One of the main reasons people enjoy using the Unity framework is how easy it is to import assets of various types and then use them in your game. While this is a fantastic feature for those who are able to create their own assets, many of us (especially smaller indie studios) are forced to hunt for assets, artwork and models across the internet.
Having spent the best part of the last year doing just that, I wanted to share some of my favourite alternative resources for assets. I say alternative because many of the websites which hold a lot of assets are already widely known with the development community, such as opengameart.org and incompetech.com etc. (Incidentally, if you hadn’t heard of those two go and check them out now!). I want to give you a few fantastic resources they you may not have known about or seen before.
To be honest, even if you have you’ll appreciate how good these sites are and that they are therefore worthy of this article.
On the subject of “free” assets, if you are not familiar with the “Creative Commons” licenses (http://creativecommons.org/) then that should be your first port of call. While many people who produce free assets are kind and generous, it is worth reading up on the various forms of “free” licenses available, and the requirements which you may need to fit to be allowed to use the asset in question. For example, for some assets you must give some kind of recognition to the creator, while others can only be used in non-commercial products.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best resources out there.
Game Assets Sub-Reddit
7000 developers can’t be wrong can they? The game assets subreddit is a regularly updated, self-moderated plethora of just about every type of asset you can think of. What’s more, because everyone in the group is looking for assets like you, they post links to new and interesting resources all the time. This is a good example of a source which is wide, but not deep, meaning that they have an incredible amount of individual assets, but not a lot in individual categories.
For example, if you wanted something widely available, like a spaceship model, they will only have three or four good ones, but massive variety. However, if you wanted something specific, like a set of casino themed sound effects, they have a pack containing 54 of them. Even if they don’t you can request it from the members of the subreddit who often oblige.
Kenney Game Assets
I can’t talk about the Game Assets subreddit without giving special mention to Kenney, who has produced over 20000 assets with CCo licenses for the game dev community. He works tirelessly to create sprites, sound effects, models and textures for anyone to use. He has even started developing programs to help others create assets for themselves.
You can download everything individually for free, or pay/contribute whatever you can afford for these asset bundles (these are only donations, as everything on his site can be downloaded for free). If you’re starting a new game, I really recommend checking out his site to see if any of his assets fit what you are planning to make.
Game Development by David Arcila
Some websites become a collection of one type of assets (audio, textures, sprites, etc.), but this site is a compilation of links to other sites full of assets. If you are looking for anything to do with games development, be it assets, tutorials, tools, or even post mortems, you will probably find a link or four on this fantastic page. It’s useful to keep checking this site, as it is constantly update with new links which might have assets you can’t find on your traditional sites.
Enjoy the hunt
I hope these links will help kick-start your hunt for free assets on the internet. Almost all of my games have been developed using free assets I have used following links on the above sites, they are always a great starting point when searching for something specific. If you have a website you think more people should know about let us know in a reply below.