Playing Narratives – Novi Sad Spring Bootcamp: Day 1

Playing Narratives 13.05.2022.
Time 9 AM - 6 PM
Language English
Location Science-Technology Park Novi Sad
Price Free

Playing Narratives – Novi Sad Spring Bootcamp: Day 1

Creative ideas are best developed live. That's why, in addition to regular online meetings and lectures every Thursday, we gathered our new participants from all over the region at the first work bootcamp in Novi Sad!

The new cycle of Playing Narratives: Ideas to Games invited participants from the entire region. More than 150 applications were received, so after a detailed selection process, we selected 31 participants, who come from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Romania. The entire bootcamp program was held at the Science and Technology Park Novi Sad, a recently completed, impressive facility for the development of technologies and innovations, which is one of four such areas in Serbia, in addition to Nis, Čačak and Belgrade.

During four days, they had the opportunity to get to know each other, listen to several thematic lectures held by leading gaming experts from Serbia, but also to divide into teams, get to know their strengths and weaknesses, and start working on their joint game concepts. They also had the opportunity to attend the Novi Sad SGA meetup.

We started the program with an introductory lecture into the world of game design, held by Stefan Lazarević and Uroš Kurandić from Ubisoft Belgrade. We answered questions about what game designers do, what they encounter on a daily basis, as well as what tools they use in their work.

Aleksa Bračić from 3Lateral introduced the team to the basics of using the MetaHuman Creator technology, which was developed in Novi Sad in cooperation with the global giant Epic Games, whose Unreal Engine is also the general sponsor of this year’s program. Participants were introduced to some of the benefits of using this tool to create human characters, to better tell their stories and work more easily on developing game concepts.

The participants were then divided into groups, according to their areas of expertise, and the storytellers had an inspiring session with Mladen Levnaić, one of our most experienced game designers and storytellers. Composer Ana Krstajić gave a lecture on the history of music in games and talked with sound designers, and illustrators and modelers had the opportunity to work with Diana Koltsova, Ilija Pantelić, Mihailo Novaković and Marija Josifović from the Ubisoft Belgrade studio.

This program is for Playing Narratives participants only, and is not open to the public. Thank you for your understanding.

* * *

Program Playing Narrartives: Ideas to games is supported by the Franco-German Cultural Fund, which was established in 2003 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Elysee Agreement. The general sponsor is Unreal Engine (i.e. companies Epic Games & 3Lateral), while the distinguished sponsor is the French company  Ubisoft Belgrade. This year, the Niš-based Webelinx Games also joined the program as a sponsor, while additional support in the realization will be provided by French and Goethe institutes from the entire region, as well as SGA colleagues from Slovenia GamesMAGDA and RGDA.

Ana Krstajić,
About the lecturer

Ana Krstajić’s music has been performed in Serbia, Russia, England, Germany, Italy, France, Slovenia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the United States of America. She received her master’s degree at the Academy of Music in Belgrade, at the Composition department in the class of prof. Isidora Žebeljan, as well as at the department of applied music at the Berkley College of Music.

In addition to concert original music, Ana Krstajić is active in the field of applied music as a composer and orchestrator. Her work can be heard in TV series and films directed by Nikola Polić, Goran Nikolić, Aleksandar Hadži-Đurović and others, as well as video games by the Serbian company Nordeus. Also in theaters such as the National Theater in Belgrade, Sombor, Vranje, Subotica… Some of the significant awards she won are first prize at the international composer competition “Women’s Works” (Ithaca, NY), second prize at the international composer competition “De Bach au Jazz” in Paris, placement in the finals of the ALEA III International Composer Competition in Boston (USA), honorary award at the Soundtrack Cologne festival in Cologne and the Indie Film Music Contest in Berlin, as well as placement in the finals of the Film Music Contest in Slovakia, Original Soundtrack Challenge in France and Kaleidoscope Composer Competition in Los Angeles.

She recently received her first international recognition as a film composer by winning the Hollywood Music in Media Awards (Los Angeles). She is one of 6 women selected from around the world to participate in the mentorship program of the Alliance for Women Film Composers (Los Angeles), where she will work with Hollywood composer Joe Trapanese (The Witcher, The Greatest Showman, Oblivion). talents.

Mladen Levnaić,
Narative Designer
About the lecturer

With almost a decade of work in the gaming industry and more than thirty published games behind him, Mladen Levnaić is one of the most experienced narrative designers in the region. He started his career on indie projects, soon to join the Eipix Entertainment team and get the opportunity to work on some of the biggest HOPA franchises in the world, but also games of other genres – from Sci-Fi adventures such as Lightstep Chronicles, a pioneering project for Amazon Echo – Path of Discovery: Europe all the way to the popular narrative game Lifeline: Whiteout. After the arrival of the mobile gaming giant Playrix in Serbia, he took over the position of Senior Lead Narrative Designer and worked on planetary hits intended for millions of players.

Whether as head of the department at Eipix Entertainment or as a senior leader at Playrix RS – one of the crucial parts of Mladen’s career has been training and educating other narrative designers. In recent years, he has shared his professional experience with Nordeus Hub students, through the Booster and Narrative Boot Camp programs, and from now on with SGA’s Playing Narratives program participants.

He worked on games such as Lifeline: Whiteout, Lifeline: Whiteout 2, Path of Discovery: Europa, Lightstep Chronicles, Going Medieval, Myths Of The World, Dead Reckoning, Hidden Expedition, Final Cut, Off The Record i Dark Parables HOPA serijali.

Aleksa Bračić,
Concept design, Character Art, 3Lateral
About the lecturer

Aleksa Bračić is a concept designer – character artist at 3Lateral, a company that is part of Epic Games. He has worked as a character artist on video games like Marvel’s Spiderman, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Batman Arkham VR, Devil May Cry 5, Star Citizen. “I studied painting in Turin, so the mixture of strict Balkan, almost martial arts discipline and Italian aesthetic identity is responsible for the passion for art and the diversity of my works.”

Ubisoft Belgrade team,
Ubisoft Belgrade
About the lecturer

On the occasion of the first spring Playing Narratives bootcamp program for participants from the entire region, which was held in May 2022, Ubisoft Belgrade sent a special “delegation” that shared its invaluable experience with future game designers, artists, sound designers and 3d artists from Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania.

As part of the program held in Novi Sad, many collegues joined us from Ubisoft’s Belgrade studio: Nikola Stojanović (Lead UI Artist), Diana Koltsova (Junior UI Artist), Ilija Pantelić (Junior UI Artist), Uroš Kurandić (Junior Game Designer), Stefan Lazarević (Junior Game Designer), Mihailo Novaković (Junior Level Designer), Marija Josifović (Level Artist), as well as Milica Todorović (Associate Producer).