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  1. Off the Map 2013 - Afterthoughts

    Tuesday, 5 November 2013

    Hello everyone. Firstly, we'd like to apologise for the amount of time it's taken us to respond to all the interest you've shown in our level. I mean, wow. Really; the amount of publicity, and all of the amazing comments we've received over the last two weeks has been staggering, we could not be more grateful.

    A quick intro for those who don’t know us. We are six students studying Game Art Design at DeMontfort University, Leicester, all in our final year. During the latter half of our second year studies, we were invited to take part in a brand new competition set by Crytek, Gamecity and The British Library collaboratively. The competition was titled: Off the Map. 
    The six of us established Pudding Lane Productions as part of our second year group project. We chose to take part in the Off the Map project as we knew that it was an opportunity to develop our 3D art and concept design skills, as well as demonstrating how video game technology can be used in a variety of different ways. 

     On  the 23rd of October at Gamecity in Nottingham, Pudding Lane Productions were announced as the winners of the 2013 Off The Map competition for our 3D reproduction of 17th Century London, which we had designed using reference taken from the historic maps in the British Library, and built using state-of-the art CryEngine technology.
    Since winning the award a few weeks ago we’ve been overwhelmed by the feedback and response from the general public to the mainstream media, something that none of us were expecting when we began working on the project. Many questions have been highlighted in recent weeks some of which we can answer here for you now.

     As already mentioned, we chose to participate in this project and establish Pudding Lane Productions, as part of our second year group project. We never intended for the final map to be available to play for the general public as releasing a game in the typical fashion for PC or games console is a completely different ball game. Our London has had a lot of love (and disease) poured into it, and whilst we'd love for everyone to have a stroll in it's unsanitary streets, it was created primarily as an accurate, immersive visualisation rather than a durable game experience. If, however, we can find a way for you to be able to experience the level first hand, preferably bug free (we did not have a dedicated QA team, and 14 weeks is a pretty short amount of time!) then we will certainly consider making it available.
    In regards to what the team is planning to do next; we'd love to say more projects. But, of course, we are all still university students, and our course eats up a lot of our time. Off The Map was a completely new venture for both the course, and us as individuals, and we used every hour we could of those 14 weeks to get it looking the way it does.

     Again, the team would like to thank everybody for the incredible amount of feedback and support we have received over the last few weeks, and we're overwhelmed that our project has spread so far and been of interest to such a wide and varied audience. From historians, to primary school teachers using our work in their class rooms, we are all extremely happy that our work has made such an impact.

    We'd like to thank the British Library and in particular Tom Harper and Stella Wisdom for the access we were given to their incredible resources at the library, as well as Crytek for the use of CryEngine, which truly is an artist's tool.

    Last but not least, we would like to thank our tutors: Mike Powell, Heather Williams, and Chris Wright for their ongoing support throughout the project.

    Also, if you would like to get in contact with any of the team, we'll post e-mails below, but our blog links can be found on the right hand side of this page which have portfolio and contact details as well.

    Dan Hargreaves:
    Joe Dempsey:
    Luc Fontenoy:
    Dominic Bell:
    Daniel Peacock:
    Chelsea Lindsay: