What’s LudoNarraCon you ask? It’s a totally digital convention celebrating the best narrative games. If you’ve been following this page for some time you’ll know I’m a sucker for a good narrative game. So it’s great to find a convention that celebrates the truly unique and memorable art that is game narrative. LudoNarraCon is being run by indie game label Fellow Traveller, from the 24th – 27th of April 2020. It’s hosted on Steam with 12 hours of live panels and it’s free to exhibit and attend. So you should.
LudoNarraCon ran their first convention last year in May with more than 850,000 people visiting the event page. This year it’s going to be bigger and better with an estimated 1.5 million visitors. During the festival, exhibitors from around the world will be streaming exclusive behind the scenes content and sneak peeks onto their Steam store pages. With more than 15 exhibitors providing downloadable demos, available only for the duration of the event. There will also be live panel discussions on the main theatre stream and a sale featuring more than 50 story-rich games.
Right now Fellow Traveller has announced their first round of exhibitors with more to be revealed in the coming months. Here’s what we’re excited about so far.
Chinatown Detective Agency by General Interactive Co.
We’re starting off our narrative list with a classic detective noir story – Chinatown Detective Agency. We first saw this game at Level Up KL 2019 and it’s on our top list for games that celebrate Southeast Asian culture. Set in the future, Singapore is a harsh cyberpunk place on the brink of chaos. You play as Amira Darma, an ex-INTERPOL agent with a PI agency in Chinatown. Help your clients, travel the globe and untangle a web of conspiracies and plans that threaten to topple the country. Inspired by the OG detective game Carmen Sandiego you’ll need to track down leads, build a network, code break and more.
Tangle Tower by SFB Games
Tangle Tower is a murder mystery puzzle game set in an isolated and mysterious mansion. You’ll be playing as Grimoire and Sally, a team of private detectives investigating the mysterious murder of Freya Fellows. The murder takes place in a locked room at the top of a tower in the mansion. Unravel the mystery by interrogating all the characters who inhabit the mansion and discover different clues you’ll find locked behind puzzle-like locks.
Eliza by Zachtronics
It wouldn’t be a successful narrative event if LudoNarraCon didn’t have any AI taking over humanity stories. Eliza is a visual novel about an AI counselling program, the people who develop it, and the people who use it. After abandoning her high-powered tech career, Evelyn Ishino-Aubrey resurfaces working as a proxy for a virtual counselling app called Eliza. Her job consists solely of reading a script provided to her in real-time by an AI, leaving her no autonomy over what she says. Is Eliza a technological marvel that brings therapy to those who otherwise couldn’t access it? Or is it an ineffective replacement and another vector for technology companies to gain control over our lives and humanity?
Solace State by Vivid Foundry Corp.
I first wrote about Solace State in 2018 in an article entitled 5 Visual Novels That Will Change Your Mind About The Genre. 2 years ago I was intrigued by this game but now I’m chomping at the virtual bit to uncover this story. Solace State takes place in a sci-fi surveillance society. Controlled by nefarious megacorporations the city-state is fractured by inequality and intrigue. You play as Chloe, a neuro hacker who comes home to a political awakening. Use your skills to help the rebels and shape the different factions that are fighting for their livelihoods.