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Search for a Star

Pieter Botha Ė Search for a Star winner 2010!

I took part in and won the first, ĎSearch for a Starí competition held during 2009/10. The competition was available to all third year students in the UK that were on games development courses at University.

There were three stages. The first was a written test that focussed on mathematics and programming for games development. The last question of the written test was concerned with designing and implementing a gameplay element. This was a brilliant question that could be answered in a variety of different ways. It tested your knowledge of game programming in general as well as your competency with C++ language.

The second round was where the competition got really interesting. We were given a broken, bare game and had to fix all compilation and run time errors, then improve upon the game. We only had a week to do it. It also presented you with the dilemma of working under a very tight deadline and I think that if you werenít already quite familiar with game programming specifically, that would have been a major stumbling block. I learnt a lot from the competition thanks to that. I t was a tough week, but incredibly rewarding. MY game was quire basic but considering what was done in a week Iím indirectly proud of it.

The final phase involved a panel interview at Relentless software in Brighton. Needles to say it was nerve-wracking.

The experience of attending an interview like that was invaluable though. I canít say enough of how great the people at Relentless were. Itís given me a lot of confidence and even if I donít win the competition I feel just having had the chance to go to that interview was enough of a reward.

Actually winning the award meant the world to me. I honestly donít think that I would, it feels like all of the year dive put into pursuing a career in game development are finally starting to pay off. I think itís easy to lose sight of your passion when you go to university. Academics, while essential can eat away at your passion. You can easily get swamped with work for University and lose sight of your true goal in the process of your studies.

Competitions like, ĎSearch for a Starí, really bring back your focus and restore your perspective theyíre essential and Iím grateful for having had the opportunity to take part in a great one. Iím very grateful to Aardvark Swift for holding, ĎSearch for a Starí and helping me to get one step closer to a career in game development and I hope to remain in contact with them throughout my career.

After the competition. Hollie Heraghty found me a dream job in a brilliant company in the UK. They are a world leader in racing games and it is a dream come true. I genuinely think that Aardvark Swift and Hollie helped me to get my foot in the door and take the first step towards a dream career.

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