It will soon be possible to experience the Adriatic coast on a whole new level: through exciting mystical-fantastic quests. Think along the lines of adventures of Indiana Jones, but seen through the eyes of characters rooted in authentic Croatian legends and myths. That’s the essence of the Adriatic Quest app, conceived and developed by a group of writers from Split, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.
‘Not only are we designing a unique app that will allow guests to experience the city through a story they can partially shape themselves, but a unique genre as well – a digital narrative. Ultimately, we’re building a much-needed bridge between the IT sector and writers, i.e. creatives’, said Ana Ban, one of the authors who are building the Adriatic Quest app, designed to provide a unique, authentic experience of tourist destinations.
Adriatic Quest is one of the awarded projects launched at the StartIT 2021 startup academy, organised by ICT County (ICT Županija) and the community Digital Dalmatia. After a two-month education, the team are on their way to launch the first prototype which is already raising waves in the tourism sector.
They’re currently negotiating with local tourist boards. Their goal for this season is to come out with a simpler version of the application that would only be based on a story with various possible scenarios, and which they would present solely through cooperation with tourist boards.
‘We’re also working on premium tours that will be designed as treasure hunts, hence the quest in the name, because they’ll give you the opportunity to have food and drinks, win tickets and other rewards, provided you solve a challenge along the way. It will also be a great marketing platform’, explained Ana, screenwriter and copywriter who came up with the idea for the app.
In a feature on ICT County, she explained what the app was all about.
‘Adriatic Quest is an interactive game based on a digital narrative, a combination of fun and travel. It tells a different story of the Adriatic, one that can’t be found in books. It showcases special places, introduces special people, and is entertaining as well. The user has a major role in the story, participating with all their senses, and the only thing they need to do is to pick a place, choose a character, and embark on an adventure. In short, it’s a digital tourist guide that allows you to experience a destination in a unique way’, said Ana.
It will also be possible to travel from one destination to another (think island hopping), all through stories told by the same character. The goal is to ensure the user meets the local population and discovers authentic features of the destination, which from a commercial perspective should be of interest to small local businesses as well.
Croatian writer and university professor Nebojša Lujanović is part of the team creating the attractive app.
‘I’m here to guide and edit the narrative part. Other aspects [of the app] aside, the protagonist of every story has to function as a literary character to an extent, if the user is to identify with them. Regardless of the fact that the writing will be accompanied by other content, such as images, videos, games etc, the story has to hold its own because that’s what’s going to generate interest. No pretty pictures can salvage a bad story’, said Lujanović. He took part in the selection and education of candidates who applied to write scenarios for the innovative app.
The writers have created an ensemble of unique characters, ranging from historians and explorers to a woman who suffered from burnout and now only wants to relax at the beach. There’s a little bit of everything thrown in the mix: history, fiction, literature, fantasy, ecology, making sure that every user finds something to their liking. They even came up with a story that will guide users to locations with the most scenic backdrops for Instragram photos.
‘There’s a lot of work to do, both in terms of IT and writing. The entire gaming industry is in need of good writers, and believe me, all of us involved in this project are only learning this now. There are opportunities for many different professions here, photographers, editors…’ said Ana Ban.
She also launched a hub for creatives in order to connect the cultural and creative industries with the IT sector and tourism. Ana invites everyone interested in this concept to contact them via email [email protected].
‘All contributors are welcome, anyone who has an idea of any kind. We’re all only educating ourselves now because regardless of us having writing experience, we’ve never been digital authors’, said Ana. The team is also open to working with sponsors, as it would allow them to focus exclusively on the project.