Get to know Red Martyr Entertainment, the team behind the horror of Saint Kotar  

Get to know Red Martyr Entertainment, the team behind the horror of Saint Kotar  
We asked the devs how they brought the dark story-driven game to life, here’s what we learned

Rotterdam, The Netherlands – November 29, 2021

Saint Kotar is a psychological point-&-click horror detective game that launched last October 28th on Steam, Epic Games Store and GOG. You switch between two characters as you search for your missing relative in a rural Croatian town called Sveti Kotar. Several ominous forces appear to be at work in this cursed valley, including murder, witchcraft and devil worship.

Developed by Red Martyr Entertainment, a game development and interactive storytelling studio from Croatia, Saint Kotar takes pride in its dark narrative and grim visuals, taking inspiration from other game titles such as Black Mirror, Broken Sword and Indiana Jones, and horror fiction writers H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. We sat down with Red Martyr Entertainment CEO, Game Director and Writer Marko Tominić to learn more about how they brought Saint Kotar to life.

Interested in the origin stories of Kaze and the Wild Masks, Monster Crown, HammerHelm, or Dog Duty? We've interviewed the developers of these games too, take a look!

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and the team behind Saint Kotar? Where are you guys from and what’s your story?

Hello! We’re Red Martyr Entertainment, and we’re a game development and interactive storytelling studio founded in 2019. The team consists of me, Marko Tominić, Illustrator and General Artist Mirko Ćalušić and Programmer Goran Vinković. We’re all from Croatia, mainly from a small coastal town of Pula. The three of us, the core team, are working right from our HQ in Pula, while the rest of the team, the freelancers, are working remotely from other cities in Croatia. We came together with a simple goal: to create games and enjoy the ride. Working hard is what we love, being persistent is what makes us happy.

As a game developer from Croatia, how is the game development scene there? Could you tell us a bit more?

Well, I’d say we are still a very young industry. We have CroTeam, which is a veteran studio that exists for more than 20 years now, but other bigger ones are relatively young. Recently we’ve started to witness the rise of small indie studios and that is certainly good for everyone, not only for the game industry.

How long have you been walking around with the idea of making Saint Kotar and when did you start developing the game?

I started thinking, writing and researching about the idea back in 2015. It took me years to solidify everything in one coherent piece as I combined real historical events with my own fiction. The result is a deep lore and huge background story. Some development took part in 2016, but those were all just trials and errors, nothing more and nothing less. The real development started at the beginning of 2019, when we started working on our custom framework in Unity and we finally decided it’s going to be a 2.5D game. It was a nice journey and a great experience that we’re taking with us onto the next project.

What moved you to make a game like Saint Kotar? What's your biggest inspiration for this game?

I liked point-and-click (p&c) adventure games when I was a kid. I mean, I played all kind of games, but the p&c was back then the most popular genre. If you played games, you certainly played the p&c. The story I wrote was perfect for an adventure game, and the point-and-click mechanics seemed like the best fit. The biggest inspiration for Saint Kotar that came from that genre are Broken Sword and Indiana Jones, but I had other inspirations from other genres, and mainly from the CRPG (Computer role-playing games) genre which is the one I love most.

Where did you get the idea for the story of Saint Kotar?

Mainly from my own imagination, but some elements and points, definitely were a fruit of reading some of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Chambers, Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the TV show True Detective and movies Se7en and The Witch.

What ideas from other games did you take with you for Saint Kotar?

The switching from one character to another was an inspiration taken from the Broken Sword titles, while the exploration, the special items, different ways of solving the puzzles, the side tasks and the choices that matter from the CRPG genre, or more precisely from the first two titles in the Baldur’s Gate and Fallout series.

What makes Saint Kotar different than the rest of the point-&-click horror games?

The characters and the strange ones you encounter throughout the game, the special items you find that you can use to solve puzzles, the side tasks, the many decisions you must take that shape the fates of other characters and your plot, and the dark narrative with a mind blowing twist.

What are the most significant changes about the game since you started this project and why did you make these adjustments?

We started by experimenting with a pure 2D setup. It looked okay, and we had a faster production. But we changed that and moved to a 2.5D because the character looked so much better. It was the right decision, even though that meant we had to battle some technical limitations during the rest of development.

What is the most rewarding part about developing games?

You know, you work hard, you keep moving despite the odds, you put all your heart into it, you fight with your closest ones because you are obsessed to finish it, you become anxious, sad, happy, and then desperate again… And this goes on for years. Finally, all of a sudden, you are at the finish line. Your game is out there and people are playing it. You cannot feel nothing less than joy. And when you see reviews and comments that praise the game you created from scratch… Well, it’s amazing.

What do you like most about Saint Kotar?

The story. I love good mystery, weird, dark stories. I love them, so I want to create them as well. I believe we succeeded in that, as the most praised aspect of the game is the story, and the atmosphere that is the essential part of it.

Are there any Easter eggs or fun references to other games/series hidden in the game?

We have a “Black Mirror” in the police station. Then we have a yellow cat that is called The King in Yellow, which refers to a collection of short stories written by Chambers (The TV show True Detective was based on). We also have a dangerous maze in front of the lodge, which is a love letter to The Shinning. Most references are mainly from books or TV shows/films though.

If you were to start developing Saint Kotar again from the beginning, what would you do differently knowing what you know now?

Hah, good question! Definitely the whole project would now have a proper pre-production stage which is so crucial for the whole project. We didn’t have that and so in the beginning we had lots of mistakes and just attempts, not real production, to do something. That time wasn’t time wasted, it is time that is vital for our growth to become a successful game development studio. Now we are stronger in all disciplines and ready for what is coming next.

Latest News

View all our announcements, game updates, launches and more.


Want more news like this in your inbox?

Each week we share more updates, announcements and information about our games. Don’t miss out and subscribe to our newsletter today!