Ludum Store

Posted by (twitter: @jorjongames)
July 2nd, 2013 5:26 am

I have been thinking about this for a while now. How can we help ld’ers get some money for their efforts making games?

Ludum Bundle

With the popularity of indie bundles still rising, and considering the high amount of games developer for each LD, I believe this is an excellent choice. Why not pack a couple of entries together and sell them for an inexpensive price?

Selection

I know there are games are aren’t worth anything. Also I know there are developers who don’t care about their games (those who get 0 coolness in the competition). So only the post-compo or HD editions of the games will be qualified for the bundles, proving that the developer cared about his game so much that she released a new fixed version with improvements, and in some cases, new features.

Categories

There are some categories that comes to my mind, for packing games together:

  • Innovative. Games that present uniques mechanics (so the classic platformers are out of this category).
  • By Technology. Games made in Flash, Unity3D. HTML5, can be pack together.
  • Music. Games using music as a part of its mechanic are placed here.
  • Hidden Gems. Games that didn’t make to top ranking, but the developers released a new version based on the feedback.

As for the categories, there are obviously more to be explored. It’s important to keep in mind: as a buyer, what will I want to buy? What will I be looking for?

Can a game be in more than 1 bundle? Yes. If you have made an innovative game in Unity3D, it can be in both bundles. So a category is more like a tag for a game.

Pricing

How much to charge for these games? I think the Humble Bundle approach is the best, and let the buyer provide the amount. Some of that money should be send to Ludum Dare for the costs related to the store.

So, what do you think? Do you believe this is achievable?


16 Responses to “Ludum Store”

  1. Matriax says:

    Can be interesting but select X games from all the entries will be a lot of work and much people can say: “Ey! why you added “these game” and not mine? mine have better gfx and is better!” XDD.

    Can be a good idea but maybe cost a lot of work to be fair for all the developers.

  2. sorceress says:

    I love your idea! I’ve mentioned something like this to PoV before, as a way of making better use of the powerful server we have now, and as a way of getting the site to provide more for the community.

    But iirc, the general feeling was that it would require too much time to run, as well as legal obstacles with it being a commercial enterprise.

    as a buyer, what will I want to buy? What will I be looking for?

    As a buyer, I would look at compatibility above all else, because I wouldn’t want to buy a bundle and find I can only run three of the six games in it. But if there are 20+ games in a bundle, I would be less bothered by not being able to run half of them.

    To help maintain compatibility, a bundle could make some effort to be consistent in what requirements the games have. eg, try to avoid mixing windows only and osx only titles; or mixing games that need a powerful PC with those that will happily run on 2004 hardware.

  3. Codexus says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t like this idea very much.

    I think this would be a step further toward the commercialization of ludum dare. I like the LD as an inclusive event where we all just gather and have fun creating a game for a weekend.

    This project would create a divide between those games that make it in a bundle and those that get left out: “not worth anything” in your own words…

    If some people get inspired during a LD and end up creating a full commercial game later thanks to that experience, that’s really great. But I think all mercantile ambitions should be suspended during ludum dare so that we can just make games for fun and practice without thinking about the future marketability of our games.

    • sorceress says:

      I like the LD as an inclusive event where we all just gather and have fun creating a game for a weekend.

      I don’t think LD weekend would be affected. Some people do already create post-compo versions of their LD entries, and go on to commercialize them. People can already enter LD with the specific intention of commercializing their game after the event, but this doesn’t make LD weekend into something obnoxious.

      What may be obnoxious is if a getting a place in a bundle is a “prize” for winning LD, as this may encourage cheating during LD weekend. But there are no “rules” to producing a post-compo version, so people can’t really cheat there. As with any other bundle, there should be an application process, through which games are handpicked. Nobody should win automatic inclusion as a direct result of their compo rankings.

  4. Gaeel says:

    I agree with Codexus, however.

    It might be a nice idea to team up with some other LD devs, and work with them to set up a Bundle, but it shouldn’t be an official LD bundle.

    Also, in the same vein, there’s the october challenge, where LDers are encouraged to revisit a jam game they made and attempt to sell it and ear at least a dollar. If there are some people wanting to do the challenge who aren’t sure how to commercialise and need help advertising, this might be a good idea, since the effort can be pooled.

    However, be advised that anything that involves money and trust is a can of worms with a stick of dynamite in it. Either have a neutral party run the transactions, of find some other way of ensuring that everyone gets their slice of the pie.

    • caranha says:

      > It might be a nice idea to team up with some other LD devs, and work with them to set up a Bundle, but it shouldn’t be an official LD bundle.

      I think this is the best approach. I would love to set up a “bundle” approach with other post-compo devs, donating the entire proceedings to LD server maintenance (to avoid money drama).

  5. Azlen says:

    This sounds like it might work. I would definitely want to develop games for a Ludum Bundle.

  6. Mstrymt says:

    Why limit it to a finite selection,

    Why not have say a set amount of games games for a set price, from a list of all games(or i suppose all games that opt in).

    Like pick 3 games for $5 or 6 games for $8 etc.(or if you are like me and wish to pay in real money £££££ :))

    From a monetary perspective the payments wouldn’t be that hard to calculate.

    For every bundle bought with that game in they get the amount of the bundle divided by the count of games in it.

    There is an argument against the idea from a commercialization point of view.
    Also concerns about discovery and running costs.

  7. Puzzlem00n says:

    My thoughts are similar to Gaeel’s. An official Ludum Bundle might not be that great, but if somebody else wanted to host a bundle of post-compo LD games, then no one’s stopping them. The Humble Bundle guys might be interested in this themselves.

  8. rezoner says:

    Maybe better idea than putting a game in many bundles/categories to keep the game exposure – would be that the bundles does not expire.

    The bundles content should be determined in the same way that LD contest is resolved – by voting. This will prevent subjective picks of OP’s and ensure the quality of games (without quality threshold all buyers will be just LD contestants and friendly devs).

    So here comes the next question – who is the target of this bundle – players or devs? Is it meant to make real money, or to help contestants in getting a grasp of what is it like to sell a game.

    I don’t think it endangers LD with commercialization as long as the voting comes from LD community – preferably games with some achievements/coolness so it won’t be as easy as upload a game to get into bundle voting commision.

    • Mstrymt says:

      @rezoner

      its my experience(and incredibly cynical opinion) that any sort of voting that has any sort of impact on some-one getting the cash monies, sooner or later gets exploited in some way.

      That being said with a decent amount of oversight and quality control as you suggested it might work out fine.
      Sounds like a large amount of work though.

  9. Jeremias says:

    Why not setting up an infrastructure where ludum dare participants can group with other participants to create and submit a bundle on their own, e.g. with a minimum of 10 games with some conditions, like basic QA? You make a post-compo version of your game, look for other guys to make a technology-, style- or content-related bundle and add it with your own descriptions and videos to the store hosted by ludum dare – without any voting, just a simple check it isn’t a joke-bundle or a bundle of non-ludum-dare games. The ludum dare site gets then some of the income for hosting the infrastructure.

    The advantages of such a free system would be:
    – People start networking with other game devs, engage with them and their games – new contacts and probably friends :)
    – Games with a “low” quality (whatever this means) are less likely to appear, because beyond total overestimation, no one wants to sell something which he thinks isn’t worth it; additional: finding 9 other guys which want to group with a low quality game is less likely. Ordering the bundles by sells or any other criterion would help.
    – If someone wants to be in a bundle, this could be a really big motivational boost without affecting others which doesn’t care about this.
    – If you try to group with others, you get more honest feedback about your game and better self-assessment.
    – The system would be independent from the rating system, because it only relates to post-compo versions. Perhaps, there is a space provided where people can present their post-compo version?
    – Some time after the ludum dare competition, the store gets a reset, clearing the space for the bundles of the next contest.

    The disadvantages:
    – Some elitist behavior could appear, making it difficult to get into existing “circles” (a possible solution: the same 10 guys aren’t allowed to make a bundle again in this constellation). So you are forced to group with new people.

    Just some thoughts. I’m still thinking if this could conflict with the nice non-commercial nature of ludum dare.

    Sorry for my english, I give my best!

  10. I think it’s a great idea as long as submitters can choose whether they want their game to be included in a bundle, although that still brings up the problem that Codexus brought up as it may end up being a “prize.” Haven’t put much thought into how it would work but it’d be cool if they could set that up

  11. michail says:

    No, no, no. Ludum Dare is about making games for fun – not for money. If anyone wants to release their post-compo games – it’s ok, they can do it themselves, but that should not be the point of Ludum Dare – it will kill the non-commercial spirit of this competition.

  12. frogmaster says:

    Hmm, that’s how I feel it: I don’t see where it should be a part of Ludum Dare. It would be a brand new event, not just like ‘be in the category’s top 25 and we will pay for your game’, more like making new lists (after compo) with the most interesting projects from the jam and then, informing/inviting the authors.
    Also, I would love to see a system like Mojam: I mean, after the list and discussion with the authors is done, they will have to improve/expand their game and also stream the working flow. During the production phase, we (the players) will be enabled to buy the bundle.
    Also, buyers could vote for the bundle’s list after the next Ludum Dare’s compo.

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