Uses This

1251 interviews since 2009

A picture of Tanya X. Short

Tanya X. Short

Game designer, captain of Kitfox Games

in game, designer, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Tanya X. Short, Captain of Kitfox Games. I was trained as a game designer, so my main love is game design -- creating the experience the player has when they play the game. I do have to spend a lot of my time with business development and administration, to make sure we pay the bills, but hopefully we can keep the company small enough that I still get time to actually work on the games.

What hardware do you use?

I alternate between two computers. My computer at home is a very old tower with a second-hand mechanical keyboard and two normal 1080p monitors, probably 10 years or so, though I've upgraded to SSDs and more RAM in the meanwhile. My computer at the office is newer, though still mostly just functional (two 1080p monitors), certainly less impressive than the setups for my artists and programmers. It turns out these days when you buy even a relatively midrange computer, it still comes with crazy rainbow-glowing fans and other fancy-looking LEDs everywhere. Very embarrassing.

My favorite piece of hardware was probably my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, back when we were in the office more. I recently lost them on a plane ride after 8 years of service and I mourn them, even though I almost never used the noise cancelling anymore. They were so comfortable. I also bought myself a Huion Kamvas Pro recently, so I could practice my digital painting as a hobby, which I'd missed.

And what software?

Unity, primarily, and Google Suite (Sheets, Docs, Forms), for actually working on the game. For company communications and documentation we use Slack, Notion, and Ronday. I use TIDAL for music streaming. Sometimes I dip my toe into Miro, Pinterest, DALL-E, or Krita, but only for very limited one-off tasks.

What would be your dream setup?

I love the social and collaborative aspect of going into the office, but there are awkward realities about trying to have sensitive business meetings or networking calls in the middle of an open floor plan. If I could somehow snap my fingers and be in an enclosed space (audio & visual) during meetings, and snap my fingers again to undo it, that would make the whole situation much more comfortable. Wandering around with a laptop or going into a meeting room or whatever just isn't as comfortable, compared to taking all my calls from my desk at home, for example. Though while we're at it, I'd also like a teleporter to get rid of the commute.

Realistically though, what I should do with my setup at home is A) clean off the giant piles of tax paperwork from cluttering my desk and monitor risers, and B) set up nice speakers so I can properly enjoy the space without wearing headphones. Oh, and move my computer to be near a window. I really like looking out the window when doing creative work. My desk at the office was near a window that looked at the Mont Royal (the only hill in Montreal really), and seeing its trees change color or get covered in snow or wreathed in fog was one of the highlights of my professional life, every day.

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