We’re looking for the next generation of leading games programmers!

Search For A Star has helped to showcase some of the best student programmers in the games industry, has directly led to many people getting their first studio job, including several who are now leading their own teams or even running their own studios.

Our aim with Search for a Star has always been 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.

The programming challenge is split up into three stages, with the first two being open to all entrants.

  • C++ Programming Test
  • Game Development Project using C++
  • Industry Panel Interview

C++ Technical Test

You’ll be presented with a set of questions which reflect the code challenges and problems you would expect to be faced with in the games industry. It’s not an easy test though and will really challenge your knowledge!

C++ Development Project

Develop & publish your very own game! Starting from a prototype in DX11 and building upon its C++ codebase, you’ll be asked to develop it into a fully featured and publishable game that can really highlight your technical ability.

On The Brink by Luke McFarlane
Abertay University
2023 Search For A Star Games Programming Winner

Projects are for solo student developers (no team-based projects) and are expected to take no more than around 60-70 hours total development time, spread over several weeks.

A team of devs from across the industry will playtest your games, while our panel of technical experts will review your code. Not only will you be marked on your game playability and functionality, but how technically accomplished and efficient your coding is.

Panel Interview

After reviewing the results from the previous two stages, the highest achieving students will be invited to take part in an exclusive panel interview with leading industry professionals. Styled after a studio hiring interview, they’ll want to know all about you, your technical knowledge and career motivations.

After the interviews, an overall winner from each challenge tier will be decided.

How do you decide who reaches the final interview stage?

The benchmark for reaching the final stage is decided by the combined scores from the test and project stages. In previous years this has been based on a balanced split across the following:

  • C++ technical test (33%)
  • Development project playtest assessment (33%)
  • Development project technical assessment (33%)