Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

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What is Ludum Dare?
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AskQuestion(ludumDare)

August 12th, 2012 8:55 am

Hellooo game developers again, this is my second post ever, and I wanted to ask a question. Are we allowed to think of game ideas prior to the composition? For example, if someone was planning an action-puzzle game and started sketching out some gameplay elements- not that I was doing that..-would that be allowed? He would plan out some gameplay elements and use the plot and adapt some of the gameplay to fit the theme afterwards? Is that allowed? Not that I would want to know, it’s just that I have a friend named John Doe who is poor.. and homeless.. and has cancer… and has 7 children to feed.. And has 5 little puppies… That are orphans.. And have cancer.. ┬áthat I think might need an answer REALLY quick.

EDIT: I also wanted to clarify that no coding would be done whatsoever until the compo.


11 Responses to “AskQuestion(ludumDare)”

  1. matthewj234 says:

    As far as I am aware, you could be coding the LD24 now, as it is all honour based. However, I personally am thinking of Ideas that would fit with multiple themes and making small prototypes of these ideas, just to get the hang of making a game in such a small timeframe.

    I dont think planning is against the rules or the spirit of the competition, but hey, first LD, im probably wrong.

    • Puzzlem00n says:

      As the others said, it’s more than an honors system, you cannot code more than a library or disqualification. My personal rule is that you can code anything in the game’s library before the compo as long as it only leads to a black screen.

      Of course, that rule also allows for coding the entire game without graphics and adding the graphics during the compo… Don’t do that. Listen to Felipe. Or, um…

      You can code anything for the lib beforehand as long as it only leads to a black screen and doesn’t update or respond to input. Unless it’s a UI library, then of course it should respond to input…

      You get the point.

      As for the prototyping thing you’re doing, matthew, I don’t see any problem with testing like this, as long as you don’t copy-paste code into your entry. It’s all in healthy preparation.

  2. pythong says:

    NO! You cannot do that! If you do, we will crack your brain and pull out all the ideas again!! And we will chose a completely different themas what you planned out! Mwahahahahaha!

    *sarcasm off*

    If you plan to make a certain genre, there’s no way any of us can prevent you from preparing yourself/sketching/testing certain code blocks (but it would be nicer if you’re honest). Of course, when the theme will be published and it doesn’t fit your game, you have a problem :) and won’t get good marks for that
    also, as soon as voting begins (a week prior to the start), the candidates for the theme are visible to anyone, and if you can manage to create sketches for all of them, just do it, but don’t be disappointed when it won’t be your favourite theme. btw it’s mostly like that, and if your creativity is good enough, it should be enough to see the official theme right when the game begins :)

    or you just do your thing. don’t forget, the best part of the compo is that you create a game for yourself and get constructive critism for it, and if you don’t follow the theme, you still made a game

  3. Whoosy says:

    I think so, yes, aslong as you don’t make any actual content.

  4. FelipeTavares says:

    You can plan the type of your game, some game mechanics (Although you probably will modify them to fit the theme), code a lib to do the tedious work (if you share it) and sketch some characters. But you CANNOT code the game mechanics or write down a history (you can think it, but cannot write (this is game content)) or model your characters. Resume:
    You can sketch all things but cannot create them.

  5. hamster_mk_4 says:

    It would be against the spirit of the rules to submit a game you have been working on for the past month which just to happens to fit the contest theme, but I can’t see any way we could stop you. Also since there is no money at stake most people wouldn’t care.

    By the time final voting starts I have a basic game idea for each theme in the final list. It is a fun way to get warmed up for the event.

  6. dr_soda says:

    As the others say, it’s not really a problem to have some ideas that you really want to work on assuming you make the theme work with them.

    Doing earnest work such as art, code, or music ahead of time is not cool.

    Playing with APIs, experimenting with the mechanics you hope to work with, or familiarizing yourself with libraries and toolchains you hope to use as a warmup, or to gauge how long your code will take to create? All these things should be totally fine. The important thing is that you in fact ONLY treat it as a warmup, and not re-use the assets or code whole-cloth.

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