Ludum Dare 31
December 5th-8th, 2014

Hi, Gravity Games here, and I can’t wait until the next Ludum Dare! I do however have a few questions about the rules if you don’t mind.

1) I saw in the rules that we ARE allowed to use base code if its mentioned before the dare, but how far would be considered base? Like, a basic routine to open a window and draw graphics? A basic engine with a level editor (though I’m assuming that this would be a little bit too far to be considered a base).

2) Continuing the above question, I have a level format that I tend to use for every project I start. I was wondering if it would be okay to copy and paste the same code that reads these files, or would I have to recode the same format from scratch. Or would I have to make a completely new format entirely?

3) Continuing from the level format question, I already have a level editor for this format. Is it against the rules to use this level editor presuming I use the same level format? If so, would it be acceptable to program a new editor, or should I just type in the levels with a text editor?

4) Is it against the rules to submit a game to the dare, continue to work on it for the rest of the hours of the jam, and then resubmit it for the jam?

5) Finally, I’ve never completed a game before (not 100% anyway), much less in 48 hours. Quite obviously this is a big challenge for me, so how would I start practicing? Would you recommend going to past ludum dares and completing them, or is there an ongoing challenge I can use for practice?

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7 Responses to “New Here, Looking Forward to my First Ludum Dare”

  1. X54321 says:

    Well, I don’t know much on the subject, (This is going to be my first ludum dare too), but I’m pretty sure the level editor would be ok, since people have been using sfxr(Quick sound effects program) quite a lot recently.

  2. tunnel says:

    sfxr is available for anyone and made for ludum dare so its alloud. If your level editor is available to someone like me to use, along with the code to load it(if you want to use your same code) and you announce this I think its fine, though I haven’t succeeded in many ludum dares so I can’t be sure. Minor base code is probably fine also, depending how far it goes.

  3. Gravity Games says:

    @tunnel Well, since there’s no GUI, and its made specifically for my stage format, I don’t really see a point unless people are willing to use the same format and are really patient in learning how it works (I doubt its really an optimized format due to being simply a text file with a bunch of values…). However, I was planning on releasing a version with GUI along with my main project anyway, so I guess it could be updated from the strangled, tangled mess that it is now when that happens.

    Oh, and the base code I was planning on using was a basic window, the draw routine, and the stage format (along with MAYBE a base player with basic movement, though I think that might be considered too far…).

  4. Nsmurf says:

    1.) I think that almost all base code is allowed, but I’m not sure. For example:

    I like to make platformers, so I often use the exact same code from project to project. If I needed to, I could type it all out from scratch, but I don’t.

    Oh, and the base code I was planning on using was a basic window, the draw routine, and the stage format (along with MAYBE a base player with basic movement, though I think that might be considered too far…).

    That all seems fine.
    player movement probably isn’t going to far, but I’m not sure.

    2.) would be okay to copy and paste the same code that reads these files.

    Yeah, I would copy-paste code if I were you. For example, when I used Löve2d/lua, I always used the same level loading from images code.

    3.) I already have a level editor for this format. Is it against the rules to use this level editor presuming I use the same level format?

    That should be fine as well. I use Ogmo as a level editor, and other people use similar programs.

    4.) Is it against the rules to submit a game to the dare, continue to work on it for the rest of the hours of the jam, and then resubmit it for the jam? I have no idea. I personally wouldn’t do that, but I don’t think it’s against the rules.

    5.) I would just aim for something small, then let the time pressure force me to complete it. For example:

    You have a level format and player movement code. You could just make a RPG with a big map, and have randomly spawning monsters on it. that would be fun, and the biggest challenge would be the monsters, something easy to make in 48 hours.

    All that you would need for that is:

    -Player movement and attacking
    -Tile map loading
    -Monsters with simple AI

    Good luck!

    TL;DR:
    Most of the stuff you asked about should be fine. Check out the tools page (http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/tools/) for ideas about some of the things that people use.

  5. tunnel says:

    update to my answer:
    its not so much so people can use it… one of the special exceptions of the rules states
    “Base code and personal code libraries are allowed, but should be declared and shared with the community prior to beginning your entry. To do this, make a blog post.”
    which would mean you would need to release your map loader for your game, but not your mapper. Reading through the rules I think that stays yours. but I want to know more about your map file now.

    • Gravity Games says:

      Well, my level files is just a bunch of values that are read from a text file and then used to create an object.

      A sample line in the txt file is:

      0 32 400 0 0

      The first 0 is the object to be created. Since this is set to zero, a player object will be created.

      Next are the X and Y values, the player would be created at 32x and 400y.

      The zeroes at the end are extra values. They set things like how long an object will move, or what direction it starts in, etc. The player object doesn’t use any of these, so these are left at zero. You could set these to whatever you wanted, and they wouldn’t make a difference… I also have a header that sets other things like the tileset to use and the stage name, but this is in a seperate file.

      The level editor is actually really simple, its just displays the stages so I can edit them graphically. Left, right, up, and down scroll the stage, and I left click to add objects, and right click to remove them. Selecting objects is still a bunch of complicated shortcuts though.

      By map loader, do you mean the code that loads the map in-game, or the buggy as heck level editor?

  6. goerp says:

    The previous LD was my first. I didn’t set out for the jam but had so little content I continued and submitted for the Jam.
    But I think you should AIM to make your game in 48 hours. If you have the Jam in the back of your mind as backup, it will be less likely you can finish in 48 hours.
    The game probably wont be 100%, but that goes for most games that are entered. You can always continue afterwards (and maybe use it for the october challenge).

    For practice I think, you have to find what works for you. You can always enter the other game jams and mini Ludums. The charity Ludum, I tried to create it in 48 hours. Started at saturday and finished on sunday. And between the Ludums I tried different things just to gain experience.
    If you dont need the external pressure of a competition you can set yourself goals, for instance just to make a game in a weekend.

    The zero hour competition (http://0hgame.eu/) was too hard for me (you need a lot of useful code lying around), but they do have a random theme creator which I used as inspiration.

    I think in the end the most important thing is to have fun.

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