Hogeschool van Amsterdam

CREATE-IT applied research

Lancering DE PONT: The Amsterdam Ferry

An (interactive) film and game challenge exploring the storytelling potentials of 3D game engines

17 jun 2015 17:09 | Kenniscentrum Digitale Media en Creatieve Industrie (CREATE-IT)

Submarine Channel and the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network (HvA) launch DE PONT – an (interactive) film and game challenge that revolves around a true Amsterdam icon. DE PONT is part of a research project that explores the storytelling potential of 3D game engines such as Unity for both filmmaking and game development. Storytellers such as game designers and filmmakers worldwide are invited to create a short (interactive) animation or game that takes place on the famous free ferry over the river IJ that connects the center of the capital to the upcoming north district.


DE PONT has its roots in a simple observation: game development tools such as Unity are increasingly used by filmmakers, animators and storytellers 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 would they come up with? Those are just a few of the questions that the initiators of De Pont hope to anwer.


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 transports the souls of the newly dead across the river Styx into the underworld. Is everything the same on the other shore, 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, the producers of De Pont aim to spark the creativity neurons in the brains of potential participants all over the world.

DE PONT by animation studio NMTrix.


The organizers are providing a basic set of 3D assets to help creators get started with their project. These assets can be downloaded at  depont.submarinechannel.com for free and may be used or modified according to the needs of your project. 

Call for participants 

The project is open to storytellers, game developers, animators, interaction designers, sound designers, filmmakers, professionals and/or students (from all fields of study). Information on how to participate can be found at depont.submarinechannel.com.

Netherlands Film Festival 2015

A selection of the games and films will be showcased online and presented at various events and international festivals, including at the Digital Storytelling program of the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) in September 2015.



DE PONT is an initiative of the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network and Submarine Channel made possible by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK). The 3D assets are created by animation studio NMTrix.