Top 10 Best Game Art Software For Developers [2D & 3D]

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The success of a game depends upon several factors. But, its graphics make a huge difference when it comes to satisfaction levels. If your game has good graphics whether they are simple, the chances of success and profitability increase.

But, it is never easy to design those characters, objects, vehicles, and other graphics for video games. Whether you are designing android, iOS, or Windows games, the work included in the game art designing will remain the biggest part of development.

But, fortunately, we have a lot of amazing software suitable for game art designing. Developers can easily use them to create immersive graphics that can attract everyone’s eye.

So, I have created a list of the best game art software for developers after doing a brief research on the internet. In this article, you will get to know about the top 10 highly-rated and reliable graphic design software that suits best for game designers. Let’s start knowing about each of them one by one.

Best Graphic Design Software for Game Developers

GIMP, Incscape, and Adobe Photoshop are considered as the best graphic design software for game designers. But, there are lots of other amazing options to choose from. So, let’s reveal each of them below and know the things that help them to stand out.

1. Maya

Maya is one of the most popular 3D modeling, graphic designing, rendering, and simulation software. The software is developed by Autodesk. So, you can expect a lot of features when it comes to 3D game arts.

Maya is at the first place of our list because it offers organic modeling, character rigging, and various other amazing features when it comes to 3D graphic design. So, creating your desired game characters, backgrounds, vehicles, or any other things will become easy for you.

As per the Creativebloq’s review on Maya, this software has got 8 out of 10 for its overall effectiveness.

Maya allows its users to go into deep details of graphics and use its VFX features to have amazing results. Maya is directly compared with 3DS Max which is another creation of Autodesk. However, Maya has some advanced features that make it much more effective than the 3DS Max.

I personally loved its Bifrost Graph editor that allows the users to build custom graphs. Also, when it comes to the complex characters, you can use its Arnold features for an effective rendering. A clean and immersive user-interface allows the users to use this tool for an amazing game art designing. Know more about Maya on its official website.

Basic Pricing of Maya: USD 205/Month

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

Popular Games Designed using Maya

  1. Uncharted 4: A thief’s end
  2. Dead by Daylight
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
  4. For Honor

2. 3DS Max

3ds max

3DS Max is another impressive option to choose for great game art designing works. As one of the most popular and widely preferred game design software, 3DS Max is capable of helping game designers in doing everything effectively.

With its attractive architectural rendering options, it can help you a lot to design game environment and other structures in a good manner. The Arnold renderer make complex designing tasks simple and easy.

Using the accessible APIs, you can easily make this software much more fast and effective to perform your desired tasks. In other words, it will help you to boost your productivity a lot. This might be the reason why this software is highly popular among users for its great offerings.

Its amazing 3D character design toolset is specially developed for game artists. Its amazing 3D modeling tools and great performance allow it to become much more popular in this domain.

For more information about its pros and cons, you can read G2’s review on 3DS Max Design. Also, you can know more about it on the official website too.

Basic Pricing Plan: USD 205/Month

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows Only.

Popular Games Designed using Autodesk 3DS Max:

  1. Edge of Nowhere
  2. For Honor
  3. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  4. Watch Dogs 2

3. GIMP

gimp image

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is one of the most popular raster graphics editing software.

The software supports different third-party plugins to allow game designers to have enhanced results. Having lots of features for animation creation, GIMP can effectively be used for both 2D and 3D game art. GIMP also supports scripted image manipulation.

GIMP is a highly flexible tool having an easy to use interface. Along with this, it allow you to change its source code and customize as per your requirements.

Lots of options related to the layers, masking, and scripting makes this too effective for every sort of game art designing. However, the user interface looks a bit outdated if we compare it with Photoshop.

For creating immersive 2D animations, you can simply use its GAP (GIMP Animation Package). It will allow you to have create amazing 2D designs for low-end games. Know more about GIMP on its official website.

Pricing: GIMP is an open-source program.

Supported operating systems:

Windows, MacOS, Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

Popular Games Designed using GIMP:

  1. Last Summer
  2. Outscore
  3. Polar Olympics
  4. Wirez
  5. Grow VR

4. Adobe Photoshop

photoshop

For most sorts of graphic designing tasks, Adobe Photoshop offers great advantages as compared to any other tool in its league. So, when it comes to game art designs, it also offers lots of advantages to the users.

For normal graphic creating and editing tasks, you can use this software with great ease. However, when it comes to game art, you can use it to add pleasing effects to your graphics.

A feature that I liked the most is its ability to convert images into graphics. Learning Adobe Photoshop thoroughly could take time because of the presence of lots of tools.

But, if you are looking to create immersive 2D and 3D graphics for games, it can help you a lot. Also, when it comes to the color editing, effects, and deep corrections, Adobe Photoshop is full of amazing features for its users.

You can get more help on Game Designing using Photoshop here. Lots of game designers ignore the effectiveness of this tool but it can become a great tool for immersive designing practices even for beginners.

However, some drawbacks are there when it comes to creating highly detailed game graphics with Photoshop. Know more about Adobe Photoshop on its official website.

Basic Pricing of Adobe Photoshop: USD 20.99/Month

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows, MacOS, and iPad.

5. Inkscape

Inkscape is another advanced graphic editing tool which can help the game designers to create impressive game artwork with its unique features. It is basically a vector graphic tool helping its users to design amazing vector designs easily.

The software not only helps you to create impressive game art but customize it in different forms and styles. Different tools are available to test your creativity and convert them into immersive graphics.

As compared to Photoshop and 3DS Max, this tool is much simpler to use. However, you have to compromise with some features which you may not get with Inkscape. But, its impactful object creation and manipulation strategies make this easy and effective for the game designers. Embedded bitmaps and cloning features are there for the users.

Different export options are there including PDF, sk1, DXF, and Postscript. You can know more about this software on its official website.

Pricing: Free and open-source.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux.

Popular games designed using Inkscape:

  1. Stay Home
  2. Isabelle
  3. School Simulator
  4. The Hit

6. Krita

krita

Krita is a free and open-source software suitable for any sort of graphic designing and editing work. This software is fully equipped with amazing 2D drawing and design features.

Availability of lots of brush engines, effects, transform tools, open GL enhancement, etc makes this tool the most suitable option for the game artists. Known as one of the top graphic design software, Krita is applicable for various types of game artworks.

So, whether you are working on any sort of game art design task, it can help you a lot with its easy user-interface. Creating any type of game character, background, and other elements becomes pretty easy with this tool. With its amazing features and ease of use, Krita becomes an impressive solution for all your graphic designing needs.

Brush stabilizers, vector tools, resource manager, wrap-around feature, and drawing assistant are some of the most recognized features of Krita. Most impressively, it is free software which you must try if you want to design excellent graphics.

You can know more about designing game art using Krita with its game art course.

Pricing: Free

Supported Operating systems:

Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

7. Vectr

Vectr is another impressive vector graphic tool which can also help you to design amazing game art easily. With its intuitive user-interface, vectr is equipped with amazing designing and illustration features.

These features offer lots of advantages to graphic designers. For game artists, vectr is like a goldmine of amazing artwork. The software is easy to learn and great in design.

Along with the fantastic graphics, you can use vector for background, logos, and leaflet designing tasks. The interface looks simple but full of amazing tools.

Pathfinder, Gradient, shape tools, align elements are some of the most amazing features of Vectr graphic designing software. With these features, it becomes most suitable for 2D game art designs. Being free software, it offers incredible features which no other free tool can provide.

Pricing: Free

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows, MacOS, Linux, and ChromeOS.

You can read Vectr’s detailed review on Capterra and know more about its pros and cons for graphic designers and editors.

8. Pixlr

Pixlr can also be used for 2D game art designing works. However, you will not be able to design high-quality graphics for top-notch games. For its amazing offerings as a photo editor and illustration software, Pixlr is known for its amazing AI powered tools too.

So, when you want to create amazing graphics from scratch, you will love its amazing user-interface. Lots of features along with drag-n-drop options make it much easier to use.

So, when you are going to for a simple game art design, Pixlr can help you a lot. Pixlr is an online editing program allowing users to utilize its features for various tasks. You just have to install the latest version of Adobe Flash on your system and you are ready to use its cloud-based editing tool.

It is a free tool but you can also go for the paid plan for enhanced offerings. Pixlr is known as a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Basic Pricing Plan: USD 5/Month

Supported Operating Systems:

Browser Based Tool

9. Marmoset Hexels

Marmoset Hexels is another widely popular pixel art, graphic design, and animation software. Its grid based painting along with pixel graphic editing makes it widely popular among the game artists.

With its impressive graphic design-oriented interface, it becomes a suitable option for the game designers. You can easily hesitate, pixelate, or customize existing graphics as per your choice.

This software is best for designing pixel art games in an efficient manner. Along with this, you can effectively convert the paintings and images into graphics. You can read an official article from Marmoset Hexels to create a pixel art game using this amazing software.

To make things much easier for you, it is easy to add numerous plugins rendering, texture, painting, importing, and different other things. You will have to choose a paid pricing plan to use this tool but a 30-day trial period is enough to test its capabilities.

Basic Pricing Plan: USD 189 [Perpetual License]

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows and MacOS

10. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is a professional graphic editing software with amazing offerings. Popular for its unique offerings as a graphic designer app, it can easily be used as a game art software by game developers.

Making vector illustration easy for the designers, this software has an impressive and easy user-interface to allow the users to have the most out of it. You get a lot of amazing graphic designing tools by which make your game art designing tasks pretty simple.

The software works with CMYK, HSD, and RGB color systems to allow you to impress everything in perfect detail. Various blending modes, gradients, and texture editing tools are available to enable the designers to have great results for impressive game art.

From simple image editing to professional graphic designing works, Gravit Designer is a useful application for various tasks. So, you can choose it as your game designing software and receive satisfactory results.

Basic Pricing Plan:

Gravit Designer Pro: USD 49/Year

Free Version Available

Supported Operating Systems:

Windows, MacOS, Linux, and ChomeOS.

Final Words:

I hope this article have helped you to choose the right game art software for an effective designing. If you find it helpful, share it with others too.


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