Show us your rig
Each week on Show Us Your Rig, we feature PC gaming's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
It's time for another Show Us Your Rig double feature! This week we've got a look at Brooklyn-based indie developer Untame, game design power-couple Julia Keren-Detar and Itay Keren, who are currently working on Mushroom 11. Julia and Itay use Macbook Pros to make Mushroom 11, working out of coffee shops rather than an office, though Julia is in mourning of her recently dead gaming PC. Julia and Itay were kind enough to give us a look at how they make their games, and what they're playing right now.
What's in your PC?
Julia: Not really sure, it is a 15 in Macbook Pro. I love it because it is light and very portable so I can have my whole office on my back. But it was a bit of a learning curve to get into because I’m used to big gaming PCs, like the one in the picture of my set up above which just recently died. :(
- - A 15” Macbook Pro Retina, 2013 model
- - 2.4Ghz quad-core i7
- - 8GB mem
- - 256GB SSD
- - 4.5 lbs (important!)
Julia has a slightly newer model of the same.
What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?
Julia: I like that it is portable and that I can take my laptop to coffee shops around the city as well as move from my office to the living room.
Itay: My Mac (blasphemy!) has a few features that are particularly important to me: power, portability and readability. This 15” retina that I got myself 2.5 years ago, is powerful enough for my needs, has the best screen I’ve worked with for puzzle design and coding, and is extremely light so I can carry it around from the couch to the desk and to the coffee shop with ease. Yes, that’s a huge feature for me!
What's always within arm's reach on your desk?
Julia: Coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.
Itay: That’s easy: a cup of coffee, usually made by myself with a trusted stove-top coffee machine, or sometimes by a random Brooklyn coffee shop barista.
What are you playing right now?
Julia: Snakebird on PC and SubaraCity on my phone. Snakebird is such a great, cute game but the levels I’m stuck on are driving me crazy. SubaraCity I’m pretty addicted to. It is one of the smartest little collapse games I’ve seen. And there is so much strategy involved that I usually forget what my plan is halfway through executing a series of moves.
Itay: I hardly play lately, sadly. After a long day of making a game, sometimes playing one doesn’t feel like the necessary mental unwinding.
What's your favorite game and why?
Julia: Heroes of Might and Magic II. I don’t really know why I’ve never got into their later games, maybe because of the graphics. The 2D pixel art is so cute and the animations are amazing. It was one of the first video games I ever owned and I have a dedicated old PC laptop just so I can play it. One of the weird things about that game is I spend half the time just getting the right avatar but that struggle in the beginning means there is something at stake in each game I play.
Itay: Tough one. My favorite games as an adult professional usually involve some sort of combination of skill, logic, aesthetics and general style. Portal, Braid and Limbo immediately come to mind. But if I go farther back to my school-ditching arcade-going teen years, it’ll have to be Shinobi. There’s something about that game that keeps me coming back, with emulators of course. Maybe in its technical and design breakthroughs, or maybe just fond late 80’s memories.