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Coconut Lizard welcomes Robert Flitney, Graduate Programmer to the team!

Robert Flitney, Graduate Programmer at Coconut Lizard
Robert Flitney, Graduate Programmer at Coconut Lizard

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

I’ve been a hobbyist programmer for as long as I can remember. I was first introduced to computers with a Raspberry Pi that my mum bought me when I was 9. With this I made a lot of games in Scratch, which eventually progressed to me learning Python, ARM assembly, and C.

Over the course of the next few years, I got really interested in computer graphics, but for some reason thought that learning OpenGL wouldn’t be as fun as learning how classic 3D games like Wolfenstein and Doom rendered their worlds and writing my own rasterisers in Java. In retrospect, I probably should have just learnt OpenGL, but this is what really sparked my interest in graphics, games, and engine programming.

It was therefore a no-brainer for me to progress this further in deciding to study Computer Science at university. However, up until my final semester I was still unsure of what I wanted to do afterwards, this was until I took modules in Games and Graphics programming, which reminded me that there really was nothing I wanted to do more than work in games.

Why Coconut Lizard?

I genuinely thought there could be no better place to start my career. I’m always eager to learn and grow as a programmer, so the wide variety, not only of projects, but of responsibilities within those projects, was super attractive. Also, the anti-crunch ethos, the extensive industry experience to learn from, not to mention how dang friendly everyone I’ve spoken to has been, made working at the studio a no brainer!

What do you love about games?

I think what I really love about games, is how hard it is to pick only one answer to this question.

Games are as diverse as any other form of media/art, if not more so. Some games are a great way to hang out with friends, some are a great way to immerse yourself in a world or story. Some games give you a sense of accomplishment, and some are just a great way to relax after a long day.

I’m especially excited about VR. In most flat screen games, you run around at Mach-2 to just get to the next bit of gameplay as soon as possible. In VR, players will walk past a fruit stand and just decide to spend the next 5 minutes trying to stack the apples as high as they can and then punting them across the room with a baseball bat to just see it in all its physics-y goodness. And isn’t that really what games are all about?

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

Most recently I played through Uncharted 4, and Jusant which are both great. But by far my favourite game is God of War 2018, with its satisfying combat and progression, beautiful vistas, engaging story, and that booming Icelandic choir! I can’t wait to play God of War: Ragnarök. I’ve been trying my best to avoid seeing any spoilers until it’s released on PC, or I can get my hands on a PS4/5.

Any fun facts or hobbies?

In any other context I’d say my two main hobbies are programming and games, but I also like cycling. I used to do figure skating and gymnastics, and I’m keen to give rock climbing a try. I also like learning about history and languages.

It’s also key to note that in spite of what Google thinks, I have never, and likely will never, write a book about sealants!

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