Robin Todd

in the tradition of Uses This

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hi! I'm Robin—I'm passionate about telling stories and making games (also obscure foreign action films!). I was a developer on Wing Commander 3, a writer on the original Deus Ex, and helped launch Star Wars: The Old Republic. Most recently I was the Senior Narrative Producer for Destiny 2 at Bungie, and currently I'm a Senior Technical Program Manager for Amazon Game Studios working on the Lumberyard game engine here in Austin.

By day, I've been a programmer, designer, writer, project manager, and producer; by night I write screenplays, work on my own game projects, and plan. Oh yes, I do.

What hardware do you use?

I currently use a refurbed ASUS ROG GL551 15" gaming laptop (the CrowBox) as my main machine, hooked up to a Dell U2715H monitor and a wall-mounted Toshiba flat screen for videos and games. I just got my first mechanical keyboard, a TKL Ducky One RGB LED with Brown Cherry MX switches and I have to admit I'm grooving on it.

For mobile writing and light dev I've got a scuffed Microsoft Surface Pro 2 that I picked up off eBay from a wildlife photographer. It's a decent bit of Windows kit for the size/weight ratio. The Surface and a Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600 both go into a super-hot magenta backpack.

I use a Nexus 7 for reading and a Pixel as my second brain, plus an Anker juice bar when running around.

Office ambiance is provided by cheap ruby red Ikea desk lamps and fairy lights strung among the shelves.

A PS4 handles all of my couch needs.

And what software?

Cloud: I'm a data rat and spent way too much of my life evaluating what to hoard and what to discard so I finally invested in a 1TB Dropbox account and Evernote Pro. Files go into Dropbox; notes and clippings into Evernote; and random lists into Workflowy. Gmail and Gcal keep my life in order, along with an instance of Notepad++ and a smattering of stickies around the house.

All of my Chrome instances sync but I use Instapaper to archive off articles or fiction for reading at a bar or on a plane. Twitter and Facebook handle all of my social media and most of my messaging.

Windows: For writing screenplays it has to be Final Draft, otherwise I use LibreOffice or Google Docs. Playing around with dev projects in Unity, Node.js, InkTwine, and Tracery.

Nexus 7: Comixology and PerfectView for comics; Kindle for books; muPDF for screenplays. The N7 is pretty much stuffed with content and nothing else.

Pixel: Spotify for streaming music; GoneMAD for offline music and radio plays; and Pocket Casts for podcasts. I don't play many mobile games, but I always keep DroidFish ChessGoDroidCarcassonne, a PixelDungeon variant, and Spell Tower installed just in case.

What would be your dream setup?

Clothing and gear constructed of Kevlar II and carbon fiber in a black/magenta combo. Fast, cheap, omnipresent wifi; a nice sunlit room, no fluorescents; a big whiteboard; and people around working on cool projects. A homey, somewhat divey bar in walking distance for brainstorming and reading. Restaurants nearby to talk with friends over chips and salsa.