Introducing the “Feedback Friends” mini-site!

Posted by (twitter: @AlakajamBang)
July 28th, 2016 4:46 pm

Previously, in Ludum Dare…

In case you missed it, LD36 will be a little bit unusual, in that it won’t feature ratings.

To bring everyone up to date, the reason behind that is that PoV, when announcing his break from running the August LD, has also raised concerns over the ratings system. He recommended not to use it for this event, and following a poll made by Sorceress, we voted in majority to follow his advice.

Now, some of us really wanted to still find a cool incentive for players to play each other’s games. Ludum Dare may be enjoyed for the competition, but getting loads of playtesting and sharing feedback with each other is also a great part of what makes the event special.

So here comes our little experiment:


The Feedback Friends mini-site

Here’s how it works:

Right after LD36 ends, you’ll be able to use this little thing to browse games and find those who need feedback the most. The more games you comment on, the higher you’ll be featured! The goal, of course, is to make sure everyone gets some comments on their games, and reward the more active commenters with more feedback.

If you’re curious, you can already browse the games from Ludum Dare 35 to get an idea of how it works.

Open beta: MiniLD #69

Starting today, the mini-site will be open for the current MiniLD in order to test things out, gather opinions and make some tweaks.

Please share your suggestions & bug reports in the comments. And if you’re curious, feel free to check the Github repository!


[Update] The Ludum Dare world map

Additional announcement: Will Edwards is looking for contributors (artists/programmers) to upgrade a project he made for LD30.

It featured a nice map of the world, where people could place their entries and find their neighbors. It also encouraged commenting on other games, which is exactly what we’re trying to do. It would be a nice way to complement the Feedback Friends, so if you have some skills & free time, you know what to do!

59 Responses to “Introducing the “Feedback Friends” mini-site!”

  1. Thanks so much for your hard work Wan! Your experimental @mention support in particular looks really exciting — it’s always been pretty inconvenient to reply to a comment in a way such that the author will actually see the reply. Perhaps this will help!

    • Wan says:

      To give credit where it’s due: the idea was coined by Frozen Fractal, who also made very useful contributions to the code :) I’m looking forward to see if people use it!

      • Wumbo says:

        I love this idea and I would totally be using it if I did participate in the mini LD. Thanks so much for all the work too! If you guys can get a graphical update before the end of August, I think everyone should use this for the commenting because it would be awesome! Thanks again!

  2. Wow, great work! I really like this idea!
    [ also love how the games appear on cartridges in the search, that’s a really nice touch. ]

    Nice job, thank you for your work! :)

  3. Strike says:

    I really love it ! Awesome job done here. I realize now that I missed some replies from people which I just noticed thanks to you @nickname support. That’s a really important feature. I believe feedback is more important than ranking, so this is perfect to me :)

  4. g_o says:

    I don’t really like it but well, better than nothing.
    I mean of course it’s impressive that you made it in time, but as you know I’m not so impressed of the idea it’s based on.

  5. sorceress says:

    Good work Wan!

    Feedback Friends will give users a strong incentive to play and comment on each other’s games. Hopefully this will address the fears which some have expressed about games not being seen. :)

  6. vfabien21 says:

    I have tried it. That’s great.
    But it only allows to efficiently see the top 20 or 50 entries in the category. Could we have page numbers at the bottom to browse a bit deeper ?

  7. CyberStarLight says:

    The next LD just became better ^^
    Nice work on the site, it seems to work very well! I hope to give it a test on the current MiniLD, I’m in it after all.
    The only issue is with what vfabien21 said, it loads games really slowly and only shows a few per page.. maybe add another page with less images, stats, etc, that just orders and lists a lot of games with links? when the numbers go higher it’s going to be harder to navigate.

    Thanks for doing it, I’m sure I will enjoy it as many others!

    • Wan says:

      Thanks (to you and fabien) for the feedback, we’ll look into making it more easy to view a lot of games.

      Is the website slow for you? It really shouldn’t be. If you have any info that could help pinpoint why (browser version, etc.) it would be very useful! Thanks

  8. janiq says:

    would it be possible to enable search also for the description?

    For example if I enter search text in the original ludum search box for ld35:
    I have 21 results.

    If i do it on the new page:
    I have 0 results.

    Otherwise very great page.



  9. Jwatt says:

    This is the best thing to ever happen to Ludum Dare. We have arrived.

  10. Will Edwards says:

    Well as this has been stickied, I’ll take it its the blessed way we do commenting for LD#36 and I’ll bow out with the map thing :)

    You may like to look at and borrow how my code actually classifies web entries and spots those who claim “web” but are actually “unity”:

    If you want to develop your own location aspect – and I believe this will strongly improve the ‘community’ feel for LD – then you can have all the location database of LD participants I have. Perhaps as many as a third of all participants in LD#36 will have location info already recorded, even if they don’t use your interface. You can also classify newcomers who use your interface using their IP address. Here’s the code to load the GeoLite DBs ( into a DB so they can easily be queried:

    • Wan says:

      But, but… I’d love to see your map again! I definitely agree with the importance of location to improve the community aspect of LD. You may have missed it but I actually mentioned your project in this post after noticing your call to contributors (see the [Update]).

      If you get your map back on track we’ll certainly link it from the Feedback Friends or something, I don’t think having both would be superfluous. Maybe we could even figure out some light integration between the two?

      • Will Edwards says:

        Hmm my map is easy to run on any LD. Its light work to turn it on for LD#36.

        We can integrate the front-ends with links etc.

        One thing we ought integrate is the backend scraping, so we aren’t both hitting the DB. If you have a URL that takes the username as a GET parameter and returns a list of the usernames that that user has commented on, as JSON, then my map could use that?

        • Wan says:

          Yes it could be a good idea. We should probably chat about it to figure how things could work & consider Sorceress’ concerns too! Do you have a Twitter or email where I could contact you? Feel free to join us on IRC too (I’m “wan” over there).

    • sorceress says:

      If location were used in FF, I feel strongly that it should be an opt-in feature, in order to protect user privacy. Not everyone may agree to their location being publically revealed. But without user authentication, what is to stop someone opting-in any user they wished to impersonate?

      If FF is to be official, then I think it is more important to respect users rights than to add novelty features. So in my opinion we should not include user location.

      edit: Also remember that children may take part in LD, and it is important to protect them from online predators, by not revealing their location.

      • Will Edwards says:

        Think of the children!

        So location isn’t popular with you; I think you’ve made that abundantly clear previously too. Oh well, don’t join in! :)

        • sorceress says:

          This isn’t something you can be flippant about, it is a matter of law in many countries.

          For example, England has the Data Protection Act, and other EU nations have their own equivalents (including the EU Data Protection Directive), soon to be replaced with the EU-wide GDPR. This limits how personal information can be used, built around a core concept of “privacy by design”.

          Extracting a location from an IP address, and associating it with a username would constitute collecting personal information, so these acts would apply to that data. And publishing this private information without the consent of the user, could foreseeably be in breach of these acts.

          • Wan says:

            This is important information to keep in mind indeed, now regarding Will’s world map in particular I don’t think that there’s anything controversial: IIRC everything was opt-in, and how the data was to be used seemed pretty clear. Reusing his LD30 database might bit a bit more blurry though?

            I also don’t think we should expand FF to include location-based features, if only because the mini-site isn’t supposed to last after all…

            My position is rather that the projects should remain distinct, but at the same time we could support Will’s initiative by making it easier to navigate between & both mini-sites. We should just all discuss about it and see what comes out!

            • deathray says:

              I’d love to see these both in GitHub together in some way … perhaps under ? What would that involve? …if not than an organization called “LudumDareFriends”? To help prevent many different projects overlapping, it would be awesome if there was one spot for open source projects.

      • QualityCatGames says:

        i agree, there.

        however, it’s not exclusively children whom predators stalk. nor is it inconceivable for children to actually be the predators. (sry… i must correct things…it’s in my nature)

        as for the legal aspect of privacy, this is open to debate, and i’ll leave it as that.

        the way i ultimate see it (and that the U.S. Bill of rights has it written, despite being ignored 90% of the time now):
        you have the exclusive right to keep your privacy, and that includes from the government
        you also have the exclusive right to waive your rights of privacy
        if, and ONLY if there’s an extremely likely to absolutely definite reason to interpret/enforce/take these rights for/from someone else, is it ok to do this.

        i recently had “i respect others’ privacy” used basically to stone-wall me from trying to find/contact someone who might know about something i had an interest in. Far as I know, the individual I was talking with didn’t even consider to try asking the other person what THEY wanted done. I can say that if I were this individual I was hoping to contact, I’d be furious as it could ultimately impede my business or friendship relations.

        I, personally, if this option were present, would prefer to opt-out. The ONE exception I have is anonymous demographics research. If a guy in China wants to know where in his world his game is being played, that’s ok. If he wants to know who? sure. If he wants to know both? yes…as long as both of these statistics aren’t in any way directly linked to each other. (and that attempting such linking is next-to-impossible to achieve without consent of the people being tracked) Also, NO addresses, it should only go as accurate as city or state/country. This guy in china can know who i am and that i played his game, he can know where i live. But, he may not know that for certain, if he is eyeing me or the map for whatever reason, that i definitely live near or at the dot at the map he has marked with an x. (if this makes any sense?)

  11. berkano says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for putting this together! It’s really boosted my motivation for LD36 :-)

  12. Digitaldude555 says:

    NO RATING? How will I judge the progress I have made over the years?

  13. Naca says:

    Awesome work Wan!!

    I love this idea, it surely will encourage people to play games and leave valuable feedback. It makes the LD event even more social, with the “feedback friends” concept, comment points and mention support… well, it’s kind of a tiny social network indeed 😀

    Thank you very much for this contribution. In my opinion, this tool, combined with a more advanced voting system, should be an essential part of the future LD. It’s not all about ratings, it’s about people sharing their thoughts and creations.

  14. crazya02 says:

    I honestly love this. The primary reason I participated in LD was the incentivized feedback, so this singlehandedly got me interested again.

  15. kfischer_okarin says:

    I love it too!
    A minor thing to be fixed maybe: If you embed your game but do not provide a link labeled (Web) then the game is not listed with the platform “Web” – which might discourage people from playing it even though they could…
    Is there a possibility for you to detect that case?

  16. Wumbo says:

    Okay, this looks absolutely sick! Like amazing! I totally can’t wait for LD 36 now! Thanks a lot!

  17. KJB of IBwWG says:

    My game’s HTML5 but when I limit to HTML5 games, it doesn’t show up…am I doing something wrong? I have it hosted on, do I need to host it plane-Jane somewhere (not embedded in a page)?

  18. Steven Miller says:

    Is there a way to check who is commenting in case they repeat? Because my game for miniLD #69 just got 6 comments from the same person and the priority dropped significantly. Also, I feel like replying on your own game page shouldn’t count (it might already not, I’m not too sure).

  19. Kizler says:

    This is a great idea, I’m glad that there is some kinda system in place. 😀

    Thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.

  20. KJB of IBwWG says:

    @Steven Miller I hope that gets implemented…as a first timer I went and posted three comments instead of waiting and consolidating, and I agree it’d probably be better to only count unique posters excluding oneself.

    • Steven Miller says:

      Leave as many comments as you want, this is a miniLD, people will see games simply by browsing, as there are only 46 games to see. I didn’t mean to come off as upset in my post, I just think this should be changed in time for the real event in case we get around 2800 entries as we have in the past, an amount that would be impossible to look through without some sort of filter. I actually like being able to talk back and forth with people via the comments, and I’d like to see it changed so I could continue to do so without hurting my visibility in the full event.

  21. TerraCottaFrog says:

    Can you make this appear larger on the homepage to make sure that everyone sees it?

    • Wan says:

      We will soon bring it forward again yes. To give you an idea:

      – In the upcoming days we’ll present the Feedback Friends again for anyone who missed it, and explain how it will replace the ratings phase ;
      – Then after the compo we’ll feature that “feedback phase” through an announcement on the front page, plus links all over (block on the header bar, possibly the entry pages themselves) to help people navigate between & the mini-site.

  22. Alphish says:

    So, this time the balance depends entirely on the *comments* rather than *ratings*? Sweet~!

    One of major annoyances of the previous LDs system was that I could get my balance lowered by anonymous unseen rankings; especially since I couldn’t get a breakdown of what rating I got, anyway. Glad to see a system in place that focuses more on the feedback, as that’s what I usually sought when participating in LD.

  23. Shackhal says:

    Wow. Good initiative Wan! That’s will help a lot with this LD :)

  24. Will Edwards says:

    There’s a ‘good enough perhaps’ LD Map online at

    (For the real contest, it defaults to ludum-dare-36, but obviously there’s no data for that yet so the map is empty)

  25. Jelinib says:

    I tend to type long comments (commented 8 times, averaging 2.9p per comment right now), and it looks like I get more points for typing more(?)! Neat!

    But I also checked the FAQ, and it said anything beyond 100p won’t count towards balancing anymore. Does this mean I will only get to leave 34ish comments before they stop counting? I’m currently wondering if getting to leave 100 short ones would actually allow me reach more people, but at the same time, it seems kind of shallow to only put minimal effort into feedback. Do I have the wrong idea about how this works?

    The feedback minisite is really cool though! I’d be really happy if it stuck around for future jams!

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