Open source, experimental, and tiny tools roundup ~

Active maintenance of this list is moving to Github → https://github.com/everestpipkin/tools-list  

This is a list of smaller tools that might be useful in building your game/website/interactive project. Although I’ve mostly also included the ‘standards’, this list has a focus on artful tools & toys that are as fun to use as they are functional.

Questions? Check the FAQ at the bottom, then email everest.pipkin @ gmail

Games-focused tools:

Tiny/weirdo game engines:

Game engines that let you make a full game, but often within a particular style, ethos, framework, or with other limitations. Generally quick to pick up and work with, made for accessibility.

Indie/open source bigger game engines:

Indie and open source game engines with more flexibility and power than the little engines above, and generally also another layer of complication. (Perhaps most useful for if you are concerned about free but closed-source engines like Unity.)

Fantasy consoles:

A fantasy console is like a regular console (machine specs, dev tools, community), but without hardware. It is like an emulator for a machine that never existed. Generally, these are in the form of an application.

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Just into fantasy consoles? More of them detailed here: https://github.com/paladin-t/fantasy 

Neat Unity extenders:

Tools or plug-ins that change the experience of using Unity.

Godot Extenders:

Tools or plug-ins that change the experience of using Godot.

Maps, place, & levels:

Tools for making maps & levels - some of them simply visual, others generate data.

Making “assets” - images, models, sound, video:


Tools for making images.

Pixel art:




General/flexible paint programs:


Animation & video:

Tools for creating moving images, either animated or videographic.


Tools that help you deal with 3d models or 3d space.

Sound & music:

Tools for sound effects, music, and general audio.

Sound effects generators:

Sound editors:

Music composition, instruments, effects:

Other sound tools and resources :


Coding environments, frameworks, & extensions:

Tools that provide a backend or new programming environment in which to make other work.

Machine learning:

Live Coding:


Text editors & writing apps:

Experimental text tools and formats:

Text manipulators, converters, & other tools:

Fonts & font resources:


Web & print design:

Making websites:

Misc kool website-related code:

Tools that are about/with websites:


Tools for picking, analyzing, or seeing colors.

Zines, books, prints:

Dealing with files:

Tools that interface with operating systems & files:

Building applications & exes:

Converters, downloaders, & reducers:

More tools lists & reading about tools:


Why’d you make this?

I’m currently teaching a games class oriented around alternative tools. We have been talking at length about moving outside of walled gardens and closed ecosystems, the politics and aesthetics that tools carry with them, the edges of “tool” and where it intersects with “game” or “playful media” and how much a tool can say about its maker.

As a part of the class, we’ve been practicing stringing together smaller solutions and toolkits to create chains of production that lets us make games and game-like things entirely outside of standard engines. This list began as a casual resource for that classroom and grew to be a resource of scope.

Why is <particular tool> left out?

I probably just forgot it. Please add a suggestion on the doc. I am, however, doing some curatorial work here and am intentionally leaving things off that are subscription models or (generally) from larger or closed-source organizations.

Why is this in Google Docs if you’re promoting small tools?

I debated about this at serious length but eventually decided it was useful for folks to already be able to share/comment/add suggestions/save this resource to their own folders and devices. THAT SAID -> here is the non-Google mirror (http://tools.odie.us/) (also useful for places with firewalls).

I have another question?

Email me - everest.pipkin @ gmail