GUI To Meet You: Free User Interface Resources For Indie Game Developers

GUI

You’ve got your art assets into your game, your sound that you just received from the composer is integrated, you’re ready to g - oh. Wait. GUI, right. Here’s a collection of free interface resources for indie game developers that are free to use personally or commercially, great for rapid prototyping or if you’re in a pinch, and just generally awesome references to have while you’re designing.

Don’t forget to check out our 10 Free Game Development Tools list for more indie game making resources.

FlatIcons

FlatIcons

License: Free!

FlatIcons is a great website that was linked to me today that automatically generates totally free flat icons for you. While it’s primarily for web development, it’s got a bunch of great icons that’d be useful for UI (arrows, plus signs), as well as platform icons like Android, Apple and more. You can specify size, padding, colour and even box shape, and it saves the .png right to your HDD – bing, bam, done. It’s a really neat little site, it’s totally free, and it’s good to have around.

Controller and Keyboard Prompts Pack by Xelu

Prompts

License: CC0 (Public Domain)

This is pretty much as close to the interface holy grail as we’re going to get. This pack, put together by Xelu, contains over 380 buttons, triggers, gestures and prompts in .fla and 100px x 100 px .png. You’ve got the PS Vita, XBox 360 and One, PS3, PS4, OUYA, Steam Machine, Wii, Wii U, PC/Mac and directional sticks, so you’re pretty set, no matter what you’re developing for. Xelu says at the bottom of the image that he doesn’t care if you credit him, but you should because he’s a saint.

Kenney’s UI Pack

Kenney UI

License: CC0 (Public Domain)

Kenney is well known for his amazing public domain 2D game assets, and his UI pack is no different. You have a bunch of buttons, radio buttons, boxes and ticks to choose from, as well as blank boxes to edit to your own liking. There are 145+ .png sprites in this bundle, as well as the sprite sheets and vector files. And, hey, if that wasn’t enough free stuff for you, there are also two free .ttf fonts and six free UI sound effects included. Phew!

Kenney’s Onscreen Controls Pack

Kenney's Pack 2

License: CC0 (Public Domain)

Another of Kenney’s packs, the Onscreen Controls pack is great for those of you in particular who are developing mobile games, or games with minimalist GUIs. They’re clean, sharp and great for anything from tablet to smartphone to, well, wherever your imagination takes you. What’s even more awesome is that every single button comes in eight different styles. Yep, these are still free assets we’re talking about.

Kenney’s UI Expasion Pack (RPG Elements)

kenney3

License: CC0 (Public Domain)

… I’m just gonna keep plugging Kenney’s work, because it’s incredibly awesome, and he gives so much to the community. This pack is an expansion of his UI elements pack that’s primarily focused on fantasy game or RPG UI. You have your frayed-at-the-edges buttons, little gloved hand pointers and even wee swords. Aren’t they adorable? There are 87 sprites in this set, as well as the sprite sheets and vector files.

Game-icons.net

Game Icons

License: CCBY (you must credit the original author)

Game-icons.net is a veritable treasure trove of icons for your next indie game, with anything from magical spells, armour, items, animals – hell, they got ‘em all. There’s already over 1,200 of the suckers, and they’re all available in either .svg or .png for your game development needs. They’re neatly sorted by a good tagging system as well, so it’s really quick to find what you’re after. Overall, a great resource.

bfxr.net

bfxr

License: Free! Though the creator is keen to see the stuff you make with it and to hear how bfxr was for you.

Yes, yes, the GUI is all very well, but you can’t have an awesome GUI without some sweet sounds to chug along to the menus with. Sound effects are every bit as important as the graphics themselves, and that’s where your best friend, bfxr, comes in. You can generate tonnes of sound effects (although the majority have a chiptune/bit ‘tone’ to them), and there’s even a bunch of pre-mades to get you starts, such as coin pickups, shooting sounds, jumps, power-ups and more. It’s generally pretty awesome and a heralded tool among game jam aficionados.

8ve

8ve

License: Free!

8ve is a free library of UI sounds for iOS, curated by an experienced sound designer in Tasmania. There are 48 different sounds in the pack, including taps, beeps and slides, designed for user interfaces, and all saved as 16bit 44.1khz .aif files. If you’re new to implementing sound in iOS, they’ve even written a bunch of tips for you, such as the limitations of the iPhone speaker, the interaction events buttons possess and more. It’s an awesome guide, an awesome library of sounds and great if you’re developing for mobile.

iconmonstr.com

iconmonstr

License: Free! (but copyright stays with them, and you can’t resell them… obviously)

Iconmonstr.com is another great repository for all your icon needs, and they’ve got a bunch for every situation. All their icons are free for personal and commercial use, attribution not required, and they have almost 2,500 icons for you to choose from. From anything to language translate buttons to game controllers, they’re all available in .png and .svg, and each icon page shows you how the icon looks at different sizes.

420 Pixel Art Icons for RPGs

RPG Icons

License: Free!

Taking inspiration from games such as Maple Story, Ragnarok Online and Diablo 2, this icon pack will kit out your RPG-in-progress in no time. A beautiful set of pixel icons, you can download them as individual .png files from the Dropbox link on the pack’s page. There are potions, food, weapons, spell icons and even books for you to pick from – gorgeous, wee things. Boy, that pixel steak looks mighty tasty, though…

ColorLovers.com Palettes

ColorLovers

License: Other peoples palettes vary in license, but your own is free.

Palettes and colour decisions are hugely important in UI design, and sometimes, it’s just hard to come to a decision. ColourLovers.com is a great place to look around other palettes to see what works and to garner inspiration, and you can create your own, from scratch or even from a photo. Once you’ve made it, you have a variety of exporting options, such as .svg, .html, .ai and more. It’s a useful little tool, and one that I use often when deciding colours in my own development work.

2D Cartoon Mobile Game UI Pack

Mobile Game

License: Free! (but not for reselling etc., again, obviously)

Here’s another great resource for 2D developers – a neat cartoon user interface asset pack, cheerful, bright and ready to go. From a level select screen to difficulty modes, this pack is super flexible and could lend itself to many different types of games both mobile and otherwise. It comes as a layered .psd, so you’ll have to have access to Photoshop or something that can interpret .psd files, but other than that, there’s nothing stopping you from going forth and creating the world’s most delicious UI with these assets.

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