Alright, here are the reasons:

  1. The theme is terrible. For the people of the future, LD#31’s theme is “Entire Game on one Screen”. This is terrible because it does not spark creative and interesting game ideas. It sparks 2000 games that are all very similar, just like the other bad themes of the past. A few other bad themes are:
    1. “Minimalism”, because LD is minimalistic by design. How did it happen TWICE?
    2. “10 Seconds”, because it has a very strong obvious meaning. There were way too many games with essentially the same game mechanic
    3. “You Only Get One” was bad because it is a restrictive theme. Restrictive themes make you feel like you have to force the game into fitting the theme.

    All the good themes this LD were ranked lowest. Let’s take a look at some of them:

    1. “Deja Vu” would be a good theme because there’s a lot of things you can do with it. Yes, there are better themes, but this one’s a good one. You could have “Deja Vu” be something a character says and it would be normal. You could have the player experience deja vu somehow, or have the character experience it.
    2. “Chaos,” because the possibilities of chaotic games are endless
    3. “Playing Both Sides” would be an incredible theme. You could have all kinds of plot elements, gameplay mechanics, and user interface with this sort of theme.
  2. I don’t want to play any of my ideas. None of them seem very fun and worth making a game for to me. My ideas as of writing this are:
    1. At the start of the game, there’s a cutscene. Guy 1 is sitting in a chair in front of a computer, Guy 2 is behind him. Dialog goes as follows:
      1. Guy 1: “I got this new game, want to check it out?”
      2. Guy 2: “Sure”
      3. Guy 1: “Kay, lemme load it up”

      Then, the game zooms in on his screen and you play in there, with maybe the occasional thing happening in the “real” game world

    2. Some kind of metroidvania where every level is the size of the screen. No scrolling.
    3. At the end of the game, there’s a huge boss called “Game” that takes up almost the entire screen
  3. I don’t want to make any of my ideas, either.

I beleive that the root of all these is that people chose a bad theme. It does not inspire creativity. It does not fill your head with lots of brilliant ideas, and it feels too much like a restriction! It’s be great if the theme voting had a -5 button so we don’t get stupid themes like this.

If anyone wants to steal any of my themes, go ahead, but leave a comment. I might decide to participate after all tomorrow and might need one of these ideas.

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7 Responses to “Why I’ve Decided Not to Participate in Ludum Dare #31”

  1. pkenney says:

    I think the whole point is for the theme to be restrictive, and I don’t like the unrestricted themes (such as snowman) – but it’s okay by me that other people feel differently! Sorry you feel it so strongly you won’t be making a game though. I will never back down from any theme, I like the challenge.

    Good luck if you have inspiration and change your mind!

  2. How about Z axis? You could scroll new object in from behind, or make them fall onto the board… Possibilities are limitless. Don’t say the theme is limiting because you don’t have good ideas.

  3. PhiPhi72 says:

    I would’ve liked the “Playing both sides” more than this theme, but in the end came up with a good idea to this too. Not as good as the “hero and the villain always shooting at each other cleaning up the random minions and helpers in the middle” idea, but this one’s quite good too 😀
    This is my first LD, but I see how the sent in games could be categorized by type at the end for this theme :/

  4. iossif says:

    i feel you man. it feels more like a constraint and less than a theme.

    will try to come up with something though… let’s see how it goes.

  5. Patacorow says:

    What were people thinking when they voted for this theme? It’s really one of the worst.

  6. jsmars says:

    Agree with most of your points on creativity, but looking at voting statistics this is often true.. It seems people vote on gut feeling (ie. what is witty) instead of actually good.

    I don’t feel this theme is THAT bad tho, there has been worse.. but the saddest part is that I don’t think there will be much “woah” feeling in trying out hundreds of games as there it’s hard to implement exploration and big surprises.

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