Mini Ludum Dare 37 Announcement!

Posted by (twitter: @RatKingsLair)
September 15th, 2012 5:00 am

[EDIT] It’s over! Thanks to all participants for these amazing entries! [/EDIT]

This time Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat chose ME to do the hosting for the next Mini Ludum Dare, and out of all the bad ideas I had for the theme, I carefully chose the worst; so now I can present …

Yep, that’s right. For this Mini Ludum Dare, the goal is to not make a game (or more specific: to make a not-game). After 60 Ludum Dares (including Minis) and two October Challenges, making “yet another game” really becomes very tiresome. So for a few days, let’s ditch entertainment software! Their rigid mechanics usually just stand in the way of something new, something truly innovative anyway. Let’s explore the vast world of serious games, simulators, art games and not-games!

Create something personal, something only YOU can make. Had any traumatic experiences or other awkward episodes in your life? Now is the time to make cheerful not-games out of them! Had a boring day at work? Let others take part in your depressing job in an exciting simulator! You want to educate people about collecting stamps or rare types of eye diseases? Share your wisdom with everyone by creating a serious game!
Some examples: Dinner Dateeverything from Tale of Tales, Window Cleaner. There even was a festival about not-games!

Submit | View all entries

I completely understand your sentiments if this is not a theme to your liking. That’s why I want to offer an alternative theme, just to make this Mini Ludum Dare even more complicated than it already is! Thus, once again I draw the curtain and present …

Make a game that offers a new experience based on … time! And with time I mean the real real-time, not that fake ingame-time. Depending on the current time of the day (like night&day or specific hours) or even depending on the date (the day of the month or even the current season), your entry should change its appearance and/or its gameplay. Here are some random ideas, to make clear what this is about:

  • Some enemies are impossible to beat at night, but very easy at day
  • The game is a stealth game at night and a shooter at day
  • Savegames get deleted after some days, because the protagonist dies of hunger when the user doesn’t play the game
  • The end part of the game is only accessible at full moon

Perhaps you want to go the hardcore way and combine this with location-based game design? You could get the local weather from an online service and use it in the game! Or go totally crazy and make a multiplayer game that changes its gameplay according the number of players! Oh, the possibilities!


  • You don’t have to do both themes, just pick one. Of course, doing two games (submit them both in one entry) or combining the themes is possible!
  • Teams are allowed, as is using frameworks.
  • Please state in the description when your game re-uses assets.
  • The official date of this competition is 22nd/23th September (beginning and ending at 0:00, your timezone), but the submission form will be open until the beginning of the October Fest, erm, Challenge, so please take your time and just have fun making stuff!
  • If you don’t like any restrictions this MiniLD imposes to you, feel free to ditch them.

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60 Responses to “Mini Ludum Dare 37 Announcement!”

  1. johnfn says:

    I like both of these themes. Maybe I’ll participate!

  2. azurenimbus says:

    Is it possible to submit two entries, one for each theme? They’re pretty interesting, and thought provoking…

  3. mohammad says:

    Cool, I’m probably not going to be in this Mini-LD anyway.

  4. Jedi says:

    Just the other day I was thinking, “I’ve never made a sandbox-type game…”


  5. CNIAngel says:

    Welp I know what I’m making. If no one likes it, then my work here is done.

  6. joekinley says:

    Awesome idea. Consider me joined \o/

  7. shubshub says:

    Are we able to Modify games that we have made in the past with new mechanics to go with these themes?

  8. Might see if I can churn something out this weekend, time ‘n’ workload permitting.

  9. Madball says:

    Cool! The project I’m currently working on nicely matches the first theme! It isn’t cheating if I will submit it for LD, is it? I just started making it.
    About the 2nd theme, I think I will either dismiss it or make 2 games. Because I can’t see my planned not-game matching the 2nd theme.

  10. tomsik68 says:

    I’ll probably not be @ home then, but I’ll try to get something out. We’ll see… :)

  11. Vircung says:

    That’s intresting. So i have plans on weekend now!

  12. linkzns says:

    That’s awesome.. I was really looking for a time to make a “not game” xD

  13. SamoojaMies says:

    Very cool theme but “real time” makes my brain hurt :P. Time will show if I get any worthwhile idea for it.

  14. Frib says:

    Both themes are awesome. I’m in, but I don’t know for which one.


  15. Folis says:

    You had me at the “real time”-game ideas 😀

  16. Puzzlem00n says:

    Nice themes! I choose Not-Games! The world needs a break from real games.

  17. NedortGames says:

    both sound good :)

  18. johnfn says:

    Will there be scores? I’d like to see if I’ve improved.

    • ratking says:

      Probably not, sorry. Voting is mainly for the big LDs – as there usually are much less participants in a MiniLD, the scores wouldn’t be very meaningful. Besides, I’d use silly categories for this MiniLD, like “Seriousness”, “Artsyness” or “Nongaminess”. 😉

    • sorceress says:

      You could rate games if you wanted to, by posting ratings in the comments.

      You could invite people to do this for your game by saying so in the description. :)

  19. Kurama_Youko says:

    Is a tool (like Sfxr) an acceptable non-game?

    • ratking says:

      Well, this is still Ludum Dare, but if it’s very playful (like I wouldn’t have anything against it.

      Either way, if you gonna make a tool everyone can benefit from, just write about it on the blog.

  20. This really sounds interesting, and I may join. I had fun making my first LD48 game and participating in this can only help keep me motivated.

  21. Henry McLaughlin says:

    Do I get a paddlin’ if I ditch the theme entirely?

    … Even if I *do* get a paddlin’, I’m totally ignoring the theme….

  22. andyrofl says:

    I’ve never done a mini-LD. But the theme(s) look right. I’m in. Have the perfect idea too.

  23. Zelen3d says:

    Both themes are really interesting. I will probably go for a not-game, since real-time games, the way they are explained here, seem really complicated and server-side-ey.
    Then, not-games have infinite possibilities: from a relaxing game with calm music and simple interaction, to a stress-busting violent gore game where you smash cockroaches (or humans), or just burn and break shit without any purpose. Then there are the “artsy” ones where the game isn’t really a challenge, but just tries to get a reaction from the player. (ex: “troll-face the game”)
    and the ones where you can just let your creativity go in a innovative kind of manner, that will keep you fuzzing with it as if it were a game(like a wierd drawing game, or a music . There are the simulation games where you are imerged into an experience or a job, (ex: a flight-simulator) Then there are the other kind of “simulators” that usually simulate some process (water-simulation), like evolution(ex: darkshadow’s “bear selection”). The most known of these games is probably the Conway game of life.
    Well, I wish you all original ideas, and happy programming.

  24. shubshub says:

    Im going to be updating my game for this LD got an awesome Idea
    That will feature something new

  25. Helco says:

    I had to give up last Ludum Dare, so I see this MiniLD as a chance to rehabilitate myself, I even have an idea already.
    I’ll use the second theme and I try to make some ambient music this time.

  26. Thurig says:

    I have a nice idea for this Mini LD! My inspiration comes from Crohn’s disease, which I have. I hope I can finish it in 2 days, since I am going to start from scratch with Javascript and a canvas.

  27. Ditto says:

    This sounds perfect! I don’t have the whole weekend, but dammit I’ll make something! Do Ludum have some problems with adult themes at all? Like drugs, nudity, messed up stuff?

  28. Quentin says:

    inb4 maker of Slender just takes out the notes and submits it.

  29. plule says:

    Let’s do this. We are three : graphics, code and music. Not-game time :)

  30. Jacic says:

    I’m in. I like both themes, so I’ll just include both in one not-game! :)

  31. SouthsideDevil says:

    We will stream here:

    Waiting for the start! 17min left…

    Good luck all and have fun. :-)

  32. Manoloide says:

    This allowed the use of processing? If so I sign

  33. zzorn says:

    Interesting themes, I’m in.

    Aiming for some kind of medieval village simulator, with bussiness / logistics simulation (think Transport Tychoon with donkey charts :) )

  34. DBRalir says:

    I might make something. Not-games are usually harder to make than actual games, so I think I’ll go with real-time. Perhaps both, if I get a good idea.

  35. Only spotted the MiniLD at the last minute, but managed to do a small not-game (Conway’s Game of Life) over the weekend. Runs on Arduino microcontroller with Nokia phone LCD. Will post source and photos!

  36. justin_bailey says:

    In see that the submission form is open til October? Am I still cool to submit something? I’ve been hella busy, but I can probably finish up tonight. Thx.

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