Jane Frauenfelder, techie teenager


Cool Tools Show 106: Jane Frauenfelder

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Our guest this week is Jane Frauenfelder. Jane was born and raised in Southern California, she co-hosted a podcast called Apps For Kids for two and a half years, and now attends a robotics academy at her high school. In her off time, she designs video games and she aspires to be a video game designer when she’s older.



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Show notes:

“Quizlet is very, very popular among most, like middle and high school students, but it’s a way of studying. It’s a website online, and you just simply type in a bunch of terms as if they’re flashcards and then they have many different many ways that you can learn them through writing them down and they can generate quizzes themselves. They even have games you can play to memorize them. It’s just a wonderful way to memorize facts or terms or memorize anything for school. I used to use it for Spanish class all the time and history and English, and just everything.”

“I like doing game design, but sometimes I just want to do small projects, like I recently did a school project and it was a video game that I designed. Piskel is a website where you can design, kind of like GIFs of a pixel animation. It gives you a board and you can draw on it however you want and it’s all pixelized. That’s a great way to make pixel art and pixel sprites — a sprite is like the object in the game, the main character that you play, the images of the characters — which is kind of popular nowadays, it’s coming back, I feel like 8-bit games and things like that. I just find it really great because when I’m designing games I’m not like a huge artist, I can’t do like these elaborate character designs, and pixel art is able to be so simple.”

Copic markers ($63)
“I’m going to assume that the majority of artists that do fine art and drawing know about Copic’s, because they are very widely known since they’re just very incredible. They’re alcohol-based markers and they blend so wonderfully because they have hundreds of colors, and if you take similar colors you can blend them so nicely that it looks almost like paint. If you’re coloring something with these markers you can make it so that there’s no strokes. If you’re using a lot of water-based markers you’re going to get stroke lines and it’s kind of messy-looking, but Copic’s just glide so smoothly and they’re really great.”

Prusa 3D printer ($599)
“Compared to other 3D printers that I’ve seen, this one’s by far like the best personal 3D printer. It’s really easy to swap out the plastic, and it prints really well. It has an SD chip, which you can plug into your computer and then upload your files, and then you plug it straight into the Prusa and you just select it, because it has a little screen on the bottom, which is great. You select it and it will start printing, and it has different types of plastic that it can use, and it has a heated bed, which is great.”

Also mentioned:

The Art of Game Design