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)


PoV's Trophies

The "I just need to test awards" award
Awarded by pta2002
on April 18, 2016
Badass Admin Award
Awarded by kaype
on December 6, 2015
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

PoV's Archive

GitHub GDC and Ludum Dare (15th Birthday) Party on Tuesday Feb 28

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 5:42 pm


We’re being graciously hosted by GitHub again. We’ll have our own little corner with some PCs set up with a bunch of Ludum Dare games. Party starts at 7 PM. Bring your laptop if you want to show what you’re up to!


Proof of GDC registration is required! If you don’t have a GDC pass but you are a Ludum Dare regular, reach out to me (and let me know your username/userpage so I can look you up).

GitHub HQ
88 Colin P Kelly Jr St
San Francisco, CA

When: 7 PM Tuesday (February 28th)

How: Bring your GDC pass!

Ludum Documentary

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017 7:54 pm

So it’s 2017, and come April the Ludum Dare game jam event will be 15 years old.

That’s something.

Something we haven’t been the best at is recording our legacy. A few nerds banging away at their keyboards for a weekend is no big deal. But when you do it for long enough time, it becomes one.

I will be in San Francisco for GDC. GDC is one of those rare times we get game makers from around the world together in one place, and I know a lot of people that have done Ludum Dare attend the show. Of course we can’t possibly get everyone involved, but GDC is a chance to get some of us together. And with our anniversary coming up, I feel it’s something we should take advantage of.

While I’m at the show, I want to facilitate and sit down with people that Ludum Dare has had some effect on, and have a conversation. Not “what do you like/hate about Ludum Dare”, but rather casually talk about your games, game making, and game jamming. Again, a conversation. I’ve often referred to Ludum Dare as a seed. It’s there to encourage you to make something. It’s the first step. It’s the thing that gets you in to game making, the thing that inspires you to finish a game, or sometimes even becomes the basis of a commercial game. For every game made there’s a story, and I want to see some of those stories told.

Our Ludum Dare keynotes are similar. There’s a playfulness to them (sometimes it’s all “business”), but in general I see it as a platform for the keynoters to share their story. For a while I’ve wanted to do something special with our 15th Anniversary Keynote, but I didn’t know what. There’s probably not enough time to produce a full documentary by April, but if we start at GDC, I’m sure we can cut together something by then.

To the point: I seriously need help with this!

To start, I’m not a filmmaker. I do know about the tech and the tools (#nerd), but I don’t do it. I don’t know how realistic this is going to be, but I want to find someone to work with on this. Someone that is also going to be at GDC. To be blunt, yes I’m looking for someone to capture, edit, and produce the documentary. I don’t have a budget, but I want to see this get made, so I’ll chip in where it makes sense. And yes, I do realise what I’m asking. I want to see something “Ludum Dare Documentary” get made, and I’ll do whatever I can to help. I wont be in charge of this (that’s you), but I want to facilitate it so that it does happen.

I will probably call upon folks to capture footage of small and intimate gatherings (because realistically we can’t be everywhere), but before we get there, I need to find someone to work with on this. Worst case I’ll bring my garbage camcorder and field recorder with me so I have footage, but I would prefer to have someone take charge on this.

Feel free to reach out.

Multiplayer and Party friendly LD games for GDC?

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, January 23rd, 2017 4:42 pm

Hi folks!

This is still in early concept stage, but I’ve had some interest in doing a little Ludum Dare thing at GDC this year. It’ll be in a party-like environment, and what we’re thinking is setting up a bunch of multiplayer or party-friendly Ludum Dare games on TVs in addition to the usual hang-out.

Sounds cool?

Let me know in the comments if you’ll be attending GDC, and if you have a good multiplayer/party-friendly game, or if you have any recommendations. Links to LD pages/post LD versions are encouraged. :)

Again this isn’t set in stone yet, but we’re trying to gauge how much interest there is, and what we should be showing if we do it.


Results for Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 2:19 am

You can view your results here:

My Results: ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=me

The individual category results are just above your comments.

Top 100 Games

Check out winning competition and jam games here:

Compo Top 100: ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=top
Jam Top 100: ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/?action=top&cat=Overall(Jam)

Winners are decided by the Overall category.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Category Winners

Here at Ludum Dare, being the best overall game isn’t the only way to win. Games are rated in 7 additional categories, with a special “Coolness” category highlighting people that went above and beyond to be sure you got a vote.

Categorical Top 25’s: ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-37/

*NOTE*: You can click on the titles of the categories for Top 100 lists per category.

Ludum Dare 38, our 15th Anniversary: April 21st-24th


We started this “Ludum Dare” thing back in April of 2002, and we’re still here today, 15 years later.

15 years is one of those impossible goals you just don’t expect to reach. From our humble beginnings as a forum, to a world class event for game creators. Our little olde event has a huge impact on how games are made, and how game making is taught. We’re known across the industry, and I’m super proud of what we’ve achieved together.

I owe a huge thanks to so many people for getting us where we are today. I’m going to hold-off calling people out, since I wont be able to do it justice. But a huge thanks to all of you that keep coming back, those that go out of your way to help others, and everyone that dares to take our Dare for the first time.

Follow us on Twitter, or sign up for the Mailing List to keep informed.

New Website Progress

There’s a lot on my plate this year (see below). I was planning to do another crunch after Xmas so we could start an Alpha test, but I decided to do the holidays properly: relax.

I did not finish enough of the new website in time for Ludum Dare 37, but during the crunch a lot of important progress was made. We discovered a number of things that need to be changed (hooray for compatibility and security). But like I first said: we’re better off with December’s event being a disaster than our 15th Anniversary. On the plus side, I don’t think it was a disaster. It just didn’t go as smooth as it could have.

And even though we didn’t fully launch the site, I’m happy we’re finally past the point where people other than me can contribute. The week after LD I took it easy, spending my time addressing toolchain bugs, and merging in some of the fixes and changes that were contributed. It’s not ready for prime time yet, but for those of you that like to hack on incomplete things, there’s something usable there now.

We will try this again in April.

I will be at GDC 2017 in February/March

I figure I should make an appearance this year. :)

I probably wont be organizing a gathering. I just don’t have the time (I’ll get to that in a moment). But I will be there, in San Francisco! No creepy robot! 😀

If anything changes, I will let you know. The Mailing List is a great way to keep informed.

“Dare to Play” for LD37 (Streamers, YouTubers, over here!)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, December 12th, 2016 12:53 pm

Here’s a thread for the Live Streamers, YouTubers, and any non-participant looking for games to play.

For everyone else, go vote!


Post a link to your Channel, Show, or Publication in the comments below, along with a link to where people can suggest games to you (off-site or in a separate thread please).

If you have a schedule planned, please share it, so people can know when to tune in.

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


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.

Judging Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 11:16 pm

Since I know everybody wants it, we will run an old-style Ludum Dare judging here on ludumdare.com. It’s buggy, it’s easily exploited, and it has already started, so get voting! I will make some time to check the data by the end before the results, and hopefully we’ll catch any attempts at abusing the system again. Just let me know if you come across any suspicious entries or activity. Thanks.

[ Judging | View All | My Game | Edit ]

This will be the official way we’re judging Ludum Dare 37.

Unofficially, I’d still like to go ahead with alpha-testing judging on the new site, but I’m going to bump the kickoff from Friday to Monday December 19th. Spend this week judging games here on ludumdare.com. In fact, keep judging them after (up until the end of the year). But next week, anyone that wants to help me battle test the new judging, I will be inviting you to resubmit your Ludum Dare game on https://ldjam.com, and try it out.

The judging there will have no effect on the results here (so here is most important), but it will help me make sure the new site is working well enough for our first big event in April 2017 (and our 15th anniversary).

EDIT: Ah! Because of the holidays, Mike running behind schedule (yes yes), and not to interfere with the judging, alpha testing is pushed back to January.

Thanks everyone!

The LD37 Backup Plan (Submit Here)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, December 11th, 2016 11:40 am

Darn it.

I’ve lost count at how many hours I’ve been awake, but it’s at the point where the code is there, it should be working, but it’s not working, and I’m not rested enough to figure it out why.

I can’t make you wait any longer to open submissions, so I’ve opened a classic Ludum Dare submission form here:

[ Submit/Edit Game | View All ]

Officially, that’s where you submit.

Once I get some sleep, and we get through Submission Hour, I’m going to pick up where I left off and see what I can make work. I still haven’t decided exactly what I want to do, but I would like to try sticking with my plan and run some sort of judging on the new site. Invite anyone that want’s to resubmit to do so, and we’ll run a test-run of judging using the pool of games we do get.

Darn it. I’m really disappointed and embarrassed that I wasn’t able to get this going cleanly with enough hours for compo people to submit. I’m sorry. I’ll be back in a few hours after I get some sleep. 😉

EDIT: Yay, a rested Mike is better than a zombie Mike. Here’s how submissions were going to work:


Once we get through Submission Hour, I’m going to see about adding screenshots, then pushing it to the Live server. Above is still going to be the official way to submit (to both events), but I’m hoping to still do a test-run of judging next weekend on the new site.

EDIT2: Hello and welcome back from the server outage! :D. I had to disable Cloudflare to get us to this point. That probably means it’s going to be rather slow over the next hour or two. Also there might still be some DNS issues, so have patience.

EDIT3: And one last reminder. To submit to the compo you need to click all 4 of those checkboxes.


EDIT4: If you’re getting errors while submitting, you may need to simplify your submission. Try just 1 screenshot at first (you can add more after), and make sure your links include http:// or https://. Also try changing the format of your screenshot (PNG to JPG). There’s an old old bug that sometimes trips over images in certain formats.

Ludum Dare 37’s Theme: One room


So, a last minute call: We’ll be submitting games on LDJAM.COM, but as most people are already doing, you should make your progress blog posts here on LUDUMDARE.COM.

Blogging on the new site wont be ready immediately at the start. So rather than over-complicating things, lets use WordPress for the one thing it DOES do well: Blogs. :)

We will be doing the Theme Announcement over there (and on IRC and Twitter). So yeah, do visit the site at the start. Lets see if it goes down for a few minutes, like it always does. 😉

Standard Ludum Dare Rules apply: we have the 72 hour Jam for everyone (solo and teams), and the classic 48 hour solo Compo event.

Judging WILL NOT be starting after the event ends, but it will be starting a few days later: on Friday December 16th. Yes, this not ideal, and a bit janky. But I hope you’d agree late judging is better than no judging. If it is ready early, it will start early. That said, expect Judging on Friday.

Follow the Twitter or join the Mailing List to get notified exactly when Judging starts.

If you’re having problems with either site, reach out to me.

We’re runinng Ludum Dare 37 on LDJAM.com

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, November 28th, 2016 12:00 am

Hi everyone!


Hopefully that clears up some of the confusion.

We’re going to try and run Ludum Dare 37 on the new website. So we don’t break the internet (i.e. links), and in case something bad happens (an outage, crash, or some such), we’re doing the test on a different server: ldjam.com

The website is early alpha quality. I’ve disabled anything that’s unfinished or not ready, and will be rolling out additional features as they’re become ready. We’re doing a little bit at a time, and just enough to run an event. Have patience. :)

Visit ldjam.com to learn more, to create your account, and to take part in Theme Selection. Suggestions Open!

If you run in to any problems, you can contact me, or leave a comment below.

Previous Alpha Testing post: here

Wallpapers for Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, November 27th, 2016 3:27 pm

Post your (or check for) Wallpapers in the comments below.


Real World Gatherings for Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, November 27th, 2016 3:24 pm

Post about (and check for) gatherings in the comments.

Sorry, I wont be able to make a list this time (busy busy). If you’re really lucky, magic fairies might turn up to do it anyway. (Thanks Magic Fairies!)

US and Canada

Rest of the World


Alpha Testing Ludum Dare 37

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Saturday, November 5th, 2016 5:51 am

Hi folks!

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

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 jammer.vg (probably hello@jammer.vg), 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.


Problems? Post here!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 1:04 am

Hi. I’m still away, but I’ve been getting a number of people contacting me that weren’t able to submit, or had issues submitting, so I’m going to send them here. Please leave a comment here if you had issues submitting.

If it’s an account/activation issue, I’ll take care of those. You can contact me directly.

EDIT: Feedback Friends bugs over here: https://github.com/…/feedback-friends/issues

What is going on? (Summary)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 1:17 pm


This is a summary of what’s going on. Long story short, some people are not happy with me.

For those that weren’t around a few weeks ago, among other things I was called out for not giving a date for the next Ludum Dare event. For the above reason, this is something I’ve been struggling to write, but after being called out I had to quickly throw together a response.


Long story short, I am not running an August event. After running 3 events per year for the past 8 years, I need a break. I’m just asking for one though. There are big problems, and I want to focus on getting the new website running as soon as possible to address them, without the obligation of having to run a summer event. As I see it, Ludum Dare 36 is in December.

I detailed my reasons in the post above, along with my serious concerns about running events on the current website. I recommended that we don’t run a judged event on the current website. The community is free to do what they want, but I specifically asked not to be involved. As a compromise I recommended running un-judged events like the MiniLDs (or LD.5 events we’d previously run), because they don’t require much attention on my part. Also itch.io offered to host an event in my absence. This is fine (and the least effort on my part), but long term there are concerns worth considering.

Again, I just want to reiterate that I am not involved with the August event.

For details on what is happening in August, visit the main website.


On the Itch

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, June 10th, 2016 6:29 pm

Let’s talk about itch.io.

Like I said in my post, I wont be running a Ludum Dare event in August. The community is free to do whatever it wants in my absence. Itch.io has offered to help out which is great. Much appreciated!

But long term, there are some serious consequences that need to be considered and understood.

I’ve been chatting with Leaf of itch.io on and off for the past few weeks, but not necessarily about the things you may be thinking.

Ludum Dare is kind-of a big deal. By existing and doing what we do, we benefit the greater gaming community. Much of the growth in games created the past several years can be attributed to what we do. In my other post I talked about our impact, our reach, and how much what we do matters to the industry.

We are a thing.

Itch.io is amazing. It grew out of a need of the Ludum Dare community (game hosting), and became this fantastic new way that indie games are shared and distributed. It somehow achieved what Manifesto Games, Desura, Midnight City, and so many others attempted-to but failed to do: create a stable indie games marketplace.

Itch is a thing.

And as members of the community, the itch.io team is super aggressive, adding features to make it easier for everyone that participates in Ludum Dare. They’ve done so many great things, and it makes total sense that we should be working with them. We should do it more. That kind of relationship is rare.

But it needs to be understood that itch.io is a business.


I trust these guys, but even with the best intentions, itch.io has grown to the point where it now competes directly with Newgrounds, Game Jolt, and Kongregate. All of these sites host games and run contests. Game Jolt has been especially aggressive lately trying to catch up to itch.io by adding jam hosting and their own download client. This is not a joke. This is serious stuff.

If Ludum Dare permanently moved to itch.io, it would be damaging.

After submitting to itch.io, there’s little incentive to upload to the other sites. Itch.io is already one of the most popular places to run game jams. But if itch.io also ran Ludum Dare, the largest online game jam in the world, that could be trouble.

We make a impact. A real impact.

There’s a reason Newgrounds and Game Jolt go out of their way to add and highlight the #LudumDare or #LDJAM or #LD35 tags. We had a good relationship with Kongregate as well, until a falling-out several years back. Some of you may not know the story, but Kongregate ran a contest alongside LD, inviting people to submit their Ludum Dare games. They offered cash prizes, which in turn caused a lot of social media outrage, unfortunately souring things between us. Other than one of the winners that reached out after getting a job there, I haven’t heard from them since. I still have a lot of respect for Kongregate. They’re just one of the few people that have seen our bad side, something I unfortunately have to work hard to protect others from.

And also, I need to mention that Tom Fulp of Newgrounds has been one of Ludum Dare’s biggest contributors over the years. I believe this was back in 2012, the same year we first broke 1000 games. At the time I was panicked. Our old host was kicking us off. I’d never run a server that cost more than $10 a month, and certainly not one that cost over $100 a month. My games business has never really done well, despite the things I can brag about (winning cash, trips, hardware, and even a car). So spending over 10x more a month on keeping “the hobby” afloat was something I just wasn’t comfortable with yet. It was necessary, but this was new territory for me.

I don’t believe we were ever month-to-month with donations covering our hosting cost, but you could count how many months we could sustain it. Later in 2012, I received a few large donations. The big one was crazy, a total across two donations of $7k from an anonymous (?) donor, but the 2nd largest was $300 from Tom. I was super humbled by this. It still took time for me to accept the idea spending over $100 a month on hosting, but the generous donations by Tom and the anonymous donor really helped me get comfortable with where I had to be. And finally after several years of spending over $200 a month on hosting, I’ve learned and done enough that our hosting costs are now under $100 a month. That and we even run multiple servers now (the old and the new).

So take that as you will. Personally, I feel an obligation not to side entirely with one company in the game hosting space. Competition is good. It’s healthy. It keeps things interesting, and everyone moving forward. It means I have to do more, but like I’ve been saying, I’m cool with that. I just need time on my side. 😉

It’s important to have choice.

That’s not to say we can’t have preferences. Everybody has preferences. Many of you prefer GitHub to BitBucket or Assembla. Many of you prefer Twitch to Hitbox, YouTube, or Beam. But the more we go out of our way to provide options, to provide choice, the better it is for everyone.

Anybody that wants to work with us should be able to work with us. Not everybody has the drive or resources to do it, but for those that do, interesting new things get done. And while I don’t necessarily have time to work with everyone, I’m happy open source is a part of Ludum Dare. It means I can focus on the things that make the biggest impact, do the hard work, and then members of the community or 3rd parties can do what I can’t.

Ludum Dare is not an island. Live streaming, source code hosting, game hosting, these are things that others do really well. What we do is Jams. Today it’s running our jams, but tomorrow it could be your jam. We’re seen as a hub of game jamming and game jams on the internet. Members of our community even run their own extra mini events beyond our extra mini events. The jammer identity is strong here. And to me, that is what Ludum Dare is, and should be focused on. If you want to run you own game jam today, use itch.io. They’ve got the custom game jam thing figured out, and it works great. But we also do game jams. That is our forte. And some day, we’ll let you run them too. Like I said, competition is good. :)

Anyway, that about sums up what I want to say. I think Ludum Dare benefits the community best if it stays its own thing.

Well, this is awkward

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 8:44 am

My sincere apologies for being quiet as of late. This post is a bit rushed, but I hope it addresses the concerns.

First off, I took some time off after Ludum Dare 35. I’d been stressing myself out trying to find the right way to say what I need to say. I’ve been chatting with a number of people behind the scenes, getting lots of feedback, and it’s been really good. I was originally going to make this post several times, most recently on June 1st, but when you’re saying something important you always seem to learn something equally as important at the last minute. 😉

It’s getting more and more difficult to figure out how to make everyone happy while doing what I think needs to be done. To continue to grow and improve Ludum Dare for everyone today, and for tomorrow.

I gather I haven’t done the best job communicating the significance of Ludum Dare. If you looked at the website we run, your first impression would not be that we’re big, successful, or even good at what we do. But you might be surprised to hear how things actually are:


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