“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman
What is LudoNarraCon?
LudoNarraCon is a FREE digital convention hosted on Steam, with a focus on celebrating narrative and storytelling in video games. It is an initiative of indie publishing label Fellow Traveller creating a platform to showcase unique and innovative narrative-centric games. This year’s event is the second of its kind (you can read our coverage of LudoNarraCon 2019 here) and will run from 24th – 27th April 2020.
Being an entirely digital event removes any geographical focus or restrictions and enables LudoNarraCon to concentrate the focus of the convention and appeal to a relatively niche market on a global scale. The overall aim is to replicate as many of the aspects and benefits of a physical convention as possible without the many drawbacks of a crowded exhibition floor. This, of course, has the added benefit of making it perfectly safe to attend during the current global crisis and a welcome weekend of entertainment for the housebound.
Over 40 developers and publishers are taking part in LudoNarraCon such as Fellow Traveller (obviously), Toge Productions, GhostShark, Polygon Treehouse and Failbetter Games. Participants will be streaming live on their games’ Steam store pages with behind-the-scenes content, couch chats, and demo gameplay allowing fans to get a close look at the game from the comfort of home.
LudoNarraCon features a range of narrative-focused games, this year’s titles include Still, There (review here), Coffee Talk, Neo Cab, Telling Lies, Genesis Noir and The Church in the Darkness amongst others. All streams will go live at the launch of the LudoNarraCon, and will then be looped through the remainder of the event, giving “attendees” the freedom to enjoy content about upcoming indie games at their leisure.
Additionally, more than 50 story-rich games will be included in a LudoNarraCon Sale that will be live on Steam throughout the weekend-long event!
Panels and Speakers
LudoNarraCon’s main event is over 14 hours of live panels with industry influencers, game developers and publishers. The various discussions will focus on fun topics related to different aspects of the narrative game genre. There will be a total of eleven panels over the course of the event, with speakers including Daniele Giardini (Still, There), Tom Jones and Alex Kanaris-Sotiriou (Röki) and Gabby DaRienzo (A Mortician’s Tale – review here). All panels will be live according to the schedule but will then be repeated on a loop, allowing for multiple viewing opportunities throughout LudoNarraCon.
This Year’s Panel Schedule:
- Friday 24th April:
- 10 am PDT – Games: The Transformational Experience.
- 11 am PDT – Creating Emotional Touchstones in Emergent Narratives.
- 12 pm PDT – The Evolution of Game narrative.
- 1 pm PDT – Localisation and Writing: Re-Creating the Worlds Together.
- 2 pm PDT – Let’s do the Timewarp Again: How to Keep the Narrative Interesting in a Game Built on Repetition.
- 3 pm PDT – Storytelling without Dialogue.
- 4 pm PDT – On Essay Games: The Diary, The Documentary and The Satire.
- Saturday 25th April:
- 9 am PDT – Emergent Narrative vs Traditional Narrative
- 10 am PDT – Cultural Dissonance: Exploring and Learning the Unknown for your Story.
- 11 am PDT – Holistic Storytelling.
- 12 pm PDT – Personal Storytelling in Games.
- 1 pm PDT – Narrative Design: The Secret Sauce of Storytelling.
- 2 pm PDT – Storytelling Setbacks and How to Navigate Them
- 3 pm PDT – Emergent Narrative vs Traditional Narrative
To celebrate LudoNarraCon, Indie Hive will be giving away Steam codes for two games, Fellow Traveller’s Hacknet and A Mortician’s Tale (work of event panellist Gabby DaRienzo).
If you’d like a chance to win simply join our Discord server for more details, the winners will be announced on 27th April!
With over 40 game exhibitors, 11 panels from industry leaders discussing game development, over 50 story-driven games on sale, plus 20+ playable demos over the course of the weekend, LudoNarraCon is sure to be both fun and informative and is a must-attend event for both fans and creators of narrative-driven games.
Want to try more narrative-focused games? Look no further, we have plenty of reviews here!