He was raised and educated in Livingston, Scotland. He made his first step into video games when he was 15, working for company SoftStone with his friend David Quinn. Bruty had done some projects for SoftStone when it went bust in 1984. In 1987 Bruty joined Probe Software, where he met another notable industry figure David Perry. Together they formed a team, with Bruty as artist and Perry as programmer, making arcade classics such as Trantor: The Last Stormtrooper, Savage, Overlord and Dan Dare 3.
In 1992 Perry and Bruty went to the American division of Virgin Games where they worked on Global Gladiators, Cool Spot, Aladdin and The Jungle Book. In 1993 David Perry formed Shiny Entertainment in California and Bruty and some members of Virgin Games followed in after finishing The Jungle Book. While at Shiny, Bruty led the art direction on cult platformers Earthworm Jim and its sequel, and in the Special Edition of Earthworm Jim the level "Big Bruty" was named after him. The finest hour of Bruty in Shiny came with 1997 hit shooter MDK. He was responsible for the idea of the game itself, the characters, and its humorous style.
After MDK Bruty left Shiny and formed video game company Planet Moon Studios with other ex-Shiny employees Tim Williams and Scott Guest. The company since made notable Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Armed and Dangerous (influenced by MDK) and Infected. In 2011 Planet Moon closed and the company's staff was acquired by online games developer Bigpoint Games.
In March 2011 Bruty and ex-Planet Moon Studios lead programmer Richard Sun formed new game company Rogue Rocket Games.
In March 2014 Bruty and Rogue Rocket Games announced First Wonder, a spiritual sequel to Giants: Citizen Kabuto, and started a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for it on September 25, 2015. However the campaign was not funded and the project was canceled.
He lives in San Francisco, California, where Rogue Rocket Games HQ is placed.
- Report on Nick Bruty at Intelius.com
- Interview with Nick Bruty by Armchair Empire, May 7, 2001.
- Nick Bruty gives an interview to ZXSpectrum Games.com, 13 September, 2010.
- Nowgamer's interview with David Perry about making of MDK.
- MDK's credits on MobyGames.
- Bruty's website for First Wonder
- Kickstarter page for First Wonder
- Update 8: The Future of First Wonder