The exciting sixth qualification round of the Nordic Game Discovery Contest (NGDC) took place during the Exposición de Videojuegos Argentina (EVA) this week. Three selected game studios competed in the online pitch battle, hosted by Nordic Game’s own Jacob Riis and judged by the brilliant Eugene Maleev from Xsolla, Esther Tan from WhisperGames and Alexey Izvalov from Global Game Jam.
In the end, US-based studio Funky Dango swayed the judges most with their game There You Are, an exploratory narrative experience about moving away from the past and accept loss, featuring stop-motion-inspired graphic design and two endings from the player’s choices and actions.
There You Are dives into the topic of grief through the story of a young girl, Su, and explores what has happened to her family, as well as the young girl and her father’s relationship as they move forward and accept the past and the loss of her mother. While many games already touch upon this type of topic to a certain extent, There You Are uses both storytelling methods and game design principles to exquisitely craft each story beat and depict an emotional bittersweet story.
Started from a thesis project about unresolved grief by one of the developers, There You Are was created with the idea that in life the loss of loved ones is inevitable. Those who can remember our first encounter with death know that childhood experiences can be frightening and lonely. If handled with warmth, understanding, and caring, our early experience with death can be an opportunity to learn about living and dying.
Rong Deng, the founder of Funky Dango says “To be a qualifier at Nordic Game was a happy surprise!! It was a big fortune for us could be selected to attend the Nordic Game Discovery Contest. We are so grateful that we could have the opportunity to show our game to publishers and get direct comments and feedback from them. Nordic Game provides us, indie developers, a bridge to discuss, and learn from each other. We cannot express how thankful we are!!!”
The player has the opportunity to decide the fate of the story and get one of two different endings based on the player’s choices and actions throughout the game.
There You Are is free to play and is available at: Solr.itch.io
Release on Steam is planned for the near future
About Funky Dango:
Funky Dango was founded in 2021 by Rong Deng and Rui Huang. Funky Dango focuses on creating engaging and thought-provoking games with colorful, vintage, and stylized art direction. Each game from FD will taste like a dango, a chewy delight. In 2021, Funky Dango released its debut title, There You Are. It got awards, showcases, and selections from domestic and overseas, including EVA Digital 2021, DreamHack Beyond, Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival 2021, World Cinema Antwerp Belgium 2021, Urban Mediamakers Festival, and World Cinema Milan.
About the Nordic Game Discovery Contest:
Building on fourteen years of organising successful games industry activities, including the annual Nordic Game conference, regional funding programs, overseas networking events and other developer support initiatives, Nordic Game launched the Nordic Game Discovery Contest (NGDC) in 2016 – an exciting, competitive challenge where selected game projects are showcased live in pitch competitions at partner events across Europe and around the globe. Learn more about all the NGDC Season IV qualifiers – and get ready for Season V right here.
About the Nordic Game conference:
Nordic Game is the leading games conference in Europe, and 2021 marks its nineteenth and twentieth editions. Gathering thousands of industry professionals in Malmö annually, Nordic Game is the one and only “home turf” meeting place for the highly successful game developers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Nordic Game doubles up again with NG21 on 26-28 May and in November, following last year’s digital debut at NG20 and twice the knowledge, emotion and business at NG20+.