Get ready for Ludum Dare: Game development tools

Ludum Dare 39 starts today! I previously wrote about
Ludum Dare with tips for
completing your game along with getting the most out of, so check that
out if you haven’t already.

Ludum Dare is a good opportunity to try something new, like a new game engine,
library, or art tool. This will be my thirteenth game made for Ludum Dare (if I
manage to finish). I’ll be trying out a new engine this time
: TIC-80 (it’s got built in
MoonScript support!) has a huge collection of game development
resources and game
assets. For this article I’ve collected some
tools that have caught my interest that are worth checking out if you’d like to
give yourself an additional challenge. I’ll definitely be referring to this
list for myself to mix things up in future Ludum Dares. If you have any
suggestions for the list please leave a comment.

Before we get started, don’t forget to tag your game ludum-dare-39 on when uploading your game so we can easily find projects to feature and

Game Engines


A fantasy console powered by Lua, MoonScript, and JavaScript. The built in map,
sprite, code, and music editors let you develop your entire game inside the
engine. Games use a 16 color palette and 240×136 display. You can easily export
games to native executables or embed them in a browser with HTML5 export.


A browser based game development tool that doesn’t require any coding. Create
tile based rooms that the player can explore.

Pixel Vision 8

A game development platform that can target a wide range of 8-bit fantasy
console limitations, either from existing consoles or something completely made
up. Games are coded in Lua and C#.


A 2D and 3D game engine where you can program games in JavaScript or
TypeScript. Games can be expored to the web for easy distribution. Includes a
development environment where you can write your game’s code and objects.


A Lua based fantasy console that runs on top of LÖVE.
In includes a larger drive than most fantasy consoles, so could it suitable for
building larger games. A DOS like operating system is included to interface with the


A fantasy console with a vector display (instead of more common pixel based
displays). You can program you games in Lua.

Construct 2

A full featured game development platform to create 2D games. Supports
exporting to native executables and the web.


A text based adventure engine that supports a multiplayer gameplay

Level Construction


A 2D tile based map editor that supports grid, isometric, and hex tiles. It can
export to a wide range of formats to make it easy to integrate into your game regardless of what engine you’re using. See Tiled2Unit for a easy way to load tiled maps into Unity.

Crocotile 3D

A tool for creating 3D scenes with tiles. It works similar to a 2D tile editor but lets you draw levels in 3D.

2D & 3D Art Creation


A 2D pixel art editor that’s the best I’ve used. You can use it to create all
kinds of retro art from animations to tile maps and backgrounds.


A procedural 2D tile generator. Can make a wide range of textures for you 2D
(or maybe 3d) based games. A node based editor makes it easy to tweak

Asset Forge

A tool for building 3D models and 2D sprites using a library of building

Paint of Persia

A tool for rotoscoping pixel art animations. You can use it to draw on top of
any source material to create assets for games or just cool animations.


A tool for creating art and animations out of ASCII art.


A tool that lets you create spritesheets and manage palettes. Easily create
quads for art you need to import into your game.


A pixel art editor for creating images matching the “Fontsprite” format (16×16
tiles usually in a 256×256 image).

Dither Machine

A tool for creating pixel dithered gradients.


A pixel art remastering tool. Can be used to upscale your pixel art into smooth high res images.

Music and Sounds

Bosca Ceoil

An easy to use tool for composing music. It has a handful of built in
instruments to let you get started quickly. Includes scale and chord guides to
help you pick the right notes if you’re new to writing music


An advanced sound effect editor that is based on the sfxr.


A easy to use tool for generating sound effects. It’s based on


A sfxr based sound editor that a mutation based procedural generation to create
new sounds.



A graphical interface to’s command line tool,
butler. Makes it easy to upload your game with
support for patching without having to use a command line.

Originally posted by

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