The first digital conversion hosted on Steam kicked off yesterday. LudoNarraCon is a digital convention aimed at celebrating narrative video games. It is an initiative of indie publishing label Fellow Traveller, with the express purpose of creating a platform to showcase and celebrate interesting and innovative narrative games while replicating as many of the aspects and benefits of a real-life physical convention experience as possible within a digital platform. The con went live yesterday at 10AM PDT, with panels from 10AM to 4PM. Panels and exhibitor streams will repeat on a loop through May 13 11PM PDT.
Instead of game booths, developers and publishers will stream live from their games' Steam store page, showing lots of behind-the-scenes content, couch chats, and demo gameplay. The advantage is that you can check out all this cool content without dealing with a crowded exhibition floor. There will also be a main theater stage on the event landing page on Steam, airing six to eight hours of live panels with industry influencers and developers. These panels will focus on topics related to the games that focus on narrative elements. If you didn't catch the panels yesterday, they will be looped through the remainder of the event, so don't worry if you "missed" it. Demos for some games are also available for a limited time for the event - you can try out early builds of Neo Cab, Genesis Noir, In Other Waters and more.
Some of the panelists include: Greg Kasavin, developer at Supergiant Games, behind the critically acclaimed games Bastion, Transistor (Our Review), and Pyre (Our Review); Lottie Bevan and Alexis Kennedy, co-founders of Weather Factory, developer of Cultist Simulator (Our Review); Nina Freeman, game designer at Fullbright, developer of Gone Home and Tacoma (Our Review). The panel topics range from "writing for short games," "death in games," to "romance in games" and "procedural generation and storytelling". You can see the full list of panels and panelists at the official LudoNarraCon website.
This is a Steam-hosted event, so you can bet your behind there will be sales. There are more than 40 discounted games to pick from, which you can see at the bottom of the event page. So pick something up to support your favorite indie developers.
What do you think of LudoNarraCon? Are digital conventions bound to get bigger and more popular in the future? Let us know in the comments below!