About The Hackathon

We are delighted to have the Rocketmakers team sponsor our VR the News hackathon. This incredible company help turn tech dreams into a reality by investing their technology experience in projects that they really believe in

The goal of the VR The News Hackathon is to explore how immersive tech can be used to tell current affairs stories! Contestants will be exposed to new ideas, collaborate and build something that’s never been built before. We are looking for original AR|VR|MR projects that might have a witty twist on current events or rethink the way in which the news is presented. Humour is encouraged but not essential.

Teams will be judged by people who have experience in fields such as gaming and journalism. Participants will meet and network with industry experts, like-minded individuals, and talented AR|VR|MR peers.


You’re Invited To Apply!

All who are interested in immersive technology and current events are welcome! Designers, developers, engineers, artists and creatives—all who want to deepen their understanding of immersive technology through this fun VR The News Hackathon should apply below.


How It Works

On the first day of the event we encourage anyone who is passionate about an idea they have to share it with the other participants, which will help when choosing your teammates.

Day one is largely about networking and forming teams. In order to get the best results possible, we highly encourage that your team should be a healthy mix of several skill sets in order to complement your own. For example, a good mix of skills would be a developer, artist, writer, and designer.


We’re pleased to have such highly experienced individuals to judge the winners of the VR the News hackathon

Richard Godfrey is an experienced and trusted CTO, software architect, investor, entrepreneur and innovator with a demonstrated history of delivering major systems via Rocketmakers, Microsoft and Deloitte over the last 25 years. Focused on helping innovative start-ups, scale-ups and corporates of all shapes and sizes deliver disruptive and engaging customer experiences through the application of new technology.

Verity Mcintosh, Managing Producer at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, a collaborative space with a resident community of over 200 creatives, technologists and researchers. Verity’s expertise crosses a range of disciplines including digital storytelling, live performance, robotics, social tech, urban play, interaction design and virtual reality. Verity will shortly be taking up a new role at UWE Bristol as Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for a brand new masters programme in Virtual and Extended Reality.

Josie Thum is a 23 year-old aspiring activist journalist focusing on social justice issues. Josie believes media should be a tool for mass empowerment, accountability and social change, and wants to be part of its transformation. Josie trained with the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and their work has since been featured on platforms such as Consented, Bristol International PEN and Rife Magazine.

Peter Willington is Producer and Marketing Manager at Auroch Digital. As Producer he has been involved with the majority of the games at the studio, including the newsgame-inspired titles Mars Horizon and Elections of US America Election: The Card Game, both of which spun out of the studio’s Game The News Initiative, which pioneered in the field of “games with purpose”. The studio continues to innovate by blurring the line between newsgames and more traditional games. As Marketing Manager he oversees every aspect of Auroch’s outreach to fans and influencers, utilising his experience from his time in his previous career as a video games critic and journalist, where he was Deputy Editor of Pocket Gamer and Editor of AppSpy, and is still very much involved in media, running as he does the award-nominated podcast Staying In. He has written for numerous high profile websites and magazines, and is a regular speaker and award judge at industry events.

Geraint Evans is the Editor of TechSPARK.co, the information hub for all things tech in the West of England. As a journalist, he has written for a number of online and print publications on everything from tech, to movies, games and 3D animation. As part of the team at TechSPARK, he gets to play with and write about the best in tech in the region, as well as promoting diversity in the cluster through the SHIFT Programme and filling the skills gap in the region through Bristol Calling. His background is in performance arts; as a former professional stand-up comic, who moved on to creative director and producing roles for live performances he’s especially interested in the space where his two passions meet. Creativity and Technology.



FRIDAY 24/08/2018

Open– 19:00 Close- 21:30

SATURDAY 25/08/2018

Open– 09:00 Close– 22:00

SUNDAY 26/08/2018

Open– 09:00 Close– 19:00


  1. What devices will be at the Hackathon?

HTC Vive Pro with SteamVR tracking 2.0 x8, High spec PC with AMD Radeon Vega 64 8GB x4, High spec PC with GTX 1080 x12 ,HTC Vive Pro, Vive trackers x6, MSI BVR One backpack PC with GTX 1070 x4, Samsung Gear VRs with Samsung S8+ phones x4, Oculus Go, HTC Vive Focus, Google Daydream x4, Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Rifts and PCs x5, Perception Neuron motion capture kit, Dell Windows Mixed Reality headset, Asus Mixed Reality headset, Dell Mixed Reality headset, HP Mixed Reality headset, Lenovo Mixed Reality headset, Green screen & JVC GY-HM200E camcorder, BenQ RP860K 86″ touch screen flat panel television, Void PA system, sound desk & wireless microphones, Indotraq development kit

  1. Can I still participate if I have no experience with VR|AR but am interested in learning?

Yes. We suggest you apply and, if accepted, join us.

  1. What’s the prize?

It’s a surprise. Hey that rhymed!

  1. Can we further develop existing projects?

No. All code must be created at the Hackathon.

  1. Does it cost any money to participate in the Hackathon?

No. It is free to participants.

  1. Can I bring my own hardware?

Yes, please! Surprise us.

  1. Do we have to bring our own computers?

It would be great if you could bring your own computers for design but feel free to use our high-end PCs and headsets for testing. There are probably enough to go around with a little cooperation. Just bear in mind you may need to share.

  1. What is the policy for borrowed equipment?

The borrowed equipment may not be taken from the building and you are responsible for it so please take care of it.

Bristol VR Lab is located on the first floor of the Leadworks building. The main entrance is via Bristol Aquarium and there is a push button doorbell on the left as you arrive. On entry to the lab, there is a flight of stairs or a lift that may require support to use. Please let us know via email what access requirements you may have and we will be happy to assist you.