Welcome to Ludum Dare 26!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
April 24th, 2013 11:04 am

Hello and welcome to our 26th weekend long event, and our 11th year running Ludum Dare.

We have one last round of theme voting to go before the Final Round. Prior rounds, and a bunch of Potato themed mischief can be found here.


As you’ve probably seen, we have a brand new Twitch streaming widget on the front page. You’re encouraged to use it as both a broadcaster and a viewer. I put together a guide showcasing some really great free software. If you’re on Windows, you unfairly do have more options than your Mac and Linux cohorts. :)

The Ludum Deals page is now live. I promised to get this page out earlier in the week, but as it turns out, discussing promos with people can take a lot longer than you’d expect. So, no more waiting. Keep an eye on the page. We’re going to have several more deals and promos going live over the next few days.


Your keynoter for the big 26th event is none other than Benn Powell.

Have a great weekend. :)


43 Responses to “Welcome to Ludum Dare 26!”

  1. LeafThief says:

    Oh for cryin’ out loud. That Neotokyo OST is the best!
    Other than that: I think you did a good job. Thanks for that keynote right there.

    Happy jamming to y’all!

  2. erdos says:


  3. agmcleod says:

    What game was that when he was on the horse, and when under a curse?

  4. nuprahtor says:

    >Being cursed sucks
    Yes, indeed

  5. Zampi says:

    You must be a programer for unity3d

  6. GranTurismo says:


  7. jerrre says:

    seems that themes which come early in alphabetical order have an advantage if you look at the final round. maybe next time put them in random order?

  8. Morgawr says:

    Anybody else noticed the fact that most of these themes have already been proposed in the past and have already been part of previous LD competitions?

    I don’t recognize any single theme from the Theme Slaughter, there’s a lot of negative trend towards all these themes (even previous rounds), if you look at it you can clearly see 5 positive themes out of 25, that means 20 out of 25 themes were seen as “bad themes”.

    Maybe it’s time to freshen up the theming for next Ludum Dares?

    • sorceress says:

      Keep in mind that the themes which make it this far are those that have survived the many stages of culling. So they are the themes which the community likes the most. Other themes would presumably score worse.

      That fact that we see the same themes come up each year reflects that fact that our tastes are not that fickle – what we thought was fun last year, we still think is fun this year.

      5 positive scores out of 25 is normal. This doesn’t mean 5 are good and 20 are bad, because people vote will strategically and knock down many themes that are seen as a threat to the one or two they would like to win.

    • JaJ says:

      Having only a few positive themes is nothing new. I notice that in previous rounds, I only upvoted themes that I liked the most and downvoted the rest.

      This round is the opposite however. There are a few (two or three) themes left that I really dislike, so I upvoted everything except for those. (“Death is good” and “Every death is meaningful”. I feel like themes like these are based on original games that already exist and almost force you to be ‘original’ in an unoriginal way, if that makes any sense. It results in many games with exactly the same concept.)

  9. AdricZero says:

    I thought I learned over the years tolerance in accepting just about any theme. Honestly, it took a long while to get to that point. Now I find myself reverting back to that pre-tolerance behavior and feel like rejecting “You are the Enemy” in this final round. It was just 4 months ago (LD #25) where we had the theme “You are The Villain”. Someone PLEASE help me. I don’t want to go back to being a theme-hater, even if it means eating a raw potato.

    • JaJ says:

      No need! It’s “you are YOUR enemy”, not “you are THE enemy”
      Being your own enemy is a completely different thing from being “the” enemy.

      I actually think itยดs a very interesting theme.

  10. Jiggawatt says:


    Well, business as usual. A few standouts (Creation and Destruction, Exploration, Against the Rules) lots of redundant or silly themes. Seriously, the death-related ones can be covered by just “Afterlife”, so I +1’d that and -1’d the others.

  11. zatyka says:

    In case people want to know how the voting compared for these themes in the first 4 rounds:

    Afterlife +321
    Death is Good +302
    Creation and Destruction +244
    No Weapons Allowed +207
    Minimalism +188
    No Enemies +160
    Against the Rules +155
    Parallel Worlds +149
    Dreams +143
    After the End of the World +135
    Islands +103
    You Are Your Enemy +68
    Beneath the Surface +61
    Colony +57
    Exploration +55
    Ancient Ruins +53
    Every Death Is Meaningful +52
    Alternative Physics +47
    Side Effects +14
    Dig Deeper +12

    • kddekadenz says:

      Awww man, I don’t want to do a game about death. Dreams is my favorite theme :3 Ancient ruins are a cool setting, but not an inspiring theme.

    • mrspeaker says:

      Does anyone know how this compares to previous LDs? Is it likely the overall winner will be one of the top 3, or is it all bets off when it comes to final-round voting?

      • HeroesGrave says:

        It depends.

        Usually I’d say it’s in the top 3 or 5.

        But if a good theme that’s too similar to a previous theme makes it then it get downvoted in the final round even though it had a igh rating previously.

        (LD24: Abandoned, despite being the favourite, was too similar to Alone and got a terrible rating in the final round, leaving evolution to win)

    • TheGamePress says:

      Please down vote Afterlife. It’s worse than potatoes.
      In fact, who really wants to be reincarnated into a potato?
      Down with it!

      • HeroesGrave says:

        Afterlife is an awesome theme.

        • umu says:

          Consider this:

          Part of the definition of a game is to have a goal and a chance to fail.
          An afterlife happens after you have gone through the “game” that is life.

          If you finish life (successfully or otherwise), do you really want to be able to fail at the afterlife? Do you really want to have more goals? Isaac Asimov might, but what happens if you fail those goals…do you get to keep trying, because there is nothing after the afterlife? Or is there an afterafterlife that you get sent to?

          Man, if there is an afterlife and it is a game, that would suck. At least when you screw up at life you know that it will eventually end and nothing you did really mattered. If your failures lasted forever that would be terrible.

  12. JM-DG says:

    What if I say that I can’t participate because I have 4 projects with upcoming deadlines and my dad’s birthday is this weekend?
    I still wish I would be able to participate to this LD :(

  13. CloudiestNights says:

    Great and entertaining video! I’ve settled on an idea that should be able to snuggle into almost any of the remaining themes. Fingers crossed for the best ones, though!

  14. lorancou says:

    Something’s wrong on this video. Obviously, I won’t take any advice for somebody who comes from a country where everybody drives ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD! What the hell are you crazy? This drives me mad!!!

    Next time I want a keynote that is sane and reasonable. Period ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. Wiering says:

    We already had “Exploration” in LD16 and “Islands” in LD17, why are these in the final round?

    • mihnescu says:

      maybe because LD16 had like 120 submissions and LD17 something around 200. We will probably have something close to 1500 now :). So it pretty irrelevant at this point.
      Myself, I would prefer a theme that leaves room for interpretation … but not that much because I am also a very indecisive person

  16. Arowx says:

    I wonder if we will see any LD entries made for the Oculus Rift?

  17. Guardian_Bob says:

    Parallel worlds, always a bride’s maid, never a bride. Just like evo, oh wait. Never mind.

  18. mohammad says:

    I feel like a drunken bastered today.
    That just makes this Ludum even more fun!

  19. TehWut says:

    um, Unity requires programming. Or scripting at the very least. It’s not visual / drag-n’-drop like the other ones he mentioned. Easier yes, but not that easy.

  20. nbilyk says:

    But Ben, I hate games. I don’t want to have fun. What do I dooo?

  21. Eternal_Rest says:

    95% of the voting options couldn’t even be considered a “theme”.

    A theme should be the central topic that the games are based on, not the style in which its implemented.

    How does one base a game idea on Minimalism? Does this mean you can make ANY game at all and just use a minimalist art style? Doesn’t seem right to me.

    The theme should be something Reggae, Pirates, History, Fantasy, Romance, Death and so on. Minimalism can hardly be called a theme. They say they want to encourage more people to join in, but with poorly picked “themes” its no wonder people are reluctant.

    At least the previous number 1 “Afterlife” is usable as a theme. I dont know how Minimalism got to the top when it had less than 1/2 the votes the previous round.

  22. Ringer says:

    I heard about the dare a few months ago and I think I’m finally going to participate. I am inebriated, already without rest, and only a few hours ago did I learn it was this weekend. By all accounts, I am ready.

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