Rutul Thakkar

Hi there! Welcome to my website. My name is Rutul Thakkar. I am a software developer currently located in the Bay Area. I have experience working with Android application development and making games using various game engines such as Scratch, Unity, Gadot, Unreal Engine 4 and Pico 8. I am passionate about my work and enjoy working in team. Over the years, I have led numerous teams of various sizes. I am currently pursuing my MS in Serious Games at University of California Santa Cruz, graduating in March 2021. I have experience working with various version control and project management tools such as Git, Perforce, Asana, Trello and Jira. My previous background is in computer science. I have also worked on various web apps using JSP, servlets and ASP.NET. I have also designed, developed and hosted SQL databases for various projects on Microsoft Azure cloud. I would love to chat with you and answer any questions that you may have. You can reach me via email or on one of these social media pletforms. Looking forward to talking with you soon. Thank you.


Work Experience

Teaching Assistant

University of California Santa Cruz

Courses: ARTG 120 - Game Design Experience | ARTG 80H - Critical History of Digital Games

Description:

  • Held weekly 2 sessions with a total of 40+ students with focus on teaching core weekly topics and monitoring their discussion of the weekly readings and other assignments
  • Provided grades and detailed feedback on their assignments
  • Attended weekly meeting for planning upcoming sessions and resolution of student concerns with instructor and other teaching assistants
  • Suggested potential solutions to instructors for improving class experience

March 2020 - March 2021

Android Developer

Android Developer Intern

Hubilo Softech Private Limited

Role: Programmer | UI Designer | Tester

Description:

  • Developed, maintained and deployed applications using Android frameworks in a small fast-paced team using agile development cycle
  • Designed UI screens as per wireframes
  • Automated and optimized side bar navigation - reduced development time and increased app speed by 30 percent
  • Implemented various features such as News Feed, Analytics and Push Notification using latest Android compoments, data structures, algorithms and object oriented software design
  • Implemented local SQL and Realm database for offline data storage
  • Android libraries used: Realm, SQLite, Retrofit, RxJava, MPAndroidCharts, Glide, Picasso, ImageLoader, Jsoup, Volley, Twitter4J, Login APIs : Google, Facebook

May 2017 - July 2017
January 2017 - April 2017

Android Developer Intern

Stalkboom Solutions Private Limited

Role: Team Leader | Programmer | UI Designer | Tester

Description:

  • Lead a team of 3 over a period of 2 months for the development of an Android launcher application
  • Lead the requirment gathering process with the client
  • Collaborated and coordinated with team regularly
  • Designed and Implemented features such as app drawer, home screen shortcuts, interface to share device information between java and javascript and app and web search

May 2016 - June 2016

Projects

Spellcasters VR Game for Physical Therapy [Serious Games]

Currently under development using Unreal Engine - Blueprint (Nov 2019 - Present)

Link to Game: (Windows 64 exe - supports Oculus Rift / Rift 2 / Quest 2 with link cable / HTC Vive) Download

Role: Lead Researcher, Creative Director, Design Integration Director, Scrum Master, Backend Database and Cloud Software Developer

Advisors: Michael John. Magy Seif El-Nasr, Jared Duval, 3 Physical Therapists, 1 Neurologist, 1 VR Industry Mentor

Description:

  • Leading a team of 10 consisting of researchers, developers, animators and artists
  • Conducted research during Fall of 2020 using a mixed method to assess what metrics are essential for tracking patient’s progress and how those can be visualized for the physical therapists
  • Analyzed several interviews and designed a codebook along with a collection of visualizations for assessing its effectiveness
  • Conducting regular daily meetings with development team using scrum methodology
  • Collaborating and coordinating with faculty, fellow graduate students and subject matter experts
  • Leading an adaptive design and documentation process
  • Running virtual playtests with students and professionals from the industry over Zoom
  • Designed and developed a MS SQL database and Node.JS backend with cloud development
  • Studied how traditional physical therapy works and how it can be gamified to supplement the recovery process

Icelandic Language Learning Game [Serious Games]

Developed using Unity C# for Android (Feb 2020 - March 2020)

Link to APK: Download

Role: Researcher, Gameplay Programmer, Game Designer

Description:

I was part of a team of 6 who worked with actual industry stakeholders to come up with a fun and engaging game to teach Icelandic children aged 6 to 8 years old, how to read and write simple letters and words in Icelandic. The children are able to speak and express themselves in Icelandic, but do not have basic reading and writing skills. Icelandic language is on the verge of extincting as it is not well used in modern day technology and media. The Icelandic government is working hard to preserve the language in various ways and we hope to help contribute to this cause by having made this prototype game.

My contributions

  • Developed an Android mobile serious game prototype in 4 weeks in a team of 6 using Unity in 2D
  • Collaborated and coordinated with the team on a daily basis
  • Performed research and conducted interviews with external stakeholder
  • Design and implemented tracing of Icelandic alphabets using touch and Line Renderer
  • Design and implemented drag and drop on touch for item matching

Flu Prevention [Serious Games]

Developed using Unity C# (Jan 2020)

Link to Game: Download | Play Online: Play Now!

Description:

We were a team of 4 who created a small educational game with the aim to raise awareness of flu and encourage the use of masks against flu infection. The game teaches players the functions of three main medical items: the disinfecting liquid that kills the flu virus, the mask that prevents flu virus from transmitting into your body through the air for a certain amount of time while the mask is on, and medicine that can treat flu infection. Flu is a disease that has become a major health issue this year in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak in China with more than 95000 people affected as of March 2020 worldwide.

In the game you as the player are battling with a flu. You need to take action and there is no time to rest. Virus molecules are coming to attack you. You can attack them by throwing disinfectant liquid to stop and kill them or you can choose to wear a mask to resist their attacks for a few seconds. You can also take medicine to heal yourself if you are feeling weak. If you want to take medicine you need to remove your mask! Get ready to fight !

My contributions

  • I worked on creating basic stucture for the project by implementing a game manager and some basic mechanics like managing the medicine mechanic
  • Implemented various input detection and UI elements

Turtle Crossing [Serious Games]

developed using Unity C# (Jan 2020)

Link to Game: Download

Description:

We are a team of 6 who created a small educational game that aim to educate the player on the environmental aspects of waste disposal, to teach them correct ways to dispose of certain kinds of waste, and to alert them about the effects of certain systemic issues that can impact our individual abilities to recycle [e.g. National sword].

The player is tasked with quickly dragging waste of certain types to its appropriate bin. For example, apple cores go to the compost, soda can go to metal recycling, and cigarette butts go to the regular trash can. Depending on the speed and accuracy of the player’s ability to sort the waste, more or less debris will appear on a shoreline, impeding baby turtles’ path toward the ocean. The better you sort, the fewer turtles need to die.

A short time after beginning the game, the player will be alerted to new overseas legislation that prohibits the amount of recycling that can actually be done. Once this happens, plastic and paper recyclables dragged to their appropriate bins are bounced out into the garbage bin, rendering any actual effort sorting useless. This is reflective of the real-world recycling crisis currently happening as a result of China’s National Sword act, which is essentially a ban on importing most paper and plastic materials from other countries. Now, most of what is being pushed through the recycling process is not being recycled.

My contributions

  • I worked on implementing the spawning of trash on the center of the screen with a timer and also created the bin UI on the top
  • I also worked on drag and drop of the trash onto the bins and checking if the right bin has been selected or not. Which decided how many debris would spawn on the beach by the wave. The debris hurt and kill the turtles

Hovercraft driving game

Developed using Unity C# (Feb 2020)

Link to Game: Download

Description:

The game uses follow camera to keep track of the hovercraft as it moves around the mountain terrain. The objective is to collect all good objects and avoid all bad one. They are indicated with different colors. The hovercraft hovers at a set altitude and the player is able to move and turn the hovercraft. There is a finish line and a confetti particle effect when player collects all good objects and goes past the finish line. The hovercraft also has a thrust particle effect. The game has sound effects too and uses a sound manager that i implemented with singleton pattern. I created the all the assets for this game.

Dungeon Crawler game

Developed using Unity C# (Feb 2020)

Link to Game: Download

Description:

The game was created in 2D format. It uses external assets. I implemented 2D sprite animations, object collection using player movement and collision detection and spawn prefab objects at run time. The player faces a set of hurdles such as fire and enemies which he or she has to avoid. The player can plant bombs to kill the enemies.

Political Election Spreadsheet Game

Developed in Excel using Visual Basic (VBA) user forms (Nov 2019)

Link to Game: Download

Description:

It is a turned based game with the objective of managing your money and winning majority votes from 26 states before your opponent gets there. Players can use different media tactics such as Speech and Social Media based on your party strengths and targeted states to acquire more support of the population in a given state. I was involved in the designing of the user form UI and backend programming of the game. I imported data from excel sheets into collections and dictionary for manipulation. The game uses classes to structure the data and hold it in its objects.

Breakout

Developed in C++ with SFML (Nov 2019)

Link to Code: View Code | Link to executable: Download

Features: Basic Breakout gameplay. Uses SFML for graphics. Game includes textures for brick and sound effects. Implemented both keyboard and mouse controls. There are different types of bricks: bricks that can be destoryed with one hit, with two hits and with three hits. Each this the ball hits a brick that has more than one hit required to break it, the brick texture changes accordingly. There are special bricks that increase ball speed and which increases paddle width. There are two levels and 3 lives, each time ball falls down you lose a life. Once both levels are cleared the game returns to first level with existing ball speed.

Pong

Developed in C++ with SFML (Nov 2019)

Link to Code: View Code Link to executable: Download

Features: Basic Pong gameplay. Uses SFML for graphics. Game includes user vs user mode, AI vs AI mode and AI vs user mode. It has texture for background and sound effects. Implemented for keyboard controls. Use spacebar to reset the game. First player to score 5 wins the game.

Connect Four

Developed in C++ (Oct 2019)

Link to Code: View Code | Link to executable: Download

Features: Basic Connect Four gameplay + additional mods such as variable size array and required number of pieces to win, ability to remove along with to add a piece and checking for winning conditions with wrap mode (edge columns are merged to check if win is possible)

Flappy Bird Clone

Developed in C# using Unity for Android (Jan 2018)

Link to Game: Download

Features: Basic Flappy Bird gameplay features. Learned the following concepts: Singleton Pattern, object pooling, scrolling background.

Hangman

Developed in C++ Team of 2 (Oct 2013)

Link to Game: Download

Description:

We implemented the game for different categories of words which user can choose at the beginning from the given menu. My teammate also applied some simple graphics using “graphics.h” library. The game stores and retrieves data from different files based on user input.

Features: Select Category of words, GamePlay, View Highscore, View Game Instructions, View Credits


Education

University of California Santa Cruz

MS in Serious Games

GPA: 4.0 / 4.0

Sept 2019 - March 2021

Stevens Institute of Technology

MS in Computer Science

GPA: 3.22 / 4.0 - dropped due to lack of desired course offerings

August 2018 - December 2018

Stanford University

Summer Session - Computer Science Intensive Study

At Stanford, I took 2 Computer science graduate level courses during the summer of 2018. I was also selected to be part of the Silicon Valley Innovation Academy program. This program is only offered to a selected 120 students. Over the period of 7 weeks, I researched and created a paper prototype of a project with a team of 4. My project aimed at providing a solution for one of the sustainable development goals(SDGs) of United Nations. Details are as follows:

Mitigating & measuring daily environmental impact using Green Score

Roles: Lead Researcher, Designer, Presenter

Advisors: William Cockayne, Tamara Carleton, Craig Litherland

  • Collaborated and coordinated over 7 weeks in a team of 4
  • Designed a paper prototype of how our purchasing and daily habits impacts our environment, can be measured using a footprint score called “Green Score” and how we can mitigate this impact
  • Conducted research using the 3 horizons method to evaluate what technologies are present and upcoming such as IOT devices that can help track daily environmental impact
  • Produced several research based deliverable documents
  • Presented at a showcase event attended by industry leading innovators
  • Learned about various techniques for innovation such as user stories, user profile, horizons and so on

June 2018 - Aug 2018

Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication

Master of Science in Information Technology

GPA: 8.33 / 10

July 2015 - May 2017

Ahmedabad University

Bachelor of Computer Applications

GPA: 4.28 / 4.33

July 2015 - May 2017

Northfields International High School

IGCSE and IB Diploma
Sept 2010 - June 2012

Skills

Programming Languages & Tools
  • C++
  • C#
  • Java
  • R
  • Python
  • SQL
  • XML
  • JSON
  • Android
  • .Net
  • Unity
  • VS
  • NetBeans
  • Eclipse
  • Android Studio
  • Scratch
  • Love
.Net and Android Libraries
  • Google Plus Login
  • Facebook Login
  • Twitter 4J
  • Realm
  • Retrofit
  • Volley
  • SQ-Lite
  • Glide
  • Picasso
  • Jsoup
  • ImageLoader
  • MP Android Charts
  • Dev Express
  • Crystal Reports
Spoken Languages

Interests

My key areas of interest are mobile app development, augmented reality, virtual reality and game development. Apart from being a developer, I enjoy swimming, playing soccer, badminton and volleyball. I also like to play video games, listen to music and watch movies. My favorite tv shows are Suits, Friends, Everybody loves Raymond, The Big Bang Theory, Best of Luck Nikki, Good Luck Charlie, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Sumit Sambhal Lega.


Awards & Certifications