Rising Star

Get help breaking into the games industry with Rising Star

Rising Star is one of the industry’s biggest games development challenges for students who are not yet in their final year of university. As in the core Search For A Star challenges, students are tasked with creating their own games, art assets, animations or visual effects. Students who make it to the final round will have a chance to interview with a leading games development studio!

If you’re a final year or Masters/postgrad student, please see our companion challenge series providing access to job interviews with leading studios: Search For A Star.

Akazugaikotsu by Melissa Hamer, Rising Star 2019 Winner
Akazugaikotsu by Melissa Hamer
Rising Star Character Art 2019 Winner

We work with leading studios across the industry to develop the challenges, designed to help you show the kind of knowledge and abilities that studios are looking for the most. It’s not just to test your skills but to also encourage you to create a piece of work that will make your portfolio shine.

There are five category options across different gamedev disciplines. Each category has its own development brief, project guidelines and, where applicable, assets provided by industry partners.

Registration for the 2025 challenges will open in October 2024, and project briefs will be released in early November

Challenge Format 

We want to prepare you for your future career; that’s why our challenge series has been split into components designed to have parallels to games industry recruitment .

Development Project
All entrants will be provided with a project brief developed by industry, based directly on what studios want to see in a portfolio from entry-level applicants.

Programming : Create & publish a C++ game project from an existing prototype.
Game Design : Create & document a prototype based around a key system or mechanic.
3D Art : Create a game-ready character or asset set from concept to final.
Animation & VFX : Create a multi-stage character motion or effects sequence.

Skills Assessment
Programming only : A C++ technical test.

Panel Interview
The highest achieving students in each category will be invited to our Finals Day showcase event to talk about their skills, knowledge and gamedev aspirations with a panel of industry experts.

Challenge Categories

Learn about each of our gamedev challenge categories and the type of projects you’ll be developing.

Registration for the 2025 challenges will open in October 2024, and project briefs will be released in early November

What’s in it for you?

  • Winners, finalists and high achievers can greatly increase their visibility and employability
  • Partner studios and several external studios regularly hire directly from Search For A Star
  • Win big prizes from our partners, including games, software and gear!
  • Develop a portfolio project using a real brief and have your work seen by members of industry
  • Build a portfolio piece based on what studios are looking for and improve skills with feedback from professionals in your field
  • Experience interview panels with expert judges from the industry.
  • Get your skills showcased in front of some of the industry’s leading games studios and make a big impression!