Whether you are looking to make your own game or just small-time projects this post is for you. This will be a guide that lists off different software that you could use to make your content, displaying the pro’s and con’s helping you try and decide what software will be best for you.


As far as engines go there are two main ones I would suggest, being Unreal Engine 4 and the Unity engine. Although there are many more engines out there these two are the most accessible with the most user-friendly tools and UI with the addition of them both being free to download.

Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine to start with is owned by epic games the company that brought us Fortnite, which is also made in UE4. The first thing you will notice with UE4 is that it uses a very in detail blueprinting system that utilizes a variety of nodes and variables. This system is very visual and is also colour coordinated making for a much easier system to use in groups as it allows for people to see in a much easier way what others have done through its organized blueprinting and commenting system.

UE4 also has its own basic geometry and lighting perfect for level designers who may want to create a white box of their level to try and see what their ideas would look like in engine. Alongside there being basic geometry and lighting many other tools that are easy to implement in the scene such as cameras and navigation meshes for animation.

When you are creating your scene you also have a range of templates available to you to try and help you get started on the content you are creating, with the templates ranging from first person to VR. These templates will include the necessary pre-made features to start the game at a basic level. For example, the first person template adds a character with a crosshair and a basic projectile firing gun.

For anyone who is maybe looking to learn how to use the unreal engine or wishes to learn more, they offer extensive online learning videos free for anyone to use. This as well as live virtual events where you can learn directly from the staff of UE4.

Unity Engine

One of Unity Engine biggest pros is its modularity as it made it easy for the developer to create their own tools for the engine to aid in making their projects. This makes it perfect for VR game developers as they can make tools easily to suit VR projects that may require more intricate movement-based mechanics.

It’s also great for small projects as it’s a fast and agile engine making projects quicker for anything that needs to be made within a short period. It also has a vast asset store which is perfect for any starting developer to utilize to get something made quickly. Following on from that Unity now offers Bolt, which is a visual  scripting tool that’s easy to use to suit a variety of different skill levels.

Modelling Software

There is plenty of different software that can be used for making 3D assets, all with different workflows. Although it might seem overwhelming trying to decide which software is best to use it’s actually more down to your workflow and what you’re aiming to create. For example, if you are looking to make models of aliens or animals you may want a sculpting software but if you are making buildings and structures you may not want a sculpting software and so on.

Auto Desk Suite

The Autodesk suite although not being one software is a package of different toolsets for design purposes. The Autodesk suite contains tools such as 3DS Max which is used to generate 3D assets on a grid format, this is perfect for making structures and buildings. One of its best features is its maxscript which allows users to create their own simple scripts to create their own tools which are easy to implement from project to project.

Next is Mudbox which is a 3D sculpting software that allows for artists imaginations to run wild with the vast variety of tools at their disposal. Mudbox is also good for painting models and assets, using the mesh and its UV allows the user to paint directly on to the mesh so they can see in real-time.

The advantage to using all the different tools in the Autodesk suite is that assets can be passed through with ease, with tools in all the software to send them between each other without having to manage files. Although the Autodesk suite is full of much different software to be used, unfortunately, comes at a cost and is more ideal for anyone who will be using it as a full-time job as opposed to a hobby.

Blender is a 3D computer graphics software that can be used for sculpting, animating, visual effects and more. The great thing about Blender first of all is that all of its tools are in the same place. Rather than having multiple applications for different things such as the Autodesk Suite, Blender has it all in one place.

One of the biggest advantages of Blender and its multiple uses means that it can accommodate multiple workflows. If you're looking to create 3D assets Blender offers different sculpting and modelling tools to accommodate all.

If you are not looking to create any 3D assets, Blender still has you covered with video editing software, animation, rigging, VFX and more. It boasts all these features whilst also being free to downloading making it the perfects software for anyone looking to create content for hobbies or get themselves started in the industry.

Creating Textures

If you are looking to create texture for your 3D assets then as opposed to suggesting two opposing software I am going to suggest two that work well together but that can also work separately.


Quixel is software that consists of three applications; Megascans, Bridge and Mixer. Megascans is a library of different assets and textures made by users and Quixel staff, this content is free for everyone to access. This app is perfect for people who maybe need some assets to fill a scene or for people who want to make a full scene using assets that they haven't made. Megascans is easy to use and can be implemented into UE4 with ease as Quixel is now owned by Epic games.

Mixer is a texturing app that takes a 3D asset and its UV to then show an asset in a window. The asset from there can now be painted using many different textures from the Megascans library. You can also use the tools available to create your own textures, with the capability to edit the albedo, normal, specular, roughness and metalness maps. Having the asset window means that you can paint and preview what the finished product would look like in real-time.

The final app is Bridge which does exactly what it says on the tin. Bridge helps you save and manage any of the projects you have made in Mixer and upload them to Megascans making a bridge between the two apps.


Adobe Photoshop is a graphics editor that allows people to edit and create different types of content for many different forms of media. In regards to creating games, photoshop can be used for numerous things, the most common three being creating UI widgets, decals and textures. In this case, we are going to talk about textures and how well it works in cohesion with Quixel Mixer.

Firstly Photoshop can be used to create colour id’s for imported UV maps, and then use the colour id’s made in Mixer. On the other hand, you could use photoshop to make textures too although it would prove to be more difficult as there are not as many tools suited to creating normal maps.

It can also be used to edit albedo meshes after they have been created in Mixer. The albedo can be exported into a PNG format and then edited in photoshop just in case there are any tools that people want to use in Photoshop that is not in Mixer.

Other Software

Now that we have gone through all of the main hardware I just wanted to go through all of the extra software that you may or may not need to help further the quality of your projects.

Mixamo: is a free to access software from Adobe that supplies a library of different animations with pre-rendered characters. From walking animations to fighting and dancing animations. It also has a self rigging tool that can be rig uploaded characters you have created to use in the animations.

Marvelous Designer: Starting at £39 a month for personal use Marvelous Designer is a software used to create clothing for your characters. Simply upload your character and begin designing, uniquely when creating clothes in Marvelous Designer you can simulate the materials to see what the physics would look like whilst editing.

RPG Maker: Now if you are looking to make your story without having to create your own assets then RPG Maker could be for you. RPG Maker has a vast library of different premade character and assets that can be dragged and dropped into a scene leaving you to design the level and story in any way you want.