” (…) a story has as many versions as it has readers.” – John Steinbeck
What is LudoNarraCon 2021?
LudoNarraCon 2021 (LNC) is a FREE digital convention hosted on Steam, with a focus on celebrating narrative and storytelling in video games and the talented and dedicated people that make such titles. The initiative was started in 2019 by indie publishing label Fellow Traveller, creating a platform to showcase unique and innovative narrative-centric games. This year’s event is only the third event of its kind and will run from 23th – 26th April 2021.
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 is a welcome weekend of entertainment for the housebound.
Our previous coverage of LNC can be found at the links below:
LudoNarraCon 2021 Game Exhibitors
Over 40 developers and publishers, including Fellow Traveller (of course), Hiding Spot, Ghost Pattern and Thunder Lotus Games, will stream live on their games’ Steam store pages with behind-the-scenes content, couch chats, and demo gameplay. 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.
LudoNarraCon 2021 features a range of narrative-focused games (full list here), titles include Chicory: A Colorful Tale, The Longest Road on Earth, No Longer Home and Song of Farca. Fans can get a look at the game without dealing with a crowded exhibition floor. There will also be over twenty free demos will be available to play for the duration of the event!
Reviews of last year’s demos can be found below:
- LudoNarraCon 2020: Genesis Noir Review (also exhibiting this year)
- LudoNarraCon 2020: Neo Cab Review
- LudoNarraCon 2020: Backbone Review
- LudoNarraCon 2020: Welcome to Elk Review
- LudoNarraCon 2020: Coffee Talk Review
We’ve also reviewed demos for other great games that will feature in LudoNarraCon 2021
- She Dreams Elsewhere: An Anxiety-Ridden Demo
- If Found: A Coming of Age Story with a Sci-Fi Twist
- A Space for the Unbound in A Glance at Indonesia with Mojiken Studios – Double Game Review
LudoNarraCon 2021 Panels and Speakers
LudoNarraCon’s main event is hours of live talk and panels (full list here) 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 twenty-two talks over the course of the event, with speakers including Mohammad Fahmi, writer of Coffee Talk, Thomas Grip of Frictional Games and Rowan Williams of Riot Games.
In a change from previous years, LudoNarraCon 2021 includes talks in three different categories:
- Fireside Chats: Informal conversations between games industry veterans.
- Bite-Sized Talks: Short and sweet talks led by leaders in the games space.
- Panels: Conversational panels on topics central to the genre of the narrative game.
This Year’s Panel Schedule
Whilst all talks and panels will be going live according to the following schedule they will also then be repeated on a loop, allowing for multiple viewing opportunities throughout LudoNarraCon 2021.
Friday 23rd April 2021:
- 10am PT – Panel – Exploring Narrative Projection: Blaseball vs. Where Cards Fall with Sam Rosenthal, Joel Clark and Stephen Bell
- 11am PT – Panel – Telling Dark Stories with Games with Richard Rouse III, Emily Short, Thomas Grip and Marta Fijak
- 12pm PT – Bitesized Talk – Creative Reactive Art with Napthali Faulkner
- 12:40pm PT – Bitesized Talk – When in Doubt, Get Weirder with Charlene Putney
- 12:45pm PT – Bitseized Talk – Writing their Story: Writing Trans and Non-Binary Characters with Rowan Williams
- 1pm PT – Panel – Narrative Systems: From Pen to Paper to Video Games with Gareth Damian Martin, Inari Bourguenolle, Bertine van Hövell and Soraya Hajji
- 2pm PT – Panel – Diverse Cyberpunk Stories: Humanising Identities and Finding Alternative Universes with Tanya Kan, Son M., Christopher Ortiz and Naphtali Faulkner
- 3pm PT – Panel – Stories are Structures, Videogames are Places with Claris Cyarron, Zoyander Street, Nathalie Lawhead and Jord Farrell
- 4pm PT – Fireside Chat – Sam Barlow (Writer, Telling Lies) & Kelsey Beachum (Narrative Designer, Outer Worlds)
- 5pm PT – Fireside Chat – Brooke Maggs (Narrative Designer, Control) & Greg Kasavin (Writer, Hades)
Saturday 24th April 2021
- 9am PT – Panel – Totally 90s: A Decade We May or May Not Have Experienced with Dave Proctor, Saffron Aurora, Yash Kulkarni and Corina Diaz
- 10am PT – Panel – Good Stories Must Die with George Ziets, Annie VanderMeer, Märten Rattasepp and Ata Sergey Nowak
- 11am PT – Fireside Chat – Davionne Gooden (Developer, She Dreams Elsewhere) & Laura Michet (Writer, Skin Deep)
- 12pm PT – Panel – Creating and Breaking the Immersion in Localisation with Vladimir Konoplitsky, Ramón Méndez, Eric Holweck and Ash Tregay
- 1pm PT – Bitesized Talk – How to go from ‘Aspiring’ to ‘Narrative Designer’ with Karrie Shirou
- 1:15pm PT – Bitesized Talk – A New Era for Interactive Live Action Stories with Jack Attridge
- 1:30pm PT – Bitesized Talk – Revolution: 40 Years of Captivating Stories with Charles Cecil
- 1:45pm PT – BItesized Talk – Solving Impossible Design Problems with Story with Greg Lobanov
- 2pm PT – Fireside Chat – Colin Campbell (Journalist, Polygon, How Games Are Changing the World), Ziba Scott (Developer, Kind Words)
- 3pm PT – Panel – The Stories we Share: Crafting Game Narratives for Change with Jenny Windom, Cara Hillstock, Picogram and Tanya Kan
- 4pm PT – Panel – Pacing and Storytelling with COnstant Death with Tanya X. Short, Tyler Sigman, Tarn Adams and Adam Saltsman
- 5pm PT – Fireside Chat – Kim Belair (Narrative Designer, Goodbye Volcano High) & Mohammad Fahmi (Writer, Coffee Talk)
LudoNarraCon 2021 Supporter Pack
A brand new addition to LudoNarraCon 2021 is the supporter pack, designed to give fans an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for indie narrative games, and to help support the event. It includes a treasure trove of wallpapers and an album of music from LNC exhibitors as well as an exclusive game called Cyrano, commissioned by LNC and created by PopCannibal, the developers of Kind Words.
The supporter pack will be released on the 23rd April 2021, as the event starts and will be available to purchase on Steam for $6.99 USD for a limited time!
With over 40 game exhibitors, 22 different talks and panels from industry leaders discussing game development, over 20 free, playable demos and a supporter pack with an exclusive game on offer over the course of the weekend, LudoNarraCon 2021 is sure to be both fun and informative. If previous years are anything to go by, this is sure to be a must-attend event for both fans and creators of narrative-driven games.
Want to check out some reviews for narrative focused games? Take a look at the content below:
Inkslinger: A Fantastic New Visual Novel and Typing Game – Avoid being ‘Left on Read’ in this Emotional, Free Game! – Spitkiss: The Hygienic Way to Share Body Fluids with Friends!