Search for a Star 2021 is well underway with over 1200 students registered to take part in Europe’s leading student-only GameDev challenge. As we eagerly await the first glimpses of this years’ projects this mini-series will explore the winners and finalists from 2020, take a look back at why they won and see what they do now.
This week we spoke with Milan De Laet, Search For A Star Environment Art 2020 winner, whose Trapped environment impressed with the technical skill of making it in such a small timeframe!
“Taking part in SFAS was nothing but positive for me. It pushed me to create an extra portfolio piece that I otherwise wouldn’t have made. Which is already huge for someone who’s looking for opportunities to get into the industry.”
“Awesome job man! One of the best so far. It got me from the trailer!”
“This is a professional quality piece of work, and a superb example of less being more. It’s a small piece, very simple, but effort has been put into the right areas, leading to an atmospheric and eerie environment.”
“The final piece is far more atmospheric than the original concept inspiration, and this work shows that the artist is more than ready to become a professional in the games industry.”
“The most important part for me was the experience with an industry-like interview. It was my first time doing an interview like that, which helped me out a lot when I started to look for an internship. And when I ended up winning, I immediately was on the radar of some of the biggest companies, putting me in the luxurious position of being able to choose where I want to go.“
Milan has gone from strength-to-strength since winning the Environment Art category of Search For A Star 2020, as he now has lined up an internship at IO Interactive in Malmö, Sweden, to start as soon as he graduates.
With 2021’s cohort now working on their projects, what advice do you have?
“Have a plan. This doesn’t mean you have to time schedule everything, which could work for some, but definitely for not me. What I ended up doing was putting 10 days aside and making a task list on Notion (can be any other software of course). These tasks had priority tags attached to them, so I knew that if I got all the “High” and “Medium” priority ones done that I’d have something presentable. This made it easy for me to know when I could work on the challenge, and what I had to do. And don’t forget to put time aside for documentation and presentation like videos, these are the cherries on top!”