We caught up with this year’s Search For A Star Games Animation winner, Sankalp Sharma from Stafforshire University, to find out what it’s been like to win the challenge & what the win has since led to.
On winning Search For A Star
“It feels amazing to win! There was so much competition, everyone has amazing work and it was just unexpected. I’m really excited that I was the winner!
When I got the news, I messaged my tutor about it because he told me to take part in it. He was pretty excited about the results as well and got the whole news out to the uni.”
What have you learned from taking part?
“Search For A Star helped to learn about something new which I’d never tried before, and that was Root Motion. I’d never done it before and by taking part in this challenge I’d learn something new and make some progress. I did learn a lot about root motion and animation inside game engines, and that was pretty useful to be honest. It was a great opportunity for me overall, and it was amazing learning all this new stuff.”
How Search For A Star helped lead to job interviews & a role at Lucid Games
“Winning Search For A Star was an amazing opportunity. After I got the result, I redid my CV using the Grads in Games template and I had some help from [the GiG team] as well for my CV. As soon as I got all that ready, I started sending out my CV and showreel. I had a couple of interviews already when I received a call from Lucid Games saying they’d like to have an interview with me, and I was like, “Okay! Yeah! Sure!”
They’d seen my Search For A Star work and were really impressed by what I’d achieved. It made my showreel more amazing to look at. I had my interview with Lucid Games last week and I’m really excited to tell you that they hired me! I’ll be joining as a Junior Games Animator!”
Advice for students thinking of taking part in Search For A Star or d3t Rising Star
“It gives you a different kind of experience. I would say, it kind of gives you an industry experience as well because you complete it similar to the way that the industry will work. It was a great learning experience for me, so definitely take part in these kinds of challenges.
Try to create something unique that would stand out, something new that no one has done before. If you’re going to create something unique, you’re going to be giving your all to it. You’re going to love what you’re doing, so it’s going to come out of you a lot more easily.
Also take it as a learning experience rather than a challenge. Try to learn something new throughout the process. I’m super sure that whoever takes part is going to learn something new and be really happy about it.”
What’s Next for Sankalp?
“I’m an international student right now, so I have to go through all those visa processes, but I’ll be starting with Lucid Games sometime around June.
I do feel confident but at the same time I’m a little bit nervous as well. It’s going to be a total new experience for me because right now I’m a student and don’t have much experience at an industry level, but entering the industry, I know it’s going to be amazing!”
Huge thanks to Sankalp for speaking with us, and congratulations on your new role at Lucid Games starting this summer!
You can check out Sankalp’s Artstaion here, and check out their winning animation project in the article above.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org