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The Importance Of A Southeast Asian Approach In Narrative-Focused Games

In this day and age, story and narrative are just as important as gameplay in video games these days, especially in the indie space where people want to tell their stories to captivate, entertain, and inform. As such, incredibly-focused game design expos like LudoNarraCon are very crucial in keeping this segment of the industry alive, well, and relevant.

As such, a good number of Southeast Asian game developers have their own online panel in LudoNarraCon, highlighting their respective cultures in making storylines and games that touch upon themes like post-colonialism, rapid economic development, and country-specific nostalgia. The video is hosted by Malaysian Twitch streamer and 20m podcast creator Arief Johan, and features three game developers: Dimas Novan D. (A Space for the Unbound), Saqina Latif (Kabaret), and Sasha Ariana (Afterlove EP).

Notable moments in the panel (along with timestamps) include Dumas’ method of translating 90s Indonesia culture into A Space of the Unbound (12:41), Sasha Ariana on the universal themes in Southeast Asia game settings (17:23), Saqina on how she approaches Malaysian-themed sensitive topics like the country’s Japanese occupation period (27:44), and how the passing of Coffee Talk’s Mohammad Fahmi affected the SEA video game community (42:50). These topics are worth listening to, especially if you wish to pursue a career in video games but are stuck in the SEA region.

Check out the full panel below:

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