The Best Graphics and Rendering Tools for Game Developers

No matter what the list says, there are always going to be other suitable (and maybe better) alternatives. Asking which is the best graphics and rendering tool for game developers is like asking which pie filling is the best. There are a lot of answers, but this article covers some of the most popular choices. 

Blender.Org

Yes, you read that correctly, the famous (and free) 3D animating program is also pretty darn good for game development. Blender is an open-source 3D creation suite that supports the entirety of a game developer’s pipeline. You can do your modeling, animation, rigging, simulation, compositing, rendering, motion tracking, video editing and your game creation. Many people have created almost every part of their game and then carried their work over to something like Unity or Unreal because they are easier to use with consoles. Suffice it to say, if you are creating a game, then Blender can get you most of the way there (if not the entire way).

Unreal Engine

In terms of advanced graphics, Unreal Engine currently has the edge. This is not a solid fact, it will always depend on the quality of the designers, and there are some powerful programs being used exclusively by the companies that created them. Still, Unreal Engine is certainly making some strides into next-gen territory and even VR. They are the ones to beat if you wish to create games on a full-time basis. They are making some great advances in photo realism, and they are doing a look lot of the work so that the developers do not have to. 

Unity Engine

If there were ever two 3D graphics game engines that were neck and neck in the technology race, then Unity and Unreal would be those engines. They are best used for console gaming, but also have a steady following for PC game developers. It may not be able to flex as hard as Unreal does when it comes to gaming graphics, but it is very popular with Smartphone game creators. Just like Unreal, the team at Unity are slowly working towards better VR technology.

You Need a Render Farm

It should go without saying these days, though it is to be said here, that you need a render farm to do your rendering. This doesn’t just include your final product. It includes all the small tests and demos. Even if you are creating an indie or retro game, the level of processing power needed to generate content for modern devices is massive. Rather than tying up your computers for hours or days, you can use https://rebusfarm.net/. It gets the job done, it costs far less than maintaining your own servers, and it is an on-demand service so you don’t pay subscriptions for processing power you are not using.

A Few Of The Other Favorites

As mentioned, the bigger game developers have their own engines, and/or have altered Unity, Blender or Unreal to suit their own purposes. However, there are a few other development tools you can consider if you are creating indie games. Here is a short list of some of the more popular ones.

  • GameMaker
  • Maya
  • 3Ds max
  • Modo
  • SpeedTree
  • Aseprite
  • Ogre3d

The ones listed here are suitable a variety of different reasons. For example, GameMaker doesn’t use code and so is good for people dabbling with the idea of game creation. Maya is good for people who are already familiar with its visual effects features that are used for videos. Aseprite became a popular tool to help people create pixel art games, which were pretty popular for a while. Luckily, many game creation tools are cheap or free, especially for indie developers, so you don’t have to invest a lot of money into software if you want to try your hand at game development.

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