Now this is generally what I would call a "hot take" in game creation since the feeling of creating all the artwork in a game gives one full ownership over their work while also showing the skill level of said artist.
One must see beyond simply the artwork and look closer at the gameplay and the ability to prototype your game idea in order to construct a world and learn why you want to make it. Along with this the sheer amount of skill it takes to produce all the content and get the world to be aesthetically beautiful while also behaving as you expect rivals that of a PhD.
So let's dig into what some of the best outlets are at your disposal to fast-track your game development journey and reach your audience!
One can usually trace back a movement to a certain community and in general I would say that the public domain contribution space really traces heavily back to OpenGameArt. Many of the vendors on this very list can all be found at OpenGameArt, but then again just pointing you to this one site doesn't exactly give insights into the benefits of each one listed.
That is why of all the sites on this list the only one that focuses on aggregating content and not the creation process itself is OpenGameArt. With that out of the way let's begin to take a look at some of the creators themselves and the benefits of using their content!
On this list Kenney stands out in the sheer volume of content provided on the site while also lending assets to creators in numerous 2D or 3D game asset packs.
It is important to note however that like many assets found on this page you will find various errors within Kenney content that may produce unwanted results. It is perfectly understandable given the sheer volume of content provided but things such as overlapping geometry and inverted normals can usually be remedied with using two-sided geometry. This however is not ideal in many applications and should be avoided if possible.
One last thing to mention about Kenny is that they also provide UI elements and audio files for use within creation. Both of these types of packs provide decent examples to generic use cases where you may need a button and then also need a sound for when the button is pressed.
Personally I think that of all the creators out there and the biggest value they give to creation, no other creator supplies a wider range of solid assets needed to make any game like Quaternius. The biggest saving grace that Quaternius provides is through the massive character and movement set library he provides in the the Blender files.
This can not be underestimated and powered with the knowledge of how to visualize and ultimately get a character and skeleton out along with the full movement set library. Some of these models have over 20 animations to them and I am not exaggerating when saying that combined with the modular character packs you will find upward of 100 complete characters and animals for your creations.
4. Keith Soil
Keith Soil is a contributor that personally I think supplies some really good rounded or "bubbly" packs that give the flavor of Nintendo or something playful in general. You will usually find that packs have hard edges when it comes to low poly content while Keith Soil gives smooth gradients on most objects. The types of packs provided are fairly generic that allow for a platformer or a well crafted nature scene.
Regarding the size of his packs you will find that it is not even out of the ordinary to have over 150 individual pieces included within a pack. Out of all of the artists in this list I will say that Keith Soil provides the most granularity in terms of modular pieces. They can range from a Medieval Village that has many sep pieces to the Race Track scene where the amount of twisting and turning track provided is amazing.
One additional aspect of Keith Soil is his MAST plugin for Unity that fast-tracks modular design for snapping and rotating pieces in a level. Just imagine if Minecraft was a bit more complex than a cube and you needed to still design out the scene. This is where MAST comes in handy allowing you to use the very packs that Keith Soil provides mixed with the MAST plugin to lay them out.
5. Broken Vector
Hidden among the many packs on Unity is a vendor named Broken Vector who supplies numerous packs ranging from standard nature to a complex dungeon scene. Additionally you can find a storage pack that easily supplies a kit bashing set for most first person shooter types of gameplay. Barrels and palettes mix which larger assets as big as a storage container.
One down side for most of the assets would be the luggage or trunks do not open and have no interior geometry to allow for looting and collectables.
Getting back to the Unity Dungeon Scene you will find that this pack has quite a large amount of the level designed out ranging from the deep down prisoner quarters to a large dining hall for lavish parties.
So what about beyond this list?
This last part I have saved for something that is coming up more and more concerning AI and the creation of art. Now regarding textures and models one can't just generate all of the different types just as Noah Rubin did with melodies to release them as CC0.
This area though is progressing month to month and the pace at which it is progressing shows professionals that within years we will be able to completely generate worlds through text prompts. The same as you type into Google to find your favorite movie scene, we will eventually be able to just type out a setting and artistic style to create our immersive world.
Keep your eye on this topic as possibly we won't have to concern ourselves with the assets in the scene or the animations themselves using Motion Diffusion AI. Now we are back where we started and the "hot take" being pushed even more with AI and the question of where artistic expression in a piece begins and ends?