With only a week left to register for Search for A Star, I caught up with Jacob Beckley, last year’s Search For A Star VFX winner, to get his thoughts on how taking part in the challenge has helped him find his first job in games. You can check out his Stage 2 Games VFX submission from last year.
I asked him what he’d been working on – let’s see if you can guess which game he’s making!
“Spaceships, lots of spaceships!” enthuses Jacob. “More recently I’ve worked on the AEGS Hammerhead, the CNOU Mustang rework and a variety of other secret things.” Now that’s pretty cool!
[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”Jacob Beckley, 2018 VFX Winner” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Getting [work] in front of industry professionals for feedback helped me learn where I needed to improve[/perfectpullquote]
If you hadn’t already guessed, Search For A Star landed Jacob his first games industry role as a VFX Artist with Cloud Imperium, makers of Star Citizen. Jacob graduated from the University of Huddersfield straight into his new job with the help of Grads In Games and his excellent interview at the 2018 Search For A Star Final. Jacob was approached by Mike Snowdon, Cloud Imperium’s visual effects director and member of our VFX judging panel last year. That’s right; we don’t put your work in front of anyone, it’s judged by industry professionals who could be your future colleagues (or in Jacob’s case, his future boss!).
If it’s not already obvious, taking part in Search for A Star is a valuable chance get your work in front of industry professionals, and there’s still time to register and take part!
Put yourself out there!
Entering Search For A Star will get your work seen by massive games studios like Cloud Imperium, and your Stage 2 submissions receive tailored feedback on how to improve. I mean, come on, in the words of The Beatles, we could all do with a little help from friends, right? Don’t just take it from me;
“Getting in front of a variety of industry professionals for feedback helped me learn where I needed to improve and how I could go about doing so.” says Jacob. “Search for A Star was an opportunity for me to focus solely on one piece of work and get it to the highest standard I could.”
The feedback you’ll receive will be constructive with advice & insight that can help you achieve much more polished & professional work.
I promise, you’ll learn a lot…
[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]You can even win a job or internship options in addition to super cool prizes from our studio and tech partners[/perfectpullquote]Entering our game dev challenge is a learning curve, but you’ll learn a lot and might even win job or internship options in addition to some super cool prizes from our studio and tech partners.
“It taught me that rather than overreaching for something, I should create something less complex but with more polish. During the initial stages of the competition, I had to rework my idea as I came to the realisation that I didn’t know as much as I needed to make what I’d originally planned.”
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the saying ‘biting off more than you can chew’. We’re all guilty of this. For our Stage 2 submission, we aren’t expecting you to create some snazzy AAA game asset that’s absolutely perfect and can be slotted seamlessly into a game like Star Citizen. It’s better to keep it simple; quality over quantity.
As Jacob puts it, “You will get your work seen by people who will see your passion for what you do and give you invaluable feedback – remember they don’t expect you to know everything”
What are you waiting for?
This is the part where I urge you to register, even if it’s just to see the Stage 2 brief. Whether you want to become a VFX Artist like Jacob, or are interested in games programming, 3D art or games animation, you can register here to take part. Even if you don’t decide to enter, start making things. It may be clichéd but practice really does make perfect and good portfolio projects (like the one you’ll create in SFAS 😉) are just as important as your CV in the games industry.
Final thought from Jacob,
“Don’t give up just because it’s hard at the beginning…if you keep pushing and making new things you will have a ‘eureka’ moment!”