The Setup

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

Sebastian Quack

Sebastian Quack

Artist, game designer

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Sebastian Quack, and I work as an artist and game designer, sometimes as a curator. I create games and run participatory art & urban design projects that happen in-between screens, people and the cities they live in.

What hardware do you use?

For everyday communication I use a MacBook Air and a simple HTC Android phone with dual sim. In projects I use very weird hardware, often mixing low tech and high tech. Non-technical tools like chalk or industrial dunnage bags are great for street games, as well as walkie-talkies, flashlights, MP3 players. Anything that is cheap, robust, simple to use and doesn't break when it falls on pavement. For audio games in the landscape I've loved using Minirig speakers.

Everyone has cameras in their phones now, but for quickly equipping players with easy-to-use cameras with preloaded footage, for example when doing video walks, I loved the Kodak Zi8 pocket camcorder. I like working with LEDs and batteries taped together - you can attach them to plastic turtles to play Turtle Wushu at night. For drifting, a form of aimless wandering through the city with music, I love using analogue silent disco radio transmitters and headphones. For recording drifts I've used a GoPro.

And what software?

For browsing, I'm mostly on Firefox or Chrome, for documents and spreadsheets I use Google Drive, for coding I use TextMate, but any code editor is fine for me. In terms of coding ecosystems, I'm happy with Ruby and Rails and more recently node.js and Meteor. For hosting I like Heroku and AWS, but I also have some projects running on Uberspace, a German shared hosting provider that gives you a lot of flexibility (and has a pay-as-much-as-you-want model). For graphic work, I've recently discovered Affinity Designer, a superb and affordable replacement for Adobe Illustrator.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be truck or a maybe a blimp, boat or a mobile shipping container that moves with me from place to place for projects. Basically a combination of office, makerspace, game design studio, repository of weird equipment for games, library, cooking, café and meeting area. There should be detachable or foldable architectural elements that you can use to transform the space around wherever this thing lands.

Previously: / Next up: