From over 200 entrants & more than 50 top universities, 5 graduate programmers have been selected for the final round of Search For A Star, the industry backed annual games development competition run by Aardvark Swift. They will join with 3 second-year students who have achieved the same in our Rising Star competition.
“What have you done? Do you realise what you have made? You broke our office for an hour whilst we competed for a high score!”
– Richard Bangs, Boss Alien co-founder, in reaction to a finalist game demo.
This year’s finalists are seriously good – Having distinguished themselves through a C++ coding test and a game development/publishing project to reach this stage, these outstanding programmers are destined for trailblazing careers in the games industry.
To decide on an overall winner, the final round will take place on the 2nd June at Microsoft TVP, in association with Boss Alien, Exient, Marmalade, Born Ready Games, Mars On A Stick and of course Microsoft themselves. The finalists will be taken on an exclusive tour of the Microsoft Innovation Centre and each receive an exlusive prize package from our partners bursting with exclusive games, gadgets, software and tech. The winners of
The competition final itself will require each candidate to undergo a rigorous interview with a panel of industry peers, including Lee Stott of Microsoft, Richard Bangs of Boss Alien, Lizi Attwood of Mars On A Stick & Greg Brooks of Born Ready Games. The interview will examine each finalist’s progression through the competition, quiz coding skills and discuss personal attributes, their passion for the industry and their aims for the future. As with the previous stages, the final is modelled directly on actual studio hiring processes for new employees.
The winners and prize announcements for the 2014 competitions for both Search For A Star and Rising Star will be announced on June 3rd.
Academic & Industry Acclaim
Search For A Star receives a high level of acclaim from course leaders and development studios, as well as from the students. With a valuable combination of increasing the employability of graduates and providing a spotlight for the talent produced by our universities, the competition has rapidly grown in popularity and has plans for massive expansion to include both art and game design for the 2014/15 academic year.
Gavin Jones, the 2013 winner, says that “Having done well in the competition seemed to lead very quickly to job offers, ultimately landing me my first job as a programmer in the industry.”
Richard Bangs, Lead Programmer and Co-Founder of Brighton’s Boss Alien also looks at the competition very positively; “It’s amazing to see what can be achieved in such a small time frame, and really shows us the passion and talent that these young programmers have.”
“It’s a great competition to be a part of, it really helps showcase what the students are capable of, and to show off their work and talents to those that they want to work with.”
Dr Gareth Bellaby, Lecturer at the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire describes the experience as “Essential to gauge the quality of the courses for the industry… Really valuable for everyone and it’s important to be involved of the process.”