. However, you must keep in mind that textures make the rendering time longer. It means that your editor is maintaining the high-quality texture of your images. Therefore, if your game loads quickly, it means that the graphic design is not appealing enough, dull, and outdated.
Step 4. Compose the scene and lighting.
The final step in graphic design is about completing the scene and adding the necessary lighting. This step is where you will put together all the essential objects and characters that you created.