BIJEG IZ TARSATICE
A concept from Zoran Krušvar, result of partnership between “3. zmaj” and Association for creative media RiCode, a video game with aliens, Romans from the ancient Rijeka – Tarsatica, and three main heroines.
Association for Creative Media RiCode
The RiCode Association was founded with the aim of encouraging creative creativity, designing and producing new media content and promoting the culture of gaming. RiCode brings together a team with a variety of talents; from skilled organizers, communicators to experienced video game developers on the Croatian market. The partner role in this project concerns support in the technical aspect of the project: programming, testing and game design.
The project is a concept of Zoran Krušvar and the result of a partnership between the Association “3. zmaj ”and the RiCode Association. The goal of the project is the preparation, production and publication of a video game titled “Escape from Tarsatica”. The game thematically connects sensitive groups and the history of Rijeka and offers different ways of audience development than have been applied and presented on the Croatian video game market so far. The game pays special attention to the inclusion of different vulnerable groups as characters in the game (women, senior citizens and people with disabilities).
Narratively, the game includes aliens, ancient Romans in the Rijeka area, an elderly lady who recreationally bocce, a drummer from a punk band, and a girl in a wheelchair. The game presents the historical facts of the ancient Rijeka – Tarsatica, and allows players to immerse themselves in history, precisely through the perspective of modern characters with interesting options for survival and ending the story.
Social issues the project addresses
The project uses the medium of video games to popularize scientific knowledge about the history of Rijeka among a wider audience. At the same time, this project introduces the main characters who rarely appear in the video game medium (a girl with a disability and an elderly citizen), thus setting new standards of social inclusion. Aware of the still present problems in the attitude of society towards vulnerable groups, as well as the constant need to popularize learning, we recognized that so far very few computer games have been presented to the public that thematize these issues, as well as those that promote educational and socially inclusive aspects in an attractive way. . The general public recognizes video games almost exclusively through the aspect of entertainment and the goal is to present a game that will encourage players to adopt historical facts and, at the same time, sensitize them to the vulnerable groups represented in the game. In a fun and educational way, the video game promotes a positive representation of vulnerable groups, emphasizing an interesting episode from the rich history of Rijeka.
Project goals and results
The project implementation plan defines 3 main goals: promoting Rijeka’s history, promoting a culture of diversity through the representation of vulnerable groups through video game media, and education and capacity development of members of the organizing team.
First and foremost, the video game represents a unique opportunity to promote the ancient history of Rijeka through an interactive platform among the general population, especially young people who are prone to the medium of video games. In this way, the local community is enabled to get acquainted with the history of its own environment, and the fact that Rijeka gets a video game dedicated to itself increases its tourist and entrepreneurial attractiveness. Consequently, the result of the project is an example of good practice that can encourage further development of the digital creative industry in Rijeka and PGC and contribute to the creation of new business opportunities.
Another basic idea is to promote a culture of diversity as one of the basic principles of Rijeka, by including members of vulnerable groups as heroines of the video game, while empowering members of these groups and sensitizing the wider population. Over the past few years, there has been a social shift in the world population of video game players – the industry has become aware of women as players, and the community’s attitude towards video game players has become an important topic. Giving the main roles in the game to female characters, the goal is to promote equality within the Croatian population of “gamers” especially because the game with its adventurous content will deviate from topics that are stereotypically considered feminine and will be equally attractive to players. An additional step forward, compared to the characters we commonly encounter in video games, is the inclusion of characters representing members of vulnerable groups – old women and girls in wheelchairs. This gives players, especially people with disabilities, a rare opportunity to take on new roles and to find and recognize themselves as heroes in the story in an affirmative way in the new medium.
Finally, the idea is that during the project implementation the emphasis will be on education and capacity development and skills of members of the organizational and implementation team to continue to develop new innovative projects and knowledge and strengthen the local creative sector with an emphasis on digital technologies. In this way, the local community gets new staff qualified for the further development of the cultural scene, and new partnerships and collaborations are established that strengthen the entrepreneurial potential of the local environment, especially in the field of digital technologies.
Meet the Project Team
Association 3. zmaj
game and story design
Psychologist, journalist, well-known and award-winning Croatian writer. Editor of several collections of stories and novels. He is the author of three collections of short stories, two novels for children and two novels for adults. He is a member of the writing collective “Fluminati” and the informal literary group “Ri Lit”. His works have been translated into English, Polish, Romanian and French. He is a member of the Croatian Writers’ Association, the head of the branch in Rijeka and a member of the Croatian Association of Independent Artists.
President of RiCode
Master of Croatian Studies, winner of the Rector’s Award of the University of Rijeka, employee of the library of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka and external associate of the City Library of Rijeka. Member of the school board of the Center for Education in Rijeka.
Winner of the City of Rijeka Award for Volunteer of the Year. In the Association, she is responsible for coordinating members, teams and representing the Association.
Valentina Mišković Yoe
project administrator and coordinator
Master of Cultural Studies, Secretary of the 3. zmaj Association, administrator, manager of several Association’s projects in the last 10 years. Extensive experience in volunteering, working with NGO’s, writing projects, preparing budgets and managing teams.
coordination and communication
Founder of the RiCode Association, a passionate gamer and enthusiast of everything related to video games. An excellent communicator and skilled in social skills, Jonathan is credited with bringing the team together and guiding it into new projects. His talents are game design and accompanying game preparation activities such as marketing, partnerships, team management and communication.
game testing, PR
Master of Cultural Studies, currently employed as a radio journalist at Laganina FM Rijeka. A big fan of video games of various genres. Experienced in writing articles and PR texts, for three years he was an associate in the technical department of the Croatian Cultural Center in Sušak, and gained invaluable experience as an assistant to people with disabilities at the Office for Students with Disabilities, University of Rijeka. public for the problems of vulnerable groups.
Coding, IT consultation
Master of Informatics, he has been making games professionally for five years. His collaboration on the project “Scum” by the developer Gampires stands out, and he also worked in Playrix Croatia and Cateia Games. He currently works as an independent game developer and develops his own projects in collaboration with colleagues. His expertise is the technical aspect of game development – coding, programming in C ++ and C #, and he has experience with game design and narrative development.
Technician for mechatronics (informatics, robotics, electronics), with experience in the field of servers and computers, and android programming (Android Studio, Microsoft Visual). His more important interests are robotics, informatics and programming.
He is currently collaborating on several applications for E-sports teams in Croatia and the UK (live races with player and team statistics).
game design, visual elements implementation
Bachelor of Information and Communication Sciences and Comparative Literature, with experience working on the technical aspects of applying visual elements in a game, designing game levels, and adjusting game difficulty. She perfected her skills in Cateia Games and Playrix Croatia, and is currently part of the Outfit7 team, and is working on the project “My Talking Angela 2”.
consultant for quality implementation of visual elements in the game
A certified 3D design artist and Scrum / Agile Master, she has been professionally designing video games for the past five years. She built her work experience as an independent graphic designer and in the well-known Croatian developers Cateia Games and Playrix Croatia. Her expertise is digital illustration, preparation of graphics for implementation in software, use of image processing programs, use of game creation programs and animation creation. She will participate in the project as a consultant and through continuous cooperation check and guide the members of the programming and art team on how to implement the image in the software and prepare a game with high visually quality.
consultant for inclusion and quality representation of persons with disabilities
Master of Educational Rehabilitation, has also completed the educational module of the Center for Women’s Studies 2020. During her studies she worked with children with various types of disabilities, and currently works at the Center for Autism Rijeka. Her skills are a thorough approach to the issue and active advocacy for the representation of people with disabilities. She will participate in the project as a consultant and enable communication between game designers and programmers with people with disabilities, in order to ensure a quality and realistic representation of the characters in the game.
music and sound producer
Master of International Relations, music producer and author, graduated from the Academy of Music Production in Zagreb in 2018, and since then has been working intensively in the music industry, as a singer-songwriter, but also a music producer and technician. Since 2020, he has been working on Laganina FM as a host, and since 2021 he has signed a contract with the Croatian record company Dallas Records and released singles for mainstream radio stations in Croatia and beyond. Also, since 2020, he has been working through the art project “DOCTOR”.
consultant for historical facts and correct historical context
Graduate archaeologist, doctoral student / assistant at the Center for Interdisciplinary Archaeological Landscape Research at the Faculty of Philosophy, Juraj Dobrila University in Pula. Participated in numerous archaeological excavations of prehistoric sites in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. She works as an assistant at the Department of Archeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb.
consultant for inclusion and quality representation of women
The PaRiter Association for Human Rights and Civic Participation, which promotes human rights, a culture of nonviolence, tolerance, minority rights and gender equality by linking non-formal education, research and activism, has a special emphasis on protecting and ensuring women’s rights and strengthening the women’s movement. Some of the projects and actions of the association are “Living Library – do not judge books by their covers”, “Women in public space (bitna.si)”, “Influence of public policies on the harmonization of family and working life of men and women and on the demographic picture Croatia – spaces changes ”(partnership), co-organization of socially useful learning courses at the University of Rijeka and advocacy for lowering the tax rate on menstrual supplies.