As an artist, I’m a really good programmer. So I buy my artwork off the shelf. Good news is that it’s fairly cheap — bad news is it means your game (probably) doesn’t have a distinctive look. But until I clone myself and learn to draw I’m stuck with buying artwork.
GameObject artistJay = Instantiate(artistPrefab, transform.position, Quaternian.identity) as GameObject;
Here are some of my favorite sites to look for artwork (links open new windows/tabs):
The single best 2D asset pack available, bar none (there are some 3D assets, but it’s mostly 2D). There’s a certain style to the Kenney art that might not work for your game, but if all you do is use it for prototyping it’s still worth the price. Oh yeah, all 20K pieces are free and have a CC0 license (public domain) so you never have to pay royalties. There is a way to give the guy some money and get notice of updates, etc., and it’s well worth it.
GraphicRiver, part of EnvatoMarket
From the home page look for the More menu option at the top-right, click that and then Game Assets. (If you just browse the whole site you’ll be overwhelmed with everything they have there.) The best thing about this site is the number of options and the price — grab sets of sprites for just a few bucks. However, the “gotcha” with GraphicRiver is the standard license says you can only use purchased assets for a single project. For some people that may be okay, but I like to “mix and match” when I’m making a game so I try not to buy from GR — I don’t want to have to keep track of every sprite I buy to make sure it doesn’t get used in more than one game. Also, the standard license is only good for games that are free (although you can still do IAP inside the free game).
Character sprites for platformers, sidescrollers, etc. Very cartoony and very fun-looking. Quite a few different characters available and each has walk, run, jump, attack, etc., animations available. I really like these characters and have used them in a couple of my games.
You’ll find many of the sprite packs from GraphicRiver also on this site — but check the licensing because while you might pay a few bucks more here, I’ve seen sprite packs without draconian license restrictions like at GR. Hang on… looks like they’ve change their licensing so you can only use the assets in one product, free or paid. So if you’re doing a free game, might as well get the asset from GR because it’s cheaper.
I’ve purchased a few assets from this place. I don’t recall any stupid things in their licensing, but make sure you check before buying. 😉
I’ll update this post in the future as I have more experiences with buying art assets online.