I been working on Riflestorm solo for over a year now, along the way I’ve found some great tools so I thought I’ll share them.
I chose to use Unity for my games because I found it to best suit my needs, like C# support, lots of plugins, great flexibility and I feel productive in it. I didn’t need all the horse power of Unreal, didn’t want to roll my own engine and at the time none of the open-source engines were good enough – I’m still keeping an eye on Godot.
I use Animate – but I actually still call it Flash – for all my drawing, UI and sometimes animation needs. It’s vector based which makes drawing and scaling art very easy, I also got used to the art style it produces – I have been using it for over 10 years. Animation is almost always done inside Unity because it provides to most flexibiliy, like being able to easily switch soldier weapons, and outfits.
I typically split the images into multiple flash files, one for weapons, ui elements, soldier outfits etc. Within each I will create individual movieclips for each type of object and draw each object inside on its own frame. I’ll then export them as sprite sheets. I use a modified version of Flash Sprite Sheet Importer to import them into Unity.
No surprises here, this is the best in the business. I only use this for simple image edits.
This is used for creating logos – like the logo for Riflestorm. It’s great for manipulating text and keeping elements aligned.
I mocked up this vehicle in 3D before screenshoting and tracing over it in Animate
I initially disliked Blender like most people but after I got used to it I now find myself more productive in this than in other programs. I use this mostly for 3D modeling. When doing more complex isometric art, I usually create a quick mockup in Blender, screenshot it and bring it into Flash to trace over the lines. This saves a lot of headache when dealing with perspective.
MacVim / Vim
My editor of choice for the past 5 or so years. It’s fast, can run anywhere and is built solely for productivity. Yes it’s one of the oldest editors, has a high learning curve and cannot natively debug Unity games but trust me it’s worth learning or at least trying. Because of a certain heavy plugin for C# I ended up using MacVim for Unity games but for everything else I use it in the terminal.
Git is the best version control system in my opinion. I use it for code backup, organization, branching (master, development), hunting down bugs I use Git for all of that.
Alacritty is a new lightning fast terminal, it needs to be pulled from Github and compiled from source but this is the quickest terminal there is. I use this usually for Git or Vim. Note: I also use this coupled with Tmux.
This site and all my others are built using Middleman, it’s an open-source static site generator written in Ruby. Meaning I develop the site locally on my computer and when finished I run a command to compile and upload to S3 / CDN. It’s easy, maintenance-free and hosting costs is virtually free.
Four variations of the assault rifle shot and be exported into individual files
Reaper is a digital audio workstation. My go to tool for music and sound effect creation. Quite cheap, very light weight, runs on all platforms and has all the necessary features / VST plugins. One of the best features is you can create one project per sound effect, create 4 different variations of it and set regions around each so when you export, you can choose to export each region as a separate file.
I haven’t bought it yet but I will definitely.
This event when triggered will randomly play one of the two sfxs
Initially I was going to roll my own audio middleware, but FMOD is now free (just requires credit). It solves all the complicated parts of audio, like looping, playing sounds in different pitches, playing random sfxs from a set. It even lets you tweak audio live as the game is running.
Even more tools
- Kap (Free screen recorder for OSX)
- DaVinci Resolve (Mostly free video editor)
- Gif Brewery (Free screen to GIF editor)
- Libre Office Calcu (Free, multi-platform, used for gameplay balance)
- Pivotal Tracker (For managing projects)
- Typora (Free markdown editor app)
- Nextcloud (Free self-hosted media storage)
- Milanote (Not yet used but will for game designing, planning, mindmapping)
- Notion (Not yet used but might for info organizing)
Want more info about any of these tools or how I use them? Feel free to contact me.