Ludum Dare 31
Theme:
Entire Game on One Screen

Judging ends in:
It’s time to Play and Rate Games!

PlayRate80Star

Suggestion Post

Posted by (twitter: @philhassey)
January 9th, 2012 7:15 pm

Hey, we’re always trying to make Ludum Dare way more fun, so if you’ve got any crazy ideas, post ‘em here!

-Phil & Mike & the rest of the LD Staff


162 Responses to “Suggestion Post”

  1. PoV says:

    Make Coolness reflect the number of entries, not the arbitrary %. However, still use gold medals for those entries.

  2. SonnyBone says:

    Maybe have a way for submitters to opt out of certain categories? If someone submits a game with no audio… or if they have no intention of supplying mood or humor… then let them opt out of those categories entirely. This will help reviewers during the lengthy review process, and it will also help rank the games more accurately.

    OH WAIT… more fun?

    CRAP

    UH

    Give us a wildcard LD at some point… or at least a THEME BATCH to choose from. Let us vote as usual… but instead of winding down to ONE theme… let each developer pick from a batch of 10 or so themes. I feel as though this would greatly increase the desire to play and rate games, and you won’t get tired of seeing so many of the same ideas over and over. We could even combine themes and create our own funky genres.

  3. Guidelines on voting would be great. There are a lot of games that are really high ranking in things like “Theme” and “Mood” that I don’t understand why they’re up there. Scoring is obviously going to be completely subjective, but some sort of guideline might help to eliminate the generic sidescrollers from being at the top of the “Innovative” list.

    • Sandcrawler says:

      I agree with Guidelines, in the past there has been a blog post made right before voting started, that outlined what the different categories meant.

      It could be implemented as a toolTip box, that you see when you are voting in a category. So on every voting page there would be a reminder about what the category is.

  4. Cosmologicon says:

    With so many games it’s great to be able to find ones you can run (especially for us Linux users). The ability to search by platform is nice, but it’s not standardized and it’s unreliable. I would like to see a checklist of dependencies (Windows, OS/X, Linux, Flash, Unity, XNA, python, Java, HTML5, LOVE2D, etc.), and for each version you submit, you check all the dependencies it requires. When I search it would show me all the entries for which I have all the dependencies required to run at least one version.

    • PoV says:

      The search box lets you find “Linux” games. Though (Hi Phil), I’d like to double check that the search is searching the link names. Searching for web returns only ~80 games, which I’m pretty sure is wrong.

      • Cosmologicon says:

        No, I don’t think so. I get results like this one, which says “I plan on compiling under Linux however it has been more difficult than I had expected.”
        http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-22/?action=preview&uid=5787

        That’s not a *huge* deal, as I can usually skip past those, but it would be nice to be able to find “Linux games not requiring LOVE2D” or “web games not using Unity” or “source versions written in python”. It’s not a huge deal to skip past the false positives, but I generally do the same search over again the next night (to remove the ones I’ve rated), so I wind up seeing the same false positives over and over.

        Alternately, a way to tag a game saying “I’m not going to rate this one ever” and have it not show up in search results anymore.

  5. Raptor85 says:

    1. Guidelines on voting, I’m with the posts above in that there’s quite a few top ranked games that I have no idea how they’re fitting the theme/mood/innovation, and tons ranked near the bottom that as I understood those should have been near the top. And as far as I can tell community score is almost completley random, as everyone had their own idea what it meant.
    2. weight the “overall” score by how well they stayed with the theme, too many games near the top just ignored it and made the game they wanted to anyways.
    3. clarify the rules regarding releasing “post-compo” versions of games on the scoring page before rating is over, so people aren’t rating a game based on the version that took 2 weeks after the competition was over.
    4. either expand or narrow the scoring range, 1-5 is too small to adequately distinguish between a “decent” and “good” game, but it’s also large enough that a lot of people will simply vote 5 if they like it, 1 if they dont (which, if enough people do this, severely skews the scores)
    5. a button to flag the game as “could not run”
    6. better guidelines on naming and packaging downloads, too many entries were zipped without a folder, which would flood the test folder i was using, and too many entries were vague about their actual platform. (many were marked “windows” but were actually java, and just as many were marked “web” but were actually Unity)
    7. a technical category for rating
    8. some way to sort entries by platform, maybe have a pre-defined list of common platforms that you can tag a entry with when you submit (java,flash,unity,windows,osx,linux,etc….)

    • deathray says:

      I agree with all those points!

      Regarding #8– I would love a way to easily find all games that are either playable without a download (html, flash, unity), and those that are mobile friendly that i can play on my phone.

  6. Doft says:

    “2. weight the “overall” score by how well they stayed with the theme, too many games near the top just ignored it and made the game they wanted to anyways.”

    This. I kinda quit the compo since I didn’t get a good idea for the theme, and I was mad seeing that most people just made a game that had nothing to do with the theme.

  7. digital_sorceress says:

    I’ve made many suggestions over the past few months. Some of them were much liked.

    — Gold/Silver/Bronze are awarded on a percentage basis, rather than just the top 3. ie (top 2%/top6%/top12%) This makes sense as the number of contestents grows. I even drew some new medals, which you can see in the linked post. I allow them to be used on the LD website.

    — An allstars contest to replace June’s mini-dare, for people who have earned sufficient medals in the past year to qualify. This idea seems to be much liked by the community.

    — A 9 day contest to replace February’s mini-dare. The community has mostly positive feelings towards this idea.

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2011/12/30/some-ideas-for-ludum-dare/

    Other suggestions I can remember:

    — Having a set of tags for each game, so that they can be filtered by platform. The search box is inadequate when people can write “Mac” or “OS/X” or “OS-X” etc. This is strongly desired by the community. I suggest: Windows native (ie, no frameworks required. includes GM8) // Windows .net (ie, frameworks required. Includes XNA) // Java // Flash // Unity // OSX native // Linux x86 // HTML (including HTML5) // Android // Python // Retro-tech // Other

    — Adding “helper words” alongside the stars to give ratings some consistency. For example, the system I used for scoring games was something like this:

    1 — Trashy. Not much effort appears to have been made.
    2 — Kind of trashy, but a good effort has been made.
    3 — Good work, but I don’t think I’ll play it again.
    4 — Good work and it has potential. I’ll consider playing it again later. I certainly wouldn’t consider buying it though.
    5 — Good work and it has potential. I’d like to play it again later. I might consider buying an improved version of it.

    That’s all I can remember for now :P

  8. Atomic says:

    Here’s my 2 cents:
    -Technical voting category (low for buggy games, high for very complex)
    -Level design category – I find a lot of games have great levels and there should be a way to say it.
    -Ratings from 0 to 10 (N/A should be picked by the author, as SonnyBone suggested)
    -Maybe overall should be a weighted average, where theme and fun have a bigger weight than other categories, to avoid games that have nothing to do with the theme on top.
    -Post-deadline should be only for bug fixing or porting, not adding features. It’s very hard to abstract new features if you play the new version before voting.
    -Faster submission page near the deadline (Joke :P)

    • PoV says:

      -Post-deadline should be only for bug fixing or porting, not adding features. It’s very hard to abstract new features if you play the new version before voting.

      Yes, that is the way it is. Was there something said on the site that suggested otherwise?

      -Faster submission page near the deadline (Joke :P)

      No joke, we’re working on that. We’ve made fixes that should help, and we’ll be shelling out double on our VPS next Ludum Dare just to be sure we can take the hit.

      • Raptor85 says:

        a LOT of entries had swapped their main downloads to a post-comp version well before voting was over

      • Atomic says:

        Not that I remember but I played a couple games that had “extended modes” added post-deadline.

        Maybe it’s a bit too serious for LD but maybe we could have a way to flag rule violations on entries (depending on the case they could be moved to the jam by the mods).

        Glad to hear about the future speed improvements ;) Submitting a couple minutes before the deadline (before it was postponed) surely was a lot of adrenaline!

        • Topaz says:

          Guess I’ll just put it out there, but I totally agree with post-compo versions being added being unfair, even if they don’t replace the main download. To people which I’ve seen before saying that you can’t edit your entry after that; it’s merely a case of there not being a button, I can edit my LD23 entry using the same thing for editing my LD26 entry but only changing it from 26 to 23 in the URL.

  9. PoV says:

    Consider removing “Community” category. After hearing a discussion, it sounds like some highly rated folks in the Community category were basically just those that had high ratings in Coolness. No blog posts, no videos, etc. People just don’t know how to rate community anymore (since our scale has increased so much).

    • digital_sorceress says:

      I think that rating games is a large part of community involvement. More so than making a timelapse. It’s only natural if Coolness and Community are measuring similar things. If it was possible to merge Coolness and Community in some way, that would be good I think.

      I’ll be honest that I didn’t rate anybody on community. It just feels like too much effort to play a person’s game AND then read through their journals.

      Also +1 for Technical. There needs to be a way to recognise those of us who write an engine from scratch vs those who use something ready made (ie, unity/gm8).

      • PoV says:

        The problem with Technical, and why we don’t have technical anymore, is because Unity looks more advanced than from scratch, and the majority could not tell the difference.

        • digital_sorceress says:

          I’m tempted to say, what about letting all people start with an engine/framework equivalent to Unity.

          But then I remind myself why I want to take part in LD at all… and it’s because I want the challenge of writing my own engine during the 48 hours. I’d prefer if everyone else who took part felt that way too. LD is like taking part in a race where the people in the first four lanes are doing egg-and-spoon, and the people in the last two lanes are doing sackjumping :|

          • PoV says:

            I’m tempted to say, what about letting all people start with an engine/framework equivalent to Unity.

            We already allow this. Few frameworks are on par to it though.

            Most games that win are 2D anyways, contrasting the typical “real world” advantage of using a 3D engine (i.e. “it’s 3D therefor better”).

            • digital_sorceress says:

              Most games that win are 2D anyways

              That’s an interesting observation! The top 9 games overall are 2D.

              It’s kind of ironic that I shifted my focus onto 3D at about the same time I joined this community :D

        • Cosmologicon says:

          I’d be very interested in optional technical divisions by language/framework/whatever. I’d like to compare my technical achievements with other people who were using the same framework, and hopefully learn from them. So if you wanted, you could check “this is a WebGL game” and there’d be a recognition for the WebGL game with the highest Technical score.

    • Atomic says:

      Idea! How about checking if the voters actually looked at the author’s posts before voting for community? If they didn’t it would be disabled.

  10. PoV says:

    As suggested above, discuss Theme and its relationship to Overall. Personally, I think the rating system is fine, letting games that are “overall best” win even if their use of the theme is light. If that is to be the official stance, then the relationship between Overall and Theme should be clarified.

    I don’t think it’s for us to say a game is not worthy because it doesn’t perfectly embody the theme we suggested. Ultimately Ludum Dare is about inspiration. Certainly a game that doesn’t use the theme should score poorly in the Theme category, but if the resulting game is great, why should we say otherwise?

    And yes, this then does make the significance of the theme less important, but that’s why I said “discuss”.

    Of note, the compo rules say a game “must” be based on the theme, and the jam says it “should” be. I think rationalizing most games to most themes is pretty straight forward. “Action Adventure” could be applied to Chess, if you so wish it.

    • digital_sorceress says:

      Last time, I calculated some correlations between the categories.

      Fun was by far the most important contributor to Overall. Followed by Graphics and Innovation. Theme and audio were of relatively little importance.

    • Atomic says:

      The catch is that it’s a lot easier to write a nice game without being constrained to a theme.
      I think overall should be procedurally computed, after all if it isn’t based on the other categories than it’s meaning ain’t clear. Maybe Overall = 0.25*Fun + 0.25*Theme + 0.5*(average of other categories, except community and coolness).

    • De10ter says:

      “I don’t think it’s for us to say a game is not worthy because it doesn’t perfectly embody the theme” … “Certainly a game that doesn’t use the theme should score poorly in the Theme category, but if the resulting game is great, why should we say otherwise?”
      No no no no. Sorry, but this is what annoys me most about Ludum dare, it either is or it isn’t a competition. I understand that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously and that there are no prizes etc but the whole experience is just horribly HORRIBLY uneven.
      Where one dev waits for the theme to be announced, comes up with their idea and implements it in the alloted timeframe and another goes into the compo with an ‘I don’t care what the theme is, I know what game I’m making’ attitude they might as well be in different compos.
      And while I’m at it, This post (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/05/14/are-the-results-fair/) from last time I submitted perfectly summed up the current problems with voting and I don’t see things having improved since.
      And lastly, releasing source. I have no problem with releasing my source code under the assumption that every other entry does the same to help fellow devs, but the number of times I check a submission and thing ‘Gee I like that’ or ‘How did they do that?’ only to find that they havn’t posted their source AS REQUIRED BY THE SUBMISSION RULES grinds my gears and should be reportable and possibly even removed from public viewing until it’s addressed.

      *Gasp**Gasp* Sorry, that’s a few compo entries worth of slowly building anger spewed out all at once, but the cruz of the problem is that I feel that, from top to bottom, the entire experience is laughably far from a ‘level playing field’

      • sorceress says:

        Ludum dare, it either is or it isn’t a competition.

        I think there are shades of gray in there. ie, an event that’s “somewhat competitive”, sits between one that is “extremely”, and one that is “not at all”.

        the entire experience is laughably far from a ‘level playing field’

        I would say it is a level playing field because everyone has the same freedom. You can either respect the rules, or ignore them. The rules aren’t discriminatory or create bias.

        With those who choose to ignore the rules, I see it more as an issue of good/bad sportsmanship, and not necessarily something that requires heavy policing.

        • De10ter says:

          Ah, I didn’t realise I was entering Ludum dare the 48 hour (give or take a few days) somewhat competitive event where I and fellow cheaters(*) can enter whatever the hell we like.
          I’m not asking for ‘heavy policing’ I’m asking for ANY policing

          (* Cheaters may be a bit harsh, I know most entrants are good honest devs, but it’s not like there are a lot of rules and when they aren’t followed there really isn’t any other word for it)

        • deathray says:

          I agree with your take on the competition, sorceress. It should be light hearted… But I understand the frustration with those who break the rules. How about having a way to flag entries as Bad Sports (along with why). After a certain number of flags, the game gets an ugly icon next to it. No need to mess with the other rules or scoring, just an ugly icon to let people know that the game may be breaking the rules.

  11. PoV says:

    During voting, I heard numerous complaints about people leaving comments and down-voting an entry because it did not meet their personal view of what the theme meant. One such example:

    I got 153rd place at #ld48. Apparently, being a poor kid trying to coordinate school, work and family does not qualify for “alone”

    Perhaps it was the theme, or just that we’re big, as this isn’t something I’ve noticed before.

    This is one of the main reasons I’m thinking the significance of Theme should be clarified, possibly diluted, is to encourage people to rate a game on it’s merits and not something superficial like “how Aloney it is”.

    I consider this a lesser form of the “Technical” category problem. Where technical we had the problem that a majority couldn’t really decide what was “technically impressive” (besides 3D), I think with themes there is a chance a subtle meaning or interpretation can get lost in translation. We have a very international audience. Us native English speakers may take for granted how we pull ideas from words. The words (themes) are in our language after all, and we have a lifetime of experience to infer meanings from.

    • digital_sorceress says:

      Theme should be […] possibly diluted, to encourage people to rate a game on it’s merits and not something superficial like “how Aloney it is”.

      I said something similar after LD21. I feel that the theme should inspire us, rather than constrain us. And as such, I feel that games should be judged on their own merits, rather than being measured up against the theme. I wouldn’t be upset if The-Powers-That-Be removed the Theme category from the voting form either.

      • PoV says:

        What would Ludum Dare be without a theme? ;)

        No worries. Theme is here to stay. I’m just thinking we should do more to isolate “Overall” from it.

        • digital_sorceress says:

          I didn’t say that we should do away with the theme altogether.

          If the purpose of Theme is mainly to inspire (rather than constrain), then there isn’t a strong reason for it to be present on the ratings form.

          • PoV says:

            True, but that’s still no reason not to reward those that do stick to it. Just as we have Mood and Humor categories for those that make an impact in other ways. It’s not that Theme itself is broken. I think the Theme category works fine, but its affect on Overall is the latest concern that has come up.

  12. PoV says:

    An “Are you sure?” popup whenever someone enters a 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 or 5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5 score… basically, a deterrent for those looking to game the system.

  13. Madball says:

    There could be some category, which is based in results of other categories and isn`t rated by players. So, if you have a game that is high in overall but low in theme, you won`t get as much in that category.
    Also +1 for guidelines on voting.

  14. Sheep says:

    I agree with removing community.

  15. johnfn says:

    I posted this somewhere else, but I’ll copy it here too.

    Ratings:

    I think that LD should normalize votes. I think that if one guy has a voting average of 2, and another one has an average of 4, clearly a 5 from both of them doesn’t mean the same thing. If your average is 2, then a 2 from you should be normalized to a 3; likewise with 4.

    On the topic of opening voting to the public:

    The only way to accomplish this would be to make direct links to games impossible. The way I imagine it, any voter would be presented with just one game to vote on. When they finished with that game, they would see a link to a new game, and they would repeat the process.

    The important thing here is that you would be unable to see any game that you hadn’t already rated (+ one that you were about to rate). Clearly, celebrities couldn’t get an advantage because no one would be able to find their game (:P) Better, there would be no ‘popularity contest’ or ‘friend voting’ aspects.

    The advantage of this system is that we would get many more votes per submission.

    • johnfn says:

      Two quick clarifications on my second point:

      One, people would only be unable to see the rating page. People could obviously still distribute the page with the game itself to others outside of LD – it’s just that the other players would be unable to rate it.

      Two, naturally people could mark games as “does not work” or “crashes” so that they don’t get stuck on a game.

    • Atomic says:

      I don’t hink that’s needed. Notch had by far the most votes yet he didn’t win, which means people are more likely to play celeb’s games but won’t necessarily rate them better, so it doesn’t matter in the and.

      I and a lot of people like to choose some games to play by ther screenshots. Not being able to choose would be too dull :/

  16. digital_sorceress says:

    More thoughts :D

    With regards to this post,

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/01/10/post-results-post-mortem-categorical-failure/

    It’s made me think that as the number of contestants grows, the scoreboard will grow longer, such that people who see they are ranked #484 (for example) might feel disheartened at the sight of such a number. Especially so if they put their heart and soul into their game. Try to imagine if it were you.

    So can we think of a solution, so that in future contests people won’t feel disheartened?

    I think my earlier suggestion would work: Award medals for the top percentiles, rather than showing people their ranking. It’s a system that would solve several of the problems that LD has. I believe in it. :)

    • ratboy2713 says:

      “Try to imagine if that were you”? That was me!

      I don’t feel bad about my placement. I worked hard and got something out of it and people thought it was okay. And compared to the 100+ games I played, I think the ranking is pretty fair (slightly below 60% overall)

      I don’t much care about the ratings. I think the important thing here is that I made something, I learned something, and I had fun. The comments people left were far more valuable than a five star rating.

      That said, I do like the medals for top percentiles, mainly because I like the idea of collecting medals so you can participate in the all-stars event.

    • I agree, it felt like my entire goal for the game was making it FUN, but for that category, I got a 2.06, the lowest of my scores. Definitely the ratings are not the important thing, but just them being there has an effect. Percentiles would be a better choice!

      • digital_sorceress says:

        Like I said in another thread, we all have different tastes. Your idea of fun may differ somewhat from other peoples. I know my tastes do.

        So you have to decide if you want to make-
        (i) a game that you personally find fun, or
        (ii) a game that a majority of players will find fun (and you might not find fun).

  17. re: Theme and overall rating.

    My problem is that the idea of a theme seems to be central to LD and how/why it works. So when I spend a lot of time and creativity to come up with an idea that sticks as close to “alone” as I can, it’s extremely discouraging to see games that played it fast and loose with “alone” get ranked much higher than my game in “theme”. I realize that score isn’t the reason we should be entering, and I wasn’t really “in it to win it” in the first place, it just seems that the theme doesn’t seem to be as important as I was under the impression that it was.

    As far as people who feel it’s unfair that their idea of Ludum Dare is to write an engine AND a game within 48 hours while other people are using things like Unity – the only one who can be blamed for placing artificial restrictions on the contest is you. If you enjoy writing an engine as well as a game then more power to you, but until it’s a requirement, you’re probably always going to be severely lagging behind. Personally, I want to make a game, not a technical achievement.

    • digital_sorceress says:

      Since I’m the only one whose mentioned “engine” in this thread, I assume you’re talking to me.

      I never said anything was unfair, so there is no need to make a fairness argument. Let me quote myself:

      I want the challenge of writing my own engine during the 48 hours.. I’d prefer if everyone else who took part felt that way too.

  18. kato9 says:

    I think it would be cool if there was more of a meta-layer to your user profile, so that if I were to click on someone’s user name it would take me to an LD profile page which would include:

    -Basic info (name, location, website)
    -A trophy case (badges for participating in any given LD, gold/silver/bronze trophies with categorical icons on them to showcase past winnings, coolness coins, community-given awards, ect.)
    -Game submission archive (a complete list of your past LD submissions, with links, ratings, and an abridged description – similar to how the top 50 is laid out right now)
    -Journal entry archive

    This way you could get a quick snapshot of any given member’s LD history just by seeing their profile page, or if you were interested you could have an easy way to read through their journals and play their past LD entries. It would also a cool way to sort of reflect on tour own accomplishments and history with the site.

    Probably not so easy to implement, but hey thought I’d throw it out there :D

  19. Make A Game says:

    I’d like a list of the games we voted during each Ludum Dare. :)

    • moop says:

      I second this. I’d really like a way to compare the ratings I gave on other games to their overall rating (without having to remember to write them all down before the end of voting).

  20. Make A Game says:

    It would be great if long posts would get an automatic “More” if they don’t use one.
    There might be a wordpress plugin for that.

  21. AyCe says:

    How about a list of all games an authour submitted in his profile? (Or maybe there is and I’m just too dumb to find it? ^^)

  22. Hey! It seems that with the current system, its not necessarily a good thing to have a lot of ratings on an entry – on the contrary, it might hurt the overall ratings.

    My suggestion is to make it purely positive to have alot of ratings on an entry. If a game has 300 ratings, the overall ratings may be hurt, and entries with 30 ratings may aquire top notch scores. I’m not sure how to solve this in particular though.

    But, what about having an award/catgeory for popularity or something similar. I mean, if a game is immensely popular (recieves alot of votes), it sure does something different, either if its very good, or just controversial.

  23. machinas says:

    is there a way for me to look at all the games I rated and what I rated them as? that would be super useful. Also, would be neat during the competition (and after?) to be able to see the DCR numbers for my post on the post itself. I was always going to the ‘rate a game’ page and searching for my user handle to see what my DCR numbers are. especially useful for checking if your ratings have caught up to your coolness, now that you get rated for rating. thanks.

  24. Oye Beto says:

    Tagging people:
    I’ve noticed some developers like to answer to people reviews on their entries. Me, as a rater, wouldn’t notice this answers and I think a tagging feature would work for this.

    Btw, thanks for LD!

  25. johanp says:

    How about 2 commen boxes? One for positive things, and one for things that can be bettered. Might encourge raters to be more constructive and help entrants get better feedback and not just praise.

    • Sestren says:

      While that would probably complicate things, I agree that it would be likely to actually encourage more constructive criticism (which seems to be what many LDers want). If there could be a clean way of implementing it, I’d be all for it!

  26. Jedi says:

    Update the Rules and Guide!! I spent a lot of time blogging because “Community” is still listed as a category. Most of those posts will just go unseen :(.

    I also agree about making clear guidelines for the score and think they should be mentioned or linked at the top of every score form. A quick explanation of when N/A is appropriate is also called for.

    Lastly, we need a way to follow when someone has responded or commented to posts / comments we make.

  27. savethejets1 says:

    What about creating an open API? Give people access to some of the data?

  28. mdkess says:

    In no particular order:

    1. Make a required “source” link in the submission form – I noticed a lot of entries did not upload their source code, which was unfortunate. I think in part this is because people don’t know the rules – just having a required field to fill out there would go a long way, I think.

    2. Make it easier to filter based on platform. I run Linux, and it can be hard to find games that can run on Linux. (Although that said, I’m impressed by the number of games that released native Linux binaries).

    3. Engines – not sure that I like very robust engines being allowed. While I think that simple engines are fine – things like Box2D, Slick2D, Flixel, FlashPunk, etc., that are mostly used for getting pixels on the screen or physics, more robust engines like Unity seem to make it difficult to compete.

    4. Split the comment form into Praise/Criticism sections. Not sure about this one, but it could be neat if it was encouraged to leave a point of praise and a suggestion for improvement.

    5. Make it easier to have conversations with people via reviews. It would be nice to be able to reply to people – especially early in the contest when some people were having trouble getting my game to run.

    6. Mark peoples names in posts with whether you’ve reviewed their game. I tried to review everyone who left a review for me as a thanks for taking time to play my game, it would be nice to be able to keep track of that.

    7. Some mechanism to discourage people from spamming reviews. People had 200+ reviews within a couple days of the voting period. I hate to assume the worst, but I feel like these people were very quickly going through games (if they were even playing them), and rating them so that they could get to the top of the coolness list. This is of course hard to solve, but I think it could be done better.

    • shockedfrog says:

      Requiring a separate source link is a hassle for some who prefer to include source with their entry or for those whose entries are already in the same format as the source, though they could always just put the same link.

      I’ve not used Unity, but based on the average quality of entries using it, I wouldn’t say there’s any big advantage from using it, and while some rules are kept strict to make LD a fun challenge, there’s also a focus now on getting as many people involved as possible, and I think it’s best not to go back to excluding particular development tools. Plus, it’s difficult to really draw the line on that.

  29. Chaoslab says:

    Have warnings that you have not rated enough games or been rated enough on your entry page.

    I did not know this was a requirement which now means I will not know my scores and my entry was a wasted effort regarding the competition.

    Even if the entry is not valid don’t “Ninja” it’s scores some one made it and would like to know them.

    • shockedfrog says:

      This may not necessarily be due to not rating enough games – there are some people who have rated some games and not received ratings, and others who have rated less than they have but received ratings. If the majority of your ratings are N/A in a category, then you don’t receive a score in that category, so it’s possible that that happened.

      However, the number of people who have not been given scores this LD is pretty ridiculous, so I’m guessing there must have been some change which affected it. The overall scores of the affected games are probably too skewed to be suitable to count in the rankings, but I feel that they should still be able to see the ratings that they did get.

  30. dekart says:

    Receiving optional email notifications about reviews would be good. I would be glad to vote for entries of those who voted for mine, but at some point I simply forgot about the voting being in progress.

  31. SFX says:

    When displaying our final rating rankings, you should display what percentile our games fall into. For example, instead of “#104 Fun 3.42″, it should be “#104 (7%) Fun 3.42″. This makes it easier to compare how you did across competitions.

  32. jovoc says:

    Hi. A creative writing site that has a similar voting format has a nice feature: Each entrant is given five “favorite” badges that they can award to any game they wish, to mark their favorites. You don’t have to favorite anything but you can.

    The entry’s page would say: Favorite of: Jovoc, PoV, Someuser, etc..

    Winning entries get a lot of favorites, which is fine as it just adds validation to a good game. But the real win is that it gives you a way to recognize games that you think stand out but that are unlikely to win.

    I think this would be a nice addition to LD48, especially as a way to give some recognition to hidden gems, or those games that were incomplete or unpolished but had something special about them.

  33. davidwparker says:

    Hello.
    1) It would be nice to be able to search by user. Whenever I find someone (say “notch”), it’s not easy for me to find if they have an entry or not. And, if this ability already exists, then please make it easier to find.

  34. AyCe says:

    http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/09/17/some-ideas-3/ all of these:

    Show the name of the game or the author in the website title.
    When testing games, your browsers history will become full of “Ludum Dare” entries. You cannot see what game the specific url was, so implementing that would structure things more (at least I think so).

    Show a list of submitted games on the author’s profile site.
    That would be quite useful imo, because it gives you the ability to easily take a look at all the… well games a person has submitted ^^

    Add a link to the author’s profile page on the page of a game.
    We already can take a look at the posts a person has written during the specific competition, but I think it would help to be able to see the persons whole profile too.

  35. Maple says:

    I was thinking… There should be an official archive that lists all of each LD’s top 3 games, ranked against eachother based on their overall stat, so then we can see what the highest rated LD games of all time are (perhaps with a limit of 50 games to mirror each LD’s top 50 list) (also, each game on the list should have which LD it was made in written there), and try to make a game better than the best one of all time, which could be up there for a few LDs or something, until a higher rated game is made. It would be a growing list, so each LD, the top 3 games are added to it, in correct place based on their rating (Or top 6 games, if there was a Jam variant of the list too).

  36. Wuhao says:

    I think the Theme category needs to be some kind of weak multiplier for each of the other category.

    one can make a game completely unrelated to the theme (maybe before the them was announced) and score very high in other categories.

    Timelapse video should also be a bonus like the goat too

    • ahnimal says:

      The goat thing wasn’t actually a bonus and likewise timelapses shouldn’t affect the score of the actual game.
      I like the idea that the overall rating is multiplied by the categories, so that in theory a game without graphics should gain the same score as a game without gameplay. It would properly be a lot easier to abuse the system, if it isn’t balanced.

  37. MrEvilGuy says:

    Trying to make Ludum Dare more fun? Crazy ideas?

    I got one.

    Add a “Weirdness” category to the voting.

  38. ceronman says:

    This was my first Ludum Dare. I tried to be cool and rated 100 games. I learned that it’s impossible for any human being to rate all the entries. When the results came out, I was sad because from all the top 50 games I only had the chance to rate one of them. I would have liked to rate them all.

    My suggestion is to have a rating system in multiple stages. During the first stage we would rate all the games, a few days after, the second stage, the list of games is reduced to half, leaving only the entries with a minimum coolness and best ratings. The third stage would cut the list in half using the same system and so on.

    No one is going to be able to rate all the games, but at least we would be able to play and rate the best games.

    • deathray says:

      You can still play the top games and post comments! While I like the idea of multiple stages of competition, I don’t think it would change the scores much.

  39. caranha says:

    Here is a suggestion: add a “system” selection box to the submission (flash, Java, Unity, C, game maker, Lua, Python, html5, other), and also allow people to filter games/results based on this. I would love to compare my game to other java-based games after the competition – as this would give me a more accurate self-measure of technical progress.

    Cheers,

  40. fishbrain says:

    Allow royalty-free, pre-existing assets (sound fx and graphics).

    I’ve bought this up before, and it doesn’t seem a very popular idea :/ …pity

    I’m fairly sure (although I can’t be 100% sure) that I have seen images and heard samples in some games from the royalty-free market place already.

    My suggestion is that if you use any pre-existing content then you declare that clearly as part of your entry, others can then decide how to vote themselves (eg, award bonus points for original art).

    As an example, I admit – I used some pre-existing samples like traffic and sirens, and processed/mixed them. If my entry would be “allowed” in LD, but disqualified from all judging, I still would have made this decision. This is because the style of my game absolutely required these for atmosphere, and the game would suffer enormously without them – and roaming the streets with a hand-held recorder in a 48 compo is going to waste valuable development time.

    (I understand it is allowed in the Jam, but I want to be have the option for 1) a single developer 2) 48 hour time period so I can take part in the compo.)

    Allow royalty-free, pre-existing assets DOES NOT GUARANTEE any advantage. Original artwork – precisely because it is being done by an artist, and has a specific style and theme will very often be BETTER. It can only assist those who have difficulty producing media assets.

    Cheers,

    • deathray says:

      As someone who cannot do sound to save their life, I should support this idea… but then I think of a bunch of games all using the same noises and same graphics… and how much I enjoyed the “bad” homemade graphics… and I worry that using pre-made assets would do more harm than good.

      • fishbrain says:

        I get the feeling that your concern is shared by most others… but we should leave it up to the individual game developer shouldn’t we? If s/he is happy with comic mock-up sound fx, then fine, but if s/he thinks that it seriously detracts from the game then it would nice to give them the option of royalty-free media.

        We don’t have to design our own fonts, do we?

      • caranha says:

        This already happens, though:

        * sound generators are allowed, so there are a lot of people (me included) who abuse autotracker generated music. It can get old really fast.

        * Engines are allowed, so a lot of unity-based games have a pretty standard look (using the same default primitives).

    • ahnimal says:

      Using pre-existing assets would essentially allow us to make most of the game ahead of time and then just insert a character and a plot that fits the theme. (Depends on the theme of cause)
      But I guess some assets should be allowed, like the sirens you mentioned. Not as much because it wastes a lot of time, but because it’s nearly impossible to get such sounds in some places. The compo doesn’t seem that strict though. Isn’t the rules just there to prevent actual abuse against the whole concept of Ludum Dare anyway, so we can kick out the people who obviously should be in the jam rather than the compo.

  41. rvmook says:

    Maybe give users a list of 10 games to rate once they’ve submitted. Nothing obligatory, but it gives people a starting point to vote and (in theory) everybody at least receives 10 votes.

  42. JoeCool17 says:

    I’ve had an issue with the coolness factoring into ratings ever since it was implemented. Being a student I never have the time to rate many games at all. I also make sure that when I *do* rate games, I leave very constructive comments on it. I did this meticulously until about halfway through rating the games this time around. And here’s why: I realized that in order to get sufficient ratings I needed to rate games much faster than I was, and in order to do it I had to not leave comments.
    And I hate to bash another fellow LDer, but I must in order to make my argument. There were a few games that *very* shortly after the judging began had rated over 200 entries, and I must call into question if they were as beneficial as those who took their time, made sure to play the game through, and leave constructive feedback.
    What I think should happen is a more robust “coolness” system should be implemented that rewards quality over quantity, and has a “cap” to make it more fair to those who simply can’t rate too many games during that time. (Of course, set it to something high such as 100 or however many were needed to attain a 100% coolness rating). Have comments play into it- if a person rating an entry leaves a comment that either the community or the creator rates as constructive, he/she gains an additional arbitrary coolness amount that plays into ratings.
    This, I think, creates a more fair rating experience while also favoring community involvement, and I would love to see it implemented.
    -JoeCool17

    • ratboy2713 says:

      I would love to see a system that encouraged comments over ratings. As many people have mentioned, the rating system isn’t really designed for this level of people, and the rules are in a grey area that people are debating their fairness. But I don’t care about either of these things, they aren’t why I personally come to Ludum Dare. The feedback I receive from others playing my game, telling me what they liked and what they think I could improve on. Being able to mark someone’s comment as constructive would be an easy task for most developers, and it would help the commenters overall.

      In short, +1 this idea.

  43. deathray says:

    I think the % score should be shown… either the low value (e.g. “top 5%”) or the high value (e.g. “better than 95%”). It is much more relevant than both the rank number (#102?? out of how many?) and the actual 1-5 score. Good idea?

  44. DavidErosa says:

    Aaaagh, I wasn’t logged and lost my comment…

    Anyway, I wanted to suggest a “Rate this game later” checkbox on games to keep a list of games I’d like to play, but can’t right now because I’m not using a proper device (tablet, phone…). This list could be places on top of the already rated games as “Games I want to rate”. Once a game is rated, it’s removed from that list. What do you think?

    • caranha says:

      I think this is an awesome idea. Rate this game later, or maybe a “bookmark game” for games which, even after you already rated, you wanted to keep track of for soem reason or another.

      A “can’t play this game” checkbox would be awesome as well.

      • Manuel777 says:

        Excellent idea, I have seen myself creating a new bookmarks folder on Chrome just to save games I cant play *right now*, not to mention how awful it is when you just cant save the bookmark/you are on someone else’s pc

  45. haxpor says:

    Apart from those rating and stuff, I found my post on the forum stalled for “pending”. I don’t think I added ads material inside. It happens a couple of times.
    So I would need to know whether there’s any strict guideline to follow in writing post on Ludum Dare site.

    Thanks!

  46. deathray says:

    Please fix the login. It never recognizes that I’m logged in even after I’ve logged in… leading to many refreshes, clicking all around, until I find myself logged in for some unknown reason. This is a constant frustration and makes no sense to the ordinary user.

  47. laremere says:

    As a college student who is also the president of the computer science club, we’d love to host events for ludum dare, but the timing is horrible: Last year we did join the April competition, but it’s so close to finals that it is hard to get anyone interested and this year we didn’t bother. August is right before school starts. December again either lands on finals or is very close to.In an ideal world I would shift the competitions one or two months before they’re currently held, so the fall and spring compos would land in the middle of the semester, and the summer compo would land at a time I’m not in the middle of packing to move. I understand changing the months Ludum Dare is held on would be difficult, but there’s my 2 cents.

  48. Doublecaster says:

    I haven’t read all of the suggestions here so this might be duplicate.
    Since LD is growing so fast I think there should be some sort of guidelines to the voting. e.g 1 stars = really bad. 2 stars = bad. 3 stars = average. 4 stars = good. 5 stars = awesome. Because now we have 2346 people voting with their own rules. Which might result in unbalanced scores. Of course these would be only guidelines not rules so everyone could still vote as they wish.

  49. lorancou says:

    For teams participating in the jam, allow all the authors to be listed on the entry page. So that the game appears on the author page for everybody. Also, let everybody in the team vote & comment with his/her own LD account.

    In other words, proper support for teams ;)

  50. stqn says:

    What I’d like:
    – UTF-8 support in the comments! (on each game’s page)
    – A way to find all my comments (so I can check if someone replied to me)

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