Year-long project aims to unearth future talent through building interactive environments

Dev contest challenges students to map new worlds

GameCity has launched a new competition encouraging students to explore their creativity by building interactive environments, using archives maps from the British Library.

Off the Map is a year-long project in partnership with Crytek and the British Library. It challenges college and university students to bring maps to life by lifting them off the page.

Students can take inspiration from maps within the famous British Library cartographic collection and use this to create interactive environments of their own design using CryEngine technology.

The British Library’s maps portray a variety of periods of historical significance, for example, London maps dating from during the aftermath of the Great Fire. The organisers are hoping to see weird and wonderful ideas drawn from fictional worlds.

“GameCity is about creating conversations between video games and the rest of the culture – I can’t think of any better partners in that aim than Crytek and the British Library. This is a unique invitation to explore the world’s knowledge with cutting-edge technology,” said GameCity director Iain Simons.

The top entrants chosen by a panel of judges will have their work showcased at a number of events across the world, including GameCity 8 in Nottingham this year.
The competition kicked with a launch event in January, which was attended by organisers from GameCity, Crytek and British Library.

Iain Livingstone CBE, speaker at the launch, added: “I’m delighted to see the launch of this new project, bringing together the heritage and esteem of the British Library’s collection with the bleeding-edge technology. Once again, GameCity are starting new conversations about video games and pointing to the future for this most vibrant of art forms.”

Crytek’s director of CryEngine global business development Carl Jones, added: “We hope the creative freedom the project allows entrants will produce some unexpected results, and we look forward to seeing how participants are inspired by these unique assets.”

The final date for registration is February 28th, 2013. Find out more at Off the Map’s official website.

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