Indie Game Tools
A lot of what gets talked about in the “professional” game development sphere is the high-end high-priced tools or those that were developed internally by a dedicated programmer or team of programmers. Where does this leave the smaller groups that are popping up now, those that are developing primarily for the iPhone or the web?
Luckily, there is a lot of great software out there that is either open source or very cheap, and the very best solutions have risen to the top. Most of us have heard of Blender, Gimp, the Torque Engine and Unity (which includes a $200 “indie” version), and there are a great deal more. Check out IndieGameTools.com for a good list of the best stuff.
While some of these tools are really great, there will always be a need for custom tools, that aren’t very useful to other developers. Smaller developers should consider partnering with a small tools development company or individual contractor. there are a few people out there who are doing this sort of work and banding together can be mutually beneficial. Getting someone experience to help out in this area can give a leg up on the competition, after all, the better the tools, the easier it is to make a great game.