Starting a Game Studio with Borderlands’ Carl Shedd

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Justin meets with Carl Shedd, a Borderlands art style pioneer and the Co-Founder & World Director at Ruckus Games. They chat about the importance of reputation and relationships within the industry, Carl’s shift from working for AAA game companies to co-founding his own studio and developing his own games, and how to build community while working remotely. Plus, they share insights and tips on how to start your own game studio.

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-shedd-ps-flamerock-borderlandsCarl's level design for Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault On Dragon Keep (Image credit: Gearbox Software)

carl-shedd-ps-restistancecontrolBorderlands 2 level design by Carl (Image credit: Gearbox Software)

carl-shedd-ps-moxxi-exterior-newThe famous Moxxxi's from Borderlands 2, showcasing more of Carl's level design (Image credit: Gearbox)

Vine Chapel Grocery walk-through — part of a fictional town created by Carl Shedd using a range of assets from Unreal Marketplace.

Check out more amazing work on Carl's website, his YouTube channel, and his ArtStation.

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This podcast is brought to you by CG Spectrum, a top-ranked online animation, VFX, and game development school where students are personally mentored by industry experts and taught skills that get them job-ready. If you're looking to upgrade your skills, explore our online film and game courses.


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Meet the hosts

Meet the hosts of the CG Spectrum Podcast!

MAXINE SCHNEPF: From Producing to HR, Maxine's worked on 40+ blockbuster films at studios like Mr X, Deluxe Animation and Technicolor VFX. Now as CG Spectrum's Career Development Manager, Maxine helps students get industry-ready. Her credits include: Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Star Trek Beyond and three Star Wars films.