This is the hardware and software that I’m currently using to make games.
My main machine is a Venom BlackBox laptop. It’s got an i5 Intel Core and 8 GB of RAM. The OS c:\ drive is flash and the d:\ storage drive is SAS. so the operating system stays fast but it also has plenty of local storage. This was my main expense and after working for years on a 3nd hand Toshiba it’s an absolute dream. They are made locally in Melbourne at a place called MLN Computers who specialize in Gaming Hardware and it’s just beautifully finished and super thin and light. Plus it’s Batman black with green backlit keys if you want them. Off mains it’s a bit of a battery hog but for what I do on it and the process heavy apps I use it does pretty well. It gives a lot of power and is very stable. The only down side is because it is very thin the fan comes on quickly and can be loud to the point of distraction sometimes.
I do a lot of music and audio work on my laptop and use a Line 6 KB37 midi keyboard and digital USB audio interface. I got this years ago and its been super awesome. It come bundled with the Line 6 Pod Farm software and a bunch of other audio apps like Reason 10 and Ableton Lite and virtual instruments from Korg (the amazing Korg Legacy Collection), and Applied Acoustics (the fully versatile AAS Player and gorgeous LoungeLizard EP-4). Sadly it’s no longer made and I have no idea what I’m going to do if it ever gives up the ghost – probably go back to Linux Audio (sadly the KB37 was incompatible with my Linux audio box if you ever get the chance to play with it I recommend Musix or Ubuntu Studio but there are heaps of other options).
For either guitar or keyboard it’s fabulously versatile and can also interface with whatever Daw I’m using.
I bought a second hand Wacom drawing tablet. When I picked it up it turned out to be an old one from one of Melbourne’s larger game companies. I took that as a good sign.
I started making games in htlm5 and all I really needed for software was a copy of Sublime Text 3, Gimp and the Tiled map editor.
I moved on to Unity3d and Visual Studio 2017 but still use Gimp as my main art making software.
I tried lots of other art packages like Spriter, Krita, Pencil, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe Photoshop CS2, and GraphicsGale. All of them were good but I like Gimp best. It seems to have all the features that I need and I’m more comfortable with the open source nature of the project.
I tried lots of other Game Engines as well: Stencyl, Unreal Engine and Amazon Lumberyard but I think I’ll stick with Unity for a while.
For model making I use Blender. I find it easier than the other programs I’ve tried (even with all the keyboard shortcuts). The community is awesome too.
I also really like using MagicaVoxel for quick fun models.
I tried DAZ Studio, DesignDoll and Sculptris but I always come back to Blender.
For animation in 2D I use Plastic Animation Paper (PAP4 ) and Gimp. I really like PAP4. It’s old but has very powerful features. I use Blender for 3D Animation.
For making video content and editing I use the OpenShot Video Editor.
All my documentation is done with OpenOffice.
For Source Control I use GitHub and TortoiseSVN, or a local Helix Perforce service.
For an Android emulator I either use Android Studio, KOPLAYER or Leapdroid. I think Leapdroid is my favourite.
I have a really really big list of software that I tried and never really used. Mostly because I just never got time and if I spent all my time getting new toys I wouldn’t have time to play with the ones I already have.