Six students at De Montfort University in the United Kingdom won a video game design competition called “Off the Map” earlier this month with their 3D, digital recreation of London in the years just before the city’s Great Fire.
University teams that entered the inaugural contest chose between the city before the fire, Stonehenge or the Pyramids of Giza, and the competition was geared toward generating conversation about how video games can explore different facets of culture.
Teams constructed their realms with CryEngine, a video game development solution built by Crytek. Part of the competition’s purpose was to illuminate the ways the platform can be used outside of the video game sphere, such as in architecture.
"Crytek brought the technology, the British Library brought the source materials and historical expertise and GameCity brought the festival and connected them all together," Iain Simons, director of GameCity, told Mashable in an email. "Everyone involved did it because they were excited about the possibilities of reaching new audiences, illuminating these amazing documents and inspiring people."
The winning students, who called themselves Pudding Lane Productions after the street where the Great Fire is believed to have started, are all in their final year studying game art design.
"We decided to explore pre-fire 17th Century London because we felt it held the most potential for diversity and detail," said Luc Fontenoy, one of the team members. "It also allowed us to think on a very large scale and take liberties with how pre-fire London might exist, as of course most of it was destroyed."