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Promotional artwork for Hammy-Bee – a character wearing a VR headset, sweatpants and burger slippers, holding gaming controllers and sitting in a gaming chair.

BA (Hons) Animation Production student designs Subway Surfers’ newest playable character


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A third-year Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) student has won a competition to design a playable character for Subway Surfers, the most-downloaded mobile game of all time.

Sarah Bucksey beat over 800 entries in the “Craft-A-Character” competition with the “gaming geek”-inspired Hammy-Bee, whose design includes a VR headset, sweatpants and burger slippers.

The contest called upon Subway Surfers’ community of 150 million monthly players to design its newest playable character.

As a fan of the game, Sarah says she was aware of previous character creation competitions and decided to enter this year as “the time was just right.”

“Hammy-Bee was inspired by my friends, mostly,” Sarah explains. “Just seeing people at university […] colourful hair, wearing casual clothes…”

The character will become playable from Monday 13 May, to coincide with the endless runner game’s 12th birthday. However, Sarah says that the response to Hammy-Bee has been positive even prior to launch.

“I’ve seen some fan art of it, which is really cool,” she says. “They posted my drawing, just announcing the winner, and then literally a couple of days later, I started getting DMs from people saying, ‘I’ve drawn your Surfer; I can’t wait for it in the game’. It’s so flattering.”

Sarah is in her final year studying BA (Hons) Animation Production at AUB. A course that, in Sarah’s words, has art and design at its core and, “can take you many places.”

“I archive all the stuff I draw online,” Sarah explains. “If you go back to when I first started, just before AUB, and then after, the improvement has been insane.

“We’re all like-minded individuals, all trying to improve with each other. The community and collaboration at AUB has been amazing for growth as an artist.”

With graduation in the not-too-distant future, Sarah says she aims to go into the games industry after finishing her studies.

“I’m interested in CG props as well,” she says. “I really like stylised art, so I’m looking to get into making 3D models for games or working on 3D productions. I’m keeping it broad; I’m not closing any doors just yet.”

AUB will be launching its brand-new BA (Hons) Games Art and Design course this September.

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