“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” — Orson Welles

  • The Pont
  • The Pont

Film and game professionals and students, designers, and storytellers are invited to create a short (interactive) animation or game that takes place on the famous free Amsterdam ferry over the river IJ. Het Pontje, as the locals lovinly call it, connects the center of the city to the upcoming north district.

DE PONT is part of a research project that explores the storytelling potential of 3D game engines for both filmmaking and game development. The project is rooted in a simple observation: game development tools such as Unity are increasingly used to create films. As a result the visual languages of cinema and video games are converging. What if both game designers and filmmakers were to create a game or film based on the same theme using the same assets? How would they approach it? What stories or what game narratives would they come up with?


For many people, taking a ferry to get to work and back is part of their daily routine.

The ferry is also a classic theme in literature and art. In Greek mythology, the ferryman Charon (pictured on the left in an illustration by Gustave Doré) transports the souls of the newly dead across the river Styx into the underworld. Is everything the same on the other bank, or could we be on a passage to a completely different world? Who are the other passengers and what happens between them on the way? Who is the ferryman?

By choosing a universal theme, Submarine Channel and the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network aim to spark the creativity neurons in the brains of potential participants all over the world.

DE PONT is a not-for-profit project. A production by Submarine Channel in collaboration with the initiator, the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (in Dutch)


Submarine Channel

An international production and distribution platform for creative and innovative digital media productions. From studios in Amsterdam and L.A., Submarine Channel creates interactive documentaries, motion comics and transmedia stories. It is part of the multiple award-winning production outfit Submarine, founded by 2000 by Bruno Felix and Femke Wolting. Submarine Channel is supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie (The Creative Industries Fund NL) and Gemeente Amsterdam: Dienst Maatschappelijk Ontwikkeling (The City of Amsterdam).

Related project
A Split Second (2008-2010) was a game research project by Submarine Channel and Stedelijk Museum. The project explored the notion of “artistic authorship” in video games. Three playable “art game” demos, made by visual artists in collaboration with game designers, were produced and presented at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris.


Amsterdam Creative Industries

Applied research and knowledge building for both students and staff: that’s what Amsterdam Creative Industries Network is all about. Active in Amsterdam’s greater metropolitan region, and directly involving the creative industries and ICT sectors, Amsterdam Creative Industries Network confronts current social issues.

Amsterdam Creative Industries Network creates synergy with the business world and government so we can all work together to breed talent and provide reputable experts with the optimum means to realise their research. An industry advisory board brings insight to our strategic research agenda, thinks along on which additional market parties should be brought on board, and provides feedback to the substance of a project’s progress.

Our mission is to combine, develop and promote applied research related to the interface between the creative industries and ICT. Together with the sector itself, the founding partners are continually building on ACIN as a hub for practical research, education and training.

Click the links below to download the files.

Download Press Release (pdf)

Download Press Images (zip)



Hackaton De Pont

Last Saturday’s De Pont Hackathon was a big success! Six teams made up of coders, designers and artists from all walks of life worked their b*ts off all day to produce a demo made with the 3D assets of De Pont. The concepts people came up with were pretty rad, ranging from experimental VR experiences to AR hybrids (live action mixed with 3D). We closed the event with food and drinks, followed by a showcase of everyone’s project and of course a party.

Big shout out to all participants, to Lava Lab, to the organizers; Creative Coding Amsterdam.

Here are some more pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/jWX7vFg2GTgSfDdy8

CCA Hack de Pont 036

CCA Hack de Pont 010

By | 3rd May 2016

Hack De Pont on April 30th !


Come and join us in Amsterdam on Saturday April 30th, 2016 for the very first Hackathon focusing on De Pont!

Throughout the day, computer programmers, game designers, animators, software developers, and creative coding enthusiasts will collaborate on creating their own version of De Pont ferry journey.

Get tickets!

Time: 10.30 to 23.30
Location: Lava Lab (Asterdwarsweg 5, Amsterdam)


Program Hackathon (tickets sold out)

10:30 – 18:00

Places for this hackathon are limited! Buy your tickets here. Tickets are 20 euro and include lunch, a super fancy dinner by John Pastinaak (De Ruimte), and snacks + drinks during the day event.
We’ll be making movies, games or interactive storytelling experiences on the theme of the ferry that crosses the IJ river to Amsterdam North.
Some VR related experience (Unity, 3D-modeling, storytelling, etc.) is handy but not absolutely necessary – we’ll guide you through the basics!
Submarine Channel will make a selection of the final projects. These projects will be published on Submarine Channel and De Pont website and will be presented at a De Pont showcase at EYE film museum later this year.

What can you expect?

  • A short workshop on virtual reality, VR storytelling and more.
  • Meet other creative coding enthusiasts
  • Make awesome VR projects together
  • Presentations will be in English

Meetup (free event, no ticket needed)

(19:00 – 22:00)

The evening program will be free and open to everyone, as long as we all still fit in the building. There will be short talks on virtual reality projects and storytelling (tba). Additionally, the results of the hackathon will of course be shown!

What can you expect?

  • Short talks on VR
  • Meet other creative coding enthusiasts
  • Drinks will be available for a small price
  • Presentations will be in English

VR Afterparty! (free event, no ticket needed)

(Starting at 22:00)

At 22:00 the VR afterparty will start where we can bring our VR goggles to the dance floor! The afterparty takes place at our friends and neighbours at De Ruimte. More info about this party will follow soon.

What can you expect?

  • Experience a VR dance floor!

For more information and updates on the event, check out the official events page on Facebook

By | 24th March 2016

Valentine’s Day and News from De Pont – An Amsterdam Love Story

What better timing than Valentine’s Day to release the demo video of Saku Saisa’s game: De Pont – An Amsterdam Love Story!

This is a game where the player, as a passenger of the Amsterdam ferry, must find his / her love interest on the docks in order to embark on the boat (see earlier blog post for full game description).

Still in development, the game already contains important features. Before starting, the player can create and customize his / her own character by choosing areas of interests. Once the character is created, he / she can walk around the docks and communicate with other characters. The aim is to find common interests between two characters and create a perfect match!

More news on the game’s development will follow in the coming months, in the meantime check out the creator’s web page for other games: http://www.underradar-games.fi/

De Pont – An Amsterdam Love Story from Submarine Channel on Vimeo.

By | 15th February 2016


Ready to create your own edition of De Pont?
Participating is easy and free.

Please read this first

1. This not-for-profit film and game challenge is open to game and film professionals and students, animators, developers, designers, composers and storytellers.
2. The first requirement is that you create a game or an interactive story based on our predefined theme.
3. The 3D assets can be downloaded for free under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. By registering you accept this licence.
4. You can use the assets any way you like, modify them, or create and use your own.
5. You can take as long as you like to create your game. The first presentation of the results of De Pont will be at the Netherlands Film Festival. If you want to be part of this, your deadline is September 15th.
6. By participating, you grant us permission to use stills or clips from your edition of De Pont for a promotional (but not commercial) purposes.


It’s easy!

Ready to create your own edition of De Pont? Register now by downloading the 3D assets.

Complete the form and you’re good to go!

If you have any questions or queries, email us at depont@submarine.nl.

Connect with us and with other participants via Twitter @depontproject and Facebook


Share your work

We love to hear from you. Tell us about your game or story concept, share stills from your film or game in progress via Twitter, Facebook, or email us.

Once you’ve finished your story or game, we’d like to see it, play it, experience it, and showcase it on this website. Get in touch by email when you’re ready to go public with your edition.


See what others are doing

The results will be showcased here on this website in the Showcase section.

The best and most interesting editions of De Pont will be presented at various events and exhibitions in 2015 and 2016. If you have a project that is unfinished, we still might be able to include it in our presentations. So please keep us updated on the status of your production. In December we will present De Pont at EYE, Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.


Connect with other participants

We’re looking into ways to connect creators. If you are, for example, a game developer looking for a 3D modeler, an animator looking for a Unity developer, or a composer looking to collaborate, you can leave a message on our Facebook wall. On Twitter, we are @depontproject hashtag #depont.

Or feel free to email us for advise.


Download Assets

Assets (ZIP file 53 mb):

Download the package


SubmarineChannel_DEPONT_Overview of Assets.pdf


The assets can be used in Unity, which is an amazing tool that’s free for personal use. Download Unity here.

Blender, Maya, 3Ds Max

De FBX files for characters and props can be used in other decent 3D tools, such as Blender, Maya, 3Ds Max, etc. The scene itself is only compatible with Unity. If you’re not using Unity but an alternative tool, you’ll have to rebuild the scene. Same goes for things like shaders – those only work in Unity.

Below are screenshots of all currently available assets. These are all contained in the zip file.

3-D assets created by animation studio NMTrix.

  • Kronan Bike
  • Grandma Bike
  • Boat
  • Freighter
  • Cars
  • Female
  • Male
  • Puch
  • Phone
  • Environment
  • Environment
  • Ferry
  • Vespa
  • Bin


Is this a competition? Can I win a prize?
This is not a competition. Until we find a nice sponsor to donate a cash prize, that is.

Why should I participate? What’s in it for me?
Doesn’t everyone love a creative challenge? Plus, it’s nice to be part of something bigger: a research project of the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (in Dutch), and in addition to the online showcase on Submarine Channel, your game or film will be presented at (international) events and exhibitions, such as The Netherlands Film Festival and EYE Filmmuseum.

Can anyone participate?
Yes. Whether you’re a professional game development studio, a filmmaker, a student, or an indie game designer – if you have a good idea and know how to execute it, you’re welcome to join.

Why is the theme of this project already defined?
“A set of limitations is often the catalyst that sets creativity free,” a wise man once said.

Why is this project limited to Unity?
It isn’t. Feel free to use the game development, animation or filmmaking tool of your choice. Please keep in mind that some assets may not be compatible with your development tool.

Which version of Unity is supported?
You may use any version you like, but the downloadable assets only work in Unity 5. Download the most recent version.

I want to use my own assets.
If you have the time and the skills to build your own assets, by all means, do! We’re providing a set of assets to make it easier for people to get started. If you’d like to share your assets with other participants, send us an email.

Why do I need to leave my personal information to download the assets?
By downloading the assets and leaving your name, email address, and nationality, you accept the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence the assets and the projects that are created with it are distributed under. We ask for your nationality just because we’re curious where our participants come from.

How long does the game or film have to be?
You can create a quick casual puzzle game or an epic dystopian adventure. It is entirely up to you.

I have a great idea for a game, but I am not a game developer. How can I participate?
We are looking into ways to connect people who are looking for creative partners. In the meantime, you could post a message on our Facebook Wall and explain who or what you’re looking for.

Can I submit a game or film in my own language?
Yes you can. However, we will present the results of De Pont to international audiences, so English is preferred.

Got another question? Email us.


Submarine Channel
Arie Biemondstraat 111
1054 PD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)20 3301226
E-mail: depont@submarine.nl submarinechannel.com


The names, URLs, and project info about participants of De Pont will show up here.


We are looking into ways of connecting creators who are looking for creative partners. In the meantime you could post a message on our Facebook Wall and explain what you’re looking for. On Twitter we are @depontproject hashtag #depont.

Or feel free to email us for advise.

Subscribe to the Submarine Channel Newsletter to stay informed. Newsletters are sent out infrequently, less than monthly on average. We have a strict no spam policy.

Mirjam Vosmeer – Coordinator Interaction & Games Lab @Amsterdam University

Bruno Felix, Femke Wolting – Producers Submarine Channel

Corine Meijers, Remco Vlaanderen – interactive producers @Submarine Channel


3-D assets created by NMTrix:

Lucas Weij – Modeling/ Art direction
Richard van Eijbergen – Unity/ Shading
Ronald Toes – Animation
Thijs Duijker – Modeling
Johan Boekhoven – Rigging
Jan Beukema – Production lead
Patrick Nijman – Line Producer


Website designed by Christiaan de Rooij @Submarine Channel

Website development by Sinne de Rooij @Submarine Channel

Publicity by Koen Machielse @ Submarine Channel

Production assistance by Nick Ruijter @ Submarine Channel