Finding the right tools for your project can sometimes be hard, so this is an entire section devoted to useful or necessary tools to make your life easier when creating, no matter what you are doing.
Notepad++ is a useful replacement for the default windows notepad that includes a line counter, xml tag highlighting and other useful things.
Xamarin Studio is a free, lightweight script IDE that features support on Windows, OS x and Linux.
Atom is a modifiable text editor that allows a user to customise to their own requirements. Available for Windows, OS x and Linux. It can be quite resource heavy, so only choose if your hardware is powerful enough to run it without too many problems
Sublime is a markup text editor with a focus on efficiency, performance and productivity. Tired of unresponsive developmemnt tools? Sublime is for you.
An improved version of the VI editor for Linux.
Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder.
PaintTool SAI is a professional grade lightweight painting application with built in digitiser support (including pressure sensitivity). PaintTool SAI is free and easy to learn, and has a large amount of third party & mod support to add extra functionality.
paint.net is a free image editing program that offers advanced image editing funcitonality, (eg, layers). Useful if you cannot afford Photoshop.
Photoshop is one of the largest graphical editing program, with support for a wide range of applications and artistic styles. It's not cheap, but if you can afford it, it's definatly worth picking up.
Inkscape is a vector graphics editor used to create scalable graphics images. Inkscape can create a scalable graphic from an imported from most standard graphic files and converted to scalable graphics.
Unity is a free to use engine and development environment with a thriving user base and lively community crammed full of unlimited different experiences and stories.
It features an easy to learn API, and comes with all the tools you need to get started. A free version is available, however the paid version is a little more cutomizable and allows better performance tracking.
Blender is an open source, free 3D modelling program that can be used to create game objects and scenery. often very fiddely and time consuming, but is definately a viable program for learning and developing your 3D skills.
Sculptris is a free and simple moddling program that is ideal for creating quick, good looking high quality models.
Extra credits is a useful web series on video game design and game theory, covering game mechanics, story-telling, game balancing, and more.
Mark Brown is a former games journalist who writes, edits, and presents the Game Maker’s Toolkit; a YouTube video series about video game design.
2D Design is a paid for 2D CAD program that allows the design of a limitless amount of different projects. designs can be printed directly to most 2D CAM devices, among of which plotters, graphers and laser cutters.
OpenSCAD is a free to use 3d creation program that uses a script based language for modelling. it can be difficult to learn advanced shape creation, but is a very effective piece of software.