Ludum Dare 33
Coming August 21st-24th!

About PoV (twitter: @mikekasprzak)

Mike Kasprzak, AKA "PoV" is your fearless leader. He plays this role so the others don't have to. He didn't start Ludum Dare, but has been around since the beginning. Even though it's wrong, he speaks the word "Dare" as it would be spoken in English. He does that with "Euler" too, which should make that guy pretty mad.

Mike is a game industry veteran with more than a decade of experience, and multiple console and mobile games to his name. Currently he owns and operates Sykhronics Entertainment, an Independent Game Developer based out of London, Ontario, Canada. Sykhronics is best known for the iPhone game Smiles, which was a finalist in the 2009 Independent Games Festival Mobile, was the winner of the Intel Atom Developer Challenge's "Most Elegant Design" award in 2010, and won the 2011 Developers Choice Award in Transgaming's GameTree.tv Developer Competition. Also PuffBOMB, a classic Ludum Dare entry of his that went on to be a finalist in the Slamdance Guerrilla Game Making Competition and be named a "Top Dog" on legendary gaming archive Home of the Underdogs.

Mike is currently working on STACHE.

Mike was a contributing author on an iPhone book nobody remembers and used to write for independent games website GameTunnel.

Mike's funny story is that he "won a car" in a compo. He's been a full time independent game developer for too long.

Company: Sykhronics Entertainment
Twitter: mikekasprzak
Blog: TooNormal

Mike's Notable Compo Entries
LD12 - towlr [towlr.com]
72H2 - Zooble [Link]
LD03 - PuffBOMB [puffbomb.com]
LD02 - Sheep Strike
LD01 - Trout!
LD00 - Fun Game (not actually fun)

Entries

PoV's Trophies

Help Running and paying for the LD Site Award
Awarded by Donni11
on June 17, 2015
Still Being PoV
Awarded by dylanigan
on August 22, 2014
The "If you got another result than PoV, you are probably wrong" Award
Awarded by klianc09
on August 22, 2013
The Stroustrup Award for Writing a Web-Based Game in C++
Awarded by Jacob
on April 24, 2012
The IRC Math Teacher of the Year Award
Awarded by Henry McLaughlin
on October 29, 2011
Being POV ld20 edition
Awarded by sol_hsa
on May 5, 2011

PoV's Archive

Ludum Dare 33 in 5 Weeks! Theme Suggestions Open!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, July 20th, 2015 12:36 pm

In just under 5 weeks, we’ll be kicking-off our 33rd major Ludum Dare event. Lets do this!

Ludum Dare on WordPress, one more time

Like usual, we’ll be using the somehow-still-working WordPress powered website to run Ludum Dare 33.

I do regret that I underestimated the amount of work needed to rewrite Ludum Dare from the ground up. I bit off a lot, but I’ve enjoyed myself. :)

I’ll talk about progress in a moment.

Theme Suggestions are Open

You know the drill. Go here, and tell us what you think the theme should be.

http://goo.gl/forms/Ex8hskdniq

Real World Gatherings

It’s time to start booking and organizing your gatherings (and for me to make the list)!

http://ludumdare.com/compo/2015/07/17/real-world-gatherings-for-ludum-dare-33/

Project “Starship”, the new Ludum Dare, in great detail

The new website is still in development. Things are working, but it’s not done.

I’ve written an EPIC POST. The progress so far, what’s coming, and what to expect.

Click if you Dare.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/2015/07/20/starship-the-new-ludum-dare-in-great-detail-2/

Highlights:

  • Keep all your current Games and Posts
  • Create Teams, and subscribe to Groups
  • New timeline, see only a subset of all posts during events, popular posts, and people you Follow
  • Add Games from Other Game Jams (auto-import from some)
  • Markdown formatted text instead of HTML, Emoji short codes, Syntax Highlighting
  • Patching. Improve and fix the text for any page/post/game. Push with a click, and Accept changes with a click
  • Comment Notifications and @mention Notifications
  • Some crazy new User Page stuff :)

Check out the post for more details.

Get Hype

Ludum Dare is coming up!

“Starship”, the new Ludum Dare, in great detail

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, July 20th, 2015 12:35 pm

IMPORTANT: Most of the things mentioned in the post are unfinished, some aren’t started. Treat this post a guide for what’s going on.

* * *

Let’s talk about Starship.

Starship is my internal codename for the New Ludum Dare website project. It’s a silly nickname that I got used to. Loosely, it’s my way of saying Ludum Dare is a big complicated internet space ship that transforms, sends out probes, and even splits off in to smaller ships. I guess it’s actually metaphorically a lot more like Voltron, but I was watching Star Trek TNG at the time. :)

Starship is written in PHP, (currently) runs on Apache, and uses MySQL. And yes, we’re on GitHub.

Migrating to a Starship

Before I go in to details about the new website, I need to talk about the old website, and what we’re going to do with it.

Over the past 7 years of Ludum Dare, we’ve accumulated over 21 GB of image data, and a nearly 4 GB database. There are over 50,000 users, nearly 75,000 posts, nearly 60,000 comments, and over 27,000 games and things that have been submitted to Ludum Dare events. And with Ludum Dare 33 on the horizon, those numbers are going to get even bigger.

That’s a lot of data.

Today, Ludum Dare runs on a dedicated server somewhere near Washington, DC. This machine is entirely ours, has some crazy Intel Xeon CPU and 12 GB of RAM. We’re also using CloudFlare as a reverse proxy and CDN. That means no matter where you are in the world, those 21 GB of images should load nice and quick for you (here’s a map). The whole setup costs a bit over $200 a month to run.

That’s how we do it today.

For the new website, we are going to start with a clean slate, *BUT* we are keeping the old data.

First off, when we finally kick-off the new website, everybody is creating new accounts.

After you create your account, we’re going to let you migrate your old data. I want this to be as simple as possible, automated even. I’ll autodetect if you have old data by comparing your current and original e-mail address. There will also be a way to claim your data if your e-mail address has changed (process TBD).

There will be a script in place, so old URLs like these:

http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=11474

Will redirect to the new URLs like these (NOTE: links are examples. They are not live):

https://ludumdare.com/event/ld/32/bed-hogg
https://ludumdare.com/user/01010111/bed-hogg

For accounts that haven’t been migrated, they’ll instead be redirected to a read-only version of the original pages on the Legacy Server.

http://legacy.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-32/?action=preview&uid=11474

The Legacy Server will be a separate mini-server (mini compared to what Ludum Dare has become) that runs a read-only version of the original website. Posting and Commenting will be disabled on the Legacy Server, and along the top of the page will be notices telling people that we’ve moved.

Traffic should be minimal, so like the old days, I expect we’ll be able to run it for around $10 a month. Pretty cheap.

That said, the Legacy Server is really only needed for the inactive users. Active users will have all their games and posts available on their new accounts, on the new website.

One caveat: Comments will not be migrated over. Instead, we’ll attach a special link to the original post on the legacy website, where you can read the original comments.

So again, we’ll be starting with a clean slate, but everything from the past will be available.

* * *

FYI: For anyone that’s curious about the legacy Ludum Dare website, you can now find the code on GitHub:

https://github.com/povrazor/ludumdare-2008

Again, this is the legacy, not the new website. 7 glorious years of duct-taping features to WordPress. The workflow is very unsafe, and not 3rd party friendly. We’ve been committing and checking-out changes directly on the live website the entire time. Any time we made a change, we risked bringing down the website with a PHP error. Uncool. We used to host it on Google Code using SVN, but it’s now on GitHub. As of Thursday, I’ve committed the first real update since migrating the code GitHub. The workflow is just as unsafe, but a little more nerdy now as I commit changes using GIT, and check-out on the server using SVN (thanks to the awesome GIT->SVN feature built in to GitHub).

All aboard the Starship

Like I mentioned, development of the new website takes place on GitHub. About a month ago I started publishing my changes publicly. Eventually, you’ll be able to get the website code from here:

http://github.com/ludumdare/ludumdare (soon)

At the moment, we’re very much pre-alpha on the new website, so I don’t want to publish to that account yet. To me, github.com/ludumdare is for the live website, and at the moment the website isn’t live.

I’m still doing a lot of engineering, so instead, I’ve been keeping code in my personal GitHub account:

http://github.com/povrazor/ludumdare

Once we are live, the Ludum Dare GitHub account will become active.

DairyBox: The Ludum Dare toolchain (and LD pun)

dairyboxlogoFor those looking to help out, you’ll need to download and install the Ludum Dare Toolchain, named DairyBox.

http://github.com/ludumdare/dairybox (soon)

But again, since it’s pre-alpha, the download is on my personal GitHub account:

http://github.com/povrazor/dairybox

DairyBox is a Vagrant box based on Scotch/Box. It’s a VM that lets you run your own mini Ludum Dare server locally. This is a HUGE step up from the old development workflow. We can actually test now without bringing the server down! πŸ˜€

To use it, download and install DairyBox using GIT, and follow the instructions for cloning the source code (NOTE: It’s not a straight-up clone, it requires some git init trickery).

I want to help! What should I do?

At the moment, a lot of things are broken, unfinished, undocumented, and a little weird, but it is open now.

I’m not really expecting anyone to start sending me pull requests yet, but feel free to surprise me. As I see it, I still have a lot of core things to finish (and explain). There’s a method to the madness, and hopefully the rest of this post will give you broad idea of what’s going on.

There’s a very early effort in to auto-documenting the code. You’ll find a few Doxygen, JSdoc, and APIdoc comment blocks in various parts of the source code, but not enough since a number of things are still in flux. Scripts for documentation generation are in /scripts/docs/, and will eventually be hosted on http://dev.ludumdare.com.

Bugs reports (though admittedly it’s a bit early for testing), for now post them to my ludumdare issues page.

Show me your ship!

Alright! If you want a look, here’s a sneak peek.

IMPORTANT: The website is in EARLY DEVELOPMENT. Many things don’t work, and many more don’t exist yet. It is not pretty to look at. It’s about function, not style.

You have been warned

https://wip.ludumdare.com (/www/public/)

This is a live snapshot of what’s currently in my GitHub repo. At times it may be out-of-date, it may be broken, but it’s real.

And just to mention it, you’ll note that URL uses HTTPS. There’s still work to be done on this front, but moving forward, we’ll be doing the security thing right.

Is that it?

Of course not. :)

What you don’t see is that Ludum Dare is now broken up in to several smaller modules. I’ll talk about some of the modules in detail in later sections.

But first, one of the main modules, the Static Website:

LD Module: The Static Website

It’s not really something you can look at, but the WIP static website is over here:

https://static-wip.ludumdare.com (/www/public-static/ and the symlink /www/static/)

The URL to the static website will change, but basically, the static website is part optimization, and part future proofing when we need to scale-up by cutting up the server.

The static website is pretty straightforward. All the images you upload to Ludum Dare will be stored on the static website. So, those 21 Gigabytes of images, whatever the new size is, that’ll be where they live. Also, elements of Ludum Dare we consider static and unchanging (the JavaScript code, CSS, and so on) will also live there. There will be some dynamic elements to the static website, but for the sake of caching, and as far as our CDN is concerned, everything there is static.

Today, the main dynamic element of the static website is the Image Resizer.

The image resizer is the thing that resizes and crops the images and avatars you upload. We did various things in the past, but the new resizer is designed to be less wasteful and take advantage of the CDN. When I talk about the 21 Gigabytes we currently use, a few of those GB are extra copies of images resized to fit some dimension. In the grand scheme of things, omitting those extra files doesn’t save much, but for a few minutes the resized images will live in RAM, long enough for the CDN nodes to grab a copy and cache them around the world. Not to mention, storing them in RAM saves us a disk access, so we can feed all those requests faster.

You can see a demo of the image resizer on wip.ludumdare.com. That unusually large cropped chicken image? Yeah, that’s the resizer’s handywork.

We are still not going to host downloads of your games, but we will be looking in to making things easier when it comes to hosting your downloads and source code.

What’s new with Editing?

Lots! Here are some highlights:

  • All text is now written in Markdown instead of HTML (GitHub compatible)
  • Posts, Pages, Games, Comments, everything you’d want to write a paragraph of text for will share the same editing interface (because internally, they’re are the same).
  • Emoji and Short Codes. All the :dolphin:'s and :blowfish: you could ever want, just a few keystrokes away (see emoji.codes)
  • Source code has syntax highlighting. We’re currently using a generic highlighter, but we’ll also support C/C++/C#/Java, JavaScript/ActionScript, and Python. To our Haxe bros, we’re using PrismJS, which doesn’t appear to have a Haxe support. I’ll need your help to create a Haxe definition, probably based on the ActionScript one.
  • AJAX. Editing is now inline. Many things should work a lot faster (since there’s less data to send).
  • PATCHING: This is a big one. Every piece of content on the website can be edited by anyone. Patches are then sent to the original author, or team responsible. The changes can then be approved with a click by author, or a member of the Editor Team.

You can try a very rough version of the Patching, Inline Editing, and Markdown with Emoji and Syntax Hightlighting workflow on the WIP website (NOTE: Changes are not saved, and there is no notice when you’ve viewing a patched version of a post).

https://wip.ludumdare.com

More things that are coming:

  • @mention people by user name to send them a notice, and link to their user page.
  • @mention groups such as the Help Team (@help, users that like to help people and answer questions), Editor Team (@editor, users part of our patch approval and post moderation team), the Press Team (@press, anyone crazy enough to listen to requests to check out a game), and so on.
  • Game Control Short Codes. This is a project I’m going to need an artist to help with. Like the Emoji, I’d like us to have a library of game controls. Things like :key_wasd: :key_arrows: :key_space: and many more for describing your game control using the keyboard. Also, mice, gamepads, and more exotic controllers like microphones, MIDI interfaces, gestures cameras, and so on.
  • Short Code auto-completion. Just start typing an emoji code or a game control code, and get a pop-up of possible choices.
  • Smart Embedding of External things. For example, YouTube and SoundCloud links auto-embed, perhaps Twitch and other live streaming services too, Tweets, and really, anything that makes sense.
  • Smart Embedding of Internal things. Paste a link to a Game or Tool, and we auto-insert a little mini-widget. It’ll probably make sense to do it for other internal types like Events, Users, maybe Tags and Platforms as well. In some cases there will be variant URLs (i.e. /user/myname/game) that shows a personal game list instead of your personal info. If it makes sense, and there’s something worth showing (beyond a basic hyperlink), we’ll probably do it.

What’s new with submitting games and things?

Oh boy, here we go:

  • Though not actually required, you will be encouraged to sign up for an event before it starts.
  • Tags. Is your game a 5-Player Local-Multiplayer One-Button Platformer with RPG-Elements and a Colorblind-Mode? We got that.
  • Tools. Made in Unity, RPG Maker, and Pygame, using Tiled, Photoshop and GoatTracker
  • Platforms. Okay, we had platforms before, but now we can be a little more specific. Also…
  • Find games by Tags, Tools used, and Platforms: Yes finally, I’ll be able to tell you exactly how many Unity games there are. And not only games in an event, *total*, for all events! More usefully, as we start collecting the data, we’ll be able to start tracking trends and the popularity of tools within the community.
  • Submit Post-Compo (Post-Jam) Games: Did you remake/redo your game after the event, and publish it somewhere? You can add it!
  • Submit “Late” Games: Did you not finish on time? Did you make a game inspired by a Ludum Dare theme from 5 years ago? You can add it!
  • Add Games from Other Game Jams: Do you 1GAM? Do you Global Game Jam? Great! You can add those too!
  • Add MORE games: You’ve added all your Jam games now, what else have you made?
  • New Submission Types. For future Ludum Dare stuff, we’ve added support for several non-game submission types. Again, this is support for them! This doesn’t mean Ludum Dare is accepting these sort of submissions (not yet anyway).
  • New Submission Type: Demos and Intros. Do you rock the demoscene? Great, we support those too! ALSO, alongside some of the bigger game jams, we’re adding a library of popular and historic Demoscene events. Assembly, Revision (Breakpoint, Mekka & Symposium), etc. You tell us what we need!
  • New Submission Type: Media. Do you make videos about Ludum Dare games? We want to catalogue them!
  • New Submission Type: Crafts. A catch-all for everything else. Did you bake a cake inspired by the theme, or a little comic book?

Much of this is the ground work for future features.

  • Where it makes sense, I’d like to make it easy to import games from some of the bigger Game Jam sites.
  • Smart Embedded Audio and Video Media Submissions: Support for SoundCloud, YouTube, and whatever other media services make sense.
  • Picture and Paged Craft Submissions: The idea behind Craft Submissions is they’re things that may not necessarily have a download (but one can be provided). These things will have to be shown off with Pictures and Photos. Just in case paged comics become a thing, we can look in to adding arrow keys or touch gestures to flip pages.
  • This isn’t a feature per se, but I would like to work with the various online game hosts like Newgrounds, Kongregate, GameJolt and Itch to see if we can find a way for us to directly embed games hosted on these services. I’m not that far yet (gotta finish the site first), but I want to start talking with folks about this. :)
  • Similarly, we might be able to streamline uploading directly to game hosts if we can rig up some magic :)
  • I don’t know what to do with it, but there’s always the possibility of a deeper user integration with GitHub. I’m not sure what we’d do with it (generate a wacky graph of how active you were over the weekend?), but they have an API. Feel free to suggest things.
  • Custom Events: Run your own Jam, Demoparty, Bake-off, whatever!

We don’t have an ETA on Custom events, but it’s on the roadmap. It’s probably one of the last things on this list, since there are perfectly good other services for hosting your Game Jams today.

What about an API?

Oh yes, there will be an API.

On the topic of adding other Jam games, I’ve published a specification for an API. I’m calling it the EasyJam Spec.

https://github.com/ludumdare/ludumdare/wiki/EasyJam-Export-API-Spec

Effectively it’s a less complicated OAuth (which you could just cheat at, and use usernames for Tokens). I’ve tried to be inclusive of how some of the other Jam websites work, but feel free to tell me if I’ve neglected anything.

Initially, EasyJam is about synchronizing game data between Jam sites. It’s opt-in, and designed to be used securely. You’re not required to use it securely, and details on how do so are mentioned.

Ludum Dare will have a secure implementation of EasyJam, and I’m hoping other sites decide to join us.

What about Teams?

Oh yes, there will be team support.

One of the reasons why “signing up” is now a thing is because that’s how you form teams.

There are actually 2 types of teams:

  • Teams
  • Groups

By default, Teams are one-shot, for a single event only. This is because the people on a team will sometimes change even if the team name doesn’t. We’ll look in to making it easy to clone a previously used team when you participate in the latest events.

Teams have a Captain (the team author), and it’s their responsibility to manage the team, add members, and handle the submission. You’ll also be able to add other Captains to your team.

As a member of an team, your posts will be marked in some way to showcase this affiliation (How we’ll do it is TBD). And when you view the team page, you’ll see a list of posts from all members of the team. Game pages will list all members of the team that created it.

Aside from Teams, there are also Groups.

Groups are stricter in how they work. Initially, there will only be a few Groups, mainly internal ones used to manage permissions, and a few support groups (@help, @editor, @press).

Eventually there will be a process for vetting and approving Groups, but understand this:

Groups WILL NOT be able to submit entries to Ludum Dare events.

Groups are a bit like Subscriptions. As a member of a group, you get notifications to that group.

Groups can be ether public (anyone can join), or private (members must be added manually).

We may eventually open up support communities (Groups) for popular tools. @unity-help, @blender-help, @gimp-help, @photoshop-help, etc. The popularity of Tool Pages will likely play some role in vetting support communities. Like @help is for general Ludum Dare support, help communities will be open for anyone to join, to assist other users with the issues with their respected tool.

And where it makes sense and is useful, we’ll look in to adding other groups. In some cases, it’ll make sense to give ownership of content to a group (for example, if we have an @unity group of Unity Employees, it makes sense that they can edit their own Tool page).

But again, I’d like to keep the number of groups low initially. I want us to feel-out where they are useful.

What about Notifications?

Okay yes, up until now we’ve more or less assumed we support Notifications. We do. It’s the glue that binds together a number of features.

Initially, notifications will be limited to comments (finally, letting you know when someone comments on your game), and the usage of @messages to People and Groups.

Joining a Group is a bit like subscribing to notifications. If you’re a Captain, you’ll be able to control pages associated with your team. If you’re a member, you’re just there to listen.

Eventually we will add private messages, but that’s a low priority. There are plenty of ways to contact people privately outside Ludum Dare, so I’m sure you’ll figure something out. :)

What’s new with the post feed/timeline?

So the feed needs work. Anyone that’s tried to watch the stream during events knows how chaotic it is. Practically every minute there’s a new page of posts, and some people don’t post since they know it wont stick.

Plus, there’s a good reason to consider adding other content besides Posts to the timeline. But before we add more content to the feed, we need to fix it.

So, soon we’ll be:

  • Splitting the Post Feed

Every user will be assigned to Sub-Feed of the main feed.

I’m calling these sub-feeds Leagues. Admittedly, that’s an odd name choice, but in the future I’d like us to have some fun with the split. My thought is that eventually, we may treat the splits like a bit of a sporting team, country (but not actually a country), or a “House” in Harry Potter. We want a diverse group of people in each group, because that’s interesting. We want interesting.

As it is today, things move too fast. You can’t have a discussion during Ludum Dare, because the post asking the question is gone right away. But if we slow things down a bit (by having less content), you’ll be able to get an answer.

So now that we’ve split the feed, what about cool stuff, or people I like?

  • Post Love is Back! Now, Post Love will be the way good posts cross the League barrier. When enough people in a League give it +1’s, it’ll show up for all leagues. That way, you don’t miss popular posts from outside your League.
  • Follow Users. You’ll be able to follow your favourite users in the Ludum Dare community, so no matter what League you’re in, you’ll see their posts.
  • Published Games in the feed. As soon as you click that Publish button on your game, like a post, there’ll be a brief notice in your Leagues timeline. The name of your game, and a banner grahic or trimmed screenshot. They wont be too large, a bit bigger than a tweet. There is a very brief sample of this behaviour on wip.ludumdare.com. I haven’t done any styling to them yet, just shown what it would be like.

Things we’ll be looking in to:

  • League Names. We need to figure out the granularity needed for the public timeline first. Once we know what a comfortable number of users is, we’ll look in to naming the sub-feeds. Then you can say things like “I’m part of Kitten League” or “Zombie League”, fun things like that. It’ll have no bearing on results (we shut-down the leagues once the event ends), but during the Pre-LD hype, I’d love to see playful rivalries between the Leagues. πŸ˜‰
  • Multiple user signups as a single timeline post. Not necessarily a replacement for “I’m In” posts (which aren’t really necessary, but add character to the pre-LD hype). Rather than adding a bunch of individual “who is in?” blips to the timeline, we can group them together in to little blobs. The point of these is that you might see people that you want to follow.
  • AJAXy/WebSockety Twitter-like auto-updates. Rather than reload the page constantly, we’ll look in to notifying you when there are new posts. It probably wont be as aggressive as Twitter (every 10 seconds), but we’ll figure out what works.
  • AJAXy/WebSockety Theme Announcement. Same as above, we’ll look in to a smart way of announcing the theme on the website that doesn’t bring the server down. :)
  • External Posting. I.e. post to your account from Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, or your Blog (RSS). Not everybody likes to log their progress on the Ludum Dare website.

What’s new with user pages?

  • As mentioned above, a chronological list of MORE than just your Ludum Dare games. Games from Other Jams, Demos, Media, Crafts (as soon as we add support for adding them)
  • Any Events you’ve run (MiniLD’s, Custom, etc)
  • Published Games intermixed in your summary timeline, and post timelines.
  • Some new types of Navigation. View your Posts, your Favourites, your Games, who you Follow, etc.
  • New Module: Jammer

I’ll talk about Jammer in a moment.

Here are a couple test user pages on the WIP. Again, try not to pay much attention to what they say or how they look, just that they exist.

http://wip.ludumdare.com/user/pov/
http://wip.ludumdare.com/user/testuser/

Things that we’ll be looking into over time.

  • Featuring of your favourite games (they appear first)
  • Ludum Dare Submission Stats. Graph showing how your submissions have done over all the events you’ve participated in
  • Other Graphs. As we figure out other sensible data people will want to see, we can add more personalized graphs
  • The Trophy Rack. This is going to be a bigger project, totally silly, but I’m all about fun. I’m definitely going to need an artist involved. I’d like there to be a real digital trophy graphic for each of the Ludum Dare categories. If we’re feeling really silly, we might actually build an HTML5 Canvas app with 2D physics that lets you arrange your trophies, and save the layout. And if we’re feeling reeeeeealy silly, we can add breakpoints to the Trophy geometry, so you can smash your trophies in a fit of rage (and repair them with a click, though it would be funny if you couldn’t repair them).
  • User Trophies. This will probably come much later. Rather than the 64×64 images we used to use for Trophies, I think I’d rather we have a library of miscellaneous trophies you can pick from, and a pick a color. That’s my thought at the moment, but if we come up with a nice way to let you generate them, then maybe. Also, User Trophies will be assigned to a specific thing (a game usually), instead of a user like we did in the past. User specific trophies will still be supported though.
  • The Cardboard Box. Completing the Trophy Rack metaphor, a place for your “Coolest Haircut” trophy. Basically, the things you don’t want to show-off on your Trophy Rack. Nobody ever throws away their trophies, they just live in a box. πŸ˜‰
  • Trophies on Featured Games. As we figure out the layout, we’ll find a place to put those important trophies next to the game banner. We might only be able to fit a couple in this view, so you pick which ones matter most to you.

Jammer, we should talk about Jammer.

LD Module: Jammer

jAMMErLogoJammer is new.

Jammer is an extension of your Ludum Dare user page.

You’ve used Ludum Dare before. We put weird stuff in the sidebar, big noisy banners and bars to get your attention, a movie player, potatoes, yadda yadda. It can be nuts, but that’s what Ludum Dare is. This frantic sort of crazy event.

Jammer strips that away. It’s all about you. Just you and your games.

The website (NOTE: link is not active yet):

jammer.bio/user-name

Where ‘user-name’ is your ludumdare.com user name. Jammer is your user page, without the noise.

Sure, Jammer isn’t for everyone. If you run your own portfolio website, you probably don’t need. But if you’re an active Ludum Dare user and game jammmer, we give you a nice easy to remember URL for you and your stuff. No need to explain to people what a Ludum is, nor debate Dare’s correct pronunciation. And heck, it’s a simple enough URL to tell someone aloud, with your actual human voice. πŸ˜‰

That’s Jammer in a nutshell.

As time goes on, we’ll give you more and more flexibility for customizing your page. Here are a couple WIP links. Please excuse the lack of formatting and style. When it’s done it wont say silly things like “users home page”. It will be styled in a nice way with banners of your games (not text links). At the moment it’s also a bit of an ugly testbed for the Markdown decoder, so try not to criticize what you’re seeing too much, just that it’s there and using the same data as user pages. πŸ˜‰

wip.jammer.bio/testuser
wip.jammer.bio/pov/bearly-seasoned

You’ll note on my page (/pov), I’ve customized the colors, and I added my Real Name. This is done through some Jammer specific metadata we assign, just to show that customization support is coming.

LD Module: ldj.am

This is a minor module I thought I’d mention. It’s doesn’t really have anything to do with Jammer, but it’s loosely related, in that it also deals with URLs.

ldj.am (LDJAM) will be a URL shortener for the main website.

URLs will look something like this (NOTE: link is not live):

ldj.am/4cDfm (/www/public-ldj.am/)

This is in contrast the clean URLs of Jammer, these are designed to be small.

Everything on the New Ludum Dare website has a Unique Id. Posts, Games, even Users and Events. So that crazy string (4cDfm) is a packed version of the internal “Node Id”. For the sake of example, lets say it’s 332,511.

The encoder is something that needs to be tuned. It’ll be close to a 48 bits per character. It’s a combination of the numbers 0-9, uppercase and lowercase letters. If you were to total that, you’d get 62 characters, a mere 2 short of 64 (or base64 encoding). The problem with base64 is there’s a risk of generating profanity and offensive things. So to avoid ldj.am/shitface, some reoccurring characters in English profanity are removed from both upper and lower case. And for legibility, a few very similar characters can be removed (such as S instead of 5, l instead of 1).

To decode, we first decode the packed value. We lookup the Node Id in the database, then we have to recursively look-up the slug-parts of the URL by walking the tree backwards until we hit the root node. All the parts together gives us the true Ludum Dare URL.

Of course, we can do some smart, optimal things when it comes to the reverse lookup. We can cache the slugs of the Hierarchy Nodes by Id in RAM. Even with all the non-Ludum Dare events, there shouldn’t be more than a few hundred of them. That said, this is probably one of the main bottlenecks for Custom Events, ’cause as soon as we open this up, the cache size is no longer in our control (unless we explicitly ignore the custom tree, and just do an extra lookup).

Anyway, once we know our true URL, we emit a redirect (302) to that.

So the ldj.am URL shortener will not be general purpose. It’s specifically for shortening ludumdare.com URLs.

And like everything else, the WIP version is over here:

wip.ldj.am

So when it comes to User pages, you’ll be offered both an ugly URL (ldj.am/b382u) or a clean URL (jammer.bio/johnjoe25). The ldj.am URL will go directly to your Ludum Dare user page, and Jammer URL directly to the clean less-noisy Jammer version of your page.

Holy Ship!

That’s a lot of stuff. There’s more, but some of these things just aren’t as cool.

  • Security. Probably the broadest and most complicated one-word subject there is.
  • Logging in and out. We gotta be able to do that.
  • Account creation and activation. That whole e-mail exchange thing.
  • Password Reset. Yep.
  • HTML to Markdown filter. We’ll best-guess the intentions of HTML tags in imported posts.
  • Reserved Names List. We don’t want people camping names, or doing things that will cause confusion. So no, you wont be able to call yourself Microsoft. But if a few Microsoft employees join the community, and it makes sense that they have a group name, they can contact me and we can set them up.
  • Things I can’t remember.

This is Starship in a nutshell.

What about Event Features?

You’ll note that I’ve only covered User specific features so far. I figure this post is long enough, and at the moment my focus is on User features. Most people care about how Ludum Dare changes for them, not how it changes for me.

As things get further along, I’ll write another post detailing more of the internals of how events run, the job queue, event stage automation, and so on.

That’s all for now. Congratulations, you made it to the bottom.

What’s next for Ludum Dare? (May 2015)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, May 11th, 2015 9:31 pm

Hey folks! Results are almost ready. Here’s other important stuff.

Ludum Dare 33 – August 21st to 24th

Our next event will take place in August. Follow us on Twitter or Sign Up for the Mailing List to stay informed.

Project LD2015: The Plan and Hiccups

Alright! So, my plan back in December was to switch us over to the new Ludum Dare website for August’s event. That is still the plan, but just in case, I have done a bunch of fixes to the existing site. Some long outstanding bugs with how voting worked are now fixed. You can read more about these and other fixes in this message to the mailing list. You may have also noticed that the NSFW button now works, and a few other things I can’t seem to remember (heh, it’s all a blur).

Now, it’s never easy to say something like this, but I can’t actually afford to work on Ludum Dare full time. The Patreon has been amazing as far as Patreon’s go, currently sitting at just over $1000 a month, but most people are aware that $1k a month is not enough to live on, especially not for a dude in his 30’s. πŸ˜‰

So, I spent the first couple months of 2015 basically trying to make a little bit of money, to make up for all the other money one needs.

Long story short, it didn’t go so well.

I kinda knew things were in bad shape in February, but I made sure to clear my slate so Ludum Dare 32 could run smoothly. I want to think it ran smoothly, but that’s up to you guys to tell me.

That said, I will be working on the new Ludum Dare website for the next few months. I can’t actually afford to do it, but I’m doing it anyways.

I owe you guys. Just running Ludum Dare doesn’t feel like I’m doing enough, especially now that I’m actually getting paid.

Project LD2015: Lets do this!

Of course, I have been doing stuff. It’s just not pretty stuff.

One of the biggest things you made clear to me when I started talking about Ludum Dare’s future is that many of you want to help.

  • Help Build the Website
  • Help Run the Website

So with that in mind, lets talk about how we’re going to do that.

Sneak Peek: DairyBox

LogoPlease excuse the logo.

DairyBox is the Web Development toolchain that I and anyone that works on the website software will be using. It’s based on Vagrant, which is a tool for doing very clever things with Virtual Machines. With DairyBox, you’re basically running your own mini Ludum Dare server on your computer, all self contained in a Virtual Machine. It’s pretty cool.

This is the new workflow, compared to the old workflow that had me and Phil pushing changes to an SVN repository that we’d check-out on the Live server. When we had only a hundred people participating this wasn’t a big deal, but with thousands, it’s a problem. And it also meant nobody besides us could easily contribute. The new workflow, anyone that can run a few installers and use Git should be able to use. You fork the website code, make your changes, send me a pull request, I merge it and test it (we couldn’t test before), then push it to the Live website.

DairyBox is actually ready to go, but I am reluctant to share it just yet.

If you really really want an early look at DairyBox, you can find it here, but I strongly recommend you wait until I publish it to the main Ludum Dare GitHub before you fork it.

https://github.com/ludumdare

I’m not quite ready to start supporting it yet, so for now, use at own risk. I haven’t tested it on Windows or Mac yet, so YMMV. :)

Sneak Peek: LD-CMW

Sorry, no logo. πŸ˜‰

LD-CMW is a cryptic codename for the core of the LD2015 project. I’m also calling it StarShip, which I’ll explain why in a future update. For now, lets talk about the CMW.

Quickly, on WordPress: WordPress is what’s called a “Publishing Platform”, which means it’s a thing you publish things (posts) to. WordPress is also, *ALMOST* a Content Management System or CMS. Drupal is probably the best known pure CMS out there, but most people that use it would agree it’s … not ideal.

Ultimately, what Ludum Dare needs is something in the vein as a CMS. We have many types of content to share (posts, comments, games, videos, etc), but currently each of these things is separate. We lack basic features like editing comments.

We also have a lot of content like the Tools page, or the Live Streaming guidelines. These are just a few of the many things I don’t have the time for. What would be great is if could give anyone the ability to edit those pages, like a Wiki.

So, LD-CMW is a mashup. Part CMS, Part Publishing Platform, and Part Wiki.

The idea is that any user can post blogs, games, tools, videos, links to reviews, etc. As well, any user can make changes to anything posted on the website, *BUT*, those changes must either be approved by the original author, or an Admin. That’s the shtick. It’s a collaborative Publishing Platform CMS Wiki hybrid, something I’m nicknaming a CMW (Content Management Wiki).

This is the part I’m still working on.

My plan for the next 2 weeks is to share a working prototype, as well as a document that better describes where we’re going, what needs to be done, etc. I had hoped to be further along by now, but well, running Ludum Dare is a lot of work. :)

Wrapup

That’s it for me. If you want to keep up on what’s going on, sign up for the mailing list.

I’ll be starting a new Development mailing list soon, but for now, join the main list to find out when that happens.

For everyone else, we’ll see you in August!

IndieCade Promo (20% off for Ludum Dare games)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 4:55 pm

Hey folks! Our friends at IndieCade asked us to share this with you.

Are you busy polishing-up your Ludum Dare game? Want to try entering it in IndieCade? Use coupon code VENIVEDIVICI2015 and save 20% off the entrance fee (reg $80). Submission deadline is May 1st!

indiecade

“Dare to Play” Lists (Streamers, YouTubers, over here!)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Saturday, April 18th, 2015 2:06 pm

By request, here’s a thread for the Live Streamers, YouTubers, and anyone looking for games to play. Post a link to your Channel, Show, or Publication in the comments below, if you have a schedule planned, along with a link to where people can suggest games to you (off-site or in a separate thread please).

PLEASE DON’T SPAM THEM! Self promotion is encouraged, but these folks are going to get a lot of submissions. Be respectable.

DON’T POST YOUR GAMES IN THIS THREAD (add them to lists)

ProTip: Streaming Ludum Dare is not only for MAKING Ludum Dare games, but also for PLAYING Ludum Dare games! Give it a try! Many people would LOVE to watch their game get played.

NOTE: If your comment is awaiting moderation, feel free to poke Mike on Twitter.

NOTE: This thread is NOT for development streams.

Thanks to Shawna Hill for the name.

Judging Experiment Wrapup (not happening), and Plan B

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 3:57 pm

Hello! If you haven’t been following along, I disappointed some people yesterday. :)

My plan was to bring in people doing amazing things in the community in to the core Ludum Dare judging. This was met with opposition. I started over, clarified the message and the intent, and it went a lot better but there was still opposition.

After mulling it over, I’ve decided not to do it.

I agree that yes, it may compromise some of the integrity of the event letting people in that didn’t participate. This was a trivial feature to add to the current Ludum Dare voting (it’s already working, something I did back in December), but it’s clear it is just not the right answer. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do more for these people, but I’ll find another way.

Fundamentally, the issue I’m trying to solve is to be more inclusive. I decided the group I was going to champion this time were those that go out of their way for us. You can find a list of 4 such people/teams in this now defunct post. These people are awesome, and they have my respect and admiration.

But sometimes I need to be reminded that what’s best for the community are the things that affect more people. This was one of those times.

I don’t mention this too often, but I’ve turned down many offers for prizes. Cash, Hardware, Software, Unity Licenses, and just the other day it was Books. That part I figured out a long time ago. I know the integrity of everything we’ve built here at Ludum Dare breaks when the winner gets a car. Maybe some day we’ll do raffles, but prizes for Ludum Dare are off the table.

This was my mistake singling out a smaller part of the community to give preferential treatment. My bad.

Lets talk about something else.

Plan B: Adding a separate Community Vote category

This is a concept. No code has been written.

Instead of opening up the main vote, I propose we add 1 more category: A Community Vote.

The way this will work: All users that did not participate in Ludum Dare can give each game a single 1-5 Star rating in this category. This requires a Ludum Dare account.

It’s worth noting: you CAN opt-out if you like.

At the end of the event, in addition to the usual 8+1 ratings for each game, you’ll get one more score, a score from the greater community.

And oh yes, there will be problems.

If you thought it was tough getting votes in normal Ludum Dare, get ready for public Ludum Dare. With regular Ludum Dare, we at least have an incentive for voting (you get votes in return). For the public vote, there is no incentive. It’s a bit like going back to the dark ages of Ludum Dare, before Coolness directly affected visibility.

The other problem is that… well… browsing games here on Ludum Dare sucks. This is a fact. As an outsider, you’re better off using Itch’s browser to find games. The internal system we use to judge games weighted by coolness does work, but given how it works, it only makes sense for participants.

And of course, it can be exploited. Almost anything can. Welcome to the Internet.

This is a new idea.

We don’t yet know all the benefits, downsides, or what this will even tell us. Maybe it will tell us what games are trending and popular outside Ludum Dare? That’s actually useful. We don’t know this information right now.

Again it’s completely detached, and has no barrings or consequence on the existing vote. Your Ludum Dare purity is safe. FWIW, everyone has always been allowed to comment on Ludum Dare games. All this adds is one of those 5 star vote boxes for other users. Maybe you’ll get more comments and feedback too?

The judging system we use today was not conceived in one night. It was iterative. It took us years to find the right balance, to figure out what did and didn’t work.

So, if you weren’t a fan of my small experiment, would you prefer a really big one?

Ignore this post too

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, April 17th, 2015 1:59 am

EDIT 2: Sorry, this is not happening either.

I’m keeping this post around for reference.


Experiment: On inviting “Friends of Ludum Dare” to help Judge

Forget what I wrote on Thursday. Lets start over.

I want to introduce you to some people. Some of them you know. Some of them you might not.

Button Masher Bros

Josh and Chris (and Zack) are the Button Masher Bros.

For the past year they’ve been producing an excellent Ludum Dare Lets Play show name “Ludum Dare to Believe”, in addition to sometimes playing Ludum Dare games on their other shows. Season 4 is about to kick off, they’re just waiting for your games.

Jupi Plays

Jupiter Hadley does her series Jupi Plays

What you may not know about Jupi is that she’s played over a thousand Ludum Dare games, and nearly 7000 jam games across all other jams of the past few years. All caught on video for your enjoyment.

Indie Impressions

Nick “Rock Lee Smile” does his series Indie Impressions

Over the past few years, Nick has played a new Indie Game every day, and many of those games were Ludum Dare games. He has well over 1000 episodes in the bag, and seems unstoppable.

IndieGames.com

The staff at IndieGames.com have been covering Ludum Dare for a decade, since 2005.

igcom

And that’s just the ones that mention Ludum Dare. :)

These people and people like them are AWESOME

These are but a few of people doing amazing things for Ludum Dare and the community. These are the sort of people I consider Friends of Ludum Dare.

I want to do something special for these people.

If you saw my post from Thursday, just ignore it. I was generalizing too much and thinking about things without explaining. Lets put that all aside. Let me try again.

One of my goals with Ludum Dare is to make it more and more inclusive. When we first introduced the Jam, it was not judged. It really bothered me that we had teams of people working just as hard as the solo devs, but we treated them like they were lesser, not worthy of being judged. Their submission allowed them to judge Compo games, but theirs would be ignored. Eventually we changed it, and I’m sure we all agree now it was for the best.

I have further plans to expand and make Ludum Dare even more inclusive. I have talked about my plans for the Craft Jam with numerous people, I even mention it in the rules, but we’re not ready to do it. It requires infrastructure we just don’t have yet.

This is a gesture.

Getting to vote in Ludum Dare means you’re a part of Ludum Dare. So to me, the gesture of giving voting privileges is probably the closest thing we would have to a high honour. If you want more rigorous system for deciding who we let in, that’s fine. I just want us to start acknowledging that there are people that go the extra mile for us. They don’t have to, but they do. These people are making Ludum Dare better.

I would like to invite the above people to join us in Judging Ludum Dare 32.

I made a mistake in how I presented my plans to invite people we like on Thursday morning. I hope this new post better communicates my intent. I’m not here to destroy Ludum Dare, but again I think we’re ignoring an important growing part of our community.

That’s what I think.

Please ignore this thread. It’s here for reference

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, April 16th, 2015 10:48 am

EDIT: Okay I get it. You hate this idea. Disregard this post. Go here:

http://ludumdare.com/on-inviting-friends-of-ludum-dare-to-help-judging/


Press, Media, Friends of Ludum Dare: Want to help Judge?

This weekend (April 17th-20th), many thousands of developers from around the world will be making games. And come Tuesday, we’re expecting over 2000 new interactive things to be unleashed on the world.

Ludum Dare judging lasts for 3 weeks immediately following the event. Ludum Dare is unique, in that our judges are everyone than participated. If you submitted a game, you are now a judge. To many, this is one of the most important parts of Ludum Dare, and what differentiates us from a lot of similar events.

But we could always use a few more judges.

We did a trial run of this back in December, but this time I’m looking to open up our judging pool to a select few from the greater Ludum Dare and gaming community: Friends of Ludum Dare, and Press/Media with reach.

Am I a Friend of Ludum Dare?

You are a friend of Ludum Dare if:

  • You are press/media that has been covering Ludum Dare for a while now. You might not develop games, but have been helping the community by showcasing the games. We really appreciate everything you’ve done, and our small way of saying thanks is to invite you to join our judging pool.
  • You’ve been running or contributing to something that has helped people make, promote, or share their Ludum Dare games for a while now. When you search the games, your tool or service gets name-dropped often. Our small way of saying thanks is to invite you to join our judging pool.

In general, you already know that you’re a friend of Ludum Dare. You might not be taking part, but when we all talk about Ludum Dare, you’re part of the conversation (either directly, or a topic of).

Want to become a friend of Ludum Dare? Just do what you do! We run Ludum Dare 3 times per year (every April, August and December), and before you know it, you’ll be in the friend zone. πŸ˜‰

Or even better: Participate! Make a game! That’s all it takes. :)

Am I Press/Media with Reach?

You are if:

  • You’re a YouTuber or Streamer, and people know you by name (yours or your channel).
  • You contribute to website/blog/newspaper/magazine/publication with a lot of readership.

Admittedly, this is a bit of a grey area. In general, we are mainly looking to say yes to the bigger channels and publications. There are so many games in Ludum Dare, way more than we could ever cover in our results. So lets say as a participant your game placed 600th overall, but your favourite streamer played your game; This is what we’re after. We all BIG fans of gaming media, and we crave attention. πŸ˜€

Not big? That’s okay! Like I said above, just do what you do! Start covering Ludum Dare, and before you know it, you’ll be friend-zoned. :)

I’m in! What do I do now?

First, create an account.

(FYI, we will be migrating to a new website later this year, so you may have to create an account again)

Second, send me (Mike) an e-mail. [email protected]

If you’re a friend of Ludum Dare and we don’t already know each-other, include a few links to your coverage (or equivalent) of Ludum Dare. I only speak and read English, so you international channels will especially have to help me out here (i.e. send a playlist, a blog tag link, etc).

If you’re press/media or a representative, include a link to your channel/publication. If it’s a larger publication with many writers/contributors, including a link to something you worked on helps too. I’m just doing the most basic of verifications here (i.e. do you really work for/with them).

I should start getting back to people on the Tuesday after Ludum Dare. I’ll be setting up a stub-page for you. You’re encouraged to add artwork that identifies your channel/publication, and to link to yourself or a general link to your coverage (tags, seasons, etc).

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch, or leave a comment.

Welcome to Ludum Dare 32!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 8:02 pm

Hello, and welcome to Ludum Dare 32! This is our first event of 2015, and our 13th year Ludum and Daring.

Without further ado, lets do what you came here to do:

CLICK ME!

Click the image above to Vote for Ludum Dare 32’s Theme! The highest rated theme will be revealed on Friday April 17th at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT, or Saturday 01:00 UTC). Don’t know when that is? Click this handy link here for your local timezone, or observe the countdown clock above.

Results from Rounds 1-4 are here.

(Over) 50 Real World Gatherings!!

There are A LOT of them this time. If you haven’t checked out the list, click here.

Live Streaming? You now have many choices!

By request, we’ve now added support for streaming newcomer Beam. That means you have 4 choices for places to share your development. Pick your favourite, and start broadcasting! Set your game to “Ludum Dare“.

            

Also! Mac and Linux users! OBS is now cross platform! Add cool borders layouts to your Live Streams!

obs

PSA: Unity Player is no longer compatible with Chrome

As of Chrome 42 (released April 14th), Unity Player, Java, and Silverlight games will no longer work in Chrome (i.e. NPAPI plugins). There is a clumsy user workaround, but you might seriously want to take a look at the HTML5 export found in Unity 5 instead.

Also FYI: Unity Player has never worked on Linux. Just saying. πŸ˜‰

PSA: You can embed your Ludum Dare web games on your game page

I actually added this last Ludum Dare, but didn’t mention it: You can now embed your web games on your game page. Embeds are currently limited to any size equal-to or below 900×600 pixels. The limit is due to the current website layout. If you need more than that, you should offer to full-screen your game.

And More!

Deals, Assets, Wallpapers and more! Click the buttons below the countdown clock for more.

Keynote! Hosted by Sol_HSA

We actually released the keynote early (last week). In case you missed it, Sol_HSA challenged you to try something new. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here it is again:

Extra! A “History” of Ludum Dare

Our friends at the Button Masher Bros made this OUTRAGEOUS Ludum Dare themed comedy video… err… I mean Historically Accurate Documentary on Ludum Dare *cough*. Contains profanity.

That’s all for now. Go vote!!

It’s Ludum Dare 32! Why not try something new? KEYNOTE!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, April 9th, 2015 6:07 pm

Lets try something new! How about the keynote RIGHT NOW? A week early.

Okay!

Ludum Dare 32 Keynote, hosted by Sol_HSA

(more…)

Warmup Weekend for Ludum Dare 32

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, April 9th, 2015 9:55 am

Are you itching for some Dare? Yeah! Are you ready though? Nope!?! Then between now and the start, you’re encouraged to test your tools. We call it Warmup Weekend (but we don’t mind when you submit, be it today or next week). Make some art, import it, and draw it on screen. Make some sounds, import them, and play them on cue. If you’re using a new development tool, figure out the development cycle. Learn how to make a release too!

Bullet point summary:

  • No rules or limits. This is practice.
  • Learn your development tools! Write some code, run it.
  • Make some art, get it on screen, make it move.
  • Print some text to the screen. Print some text to a log (if applicable).
  • Make some sound, get it in game, make it play.
  • If you’re motivated enough, make your experiments in to a game!
  • Make something that should take “hours”, not 2 days.
  • Then package it up, put it online.
  • No time or day limit. But if you have no other plans this weekend, why not?

If you like what you’ve done, feel free to share it.

[ Submit Here | View all Warmup Games ]

Free Jam Assets for Ludum Dare 32 (JAM ONLY!)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, April 3rd, 2015 11:28 am

Ludum Deals for LD32 [4]

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, March 29th, 2015 3:06 pm

Deals! Here is this LD’s list of offers, bargains and other things.

Development

Content Creation

Unity Asset Store

If you’d like to submit your own deal, you can post details and a link in the comments below, or send me an e-mail. When I have a chance I’ll add it to the list.

Also it MUST be relevant to what we do here (i.e. make games).

Rezzed 2015: Acid Nerve talks Titan Souls (LD28)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, March 15th, 2015 1:01 pm

The team from @acidnerve discuss their upcoming game PC and PlayStation game Titan Souls, a game originally created for Ludum Dare 28 (Theme: You only get one).

Ludum Dare 32 Wallpapers [21]

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, March 12th, 2015 8:01 pm

Here are some Wallpapers created by the community. LD31’s wallpapers are here.

ld32

ld32-wall2

Ludum-Dare-Wallpaper

31.ld32_pre_wall_2.kuhn-munkres

31.ld32_pre_wall_1.kuhn-munkres

ld32

ld32light

ld32dark

1920 x 1080

joystick

ld-32-wallpaper-2560x1440

LD32_Wallpaper1

TerrificLD32Wallpaperimage1920x1080

Ludum Dare 32 Wallpaper

ldcloud720

ludum_dare_32_1920x1080_wallpaper

wp1920

ld32_dark

LD32-ArcherV3

LudumDare32

If you’d like to be added to the list, make a post, and leave me a comment here.

Re-branding Ludum Dare. Lets talk Logo and Mascot

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 3:58 pm

Alright! It’s time we got this ball rolling.

As many of you know, my goal this year is to finally refresh, redo and build us a brand new Ludum Dare website. It’s a big deal. We’ve been going strong for 13 years now, but we’ve grown *A LOT* the past few. I’m in constant awe that many thousands of you tolerate the sub-par duct-tape and cardboard website we have today. I never expected LD to get this big, and to become so important to so many people. I feel I have a responsibility to take this little hobby of mine very seriously.

So part of bringing Ludum Dare up to date is cleaning up the branding. Last year I took the first step, switching our hashtag from #LD48 to #LDJAM. We are big on social media. It’s how I keep in touch with many of you. But we’re constantly bringing in new people, and in just 5 years we’ll finally reach our 48th main event. If we weren’t already 13 years old, that might seem far away. It’s one less question I need to answer.

I can’t even remember when I made the current Ludum Dare logo, but it’s been a very long time. What a shame it would be to have a brand new Ludum Dare, with the same old logo. Like getting a haircut before something new, it’s just something you do.

But rather than starting with a debate on typography and color, I want us to explore something that’s been in the back of my mind: A Ludum Dare Mascot.

We sort of have a logo. At some point, it was clear that many early LD’ers were Commodore 64 fans (myself included). The Commodore 64 never really had a standard joystick, but you could plug in *A LOT* of different things (including Atari 2600 joysticks or Sega Master System gamepads). Somewhere along the line, a bunch of us just mutually agreed that the Suncom TAC-2 was the iconic joystick we were going to use to represent Ludum Dare. It also kinda helps that nobody really knows who Suncom is anymore, and if they’re still around, they certainly don’t care about the TAC-2.

The Suncom TAC-2 (Totally Accurate Controller MK2)

The Suncom TAC-2 (Totally Accurate Controller MK2)

Funny thing, it’s actually a really terrible joystick for play (solder and balls instead of microswitches). But man, it captures that 80’s iconic retro gaming vibe just right. It was all about the style.

So hello, it’s 2015 now.

It’s probably 30 years since the TAC-2 was manufactured. I’m not saying we get rid of the TAC-2, but we should consider our options. Gaming has changed, and is always changing. You might even say we had an effect on that change (something small, but hey). Really, the only constant in gaming is change.

So if it’s fair game to change the Logo, what could we do?

Of course, there’s the mascot route.

Taccy the Tacky TAC-2... this is why I need your help

Taccy the Tacky TAC-2… this is why I need your help

.. Well, Taccy is probably not a good choice, but we need to start somewhere.

I want to think there is an ideal little character we can create to both represent and share with the community. Maybe there’s multiple mascots. Maybe there’s a root character that gets reinterpreted. Maybe there’s the general mascot, and maybe there’s a Ludu-tan/Dah-ray-chan or other personification.

I'll admit. I love what GitHub does with their branding

I’ll admit. I love what GitHub does with their branding

Ludum Dare means a lot of things to a lot of people. You all constantly blow me away with your creativity, so I feel this is something I need to defer to all of you to help find.

Help us design a Mascot and/or Logo for Ludum Dare!

This isn’t a contest per se. I’d rather think of this as a conversation. If someone has an idea, and if you have suggestions or alternative takes on the idea, I want to see the back and forth. I want us to work together on this.

Post your thoughts, sketches, and ideas in the comments. I will follow along as best I can.

EDIT: Oh! Image posting doesn’t work in WordPress. I’ve been manually editing posts and embedding the images. Leave me a link to an image file, and I’ll do that for you.

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