New Croatian travel app to turn trips into adventures
February 20, 2022 – A group of writers from Split is building an innovative app that will allow its users to experience a destination through stories, guided by unique fictional characters
It will soon be possible to discover the Adriatic coast on a whole new level: through exciting mystical-fantasy quests. Think Indiana Jones adventures, but seen through the eyes of characters rooted in authentic Croatian legends and myths. This is the essence of the Adriatic Quest application, designed and developed by a group of writers from Split, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.
“Not only are we designing a unique app that will allow customers to experience the city through a story that they can partially shape themselves, but also a unique genre – a digital narrative. Ultimately, we are building a much-needed bridge between the IT industry and the writers, i.e. the creatives,” said Ana Ban, one of the authors behind the Adriatic Quest app, designed to offer a unique and authentic experience of tourist destinations.
Adriatic Quest is one of the award-winning projects launched at the StartIT Startup Academy 2021, organized by ICT County (ICT Županija) and the Digital Dalmatia community. After a two-month training, the team is on its way to launch the first prototype which is already making headlines in the tourism sector.
They are currently negotiating with the local tourist offices. Their goal for this season is to release a simplified version of the application which would only be based on a story with different possible scenarios, and which they would present only in collaboration with the tourist offices.
“We are also working on premium tours which will be designed as scavenger hunts, hence the quest in the name, as they will give you the opportunity to eat and drink, win tickets and other rewards, provided that you solve a challenge along the way. It will also be a great marketing platform,” explained Ana, screenwriter and editor who came up with the idea for the app.
In a story on ICT County, she explained what the app is all about.
‘Adriatic Quest is an interactive game based on a digital story, a combination of fun and travel. It tells another story of the Adriatic, a story not found in books. It features special places, features special people, and is also entertaining. The user has a major role in the story, participating with all of their senses, and the only thing they have to do is pick a location, pick a character, and embark on an adventure. In short, it’s a digital tourist guide that lets you experience a destination in a unique way,” Ana said.
It will also be possible to travel from one destination to another (think island to island), throughout stories told by the same character. The aim is for the user to meet the local population and discover the authentic characteristics of the destination, which, from a commercial point of view, should also be of interest to small local businesses.
Croatian writer and university professor Nebojša Lujanović is part of the team that created this engaging app.
“I’m here to guide and edit the narrative part. Other aspects [of the app] aside, the protagonist of each story must function as a literary character to some extent if the user is to identify with him. Regardless of whether the writing will be accompanied by other content, such as images, videos, games, etc., the story must hold up because that is what will generate interest. No good picture can save a bad story,” Lujanović said. He participated in the selection and training of candidates who applied to write screenplays for the innovative application.
The writers created a cast 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 is a bit of everything in the mix: history, fiction, literature, fantasy, ecology, ensuring that each user finds something to their liking. They even came up with a story that will guide users to the places with the most picturesque backgrounds for Instagram photos.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, both in terms of computing and writing. The whole game industry needs good writers, and trust me, all of us involved in this project are just learning that now. There are opportunities for many different professions here, photographers, editors…” said Ana Ban.
‘All contributors are welcome, anyone with an idea of any kind. We’re all just educating ourselves now because even though we have writing experience, we’ve never been digital writers,” Ana said. The team is also open to working with sponsors, as this would allow them to focus exclusively on the project.