Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Shelly Alon. I'm a 25 year old freelance designer and independent game developer from Hamburg, Germany. I studied design at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg) and now I've continued on with an Illustration Master's degree. I've dabbled in typography, editorial design, photography and animation, but for the past three to four years I've basically just done games.
I've started out with a few friends, and we made a mystical point & click adventure called Olav & the Lute. Then I started developing on my own — mostly small puzzle games for mobile. For example, Partyrs, a puzzle game about throwing a party and making all the guests happy. Sputnik Eyes is about exploring different planets with sweet mono-eye robots. I'm developing on my own and doing all the code and art work. For music and sounds I rely on talented friends.
My latest game Glitchskier is an arcade action game disguised as an old pirated game on a Windows 95 computer. While I am not really satisfied with it, it's my most successful game yet. It won the German Video Games Award in the category Best Mobile Game.
I also do some freelance design work. Nothing that's worth mentioning.
What hardware do you use?
I'm mostly working on a custom built Windows computer. It's not the monster I would like it to be, but it's more than enough for what I'm doing. Additionally I own a second-hand Macbook Pro (13 inch) from 2011. You need some kind of OS X machine in order to submit apps to the Apple App Store — and it's useful to have something portable. Right now I'm in Israel for a few months and I'm only using this Macbook. I have a (second hand, buy second hand, people!) iPhone 5s as my phone and testing device.
And what software?
I'm using Unity 3D and MonoDevelop for game development and Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator for artwork. For animation and video work I use Adobe After Effects (yeah, I never learned Premiere – I edit in AE). If I need to work on audio stuff, I use Audacity. And I'm just trying to get into 3D again, and for that I use C4D (the student version).
I do make websites sometimes, and for that I'm using Sublime Text.
What would be your dream setup?
To be honest, I'm pretty happy with my setup. As I said before, I'm thinking of getting a Cintiq to replace my Intous graphic tablet. I won't say no to a newer Macbook Pro, and a better processor and graphic card for my PC. I still have a lot to learn and I need to improve my skills, and in the end it all comes down to what I'm doing with the hardware I have.
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