Creating the graphics for your game is important because it defines the appearance of everything including the levels, characters and the graphical user interface (GUI). Most game objects are painted with an image commonly referred to as a texture. For 2D games the characters are also drawings which are commonly referred to as sprites. We will show you some software to assist you draw sprites and textures for your games.
There are many options when it comes to graphic design software and some software will be better for one thing and another better for other things. There are many free graphic design software application available which can be used to draw game graphics as well as some higher cost commercial graphic design software.
First we will take a look at free graphic design software which can be used to draw sprites and textures for games.
Aseprite - http://www.aseprite.org (free)
A simple animated sprite editor & pixel art tool. This software is completely free to use and is available for Windows Mac. This is a good starting point if you want to make 2D games and draw the characters and blocks for 2D level sprites.
GIMP - http://www.gimp.org/ (free)
GIMP is a free image manipulation program. It is good for editing images and performing image based tasks including photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. GIMP works on many operating systems and in many languages.
Inkscape - http://www.inkscape.org (free)
Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is free to use and is good for GUI design and level layout prototyping. You can easily arrange things in the place you want them and quickly draw a concept draft for the visual appearance of your game and GUI.