TRIBECA FESTIVAL UNVEILS 2023 GAMES PROGRAM
WORLD PREMIERES AND FIRST-TIME PLAYABLE DEMOS OF OFFICIAL GAMES SELECTIONS PLUS:
WORLD PREMIERE OF “HIDEO KOJIMA: CONNECTING WORLDS” DOCUMENTARY AND LIVE Q&A WITH THE LEGENDARY VIDEO GAME DESIGNER; TELLTALE GAMES PANEL “EXPLORING DEEP SPACE: HOW TELLTALE AND DECK NINE CREATED EXPANSE STORIES IN AN INTERACTIVE MEDIUM
NEW YORK, NY (SMI-ENTERTAINMENT MAY 11-12, 2023)-The 2023 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today announced its official games program, which celebrates the convergence of games, entertainment, and culture. This year’s lineup features seven selections that demonstrate potential in phenomenal storytelling and innovation through interactive experiences. Each selection is eligible for the Tribeca Games Award, which honors an unreleased game for excellence in artistic storytelling.
The program features world premieres of The Expanse: A Telltale Series, a prequel to the popular TV series that puts players in the role of Camina Drummer, played by actress Cara Gee, who portrays the fan-favorite character in the TV series; Stray Gods, a roleplaying musical that tells a story of hope, self-discovery, and forging one’s path; and Nightscape, an atmospheric adventure game inspired by ancient Arabian astronomy.
“This year, Tribeca’s games selections showcase creators who explore identity, emotion, and a sense of place through their games,” said Tribeca Vice President of Games & Immersive Casey Baltes. “We are proud to highlight a range of cultural perspectives with exceptional artistry and storytelling from voices all around the world that will captivate audiences and stay with them long after the experience is over.
Festival attendees can also look forward to special games events and talks, including a special screening ofHideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds directed by Glen Milner and produced by Ben Hilton, which takes viewers on a journey into the creative mind of Hideo Kojima, one of the most iconic video game designers in the world. The screening is followed by an extended Q&A with Kojima. Telltale Games is also hosting a panel, “Exploring Deep Space: How Telltale and Deck Nine created Expanse Stories in an Interactive Medium” for an in-depth discussion of the key factors in capturing the right feel and tone for The Expanse: A Telltale Series, the highly anticipated prequel to the popular TV series.
Tribeca’s Games & Immersive Experience, which is held exclusively in-person at the Festival’s hub, Spring Studios (50 Varick Street), features playable demos for this year’s games selections. The Games & Immersive Experience is a showcase celebrating the emergence of new forms of entertainment: games that can be played at home, on the street, or in modern-day galleries, alongside the latest 3D works from world-renowned XR artists who demonstrate how immersive tech can leverage thought-provoking social statements.
The Tribeca Games Spotlight, an online showcase of this year’s official selections, features never-before-seen footage and interviews from the creators of the official sections as part of the Summer Game Fest — a free, all-digital global celebration of video games streaming online. Games fans across the globe can tune in on Friday, June 9 at 3pm EDT via Tribeca’s YouTube channel.
2023 TRIBECA FESTIVAL GAMES SELECTION
A Highland Song, (United Kingdom) - World Premiere. Moira McKinnon has never seen the sea. Living with her mum in a small house in the Scottish Highlands, she receives a letter from her Uncle Hamish urging her to come to the coast. And so Moira runs away. Control Moira as she scrambles across the mountains, and through valleys filled with echoes, stories, ghosts and songs. Find maps that unlock hidden paths while collecting the stories of the hills... and of Moira's past.
Developer: inkle Studios
Chants of Sennaar, (France) - World Premiere. The Peoples of the Tower no longer speak to each other. But it is said that one day, a Traveler will find the wisdom to break down the walls and restore the Balance. Explore an enthralling world in a colorful, poetic setting inspired by the myth of Babel. Travel the endless steps of a prodigious labyrinth and unveil the mysteries of this fascinating universe where ancient languages are both the lock and the key.
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Despelote, (New York, Ecuador) - World Premiere. Run, pass, and dribble as eight year old Julián in this slice of life game all about football. Explore the streets and parks of Quito, set against the backdrop of Ecuador's first qualifying run for the World Cup in 2001 and meet its community through funny emergent interactions.
Developers: Julián Cordero, Sebastián Valbuena, Gabe Cuzzillo, Ian Berman, Niall Tessier-Lavigne
Goodbye Volcano High, (Canada, United States) - World Premiere. Just Fang’s luck: they finally figure out what they want out of life, and now the world’s about to explode. In this story-driven, choice-based cinematic adventure game about personal growth, acceptance, and the power of community, what will you do at the end of an era? Goodbye Volcano High is a cinematic adventure game, a coming-of-age rhythm game, a hand-animated interactive cartoon, and a choice-based, narrative-driven, interactive movie experience.
Developer & Publisher: KO_OP
Nightscape, (Qatar) - World Premiere. When the sun mysteriously causes the stars to fall to earth rendering the sky completely dark, the world is thrown into chaos in this 2.5D atmospheric adventure game rooted in ancient Arabian stories. Layla, a lost stargazer, reluctantly embarks on a quest to restore the stars to their rightful place. Using her father’s magical astrolabe, she awakens the power of the stars as she explores the mysteries of both earth and sky.
Developer: Mezan Studios
Stray Gods, (Australia) - World Premiere. In a modern fantasy world, college dropout Grace is granted the power of a Muse - power she’ll need to find out the truth behind her predecessor’s death before time runs out. You'll decide who Grace allies with, who she can trust, and who may betray her through original, fully interactive musical numbers & choice-based gameplay. Fully orchestrated and performed by an all-star cast, you’ll feel as though you’re right there on the stage.
Developer: Summerfall Studios
Publisher: Humble Games
The Expanse: A Telltale Series, (United States) - World Premiere. The Expanse: A Telltale Series serves as a prequel to the popular Amazon TV series and much of the book series. In The Expanse: The Telltale Series players take on the role of Camina Drummer (played by Cara Gee, the actress who portrays this fan-favorite character in the TV series), the leader of a ragtag scavenging crew on the hunt for a mysterious treasure on the edges of The Belt. Drummer will square off against mutinous crew members and a savage pirate captain, Toussaint, who forces Drummer to grapple with her own violent past. Ultimately, Drummer must sacrifice her personal ambitions and rediscover the larger purpose that she is fighting for.
Developer: Deck Nine
Publisher: Telltale Games
2023 TRIBECA FESTIVAL GAMES SPECIAL EVENTS
Hideo Kojima: Connecting Worlds (United Kingdom) - World Premiere. A journey into the creative mind of the most iconic video game designer in the world. Featuring appearances from visionary artists Guillermo del Toro, Nicholas Winding Refn, Grimes, George Miller, Norman Reedus, Woodkid, Chvrches, this visually captivating documentary gives a rare insight into Hideo Kojima’s creative process as he launches his own independent studio. Directed by Glen Milner. Produced by Ben Hilton.
A Tribeca Games special screening including an extended Q&A with Hideo Kojima.
Location: Spring Studios
Date/Time: Saturday, June 17 at 5:00pm
Exploring Deep Space: How Telltale and Deck Nine created Expanse Stories in an Interactive Medium
The dangers of space, complex characters, narrative design that crackles with tension, player agency, tough choices with life or death consequences, zero-G, and Cara Gee. These are just some of the elements that play a crucial role in bringing deep space scavenging to life in The Expanse: A Telltale Series. Stephan Frost, game director at Deck Nine Games will be joined by Jonathan Zimmerman, narrative director, and lead designer Christopher Sica for an in-depth discussion of the key factors in capturing the right feel and tone for their highly anticipated prequel to the popular TV series. They’ll reveal the biggest challenges and advantages of crafting fresh experiences in a well-established universe using an interactive medium. And they’ll talk about how two powerhouse names in narrative games partnered to evolve the genre and tell an exceptional story.
Location: AT&T Untold Stories Lounge
Date/Time: Saturday, June 10 at 4:30pm