Off The Map

GameCity is very excited to be hosting the most creative and inspiring competition ever to involve a cultural heritage collection and gaming, in conjunction with the British Library.


Now in its fourth year, Off The Map challenges budding game makers to use collections from The British Library as inspiration to create exciting interactive digital media.

The 2016 Off The Map competition was launched at GameCity 10 and is associated with the British Library’s upcoming Shakespeare exhibition (15 April 2016 to 6 September 2016). A variety of illustrations, engravings, maps and sounds related to The Tempest and castles and forests that have been used as settings in Shakespeare’s plays will provide the basis for students to base their games on.

There are three categories for entry; 3D, 2D and Interactive Text.

Winners will be announced at the GameCity festival in October 2016.

Three themes have been chosen especially for the competition. You can read more about them and follow links to download asset packs full of reference materials curated by the British Library on their respective pages:
Castles detail


Castles appear as settings in several of Shakespeare’s plays, most atmospherically in Hamlet and Macbeth. Hamlet is set in Elsinore, Shakespeare’s version of Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, Denmark. A key scene takes place on the battlements where Hamlet’s father’s ghost appears, telling his son about his gruesome murder and calling for vengeance… Read more

Forests detail

Forests, Woodlands and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Forests and woodlands play a significant role in several of Shakespeare’s plays. Their presence on the edge of civilisation, surrounding castle battlements and city walls make them places of intrigue and mystery where the usual rules of society do not apply… Read more

tempest detail

The Tempest

The Tempest opens with a storm battering the ship on which Alonso, the King of Naples, and his party are travelling. Washed ashore, Alonso’s men find themselves on a strange island inhabited by Prospero the magician, his daughter Miranda, a shape-shifting spirit called Ariel, and the slave Caliban… Read more

All entries will be assessed by a panel of industry professionals and an overall winner will be announced in October 2016 at The GameCity Festival. If you are a UK-based HE student, who is not already in full-time employment in the gaming industry, then it’d be delightful if you entered Off The Map.
Teams can be made up of up to 6 people, but there is no minimum.

Single person entries are more than welcome.

Read the full Terms & Conditions here.