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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Dante Douglas

Writer, game designer

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hey! My name is Dante, I'm a writer and sometimes game designer. Depending on what I'm working on, I'm generally either writing for games or writing critically about games.

My most recent big project was being the editor for the first quarterly release of Deorbital alongside fellow editor Amr Al-Aaser for this quarterly here, and all six articles here.

All my projects & writing history can be found at my website, and you might know my name from writing at Paste Magazine, Waypoint, Polygon, or just Twitter. Or you might not know who I am at all. In which case, hi. I'm Dante and I do things about videogames.

What hardware do you use?

I have two computers, my desktop and my laptop. Generally those are where I get work (& games) done.

My desktop computer is a sort of ship-of-theseus monstrosity that I've been maintaining since high school. I believe it is now definitely 100% free of any original parts, but that process has been a slow and gradual one.

It's got a bunch of less-important things, but the important stuff is that I have a processor and video card able to handle most games at 1080p without too much issue. I'm not a graphics snob by any means, but a recent video card upgrade means that I can now play all the fancy AAA games and be wowed by their various million-dollar graphical advances.

For peripherals, I have a Rosewill mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches and a G502 wired mouse. I like the keyboard because it's extremely basic, visually, and I love Cherry MX Brown switches for how squishy they are. The mouse is a bit gaudy for my tastes, but I do love the amount of available buttons and you can (mercifully) turn off the ridiculous Gamer Lights.

I also have a G933 wireless headset, which does the job fine. No complaints. It's also surprisingly comfortable.

My laptop is a Zenbook UX330UA. I like it because it is light as hell (under 3lbs), has no CD drive (unnecessary bulk, and I never use discs), has an SSD, and has enough processing power to handle 30+ tabs of documents or webpages. Also, for what it is, it's surprisingly cheap. Best of all, it's not Apple (thank god).

Other than that, I have a Pixel Android smartphone. The first model, because I think the removal of the headphone jack in the later ones is a horrendous decision that I would like to put off for as long as possible.

Oh and I also have a Nintendo Switch. Against all my expectations I really like it.

And what software?

For work organization, I am a devotee of the Google suite, as much as I'd like not to be. Calendar, Keep, and Drive are the backbone of my workflow. I use Slack for specifically workplace-related organization & communication. Occasionally I'll use Trello if it's a task bigger than something Keep is built to handle, or if it requires task-delegation of some sort.

For files, I keep a meticulously organized Dropbox, where all my non-Drive work lives. Because I have thus far refused to buy any Dropbox actual subscription, anything too big for there goes onto one of my many local external drives.

For writing, I'm pretty basic. I use Notepad++ for quick notes and coding, Docs or Word for general-purpose writing (generally depending on what an editor prefers), and my Pixel as an absolute last-resort (usually for interviews where I can't reasonably bring my computer, or when I need recording).

For game dev, I love GameMaker Studio. Unity is nice, but most of the time I'm making games solo, and for that I feel far more comfortable in GameMaker. Bitsy by Adam Le Doux is also an incredible web-based game dev tool (which I used to make space wolf tango last year). For heavy-text games, Twine is my go-to.

For any graphical work, I use either GIMP or Pyxel Edit, both free tools that are extremely good. For audio, Audacity, which is also free & good.

What would be your dream setup?

Honestly? I don't have much in the way of wants. I suppose all the basic upgrades (better video card, more RAM, whatever) but nothing specific beyond that. The best dream setup would be to work in a place (physically or career-wise) where I feel like I am satisfied with where I am and ready to do more.

Basically, my dream setup is that we, writers/critics/artists, don't have to struggle under the weight of capitalism all the time and have some freedom to do what we want to do, explore more avenues of creation & maintenance, and engage with our communities safely and enthusiastically.