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Coconut Lizard welcomes Carl Rutter, Programmer to the team!

Carl Rutter
Carl Rutter

Please detail a bit of information about your experience/career background?

I graduated from Newcastle University in the late 2000s with a BSc in Computer Science specialising in games. After university I started as a Gameplay Scripter working on educational games. My role then grew to include tools programming and later on engine programming. I worked in this generalist role for several years until a change in business focus gave me an opportunity to work on AI using machine learning, including utilising games tech to create synthetic data for training AI models.

Why Coconut Lizard?

I think it is important to have a good work-life balance and a work environment that values its team is key to that. During the interview process I felt that Coconut Lizard value their team highly and encourage a good workplace culture, which was extremely appealing to me.

Another huge factor was the varied and interesting projects that Coconut Lizard work on. I am genuinely excited about the chance I have to contribute to some amazing games.

I consider myself a versatile Programmer with experience spanning a lot of different areas of games tech, but I have yet to work on AAA titles and I am very grateful that Coconut Lizard have given me the opportunity to gain experience in this area.

What do you love about games?

Games are interactive which sets them apart from other mediums. This interactivity allows for things which can’t be done with other mediums. A story in a novel or film will have the same narrative the 1000th time of reading/watching, but no two games of Dwarf Fortress are the same.

The creativity that games allow draws me to them. I felt proud of my first castle in Minecraft with its library wing and furnished bedrooms, and that all important shaft to the bedrock below where I fell to my death many a time. However, games aren’t just a solo endeavour either. I have fond memories of taking on the 5-man dungeons in World of Warcraft without a tank or a healer, laughing with my friends when the plan all goes wrong and the warlock fear spam begins (yes, I was that warlock).

From a development side, games are this amazing mix of the creative and the technical. People from many different disciplines have to come together to produce a game. They are very complicated pieces of software that do a lot of things in a very short time. The fact that any game ever gets completed is amazing. As a technical person with a big creative side, game development has appealed to me since I was a child.

So why do I love games? They’re a difficult endeavour that produces something that evokes real emotion in people. Whether it’s exploring a cave in Minecraft or scoring a fluky halfway line goal in FIFA, the feelings that are evoked are just like no other medium.

What games are you currently playing, and what is your favourite game?

It is hard to pick a single favourite, but I tend to like open ended games with a bit of freedom to express some creativity. Rimworld, Terraria, and Minecraft are some of my favourites. I do like the odd game of Rocket League or FIFA when I only have time for a quick game.

The last game I played was an indie game called Potion Craft with an interesting alchemy mechanic, I’d definitely recommend it.

Any fun facts or hobbies?

Aside from game development, I enjoy tinkering with electronics, which bridges the gap between the code and the hardware for me. I also brew my own beer and enjoy attempting to grow food. There’s nothing quite like a homegrown tomato!

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