Welcome to Ludum Dare 29’er!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
April 23rd, 2014 3:57 pm

Hey! 2014! Year 12! It’s Ludum Dare time! Woo!

Final Round Theme Voting has begun! The highest rated themes from Rounds 1-4 have been collected here for the Final Grand Theme Battle! Who will be victorious? You decide!


Yeah! Final Round!


Keynoting Ludum Dare 29 is Eniko, telling her story of Ludum Dareness.

Watch for guest appearances by Crowbeak, Benn, and Sheepolution.

Dare I say: Have an amazing weekend everyone!


70 Responses to “Welcome to Ludum Dare 29’er!”

  1. LPGhatguy says:

    Ludum Dare changed my life for sure. Back around Ludum Dare 24, I was hitting a pretty bad pocket of depression (and I still deal with it today) and was contemplating my own self-worth. Participating in Ludum Dare back then saved my life, literally and metaphorically and I’ve been doing it since then.

    I wrote a post here awhile about it that’s here:

    • betkowski says:

      This is my first time on LD, I’ve heard of it before, never really thought about getting into it.
      But if LD really helps people like you bro, then I want to help you 2, and go through it with people like you – real people, doing real stuff, enjoying this awesome event together!

      And remember – not only there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s when the darkest hours are upon us – that’s when it’s most reachable.

      Stay cool :)

  2. Atmospherium says:

    I’m going out to the store right now to get sunscreen. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. dcolgan says:

    I now feel the need to do this Ludum Dare completely from a boat.

  4. udo says:

    For me, LD is basically a vacation. Hugely excited and totally looking forward to it! :)

  5. MetroidMan347 says:

    I love everyone of those themes!

  6. nxT says:

    I’m going to sit here for the next two days, despondent that it hasn’t started yet (;

  7. Lars Faust says:

    Horrible themes as always.

    “Deep Space” being the only one that is actually a theme, and not some meaningless buzzword or forced on game mechanic.

    • oxysoft says:

      Absolutely. I upvoted beneath the surface too because it has a possibility for abstraction but most of the rest is just garbage. I think though these are the absolute worst

      Death is Useful -> Everyone make puzzles where your corpse stays; I wouldn’t blame them, that’s a shit theme

      Day and Night -> Everyone make a minecraft/terraria clone

      Glitch -> How is this supposed to be a game theme

      It’s NOT supposed to do that -> Lots of games when shooting backfires and stuff, boring and obnoxious

      • randomasta says:

        I’m sure people will get more creative that that

      • sorceress says:

        My ideas for those four themes are completely different from what you have.

      • Omnus says:

        That’s quite the pessimistic, defeatist attitude you have there.

      • howieV (binarygirl) says:

        i think people will be more creative than you think (well i hope they will be anyhoot heh)

        ‘deep space’ .. can u imagine trolling through hundreds of ‘space’ games ?

        i dont find that very appealing ;p

      • Guennor says:

        I actually suggested “Phobia” as a theme but it got slaughtered. Personally I think that’s a good theme that people can make a mechanic/art/narrative/anything they like-oriented game and there’s a plus that if you have a phobia, the game can get really personal. But oh well if people think pepsi consultant is a decent theme, what can I do? 😛

      • Keon says:

        Death is useful: I don’t know yet, but I was thinking of some thing where you are a vulture flying above a warzone, and you’d have to avoid stray bullets and then eat corpses.

        Day and night: Come on. Day and night cycles start with minecraft? I guarentee, that’s not going to happen. I think much more likely will be vampire games, games where people have alter egos, or games where you control the day and the night.

        Glitch: Well, I wanted to do a game where all the data for the characters was stored on a stack, and getting hit by enemies would flip various bits, which could cause your image to corrupt, or you to go shooting into the air, or whatever. It’s a wide open prompt that has been used in literature a ton. (See, matrix, anybody?)

        It’s not supposed to do that, I honestly don’t have an idea for. I guess it just doesn’t suggest game mechanics to me, but if need be, I’d probably do a game where you can hack the enemies or something. I agree, I don’t know about this one.

        But seriously, be less pessimistic.

      • TobiasW says:

        Yeah, and all the games for “10 seconds” were WarioWare, right?

        Also, just because YOU don’t like a theme and/or have no creative ideas for it, doesn’t mean that applies to all of us.

        If you’d drop that negative attitude though, I’m sure you’d find more good ideas yourself:

      • bugninja says:

        Interesting. Using the corpse of the player as part of the puzzle. Didn’t actually think of that.

        Or what about a Chess game where when a piece is killed, it remains on the board as rubble, and you can’t use that space anymore? I’m having second thoughts on this theme idea, liking it more now.

        A theme is just a tool to get the gears spinning, after that, any theme can turn into a ton of awesome games.

      • Optimus6128 says:

        There are different categories of themes, the setting category (space, castles, different ages, places) which might be nice to people who want to design worlds, the gameplay restriction category (for some reasons my favorite, you could do all kind of weird stuff with “it’s not supposed to do that”, could be the most inventive themes) and also rendering categories (glitch, contrast) where you design again worlds but with a rendering element in mind. Could be interesting too.

    • mrspeaker says:

      Ha! That’s funny… I looked at the final round and went “Wow, all of these are excellent themes for a change… except for ‘deep space’ which is a setting, not a theme”. I always hate the themes that strongly imply a mechanic (errgh, 10 seconds, you only get one) – and think “deep space” COULD be a good theme but know what it really means is that we’d have 2000 “Endless runner… in space! Platformer… in space! Unity fps… in space!”s.

    • Guennor says:

      I totally agree with you man.
      At the university or at work there are always limits for games I make and I think thats really annoying. I see ludum dare as a way to have fun and well, if themes start being all that mechanic-limiting I kinda lose the desire to participate.
      I also agree 100% with oxysoft.

      • Keon says:

        The only ones that force you to use a mechanic are Control More Than One, Death is Useful. Every other one could make almost any type of game. Beneath the surface, you wanna do an FPS? Alright, deep-sea divers punching giant squid underwater, or something. Or a caving game. Or something where you go inside people’s minds or something. It really is limitless.

    • saluk says:

      I usually hate the themes, but actually these seem pretty good. I like a theme that suggests mechanics but does not limit them. Some past themes really pissed me off because even if I could have subverted it somehow they demotivated me from being free. Most of these themes feel more like springboards than a box you have to fit in.

      Yes, there are some too-obvious ideas that you can have a knee-jerk inspiration for – but dig a little deeper and there is a lot of potential.

      This is why my favorite theme is “we must go deeper”. You have to go deeper to come up with something that doesn’t involve Balrog’s 😉 But you can go deeper. You can always go deeper.

    • KoalaBrownie says:

      If you’re having troubles getting ideas maybe check out a dictionary or a thesaurus.
      Those words may have meaning beyond what you’re familiar with.

      For example, deep as an adjective:
      1. extending or situated relatively far down from a surface: a deep pool
      2. extending or situated relatively far inwards, backwards, or sideways: a deep border of trees
      3. cricket relatively far from the pitch: the deep field ; deep third man
      4. a. ( postpositive ) of a specified dimension downwards, inwards, or backwards: six feet deep
      b. ( in combination ): a six-foot-deep trench
      5. coming from or penetrating to a great depth: a deep breath
      6. difficult to understand or penetrate; abstruse
      7. learned or intellectually demanding: a deep discussion
      8. of great intensity; extreme: deep happiness ; deep trouble
      9. absorbed or enveloped (by); engrossed or immersed (in): deep in study ; deep in debt
      10. very cunning or crafty; devious: a deep plot
      11. mysterious or obscure: a deep secret
      12. (of a colour) having an intense or dark hue
      13. low in pitch or tone: a deep voice
      14. informal go off the deep end
      a. to lose one’s temper; react angrily
      b. chiefly ( US ) to act rashly

  8. Codexus says:

    I’m disappointed that Pepsi Consultant didn’t come back in the final round for one last scare :/

  9. jitendragarg says:

    Quick question:

    Can I use existing CC0 art for compo? Or do I have to do art in those 48 hours by myself?

  10. Calahagus says:

    Themes, as ordered by pre-round scoring.

    Break the Rules(+406)
    Beneath the Surface (+362)
    Everything is Connected (+248)
    We Must Go Deeper (+176)
    You Are Your Own Enemy (+170)
    Deep Space (+165)
    You Are The World (+115)
    Isolation (+103)
    It’s NOT supposed to do THAT! (+70)
    Death is Useful (+16)
    Contrast (+14)
    Night and Day (+13)
    Generations (+11)
    Time Does Not Exist (+10)
    Ruins (-39)
    Everything Breaks (-54)
    Control More Than One (-80)
    Two Worlds (-82)
    It Never Ends (-89)
    Glitch (-94)

    • Capitals says:

      Please not Break the Rules. Otherwise next week is just reading a set of rules and not obeying them. I have spent many an hour thinking about another way of doing Break the Rules to no avail. :(

  11. eemmbbeerr says:

    Glitch is a damn amazing theme in my opinion, that I’d love to see.
    Other than that… I dislike Deep Space somewhat but the rest feel just about fine!

  12. Eniko says:

    Why does ruins never win, dangit? >_> I LIKE that theme and it keeps cropping up!

  13. arrogant.gamer says:

    Either of Glitch or Break the Rules would totally make my dare. This year I’m entering the JAM with a friend, and we met last night to prepare our minds for every theme. Every theme is rad if you are a rad, creative, theme loving lunatic.

    Ludum Dare changed my life too! I was just a dude playing lots of video games, and programming. I thought, “nah, I’ll enter next time”. Then a stranger next to me said “no, you enter now!” I spent the two days making Mandala, and since then there has been no question in my mind: I make video games.

  14. nosetomeetyou says:

    All of these themes seem pretty interesting to me. I think if you try to think of them beyond literal interpretations of game mechanics you’ll find that they’re pretty open to experimentation!

    Can’t wait to see what we get.

  15. shaneshanekavanagh says:

    Now that makes me want to compete this time!

  16. Anheurystics says:

    I forgot to wear sunscreen last Ludum Dare, and up until now I’m still paying hospital bills.

  17. peterlavey says:

    Es primera vez que participo en esto, estoy contando los minutos para empezar!! 😀

  18. Rxanadu says:

    Are we able to make games in Twine, or do games have to have player movement?

  19. netule says:

    Any updates on which theme is in the lead? I’m excited to see the results!

  20. peterlavey says:

    My stomach will explode and begind in five hours D:!!

  21. scriptorum says:

    I didn’t know that living in Japan is what you do! Now I do.

  22. SaintHeiser says:

    Final Round is useless actually. It’s stupid to suppose that everyone will voite rather than last time. So the top theme from all 4 rounds with 98% will the theme.

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