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London (England) January 18, 2013 – A project encouraging students to create ground-breaking interactive environments launched today as part of a joint venture between Crytek, The British Library and Nottingham’s GameCity festival.
The Off the Map challenge invites students from participating colleges and universities to draw inspiration from British Library maps and then turn that inspiration into interactive environments using Crytek’s state-of-the-art CryENGINE® technology. Later this year, a panel of judges will select stand-out Off the Map projects to be showcased at Nottingham’s GameCity 8 festival and beyond.
Maps for the competition will be carefully selected from the British Library’s world-famous cartographic collections, and could depict anything from London in the aftermath of the Great Fire to some of literature’s best-known fantasy worlds. Students will be encouraged to respond to their allocated map by developing an interactive environment that places a special emphasis on imagination and pushes the boundaries of traditional game design.
Tom Harper, Curator of Cartographic Materials at the British Library said: “The prospect of seeing some of the British Library’s historic maps used to create a virtual gaming environment is a genuinely exciting one, and it is perfectly appropriate when you consider that maps have been created as working models of reality for many centuries. The results of this innovative competition will be another important stage in our evolving understanding of these places.”
Iain Simons, Director of GameCity, added: “GameCity is about creating conversations between videogames 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.”
Crytek’s Director of Global Business Development, Carl Jones, believes Off the Map’s emphasis on creativity will lead to intriguing results. “The Off the Map challenge will give some of the UKs brightest talent the chance to become familiar with CryENGINE® and discover the limitless potential it offers for bringing their ideas to life. We look forward to seeing how participants are inspired by these unique assets.”
Off The Map was officially launched at London’s British Library by Iain Livingstone CBE, Life President of Eidos: “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 videogames and pointing to the future for this most vibrant of art forms."
About Crytek GmbH
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 Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, mobile devices and games-as-service 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), Nottingham (UK), Shanghai (China) and Istanbul (Turkey).
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 a 2010 Red Dot Design Award. 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) and Crysis® 2 (awarded Best Shooter of E3 2010 and Gamescom 2010).For more information, please visit www.crytek.com.
About The British Library
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 civilization 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.
“There is no other game festival in the world like GameCity – I know, I have been to a lot of them.” - The Guardian
GameCity is what a videogame festival should be.
GameCity is an innovative arts and culture project powered by Nottingham Trent University. It delivers major research and inclusion projects such as the GameCity videogame culture festival, GameCityNights, the Interactive Technology and Games (ITAG) conference and the National Videogame Archive, a unique collaboration with the National Media Museum.
GameCity’s aim is to bring together developers and the public to explore and celebrate videogames and videogames culture, with a particular focus on students. We attract the best speakers in the world, offer up-and-coming artists and developers a platform for their games and create totally unique events. Some of GameCity’s greatest hits include a world-record breaking zombie gathering, Keita Takahashi designing a children’s playground and Masaya Matsuura, Lorne Lanning, Alexey Pajitnov and Eric Chahi having headlined.
We’ve worked alongside some of the most prominent names in gaming, including Nintendo, Microsoft, SCEE, Electronic Arts, Rare, Crytek UK and lots more.
Going way beyond just playing games, GameCity offers other new ways for people to interact with videogame culture. Art exhibitions, director commentaries, playground building, live recreations of videogames, gigs, gong-shows, three World Records, arcade trails, club nights – nothing is off limits for this most radical of videogame festivals.
To find out more about who we are and what we do see: http://festival.gamecity.org
“Nottingham doesn't have the swagger of Los Angeles or the neon allure of Tokyo, but it can boast a games show that puts E3 and TGS to shame. GameCity is a festival in the truest sense of the word, a celebration of a community and a culture that's sadly all too often swamped by corporate concerns.” - Eurogamer