As co-development partners and part of the Keywords Studios group, both studios specialise in adding value to games, and are credited on titles such as EA SPORTS FC™ 24, Dead Island 2, Hogwarts Legacy, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Sea of Thieves, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Alan Wake Remastered, Conan Exiles, Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Assetto Corsa Competizione, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Now a team of 190+ talented developers based in the North-West and North-East of England, d3t and Coconut Lizard offer work-for-hire co-development solutions to the very best video game developers and publishers around the globe, and the team is fast making a name within the sector as the go-to company for their services and skills.
As a recent winner of the GamesIndustry.biz Best Places to Work Award for 2023, d3t and Coconut Lizard have also been recognised for their commitment to studio culture, wellbeing, and environment. Both studios have also been awarded with the silver award in the Mind Index – a benchmark of best policy and practice around employee’s mental health.
The studios are proud to champion a diverse, inclusive, and nurturing culture, and go out of their way to ensure that their developers feel valued, comfortable, and supported not only within their working lives but their personal ones too.
Each year d3t and Coconut Lizard take on a significant number of interns as part of our paid placements that run as part of university courses. These generally run for a 12–15-month period where from their very first moment, our interns are trusted to begin working on projects for our clients. However, they are not thrown into this cold, as all interns are supported and guided by members of the Senior Team across the studios.
Our graduates and interns come from a variety of avenues, including through Grads in Games, where d3t and Coconut Lizard have employed a mixture of award winners along with some of the Ones to Watch that were highlighted. This includes our Artist Eleanor Biggin.
Since joining, Eleanor has worked on numerous projects in which she is credited and has also progressed from an Associate role to a mid-level position. Eleanor highlights: “Joining d3t has been an incredible experience so far. I have felt so incredibly welcomed into the studio and have been given my own creative freedom on a variety of awesome projects that include Alan Wake Remastered & Vampire: The Masquerade – Blood Hunt.
“Being surrounded by so many talented people means that I’ve been constantly learning new skills over the past few years, and we’re also often sent tasty care packages to our homes, which have included both doughnuts and brownies – these have just been the icing on the cake, quite literally!”
Fellow Graduate, Sophie Carroll who re-joined the d3t team after Interning in the Programming team for a year in between her studies at Liverpool John Moore’s University, also took time out to discuss her journey so far.
“Working at d3t has been a dream come true. The work is always incredibly interesting and provides a great opportunity for progression, alongside working with some of the most talented individuals in the industry.
“From a social standpoint everyone is super friendly, and the company provides a great atmosphere to foster lasting friendships, whilst encouraging the team to interact with others they otherwise wouldn’t via their many clubs and company social events. They go out of their way to attract the game developers of tomorrow by engaging frequently with universities and establishing a warm and welcoming culture to students by encouraging junior members of the team attend these visits alongside seniors.
“It is a company that strives to not only find but maintain the best talent by treating their employees with respect and care. People here can feel like their voice is being listened to and that the company cares about their wellbeing via the many perks that are offered to the staff. I came through their internship program that they offer to university students and can see myself staying here for a long time.”
Upon starting at the studios, newest members of the team are offered a supportive six-month plan. This is done, because we want our team to feel settled and supported so that whatever their role may be – art, programming, QA, design, or production, that they can reach their full potential within it.
Further to our support initiative, we have a strong employee welfare ethos. At the forefront of every decision the company makes are its staff, which has seen the studio environment, workday and its activities being designed in a way that aims to better its employee’s welfare.
These activities include, monthly lunches being thrown at the studios where external caterers and vendors come in to feed the team a selection of delicious foods, to the team being able to bring their dogs in to meet the team, to a range of company funded clubs being run, alongside a series of events, parties, and social gatherings across the year.
Additionally, d3t and Coconut Lizard are games studios that not only work to create the best games possible, but also to nurture and develop the best talent too. At the core of the business is a focus on people, growth, and retention.
It is this focus that has seen the organisation win multiple Employer of the Year awards that recognise the long-lasting and supportive commitment the studios have not only to its team, but to those that are up and coming within the industry.