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.
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
The IRC Math Teacher of the Year Award
Awarded by Henry McLaughlin
on October 29, 2011
Deals! Here is this LD’s list of offers, bargains and other things.
- GameCreator – Cross Platform Drag & Drop Web-based Game Creator – “Want to make a great game, but no program skills? No Problem! With the GameCreator you just drag & drop your fabulous game together. Don’t hesitate! Start now and use our promo code!“
- PlayCanvas – Browser & Mobile game engine – Anyone who submits a game to Ludum Dare made using PlayCanvas will get 50% off a year’s subscription to a PlayCanvas Pro account. Email [email protected] after the event with your PlayCanvas username and a link to your game on the LD site.
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).
Here are some Wallpapers created by the community. LD31’s wallpapers are here.
If you’d like to be added to the list, make a post, and leave me a comment here.
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.
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.
.. 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.
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.
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.
Here’s a few photos to remember the night.
EDIT: More Photos (Higher Quality. My camera phone is terrible)
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.
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.
Hello! I hope you had a great Ludum Dare.
Results will be live shortly.
2014 was a crazy year that saw over 8000 games created during Ludum Dare and MiniLD events. We set a new record in December with over 2600 games, and December is historically our smallest main event.
In 2015, will the scouter say Ludum Dare is over 9000? Stay tuned!
Here’s what’s coming up:
April 2015: Ludum Dare 32, April 17th to 20th
March 2015: Game Developers Conference
I’ll be in San Francisco for GDC in March, and like usual, we’ll be having a little get-together. I’ll have more details on the gathering as we get closer to GDC, so stay tuned (it might be cooler than usual). Again, Twitter or the Mailing List to stay informed.
Project LD2015: a new Ludum Dare website (WordPress free!)
In January I start on something I’ve nicknamed “LD2015”, or the New Website project. It’s the long overdue rewrite (from scratch) of the Ludum Dare website.
As I’ve previously mentioned, we’ve been using WordPress to run Ludum Dare for about 7 years now. All-in-all it’s actually not a bad piece of software. Despite not really being designed for it, it’s actually capable of running a website with 46,000 users. You have to massage it, tweak it, hack it a bit, but it does work. But a lot of our custom code was designed for event with hundreds of submissions, not thousands. Like the classic problem of fitting a square peg in to a round hole, we’ve been chiselling away at that hole for years to make the peg fit, and it’s not pretty.
Over the past few months, I’ve become quite familiar with inner workings of WordPress and our custom code, making tweaks and adding features for Ludum Dare 31. My plan is to build something new, from the ground up, that solves as many of the current website problems as I can, as well as migrate as much of the data over that makes sense.
Back in August of 2014, during Ludum Dare 30, I started collecting feedback from you. This resulted in something I call the Feedback Mega Thread. Over 400 posts from you and me, trying to catalogue the little things, places that we can do better.
Some highlights include:
- Finding and browsing games needs to be better
- Too many posts to follow
- I want to reply to players
- Bad formatting of posts
- Mobile website
- How do I find Linux games, Unity games, HTML5 games, etc
- How do I find Multiplayer games (online and local)
- The need to moderate new users (me)
- The dynamic (transforming) nature of the website during events (me)
- I want to help
All of these, and many more. We’re a community that embraces a wide variety of media and social networking in addition to our games. I want to see Reviews and Lets Plays from all our favourite YouTubers, Streamers, and Indie Game outlets better integrated in to the site. I want to be able to tell you exactly how many games are made in Twine or Unity. There is metadata, tweets, blog and Facebook posts from all over the internet that we could fetch ourselves and do something with. I want to enable you and all your crazy ideas. The stats and other fun things you want to do. And if you make something that improves Ludum Dare for everyone, I want to make it part of the website.
Of course we can’t expect to do everything in just a few months, so I’ll be starting with the essentials. What we need to migrate the old data over, and to get us on the road to a new, better Ludum Dare.
Goal: New Website online for Ludum Dare 33 in August (not April).
I’ll get in to the details later, but for now I will say that the new website will be:
- Developed in PHP
- Hosted on GitHub – https://github.com/ludumdare (empty for now)
I’ll be acting as project lead, and doing the core development. You’ll eventually be able to fork the code, make changes/add things, and push them at me. I’ll be making an effort to document instructions for setting up your own mini Ludum Dare instance for testing. I’ll have a design goals/document up soon, as well as a discussion list/forum (something), so if anyone wants to help me, you’ll know what’s going on.
For January, it looks like we raised about $2500 between Patreon (~$937 TBD) and Paypal ($1601). That’s pretty close to my ambitious goal of $3000 a month, certainly enough for me to commit to another month.
If anyone wants to sneak a few more dollars in before January 1st, please do. 😀
$1000 of that is thanks to Phil Hassey, my co-runner of Ludum Dare for many years, and author of most of Ludum Dare’s custom code. I really owe Phil a lot. Thanks to him, we returned to LudumDare.com, and set things up so we could continue running events for many years. As an event, Ludum Dare spend several of its early years floating, sleeping on the couch of friends like Mike Hommel, before we got serious and went home. I knew nothing of web development at the time. I got to focus on organizing and MC’ing events, and when there were problems Phil could fix things. Phil eventually got busy with his Galcon series of strategy games, but the foundation was set. I was able to take over and run with it for many years. Without that groundwork that Phil laid, Ludum Dare wouldn’t be what it is today. And as if I didn’t already owe him, I *REALLY* owe him now. 😀
That said, the ~$900 a month that the Patreon pulls in isn’t enough to cover my monthly bills, but it’s still pretty amazing. You rarely seen Patreons over a hundred dollars, and I’m truly humbled that so many of you believe in what I’m doing to contribute so much. And all of you that contribute via Paypal, I really appreciate you too!
Thank you all so very much!
Now, if you don’t mind, to help me pay my bills, I’d like to do this before starting on LD2015:
Literally, just a few hours ago today, my puzzle game Smiles HD was Greenlit on Steam. It’s not a Ludum Dare game, but I’m hoping the trickle income it earns will help support me working on Ludum Dare these next few months. I’m not expecting much, but if it can make me a few hundred more a month, that’d be a plus. Every bit helps.
I had initially planned to start working by Monday January the 5th, but I might need another week or two to get this released first.
After all, I still have to explain what I’m doing. 😀
Thanks everyone! We’ll see you again in April 2015!
Hey folks! I’m happy to announce that we have some improvements in the Submission Form. If you’ve already submitted your game, I encourage you click the little Edit link above, and make sure everything is set the way you like.
Over the next few days, I’ll be making improvements across the voting and game browsing. For now, I just had to make sure we had the data to do it.
Submission Hour for the Compo begins shortly. Stay tuned. Done. If you’re having problem submitting, let me know.
Right now, all of you are in the heat of Ludum Dare. I know it’s a bit of an LD tradition to be outraged by the theme, but I want to take a moment to see if we can understand why you dislike the theme. Is there a rule, something we or other jams imply that cripple you? Is it inconceivable to just pick your favourite instead? To perhaps just use the theme as a ‘feature creep’ or ‘scope’ limiter, and do whatever you want?
I’m curious. Lets get all psychoanalysis on this. Maybe there’s something obvious we’ve been missing. Share your thoughts, rage, or love for it in the comments.
Hello everyone! It’s time to kick off the final countdown to Ludum Dare 31 (Europe pun).
Final Round Theme Voting has begun. The highest rated themes from Rounds 1-4 will now fight in an intense 2 day voting battle, and the winner will be our Ludum Dare 31 Theme.
I hope you like the site changes. Some layout tweaks here and there, improvements, and A LOT of optimization. We’re still bound by a lot of old WordPress code, code I’m hoping replace next year (well, if I can afford to anyway). Making a new website is going to take time though, and we need something to hold us over (i.e. this). You can read a bit about my plans here, as well as what I’ve been up to the past couple months.
I’ll have more to talk about in a few weeks, but for now let’s have a Ludum Dare!
I’m really excited to share this. A friend of the band reached out to me, and this is the result.
If you’re jamming, be sure to check out the assets page. A lot of great stuff in the comments.
We’ve got a HUGE library of Wallpapers for you this time, including several wallpapers of graffiti by Robert del Naja himself. Check them out!
Plenty of Ludum Deals to check out. For those waiting for them, we now have Unity Pro trial codes for grabs. About a thousand or so. Good until January 4th. Let me know if we run out.
*NEW* We’ve also got a whole bunch of Unreal Engine 4 codes, good for 90 days of Unreal Engine access! More details on the Ludum Deals page.
Time to continue with the festivities. Let’s get you hyped up with some videos!
Ludum Dare Keynote, hosted by Yotam (Patacorow)
We’ve got a great keynote lined up for you, an Animated Keynote at that! Check it out:
Big thanks to Yotam for pulling this together.
Okay, I just had to share this too. Joe Williamson (JoeCreates) put together this wonderfully catchy Ludum Dare song, backed by footage from Ludum Dare games.
Just watch it, you’ll understand:
That’s it for now. Ladies and Gentlemen, here comes The Dare!
Share any assets you make freely available in the comments. Art, Sound, Music, etc.
Remember: If you use 3rd party Audio or Graphics, or assets you’ve made prior to the event, you’re asked to opt-out of the respective categories (i.e. Audio, Graphics). That way, it’s more fair to people creating original assets during the event. You can opt-out by clicking the “opt-opt” checkboxes when you submit your game. *NEW*
Don’t Forget: The “Compo” is a from-scratch event. Assets found here are JAM ONLY!
Oh, and I’ve got a BIG surprise for you.
Featured Exclusive Audio for the Jam
Robert del Naja of the band MASSIVE ATTACK has generously contributed an entire CD of unreleased music for you to use in your Jam games.
10 Tracks, with full stems for the musically inclined. Perfect for remixing, mastering, and butchering to your hearts content (real-time mixing in game anyone?). If that’s not your deal, I’ve provided a RAW mixdown of each track (NOTE: I AM NOT A PRO), 10 WAV files ready to be encoded in your favourite compressed format (OGG, MP3, AAC, FLAC?).
The music is provided under the terms of the Creative Commons ‘NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International‘ license. That means you’re free to do whatever, as long as give credit, and what you make is free (i.e. non commercial).
A huge huge thank you to Robert del Naja and Andrew Melchior for making this possible.
Robert del Naja has also kindly provided some photographs of his graffiti work. I’ve prepared some 1920×1200 wallpapers of them here:
Hi! This is Mike (PoV).
Late September, I pledged to spend the rest of the year working on the Ludum Dare website. Fixing, upgrading, and basically doing what I can to make the event better. The website had been long neglected, going years without software updates and even basic server maintenance. I really didn’t have the time to spend on it, so I would do the absolute minimum just to keep it going. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to cut-it anymore.
I’d like to continue working on it Full Time, but I can’t afford to do it without help. The community asked me to start a Patreon, which I did, in addition to taking Paypal donations. I need about $3000 a month to cover my costs, and though the Patreon has done well, we’re not quite there yet (currently sitting at about $790). We’ll look in to some of the other options next year (sponsorship), and whether people even want me to continue working on Ludum Dare.
Next year, 2015, I’d like to spend the year building us a brand new website. We’re currently still using WordPress, the same WordPress install from 7 years ago (with updates here and there). It’s a bit of a mess, and not designed for a community of 40,000 members. Given how much things have changed (from a hundred to many thousands participants), we’re long overdue for something new.
Ludum Dare has actually been an open source project on Google Code for nearly 7 years. We’ve had a lot of offers to help out (and requests to move it to GitHub), so this is something I’d like us to do. But given that we haven’t had a single contribution in 7 years, it’s going to take a serious effort to make it easy for people to contribute. And even if we do run it as an open source project, someone still has to run the project, and do the core work. I’m hoping people are fine with that being me. Don’t worry, I’ll let you guys fist-fight over how the website looks.
You can check out a timeline so far here: http://ludumdare.com/compo/progress/
If you’d like to help out by doing work, join the Mailing List. I’ll let you know when we’re ready.
Thanks everyone! Have a great Ludum Dare!