So what comes after picking out a Game Engine and you are ready to start making characters or objects for your game? If you are creating a 2D game or trying to get seamless textures for your 3D objects you need to be able tor create them someone?
There are plenty of options whether you want raster or vector drawings, and what you choose all depends on your budget and personal preferences. Personally I have 2 programs on my computer, one for raster and one for vector. The best part is knowing that they are both free and incredibly powerful.
GIMP is my primary raster editing tool, and I use it because it gives me just about everything that Photoshop can. Although Photoshop has the ability to integrate with other editing tools more efficiently, I am still able to work on Photoshop files and and export them back at as the same file type if needed. It can be a pain having to hit the export and save as when wanting to update a live layered image in another program, but the tools that come with GIMP are pretty close to the same. The interface and tools are incredibly easy to learn, and there are plenty of tutorials out there on YouTube. Plus, I am able to save money by not having to pay a monthly or yearly fee to use it.
For vector files I use Inkscape. I don't work with a lot of vector files myself, but I think having the software is nice. Generally I will create the pieces for a character in Inkscape and then export the files out when I want to animate them. Using vector you get a clean looking image to work with without having to worry about distorting the appearance if you need to scale it up or down. Again, you can down Illustrator to work with vector files if you need. Just like Photoshop, it comes with a price tag to be able to use it.
All in all, whether you want to pay for the premium tools or use the free open source ones is a matter of choice and funds to spend. I think both of the open source tools can keep up with the paid ones, but the paid versions integrate with other programs better. You honestly don't even have to invest in any if you really don't want to either. There are thousands upon thousands of assets to download (paid and free) on the internet on a number of sites. I'll dive into those more on the next post, anyone wanting to get started could test the free ones and see they want to get into creating assets.
If you are wanting to draw some assets, take a look at getting a pen tablet to plug into your computer vs using a mouse. Take a look at my home page for a cheap version that I use myself for drawing!