Six Game Art Design students from DMU have won an award at Europe’s biggest video game festival.
Students Chelsea Lindsay, Luc Fontenoy, Dan Hargreaves, Joe Dempsey, Daniel Peacock and Dom Bell were crowned the winners of the ‘Off the Map’ competition at the GameCity festival last Wednesday.
The competition, which was sponsored by the British Library and video game company Crytek, required the students to build interactive gaming environments inspired by the library’s historic cartographic map collection. The group chose to base their design on the streets lost in the Great Fire of London, which can be seen in the video below.
The team, named Pudding Lane Productions, fought off stiff opposition from ten other universities to scoop the top prize and their YouTube video has gained over 200,000 views already.
Joe Dempsey said: “We are so pleased to win this award. The Game Art Design course at DMU is fantastic and the competition allowed us to put our creative skills to great use.”
The judges were impressed by the team’s three-dimensional fly-through with its realism and attention to detail, showing the tightly packed streets and lanes of the capital which led to the fire.
Tom Harper, panel judge and curator of cartographic materials at the British Library, said: “Some of these vistas would not look out of place as special effects in a Hollywood studio production. The haze effect lying over the city is brilliant, and great attention has been given to key features of London Bridge, the wooden structure of Queenshithe on the river and even the glittering window casements.
“I’m really pleased that the Pudding Lane team was able to re-purpose some of the maps from the British Library’s amazing map collection – a storehouse of virtual worlds – in such a considered way.”
Heather Williams, Senior Lecturer in 3D Visualisation on the Game Art Design course, said: “DMU is renowned for its creativity and innovation and I’m so pleased to see the hard work of our students reflected through industry achievements such as this.
“The competition allowed the students to put into practice the skills and knowledge they have learnt on the course in a very interesting and creative way. Winning this top accolade will create great exposure for the students in the gaming industry.”
The award has come as the latest boost for DMU’s Game Art Design course, which is considered as world-leading in its field. It was the first industry accredited game art design course in England and boasts alumni who now work for companies including Ubisoft and SEGA.