Did ya miss me? 😉
As promised, I’m back to run December’s Ludum Dare. Lets do this!
New Website Progress
I wish I could say the new website was completely finished and perfect, but I can’t. It is further behind than I’d hoped, but there is still 5 weeks until LD, and it is awfully close; Close enough that with a good crunch and a little bit of patience, it’ll be able to run an event and finally give us some of the key features we’ve wanted for years (such as Team Support and Notifications).
So, if you’ll indulge me, I’m going to try running an event on the new site. It may not be the smoothest Ludum Dare I’ve run, but there’s nothing quite like the fire of a Ludum Dare deadline to get things finished. 😀
Now, I should probably say it wont be a judged event, but I think we’ll be better off with a screwy timetable then no judging at all. What I mean: If judging has to start a few days, or even a week after the event, that’s still better than no judging. It’s not ideal, but there’s no substitute for being able to test under real Ludum Dare conditions, even with a screwy timetable. One thing Ludum Dare is good at is making servers cry. 😉
Worst case, we can always fall-back to running an un-judged event here on this website. But unless something knocks me out-of-commission, that shouldn’t happen.
Our next event, April 2017, is Ludum Dare’s 15th Anniversary. It’s an impossible milestone none of us expected when we started this nearly 15 years ago, but here we are. So even if this event ends up being a rough one, we’ll be in good shape to celebrate that achievement in style.
So, we cool? Don’t mind being a guinea pig? Great! Lets move on.
Alpha Testing starts next week
Here is what to expect.
a sneak peek
Features of the website will be gradually introduced. To illustrate what I mean, when alpha testing begins next week, you will not be able to make posts. Generally speaking, each week has a focus: Something big, and something related to Theme Selection.
We’re keeping ludumdare.com as is. Too many links on the internet point to ludumdare.com URLs, and it would be uncool to break the internet.
We’ll be running the alpha test on:
This is temporary. It’s also closed at the moment (the alpha test hasn’t started). Eventually it will move to ludumdare.com, but because of all the legacy stuff, I decided not to make more work.
So, starting this time next week we’ll be:
- Creating Accounts
- Taking Theme Suggestions
Perhaps one of the most surprising changes for long-time members is that everyone will be making new accounts. We will eventually migrate your data over, but not right now.
Your accounts and user names will be playing a much bigger role on the new site(s), so I need to be sure we get this right. We have nearly 120,000 users of the WordPress site. It’s nearly impossible to know how many of those are actual real users, and how many are created by scripts targetting WordPress blogs. We do know though that roughly 17,000 users have submitted games to Ludum Dare events, and if we were to start completely from scratch, it would cause trouble for some of our better known users.
So where possible, we’re reserving every username of every user that has submitted a game. That’s about 17,000 names. If that’s you, you’ll have to signup with the e-mail address you use here. If you don’t have access to that e-mail address, that’s okay. Make a temporary account for now. When we get to migrating data, there will be a process for claiming old names and data. Around that time, you will also be able to change your user name without my help. That has a consequence though: any links to your user page from outside websites will break (since the name is different).
So, pick a good name.
The accounts themselves have a new name: Jammer Accounts. To anyone that’s been following me, that Jammer name may sound familiar. Jammer is the umbrella name I group all my Ludum Dare and Game Jamming projects under. So when the website asks you to create a Jammer account, it’s asking you to create an account that’s shared between Ludum Dare and my other Game Jamming projects (as an example, the streaming widget is now a standalone project named Jammer TV. LDtv is something else now 😉 ).
E-mails from Jammer will come from
firstname.lastname@example.org), so whitelist that if you need to.
So again, we’ll be starting the alpha-test about this time next week. It’ll be laser focused on Creating Accounts and taking Theme Suggestions.
Thanks everyone for their patience. We’ll see you in a week!
PS: Shameless plug, but I’ll be looking for work in the new year.
EDIT: Ah shoot! Slight delay. My bad. I let myself get too distracted by the US Election. Shooting for Monday instead of Friday. Sorry!
EDIT 2: Well shoot! Now I’m actually late. It wont be today (Monday). Timing wise it’ll still be okay (there was already an extra buffer week in the schedule). I want another day or two to fix, finish, and polish what’s there. I would like to say Wednesday, but both Tuesday and Wednesday I have obligations (meh, I’m going to cancel my Wednesday).
So off hand, that’ll mean Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be inviting folks to come test (hopefully we’ll be able to keep the data), and on Friday/Saturday I’ll invite the community at large to Create Accounts and make Theme Suggestions. That still gives us about a week to collect Theme Suggestions.
Again, sorry for the delay!
EDIT 3: Happy Monday.
Yes, I’m late, and it’s not live yet. I’m currently deploying at the moment. I hit a snag with activation e-mails last night, but I think I got it. I’d like to do another pass, make sure I’ve caught the obvious real-world account creation nuances, then have some people create accounts.
As for everybody, we should be starting on Tuesday.
EDIT 4: Okay, it’s late night Tuesday (past midnight, so Wednesday technically) and I’m ready… but it is late, so I’m going to wait until after I wake up tomorrow (noon’ish EST).
I’ll be tweeting a test URL when I’m ready, so tune in there if you want first dibs.
Again, we’re sticking with the very basics: Creating an Account, and Making Theme Suggestions. Other functionality will be coming later.
There’s a chance this early testing could get wiped, but if there are no issues, it wont. And again, if you’ve previously participated in a Ludum Dare, we’ve reserved your username (just use your original e-mail address), so there’s no rush.
That’s it for now. I’ll see you in the morning.
EDIT 5: Alpha Testing has begun.