Snap Back to Reality

It’s not easy coming back to work on a gloomy, grey Monday morning after you’ve just had the trip of a lifetime! We shall, therefore, try to reminisce as much as we possibly can and the best way to do that is to write down a travel diary. So here goes, the captain’s log!

Thursday

We travelled one hour into the future, and the future was amazing. Our resort greeted us with the warmest welcome, even though we arrived at midnight and rushed to get checked into our rooms. Porters brought all of our luggage to our rooms, so we felt as kings and were free to tuck in happily into the midnight-buffet they’d prepared for us. The country of tzatziki, dolmades, souvlaki, gyros, feta, dakos and baklava – there was no way we were going to be hungry. Ever. Again. Happy and fed we spread out to the beautiful sandy beach to keep the party going, and then drifted off in blissful dreams of beaches and sunshine.

FriYAY

Off we go on a day trip! We boarded an enormous ferry and sailed off into the turquoise horizon. First stop – the fort at Imeri Gramvousa, and island whose name means “tame” Gramvousa, as opposed to the neighboring island that has no evidence of human presence and is therefore called “wild”. In 1579 the Venetians built a fortress to provide protection against the Ottomans, and in 2019 we climbed it and could have used an ottoman at the top. Gorgeous vistas, sparkly waters, the wreck of a pirate ship and a Venetian fortress – we were in the land of mythology, and history was even more amazing. Next stop – Balos Lagoon, a sandy beach with shallow waters formed between the Peninsula of Gramvousa and the Tigani Peninsula. Aquamarine waters, soft sand and the best team in the world – the only three ingredients you need for a good day. We played in the shallows, swam in the open sea, collected shells, and maybe, just maybe, burned in the sun like the gamers we are. Tired but happy we returned to our resort and settled in for a lazy evening before our conference the day after.

Saturday

Time for education! We brought experts along with us, we made sure to hear what they had to teach us. As we gathered in the conference room, it was hard to believe that we were there to work – everyone was relaxed and rested by the previous day, wearing shorts, sundresses and huge smiles. Our Head of HR ceremoniously opened the conference and handed over the mic to Nikola Stolnik. Nikola delivered a marketing lecture about the importance of gaming, and the gaming industry in general. We learned interesting facts and figures about our industry and enjoyed his witty presentation style. After that, Ante Vrdelja regaled us with Croteam’s stories of making big games in a small country. Krešimir Špes gave a lecture on realistic 2D animation using video technology. It’s always interesting to hear from representatives of fellow studios about the differences and similarities between our problems and solutions. After a day of lectures, we still had a bit of time to relax by the pool with some Uno and Belot, before our beach-bar party. As it got later and later, our party was moved to a different venue for the cutest of reasons – the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), which is considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, uses those particular beaches to lay eggs, and Cretan volunteers protect the nests and the baby turtles that emerge. We let the turtles party, and it was the early hours of tomorrow morning when we finally returned to our shells as well.

Sunday

It was hard to believe (and accept!) that it was already our last day! We had to cram as much as possible into those last hours, as we tearfully clutched our cocktail glasses by the pool and wondered how we would ever return to ordinary life. Thankfully, our mission is to put extra into ordinary, so we held our heads high and made the most of the time we had. Some of our employees delivered tech, art, story and marketing talks which concluded our conference, but left us wanting another one. A bit of packing, a bit of free time, and off we went to Chania for a bit of sightseeing. Another place brimming with history, with its Venetian shipyards, ancient Kydonian culture and multicolored houses all along the harbor. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and so it was time to return home and prepare for a new Monday, a new work week.

We hope you’ve enjoyed following our little trip on social media and here, and as we (temporarily) put away our sandals and swim suits, we’re happy we have our memories to warm us on this rainy day 🙂