Each week on Show Us Your Rig (opens in new tab), we feature the PC game industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
Shawn Carnes is currently the Creative Director at KIXEYE and has been around the gaming block for a while, formerly working as a designer at Riot Games, Blizzard, Wizards of the Coast, and more. Sporting a sleek, pre-built rig and a large desk—at least compared to the last San Francisco based designer we featured, David Brevik (opens in new tab)—Shawn has an undeniably cool looking setup. He was gracious enough to take the time and tell us about his desk, computer, and bourbon of choice.
What's in your PC?
The awesomeness of my rig is due purely to the geniuses at Falcon Northwest and my lovely wife, who turned me on to their machines. I picked up my Tiki some months back, and it's one of the best purchases I've made in a long time. Compact, light, extremely powerful (for my needs), and outstanding looks to boot.
• CPU — Intel Corer i7-4770K @ 3.5Ghz
• GPU — Nvidia GTX 760
• RAM — 16GB
• OS — Windows 8.1, 64 bit
• A Razer Blackwidow Mechanical Keyboard — Because "clickity-clack" is the sound of fun! I use a much quieter wireless keyboard when my wife is streaming her PvP runs. I was told by her, however, that I would not show the wireless keyboard because, "We have standards in this house."
• A Logitech G600 Gaming Mouse — Because every gaming challenge can be solved with the use of more buttons.
• A WoW TCG 2009 Darkmoon Faire play mat that I use as a mouse pad. Lots of good memories there.
• Turtle Beach gaming headset — A small, shared space means no speakers on my rig or my wife's. It allows for us to enjoy our games and music in peace.
• My lamp — It's a Major Award!
What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?
Again, all glory goes to the Tiki. My wife and I share a small office (welcome to San Francisco), so space is very much at a premium. Having the space to have the computer on the table really makes a big difference in accessibility and proper maintenance. I also use window blackout behind my blinds so I can go full nocturnal during daylight hours. This allows me to enjoy the warm glow of the Tiki, the mechanical keyboard, the mouse, and the monitors at will. Anyone who tries to tell you that proper gaming can be conducted in broad daylight is trying to sell you some beachfront property in Kansas.
What's always within arm's reach on your desk?
• Coffee — Not so much anymore during the evening hours, but Grumpy continues to help a brother out.
• Poker Chips — I might not be as active in poker as I'd like, but I still practice chip tricks.
• Gel Pens and College Ruled Composition Books — I made the switch to mostly digital design notes a couple years ago, but before that I took all my notes the old fashioned way. I still like being able to write down ideas and visualize them by hand. It also allows me to keep up my addiction to office supplies.
• Bourbon — Because bourbon. I'm slowly sipping my way through a bottle of Breckenridge at the moment.
What are you playing right now?
I've been playing Path of Exile as of late; that tech tree has some serious pepper. I've also recently started playing Hearthstone, despite having resisted the temptation to play for several months. It's fantastic. Considering my connection to both the game and the team that made it, I knew once I started playing that it may be the end of me. So far I've kept it under control, but I know I'm playing with fire. Of course, I’ve also been playing a lot of TOME: Immortal Arena right now, both for work and fun.
What's your favorite game and why?
My favorite game of all time is Star Control 2. It nails so many of the things about a game that are important and appealing to me: deep player agency, compelling combat action, quality RPG elements, meaningful consequences from choices, good looks (for its time), helpful UI, engaging story, and quality writing. It's a big reason why I wanted to spend my life making games. If I can give people a fraction of the joy that SC2 gave me the several times I've played through it, then maybe I've done something right with my life.