Following on from the success of our Search For A Star Animation and VFX winner Niels Dewitte landing a job at VR studio nDreams, we’re happy to congratulate two more of our finalists on breaking into the games industry!
After making a big impression at the Search For A Star Code Finals Day, James Hutchison of the University of Central Lancashire, and Witek Gawlowski of Goldsmiths University have both accepted their first job in the industry with none other than Rising Star partners and Snake Pass developers, Sumo Digital.
“Initially I saw the super-happy employees on Sumo’s website.” says Witek when asked about what attracted him to Sumo Digital. “I then found that the cheerful and innovative Snake Pass is their IP! As a physics programmer, I’m still dying to found out about how they implemented that.”
To reach the finals, both students undertook a HackerRank C++ test, and created their own original games – which can be downloaded and played for free! Witek created the adorable multiplayer puzzle game Go Sheeps, which sees friends compete against each other to herd sheep and become top dog.
Also supporting multiplayer, James created Bloxz, which gives players two minutes to score as many points as they can by collecting their own coloured blocks and avoiding enemy blocks.
Sumo Digital told us that the Finalists’ caught their eye due to their technical knowledge and willingness to take on challenges outside their normal coursework, saying “James’ C++ and algorithms knowledge in particular made him stand out from many other graduates”.
“My experience was great, it was definitely a challenge.” says James Hutchison. “I’d tell students to revise their C++ and general computing knowledge. It’s not just useful for the test, but the other stages as well, especially the judges panel where they really test you.”
Witek found the competition motivating, describing the chance to speak to people from the industry as “priceless”. When asked if he had any advice for students entering next year’s competition, Witek said “It’s as much about attitude and having a good personality as it is about technical skills.” and echoed James’ previous statement about the importance of knowing your C++ for programming students.
“Search for a Star provides a way for the best graduates to demonstrate and hone their skills above and beyond the work they have completed as part of their course.” said Sumo Digital “It allows candidates to compare themselves against fellow graduates from different institutions, and gives current undergraduates a target to aim for.”
We’re already planning our 2018 competition as part of our Grads In Games initiative and will be accepting registrations later on in the year! If you’re a studio interested in getting involved in the competitionor our wider outreach activities, please do get in contact.