This is a list of game development content creation tools that I've used in some capacity while making games. This list is periodically updated.

Sprites

  • Texture Packer is a very good GUI and command line tool to create sprite sheets and texture atlases.
  • Sprite Illuminator is a 2D sprite normal map editor for dynamic lighting and special effects.
  • Physics Editor is a GUI tool to create collision shapes around 2D sprites.
  • Sprite Lamp is a 2D dynamic lighting effects tool making use of hand drawn normal maps.

Animation

  • Spine is a very good skeletal 2D animation tool with an efficient, streamlined workflow.
  • Spriter is another skeletal 2D animation tool using a technique they like to call modular animation.

Tile Maps

  • Tiled Map Editor is a free, easy to use and flexible tile map editor.
  • tIDE is a .NET-based tile editor that allows level designers to easily create content for tile-based games.

Art

  • Pyxel Edit is a pixel art editor designed to make it fun and easy to make tilesets, levels and animations.
  • Game Character Hub is an art program that is particularly good for game character creation.
  • Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for PCs that run Windows.
  • Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor.

Audio

  • Audacity is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds.
  • Wavosaur is a free sound editor for editing, processing and recording sounds, wav and mp3 files.
  • sfxr is a sound effect generator to provide a simple means of getting basic sound effects into a game.

Video

  • Fraps is real-time video capture software for games.