Ludum Dare 34
Coming December 11th-14th Weekend

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 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 []
72H2 - Zooble [Link]
LD03 - PuffBOMB []
LD02 - Sheep Strike
LD01 - Trout!
LD00 - Fun Game (not actually fun)


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

“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.


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.

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


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:

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. 😉

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. 😀

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 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!


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. 😉

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.


Ludum Dare 32 Keynote, hosted by Sol_HSA


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.


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.









1920 x 1080





Ludum Dare 32 Wallpaper







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.

Thank you GitHub for the amazing party. Photos!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, March 9th, 2015 4:58 pm

First a huge shout-out to everyone that joined us at our Ludum Dare GDC gathering party in San Francisco last week. It was an amazing time. We’re hoping to do it again next year, and will try to get even more you there.

TIP: Sign up for the Mailing List!

I owe a huge thank you to GitHub for generously hosting us, and Lee Reilly for planning, organizing, and throwing us a really amazing party. It was the best!

Here’s a few photos to remember the night.

EDIT: More Photos (Higher Quality. My camera phone is terrible)

Enter Here

Enter Here

People thought they were early

People thought they were early



Octocat skeleton

Octocat skeleton

Octocat Thinker

Octocat Thinker

Gaming themed Bar menu

Gaming themed Bar menu

Side Scrolling Platformer

Side-Scrolling Platformer

Real Time Strategy

Real Time Strategy

Third Person Shooter

Third Person Shooter

The Chow

The Chow

Pool with Sos

Pool with Sos















Just Cheese and Vegan left

Just Cheese and Vegan left

@foolmoron sleeps

@foolmoron sleeps

We got those!

We got those!





Until next time...

Until next time…

Ludum Dare GDC Gathering, Hosted by GitHub

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, February 20th, 2015 11:37 am

Yes there will be a Ludum Dare GDC Gathering! Stay Tuned!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, February 17th, 2015 3:27 pm

I’m just ironing out the final details.

Tentatively, it’ll be GDC Monday at 7 PM at a REALLY COOL NEW VENUE! Backup plan is Tuesday at ‘the usual’, but things are looking good for Monday.

Hey PoV, it’s Feb 1st. What’s going on?

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, February 1st, 2015 12:54 am

Hey folks!

It has been a month since I’ve said anything, and I owe you guys an update.

Me, I’m still finishing up my Steam port of Smiles HD. Like we always do, I under-estimated the amount of work necessary to finish the port. This was a C++ game I wrote back in 2008, over 6 years ago. I haven’t seriously touched the code for about 3 years, and the bit-rot is real.

Since then, SDL2 was released, and pretty much all fixed-function GPUs have gone extinct. I’ve been using shaders and SDL2 so long now, I don’t want to go back. This meant making the game work with my current code-base, and unfortunately finishing parts of the code-base as it hasn’t shipped a game yet.



The game is working again, but it still needs a lot of TLC. That and I’m going to have to rework/redo the high scores and achievements to be Steam friendly. I’m hoping this only take 2 more weeks… but yeah. This game, the Patreon, and the donations are my only income right now, so it kind-of has to be done ASAP. :)

I had planned to start on the new Ludum Dare website on Monday February 2nd, but I’m just not ready yet.

On March 1st I’ll be travelling and spending the week in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. When I get back, we start the countdown to Ludum Dare 32.

It’s also tax time soon, so I’m going to lose a few days to that.

Long story short, development on the new site is going to be spotty these next couple months. I should find some time before Ludum Dare 32 in April, and hopefully even before GDC. But for sure, the new site will not be ready for April. The goal is still August’s Ludum Dare, but we’ll see once I get in the thick of it (this year for sure).

Thanks for your patience.

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