Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing

Game designer (Firewatch)

Posted in developer, game, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Patrick Ewing, and I'm a narrative game designer, Twitter Eng veteran and recovering Ruby programmer.

I helped make Firewatch along with the good citizens of Campo Santo, and I'm currently making a game about the future of cities, AI, and emotional survival. You play as a Lyft/Uber driver struggling to stay alive on her star rating, as autonomous cars take over the streets. It will be very difficult, and at times sad, but also very funny, I hope.

What hardware do you use?

For the bulk of my development, I'm using a custom-built PC: Intel i7 CPU, two GTX 1080ti GPUs that are SLI'd together, yadda yadda yadda. I built it just after Firewatch shipped, when I thought making an adventure game in VR might be a good idea. I quickly decided against this, and it's now way-overpowered for the kind of game we're building instead.

I use two 4K displays from LG, a Das Keyboard with Cherry MX switches with some lovely "trans colored" pink and blue pastel key-caps, and some cheesy wireless gaming mouse I wouldn't recommend to anybody. I'm using a Jarvis adjustable-height standing desk and a Focal mono-pod stool for when standing gets old.

And what software?

I'm using Windows 10, because Video Games. Not a day goes by that I don't curse this life that I've chosen. It's an inferior OS in almost every way that I use because Apple doesn't ship computers with modern GPUs.

My team (we're called Chance Agency) uses Slack for all our creative coordination, and for video conferencing.

We're building out game in Unity 2017, using ink as our narrative scripting language and Spine for our animated characters. I write code in Visual Studio, VS Code and Sublime Text, depending on what language I'm in. Git with Git LFS for version control.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be a collaborative physical computing environment, something like Dynamicland that worked remotely. I was to lay code components out on a table and see my coworkers physically rearrange them to make new connections. I want our version control to be incorporated into the 3D game environment. I want to set up a scene by manipulating game objects with my hands, like Timoni's amazing Unity VR demos.

This is a little more far-fetched, but I'd also love a Mac laptop that can run 3D games at 60fps.