References - The Time Machine of Zatec
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References - The Time Machine of Zatec

logo_ZSCOur first Modern Exhibitions project was for the K. A Polanek Regional Museum Zatec. The theme was: The Zatec Time Machine.

How it begun?

In mid-2012, The K. A. Polanek Regional Museum Zatec was looking for an engaging way to present historical photographs of Zatec while introducing visitors to the history of the city. The traditional approach hanging pictures from the wall accompanied by long, descriptive paragraphs would not achieve that goal. The museum wanted something different, interesting and new.

Initially, the following issues needed to be resolved:

  • the exhibition space was not large
  • the need to fit rather much information in a small space
  • finding a way how to present classical photography in an engaging way

Our proposal:

  • make use of interactive elements and modern technology (tablet computers, integration with new media)
  • use of QR codes that will link to the museum’s web site (encyclopedia) and will thus allow access to large volumes of information
  • design the exhibition in a way that would draw in its audience
  • create a story that would allow „learning playfully“
  • the visitor will solve different tasks which will expose him to new information, increasing his knowledge, all while being entertained
  • rejuvenate the exhibition space by using light and lively colors


The exhibition was broken down into six main panels one of which was a large “blind” map of Old Zatec, that is used for one of the tablet-based tasks. The other panels focus on industry, education, personalities, oddities, etc. - all include information and hints necessary for completing the tablet game. Finally, the exhibition is completed by a treasure chest filled with historic postcards that also contain hidden hints.

To heighten the experience we introduced the fictional story of the Egertaal family’s lost treasure. It serves as the link between the individual themes of the exhibition. Throughout the game, visitors are guided by the inventor of the time machine they are now travelling in! The story further allows players to make their own decisions, making it unique for every participant. The game consists of six “mini-games” that follow the main panels (education, industry, personalities,…). The game takes between thirty and forty-five minutes to complete.


Mini games

The participant plays the mini-games in random order so lines and wait times are avoided.
  • Blind map – The largest display is a facsimile of a historical map of Zatec which links to the blind map mini-game. This 2 by 3 meters large map can be enhanced by magnetically attaching historical photographs. Once visitors place the photos in their proper spots, a secret code is displayed on their tablets, allowing them to continue the game.
  • Then and now –To solve this trivia, the visitor must match a pair of pictures; one past and one present.
  • Cipher – In this game the player must decipher a secret code using a coding table. Hints are to be found in the gallery.
  • Timeline – The player must order major Zatec historical events in the proper sequence. Hints are provided at the different sections of the exposition.
  • Signature replication – The visitor must use his finger to “counterfeit” K. A. Polanek’s signature on his tablet.
  • Quiz – A classical quiz consisting of randomly generated questions based on information that can be gleaned from the exhibits.
  • Postcards – At this stage the visitor must sort through a large chest full of historical postcards some of which contain hidden messages.
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And what does the Zatec museum think?

For us the goal of the exhibition was to engage mainly students, who are typically not interested in lengthy texts or thick tomes, but prefer quick access to information. Hence our decision to incorporate the tablets. This not only allowed us to overcome our space constraints but also enabled us to an engaging offering for youths: untraditional, modern, fast, interactive, suspenseful and entertaining.

The tablet game allows us to guide the visitors through the exhibition. Additionally by making visitors solve different tasks we enhance their experience and knowledge. Further, the tasks drive logical thinking, working with texts and develop skills using old municipal map and applying their topographical perception.

All participants who successfully complete the game obtain Facebook bragging rights in the form of an instantly available, unique electronic certificate. This connection with social media allows us to also promote our museum.

Results so far have shown that this approach to Modern Exhibitions has allowed us not only to speak to our original target group – teenagers – but to also include their parents and even grandparents.

PhDr. Radmila Holodňáková
Director of the K.A. Polanek Regional Museum Zatec
Visitor feedback

Thank you for an excellent Saturday afternoon. This “game for school-aged youth” entertained us three adults royally. An excellent idea very well executed.

The Novaks


We really liked the Zatec Time Machine game. The inclusion of electronics and fast access to information were very entertaining.

5th grade students


Thank you for a very interesting and entertaining game that entertained and educated us. We really enjoyed it.

The Máras from Svitavy 


This was epic, fun, super!



We asked the mayor of Zatec, Ms. Hamousova, how she liked the exhibition.

Who we are?

CEREBRA s.r.o. / Quijote together with the GAMEFUL team have formed an alliance to deliver a stable platform for Modern Exhibition projects. The goal of this alliance is to combine the experience and infrastructure of CEREBRA with GAMEFUL’S experience in using playing components when designing Modern Exhibitions.

Where we are?
Cerebra s.r.o. 

Pickova 1486/2
156 00
Czech Republic
Copyright © 2013 to 2018 CEREBRA s.r.o.