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 Ziba Scott

Ziba Scott

Indie game developer (Popcannibal)

Posted in developer, game, linux, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm an independent video game developer. I've been making games as Popcannibal since 2010. Like these ones about seating arrangements, writing poetry, building boats and sending nice letters to people. I do all this in Boston, where there's a really great indie video game scene. One of the elements of my life that keeps me sane are my co-workers/friends/support group in the Indie Game Collective. I've also published over 1,500 slot machines.

What hardware do you use?

I keep my main development hardware updated on about a 3 year cycle, but I keep a lot of slower machines handy for performance testing my games on a good range of specs.

My desktop is an i7-4770K, 16GB RAM, terabyte SSD, GTX 980.

My main laptop is similar with a 4K screen, NVMe storage, and a 1070 GPU.

I'm also rocking 3 Mac Minis and a 6 year old $500 laptop that's mostly good for web development.

My Surface Pro 2 gets way more use than it should for a tablet its age, but it's A) pretty solid and B) what I've decided is the current minimum specification for my games to run on.

And what software?

I try to be comfortable developing in every environment that I sell my games on. I am constantly switching between Windows 10 and Linux (Debian and Ubuntu). I fire up a Mac for special occasions.

Most of my games were developed using the Unity game engine.

For coding, I'll switch between Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, MonoDevelop and JetBrains Rider every day.

I use Vim regularly when I work on my websites and some game backend stuff in PHP. Yes, PHP is still cool.

I use Git for code with Git LFS because game assets can be sizeable.

I use Resilio Sync, for synchronizing non-code, file storage across my computers. It functions like Dropbox but it's decentralized and uses the BitTorrent protocol.

Gimp for modest alterations the game assets that my artist provides.

Blender for editing all my game trailers. Blender is a surprisingly capable video editor.

ShareX for capturing gifs to showcase works in progress.

Trello and OneNote for quickly capturing ideas.

I've also rigged several of my games to dump in-game feedback directly to their own Trello pages.

What would be your dream setup?

Debian all day, everyday. All open source. No monitors, just a VR helmet with perfect comfort and clarity. No traditional keyboard or mouse; something more like the AlphaGrip.