Hack de Pont VR hackathon

The VR Hackathon: Hack the pont! is a collaboration between Lava Lab Foundation, Submarine ChannelCreative Coding Amsterdam & Amsterdam Creative Industries Network. The event took place at April the 30th at Lava Lab in Amsterdam noord. The theme of the Hackathon was 'De Pont' (The Ferry), about the ferry that crosses the IJ to Amsterdam Noord. It is part of the Submarine Channel competition.

Presentations and short workshops on virtual reality (Unity, Mozilla browser coding) and VR storytelling were planned throughout the day. Early in the day ideas and groups were formed and projects were developed and designed. At the end of the day all projects were presented at the Creative Coding Meetup. The day ended with a VR afterparty at De Ruimte, including DuoDisco; a mobile dance floor game, and a VR VJ.

The motivation behind this hackathon and the project 'De Pont' is the challenge for film makers, documentary makers and other storytellers for creating narratives for virtual reality (VR). By the growing popularity of VR there is a growing urge to learn more about VR and experiment with new ways of storytelling and narratives within VR. 

The hackathon focussed on diversity and mixed disciplines. VR developers, designers, artists, filmmakers, web developers, and so on.     
Interviews with the participants

An overview of all the projects:

Analogue to digital ferry ride

In this project you take a ferry ride from the analogue into the digital world. By gradually mixing 360 photos with a friend 3D modeled world you are transported into the virtual world. Don' miss the boat!

Take a look at @sndrv's Tweet

Team: Sander Veenhof and Robin de Lange.

VR is shit
VR is shit is an impossible tutorial for VR, where the user is asked to perform tasks that he’s not able to perform.

In a VR scene dominated by positivity and fascinated by the endless and incredible potential of this new medium, I approached the design of a VR project from an opposite perspective.

My question was: “What if I focus on the limitations and the restrictions of the VR? Some of the topics touched with VR is shit are:
isolation from the reality (what if you forget to pick up your children at school?);
– impossibility to move physically (maybe not impossible, but not natural as in reality);
– impossibility to grab and interact with a physical object (like getting on your bike and riding);
– lack of the sense of smell;
– lack of self perception (you don’t see your body);
– possible mismatch of different sensorial inputs (sound / sight, smell / sight, …)

Team: Gianluca Monaco, Pascal Cramer


Enter the minds of 'the ferry people' to hear their thoughts and position yourself into their realities. The project allows you to ride the ferry, look at one of the characters on the ferry and travel to his mind. This way you’ll hear the thoughts of the character as if it were your own.

The project mixes virtual reality with reality photography. The characters are carefully chosen as typical on this ferry ride, for instance a born and raised ‘Noorderling’ who is complaining about the hipster, the hipster who wants to try the new craft beer and a confused Italian tourist.

Try the project (Mac OS Build)

Team: Ruud op den Kelder, Tessa Colen, Holly Habstritt Gaal, Klasien van de Zandschulp

To Those Who Stay Behind

This project was inspired by the statues you'll find around the world of sailors and fishermen's families looking out over the sea, as well as poetry about sailors not returning. You stand on a freighter, leaving Amsterdam for open sea. On the shore, several statues reach out to you and read you poetry in different languages. Out on the sea, you approach the end of the world and enter an abstract landscape before the screen fades to black.

Team: Lisa E. Rombout, Saskia Herrmann, Davide Dispenza, Daan Schoone

The attack of the sun!

A small P5 animation about a Ferry, that transported little creatures to the other side and back, is translated into a VR experience. A mix of these two worlds; a  2D-animation and this VR example, both with libraries written in javascript. The sun is created out of a sphere using Mozilla's AFRAME. When the sun hits the boat all the hairs of the creatures are exploding, but the Ferry doesn't care and goes on... back and forth ... back and forth...  It can be played as a little game.

The first version:

Team: Ria Stroes

The Voyage

'The Voyage' is a metaphor for the dissonance between ambition and reality and an appeal to empower migrants. 
It attempts to facilitate an unbiased introduction between the participant and migrants. The participant is immersed 
in a scene with a water surface and floating shapes. The water moves in one direction and one can only choose 
between paths that lead in the same direction. The participant can choose by tilting their head. Sounds and interviews 
are embedded; underneath the surface dreams and ambitions are heard, above the surface the reality is audible.  
After crossing, the person behind the voice is introduced.

Team: Arnoud Traa & Luciano Pinna

Interviews: Samir Aleido, Ahmad Kabakibi, Amr Ranneh 

Cat scratch

For the VR afterparty we created a 'VR VJ' experience. With psychedelic images and audio input this app changes visualisation based on the beats and tones of the music the dj is playing.

Team: Corin Donders, Rens van Pinxteren, Klasien van de Zandschulp