Carl Shedd

Meet Carl Shedd

Co-Founder & World Director at Ruckus Games


About Carl

About Carl

Mentor of virtual production

Carl has worked in the video game industry for almost two decades. He started his career at Gearbox Software in 2004 as a Level Designer for the Brothers In Arms franchise. In 2008 he had the opportunity to be part of a small team that was integral to evolving the Borderlands art style into what it has become today. After a small hiatus at id Software working as a Level Artist on Rage, he rejoined Gearbox Software to create and lead their Level Art and eventually their Lighting Art Departments. In Carl’s most recent position as the World Building Director at Gearbox Software, he was responsible for managing the Level Design, Mission Design, Level Art, and Lighting departments. Games he has contributed to include the Brothers In Arms franchise, the Borderlands franchise, and Rage.

Carl is now the Co-Founder and World Director of Ruckus Games, a AAA game studio. He also shares his world building expertise as a mentor of CG Spectrum’s Real-Time 3D & Virtual Production Course.


Carl's work

Credits include Brothers In Arms, the Borderlands franchise and Rage.

Q&A with Carl

Which city are you currently based in?

Dallas, Texas, USA

What did your pathway into the industry look like?
My first experience working with game art was creating community mods for Max Payne. I was attending Purdue University IUS at the time, working through their CG courses. The courses at that time were fairly tame, not a lot of depth or focused curriculum. There were many days where I was secretly working on an Unreal Tournament or Max Payne map in the back corner… during class. Yikes!

During my third year at college, I applied for a contracting position with Gearbox Software. It all happened so fast! I applied, completed a phone screen, and was made an offer overnight. Unfortunately, they needed me to start in less than 10 days! This led to an awkward conversation with my parents about unenrolling from school mid-semester. It was a scary and exciting time. I’m very fortunate it worked out!
What has been the best experience of your career so far?
I would say by far working on Borderlands 2. Coming off of the original Borderlands, there were so many things we wanted to add or improve but we simply ran out of time. Borderlands 2 was one of those rare experiences where the entire team could see the vision and were all equally excited to be a part of the team.
What’s your advice for your students?

Always be curious. Seek out inspiration. Challenge yourself. Always be working to expand your skillset and learn new workflows and techniques. The industry is ever evolving. Don’t allow yourself to rust or become a dinosaur. Don’t be the artist still using exclusively photo source five years into the Substance pipeline. Yes, people did that!

The most incredible people I’ve had the pleasure to work with were always excited about the future and they never forgot to find joy in the medium they were working for.

Learn from industry pros 

What do you enjoy most about being a CG Spectrum mentor?
I love having the opportunity to work with people with their whole career ahead of them. At this point, the curiosity and excitement is incredibly infectious. Being around that kind of excitement re-energizes me personally. I find it helps me to appreciate the little things again, living vicariously through those I’m working with.
How do you stay creative outside of work?
I’m always noodling with some sort of side project. I love using my personal time to explore creative concepts that aren’t a part of my daily routine. I find personal projects are a great opportunity to sharpen up on skills that may be atrophying and also learn what’s coming down the pipe technologically. I’m also a dork for audio engineering and mixing/recording music. When I’m hitting a wall on one creative project, I can shift gears and try something completely different.

Learn more about Carl's experience on ArtStation or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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