Ludum Dare 24 Theme Voting Begins!

Posted by (twitter: @ludumdare)
August 18th, 2012 2:41 pm

Theme voting has begun! Tune in every day this week for a new round of themes. *

[ ROUND 1 | ROUND 2 | ROUND 3 ]

Special thanks to Sos for helping us run the Theme Slaughter, and Sorceress for helping prune duplicates and repeat themes.

* Links above in Bold are still open. If you haven’t cast a vote yet, click the link to do it. End times for each round vary, and many cross over. Due to PoV being away all day Thursday, Final Round will begin sometime Wednesday Evening (EST). (Old Links)

* If you get an error message about needing to log in to vote, and you are already logged in, then try refreshing your browser (CTRL+F5).

117 Responses to “Ludum Dare 24 Theme Voting Begins!”

  1. 7Soul says:

    Afterlife and Life After Death…. I upvoted both

  2. Osgeld says:

    Its weird, I click to vote and it tells me I need to be signed in, so I click the sign in link and it takes me to the dashboard cause I am already signed in, so I click to vote and the circle continues!

  3. Folis says:

    It’s nice to see how this LD is somewhat chaotic (“Afterlife”/”Life after death”; The login-thing). It somehow shows, that even PoV is just a regular dude (who occasionally wins a car. <.<)

  4. Atridas says:

    Voted!!! Now I should get to sleep, see ya in the competition!!!!

  5. OMG KITTENS AGAIN! ๐Ÿ˜€ How does that always make it? XD

  6. KevinWorkman says:

    Am I the only one who can’t see the little +1 -1 icons? Tried in both firefox and chrome, tried the ctrl+F5 trick. I can click on them, but I don’t know which is which- all I see is white to the left of the theme names.

  7. Flaise says:

    Would be nice to be able to see the votes as they come in.

  8. Setech says:

    Am I the only one.. wanting Kittens to legit win??

  9. ChronoDK says:

    Please let it be Kittens!

  10. BrothersT says:

    “you must sign in to vote”

    Anyone know why it might think I’m not signed in?

  11. spooks says:

    Good selection of themes thus far! Hope the next rounds continue to deliver

  12. derosa says:

    Haha, great themes! But next LD’s theme should be “Uncached refresh (Ctrl + F5) to play” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. C’mon, guys. Stolen/theft, loneliness/alone, NO BEARDS

  14. Although I am kinda glad “heist” made it sort-of in via “Theft”

  15. andrew845 says:

    If the theme was loneliness, I would make the sequel to my game for Ludum Dare 22 when the theme was alone.

  16. Rose says:

    Quick question – is voting “0” for a theme the same as not voting for that theme?

  17. raarlac says:

    KITTENS +9000

  18. martensms says:

    Woah, Symmetry and Electricity and Fix It… having a huge idea to combine both right now :)
    I also think you can do amazing stuff with Dark and Light, but maybe all created entries will be too similar then.

  19. joekinley says:

    Isn’t “Loneliness” kinda clashing with LD22’s Alone theme?

  20. Jiggawatt says:

    Despite the “theme slaughter” thing, those are still some pretty uninspiring themes. Only a couple +1s in the first two rounds – ‘life after death’, ‘creation and destruction’, and ‘theft’ are probably my top 3. Remember that LD is a big event nowadays, you don’t want 1,000+ games to be the exact same but also not too different to make judging difficult.

    But then again, I am the resident cynic when it comes to LD themes.

  21. FelipeTavares says:

    Time travel! Yeah!

    • MasterBaldwin says:

      If only time travel won, my game would consist of traveling forward in time to a not so distant future where the theme Kittens have won, and then the game would be all above kittens! :)

  22. MadGnomeGamer says:

    Life After Death, Into the Mind, Self Destruction, ….:D Im looking forward to this one.

    btw i suggested Life After Death ๐Ÿ˜€

  23. Gemberkoekje says:

    I’m not worried. I’ll barely have any time to make anything at all, so I’m hoping for an easy theme ๐Ÿ˜›

  24. Nehmulos says:

    And once again two times the same: in round 4 we have “Inevitability” and “The Inevitable”.

  25. Puzzlem00n says:

    Well, kittens is second to last.

    You all make me sick.

  26. Jiggawatt says:

    ‘Abandoned’ won round 1 pretty clearly… better start bracing for the worst. I really don’t know what you guys see in themes like that, something esoteric like ‘afterlife’ would be so much more inspiring… well, luckily it’s not out of the game yet.

  27. silverDistortioN says:

    Here’s an idea: Next time make the 100 themes public before voting starts so the community can tell you about the duplicates.

  28. AD-Edge says:

    Is it really the end of the world if theres a couple of themes that are somewhat similar?
    I dont think so.

    If you dont like it just downvote.

  29. Jiggawatt says:

    Oh wow, Creation and Destruction won round 2. I’m starting to get my hopes up again.

  30. sfernald says:

    Ugh. Looks like we are 90% likely to end up with Abandoned as our theme, based on the results.

    This is a tough theme to do anything interesting with, honestly. I can see it being part of the plot or setting for a game, but don’t think it will make for interesting game ideas. How many games are going to start out with their character getting “abandoned” at the beginning of the game and that is that?

    There were many better themes out there. Too bad.

    • Raptor85 says:

      If “abandoned” wins I have a nice clever take on the them I’m going to do.

      I’m going to abandon the theme and do it about kittens instead!

    • RichMakeGame says:

      it’s kind of a bummer how many negative sounding words are in there. what about stuff like friends, parties, cake! i downvote the depressing ones. STILL though, with a theme you also have the option of doing the polar opposite. you were abandoned and have to find friends to share cake with at a party..

    • Toast says:

      The main reason “abandoned” and “alone” and “isolation” are such bad themes is because they’re ANTI-themes.

      You heard me. They’re subjectless, meaningless, pointless. They actively discourage interactive gameplay – which is supposed to be the whole point of games in the first place.

      What we usually end up with is a whole bunch of pretentious “artgames”, where a droll character wanders around an empty cavernous space to the tune of dischordant ambience, while melancholic subtitles scroll across the screen debating the lucidity of our protagonist’s experience.

      I’m tired of it.

      • Raptor85 says:

        Yeah, i hated most of the games from LD22 also, it was like the theme was a giant excuse to not have enemies or a point to the game, lol.

      • wumpus says:

        I can’t help being a little disappointed in some of the preferred themes so far, especially Abandoned. With that one in particular a part of me worries it’s people that are still clutching at the minecraft “survival and crafting” chalice and think it’ll allow them to do one.

        That said, I like a challenge so something that seems quite hollow and likely to spawn predictable patterns should hopefully inspire me more to try something thoroughly inventive. I guess the controversy and the lack of control is part of the point. It puts the “Dare” in Ludum Dare.

      • Milo says:

        I don’t really know how much the theme induces such entries though. I follow the rule of “be original and use the theme in the gameplay; the assets can wait”, and these themes don’t cause much trouble there. Maybe other people use the theme in other ways, but it’s more based on how creative the game creator is being than what the theme was.

        I think they’re pretty easy themes as far as they go, since so many games can be put into that category. I voted against them, though, since they seem almost duplicate and broader than I’d like.

    • madameberry says:

      If Abandoned wins, I’m totally making a sim about a dog with abandonment issues, where you have to occupy yourself so you don’t pee in the house while your owner is gone. (not really… but maybe)

  31. Dietrich Epp says:

    Time to plan ahead… let’s see, you must EVOLVE in order to SURVIVE in the PARALLEL WORLDS of CREATION AND DESTRUCTION, which have been ABANDONED and are full of CASTLES.

  32. azurenimbus says:

    Thought I’d express my opnions on the selection of themes, though I’m pretty sure it will have no effect on the outcome :) It’s more for discussion’s sake, I guess.

    I believe any theme can lead to great games, and very unexpected and awesome interpretations, but I think some of
    them are automatically more interesting and challenging.

    The previous two themes, Tiny World and Alone, were both very literal and narrowed implementation pretty much to _SETTING_, _STORY_ or _CHARACTER_.

    I personally like the themes that are less literal. In other words, I like themes that don’t force you into a subject matter, but instead offer greater freedom of implementation, be it in subject matter, mechanics, gameplay, general feel, etc.

    Here are some examples I like:

    – Cause and Effect
    – Out of Sight
    – Secrets
    – Consequences
    – The inevitable
    – Sacrifice

    These are themes that can be approached through story, character or setting, as well as mechanics and gameplay. “Secrets” could refer to a story-driven game about what someone hides deep inside, but it also could refer to hidden objects/passages in the game as having a central role in progressing. Better yet, it could be a meaningful combination of both.

    On the other hand, “Trapped in Another World”, “Kittens”, “Ghosts”, “Kindness” are all themes that can mostly be implemented in a storytelling sense.

    Some themes have the opposite effect. They push towards a strictly mechanical implementation. “Counter Intuitive” is most likely going to be interpreted as something to be done with controls. Other examples are “Don’t do it!”, “Break the rules”, “Self Destruction”, etc.

    Some other themes force your hand to make a game in a certain genre, or with a kind of gimmick. In other words, they are less literal than, say, “Kittens”, but they are also heavy-handed in pointing the way to a more narrow kind of theme implementation. Examples of that are “Stealth”, “Surveillance”, “Unseen Foes”, “Forge”, “Chain Reaction”, etc.

    Of course we can always push the envelope towards an unpredictable interpretation, but I think the vast majority of participants won’t in those cases. I’d love to play all or as many Ludum Dare games as possible, so I’m thinking about what themes would lead to the most diverse outcome.

    I think the less obvious and the most abstract, the better. Some people like very specific themes, but I think that while there are good aspects to that from a developer’s perspective, it isn’t the best when you think about the many hundreds of games that will be made, most of them very similar.

    So here are my favorites from round 4, though I know it will make no difference :)

    – Consequences
    – The inevitable
    – Sacrifice

    What do you think?

    • jonnopon3000 says:


      I think these are some wise words with regards to theme selection; while for my first LD I was very happy to have a theme as direct as “Escape” (cue crap loads of “escape the explosion,” “run right” games) due to that being the first game I’d ever committed to write to some level of completion, since then I’ve made a lot of progress and trust my skills as a programmer enough to allow creative expansion.
      I feel like the theme “Tiny World” was one step closer to a completely open-ended theme (interpretations in mechanics ~and~ story were seen in a relatively diverse range of responses), but still defined a parameter for the game’s design which inevitably causes games to all sit in one segment in some way.

      A theme like “sacrifice” on the other hand would be perfect for diversity, as it doesn’t define any kind of parameter. You could design any game you like around the theme, implementing the main nod to it in either a story or a mechanical sense, and easily both. The result could have meaning, an interesting gimmick, a solid mechanic, and ultimately a sense of character. More importantly, due to this lack of parameter, the range of games would be very diverse.
      It’s for the same reason that I always hope that the theme will be “evolution.” Since seeing that on the list for the first time I’ve had constant flowing ideas for it, as evolution could be portrayed in so many different ways. Some simple examples might be an upgrades system for your character, some narrative that oversees physical or emotional evolution, or if you wanted to be completely abstract a narrative/mechanical implementation that represented evolution of character and drove home any number of personal meanings or lessons.

      So yeah, in short, I totally agree – I always scour the list of themes for something that inspires me with many more than one ideas with a range of perspectives. A theme that makes people truly think about what kind of game to make and how to allude to that theme is bound to result in an incredibly diverse range of games and each developer would’ve taken something different from the competition in terms of experience.

  33. JaydenB says:

    Just to let you know, I know you just posted it up and the page is still probably uploading.. But I get a ‘Page not Found’ error when trying to load the final round! Hope you can fix this soon! That reminds me I need to make my I’m In post….

  34. Mstrp2ez says:

    I downvoted kittens, but 1000 kittens, you can’t down vote that! (i did it)

  35. Cthulhu says:

    Evolution could be so fun!

  36. grimpunch says:

    1000 kittens all the way baby.

  37. Milo says:

    Aw, I’m sad to see “industry” get such a low rank… oh well, I like the rest of the themes.

  38. YumYumNoodles says:

    Lets just watch as everyone jokingly votes up 1000 kittens and then the theme is 1000 kittens. ๐Ÿ˜›

  39. zeh says:

    What happens when 1000 kiittens win (since it will)? Will it actually be used?

  40. jedilemons says:

    1000 kittens MUST win 0.0!

  41. Ramutra says:

    Fine! Now I can’t sleep anymore! Thank you Ludum Dare 24)))

  42. alphonse23 says:

    This sounds like this is going to be so much FUN!

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