ErgoDox EZ Users

Melos Han-Tani

Game Designer, Composer, Writer, Programmer

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m Melos Han-Tani. I’m the co-director of a small independent game studio of two called Analgesic Productions, around since 2012. We’ve made award-winning games (the IGF-nominated Anodyne 2: Return to Dust), as well as other games: Anodyne, Even the Ocean, and All Our Asias. We’re working on a new unannounced game that combines literary writing, 3D explorative platforming, and “light ecological field research”!

At work I handle business and marketing, as well as programming, writing, game design, and music. So I’m at my computer a ton! Outside of work I enjoy walking around the city, phone photography, chatting with friends, playing games, listening to music, and reading contemporary fiction and nonfiction about race and recent history/politics (especially Asia). For three years, I taught game design and game music composition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Melos Han-Tani's setup
A laptop stand is on the wishlist, but that shoe box does the job for now

What hardware do you use?

I use a gaming laptop for my primary computer but also own older Mac and Windows laptops as build machines. I used a pretty old laptop with Windows 7 until 2019, when I finally purchased a laptop with a decent GPU! I’ve got a 1080P ASUS monitor, a Logitech Trackman Marble, and of course a white ErgoDox EZ. The monitor and mouse aren’t too fancy, but work well for my ergonomic needs. I also own a mesh-seat/back Okamura Baron Chair, which is the best chair I’ve ever had! Adjustable and comfortable.

Before the ErgoDox I used a Periboard, which is a usable ergonomic keyboard that was ultimately a bit too cramped and hard to press the keys.

I did a lot of desk adjustment and weird standing setups (even sawing down the legs off of my desk once), until finally deciding to solve the problem once and for all! Now, I have a motorized FlexiSpot desk that can switch between standing and sitting, which I like to do for an hour or two a day.

Side view of Melos Han-Tani's setup
Does Snorlax hold the screen in place, or is it just there to set a mood?

And what software?

I primarily use Unity (a game-making software/engine) and Visual Studio with C# for making games, which is fairly standard for 3D game development. In the past, I’ve used FlashDevelop to make games.

I use Scrivener for writing (very easy to organize complex documents like long game scripts) and Ableton Live for music (I enjoy the easy-to-parse-and-read interface with little fuss. In the past, I’ve used REAPER).

I use Firefox for the internet as well as its other useful security/privacy features, and like to listen to my always-growing .mp3 collection with VLC. I use Evernote, Todoist, and Loop Habit Tracker for note-taking and task management, and Discord for work/friend chatting. For visual tasks and video editing, I like OBS, Premiere, and Photoshop. I do most of my reading with Kindle or Acrobat. For collaborative documents, I use Google Drive. I use OpenOffice for word processing/spreadsheet needs.

And… I don’t need it that often, but I use Vim for occasional command line editing! Python for scripting. I also use Git for version control and Sourcetree as a visual interface.

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

Melos Han-Tani's keyboard
A simple keyboard setup and layout

I use a slightly custom layout, no custom keycaps (although I’ve thought about it!). I don’t have anything too fancy going on, but I do use a layer for Unity shortcuts, and another layer for LH mouse controls and RH mouse clicking with home-row keys. In my default layer, I have the upper row of RH thumb keys mapped to mouse clicks that I use with my middle three fingers. There are a few optimizations I could still make, but this more or less works well for me! The key alignment and split setup are great.

What would be your dream setup?

Having an extra column of keys would be useful, as I currently map page up/page down to a separate layer. I think there are fancier trackball mice out there that are middle-fingers operated, which might be nice to have. Outside of that, I’d love a fancy computer monitor stand that’s easier to adjust when I go between standing and sitting, or some kind of stand for my laptop, as I often use it as a second screen. Maybe a USB hub that works consistently and doesn’t crash my computer occasionally, too.

And last, a nice webcam and mic (of which I have neither). I have heard there’s eye tracking software that can help move the cursor. That would be cool. I’ve considered getting into vtubing for my game studio’s YouTube channel. But overall, I’m fairly happy with my setup!