Congratulations to Luke McFarlane from Abertay University, our winner in the Games Programming category in Search For A Star 2023!
The ‘original’ Search For A Star category we started with 14 years ago… Games Programming has always been a core part of the what we do so it was excellent to see over 220 students sign up to take part this year. We switched things up a little this time and went back to having a C++ only challenge, with students given a small prototype UE5 game project developed by our partner Lizi Attwood at Furious Bee. Each student had 4 weeks to develop this prototype into a fully-featured game and publish it as a finished project.
Luke took the small object detection prototype and blew it up into a feature-rich action game that showcased a whole range of his programming skills (you can check out Luke’s project video below). At the final interview, Luke showed great technical knowledge and ability, impressing the judges and earning the top spot!
“I’m absolutely thrilled that all of my hard work has paid off and I managed to win Search For A Star!”
This year’s Search For A Star Games Programming challenges were created by Lizi Attwood as a way of helping games programming students to create and publish a portfolio project that showed exactly the type of skills that studios want to see from programming graduates starting a games career. Thank you also to our judging panel for the SFAS Games Programming challenge, Lizi Attwood from Furious Bee, Toby Rock from XR Games, Jamie Prosser & Ethan Phipps from Free Radical Designs, Chris Eaves from Bulkhead, and Shani Owen from Aardvark Swift.
After Luke’s interview, the judges shared with us the reasons behind their decision:
“Luke showed excellent planning but was also flexible in that they took on feedback from peers and made changes to their project. His coding skills were exemplary, neat and tidy. When asked questions, he were able to relate them all back to the work they’ve done on personal projects and university projects.”
Congratulations once again to Luke, and we look forward to seeing a whole lot more from them in future 💚