Random thoughts about the theme

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December 15th, 2015 10:15 am

I don’t know how everyone feels about this, but I think people become most creative when they’re most constrained. This LD we were not only constrained to one bad theme, but two of those (or what we had thought to be bad themes). And although this is only my third LudumDare, but I can say that I’m seeing the most creative ideas this time around. Depends on how you define creative of course, but almost all the games I played introduced me to new game genres (or at least new interactions). I am AMAZED!!!

When the theme (read: themes) was announced I thought, “there will be a bajillion Temple Run games where you’re playing a plant or a child growing up. I have to do something radically different. What’s the opposite of a fast paced third person action-based game? Definitely a strategic simulation narrative-based game!”. And that’s what I did! I’m not sure if its any good though… Go check it out!

Seriously though why don’t I see that many Temple Runs? ๐Ÿ˜›


8 Responses to “Random thoughts about the theme”

  1. LastResortGames says:

    Growing is actually a good theme because it IS actually one. Whether you liked it or not is totally up to you but it doesn’t change that is is actually a Theme. It is open to interpretation and is in no way limited to aging. Two buttons is a bad theme because it isn’t a theme at all but a restriction. There is NO other way to interpret it. Sure you can stretch it but somewhere your game has to only use two buttons (or specifically NOT use two buttons I guess.)

    So really, yes there was only one theme and one restriction. Which honestly didn’t turn out to be super awful and might be a future solution to mitigate the scourge of “restrictions” as “themes.”

    • danbolt says:

      I liked how “two buttons” was a little more specific and constraining, while “growing” was more of helpful in inspiring the developer. I feel like both of these aspects are things participants typically complain about. You could riff off one or both of the themes and feel much more satisfied by the end of the compo/jam.

  2. UgiWithAKnife says:

    โ€œthere will be a bajillion Temple Run games where youโ€™re playing a plant or a child growing up.” My thoughts exactly! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. jdoughty says:

    I’d love to find out if ‘temple run game’ was on everyone’s ‘idea board’ like it was on ours ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Zeriver says:

    Totally agree with you, so far every game i played was in substantial way different from other games.
    BTW: I played your game and it is really cool

  5. YinYin says:

    I thought there’ll be a bazillion vine/bean stalk themed games.
    I made one myself and was absolutely right about it.

    However I agree, limits are always a great source for creativity.
    And after all it’s hardly ever all about the idea/innovation itself – execution is ranked far higher in my book.

  6. JaJ says:

    I didn’t think either of the themes was very constraining, especially since you could choose one of the two.

    Litterally almost every game ever made is about growth, if only because a game forces a player to learn new skills and get better at the game. Two buttons is more constraining but imagine what you can do with one button. Quite a lot, and then don’t just double that, but quadripple that, since you can actually do button combinations now.

    But at least there wasn’t this feeling of “this theme forces me to make a game I don’t want to make” that I often have.

  7. beetracks says:

    I tried to keep away from the obvious too. That’s one of the reason that my jumping game doesn’t uses left/right arrows. That would be boring. I would use growing theme too, but that would make my game not viable, so I stick only with the “two button controls”.

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