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LudoNarraCon, online-only story-focused games convention, returning in 2020

Online-only game convention, LudoNarraCon, will return in 2020.




Online-only game convention, LudoNarraCon, will return in 2020.

Back in May, indie publisher, Fellow Traveler, debuted LudoNarraCon. The fledgling event was a global games convention that took place entirely on Steam. The goal was to offer all the cool stuff found at brick-and-mortar gatherings — demos! panels! networking! — but without the travel costs.

With 850,000 unique visitors, Fellow Traveler describes the initial convention as “wildly successful.” Today, the publisher announced that the event will be back — “bigger and better” — next April.


How Does LudoNarraCon Work?

Here’s how Fellow Traveler explains the convention’s offerings:

  • A curated selection of developers “exhibit” on their Steam store pages, using Steam’s streaming features to provide behind the scenes looks at their games. Some also provide downloadable demos, available only for the duration of the event but playable at the player’s convenience.
  • A “theatre” stream features panels on topics related to narrative games and panelists including narrative game developers, writers, and journalists.
  • All of the live streaming content is looped for the rest of the event, making it easy to access the content when it suits the attendee.
  • More than 50 narrative games run discounts for the duration of the event.
  • Media can register for a press pass, giving them early access to demo builds, press assets and facilitating contact with participating developers to organise interviews.
  • Attendees can connect with each other via stream chat, steam forums or a dedicated section in the Fellow Traveller Discord.
  • Steam brings the whole event together in a special event page on the store making it easy to find all the content. Steam also puts the event in front of millions of Steam users via promotion and exposure on the store.

Last Year

Last year’s panelists included Supergiant Games’ Greg Kasavin, Fullbright’s Nina Freeman and Cassandra Khaw, who works as a scriptwriter for Ubisoft Montreal and has worked on narrative-focused games like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine.

With the convention taking place on Steam, developers spent a fraction of the time typically required for a convention. Additionally, on average, games received 4,000-5,000 wishlists during the event.

Registration is open now for exhibitors and potential panelists.

But, you may notice some ludonarrative dissonance. How can LudoNarraCon do so much killing (in page views) but still be good (for developers and fans).

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Andrew King is a journalist, critic, poet, stand-up comedian and museum caretaker living in Illinois.