Uses This

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

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Tarn Adams

Game developer (Dwarf Fortress)

Posted in developer, game, linux, mac, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Tarn Adams, and I make computer games with my brother. Bay 12 Games is our website, and the game we are most known for is Dwarf Fortress.

What hardware do you use?

The computer I do everything on is my Toshiba Satellite P55T-C5114 laptop, and I also have a Mac Mini which I use for porting Dwarf Fortress. I have an Insignia mouse I can attach to the laptop when I get tired of using the little finger mousepad.. so it's always plugged in!

When I need to talk to somebody online or record something, I have a Turtle Beach headset. My most recent cellphone is a iPhone 8, which I got after dipping my Samsung in the Pacific Ocean by accident.

I have a PS4 and a Switch.

And what software?

My main operating system is Windows 10, and I use Mac OS X and Ubuntu for porting. All of my game programming is done in C++ using Microsoft Visual Studio Community, though I have some helpful utilities that use Python 2.5. I gather there are very newer Pythons, but 2.5 is the most recent compatible one with the scripts. I use OpenGL and SDL for graphics -- the upside is their portability. I use an older free version of FMOD for sound, though that'll change now that Dwarf Fortress is going to Steam and itch.

I do all of my text editing in WordPad and Notepad, depending on how ugly the line breaks look when I open up the file. I use Paint to crop screenshots and whatever else I need to do.

I mostly do interviews and things over Skype, though they have other sites they use sometimes now. I use Audacity and Open Broadcaster when I need to work with audio or video, though that hardly ever comes up for work these days.

For the website, I use the pad programs to do all the HTML. The website has a Simple Machines Forum as well as a Mantis bug tracker to track all of the issues with the game. I move things to and from the website with FileZilla. I currently host Bay 12 Games with Linode and Lunar Pages. I use PuTTY to log in to and mess with my servers.

I listen to music pretty much non-stop, and it'll either be on Spotify or using Winamp.

I use Gmail and the 7-Zip compression utility.

What would be your dream setup?

I always end up getting fairly inexpensive replacement computers and not really missing anything, so I don't think I have a dream hardware setup. The only thing I find myself thinking about at times is a really good music sequencer. For a brief time some years ago, I had Ableton and was super happy with it, but I never ended up using my tracks for anything and didn't renew my license when that old computer died.