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This is a list of tools that we used successfully while we were developing The Secret of Naereaon and the Baja Engine. We have no connections with the companies - these are just tools that we had success with and know work great with the engine.
Softimage XSI is a great tool for doing all things 3d. Plus, it is relatively cheap; there is a free version (XSI Mod Tool) and a paid version that works better with the Baja Engine and is 0. It is also recomended because right now it is the only modeling program that is tested to work with the Baja Engine!
Wacom tablets are invaluable for doing texture or any other kind of graphics work. Plus, they come with free (somewhat limited) versions of photoshop that will do everything that you need to do to make your game.
A good quality digital camera is very useful for creating textures or shooting reference photos for your game. An SLR digital camera is even better if you can afford it; Breezeway studios used a Canon Digital Rebel 300d for The Secret of Naereaon with good results. But, basically any decent digital camera will work fine.
A scanner is useful for making texture maps. Pretty much any scanner available today is good enough for the things you would need to scan for a game.
The retail version of Photoshop is the best image editor around if you can afford it. For game development work, you don't really need all of the neat stuff that the latest full version has - you can save hundreds of dollars by getting the elements version. It even comes free with Wacom tablets. Everything that photoshop elements can't do can be supplemented by the Gimp. We used elements on Naereaon; the only thing it coulden't do that we needed was create TGAS; for that we used the Gimp. See Creating TGAs with Alpha Channels
The Gimp, compared to photoshop, is really annoying to use. But, it's free! And it does basically everything photoshop can.
A nifty open source FTP program; we use it for uploading stuff to our servers. Works just fine - Skip the silly trial/shareware ftp clients and get this.
Subversion is a free version control system - basically, a place where you can put your work and ensure that you don't lose it. Basically, you keep a copy of all of your work (source code, art, etc) on your subversion server, and then everybody 'checks out' a copy from this server. This keeps your work backed up in multiple locations and makes sure everyone has a valid version of your project. It also keeps all previous versions of files, so if you need to restore an old version of something you can. We used this to store all of our work for Naereaon; it worked fine, we never had any major problems. It's a little slow, but we were really pushing it.
Unfortunately, it does require a spare computer and some Linux knowledge. If you don't want to get into this, there are some paid subversion hosting places on the web.
A free, decent sound editor.
A slightly crippled, free sound editor that may work a little better than Audacity.
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