Welcome to Ludum Dare 36!

Posted by (twitter: @_sorceress)
August 24th, 2016 12:36 pm

Greetings everyone, and Welcome to Ludum Dare 36! It’s almost time to start jamming, but first we must choose our theme. Click the image below to Vote for Ludum Dare 36’s Theme! The highest scorer will be revealed on Saturday August 27th 01:00 UTC (Friday 18:00 PDT | Friday 21:00 EDT | Saturday 02:00 BST | Saturday 03:00 CEST | Convert to your timezone here).

Theme: Ancient Technology

Theme Voting!

For reference, results from rounds 1-4 are available here.

Join us on IRC (#ludumdare on irc.afternet.org) for the theme announcement!

Keynote! This time hosted by McFunkypants

Important News

As you may have seen in recent discussions, PoV is not hosting Ludum Dare this time around. The community was polled and wanted to run an august event regardless. In acknowledgement of PoV’s concerns, the community were willing to forego the game rating phase after the event.

We looked at all of our options carefully for a few days, and (omitting all the arguments here) decided that LD36 will have no ratings phase, so please be aware of that.

Some users expressed fear that this decision would have a negative impact on the number of plays and comments each game receives. While some users felt that feedback was always more valuable than ratings. Taking this all into consideration, we created Feedback Friends. This mini-site recreates LD’s Coolness system, where giving comments on games should earn you comments on your game in return. You’re encouraged to use this mini-site to search for entries deserving more plays and feedback. So I hope each of us will play and comment on games as much as before, despite the changes. :)

Good luck to all participants. See you on the other side!

Credits: Sorceress: LD36 organiser; website maintainance | Tijn: theme slaughter coding; website maintainance | Wan: feedback friends lead coding; web hosting | Rnlf: theme sorting; user moderation | Frozen Fractal: feedback friends coding and support | additional contributions from: Liamlime, McFunkypants

Many thanks to the team for making LD36 happen!


113 Responses to “Welcome to Ludum Dare 36!”

  1. Eggplant says:

    I hope it’s not Ancient Techbology. There are many great ones here though.

    • commanderstitch says:

      Good work everyone!!

    • TeamFireman says:

      Agreed. I’m shocked how “Ancient technology” got so many upvotes while being such a boring theme :/

      • sorceress says:

        Ancient Technology: Make a game in QBasic. Build an arcade cabinet. Make a c64 game. Tomb raiding whilst avoiding traps. Steampunk anything…

      • GAFBlizzard says:

        It’s an interesting, evocative theme that brings to mind images of Ghibli film(s) with old robots, or Lara Croft with strange technology, or cavemen using sticks and wheels, or Chinese using gunpowder, etc.

        It could be a puzzle game (Myst style), or a touch-based game (caveman stuff), or a third-person game (exploring alien ruins), or a first-person game (using technology), etc.

        It’s a nice break from mechanical restrictions like “two buttons”.

      • Jwatt says:

        It’s a very diverse theme, and only as boring as you choose to make it. As I see it, a theme like Ancient Technology explicitly encourages:

        1) scifi about non-transistor technology (like how would da Vinci, Plato, cavemen, or even ancient extraterrestrials have approached technology we think of as “modern”),
        2) steampunk,
        3) submitting a board game,
        4) submitting a general retro hardware game (NES, Amiga, Game Boy, Sega… you name it).

        It’s widely appealing simply because us nerds comprising the LD userbase generally have a leaning towards one or more of these four. And don’t think that one’s an exhaustive list, either – the variety of possible interpretations and executions is a bonus in itself.

        Simply put, Ancient Technology hits a sweet spot, being inspiring without being too restrictive mechanically. Contrast “Level Changes While You’re Playing”, for example: now *that* warrants an investigation as to why it’s upvoted.

      • retrogradeorbit says:

        Nek minute… And the theme is… Ancient Technology. Sigh.

    • Arowx says:

      Star Wars – A long time ago in a galaxy… The Death Star, Millenium Falcon, Tie Fighters, Blasters, LightSabers all Ancient Technology, from a certain point of view!

  2. I’m really rallying for Ancient Technology. I love the concept, and I had already a couple of interesting innovative ideas I could work on.

    It is a concept that doesn’t hinder much, giving enough room for creativity, at the same time providing a direction that sparks ideas. And at the same time it would be very interesting to see the kind of games that would come from there.

    • GAFBlizzard says:

      But that’s so evil, coming up with ideas ahead of time! It’s practically cheating, and we’ll have to all rate you down!

      Oh wait. ;p

      • I doubt anyone accompanying the votes and looking the final list didn’t had ideas for games. It’s almost impossible to look that list knowing that you will make a game for one of those themes and don’t came up with a couple of game ideas.

        • GAFBlizzard says:

          I try not to think too much about that, though I do think about other people’s games — will it be an enormous pain to playtest 50 games if the theme is “Two Colors”? Probably.

          But mostly I wanted to make a joke because of course I can’t downrate you. 😛

    • TheSandMan says:

      I personally wouldn’t look forward to playing a bunch of caveman simulators/pyramid builders.

      I don’t know, i’m just really hoping the theme isn’t “ancient” anything.

    • TerraCottaFrog says:

      I feel like its a little uninteresting. To inspire creativity a theme should force you to think outside of the box, and Ancient Technology really doesn’t

      • RYPTAR says:

        Agreed. Ancient Technology is really dry.

      • GAFBlizzard says:

        You can choose to be creative or take the obvious route, no matter what the theme. Several suggestions have already been posted for that exact thing.

        At least it’s better than mechanical restrictions that result in really obnoxious playtesting if you play 50+ games.

      • Dreded says:

        Im just not seeing it, ancient technology is very open ended while giving an excellent idea direction… According to my 5yr old niece my Tablet is ancient. So its all in the eye of the beholder.

      • How is it dry? ancient technology may be a lot of things!!!

        It only put two things up:

        1) There is a relationship with the past. The past being not necessarily OUR past, but whatever past there may be on the scenario of the game. What does feel ancient on a space shooter? Make a game that deals with that.

        2) There is technology envolved.

        Simple as that. It can be a game about cavemen, but that is just too obvious. It can be – like some already put it – just an old fashioned arcade game. Or a story-driven game about an old woman of the countryside having trouble adapting to the post-industrial city. There is SO SO SO many things that came to my head just now.

        Those are things that sparks a huge lot of ideas, there are lots and lots of different things that came from there.

      • Don’t you want to reinvent the wheel?

  3. GAFBlizzard says:

    Many people will be unhappy with the theme as usual, but I hope the no-ratings change really brings a focus back to CREATING GAMES rather than competing at creating games. Even if it’s temporary.

    • TerraCottaFrog says:

      I really haven’t seen any focus on the competition. That’s one thing I really like about the community, that its so supportive and focused on the process of making games and celebrating talent.

      • GAFBlizzard says:

        In the past, there has been — read PoV’s comments about last competition. Someone literally creative multiple accounts to upvote themselves, and the last few jams people have skyrocketed to the top by spamming ratings or comments, at least in some case(s) provably without playing the games they “rate”.

        I know it’s not everyone, but the problems have become more common as the event has become larger and more competitive. I think a break from ratings once out of 30+ LD’s won’t hurt.

  4. udo says:

    limiting a theme is not,
    only in your mind.

    (they say the first Haiku is the hardest)

  5. Sogomn says:

    How are these three themes supposed to produce games that are not all EXACTLY the same?

    • Sogomn says:

      Oh and the same goes for “The level changes as you play”.

    • sorceress says:

      Controlling many – The many are not necessarily controlled at the same time. Could be like an RTS with a scrolling map, so not confined to one room. Or reading controlling as an adjective, it could be the many who are controlling.

      One Enemy – An epic boss battle? It could be a hydra-like being which divides rather than dying. The game could be about one particular race/group which is persecuted. It could be an evil genius who is operating behind the scenes, whom you feel the effects of, but rarely encounter face to face. There could be a group of people and one of them is secretly a spy, and you have to work out who.

      One Room – Guest house simulator. Entire game on one screen. Life in a prison cell. Fit all the furniture into the tiny room (shapes puzzle). Room escape puzzle.

    • rjhelms says:

      That’s been a complaint about lots of themes in the past, but it’s never been borne out. I don’t think there’s actually such a thing as a theme that would actually produce a flood of identical games.

      • sorceress says:

        Yep, it’s individuals who fret over themes. But collectively we can and do come up with many more varied ideas than one person can on their own, no matter how creative we are individually. :)

        • Sogomn says:

          Of course, it’s my personal opinion. I didn’t explicitly point that out.
          My horror theme was “Entire game on the screen”. There was no space for anything innovative, imho.

  6. scriptorum says:

    Best. Keynote. Evar! Fantastic tips and quite catchy too. Thanks, Pants!

    • KunoNoOni says:

      I have to echo this. In all of my 14 events this is by far THE best keynote! Absolutely amazing and I love the scenery too, the woods backdrop looks amazing… next you’ll tell me that was your back yard haha!

  7. Photon says:

    Wow. I mean, it was kind of clear to tell there were some maintenance problems festering, but I didn’t realize that Ludum Dare 36 wasn’t even going to happen at first. Thanks to everyone who made this happen! It means a lot to me personally because of the big life change I just made towards game development.

    Also, one question about “Feedback Friends”: is there something in place to detect multiple comments by the same user? Hopefully if you’re already looking at who made the comments, it wouldn’t be too hard to detect multiples.

  8. Silver_Kovy says:

    I am not fond of limiting themes and there seems to be a significant amount in the batch, but don’t overdo it guys. It’s a voting system whatever is voted we’ll just have to accept it and do our best.

    Still there are some nice themes in there aswell. So good luck to everyone. Can’t wait for it to begin, especially since it will be my first time taking part.

  9. rjhelms says:

    If the theme ends up being “Beyond the Wall”, I’m totally doing Berlin Wall Simulator. Not sure if the goal of the game is to be to build the wall or escape over it, yet.

  10. Tom01098 says:

    Can’t wait ^v^

  11. feyyd says:

    Can’t wait to participate. I’ll be testing out Particle Bullets, my Unity asset, in a project to get wider test coverage.

  12. MR MIKE says:

    At first I didn’t like some themes. But now I start to love them all. Not because I feel comfortable about them. But because it is going to be a challenge in around 48 hours. And fun. Feeling so motivated, it is amazing event. Thanks for all involved in making this happen again.

  13. Jadernak says:

    Hyped already! Thanks to everyone involved for making LD 36 happen.

    I would like to add that one should vote however his/her heart desires. Bad or good themes, that’s all subjective. Personally, the more abstract the better, but will that stop me from trying really hard to make that mechanic-oriented theme work, hell no! “Everyone just +1 themes they have idea for and -1 everything else!” I dare say, what’s wrong with that? More awesome games to see in my opinion. “With *fill in theme* it will just be the same games over and over again.” Just the fact that you are thinking that means you will be inclined to go against the current, so to say, and I don’t think you will be alone in that.

  14. MacaroniMan says:

    Love it! Starting to get excited for this LD. Bloody determined to actually finish something this time around!

    Personally, I will be sure to check out a lot of other games and give feedback were I can, even if there are no ratings. It’s the least I can do to show appreciation for my fellow gamedev’s blood, sweat, and tears!

  15. TheSandMan says:

    I’m hoping for One Room or Alchemy
    Though both strike me as having a poor chance.

  16. chrissou says:

    What’s that cable like thing you see in the keynote ? From the right shoulder of McFunkypants to his head.

    Most plausible explanation is that @McFunkypants is just a doll, this thing keeping his head up, certainly controlled by @mikekasprzak.

    Anyway, love the video, themes are looking awesome.

  17. Powersource says:

    You can probably guess which one I’m hoping wins…

  18. RYPTAR says:

    Beard + Jazzy Stroll in the Woods = Awesome Keynote.

    Im stoked, I have a beard and I love the woods!

  19. ikroth says:

    Really excited to participate for the first time!

  20. Abrexas says:

    This will be a great event! I’ve participated once before, but had very little time to work on it. This time I am a bit more prepared and I don’t have any responsibilities all weekend!!

  21. LeafThief says:

    Sincere thank you to all who made this LD possible. I’m so happy! This will be so good <3

  22. atom0520 says:

    Excuse me,does anyone know why the post I put always shows “pending” but can not be published?What may be the reason for it??

    • ajayajayaj says:

      It seems like you have double posted the same thing, maybe it is working now?

      • atom0520 says:

        Yes,after a sleep,I find my formerly put post get published,I guess the reason why my post shows pending at first may be:1、someone who takes an administrator role is checking the post. 2、There would be a delay to publish my post since I committed it. By the way,it’s ok now,maybe I am too anxious and can’t wait to join the jam,thank u for your concern^_^

  23. airways says:

    What do we do to join? Just make a game during this time?

  24. hurricanerix says:

    Hi everyone,

    This will be my first Ludum Dare, I will be using GameMaker & sfxr.

  25. xnblank says:

    Gonna give this a shot.

  26. dill0wn says:

    This will be my first time participating in LD. It is a little daunting, but Im reasonably determined. Ive got a history of not following… But I’m really going to try and kick this weekend’s ass.

  27. medidog says:

    This will be my second time in LD, I have no idea what will the theme inspire me to complete this time.. So no changes in that 😀 But we will see I guess, good luck to everyone!

  28. eX4ust says:

    I’ll be participating in this event. It’s my first time

  29. thauber says:

    I’m IN

    First timer. I’ve only started dabbling in game design, but I’m excited for a constraint on time to really force my butt into completing a concept.


  30. SamuelSousa says:

    If you don’t like the theme, try reversing it.
    You might be surprised…

  31. jon_nocode says:

    We’re in! Been following for years and always said ‘next time’. Finally it’s this time!

    Doing the jam with the other No Code guys, using Unity + Playmaker as we always do.

    Enjoy the weekend folks!



  32. metacozm says:

    If I had a voice and a beard like that I´d surely run around in the forest too…
    No, just kidding. You have a marvelous touching singing voice! (;_;)
    And a great message!

  33. mxjs says:

    Up in the struggle with vanilla javascript, gimp, and cubase a-solo. woot woot ludum dariere!

  34. This keynote really deserves a subtitle for the ones who aren’t native speakers of english and have a little trouble discerning all the lyrics just by hearing it – like me.

    And this is a compliment.

  35. MrSuicideFish says:

    NOICE! I’m hoping to have enough time this weekend to hash something out. I’m rooting for the
    One Room theme. Folks always seem to brew up some great mechanics on games like that.

  36. Amine Tcherak says:

    what is a difference between jam and compo?

  37. Well shave my legs and call me grandpa, I did not know a LD is on the go! I guess no email was sent out for the circumstantial reasons mentioned.

  38. Chaoseed says:

    Oh…wait, what? I thought there wasn’t going to be any LD this time…

  39. darthbox1 says:

    Sorry if this is answered somewhere, but how long do we have to play everyone’s games and comment etc? just wondering because it’s 2:50am, and i just submitted, and now i have to sleep, because i have work tomorrow :'(

  40. blackoptics8 says:

    I’ve tried for a few hours to get my game in and haven’t heard anything back…
    I kept getting this message: https://gyazo.com/ae20938c683e280f3924aea3c681d043
    I filled everything out though and made a post with a link to the game https://blackoptics8.itch.io/koyo
    I hope someone could help me get this into the jam :/ worked pretty hard these last 3 days.

    • darthbox1 says:

      If you haven’t received help already…PoV made a post about people saying this happened to them. I think if you contact someone that facilitated this, they ought to be able to help you. Good luck! Will try your game tonight if i can!

  41. darthbox1 says:

    I don’t know how LD feels with all the ratings etc, as this was my first one, and maybe it’s because i’m a super non-competitive person, but i really like the way this works…we all try to give feedback and help each other out constructively and nobody has to “win”. That, to me, is kinda cool…

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