Building an indie game from scratch is no easy task. It’s magnitudes more complicated than web development because games are more like software with a full graphics engine.
However there are hundreds of indie game companies making this happen every year. With persistence anything truly is possible. And with sites like GameDev Market the task of making a custom game can be a lot easier.
This is a newer marketplace that sells all kinds of creative resources for indie game developers. You’ll find 2D/3D graphics, music, sound effects, and custom animations. It’s one of the best sites for developers building smartphone games or even console titles.
There’s no getting around the fact that game development is hard. Just learning the core fundamentals can take months, if not a year or more, to truly understand.
If you’re a developer then you’ll focus most of your time on writing code. This involves learning a specific language like C++ or Java. But it also involves more abstract concepts like programming patterns and game design.
By working with a marketplace you cut down on your workload. I completely understand why developers would want to create everything in-house with custom graphics, sounds, and music from scratch. But with a bootstrapped indie title this isn’t always possible.
Thankfully there’s a solution with GameDev Market, the perfect companion for any aspiring game developer.
You’ll find absolutely everything from parallax backgrounds to professional pixel art and everything else you could possibly imagine. Each resources comes with a commercial license so you can use these products on Facebook games, iOS/Android games, and Steam games.
The marketplace first launched in June of 2014. The site is maintained by a team of three from the UK with backgrounds in software programming and marketing.
The team was initially trying to learn game development in early 2014 but struggled to find quality assets.
We couldn’t find anywhere to buy high quality assets to use while learning. We tried sourcing assets from so many different websites that there was no consistency in our games.
It was then that we came up with the idea of a single place for indie game developers to buy and sell high quality game assets with simple licensing, regardless of experience, budget or engine choice.
This new and growing marketplace is great for both asset creators and game creators. Designers and musicians can earn money from their sales while building a portfolio of work. Game creators can get their games built with top-shelf resources.
Adam McElroy, one of the GameDev Market founders, states that his goal is to facilitate in the process of finding quality resources for game designers. It’s not always possible to create your own assets from scratch, nor is it easy to learn asset design on your own.
Everything you find in the marketplace is sourced from quality designers and artists. Assets are given reviews from previous purchasers, and the asset creators themselves also earn more credibility as their profile racks up sales.
Adam shares his beliefs on the reasons behind building GameDev Market:
We are all about facilitating the creation of amazing new games by independent creators, and we believe we’re already doing this by providing thousands of independently-reviewed, high quality and engine-agnostic assets at really affordable prices, while at the same time connecting developers with amazingly talented asset creators.
Each creator signs up for an new account and submits assets individually. The assets are detailed and outlined by the creator. So for example a parallax background asset would need to include the number of files, the filetypes, and image dimensions(among other properties).
Each asset gets its own listing with a title and custom tagline. This is how buyers can search the site and find what they’re looking for, so a great title will improve sales.
All assets should have very small sample files to show buyers what they’re getting. Graphics are watermarked so they cannot be used without a full purchase. This is also true of audio files with an audio watermark.
Once all the details are added the creator then uploads a .zip file of the contents. GameDev Market’s team reviews every single asset to ensure only quality items are being sold on the website.
As of now there is no way to upload code assets. However since you can buy & sell practically everything else, this is the perfect marketplace for game devs who already know code(or are learning) and just need aesthetic assets for the game.
Resources break down into the following primary categories:
Assets do not need to be exclusive, so creators can sell the same assets on other websites too. Each item can be sold an unlimited number of times for an unlimited number of licenses.
Most graphic elements are build with vector shapes, from simple controls to character icons. However this isn’t always the case and the asset listing will clarify the filetype. For example, most pixel art is actually built with pixels(surprise!)
But bitmap images are not as common since vector assets can be scaled to any size without quality loss.
Prices are set by the creator and the assets themselves can be updated at any time. This allows asset creators to fix small issues, add new stuff, or make minor updates as needed.
Anyone who purchases an asset will get notifications whenever updates are made.
This keeps the community strong and builds rapport for all asset creators on the site. If a creator can strike a balance between quality and price, it’s very likely their asset sales can earn a decent side income.
Until recently there was a very general “basic license” that was almost useless beyond practice projects. This has since been depreciated to allow for just one pro license for all assets.
This pro license is the default license for all asset sales on GameDev Market. You can read more on the licensing page, but it’s pretty simple and grants a good amount of freedom.
Each asset you purchase on the site can be used in one commercial project per license. It doesn’t matter how you earn money from your game, as long as you don’t redistribute and profit from the individual assets by pretending you made them yourself.
Also with that same license you can use the materials in non-commercial items like promos for a game. But the assets themselves can only appear in one monetized project per license.
You do not need to explicitly credit the asset creator in your game, although you can’t take credit for the creation yourself.
All-in-all it’s a very lenient license that boils down to “use these assets however you want with the limitation of one commercial project per license”.
The tricky part is learning how to apply the assets properly into a real functioning game. Just because you have assets and the ability to write code doesn’t mean the game will just fall into place.
Game design requires an understanding of objectives and ludology. You’ll have to think about writing, gameplay, and level design. Not everyone has the skills to do this work and render their own 3D models or design their own pixel artwork for side scrolling indie games.
Thankfully GameDev Market grants access to these assets so they’re one less thing developers have to worry about.
It’s always hard to predict what will come of new marketplaces. In the world of web design it’s common knowledge that template sellers are the norm. But the indie game world is still blooming, and it’s difficult to say if game asset templates will climb to the same heights of popularity.
But for now GameDev Market offers a powerful opportunity for niche indie developers to locate premium resources and build stuff with them.
The company is run by a team of people who love game development and want to contribute as much as they can. They’re a passionate group of devs who really want to make indie game development better(and easier) for everyone.
In late 2015 the team organized their first ever gaming bundle for charity. All the proceeds went to Child’s Play and the AbleGamers Foundation. Over 20 creators donated their assets to GameDev’s Charity Christmas Bundle which sold 650 bundles in just two weeks, totaling $17,738 for charity.
So far the future of GameDev Market looks bright. It’s a growing community that benefits both game developers and asset creators to connect them via a professional and trusted intermediary.
New designers are always signing up to sell content, and this quality asset library continues growing every year.
If you’re interested to learn more browse through the site and check out the inventory. You may be surprised at the level of quality and how many assets have already accumulated in GameDev’s substantial marketplace.