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Croteam actually gives a buck for education

Videogame development is booming in Croatia. New studios are founded almost on a monthly basis and the existing ones are rapidly expanding. But there’s a downside to this exciting story: it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit new talent in the industry.

The main culprit is easily identified: there is a huge technological and mental gap between what the Croatian education offers and what the contemporary young people and game development studios need.

And it’s not a small gap. Should educational system be reformed to include STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) it would take decades for first results to show.

So what does Croatia do? Instead of waiting for the abstract curricular reform that may or may not happen, an Indiegogo campaign was recently launched to place BBC micro:bit technology in every elementary school in Croatia. Croteam was just one of its many backers.

“We backed this campaign because we are selfish.” said Croteam’s CEO Roman Ribaric. “We want young people to get started with programming as soon as possible, so we can snag them to come and work with us on future projects as soon as possible.”

“It’s simple and honest, but when you consider that every other dev studio and IT company wants the same, it’s no longer about private interests.” explains Croteam’s CTO Alen Ladavac. “It’s a national interest and it’s great to see that more and more people understand this and support the campaign.”

The crowdfunding campaign raised over 200.000 USD, more than three times its initial goal in only five days, quickly becoming the most successfully funded Croatian campaign. Indiegogo campaign was launched by Croatian Makers led by family Bakic (Nenad and Rujana), a private initiative for better education.

“There’s no doubt in my mind this STEM revolution in Croatian schools will result in a lot of gifted young developers” said Croteam’s Chief Creative Officer Davor Hunski “and thanks to this campaign the revolution is exactly what we started. In fact, I’m sure many of those who’ll receive this technology today, will join Croteam on some future projects.”

Are you deeply concerned about the state of education in Croatia? There’s still time: you can back the Indiegogo campaign here.

The ‘Giant’ update for Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter is here

A new update has been released for SSVR: The First Encounter, bringing many bug fixes and tweaks to the game, but one new feature literally stands out: world and weapon scaling! What it means is that you can make things smaller or bigger in the game to make them look just right. Or go overboard with the slider and become a giant Sam. Or a vertically challenged Sam. Look for this option in – wait for it! – Options (and then select Game options).

The game now also supports blink teleport and includes first experimental support for gamepad or keyboard and mouse, since both features have been requested on Steam forums. Read the whole change log here.

This update includes all fixes from previous beta builds, including optimization tweaks to the locomotion system and improvements in the low-level rendering systems for both DX and Vulkan.