Several of the top winners of the competition used a game development tool such as Game Maker or Multimedia Fusion 2.
What brought these games over the top seemingly is a scope and size that is difficult to match with just frameworks and APIs.
Cat Planet I think has something like 100 levels. With a level designer built into Game Maker, the programmer can be developing levels within a few hours of the competition. I remember when building the level editor was part of the challenge. It is just really difficult to compete with a fully integrated set of tools that make it easy to create a game in a couple hours.
Apocalypse Adventure is absolutely enormous and doesn’t seem like a 48 hour game at all. To build something like this, you almost have to be building the world from the first moment of the competition, which evidently is possible in Multimedia Fusion 2.
I think it’s clear these all in one tools with sprite editors, animators, level designers, and event based drag and drop development environments, etc, give a big advantage to those who use them in these competitions.
I’m just wondering for fairness sake, and to continue to promote a diversity of languages, frameworks, and more interesting types of games than these tools usually allow being built, should we consider banning such all-in-one game development tools?
The list of which I would consider: Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion 2, Construct, Unity, and perhaps the UDK.
I’m not connected with Ludum Dare in any way other than that I enjoy entering the contests, but I just was wondering what everyone’s opinion on this was, as I’ve noticed a big difference in the scope and size of games developed with tools such as Game Maker and those that are not.
And I’m definitely not saying I’d like to go back to a “all from scratch” contest either, hehe.