Steam is going to host a festival for ‘digital tabletop’ games this month
Valve and tabletop company Auroch Digital are coming together to host an online festival for “games that cross between physical and digital” later this month. Scheduled to be held between October 21 and October 26, the Steam Digital Tabletop Fest is going to be streamed live.
As The Verge reports, the festival will be showcasing speakers like designer Steve Jackson (creator of the GURPS roleplaying system and many other individual role playing games), Call of Cthulhu RPG designer Sandy Petersen, and Games Workshop co-founder Ian Livingstone.
The fest will also include sessions for individual games like Plague Inc: Evolved designer James Vaughan will be streaming a session while discussing the difference between the game’s physical and digital formats. Sessions for Othercide and Gloomhaven (another dual-format game) are on the itinerary as well.
There is also a panel for games about Mars which will have scientists and space agency staff talking to game creators about what their work gets right and what they get wrong. This sounds like the most interesting session of the whole fest, to be honest.
More panels for the fest will be announced over the next few days.
Digital tabletop gaming does not have a strict definition. Valve is describing its festival as one that’s covering things like a digital port of a physical game, “a game which has produced a physical version from the digital one, a game that simulates the physical play experience, or a digital game whose aesthetics are inspired by tabletop games”.
The Steam Digital Tabletop Fest is not Valve’s first move into festivals. Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley worked with Valve last year to launch The Game Festival. The Game Festival let Steam users play upcoming game demos for a limited time. Valve brought the festival back after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the Game Developers Conference that was supposed to be held in March along with all the indie developer showcases that were to happen.