We’re looking for the next generation of gifted programmers!

We launched our Search for a Star Code Challenge 9 years ago. It’s evolved into something much bigger than it was originally, and we’re proud to see those initial students now taking the helm as the leads and heads of studios today!

We set up Search for a Star to help you make the leap from student programmer to professional games developer. We want to highlight your skills to the industry and help keep the UK at the forefront of innovation in games development. Search for a Star can take you to great places; last year’s programming students ended up at great studios like Sumo Digital, d3t, Frontier Entertainment, nDreams and Playground Games!

As with all the challenge strands, Programming is split up into three components:

The C++ HackerRank Test

Go sheeps Search for a Star CodeOur panel of industry programming experts have been hard at work creating a C++ HackerRank test so that you can show off your remarkable coding skills. You’ll be presented with five questions which reflect the kind of challenges and problems you would expect to be faced with in the games industry, and given an allotted amount of time to answer them.

After the test you’ll be presented with a summary of your results, what you excelled at, and areas which may need a little bit of work. You’ll also be shown model answer to each question to compare side by side to your work.

The Dev Challenge

This year we’re happy to announce that everyone who registers to compete can take part in both the Skill and Dev Challenge! This is where things get really interesting – you’ll be tasked with developing your very own game. With just a small amount of direction, you’ll have a relatively large amount of freedom with where you take your game.

Your game will be then hosted online and promoted for all to see! Our panel of expert programmers will playtest your game while also looking under the hood at your code. Not only will you be marked on your game, it’s enjoyability and design, but how efficient your code is.

You can check out Search for a Star 2017’s winning game by Kyle Hobdey here!star wrangler Search for a Star CodeStage 3: The interview

When round 2 closes we’ll begin weighing up all the scores. Three contestants from Search for a Star Code and Sumo Digital Rising Star Code will then be invited to an interview panel in front of programming professionals from leading UK studios at our famous Finals Day Showcase event!

They’ll want to know all about your game, technical knowledge and motivations. What makes you tick as a programmer- that kind of stuff. You’ll then be free to enjoy the rest of the day, attend the industry presentations and mingle with other contestants and UK studios who travel from all over the country to meet students like you!

A winner from each strand will be selected and will receive a number of prizes donated from industry alongside the most coveted interview for a job (for Search for a Star winners) or internship (for Sumo Digital Rising Star winners).


Registration for Search for a Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star is now open – register here!