Mini LD #3 Theme

Posted by (twitter: @ludumdare)
September 1st, 2008 12:54 am

Here it is.  Bright and early Monday morning, the theme for Mini LD 3 is:

Tool

You’re welcome to take our regular open interpretive approach to themes, but I’d like you to hear me out first.

There are a ridiculous number of possibilities for this theme, but I’d like to focus on one.

Think back to Ludum Dare 12, or any compo prior that you’ve entered.  In making or planning your game, what “something” would have saved you hours of work, or allowed you to do that wilder game idea of yours?

That’s what you’re making this weekend.

Now because this is a Mini LD, you’re not required to share your source.  You’re welcome to collaborate with someone, and are encouraged discuss with others in IRC.  And to shake things up, I’ll throw in the added note that you’re not even required to share your tool.  You’re encouraged to, but if you’ve got some proprietary tool that you’ve been meaning to make, this weekend is looking pretty good.

What I want from you though, is to talk about it on the blog.  Your file format thought process; User interface considerations; What problem you’re solving; How much you hate mappy; And so on.

Tool development is a secret art of game development.  Not that it’s particularly difficult, just we don’t really talk about it.  That’s my goal with this Mini LD.  To get some genuine discussion out there for arguably one of the most important secrets of game development.

And hey, if we get ourselves another sfxr in the process, that’d rock too. :)

So take the week.  As much or as little time as you need, and think about what you’d like to make.  What problems you’ll need to solve, any preparations you’ll need to make, and so on.  Then join us this weekend and make it happen.

Since this is a Mini LD, and the theme is known early, I doubt I can control the start time, or random bursts of inspiration.  You’re encouraged to schedule your work for a convenient start time the weekend.  However, if preparations go too well, tell us all about it

I’ll be collecting and posting a summary of this week and weekends events on the Monday.  Please let me know in your posts what you’re actually making, and that you did (or didn’t) finish.

Not sure what to do?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Map Editor (Tiles, Elements, Polygons)
  • Data Editor (Numeric Data, Points and Polygons)
  • Menu Editor
  • Animation/Particle Effect Editor
  • Font Editor/Builder
  • Sound Effect Maker, VST Instrument (if sfxr isn’t enough)
  • A File Format (with loader and saver)
  • A wrapper library, or generalized interface for several libraries (compression, image files, etc)
  • A process for managing content (graphics, audio, maps, dialog/text/localization, etc)
  • Write an article
  • Crash course yourself in a topic (physics, trees, sound synthesis, a programming language, etc)
  • Ask the chat room (#ludumdare on irc.afternet.org)

Bottom line, pick something to either benefit you, or benefit the community.  Good luck.

– Mike Kasprzak (PoV)


6 Responses to “Mini LD #3 Theme”

  1. shrt says:

    Great idea for a different LD. I love making tools.

  2. GirlFlash says:

    I totally know what I’m going to do allready 😀

  3. Keeyai says:

    Very clever theme. I already had another tool in mind for next LD; maybe I’ll make that for the mini instead. Like CGL, it isn’t really for game dev as much as for LD dev, but it should solve the timelapse on windows problem.

    I’m very excited for some new stuff from the other people — a good tile engine would be useful, and I’d love to see a simple 2D openGL gui toolkit.

  4. tonic says:

    Keeyai, I’d like to plug my little library to you… http://jet.ro/turska/

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