IDE and framework:
Unity is really handy for 3D games and is more or less a drag-and-drop type of building tool. However, Libgdx might be even more powerful when it is part of 2D games and allows coding almost everything from scratch, which corresponds to what I do. And last but not least, Libgdx (as well as Unity) permits a cross-platform development: I just need to code once in Java and can export both for Android and IOS (Desktop too).
Skeletal 2D animation:
I have chosen Spine, which is a wonderful tool to animate my armors during fights. The tool is not only great for smooth animation but it also makes me save a lot of memory, which is the first challenge when considering image assets.
Tiled, short for Tiled Map Editor, is a must-have for creating tile-based maps and very handy with Libgdx. I use it for certain map-looped animations, for collisions and for event triggers.
Here is one of the maps I have done with Tiled as an example:
I use Gimp to edit some of the images and assets I need to. It is open-source, hence free.
I am using Texture Packer to pack certains of textures into atlases. This is very useful when I need to set a skill animation into one Atlas for instance.
I love developing but I am a terrible artist. My artistic skills stopped improving after my 4th birthday. That’s why I am actually buying every single resources I am using in my project.
Maps assets / Tilesets:
I have found a wonderful artist who has made several complete tile sets. They are not expensive and they actually cover every single piece of map in my project: villages, cities, mountains, island, castles, roads, forests, snow…and all the interiors.
I will be eternally grateful to Celianna and her wonderful creations.
They work perfectly with Tiled.
Example from her website:
Celianna has also created a Sprite’s generator, which becomes very exhaustive with the possibilities offered by Gimp. The sprite generator is included in her Rural Farm pack.
Fighting armors and animations:
An amazingly talented artist, Naresa, with a limitless creative mindset is designing all of my characters on Spine (on commission). From the sketches, to the animation and without forgetting the coloring, she does everything.
I am using a Face Maker generator by Fox Richard. It is free of charge if you credit the original creator in your project and include the link to deviantart page where it is saved.
During certain scenes and mostly during the fights, I need several backgrounds. Most of them have been bought on Robert Brooks website: Game Developer Studio.
The rest was been bought on the Game asset market-website: Game Dev Market
I have also used a Libgdx skin created by Raymond “Raeleus” Buckley for the TouchPad and another button: Skin
Music and VF effect sounds:
Bought on Game Dev Market.
VF Skills effect: