January 10, 2021 Darko Spahić

Our story – The Hardships of 2020

Cybertale Studio’s start wasn’t an easy one. It involved twists and turns, workarounds, a lot of sacrifices in terms of time and effort, which sometimes we didn’t have at our disposal. Major events in our country affected us, and surprisingly we’ve managed to get things together and start our own business. This is a brief side of our story, so here are some of the hardships we experienced during 2020.

How we met

Never did we think we’d actually reunite and end up working together, but there were subtle hints. Darko and Zlatka met between 2012-2013 through the Machina Academy in Zagreb, with Darko already working on early projects with the team – DEV5.

Zlatka went on to get her first job working for Exordium Games, where she met Marko. The two worked closely on Zero Reflex and Last Encounter and many other games. Sharing similar interests, the working relationship between the two grew bigger and bigger as time progressed. The two continued to work for Async Labs, and through this time reconnected with Darko. To be honest, throughout the years that connection was always there. While Marko and Darko started working on their own projects, it was just a matter of time before it blossomed into something more serious.

Darko was the one always smiling and greeting, and helped greatly, eventually brought us together as a whole. We always knew that we had similar aspirations, but never actually got the time to  talk through it, until 2020.

Cybertale Studio team

The team behind Cybertale Studio – Darko & Denis Spahić, Marko Alerić, Zlatka Subotičanec

Our long-running careers before Cybertale Studio

Async Labs Office Space

Work being done at Async Labs

We all have pretty interesting background stories. There were good experiences with former teams, with their ups and downs that made it difficult to progress in our careers. While the projects and people were great, it usually boils down to management if you’ll continue or not. Sometimes the vision is incomplete and poorly executed, but nevertheless there are chances of losing stability. Each individual worked for quite a long time for their respective teams, and have had results throughout that time.

The game industry as a whole is interesting, but it has its own pits and falls at times. It can be a healthy environment to work in if we are realistic about our expectations. We learned valuable lessons. Start planning and developing not just games, but our workflow as well. Being able to be constructive and helpful with feedback, listening to people’s ideas is key to getting closer to our goals.

Hardships of 2020 events

Covid-19 led to job losses, and some losses were triggered right in-between lockdown and the earthquake in March. None of us anticipated that more would come in the middle of 2020, with floods damaging properties, including one of our own. To make matters worse, the floods and earthquakes made it almost impossible to work, leading to relocations, loss of communication, and even delays, making it difficult to open up the studio earlier. Even filing necessary paperwork, things came to a standstill as we were put on wait for a couple of months. What was said to be today or tomorrow, went on for weeks and weeks, and happiness amongst team members only roared when all was finally done.

Our goals:

2020 was in many ways an eye opener. It tackled many ideas, problems and woes. While surviving the worst part, it doesn’t mean we’re in the light of things in 2021. We’re in fact glad we’re able to still manage our calls, organise and continue to work in these various conditions. It means we didn’t start off easy, but our will to progress remains strong.

There is a sense, an idea of what we want to achieve – like connecting with clients, bringing quality to our work, creating a safe and happy environment for people to come in to. It is in our best interest, in fact, to bring in jobs that will help out someone, give a face to their portfolio so they can be proud of their work, as well as being proud of their achievements throughout their time here.

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