Get help breaking into the industry with Search for a Star

Search For A Star logo

Search For A Star is one of the industry’s biggest student game development challenges, designed to help you make the leap from student to professional games developer.

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 win an interview with a leading games development studio for a job role!

Registrations for the 2024 challenges are open now, and project briefs will be released from early November

If you’re an undergraduate who is not yet in your final year of study, or are currently a student at FE or college level, please see our companion challenge series : Rising Star.

Gone & Lost - The Attic by Jimmy Ghysens
Search For A Star Environment Art Winner 2019
Gone & Lost – The Attic by Jimmy Ghysens
Search For A Star Environment Art Winner 2019

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.

The challenge contains six categories which you can enter: games programming, game design, 3D character art, 3D environment art, 3D animation, and VFX. Each category has its own briefs and, where applicable, concept art donated by the industry.

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 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.

Goop by Maria Camenzuli, Search For A Star Games Programming Finalist
Goop by Maria Camenzuli
Search For A Star Games Programming Finalist

Challenge Categories

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

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!