Uses This

1267 interviews since 2009

A picture of Toby Alden

Toby Alden

Game and web developer

in developer, game, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name's Toby Alden, and I'm a programmer. I mostly make games and websites, which you can find links to at I'm currently working on a horror platformer called Love Eternal, which you can follow the development of on Twitter.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 2013 MacBook Pro. I have tendonitis in both wrists, so ergonomics is very important to me. I work standing, using an 23.5-inch monitor I got off Craigslist for 40 bucks (a Dell SE2416H). For a keyboard, I use the Kinesis Advantage2, a funky ergonomic keyboard where the keys are inset in small bowls. It's a bit pricey, but it's helped a lot with the pain in my wrists. For a mouse, I use a wired Anker vertical mouse. These are pretty cheap, and a great investment if you use the mouse a lot. The vertical shape puts your hand in a "handshake" position that feels a lot more natural than a standard mouse. I have everything stacked on boxes to get the monitor at eye level and the keyboard and mouse at a height where my forearms are parallel to the ground while I'm using it. I try to work in increments of 25 minutes, with a five minute break between each one to avoid straining my body.

And what software?

For coding, I use Vim and a Unix shell. I like to work in pure code as much as possible, so I try to use small, code-centric frameworks instead of larger development tools with integrated IDEs like Unity or Unreal. For games, I usually code in Haxe using a framework called HaxePunk, although I've also been experimenting with Lua and LÖVE recently. For websites, I typically use Node.js or just plain JavaScript. Other tools I use for games include Ableton Live 10 (for music and sound effects), Acorn (an image editor), and OGMO Editor (an open source map editor).

What would be your dream setup?

I don't really have a dream setup - the process I have now feels pretty ideal. If there's anything I would change, it would just be to make HaxePunk an active project with a community around it. I enjoy working in it the most of any framework I've tried, but there hasn't been any new development on it for a while and not too many people use it, so its fate is uncertain.

Uses This is supported by ZSA, makers of the Moonlander, ErgoDox EZ and Planck EZ keyboards. They also publish an awesome newsletter.