DMU Game Art students sweep the board in national competition

Expert judges have hailed the "amazing" skills of De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) game artists after they won the top three prizes at a national contest.

Teams from DMU picked up the first, second and third places for the quality of their imaginary computer game worlds in the Off the Map competition, which took place at this year's GameCity videogame exhibition in Nottingham.

The contest, run by GameCity and the British Library, challenges students around the UK to come up with original games based on a different theme with a literary connection.Offthemap-main

This year’s theme was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chosen because 2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s book.

And despite the wealth of competition, DMU Game Art Design BA (Hons) students were announced as the top three winners at a ceremony held at the National Videogame Arcade, in Nottingham, on October 30.

The first prize went to Off Our Rockers, who created a literary-influenced take on the Alice theme.

Team member Dan Bullock played a key role in the conception of the entry.

The 20-year-old said: "It's a total surprise to have been chosen as winners. Such a good feeling; we knew how good the competition was, especially from within DMU.

"We took the idea of Alice as a book, and used sepia tones, pages and words to create the world you play in. It's a a side-scroller and you control Alice and as you move through the level it slowly becomes more vibrant.

"It really says something about the quality of the Game Art Design course at DMU for the top three winners to have come from DMU."

In second place was an entry from student Chris Lonsdale and in third another team effort from Hare-Trigger games.

Here are the three winning entries:

Off Our Rockers

Freddy Canton, Luke Day, Amber Jamieson, Daniel Bullock, Denzil Forde and Braden May came up with this weird and wonderful literary take on the novel.

"We wanted it to have the feel of a book,” they explained. “The artwork is layered to create a stage set, and it’s designed to draw you in.”

Hare-Trigger Games: A Curious Feeling

Calum Bellis, Kieran Burke, Sam Stott, Rebecca Marshall-Ward, Josh Swarbrick and Momotaro Ushido put together this incredible creation.

“We sat around a table bouncing ideas off each other for about two days to decide how it would look,” explained Calum. “It’s a mix of styles because we all have different influences.”

Momotaro said: “The thing with the game is that you make it what it is. Every person playing it will have a different experience.”

Chris Lonsdale

Chris created an explorable garden, based upon the famous journey taken by Alice in the book

Judge Helen Melody, curator at the British Library, said she had been impressed by the standard from DMU.

She said: "There were a lot of entries but the standard from DMU was amazing. The winning team showed a really original approach which, interestingly, used the book itself as a source.

"They avoided the popular film version of Alice and the other computer games and so on which make use of the story and went back to Lewis Carroll's original text and illustrations.

"But all three entries showed a real artistry, intelligence and beauty which could be appreciated even if by those who don't play computer games."


Posted on: Friday 30 October 2015

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