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 Sarah Northway

Sarah Northway

Indie game developer (Rebuild, Incredipede)

Posted in developer, game, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Sarah Northway, travelling indie game developer and creator of the Rebuild series.

What hardware do you use?

I've got a maxed out Alienware M11x, one of the smallest gaming laptops out there. I love this computer; it's one of the only things I own that matters. To be honest it's one of the only things I own, period. My husband and I have been travelling perpetually for the last 3 years while we write our games, and have to fit just about everything we own into two backpacks. Secret: if you think an 11 inch screen is too small, try holding it closer to your face.

Between my husband and I we also carry a Nexus One, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and BlackBerry PlayBook - a decent range of low to high end devices for testing mobile games. By weight we own more electronics than anything else; I know because they all go in my backpack and it's heavy as hell!

And what software?

I seem to get use out of just about every Adobe product in CS6. I bought it for Flash Pro, Photoshop and good karma, but regularly use Premiere, Illustrator, Audition and Bridge as well. But for AS3 development I prefer FlashDevelop (vs Adobe's Flash Builder) which is fast, reliable, and free.

Although I develop games for iOS, I am solidly Windows folk, or at least anti-Mac. Three years of using Mac OS in a previous job has at given me an increased appreciation for Linux as I did everything I could in the terminal, but Apple's design methodology of focusing on an average usage behavior and obscuring advanced functions regularly infuriates me. I now run Lion in a VM (shhhh) because although I do my entire development process in Windows, Apple requires developers to use Mac OS to submit binaries to the iTunes app store.

I rely pretty heavily on remote storage software like Dropbox, SVN and Google Docs, at least when I've got the bandwidth to use them.

What would be your dream setup?

An even smaller, lighter, cooler, brighter laptop. Being able to profile AS3 without the serially unstable Flash Builder. And XCode or Apple's Application Loader for Windows or Linux.