LD is cancelled?

Posted by (twitter: @_sorceress)
June 7th, 2016 5:20 pm

Greetings, Ludum Darers!

It’s not often I post here, but I’m hoping we can get some discussion going about this.

PoV tweeted about one month ago: Linky

While there hasn’t been any official word on August LD being cancelled, there is this and a few other scattered tweets.

I’m seeing these tweets cause a lot of confusion, especially visitors to IRC. On one hand, many are unaware of these tweets, and are expecting and preparing for an LD in August. While an equally large number of people are convinced that there will be no LD in August.


There are a few issues I’d like to raise in this post…

(1) I think the status of August LD needs to be clarified ASAP. Some people make preparations weeks in advance — August being only eight weeks away now — to arrange real-world gatherings, booking venues, arranging their schedules so they have a free weekend, booking monday off work, or whatever. Not telling the community what is happening is impolite and it’s likely to cause some people unnecessary expense or inconvenience.

(2) PoV’s tweet suggests to me that he wants to take a break. This is fine, but I hope that we could as a community run an August LD here anyway, if not with PoV at the helm, then others could step in to fill the roles. It really can’t be true that an event where thousands of people participate, is being cancelled because just one person can’t make it. We have a lot of computer savvy people here, and I’m sure we can manage to pull together in PoV’s absence. I know I could handle the front-of-shop parts, as I’m very familiar with the LD schedule and the wordpress software we use here. I used to organise the theme voting myself in the past, so this is no problem for me either.

(3) If August LD can’t happen here for whatever reason, then I suspect that community members will organise something in August, regardless. Whether this is one “unofficial August LD ” that sprouts up elsewhere, or several such gamejams, because each jam organiser is unaware there are others organising the same thing. Either way, the likelihood of something being organised elsewhere is high enough, that we should be discussing it here.

(4) August LD happening here would be ideal, imho. But if that is not possible, there must be a good reason behind that. As we know, PoV is working on our new website. But why can’t we use this old website just once more? What is different now from the last N times we used this website? If it has to be cancelled now, why wasn’t it cancelled in the past? If the new website isn’t quite ready in December, then does that mean December LD will be cancelled also? Maybe cancelled indefinitely until the new website is finished? I see these kinds of questions asked often in IRC. They really need to be answered, as many are feeling frustrated by the lack of official answers and explanations.

You’re all invited to share your thoughts :-)


24 Responses to “LD is cancelled?”

  1. Tijn says:

    Thank you for addressing this, sorceress. There are more people coming into #ludumdare asking about August LD every day. I hope we can manage to get some information on the issues you have presented.

  2. rnlf says:

    Good thing someone finally addressed the issue publicly. PoV’s secrecy was really beginning to frighten me. Especially with all the announcements of the big announcement. That’s not fair for the loyal and community of people who dearly love LD.

    As I told you (and others) on IRC (yeah, I’m one of THOSE guys), I’d be more than happy to volunteer for whatever is needed to get August’s LD back on track.

    I think moving LD away from ludumdare.com, even for a single event would really hurt the community. Sure, PoV dederves a break when he needs it, but as I’ve been told, he’s not the owner of LD. If we want to have an official August event, it should be a community decision and be made possible, without PoV, if necessary.

  3. g12345 says:

    For an event that has about 4k+ entries during the last LD, it’s important for some of the entrants (if not all) to plan in advance.

    The longer potential entrants don’t know when the next LD is going to happen, the more likely these entrants will skip the event. Many people need to schedule their time for these things, especially in August where friends and family also demand time for holidays. This will really hurt the jam part where many people have to free up their schedules.

    Many people have already asked in the chat when the next LD is going to happen, and till now I can only answer that they should free up a weekend in August.

    At this moment I don’t care how the LD will happen in August, but i feel like a date should be announced as soon as possible.

    How about the third weekend of August, for example?

  4. laaph says:

    Thanks for bringing this up, sorceress. I imagine PoV hasn’t brought it up since it’s a heavy topic to bring up and he wants to think hard about how to do so.

    My understanding was not “he needs a break”, but that there was evidence of vote manipulation going on at LD, and he wanted to address that before going forward. Hence one of the proposals was “do an extra mini-LD”, which wouldn’t require voting. If it were just “he needs a break” he could recruit many of us (me included!) to help fill in.

    • narve says:

      Where was vote manipulation mentioned?

      • laaph says:

        One of the twitter messages. I’d have to do serious searching to find it.

        • narve says:

          I found a tweet saying that LD was “…too easy to be abused.”, and another saying that someone had to be disqualified for the first time, but I can’t imagine how someone would have pulled that off. I mean, you can’t vote without being a competitor. I can’t imagine why a large number of fellow competitors would contribute to a conspiracy to make one game win. The only way it could have worked is if people submitted empty entries, and those would have been noticed almost immediately, as they would have filled up the “lowest rated” view.

  5. Caelan - 8thKingdom says:

    Even something like a LDB (Ludum Dare Bonus) would be fun. It would basically mean that you have the normal setup, expect no judging, and more of a community like “well-done” thing would be cool.

    But that raises the point of putting the games up, which i say to just put links of your game up (maybe a list of people’s games on a page?) but keep the rule-set of Ludum Dare.

    I feel that this would be a fun idea, and maybe we could have the first every Ludum Dare Bonus? (NOTE: This isn’t like Mini LD, it’s like the normal Ludum Dares, just no voting if its a hassle basically)

    • Caelan - 8thKingdom says:

      (Accidentally Clicked Post Early :p)

      But yeah, tell me what you think, i feel like it could work, and as sorceress said the wait could go on for later than just 1 Ludum dare, so this could work multiple times.

      Hope you agree with me, talk to y’all later
      – Caelan – 8thKingdom
      Programming (Not-so) Extraordinaire

    • rnlf says:

      Voting is the prime reason for some to even participate in LD. The voting and especially the coolness system are the reason why even lower quality LD games get played by a reasonable amount of people. Just compare entry counts for LD and MiniLD. Many MiniLDs have LDJAM rules but not nearly as many entries.

      Remove the voting and you’re left with just another jam.

  6. dollarone says:

    Please let us have a LD in August, official or not!

    If the problem is vote cheating, that’s bad, but not a reason to cancel the whole thing. I reckon 4000 or more people are involved in LD, this is amazing – but at the same time, it’s very understandable that one person can’t be expected to pull the whole thing off by himself.

    I’d be happy to help, and I know there are many others. Even if we risk vote-cheating for one more LD!

  7. QuexD says:

    We could do something slightly different like having 48-72 hours to improve on a previous LD game or something.

    • narve says:

      That would exclude first-time participants, though.

    • laaph says:

      I think this is a cool idea that should be implemented as a special event, similar to October Challenge or something. November Challenge: clean up an old LD game! Reimplement it! Make it a weekend event or a month long event or whatever, just some time to look at an old LD game. (Some of my past LD games I don’t want to look at.)

  8. eric777 says:

    This event is way too big to just drop one on the floor. I’ve been committed to do every LD, fiercely so. If LD decided to skip one I’d almost feel like it let me down (even though it owes me nothing of course). I expect many others feel this way to varying degrees, and skipping one would be a large setback to the size and commitment of the community.

    I don’t know PoV. When I put myself in his shoes, I feel frustrated that I run an event with such a massive following, but that can’t support even a single person with even part time compensation.

    Entry fee anyone? 2 or 3 bucks? I’d do it – gladly so. Yes, there’s patreon. I’m suggesting something less voluntary and much too small to be felt. Extend submission by 30 minutes and require a paypal. Run LD like a non-profit organization rather than an “all loss” volunteer effort.

    Maybe that’s not even the issue….. Maybe PoV is just saying “hey guys, going to take a break from submitting my own entry this time”.

    PoV – If you’re reading, ROCK ON SIR!!! Love the event, it means a lot to my family.

    • rnlf says:

      The solution is not to find other ways to make money with LD, the solution is to have the community and new volunteers involved again. That will only work if nobody makes money out of it (or all, which is impossible to make fair).

  9. oxysoft says:

    How exactly is this site programmed such that it cannot happen without him? Why is there even anything requiring human attention? I mean let’s look at the steps

    1. Theme submission, automated. You press a button and it goes live, if that isn’t automatic either.
    2. Theme slaughter, no manual labor whatsoever.
    3. Theme pruning/sorting and getting the final 80, about the only manual thing here. But I thought you were doing this sorceress? And isn’t the workload reduced immensely thanks to slaughter?
    4. Theme voting, all taken care of by code obviously
    5. The event and submissions, nothing requiring human attention
    6. Getting the top 100s and stuff at the end, should be taken care of by code, no?

    If any of my assumptions turn out to be incorrect, I’ll be very disappointed in Mike and everyone who runs this event because this has been going for years and if anything is still left to manual labor beside getting the final themes for voting, there has been a lack of effort somewhere. I know of a developer who made his own website/event kind of like ludum dare called LookWhatImadeWeekend and he programmed it live on twitch in a couple weeks without streaming all day 24/7. As far as I can remember it, there was theme voting, submissions etc.

    So cut the shit and tell us exactly what it is. There are people giving Mike big money every month on Patreon and it says in the sidebar he is working full-time on the new website. I smell that this is a load of shit if that other dude could make a pseudo-LD in 2-3 weeks. Granted, it wasn’t AS complete but the skeleton was there and it worked.

    Sorry for the harsh comments but I had no idea this was going on in the past month and was shocked to learn about this just now.

    • Tijn says:

      Sorceress was indeed helping out with theme selection, but I don’t think she has been involved with it since PoV switched to the new theme voting system.

    • rnlf says:

      Yeah, we’ve been eagerly waiting for the announcement so that we could get a discussion going. But PoV delayed it further and further. His last announcement was to post it “tomorrow”. That was on 1 June.

  10. Naca says:

    Thank you sorceress for bringing up what we all were thinking. This matters to many of us.

  11. CMLSC says:

    PoV said that he will PROBABLY skip the next LD in the irc. I think that the chances are that he will skip it.

  12. Knowledge says:

    Soon after I started participating LD (it was still old LD site, somewhere around LD29) as saw post about 4 administrators of LD, something like this http://ludumdare.com/compo/staff/ .
    When PoV posted how he can’t do all things alone, I asked myself why can’t PoV rely on them, other staff (like sorceress and ratking) and community.

    So that is answer to problem (2) and all other problems will be solved if we make LD36 here.

  13. Wan says:

    Thanks for posting this! Of course Ludum Dare shouldn’t be cancelled.

    If you feel like you can take the helm for next LD, I guess all you need is to figure out what kind of help you need and recruit some people… Like maybe 1 or 2 administrators (in different timezones?) with whom you can share the planning of the whole thing, a couple developers to fix things around and maintain the servers, plus maybe a few more moderators?

    You’d also probably need some internal tools like a mailing-list so everyone on the team can communicate, and maybe a wiki to share information.

    Last but not least, you’ll need access to the LD servers & Github repository if you don’t have them already. If you’re not comfortable with the technical topics, I guess the main challenge would be to find one or two trustworthy admins to take charge of the servers.

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