British Library maps are the inspiration for a winning videogame concept

Pudding Lane Productions, Crytek Off The Map

A team of students have won a prestigious competition after using videogame technology to turn historic maps and engravings from the British Library into a stunning 3D environment.

Pudding Lane Productions, a team of six second-year students from De Montfort University, Leicester, scooped first prize in the Off the Map challenge – a nationwide initiative sponsored by game developer Crytek and run in conjunction with the British Library and GameCity.
Their success was announced during a special event to showcase the best of the Off the Map entries as part of GameCity8, the annual festival of videogame culture currently being held in Nottingham (October 19 to October 26).

GameCity, a Nottingham Trent University project, is holding a series of special events, presentations and debates during the week, celebrating videogames and videogame culture.

The Pudding Lane Productions team’s three-dimensional fly-through of 17th century London impressed the judges with its realism and attention to detail, showing the tightly packed streets and lanes of the capital city.

Students from the universities and colleges were given few rules to follow, granting them the creative freedom they needed to adapt the maps from the British Library with Crytek's CRYENGINE.

The primary objective of the competition was to inspire innovation among students and merge rich visual sources from the past with industry-leading technology.

Carl Jones, Crytek's director of business development, said: "Off the Map has given students in the UK a chance to discover the power of CRYENGINE first-hand. The winning entry points to a bright future for the industry and underscores the fact that the engine is not only setting new standards for blockbuster games, but is also accessible and intuitive for those taking their first steps into development."

Tom Harper, panel judge and curator of cartographic materials at the British Library, said: “Some of these vistas would not look at all 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, even the glittering window casements.

“I'm really pleased that the Pudding Lane team was able to repurpose some of the maps from the British Library's amazing map collection – a storehouse of virtual worlds – in such a considered way.”

GameCity director Iain Simons said: “The Pudding Lane team’s entry was brilliant, using historic artifacts and cutting-edge technology to help show both in a new light.

“Videogaming is a massive part of our culture and the arts and entertainment sector, so this kind of technology and know-how is moving very much into the mainstream.

“Now we have our first winners we hope to make collaborations like Off the Map a regular fixture of GameCity festivals.”

The winning team members are Joe Dempsey, Dominic Bell, Luc Fontenoy, Daniel Hargreaves, Daniel Peacock and Chelsea Lindsay. Speaking after being presented with the award, team member Chelsea Lindsey said she and her fellow students were delighted that they had risen to the challenge.

“It’s great that our hard work has paid off and we were successful in getting our concepts across. CRYENGINE is a great medium for projecting our creative ideas,” she said.

Teams had a choice of maps and drawings based on London in the 17th Century, Stonehenge and the Pyramids at Gizeh in Egypt.

Notes to Editors:

As well as the festival, GameCity organises a series of events throughout the year and across the UK. Projects aim to contextualise videogames as accessible, important, cultural, visionary and enduring pieces of work made by creative people with diverse skills, ambitions and imaginations. Nottingham Trent University has courses across its schools of Arts and Humanities, Science and Technology and Art and Design for anyone with an interest in videogaming. It also supports graduates with an interest in videogames and digital culture who wish to pursue doctoral research. For more information please contact Professor Nahem Yousaf, academic team leader in the school of Arts and Humanities.

For more information contact:


The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.  

GameCity creates new connections between videogames and the world. Since 2006, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, it has staged the annual GameCity festival in Nottingham, which celebrates the medium's creative and cultural diversity.

Its pioneering new approaches to public engagement have won acclaim from critics and audiences internationally.

GameCity is proud to receive support and backing from Nottingham Trent University and a range of private and public sector partners including Nottingham City Council, Broadway Media Centre, and Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.

Game City website
Twitter @gamecity

Crytek GmbH (“Crytek”) is an independent company at the forefront of the interactive entertainment industry, and is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of gaming by creating standout experiences for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Wii UTM, iOS and Android using their cutting-edge 3D-Game-Technology, CRYENGINE®.

The company’s headquarters are in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Crytek also has studios in Kiev (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary), Sofia (Bulgaria), Seoul (South Korea), Shanghai (China), Istanbul (Turkey) and Austin (USA).

Since its foundation in 1999, Crytek has consistently been recognized for excellence in its field, earning accolades such as the 2011 Develop Award for Best Independent Studio, and two Red Dot Design Awards (in 2010 and 2013). Its multi-award winning games include Far Cry®, Crysis® (awarded best PC Game of E3 2007 and Best Technology at the 2008 Game Developers Choice Awards), Crysis Warhead® (awarded Best Graphics Technology at IGN Best of 2008 Awards), Crysis® 2 (awarded Best Shooter of E3 2010 and Gamescom 2010), Crysis® 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Warface (awarded Best Social/Casual/Online Game of Gamescom 2012). For more information, please visit www.crytek.com.


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