While we get to enjoy the finished product of a game designer’s hard work, chances are we don’t really explore what went into the game’s creation. Games are more than just pretty visuals and addicting questlines, gameplay mechanics, and multiplayer modes.
Some of the critical aspects of a game are assets. But what are game assets? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out why game assets are crucial to a game’s success.
What Are Game Assets?
Video game assets are anything that can be in a game. We’re talking characters, objects, trees, cars, barrels, you name it. Assets are what make game worlds what they are. Without assets, frankly, you don’t have a game. In the Witcher 3, Geralt’s weapons are assets. So are his pieces of armor and various potions.
It’s not just graphical things either. Assets can be music, sound effects, and even different bits of programming. In that case, Geralt’s grunts when he gets hit by a ferocious monster is technically a game asset.
Characters, whether they’re non-player characters, or the player themselves, populate the game world. Without them, there would be just a lonely, open game environment. You can purchase and download various character assets from different places.
Asset stores have either custom characters or ones that you’re familiar with.
Objects can range from barrels to buildings. They make up the framework of a captivating and immersive game world.
The actual environment can benefit from assets as well. Different patches of grass, stone, and more are all significant assets to consider.
If you’re creating a game like Grand Theft Auto, or just a title with city elements, vehicles are a must.
GUI stands for the graphical user interface, and it’s what we see as the HUD, or heads up display. It also comprises in-game menus, icons, and more. The graphical user interface is one of the first things we see in a game, so having a good-looking GUI can be extremely beneficial to a game’s success.
The graphical user interface is also made up of game assets.
The head sup display is what we see most often in a game. In most games, the HUD is the combination of health and stamina bars, how much ammo a player has, and more. All of the HUD’s elements,
The HUD is made up of different icons, like heart pieces from the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or Master Chief’s regenerating life bar from Halo. Other icons include objective markers and more.
Yes, there are assets for artificial intelligence behaviors and functions. Choosing an asset that makes a particular NPC act a specific way is possible,
Things like explosions, fireballs, and ice storms are prevalent assets in games.
How your character moves and interacts with the world is crucial to a great game. What happens when an object hits your character? Do they crumple up like a ragdoll? Or do they grunt and move on? Different physics assets determine this.
We all love an excellent looping background track. These are some of the most underlooked assets. Find a great backing track for your game. It immerses the player and gets rid of weird, quiet periods, also known as ‘dead air.’
These are the primary sound effects, like gunshots, explosions, screams of pain, and tires screeching.
Where To Find Game Assets
If you’re into 2D game design, the sprite database is the perfect place to pick up any game asset you need. This is a fantastic database to peruse and download from. If you are starting to experiment with game design, downloading various free assets from this site is a great idea.
The Sprite Database has sprites from over 45 different game systems. Ever wanted to use Devil May Cry’s HUD system in a 2D game? Using the Sprite Database can make it a reality.
Here are some good picks from the various consoles and computer systems:
What better way to populate your Unity game than with free Unity assets from the official store? Okay, so not ALL of the assets are free. But still, many are reasonably priced and are of high quality, so you’re getting a good bang for your buck.
Not to say that the free Unity assets aren’t acceptable. There’s a ton of great starting asset packages from Unity. Here are a few good choices to start your game development journey:
- 3D Game Kit | Tutorials
- Standard Assets (for Unity 2018.4) | Asset Packs
- 2D Game Kit | Tutorial Projects
- Free Platform Game Assets | 2D Environments
- Nature Starter Kit 2 | 3D Environments
- Unity Particle Pack 5.x | Asset Packs
These are significant paid assets for your future game. GameDev Market has a ton of original material and some more familiar assets from titles, you know. You can browse their specific sections dedicated to 2D and 3D games, audio assets, and GUI assets.
Here are some fantastic options from GameDev. They’re all reasonably priced:
Where there are free Unity assets, there are also free Unreal assets. These free Unreal assets pulled from some of the most famous Unreal titles, allow you to create your own graphically impressive worlds and stories. Here are some significant free Unreal assets:
- Control Rig Mannequin by Epic Games in Characters – UE4 Marketplace
- Advanced Fade Objects by Fly Dream Dev in Code Plugins – UE4 Marketplace
- City Park Environment Collection by SilverTm in Environments – UE4 Marketplace
- CityEngine VR Experience by Esri in Architectural Visualization – UE4 Marketplace
Games Clipart is an excellent, royalty-free asset marketplace. Sure, they are more simple, but they’re great starting points for any genre of game you’re creating. Here are some great starting options for your game: