Immersive Shakespeare video leads to unprecedented third win for DMU Game Art students

Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have triumphed again in a national competition to find the best work being done in the UK’s universities.

The Off The Map competition, run by GameCity in conjunction with the British Library, was won by DMU’s Team Quattro – Chris Anka, Perrie Green, Tara Naz, Jade Silver, Jasdey Singh and Joel Wilkins.

It is the third time that DMU Game Art students have won the competition in the four years it has been run. Last year DMU took first, second and third prize in the contest.

Every year, a different challenge is set, on a literary theme.  This year’s was Shakespeare, to accompany the British Library’s exhibition of 400 years since the death of Shakespeare.

Students had to choose one of three themes selected by curators to base their work upon – Castles, The Tempest or A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Team Quattro’s work was based on The Tempest, which took viewers on a journey through a shipwrecked world, from the shoreline to a mysterious forest.

The group were all second year students when they worked on the project and combined ideas to create environments of a forest, a beach and magical scenes for their winning entry.

One of the team, Tara Naz, said: “It was a complete surprise to win, we didn’t expect it at all. We were all so excited! It was about three months’ work for us to create.”

Judges described the winning game as “evocative, immersive”. Shakespearian scholar Dr Erin Sullivan said: “It introduces players to the story of the play in a deep, thoughtful way.’

Dr Abigail Parry, poet in residence at the National Videogame Arcade, said: "I was head-over-heels for the metatextual element of this submission – you had me at the stage door. It was good, too, to see source text daubed on the caves walls – for me, the greatest strength of the submission was that it succeeded in synthesising text, assets and game environment in a way that was both engaging and beautiful.

“Also to be commended was the attention to detail – the prop storm clouds were a delight.  The individual domains were characterful, and the story welcome without being obtrusive.  Most of all, it displayed a real interest in – and affection for - the play. I would want to play this game, and would be equally proud to teach with it."

The finals were held at GameCity, the national video arcade based in Nottingham.

Judges were: Sarah Ellis, Head of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company; Dr Abigail Parry, Poet in Residence at the National Videogame Arcade; Dr Erin Sullivan, Shakespeare Institute Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham; Cheryl Tipp, Wildlife and Environmental Sounds Curator at the British Library and Zoë Wilcox, Lead Curator of the Shakespeare Exhibition at the British Library.

Posted on: Monday 31 October 2016

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