< Back to Press Releases

Search For A Star student game dev winners revealed, earn interviews with leading UK studios

From 405 students in round two, a panel of industry judges have now decided upon two programming students to win the Search For A Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star code competition.

11 Judges representing UK studios and companies including Ash Bennett, Craig Wright and Sean Davies from Sumo Digital, Playground Games, Thad Frogley & Finn McDonnell from Boss Alien, nDreams, AMD, Jason Fielder from Gaasworks and Lizi Attwood from Furious Bee came together on Monday 10 th April at Staffordshire University to meet the competition’s ten finalists, who each sat through an industry standard interview.

Both winners receive an interview for a job or internship with one of our leading UK studio partners, along with additional prizes donated by members of the industry, including a high-performance Radeon R9 Nano graphics card donated by AMD.

Kyle Hobdey, of The University of Central Lancashire, was reviled as the 2017 winner of the Search For A Star Code competition for students in their final year of university. When asked, Kyle told the judges that the smile people get from playing his games is what motivates him to pursue a career in the games industry.

I’m quite overwhelmed, I didn’t expect to win. It was definitely a tough competition; one of the other finalists is my best friend and I know what he’s capable of.” Claimed Kyle Hobdey upon receiving his award.

His game, Star Wrangler Arena ( https://goo.gl/7XCSni), was built in just three weeks using a basic framework provided to the students. The arena-based game tasks the player with controlling a ship with its own magnetosphere to push stars into the player’s goal, and boasts 3 game modes including multiplayer.  

Alfred Norton, of The University of York, was the winner of the Sumo Digital Rising Star Code competition, for students not in their final year of university. His third-person shooter, Capsule Of Vengeance: A Bitter Pill For Cuboids ( https://goo.gl/FPT2c8), had players attacking cuboid adversaries of varying shapes and sizes with a number of power ups and differing weapons.

The finals day for the Search For A Star Art competition will be held on the 13 th April 2017 at the University of Hertfordshire.

In its second round, the competition created over 50 games, which can be downloaded and played for free on our website ( https://goo.gl/0Sxoa7) , alongside 60 pieces of art, which can be viewed here ( https://goo.gl/lQ2oXF) and here ( https://goo.gl/VQy8bp

For further information, please contact Molly Charlesworth:

+44 (0)1709 834777


Notes to Editors: 

  • This has been the biggest year yet for Search For A Star & Sumo Digital Rising Star, with over 600 students from more than 75 universities across the UK and internationally submitting work for round one.
  • The winner’s games are free to download and play here ( https://goo.gl/mY9CdS).
  • Artwork created by our finalists can be found here ( https://goo.gl/o1PqdD) , and games created by finalist programmers can be downloaded and played for free at https://goo.gl/Cui1td .
  • Partners of the competition include Sumo Digital, Playground Games, Boss Alien, nDreams, Epic Games, HackerRank, Furious Bee, Edge case Games, GaasWorks, Playstation First, Gamer Camp and the UK Games Fund. 
  • Code Finals Day was held on the 10 th April 2017 at Staffordshire University. 
  • Art Finals Day will be held on the 13 th April 2017 at University of Hertfordshire. 

About Aardvark Swift & Grads In Games: 

In 1989 Aardvark Swift became the first ever recruitment agency dedicated to the video games industry. We recruit permanent, temporary and contract staff for developers, publishers and distributors of video games worldwide. 

Launched in 2014 by Aardvark Swift, Grads in Games is an international initiative which aims to improve the links between the UK games industry and academia. We provide resources and guidance designed to increase the employability of students and graduates.

Our showcase events are Search For A Star and Sumo Digital Rising Star – A series of critically acclaimed annual talent competitions, with challenges designed to assessed by games industry professionals. Everyone who takes part gains a unique experience of studio hiring processes, with the winners being given opportunities to work within leading UK studios.

Games Press

Games Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com