During the PoRtaL 5 conference you will be able to participate in various types of activities. Here’s a quick overview.

Presentations are the shortest: they won’t be longer than 15 minutes.

Talks will last a bit longer, but still not too long: 30 do 45 minutes.

Both presentations and talks will be followed with short Q&A sessions (again, up to 15 minutes), and there’ll be some time left to mingle and talk with the speaker and other people at the PoRtaL. Therefore, there won’t be dedicated breaks between presentation, talks and other program items.

Mingle&Networking events (M&NE) are designed to offer opportunity to get up close and personal with the PoRtaL speakers and guests in an easy-going atmosphere. Idea is that we all kick back and relax while talking about themes of talks. We’ve scheduled an hour for them, but won’t really be strict about that.

Campfire Stories is anonther laid back event, during which we’d like to hear funny, inspiring, educational and in other ways interesting stories and anecdotes you’ve gathered while larping. Again, timetable won’t be too strict.

We’ll have only one workshop, but it’s a good one and will last up to two hours.

Finally, there will be different games available, each will take up a two-hour slot.

Here's the program by days:

Friday, March 3

The Talk Hall

19:00 Opening of the PoRtaL 5

19:15 - 19:45 Presentation: LARP in the ClassroomTina Odinsky-Zec

In collaboration with the Terrible Creations creative collective LARP was introduced into the classroom in the summer school course of Entrepreneurship at ZSEM. This presentation will offer insights into the preconditions for this partnership, the dimensions that it took, the outcomes and lessons learned. 

Tina is the director at Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Zagreb School of Economics and Management. She is currently completing her doctoral work on Visualizing Social Entrepreneurship in Croatia: Micro-Meso-Macro Level Analysis. Along with her teaching and researching activities, she consults and designs projects with impact. Originally from New Jersey, USA, she resides in Zagreb with her husband and two talented children, who both enjoy larping. 

20:00 - 20:45 Talk: What the Hell is an Edularp?Niclas Hell

Expect a little bit of history of educational LARPs, what are they used for, with examples, methods commonly used, different schools and a few practical tips. 

Niclas is a high school teacher and a LARP designer who works on storyfication, edularps and alternate reality games. His speciality are edularps about politics and history.

20:45 - 21:30 Talk: Making Games for Businesses - Lujza Kotryova

What’s it like to put together a LARP game for a company? What does it take? What should you focus on? What are the pitfalls? Stay a while and listen to a designer who’s been doing this for a while now. 

Lujza is a game designer, LARP maker and gamificator from the Court of Moravia company with ten years of experience in making LARPs, RPGs and table top games.

22:00 - 23:00 M&NE: LARPs for businesses

The Mos Eisley Cantina

19:00 - 19:45 Presentation: Mists of Aeonia, Greece enters the LARP scene - Christos Panagiotopoulos

A brief overview of a LARP game in Athens, split evenly between organizational aspects and a showcase of our content. It will provide insights on the variables one should consider when running a LARP in Greece such as demographics, player interests, state cooperation and probable reception of different styles and ideas. Christos will also talk about the Greek LARP scene before the Mists of Aeonia, community effort and setbacks, international contacts and cooperation and their own unique take on the age-old fighter-mage tug of war.

Christos is a LARP organizer and enthusiast from Greece. 

19:45 - 20:15 Presentation: Noćne kronike LARP - Ivan Žalac

Noćne kronike (The Night Chronicles) is a Vampire the Masquerade LARP campaign in Zagreb, playing the Sabbat faction. You will find out more about the LARP, as well as how it integrated multiple other modes of role-play, including tabletop, e-mail play, pervasive play and ARG.

Ivan is a LARP designer, writer and organizer from Zagreb, with plenty of experience in writing and running games of various themes, formats and sizes. He also writes and edits the only Croatian blog about LARP in English: Diary of a Crolarper

20:30 - 22:30 Game: Izgon: The Experiment - Official world premiere, 4-6 participants, Ivan Žalac

A top-secret experiment results in research participants being possessed by energy beings from another world - bringing here their own troubles. Based on the long-term pervasive LARP series of the same name (recently novelized, you can find out more if you check out Ivana Delač's talk on Sunday), Izgon: The Experiment is an urban fantasy chamber LARP for 4-6 participants. 

There will be time-critical decisions to be made, personal issues to be resolved, inner role-play between the host and energy characters, and a touch of magic.

23:00 – 24:00 Campfire Stories

Saturday, March 4

The Talk Hall

14:00 - 14:45 Talk: The Rise of the Balkan LARP - Christos Panagiotopoulos

An in-depth examination of how and why the playstyle of LARP in the Balkan peninsula sets them apart from established styles such as European, Nordic and American boffer. It involves a detailed analysis on the cultural and social climate that gave rise to those differences and how to approach them when designing LARPs with that target group in mind. The lecture will focus on the identity of the Balkan LARP style and how that may evolve in the future along with monetization schemes designed for its core audience.

Christos is a LARP organizer and enthusiast from Greece.

14:45 - 15:30 Talk: Crossovers and Common Settings Between Countries: How to Keep a Continuity Nerd Happy - Christos Panagiotopoulos

A how-to for exchanging players between games, creating incentives for players to cross the borders to  participate, and setting up a network of games that can tap into larger player pools. The focus will mostly be on making the games compatible through lore and to a lesser extent mechanics, as well as how should organizers approach such endeavors. In the process, we will share examples, experiences and anecdotes we have collected over the years through the three-way partnership of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian larpers.

Christos is a LARP organizer and enthusiast from Greece.

16:00 - 16:45 Talk: Games for Pre-schoolers - Goran Dimić

Goran will explain the function of “role-playing” in child development, using examples and experiences he has gathered while working with kids of preschool and elementary school age.  

Goran works in the kindergarten Čigra in Zagreb and loves every minute of it. While not a passionate larper himself (yet), he rather enjoys role-playing in other forms. And does entertaining presentations, too. 

16:45 - 17:30 Talk: Games for High-schoolers - Tomislav Nazifović

“Stop playing, start studying!” Sounds familiar? How many times have you heard that during your school years? But what if we could do both? Without harmful consequences? Tomislav will share his experiences in teaching teenagers mathematics and physics using role-playing games.

Tomislav started playing computer games in the age of Spectrum PC and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. He’s been in love with games ever since and has been in a steady relationship with teaching for a while now. We still have to make a larper out of him, but it’s only a matter of time.

17:30 - 18:15 Talk: How to Start and Run a School Based on LARP - Mads Lunau

Østerskov Efterskole, a partly government funded, partly private school located in Hobro, Denmark, that uses live-action role-playing as a teaching method for its 90 pupils aged 14 to 18 since 2006. has been and still is an inspiration for all of us who aim to apply LARP to education. Mads, its co-founder and principal, will tell us more about how it came to be and how it works.  

Mads is a veteran of the Danish LARP scene with a degree in philosophy and information sciences. He designed a great deal of games for educational and entertainment.  

19:00 – 20:00 M&NE: RPGs in Education

20:00 - 20:45 Talk: Making and Running a High-end LARP - Alessandro Giovannucci

Girls and guys from the Chaos League take over a small village in the Alps and turn it into a playground for movie-like stories, set in various historical contexts - during the First and Second World Wars, in present-time locations, in an Italian monastery in the Middle Ages, in a dystopian post-atomic world of the near future – for more than 70 players at a time. How does this work? Well, that’s what’s this talk all about.

Alessandro is an academic lecturer and a LARP designer, one of the founders of the Chaos League and co-author of the Southern Way - New Italian LARP manifesto, as well as organizer of high-budget games and LARP festivals.

21:00 - 21:45 Talk: Making and Running a Blockbuster LARP - Mikolaj Wicher

Girls and guys from the Liveform/Dziobak Studio take over a castle in Poland for a weekend and turn it into, for example, a fantasy wizard school or a drama set in England in 1917, both inspired by popular film and TV works. Tickets are over 400 € per person but their events are usually quickly sold out and they are branching into other countries. This talk will give a glimpse into the inner workings of this phenomenon on the uprise. 

Mikolaj is a professional LARP-maker and designer from the Liveform/Dziobak Studio. He is a part of the team behind international block-busters such as College of Wizardry, Fairweather Manor and Convention of Thorns.

22:00 – 23:00 M&NE: Blockbuster and High-end LARPs 

The Mos Eisley Cantina

14:00 - 16:00 Game: Battlestar Galactica: Freighter 212 (6-10 players, Terrible Creations)

Your spaceship has been sent to explore a nearby planet, with a mission to find resources vital for survival of the fleet that contains what’s left of the Humanity. But you were ambushed by your mortal enemies, the Cylons. Most of the crew was killed in the attack and your vessel is in such a bad shape that Cylons left you for dead. Yet, you survived. What are you going to do? Will you risk sending a warning to the rest of the fleet?

The game is set in the universe of the popular TV SF series Battlestar Galactica. No previous role-playing experience or costumes are required, but you should be familiar with the basic concepts of the series at least. It has been created to explore the possibilities of transferring TV content to LARP environment.

17:00 – 19:00 Game: Famiglia Bonifacio: The Evening Before (6 players, Terrible Creations) 

Don Angelo Bonifacio has urgently called a special meeting with his most trusted capos and advisers. No one knows why. Tensions will rise as heads the criminal organisation will find themselves faced with a crisis that that will threaten not only the survival of the Famiglia, but also their very lives.

The game is set in an Italian mob family in the USA at the end of 1920’s. No previous role-playing experience or costumes are required.

21:00 – 23:00 Game: Witches (3-8 players, Terrible Creations)

Queen Barbara Celjska (Barbara of Cilli) has summoned the best witches of her seigniory. They will face a difficult task: to conjure a potion of unknown formula. Each of the witches is a master in her respective field, but a joint effort is required in order to please their ruler. Will they be able to overcome their differences? Time is running out, and the Black Queen is not known for her patience! 

The game is set in Zagreb during the Medieval times. No previous role-playing experience or costumes are required. It has been developed for application in tourism, but also as an experiment in interactive history lessons.

Sunday, March 5

The Talk Hall

11:00 - 11:45 Talk: LARP and literature – There and Back Again - Ivana Delač

Ivana has unique experiences to share. She is the co-author of the pervasive LARP/alternative reality game Astra that was inspired and based upon the lives and works of three prominent Croatian writers and poets. She also wrote and recently published a book based upon her experiences gained while playing Croatian pervasive LARP/alternative reality game Izgon. She will share with us her insights from both enterprises.

Ivana is a psychologist, employed in an elementary school on the outskirts of Zagreb. She is also an accomplished writer and a passionate larper. 

12:00 - 14:00 Workshop: Nanolarp Challenge (up to 30 participants, Mikolaj Wicher)

How long does it take to make a LARP? Mikolaj is sure it can be done in less then an hour. In this practical workshop groups of three will make games and then we will play them. The aim of the event is to prove that larpmaking can be easy and fun.

The Mos Eisley Cantina

11:00 - 11:45 Talk: Doing Edularps for Companies South of the Alps - Blaž Branc

We all know educational LARPs are a thing in the Czech Republic, Poland, Scandinavian countries… But here, south of the Alps? Someone does that? The answer is yes, and he will tell us what it was like, as well as what he has learned from doing it.

Blaž is an entrepreneur, sociologist, author, lecturer and coach with many years of experience, well versed in using game mechanics and gamification in business environment. He also was the main coach in the Erasmus+ funded project Gamification, held in Newcastle (Great Britain) during June 2015.

12:00 – 12:45 Talk: Bringing LARP to Larger Audiences: What Have We Learned So Far - Miroslav Wranka, Terrible Creations

During last two years the creative collective Terrible Creations has done a fair number of promotional and other activities designed to promote LARP to audiences that are not familiar with role-playing games in general. We’ve learned a lot and we want to share.

Miroslav is a co-founder and a Lead Game Designer at Terrible Creations, as well as a LARP evangelist. 

14:00 M&NE Organizer’s Circle: PoRtaL 6

We’ll talk about who will organize the next edition of our traveling conference, where will it be held and when. Feel free to chip in even if you’re not among organizer crews.