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 Jennifer Reitz

Jennifer Reitz

Game designer, illustrator

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Jennifer Reitz, and I've had a colorful career. In the 80's I was a game designer and illustrator. I started at Activision, selling a game of my own (which never was made) and worked on many properties such as Transformers, Aliens, Shanghai, Bee-Gee Rally and many more. I also did work for Electronic Arts, Epyx, Broderbund, Sculptured Software and Interplay among others. I did graphics and consulted on design. Toward the end of the 80's, I formed my own company, Accursed Toys, and released Boppin' (a puzzle-action game), Lab-O-Life, Peek-A-Boo Simulator and even did a free Doctor Who fangame on the side.

In the 90's, I was co-partner in HappyPuppy.com, which was, for exactly one week, the most visited games website in the world. Eventually we sold Happy Puppy and it was immediately destroyed by the new owners. Oh well! We are survived by our competitors of the time, such as Gamespot. I also co-founded Otakuworld.com, which was, at the time, one of the go-to anime fandom locations on the net.

In the early 2000's I enjoyed doing many online comics, which were collected into graphic novels. Unicorn Jelly, Pastel Defender Heliotrope and To Save Her became books and were, for a time, sold on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. I also had a song I co-wrote appear on the Doctor Demento radio show. Basically... I did whatever I wanted to do. I have a general portal site where it is possible to visit all my current and past stuff (that remains, of course) - Jenniverse.com

During the past decade I have been effectively retired, enjoying video games, exploring virtual reality, and writing bizarre novels. I don't know what I might try next - whatever catches my fancy, basically.

What hardware do you use?

I started in the games industry drawing art for games using Micro Illustrator on the Commodore 64. I drew with a joystick! When the Amiga and the Mac rolled around, I found the wonder of using a mouse and that was wonderful until graphic tablets showed me a better way. I worked on whatever machine or system was needed at the time, in the 80's. I did my first webcomics and my first published games on an Amiga 1000 (an original, with the team signatures under the hood!). Currently, I am on a custom-built Windows 10 rig (I helped construct it!). For virtual reality, I mostly use the Oculus Rift, though occasionally I turn to my Vive. For drawing, I use a Wacom Intuos and pen. I use a single 54" flatscreen monitor for most work.

And what software?

For general arting around I default to Sketchbook Pro, combined with Paint Shop Pro. I use Cool Edit Pro for sound file work. For writing, I use LibreOffice Writer. For web work, I use Expression Web.

Back in the 80's, my favorite art program of all time was Deluxe Paint. To this day, I miss that wonderful tool.

What would be your dream setup?

I basically have that now, but if I could have one thing it would be a brand new, updated Deluxe Paint brought back from history for the modern age.

But, if you want my ultimate dream, it would be haptic gloves, a haptic suit and treadmill, and full access to something equivalent to the OASIS from the novel Ready Player One.