Ludum Dare 27 Theme Voting Begins!

Posted by (twitter: @ludumdare)
August 18th, 2013 12:36 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 Sorceress for helping out.

* 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.

* 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).

116 Responses to “Ludum Dare 27 Theme Voting Begins!”

  1. Monio Games says:

    Looking forward to the jam!

  2. MrBlade says:

    Spppaaaccceeeee. Hahahaha. I am quite please with the first round.

  3. Spaceoff says:

    Hmm, something of a disappointing Round 1. Let’s hope the better themes are hiding somewhere in the other 3 rounds πŸ˜€

  4. DDDBOMBER says:

    Fusion sounds like a good one, the rest are pretty mediocre though

  5. Lars Faust says:

    Found “10 Seconds”, “Mythology” and “Symmetry” to be interesting themes, even though i am sure a lot of people would find a “10 Seconds” theme to be limiting their creativity too much. I personally like it though, as it doesnt have to limit your actual game length, but can be integrated in many ways.

    • DaleP says:

      10 Seconds might actually be one of the most intriguing ones because it’s so open to interpretation. Could be as simple as “complete a task in 10 seconds”, or involve time being slowed down so it’s longer from the character’s point of view (a la Inception or Eve Online’s TiDi), or a repeating 10-second cycle (like the 3 days in Majora’s Mask), or just be a story element.

      • lulzfish_4 says:

        I would have a weapon that takes 10 seconds to fire or a powerup that makes you invincible for 10 seconds. Many different interpretation exist.

        • vilya says:

          I really liked “10 seconds” too. I was thinking of a 10 second starting time limit which you could extend by doing something in game; a collection of 10 second long minigames; or a turn-based game where you have 10 seconds for each move. There are so many possibilities, it’s exactly what a Ludum Dare theme should be!

          • KayZ says:

            > a collection of 10 second long minigames
            I did something similar for the last LD. A few games that could only be played 20 seconds before it switched to another game. At some point you would switch back to a game you already played and it would start right where you left off. Might do something similar this time if the 10 seconds theme wins, except less minimalistic and better.

    • flodec says:

      Yeah, 10 seconds seem pretty interesting! I love how you can have some ideas just by reading these themes, maybe we should make them anyway πŸ˜€

    • Jiggawatt says:

      I’m starting to agree with this. Only unimaginative people will take “10 seconds” as meaning “the game is over after 10 seconds”. Any kind of 10-second timer featured in the gameplay will qualify.

      It won by a landslide, so might as well prepare my body for it.

      • Jiggawatt says:

        Also, 10 secs is good because it gets people in the jam spirit, making event-specific games. With really vague themes, you see lots of people making typical platformers and shoehorning them into the theme with the backstory or something. This is sort of a “high concept” theme while also allowing interpretation.

    • Venturelli says:

      “10 seconds” gives me so many good ideas it’s just silly : )

  6. EatenAlive3 says:

    *claims ‘I voted’ sticker* I liked the themes! I hope I get the chance to participate in this LD!

  7. Kwrky says:

    “Surveillance” would be very timely

  8. 97%Awesome says:

    Awesome themes!

  9. ahm99 says:

    Whatever happens, the IRC will be flooded minutes before it starts, then the theme will be announced, w i l l l a a a a a a a a a a g l i k e c r a z y and the IRC will show hundreds of user names disconnecting. Once the page FINALLY loads, some of us will be happy, some very angry (like really angry as in they drop out), and some will just be wondering how on earth that theme got picked.

  10. raincole says:

    10 seconds is a good theme. It leads varying possibilities.

  11. Shwiny says:

    I think 10 seconds, surveillance, fusion and some of the other few in there are good. Surprisingly most are not that great such as the symmetry or navigating ones. They jut sound dull.

  12. MattySVN says:

    Can’t wait for this Ludum Dare!! It’s going to be EPIC!!

  13. ahm99 says:

    Starting to think “ten seconds” will win. I could be wrong though, as a better theme may show up.

  14. hamster_mk_4 says:

    Oddly enough “Silence” has got me really inspired. Obviously it would lead to a lot of “stealth” games, but there are many interesting mechanics you can get out of that genera.

  15. Zelen3d says:

    It’s funny to see how people vote down much more themes this time. To not let a theme like minimalism appear this time!

  16. Aron says:

    I really don’t understand everybodys anti-minimalism stance. What was so wrong with that theme? It was base for some really nice games I think.

    • Agreed, loved making a game to that theme and loved playing all the awesome games that came from it – but maybe people found it too restricting?

    • flodec says:

      I love minimalist games, but I think people don’t like this theme because it’s not really a ‘theme’ as powerful as all the other ones. It’s more like how you structure your game, how you build and design it, to be simple an efficient, in its gameplay or graphics, but not a real “theme”.

  17. Datw says:

    I see the Glitch theme as a great excuse! haha

  18. HeroesGrave says:

    I hope we get a nice abstract idea this time.

    (like “It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this”)

    Minimalism is stupid.
    You are the villain is too obvious.
    Evolution was surprisingly fun, as it was a challenge.

  19. igleyy says:

    I didn’t participate in such event ever, and I neither finished game bigger than pong and tic-tac-toe. I think it’s time to change, I will be there! :)

  20. TammiLion says:

    Round 3 has more appealing themes for me. Powerless is an interesting one. I’m sure ‘You are the companion’ from Round 2 would also lead to a bunch of brilliant (hilarious) games, that’s my fav for now. I think 10 seconds is the best from Round 1. Haven’t really theme which is both really abstract and good yet. Maybe in round 4 ^^

  21. gamepopper says:

    First round looks promising, voted for the next two rounds myself! =D

  22. natpat says:

    Jeez, 10 seconds won round 1 by 500. Cancel the next few rounds of voting, I think we have our theme…

    • 7Soul says:

      You would be surprised by how many times a theme was so far ahead on the first rounds, but then on the last round it doesn’t even make to the top 3

      • mrspeaker says:

        Yeah, last time “minimalism” only got 188 in the rounds, but trumped everything by a mile – where as “Afterlife” was waaay out in front and ended nowhere. I had a list of “possible ideas” for top ranking themes, and “minimalism” didn’t even make my list πŸ˜‰

      • mrspeaker says:

        I think it’s because when people see a theme way out in front then they realise that this will probably win – and start thinking in concrete terms of what they will have to do. This is much more scary than just hazy ideas and so they go hard on the downvotes.

  23. Hawk says:

    Perhaps it could be interesting to see what people would create using the “10 seconds” theme. But, I don’t see how it’s implemented in a game aside from mostly mechanical or story telling aspects. To center a game around it just seems too narrowed and mechanical, and even not fun.

    It seems like “Dreams” and “Utopia/Dystopia” could produce some really interesting games. I also like a bunch of the other themes, but can see them becoming confining or dull for some people.

    • 7Soul says:

      I don’t like the “10 seconds” theme. It’s mechanically limiting, we will get a ton of Braid-wannabes. I prefer a theme that’s more open for interpretation, like “Corruption”, “Dreams”, “Utopia/Dystopia”, “Silence”, and others

      • Aron says:

        In how far is that mechanical restricting?
        You could make a game that doesn’t have any 10 second restriction.

        • Osgeld says:

          its gotta have a 10 second restriction in it somewhere, some how … IMO its just going to end up with a bunch of flashcard games and games with relabeled timers (1 second = 1 hour in hypertime ohhhh)

          its not a very well thought out following

          • vilya says:

            10 seconds doesn’t have to be a time limit, it could be pretty much anything. For example, here are a few of the ideas I’ve had for it:

            – a FPS where you get a new weapon every 10 seconds.
            – a stealth game where the guards move in a 10-second long cycle.
            – a maze game where parts of the maze shift around every 10 seconds.
            – the backstory for a game, where something that only lasted 10 seconds changed the main characters life.
            – graphics which change style every 10 seconds.
            – a ten second long musical score.
            – a game where you try to build a plane that can stay airborne for longer than 10 seconds.
            – a MOBA-style game where the creeps spawn every 10 seconds.

            I’m sure there are plenty of other better ideas out there too. But I can say for sure it definitely won’t just be Braid wannabes, flash cards and relabelled timers if 10 seconds ends up as the theme. :-)

            • MrBlade says:

              Vilya, I think that was one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You win the internet sir, you win.

            • Osgeld says:

              all those are time limits but whatever

              • Rhinoceros says:

                Please explain how a soundtrack, a backstory, or a guard cycle is a time limit.

              • Danex317 says:

                Uh.. @Rhinoceros Since you don’t have your own reply button for w.e reason..

                A Guard cycle is just an artificial time limit. You can only do an action when the guard isn’t there. So you can only move every 10 seconds.

                A 10 second soundtrack is useless unless it’s meaningful. Nobody wants to hear the same song over and over and over again. It would drive you insane UNLESS it is relevant to your actions in someway which again is just a 10 second time limit then. It doesn’t have to be but it won’t add much to the game and if it is only there to supply the theme then it means your use of the theme was bad.

                And a backstory is also just a bad use of the theme. It is a retcon of you making the game you want and conveniently adding plot to something so that you ‘used the theme’ that happens before after or during the game itself. And if there are 10 seconds of gameplay that are important then that is another artificial time limit.

      • bitserum says:

        Could 10 seconds can go well outside the box as to “10 2nds”?

        Anyway I really dislike 10 seconds as a theme, would like something abstract too

        • TeamQuadratic says:

          I thought of using 10 seconds as something like that, maybe after a meal going back for 10 rounds of seconds :O. I think an abstract interpretation is just fine as well as its based off of the theme in some way.

    • Brian Stegmann says:

      Yeah there are themes that are a lot more exciting than “10 seconds”. Sure it could produce some interesting interpretations but it just seems too overly specific.

  24. ahm99 says:

    “You must leave it behind” sounds interesting.

  25. HeroesGrave says:

    There are lots of nice abstract ideas out there.

    Unfortunately, as all are so good, I’m afraid the support for them will be too spread out and result in a lame theme.

  26. SLiV says:

    Oh god, I already have an amazing idea and now I’m tempted to just vote themes that match that idea. Which would be bad, since I’m most likely going to reject the idea minutes before the LD starts.

  27. technocf says:

    Cant wait for LD27… so, exited!

  28. Katamori says:

    Is final round gonna come tomorrow, or today yet?

  29. AD-Edge says:

    Ha, round 2 was hammered with negative votes. Havent seen that many before!

  30. Mesene says:

    1. Death is useful +426
    14. Sacrifice -300


    • Zelen3d says:

      Yeah, I know. The wording is everything.

    • Torquil says:

      The idea that instantly popped into my head when I read “Death is Useful” would do poorly in relation to theme if it was “Sacrifice”. They’re closely related but “Death is Useful” I’d say is less broad but would probably inspire more creativity.

      • sorceress says:

        Sacrifice doesn’t have to be limited to death – it could be sacrifice of choice or of inventory items.
        Death is useful doesn’t have to be a sacrifice at all – especially if we’re talking about death of our arch enemy. Or gaining access to an afterlife which is absolutely superior.

  31. DaVince says:

    Aaaww. Glitch got very little love in the end… That was one of my favourites. :(

  32. hamster_mk_4 says:

    I was surprised that there were so few positive votes in round 2. It contained some of my favorite themes of the voting rounds thus far.

  33. Zelen3d says:

    Until now, one of the best themes is Strange Power-Ups! Doesn’t that inspire some pretty hilarious games?

  34. HeroesGrave says:

    I think “You must leave it behind” is a good one. There are many better, but they will not get the same support as they require more creative thinking, which most people here do not seem to have access to.

  35. Schulles says:

    I really like 10 seconds! Glad I am not the only one! :)

  36. Karstnator says:

    Theme eh?! Why not …. a fight theme … idk XDDDD

  37. 7Soul says:

    1. Parallel Worlds -52
    Man… something is wrong when first place is at -52

  38. ….yeah, I think this might be an indication that we need a new system/way of coming up with the theme.

  39. bugninja says:

    Well, glad to see so many others found Round 3 to be just as disappointing. Thought I’m still pretty excited at some of the possibilities presented in 1 & 2, so not worried. Worst fear in regards to a theme is that it ends up being yet another theme that is way too similar to a recent past theme.

  40. DaVince says:

    Round 3… Really? Is everyone looking forward so much to 10 seconds that they just downvote the rest or something?

  41. AD-Edge says:

    Aaaaaaand, round 3 gets smashed as well. Haha, is this the first time a round has gotten *only* negative votes? I wonder if any will even make it from round 3 into the final round. Interesting stuff for LD 27.

  42. Vaalen says:

    Here’s the current top 20 :
    1. 10 Seconds +748 (R1)
    2. Death is useful +426 (R2)
    3. Connections +238 (R1)
    4. Corruption +159 (R1)
    5. Alternative Reality +117 (R2)
    6. Space +117 (R1)
    7. Alchemy +115 (R1)
    8. Machines +96 (R1)
    9. Hunted +11 (R1)
    10. Glitch -22 (R2)
    11. Parallel Worlds -52 (R3)
    12. Surveillance -102 (R1)
    13. Lifecycle -104 (R1)
    14. Survival -124 (R3)
    15. Replication -128 (R1)
    16. Darkness -130 (R3)
    17. Castles -133 (R3)
    18. A Diff. Perspective -142 (R3)
    19. Infection -146 (R1)
    20. Keep them Alive -152 (R2)

    • Lars Faust says:

      Hm, the only one of those i have voted positive on is 10 Seconds. The others i liked didnt do well at all.

      Dont really know what i would do with things like “Connections” or “Corruption”. They seem very bland and boring to me. You can do pretty much any game with them and say it fits the theme. There are always “Connections” in any game really and “Corruption” would just lead to a ton of glitchy graphical effects and a generally darker mood in the games.

      “Death is useful” would be okay though.

      • DaVince says:

        “Corruption” has the potential to be great if you view it from another angle. For example, instead of using it as a story element, corrupt the story or the game itself. Corrupt the graphics, or perhaps the gameplay. It could go entirely crazy.

        …Then again, if everyone interpreted it like that, we’d be getting a lot of same-ish games. Possibly. πŸ˜›

        • DaVince says:

          I should’ve read your comment more closely. In any case, corruption could still come slowly. Or you could actually reverse corrupt something, make a dark place genuinely happy. I dunno, there’s just plenty of possible ideas there.

      • vilya says:

        For “Corruption” you could make a game about bribing politicians. Or you could go all meta and make any game you like, then try to bribe everyone into voting for it. :-)

        I’m having a hard time coming up with interesting ideas for “Connections” though…

        • ZeDrak says:

          For Connections, the player could use portal guns (or just portals) to traverse a sea of angry turtles shooting kittens! Or, something less insane, like having the ability to “jump” from place to place like in the movie Jumper. πŸ˜€

  43. jhinebaugh says:

    Surprised to see Round 4 closed already. Here’s an updated top 20 based on Vaalen’s round 3 list:

    1. 10 Seconds +748 (R1)
    2. Death is useful +426 (R2)
    3. Connections +238 (R1)
    4. Corruption +159 (R1)
    5. Alternative Reality +117 (R2)
    6. Space +117 (R1)
    7. Alchemy +115 (R1)
    8. Machines +96 (R1)
    9. You must leave it behind +79 (R4)
    10. Strange Power-ups +28 (R4)
    11. Hunted +11 (R1)
    12. Glitch -22 (R2)
    13. Parallel Worlds -52 (R3)
    14. Multi-layered world -59 (R4)
    15. Surveillance -102 (R1)
    16. Lifecycle -104 (R1)
    17. Survival -124 (R3)
    18. Evil vs Evil -124 (R4)
    19. Replication -128 (R1)
    20. Darkness -130 (R3)

  44. Not sure it’s a good idea to show the number of up or down votes next to a category. All that does is bias things.

    People see +700 10 Seconds and think “it’s gonna win, so why even bother?”

    Would be ok to reveal those numbers after the theme is chosen.

    • stenol says:

      I’m agree with that. We should see the result of each round only after the theme is chosen.

    • sorceress says:

      So how would that work? The voting form is closed, and nobody sees it again until the final round is closed?

      The voting form only has two states unfortunately: open and closed. Having a closed form with undisclosed results (aka locked) would require programming a new state, which the admins might not have the time/will to do.

      One of the benefits of the current system is that any strange themes that happen to score highly in rounds 1-4 can be kicked out in the final round of voting. The bias you talk about ultimately boils down to the community getting the theme it wants, which is good yes? :)

  45. Vaalen says:

    That doesn’t change anything because, all themes restart at 0 for the final round.
    Furthermore, the first theme before the final round isn’t necessarily the first at the end. Check previous ld.

  46. Calahagus says:

    Crossing fingers for it not to be “10 Seconds,” I just think nothing too original will come out of that. We’ll just see plenty of 10 second time loop kinds of games, I think.

    • Danex317 says:

      Yea I am really not happy with the popularity of it. I can only see it as limiting.

    • Static 64 says:

      I agree. The pacing will be the same. We’ll just see games where everything occurs in 10 second intervals, no matter how creative those things are.

    • vilya says:

      My advice to you all, not that you asked for it, is don’t worry about what everyone else will make. Everyone sees the theme in a different way and that’s part of what makes Ludum Dare so much fun. Just think about what YOU could make with it.

      If you feel limited by the theme, try looking for different interpretations of it & maybe there’ll be one which works better for you. Plus if all else fails you can always just do whatever game you like and make up a backstory which is vaguely related to the theme – because at the end of the day the theme is secondary: it’s really all about making a game & having fun doing it.

      … but I hope it doesn’t end up being Parallel Worlds. I have *nothing* for that. :-)

      • Danex317 says:

        That’s why I’m not happy with 10 seconds though. If it is ‘Parallel Worlds’ you’d have to think. Everybody will have to actually brainstorm and ideas will diverge from there. But if 10 seconds does win then everybody already has their Wario Ware plan and a large majority of games will have very similar mechanics. There will be unique ones but far less than from an ‘odd’ theme like ‘Parallel Worlds’ or ‘Death is Useful’.

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