As I think I've mentioned somewhere before, deciding what to use to develop your game requires at least an idea of what platforms you're developing for, your specific needs, and your budget (among other things).  I'm just going to throw out some links to pages I'm finding useful as I decide on technologies I plan to use to make my games.  If you know of tools (engines/IDEs/3D modelling/audio/etc) that are better than the ones I'm posting, or that would fit the needs of a particular group of developers then please post in the comments!


There are (probably too many) cookie cutter 2D game creator apps, and quick and dirty FPS makers out there.  I wouldn't make a game unless I felt I was able to deliver a truly unique and engaging experience, and that would my game would be on par with that of those currently being released.  I think that in order to accomplish this, one requires tools that offer a high degree of freedom and functionality.  And it is for that reason I won't mention any "easy-bake-oven" game creator applications, but if you find they suit your needs then go for it.



The Unreal Engine

Brought us Unreal Tournament, Gears of War, and is behind many other great games.  From what I can tell, it is also a joy to develop with and you can develop a full game with it for free(ish).  The folks at EPIC set you up right with a host of tools immediately at your disposal to start generating content.  Download the UDK for free, or if you've got fat stacks look into becoming a licensee so you can gain access to the full sources and develop uninhibited (which may not be necessary as some claim you should be able to do whatever you intend to accomplish without becoming a licensee!).  You've also got the Unreal Developer Network, or UDN, that hosts plenty of tutorials and sample content to help you out as you go along!

JMonkey Engine

A free, open-source engine written entirely in Java!  Seems to have a decent community and in a similar manner as the Unreal Engine, comes with a lot of goodies.  Also recently announced support for Android devices, an advantage it may actually have over the Unreal Engine.  The only thing is that I don't see any really notable (IMO) games that have been developed using JMonkey, and during one of their demos that was supposed to wow us into loving their engine I noticed the game was running at 15 frames per second (which is lousy for a game of today's standards).  Still I am intrigued by JMonkey and would like to give it a try for Android development or simply as a learning experience.

Promising List of Other Engines


Modelling Tools

From my research the are three big players in the 3D modelling world, and which one's you'll use depend mostly on your budget.  It looks like whatever tool you pick, you'd be wise to make sure it can export in file types your engine supports (common types seem to be .FBX and .OBJ).  Many people I've come across in the many development forums say that the best tool for you is the one you're comfortable/skilled with.  It also seems like one of those religious wars that always seem to be waged among programmers concerning similar languages.  At any rate here are some options:


From Autodesk, a 3D modelling tool used frequently in industry that have seen recommended numerous times for it's animation capabilities (over other tools).

3ds Max




Audio Tools

- more to come later, this is WIP