Ludum Universe – going meta

Posted by
August 23rd, 2014 10:44 am

Okay, I may have been a little overambitious with this concept. I’m making a game-like thingy that scrapes the info for everyone’s LD #30 entries from the website, including comments, and makes a sphere (aka, world) for each entry wrapped in that entry’s screenshot. Then shows connection links between these worlds, based on people’s comments on each other’s entries.

I’m using LD #29 entries for test data. There are about 2500 entries (and I’m sure there’ll be even more for #30). I’m still dealing with the challenge of scraping all that data, and haven’t even started on the actual game app in Unity. The PHP script takes about 15 minutes to get it all, and my hosting provider kills the process after 10 minutes. And since new comments are continuously added to entries, it has to scrape it all again at regular intervals.

So now I’m changing it to do it all in phased intervals, and manage it all in a MySQL database (previously, I was just using an XML file). I’ll probably have it scrape 100 entries every hour (so my hosting provider doesn’t hate me), which, assuming about 3000 entries for LD #30, means it will take up to 15 hours for new comments to make it in (but 7.5 hours on average for any particular comment).

Here’s hoping I’ll have enough time to actually make something in Unity that uses all this data.

5 Responses to “Ludum Universe – going meta”

  1. sharpcoder says:

    I am commenting so I can find you again later. This sounds awesome! I can’t wait 😀

  2. TobiasW says:

    Haha. That’s quite similar what I wanted to do initially: Abusing the comment system. Each entry would be its own world, and the creator could create connections to other worlds by leaving a comment on another game with a specific keyword inside.

    I didn’t have any good game mechanic ideas to build on top of that though, so now I’m doing something easy instead: An asynchronous online multiplayer game.

  3. NRathbone says:

    Sounds like an awesome idea! Keep at it 😀

  4. Martoon says:

    TobiasW: My original idea was to have a universe that arbitrarily connected LD#30 entries in a grid (instead of using comments). But all of the worlds would be initially undiscovered. A player would start on a random world. They could “discover” it by clicking a link to take them to the entry’s page, then answer a multiple choice question (user name of world creator) to prove they’d seen the page, then get credit for “discovering” that world. They could then move to any of the four adjacent worlds, and discover them. All of the players would work together, then, to gradually map out the grid and discover the universe.

    But this involved the game continuously synchronizing with the server, which seemed even more ambitious than one-way synchronization based on comments.

    • TobiasW says:

      I would’ve done it like this in my game: I would give each player the “mission” to post a comment with a certain keyword on a randomly selected game entry (I only need to crawl the list of games a few times for that). They’d do that, and then then click ingame on “Did it!”, and then the crawler checks – and if the keyword is found, the players’ entry is connected with that randomly selected game entry is made.

      Maybe they wouldn’t have been randomly selected, but you can choose a few with different properties, e.g. trading capabilities or resources or whatever. Never got around to figure that part out.

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