Kian Bennett : d3t Rising Star Programming Winner 2021
We caught up with this year’s d3t Rising Star Games Programming winner, Kian Bennett from The University of Portsmouth, to find out what it’s been like to win the challenge & what the win has since led to.
On winning d3t Rising Star
“My friends and family watched the live stream along with me and winning really felt great! I put a lot of time and effort into the project, managing it around my uni work, so it’s a big relief!
My lecturers sent their congratulations and were really excited about it – they were really happy for me! This is something that they all follow closely, so if someone from our course wins or does well then they’re big to promote that and encourage the success.”
What have you learned from taking part?
“The biggest thing I learned is to just see a project through from start to finish; my time management and my project planning has improved so much. Seeing a project through the whole way and being up to reflect on that process is quite an because you’ve had this exposure to industry and and be actually working through process of making the piece.
How d3t Rising Star helped lead to job offers & an internship with Rare
“Directly as a result of winning, I had a programmer at a game studio here in Portsmouth reach out to me, saying “Congratulations on your win. Are you interested in working for us on your placement?”
I went for an interview at Rare and one of my interviewers had been previously involved in Search For A Star. He had a lot of interest in my Rising Star project and we spoke a lot about that – that was definitely a contributing factor in me getting offered the internship.”
Advice for students thinking of taking part in Search For A Star or d3t Rising Star
“The biggest benefit was getting the opportunity to show my work to industry professionals and to get that feedback, get that advice and just put my work out there. No matter what it is, or what the quality is – just getting something out here and getting something made. The biggest struggle that a lot of people have is just actually making something. I think that’s the thing that’s going to help people.
For the project, the best piece of advice I can give is to set up a very solid plan for your project right from the start. The thing that helped me most was having a very clear idea of what I wanted my finished product to be and planning every step of the way before I even started. That’s something the judges commented a lot on.”
What’s Next for Kian?
“Having got this exposure to the industry, I feel a lot more confident knowing what is expected of me.
Having professionals from the industry critique my work, telling me what I can improve – it’s telling me exactly what they want, and especially so with the the final interview. That’s a panel of people who are working in the industry and telling me very directly what I need to do to secure a job and to improve my work towards that.
It gives you so much very specific advice on what to do, so I feel a lot more confident going into the game industry.”
Huge thanks to Kian for speaking with us, and congratulations on your internship at Rare starting this summer!
You can check out Kian’s portfolio here, and play the d3t Rising Star project here.
Search For A Star & d3t Rising Star are our annual gamedev challenges to help students create portfolio work to a professional brief, get industry feedback, and get noticed by games studios. You can learn more about the challenges here.
If you represent a games studio or university & would like to learn more about any of our activities, please contact Andy Driver at email@example.com