Gamer John is a rising star in awards stakes

UCLan student John Green and Gareth Bellaby.
UCLan student John Green and Gareth Bellaby.

Computing games student John Green is a rising star.

The University of Central Lancashire scholar beat entrants from all over to win a coveted Sumo Digital Rising Star award, one of the industry’s biggest games development challenges.

The second year student beat more than 40 finalists to win the competition, which was run by Aardvark Swift, a company of award-winning recruitment specialists across video games, toys and licensing sectors.

UCLan has had previous success in the Search for a Star category but this is the first time it has had a Rising Star.

The 22-year-old had an extra special reason to celebrate as he didn’t get his lecturers to review his code because he wanted to get industry feedback on a codebase that was totally his own work.

John said: “It was great to win Rising Star. It’s really satisfying knowing that what I have learned at university so far has enabled me to make a feature rich game that people in the industry have recognised as a well-designed game.

“My game was a two dimensional spaceship game that the user could build their own custom ships and fight with them against other players.

“I believe the reason my game did better than the other competitors came down to how I planned and managed the development of my game.”

Gareth Bellaby, senior lecturer for computing games development at the university, is hoping the success will encourage more would-be students to take up the course and said: “I’m incredibly proud of John to have won the competition competing against undergraduates from a lot of universities and the quality was so high.”