I’ve seen a few people get stuck at the art stage of their game. Sometimes you’re a good programmer but not an artist. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to create a lot of graphics. Sometimes you just don’t want to. That’s okay, because there are communities offering free resources for you to take and use. They’re usually also licensed in a way that allows you to make modifications, combine them together etc. Or, you can just take inspiration.
I would like to share my list of places where I get my assets (and share mine in return). Before using a piece of art, be sure to check the exact license - some, for example, require attribution, while others require nothing at all. They are mostly Creative Commons licenses.
So, here is the list (note that some formats may be more suitable to Pokitto development than others, but let me share all that are generally useful to game development):
- OpenGameArt - Art (2D, 3D, sound, music, concepts, GUI, …) specifically made for games, all under free licenses (creative commons, GPL and similar). Quality varies a lot, because anyone can posts, but when you take a little time, you will find a great amount of professional quality art. You can put these to your favorites or and make a nice personal collection of free art. Examples (all from my personal CC0 collection):
- Pixabay - Big collection of high-quality pictures, mostly stock-photo-like content, but also other images such as illustrations. Mostly ideal for creating textures and sprites. The posted pictures have to be manually approved, so you’ll only find quality entires, which makes it fast to search for them. Everything is CC0, so there are no restrictions on the use.
Wikimedia Commons - Huge repository of free (as in freedom) media: photos, videos, sounds, … Not specifically made for games, but can serve as a basis for your own art (usually textures, backgrounds etc.). The search allows advanced queries to look for specific items - you can e.g. add
incategory:cc-zeroto only search for CC0 results.
- OpenClipArt - Clipart (vector, cartoony graphics), all under CC0 (public domain, do whatever you want). Good for simple icons, cursors and other GUI elements.
- Unsplash - Professional quality photos. The license is close to being public domain (it only disallows using the photos for making competing online services).
- Freesound - Free sounds, mostly simple sound effects. Again, quality varies a lot here, so you have to be patient.
- FreeMusicArchive - Free music. This archive is curated, which means you’ll only find quality work here.
- BlendSwap - Database of 3D models for the Blender 3D editor. These won’t be directly usable with Pokitto, but if you’re creative, you can for example make 2D rendered sprites of some of these models
Other interesting websites related to this topic are for example the Internet Archive (gigantic database of works, many of which have fallen into public domain), Public Domain Review (hand-picked works from the public domain), Projects Gutenberg (free e-books, if you happen to need a lot of text), Flickr (photos, many Creative Commons). More links can be found in my personal link collection here.
That’s it. Hopefully you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. And if you do, always think about giving something back, because that’s what keeps these great websites up
And of course, if you know other great places to look for assets, share them in the comments.