One theme | Free 3-D assets | Unity Compatible | Anyone can join
Submarine Channel and the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network present De Pont. De Pont was an interactive film and game challenge that revolved around a true Amsterdam icon. Creators were invited to create a short (interactive) animation or game that takes place on the famous free ferry over the river IJ. De Pont was part of a research project that explored the storytelling potential of 3D game engines such as Unity for both filmmaking and game development. Students, professionals and studios were invited to join through an open call. We provided the 3D assets.
The first demo of “De Pont: The Haunted Edition” was created by students from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. They adapted the 3D assets to suit their haunted ferry-themed adventure game.
We provided a set of 3D assets to help participants get started. The 3D assets were created by NMtrix and were distributed under a creative commons license. Participants could modify these assets according to the needs of their project or add their own.
Netherlands Film Festival
The results of DE PONT were showcased online and presented at various events and international festivals.
This project is rooted in a simple observation: game development tools such as Unity, the Unreal Engine and Source Filmmaker are increasingly used by filmmakers, animators and storytellers to create films. As a result the visual languages of cinema and video games are converging, which brings us to our main query:
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 ideas would they come up with?
The question that we present to all creators is: where do you imagine the boundaries between film and game, between watching and playing? Will you create a love story or a shooter? Do you want to address a current theme, create a serious game, or will you invent a social game that allows travelers on “het pontje” to connect with each other?
About the Theme
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, Submarine Channel and HvA aim to spark the creativity neurons in the brains of potential participants all over the world.
Sister project: A Split Second
De Pont is a follow-up to A Split Second (2008-2010) – a game research project that explored the notion of “artistic authorship” in video games. The project resulted in three playable “art games,” which were exhibited at various museums and galleries worldwide, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris. All three games are available for download via the web and the App store.
DE PONT is an (interactive) film and game challenge. 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.