The Setup

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

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Justin Smith

Justin Smith

Game developer (Enviro-Bear 2010)

Posted

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Justin Smith. I am an independent game developer living in Vancouver. I recently decided to make a company called Captain Games to try to bring some respectability to my sham of a life. I am best known for an iPhone game called Enviro-Bear 2010, and for being the elf portrait in Baldur's Gate. I've made at least 4 other indie games for PC, 3 for Atari ST, and worked on 5 big game industry titles.

What hardware do you use?

I'm running XP on a Athlon Dual 2 gigahertz with a gigabyte of memory, a Radeon x1600 video card, and a monitor. I also have a Mac Mini which I was informed is the minimum necessary to develop iPhone games. Change terrifies me, but I am gradually warming up to the Mac. Of course I also have an iPhone, but I'm not sure if that counts as hardware. I consider it more of a miracle object from the heavens, dripping with divine honeydew.

And what software?

I do the meat and potatoes of my work in MS Visual C++ Express. I find, the best development environment is the one that you've been using for 10 years. When I do iPhone builds, I first do my best brontosaurus impression, then I copy all my code and art onto a memory stick, unplug my monitor, mouse and keyboard from my PC and then plug everything into my Mac. Henceforth, I use XCode.

For my art, I use Photoshop 6 and Google image search. For audio I use Audacity, SFXR for bleep generation, and a microphone. I also find a pencil and notebook are indispensable.

Other software I use: Google Docs, Firefox, TOTAL COMMANDER, Araxis Merge, Dropbox, and Phillips Beer.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a nerdy butler that I could just give money (and compliments) to and he would buy what ever hardware he deems necessary, make it all work nicely, and bring me aperitifs. I frequently say to myself "stupid Justin, you spend too much time doing suchandsuch over and over" but I never invest any time into improving my processes. Someone to manage all that would be priceless.

Also, Santa, I would like CS5 so I can make game art entirely by using context-aware fill. Finally, part of my dream is to one day own a computer that didn't make an iota of noise. Not a hum!