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Dave Lloyd

Game developer (Crawl)

in developer, game, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name's Dave Lloyd, I'm a game developer and the programmer half of Powerhoof. I started the company last year with an animator friend Barney Cumming after we both left jobs at an EA studio in Melbourne, Australia. We both share design and business duties, and we've been working on Crawl for about a year now.

What hardware do you use?

My main PC is a Windows 7 desktop with an Intel i7 2.67GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon 4800 series graphics card. Plugged into that I have a clickity-clacky mechanical das keyboard which I adore, an old Wacom Intuos tablet I borrowed off a friend, and a bunch of wired Xbox 360 controllers (some of them cheap knockoffs). I have nice warm op-shop hi-fi and speakers, and a 24" Dell monitor I scavenged from a studio I worked at that shut down.

I recently got a custom 15.6" W650EH laptop by Cleivo, put together by Metabox. I love how understated it is for a gaming laptop, and that I got to spec it out almost like I would a desktop. It's got a bit more grunt than my desktop in general, but the main improvement is an SSD. It's running Windows 8 though, which I'm not so keen on.

I have a bit of recording equipment too, just enough to get by - an Art USB Dual Pre interface, some Audio-Technica AT2020 mics, and a Roland TD-9 drum kit too, if I need to relieve some tension by hitting things.

And what software?

We're using the Unity engine for Crawl, with an extension called ex2D for handling sprite animations. There's a few different 2D extensions, and Unity 4.3 has some new 2D tools built in, but ex2D had the most flexible animation editor which was important for Crawl. Unity's been great for our workflow, I tend to build components and systems and expose as much as I can to the editor for Barney to wrangle in whatever crazy ways he can come up with.

For a lot of our audio we're using a great little tool called Bfxr. It was built for use in game jams and lets you quickly create a bunch of video-gamey sound effects that match perfectly with our glitchy arcade cabinet aesthetic.

I love typing my thoughts out and then shuffling the text around into some ordered state. I always have a bunch of text files open in Notepad++ that I'm constantly referring to and editing and I have a semi-structured system for notes and to-do lists. I'd love to get quick at all the keyboard shortcuts in Sublime Text, but I haven't made the transition yet.

We're using TortoiseSVN for version control, Dropbox for sharing files, Hansoft for scheduling when Notepad++ isn't enough, and I use Opera for browsing for no good reason.

My first foray into game development was with Adventure Game Studio, which lets you quickly set up some characters and backgrounds and build an adventure game with very little experience. I have AGS to thank for what I'm doing today really, and I still love opening it up and tinkering with little adventure games.

What would be your dream setup?

My desktop is getting older, but I haven't really felt limited by it yet. The most obvious upgrade would be to a solid state drive to get it booting nice and quick.

There's lots of peripherals that I'd love but can't quite justify having - I'm jealous of Barney's compact Cintiq, another friend has an Ableton Push that's heaps of fun, and I'm hanging out for an Oculus Rift when they hit retail.

Oh, and the rubber on my mouse wheel has disintegrated, so I should probably replace that too!