The Setup


What do people use to get stuff done?

Emma Lugo

Emma Lugo

Experimental game developer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Emma Lugo, and I make experimental video games, usually first-person experiments in procedural generation, but sometimes they're 2D shooters or dating games or puzzle games or whatever I feel like making. I also sometimes make music, mostly for said video games.

What hardware do you use?

My main work machine is a Windows desktop I built a few years back. I also have a Windows laptop that I use when I'm travelling. For recording audio, I have a Samson C01U microphone which is attached via shockmount to an $8 IKEA lamp I took the lamp part off of and mangled with a drill press. I also have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface which I use to record my electric guitar, which is an extremely old Squier Stratocaster. For monitoring I also have a terrible <$100 Ibanez amplifier.

And what software?

Almost all of the games on my page were made with Unity, which is a lovely piece of software that allows me to get things done so much faster than I would otherwise. I've used other engines and frameworks, but nothing compares to Unity in terms of what it lets me get done quickly. My code editor of choice is Visual Studio when working with Unity, and Sublime Text 3 otherwise.

I also rely on an immense amount of free and/or open-source software and libraries, including but not limited to: Bfxr for sound effects, Tiled and Tiled2Unity for 2D level editing, the work of Keijiro Takahashi for many visual effects, the work of James Hostetler for yet more visual effects, Yarn and Yarn Spinner for dialogue.

When making art (which I do very rarely), I use Photoshop for 2D things and Blender for 3D things.

For audio editing I use either Audacity or FL Studio, depending on the intensity of the task. Usually I record audio with Audacity then bring it into FL Studio for editing + effects.

For collaboration I mostly use Skype, which I would not recommend, and Google Drive, which I would recommend very heartily.

What would be your dream setup?

More analog music things. Right now I lean very heavily on software synths and effects to get my music to sound right, which is not how I like doing things. I like having lots of physical knobs and buttons to push, and the limitation of only having the sounds I can make with my guitar and pedals (and hopefully synthesizers in the future) means that I can decide on sounds faster than having a whole world of sounds at my fingertips.

Previously: / Next up: