Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map

The first ever Discworld app, and the first ever living, breathing map of an entire fantasy city.

The challenge

Transworld Publishers approached us during the development of The Compleat Ankh-Morpork, their definitive work on Sir Terry Pratchett's most famous city. The book would contain information about thousands of locations from a fantasy world, accompanied by two beautiful, hand-illustrated maps of the city. Our challenge was to adapt this detailed reference work into an app.

The approach

Our response was simple: we wanted to bring the city to life on your iPad. In fact, we wanted to create the first app to accurately portray a living, breathing map of an entire fantasy city beneath your fingertips.

At the heart of the app is the book's beautiful hand-drawn perspective map, recreated as a bustling, animated city. As you pinch and zoom to discover the city, you’ll see its residents going about their everyday business – however unscrupulous or illegal that business may be.

It’s not just the inhabitants who come to life – the city is a living metropolis too. Smoke rises from chimneys, animals stamp their feet in the cattle market, and swimmers splash about in Mort Lake. All of this is reinforced by an original contextual soundscape that ebbs and flows as you move around, matching the atmosphere of the city at work.

Significant locations are highlighted as you pan around the map. Tapping to read more about a location displays a carousel of information and images. Selected locations also feature quotes taken directly from the Discworld novels.

As you explore the streets, you'll discover famous Discworld characters following their own lives and paths in the city. When tapped, a newly-created soundscape plays for that character, and a carousel of information appears with biography, illustrations and relevant quotes from their appearances in the books.

If you're not sure where to start exploring, then don’t worry – the Ankh-Morpork Map also contains three walking excursions of the city, conducted by our very own tour guide, Hortensia d'Antiqua (voiced by Blackadder's Helen Atkinson-Wood).

Alongside the living map, an equally beautiful street map is used to give quick navigation shortcuts between locations. Our City Directory gives a non-map-based way to navigate around the city, and provides a complete list of locations in one handy reference, while an annotated Street Index gives a quick way to navigate the city by street name.

Finally, we've integrated Apple’s Game Center system, to track your progress through the city. As you discover new locations and characters on the map, you'll unlock achievements, all of which can be shared with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

The end result is The Ankh-Morpork Map – the first ever Discworld app, and the first ever living, breathing map of an entire fantasy city.

Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map is available on the iTunes Store from Transworld Publishers, priced at £9.99. More information, together with a demonstration video, can be found on the app's website.


  • Two beautiful hand-drawn maps of Ankh-Morpork, with over 1,500 residents wandering the streets
  • Information on over 2,000 businesses, services and landmarks, with illustrations and quotes from the many Discworld novels
  • A newly created dynamic panning soundscape, evoking the atmosphere of a city at work
  • Animated Discworld characters to discover as they walk the city’s streets
  • A fully searchable city directory and street index
  • Guided walking tours of famous landmarks, narrated by Blackadder’s Helen Atkinson-Wood
  • Achievement tracking through Apple’s Game Center
  • All of the text from the book The Compleat Ankh-Morpork, plus exclusive new illustrations, animations, audio and video.

Media pack

Download the media pack, containing hi-res screenshots, artwork and icon images for the app.