Office Space

Those who put up with my incessant chatter (or rants, depending how long I’ve gone without a run) on Twitter, know that I recently moved out of my home office and leased an office in town. This change was mostly due to my wife and I having a baby daughter a few months ago. I’ve taken most of this time as an extended paternity leave, but when it was time to do some work again, it was clear that working from home wasn’t the ideal environment anymore.Having a separate office not only gives me the distraction- and interruption-free environment I need, but also gives me some much-needed separation between home and work. My office is about a mile away from home, so that makes for a very nice 15-minute walking commute (with the Macbook Pro in my backpack). It’s also located right in the Carlsbad village, so it’s a block or two away from tons of cool places to have lunch, grab a coffee, or even go to the beach for a quick break!

Here are a few pictures from the new office. Things aren’t completely set up yet (that bare wall is waiting for some Flower Garden and Casey’s Contraptions posters that should be arriving today).

CRW 5052
CRW 5056
CRW 5059
CRW 5055

The thing I like the most about this office is the light. It’s a corner office and it’s aiming north, so that means great, indirect light all day long. Oh, and the windows can be opened to let some fresh air in. That might seem like an odd detail to mention to some of you, but you’d be surprised how many office buildings in the US have windows that can’t be opened. Really.

Both desks are adjustable, standing desks. The main desk in the pictures is the large frame GeekDesk one. I used to have the small frame because I didn’t have the room at home, but I love the extra space, especially with the 30″ display! I’ve kept the small desk to the side, that way I can invite other people to come work from here for the day (indie work day!) or even (gasp) hire someone if the right time comes.

The rest is pretty standard: whiteboard (I prefer use one much larger, but that’s what I had around), bouncy ball (gotta have a bouncy ball!), and couch (pretty important to unwind, or just to take a break from standing all day).

So far, I’m very happy with this setup. Working from here is definitely invigorating, and the separation between work and home helps a lot in both locations. Maybe once our daughter is older and going to school I’ll consider working from home again, but this is perfect for now.

What does your work setup look like? Post some pictures and let me know. I love seeing other devs work setups.

  • http://dark-acre.com Jack Nilssen

    Nice. Looks really comfortable.

    I use a handmade standing station, but after a year of it I now alternate between standing and a stool.  I found it very hard to keep the discipline of breaking to put my feet up (especially during game jams) and got a bit of damage in my feet.

    Take frequent breaks to prevent blood pooling!

    • Anonymous

      Usually my legs get tired, so they remind me to change positions and sit down. What kind of damage did you get on your feet? Also, since I see you’re a runner too, do you find that standing all day affects your running (either in a positive or negative way)?

      • http://dark-acre.com Jack Nilssen

        Increased varicose veins (a few ruptured ones) and a heel spur (not nice at all).  Whether the running compounded that or not, I’m sure the marathon standing sessions didn’t help.

        Normally it was as you say, with legs getting tired and common sense dictating breaks, but in my case sometimes really inspired sessions (or frustrating bug-hunts) would lead to over-long periods of standing.

        Generally the legs have remained fit, joints are in great shape, it’s just my own fault for ignoring my body and punishing it like that.

      • Fabio Utzig

        Just curious but why do you guys work standing?

      • http://dark-acre.com Jack Nilssen

        For me it was mostly this: 
        http://www.youarenowaware.com/sitting-is-death/ and a subconscious desire to do so.  I also suffered from minor back/hip pain, and when I switched to standing it went away.

        Plus it’s way easier to break into spontaneous dance, and I feel like “Commander Badass” when I’m on a roll.

      • Anonymous

        Mostly health reasons (sitting for hours on end is really bad for you apparently). You can read more here, when I did the transition two years ago http://gamesfromwithin.com/my-standing-desk-experiment

        For me, in particular, I was having problems with my hamstrings being too tight (running, cycling, and then sitting all day was really messing them up). Standing has solved that problem completely for me.

  • http://twitter.com/naveen_pcs Naveen

    Here’s what mine currently looks like. Link:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3371101/Photo%202011-12-03%2011%2015%2044%20PM.png

    I love using the exercise ball, but sometimes I wish it had a backrest. I tried out a standing desk a couple months ago, but I went back to the bouncy ball. I think it’s a good compromise of sitting in a chair all day and standing. It forces you to have good posture, which is perfect for me :)

  • http://twitter.com/tametick Ido Yehieli

    I’ve also recently rented an office (with 2 other self employed guys – we split the bills 3 ways but otherwise don’t work together, they are web developers).

    It’s cheap and not nearly as nice as yours, but it gets me out of the house and into a “work environment” – I find I’m much more productive there than at home.

  • http://twitter.com/AdamBehringer Adam Behringer

    Similar story for me. Moved out of the home office so that the family wouldn’t have to tip-toe around when they were home. Build a nice office within walking distance with 3 desks though most of the time it is just me working there. I think the best part may be the walk to work which is healthy on a lot of levels. Photos on my company Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/BeeDocs/197405853623299

  • http://www.chinzilla.com/ Johnlpeacock

    Hey Noel,

    Love the blog. We here at Chinzilla, Inc. are also an indie game developer focusing on iOS. Attached is our office space (my apartment). Working with my wife and a good friend from previous company. That is our overlord / mascot chinchilla over there on the far end. 

  • Michelemutchler9

    We see your busy. But your Flower Garden is going downhill FAST.. The facebook page is alive with people who have helped you get your beautiful office space.
    Though your update is welcome, it’s cost a lot of money to your buyers of this game. Your “fix” for people getting the color dust and other items back after the update has failed MANY!
    Please help. Please read your Facebook blog on Flower Garden.
    Help is needed and although you are busy, this needs attention right away.
    I could answer these people do your the developer and your not!
    I had no trouble with the update and I am trying to get the reason why others have. I have asked them all to make sure their iOS is updated. Before the upgrade. They’re saying that it was. So if you can’t give the answers then give me what you need to know to help all your players who have spent real money in the store buying the color dust.
    I will post what you need to know to get this fixed. Could be the phone they use,or devise. I can get that that information over night.
    I do hope you enjoy your new office. I hope your family is well.
    Please answer somebody. To fix these issues or your reviews are going drop. That would all of us. We want you to stay with this game as we have.
    Thank you for anything you can do.

  • Kandis

    oooooops, today is January 13th, ………unless maybe you did not plan on sending this till the 16th…….

  • http://www.singhrahul.com/ Rahul Singh

    Hi Noel,
               Love your office pics. It looks simple yet elegant. Cant help noticing your clutter-free desk. Even i keep my desk like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002485285342 Anwar Siam

    Vampire Blood Sucking was finally approved and it’s available in the store! This is what I’ve been pouring my heart and soul for the last six months. You can buy it directly from the App Store http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vampire-blood-sucking/id465268206?ls=1&mt=8
    If you like it and would like to help out, here are some of the things you can do to promote it:
    Go back to iTunes and write a fair reviewJoin the 
    Vampire Blood Sucking  on FacebookTell all your friends how great it is 
    Thanks everybody for all the encouragement and support along the way. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
    And don’t worry, this is just the beginning. I have lots of updates planned, so keep an eye out for lots of fun new features!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002485285342 Anwar Siam

    Nice office

  • http://twitter.com/gregbolog Gregory Bologna

    Great looking offices here. I’m really glad to discover this place. I want to be an Indie Gamer, too. And congratulations, Noel, on your new family addition! I do like your mindset for creating non-violent games.

  • http://www.tyrebaydirect.com/1007-Garage_Equipment.html garage equipment

    Very important to have a enough space in our office. But if we have a limited space much better to choose the important things  that we will put inside. 

  • http://www.barristersuites.com/Burbank.php Burbank Office Space

    Great post.  It was interesting seeing how you set up your work space in a standing nature with exercise equipment on the side.  Thanks for sharing.

  • Adam Robakiewicz

    Hello

    I’m working on game
    development magazine – Game Coder Mag Physics – aimed mostly at
    professionals and those who study to work in the field of game
    development in the future.

    I’m looking for authors
    for the next issue devoted to collision detection. But if You would
    like to chose other topic there won’t be a problem. Please let me
    know if you’d be interested in writing an article for the magazine by
    mail adam.robakiewicz@software.com.pl

    Best

    Adam Aleksander Robakiewicz
     

  • http://aribraginsky.com/ Ari Braginsky

    Standing all day doesn’t impact your lower back much?

  • Dev Kamdar

    Luv it … all the best Noel … hope to bump into you someday and learn a few things about game programming!