October Challenge 2016

Posted by (twitter: @RatKingsLair)
September 27th, 2016 8:39 am

Hallo!

It’s time for our traditional

October Challenge

Our dear overlord PoV invented the October Challenge in 2010 as a special event here at Ludum Dare. But how is it different? While the usual competitions on this site are about making games, the October Challenge encourages you to sell a game.

  1. Create and finish a game
  2. ???
  3. Profit!

The “???” is what the October Challenge is all about, and usually just means “Take your game to the market”! Of course, it’s much more complicated than that. For instance, exploring all the available options (Steam, itch.io, AppStore, etc.) and ultimately deciding for one or more will be part of the Challenge.

When you make your game, disregard all usual Ludum Dare rules (no restrictions). You could create a new game from scratch, but also expand a game you previously made during a jam, or even just continue and release the project you currently work on. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to finish the game and do everything necessary to start earning money from it. Other than that there are no specific rules, and you can choose whichever platform you like and fits your game. Reach that goal or at least promise to reach it within a short time after the event.

Beware: don’t underestimate all the stuff that doesn’t go directly into the development! If you never went commercial before you will have to fill out necessary paperwork. In any case you must prepare all the assets (descriptions, manuals, icons, banners), and then publish your game to the respective market or store by November 1st. (Don’t forget that some stores need a few days for approval.)

In the former Challenges participants were asked to earn at least $1, but I find that having a higher goal would benefit the cause. So I Dare you to try to earn at least $48 (or $72, if you submit as a team) 😉 with your game! While the difference might seem small, the idea is to put a serious effort into the hard part of selling a game: marketing, promotions, generally getting the word out. I encourage all participants to discuss their selling strategies and marketing decisions in the comments and the chat.

Once you’ve published your game, let us know about it by submitting it here:

[ Submit | View All ]

Finally, if you successfully earned a bit of cash in the days or weeks that follow, you’ve won the challenge! And if you don’t, you’ve probably still learned something very valuable. :)

So that’s the October Challenge. Good luck! (And don’t forget to have fun!)

PS: You will find a F.A.Q. in the comments section.


43 Responses to “October Challenge 2016”

  1. ratking says:

    Q: Do I need to earn my $48 in the month of October?
    A: Nope! The goal of the challenge is to take all the steps necessary to finally earn money from a game. And when you earn your $48, whenever that is, you win.

    Q: Does my game have to be a Ludum Dare or game jam game?
    A: Nope! It can be something you’ve been working on outside of game jams. Like Ludum Dare, we run the challenge in hope that having a shared deadline encourages more of us to finish.

    Q: Do I have to earn 48 US dollar?
    A: The currency doesn’t actually matter. If you prefer £48, €48, or something else, that’s fine. The point is we’re setting the bar – low enough to be reachable, but high enough to be a challenge.

    Q: Can I earn more than $48?
    A: Yes, we hope you do! Rather than aiming for “ Money”, we recommend starting small. In a sense, even $4.8 is already a success because you got it with a labor of love. :)

    Q: I’ve been working on a game for weeks or months prior to the Challenge. Can I participate too?
    A: Absolutely! The more the merrier.

    Q: Can I work in a team?
    A: Yes, absolutely! Work with as many people (or as few) as you like.

    Q: Do I need to release source code?
    A: Nope!

    (Source: http://ludumdare.com/compo/2015/09/28/october-challenge-2015/)

  2. Slamrarn says:

    Hey, just joined Ludum Dare! I make music and sfx primarily and am wondering where and how I can find people in need of my talents. I can also contribute writing, animation (though I’ve only worked in Blender) and voice work (not to mention design of course).

    Sorry for posting this in an irrelevant place, I just don’t know where to start, feel free to remove this if it’s too off topic or whatever.

    • Narkhos says:

      I think you can use the “new post” link on the main page ^^

      Your music sound good and seems to be well suited for game purpose.
      If you’re interested, I’m planning to push my mini LD 70 project further (and perhaps making it my october challenge project).
      Since I failed to do any music and good sfx myself, your talents could be highly usefull 😀

      http://ludumdare.com/compo/minild-70/?action=preview&uid=58675

      So if the project inspire you, don’t hesitate to contact me.
      Otherwise good luck in your search, I’m sure you will found some good project to work on 😉

  3. SkullPixel says:

    I so forgot about October Challenge! I hope to get something done with it this time!
    Now, to choose between finishing Chadwik the Charismagnetic, or start a smaller project… 😛

  4. estuardolh says:

    Okay, i will my best. 😀

    I want to sell >:]

  5. fanzo says:

    Oh, this is nice, i will try to do a game the next month!

  6. guoboism says:

    I think I will try with QUICK LOVE
    (http://ludumdare.com/compo/minild-70/?action=preview&uid=24432)

    The plan:

    1 figure out more elements and complex puzzles, sounds and music
    2 publish at gamejolt(free)
    3 asking for review and publish links
    4 add story line and final chapter, adapt to protrait screen
    5 publish at ios store and google play
    6 try to marcket a ios game
    7 add some more stuff and upgrade quality
    8 start a steam greenlight campaign

  7. Pixelicious says:

    I’m hella ready for this challenge! All I just need is an idea and I’m set!

  8. qristofer says:

    I…. I think I’m in.

  9. kuro says:

    “Allright. Time’s up. Let’s do this!”
    – Leeroy Jenkins

  10. This is just the motivation I need! It is now my MISSION IN LIFE to fulfill this October challenge. I’m poised to finish up my game Seed of Life (previously known as Super Shield, initially a game jam game) before Christmas this year… but for October I want to release an early version on itch.io/refinery.

    Seed of Life is a meditative action game about sacred patterns. If anybody wants to follow my journey to completing it, find me on http://www.twitter.com/@EmotionTheory :)

    Good luck to everyone out there!

  11. fragileannihilator says:

    I would like to patricipate in October Challenge with my latest LD game but unfortunately there are no possibilities for me to accept payments… I’m planning to publish the game on Itch.io, Kongregate and GameJolt. All of these platforms support only PayPal as a payment method.

  12. CMLSC says:

    I was already going to sell my Ludum Dare 36 game… This is convenient. XD

  13. Computer_Overlord says:

    I can “Code” and I can “Art” But I suck at both. I have great ideas though. I don’t know if I should find a team and participate.

  14. RIPPorkins says:

    This is perfect! We’ve been expanding on our LD36 game PALEO. This is another kick in the rear to get it done in October! I’m in!

  15. KodeSource says:

    I’m in (again!) this year. A couple of years ago I said the same thing, yet never finished my game. I’ve been adding the final touches this past month, and realistically should be able to release it very soon (if I don’t procrastinate too much!)

    I added Unity Ads integration this week for monetization, so I don’t expect $48 worth of ad money by Novermber 1st, buy who cares?! When I release this game, it will be personally monumental!

    I’m so sick of this game, been working on it for years. I just promised myself I’d finish it before starting a new game – which I have a list of a dozen ideas in my head lined up. At least now I have a bunch of libraries to reuse in future games.

  16. SFrog says:

    What a cool idea for a challenge. I’m going to try it, if not to just get me thinking more about game monetization. Good luck to everyone this month!

  17. I think $48 is near impossible in these days where gamers expect everything for free. I think $1 was more reasonable, since you could eventually make that through ad revenue on a game on GameJolt.

    • ratking says:

      Yes, it’s near impossible if you don’t do any marketing. Part of the challenge is to learn that, and find ways around it. If you don’t really want to earn money with your game, then I think the October Challenge isn’t exactly where you should submit :-) (Because as you said yourself, you can get $1 by just submitting the usual jam game on GameJolt, which wouldn’t make the Oct Challenge much different from any other jam.)

  18. drludos says:

    Well, this year I’m finally able to submit a game to the October Challenge! :)

    Here is “Vintage Game Shop”, a “documentary game” about the history of video games:
    http://ludumdare.com/compo/october-challenge-2016/?action=preview&uid=29773

    The game is released freely as it’s just a hobby project and my main goal is to have people play (and enjoy) it! :)

    So, in order to try to complete the October Challenge, I’ll go with ads!
    The browser version contains a link towards the mobile version, and the mobile version features ads powered by FGL’s Enchance (https://enhance.fgl.com/)

    As a total noob regarding ads, I liked this solution because:

    – It’s really easy to implement in a mobile game (you integrate their SDK, and it will automatically include the SDK of several Ads networks such as Unity Ads, Admob, Vungle, etc.). It took me about an evening to get it running for Android (and most of the time was spent figuring out how to use ANE with FlashDevelop)

    – You don’t need to sign up to XX services nor monitor closely your ads and stuffs: there is a “do everything for me” option. I guess that with this path it brings less money because they have to make their cut, but I find it’s a nice and easy way to experiment with ads on mobile. And, after all, any work deserve to be paid: I’m actually fine that they take a cut considering that they save me from the pain of managing ads networks myself!

    For now, I’ve only been able to make an Android version, but I’ll hope to be able to release an iOS port before the end of the month too!

    So now I have to work on the hardest part: get some people to download the mobile version of the game!

    • kakhoofd says:

      Loved the web-version, but sadly don’t own an Android device, any chance you’ll be bringing this to iOS? Maybe try Chartboost’s video-ads (and integrate those into part of the game, where you could get extra money because you’ve “shown” a video-ad in your store that boosted sale for example). Good luck!

      • drludos says:

        Hey, thanks a lot for your for feedback, I’m glad you liked the game.

        Apple just approved the iOS version today, so you can now download it from the App Store:
        https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vintage-game-shop/id1166020807

        And, in the “October Challenge” spirit, the mobile version does features rewarded video ads (Enhance offers mediation between Unity Ads, Charboost, Vungle, etc.) that will allow you to get expert’s appraisal for free. I didn’t want to have this feature to directly modify players performance, but offer them a little bit of extra help. I’m not sure if it was a wise design choice, please tell me what you think about it! :)

  19. SamuelSousa says:

    Just entered the October Challenge with Tone Marreta as my ginnie pig.
    Looking towards step: “2. ???”

  20. Picking a username is hard says:

    can you make the money using advertisements?

  21. xanderhd says:

    Thanks for posting this! It has inspired me to finish up the VR mountain climbing game ive been working on.

  22. xanderhd says:

    Just saved the page. Is there something separate i need to do to submit?

    Thanks!

    p.s. Check the game out here! https://xanderhd.itch.io/the-mountain-climb

    • drludos says:

      You’ll need to click on the “submit” link on the top of this post, so the game be “officially registered” alongside others October Challenge 2016 entries.

      I don’t have VR gear so I won’t be able to test the game, but it does like a nice gameplay experience very well fitted to VR :)

  23. What a ride?!? But I finished in time and are super proud to present Pondlife (https://plantandplay.itch.io/pondlife) LD entry http://ludumdare.com/compo/october-challenge-2016/?action=preview&uid=91677

    Thanks so much for the challenge, as it transmuted one game from the pile of unfinished prototypes to a real game :)

  24. tomdeal says:

    That’s cool, we started working on a game full time right after the last Ludum Dare and put it up for sale (technically in early access, because there is some content we want to add, but we could also sell it right now as a finished product as well) a few days ago.

    The Game is called Urban Explorer Golf (and it is not a typical golf game):
    http://ludumdare.com/compo/october-challenge-2016/?action=preview&uid=35919

    If you want to try the game out, there is a demo available on the itch.io page with 9 levels, showcasing the features. We also have the game on Steam Greenlight at the moment, so every vote is greatly appreciated :-)

    Thanks and have a nice day!

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