What is Ludum Dare?

Posted by (twitter: @TenjouUtena)
January 7th, 2010 6:56 pm

This has come up in the ‘Should Game Maker (etc. al.) count’ thread, but I thought I would split it off here, so that we can keep the conversations topical, and because I’m interested in what other people think.  Also, I do agree with a few other people in that thread, that coming to an agreement about what LD is about will assist any rules or voting changes that may or may not take place.

What I’m going to write here is a lot my opinion, but is also collected and paraphrased from what I have heard other people said.

Ludum Dare is a community of Independent and Hobbyist Game Programmers

I think the community that surrounds Ludum Dare is one of the most important things about us.   Several of our members have used designs or even experience gained here to launch successful Indie Game Programmer careers.  And everyone here is excited about programming, and willing to talk shop almost all day.  Personally, I think Ludum Dare exceeds places like Gamasutra and Gamedev.net because here you know who can bring the goods, and who’s just pretending.

Ludum Dare provides an experience for learning game programming from many experts; and metering one’s own programming against a vast array of talent.

One of the things I see people often talk about is that Ludum Dare is for learning, for getting better.   I think the sharing of source code, and the encouragement of development journals enhances this a lot.   Also, I know I use it to judge what I can do vs. what others can go.   I also get an opportunity to have people comment on my designs and labor in a constructive way so that I get better.   Finally I do get a score where I can see where I rank in the categories I was concentrating on.  This is a great judge of where I am, and where I can go.

Ludum Dare is about the rush and community of hundreds of game designers working at the same time in a short amount of time to create new games.

It’s fun to know that there’s hundreds of people working at the same goal along side you.  Not only does it force me to put aside a weekend and just work on my programming, I also get the encouragement of my peers once I hit that first wall of ‘I’ll never have anything good!’

This is just what I think and what I’ve observed. Feel free to comment on anything I’ve missed or gotten wrong below.

3 Responses to “What is Ludum Dare?”

  1. PsySal says:

    Hear! Hear! I like everything you said. LD is an uber-positive community and I’m glad to be a part of it. Honestly I can’t remember anybody getting bent out of shape on anything here.

  2. Fiona says:

    For me it’s about lots of people sharing an ordeal that results in a personal creation that you can be proud of. This is the exact same thing that National Novel Writing Month is all about. It’s the same thing that the “Write an album in a month” things are all about and PyWeek and etc etc

    At this point I’d happily call for judging to be removed completely. People are putting way too much emphasis on it, especially if people are pointing at perceived advantages. LD is too open to be “fair”, but that’s exactly what’s great about it if you ask me.

  3. PoV says:

    My thought are more or less in tune. I think Ludum Dare is far too important to say no to any processes that go from idea to end product. One of the most incredible things Ludum Dare can say about itself is it’s a community of do-ers. It’s shocking when you think about it, but we somehow actually run an internet community capable of improving your productivity. It’s so effective, we have people opting at times to stop using IM/Twitter/Facebook/Firefox and even IRC itself, so to get more done. Anything that hurts that potential I think is a serious mistake.

    Judging, while I agree in theory we’d be better off without (in a star trek sort of idealism), I do think it’s the key motivator for most people. After all, our monthly MiniLD’s do a fraction of of what regular LD’s do. Sure, there’s several factors that add up to it, but I do think it’d hurt us to remove it.

    On the other hand, the hybrid Compo+Jam stuff we’re talking about does somewhat encompass what you’re saying. I’ll hopefully have more to say on that soon.

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