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 "one of the last awards before the website move" Award
Awarded by ajayajayaj
on May 19, 2017
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

PoV's Archive

Discussion: Participation outside North (and South) America

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, December 10th, 2015 3:36 pm

Hey folks.

As many of you know, Ludum Dare is an international event. About half of us are in the US and Canada (mostly US), but the other half is elsewhere in the world. Everything we do is online, and no matter where you are in the world, what we do happens simultaneously for everyone.

I live in Canada (London Ontario), so when I’m scheduling Ludum Dare, I do have a bias for my continent (North America). As I see it, Ludum Dare events start on Friday’s at 9 PM Eastern Time, but what that also means is they start on Friday at 6 PM Pacific Time. The reason for this time is that a majority of people in North America are out of school or out of work between the hours of 5 PM and 6 PM. Again, for me it’s 9 PM in the evening, and by the time I get things wrapped, I can often get to sleep by midnight (which I imagine is normal for most people).

Unfortunately for our friends in Europe (the largest part of that other half of participants), this means Ludum Dare starts anywhere +/- 2 AM (02:00). For some it’s 1 AM, but for others it’s as bad as 4 AM or 5 AM. Beyond a certain point you may as well just wake up early, but unfortunately our friends in Europe are right in that worst case spot.

This is something I haven’t been able to come up with a good solution to.

Global Game Jam works around this by giving organizers the theme ahead of time. This works as GGJ is about being there in person, and you’re mainly being social with those physically around you.

We can’t do that.

Most people that do Ludum Dare do it from home. It would be unfair to give themes to Gatherings and not everyone in the same timezone. We’re also extremely internet social (#LDJAM), with a huge presence on Twitter. And as we get more of the new website online, we’ll be doing even more and more social things.

I get many requests from hosts of gatherings to get the theme early, but I can’t think of a way to share the theme early in a fair way.

So that’s my dilemma.

If we start sooner, people on the west coast of are still at work and school. If we give the theme early to some people, it isn’t fair for others. I don’t like the idea of segregating parts of the community (i.e. different submission times for different timezones).

The strictness of the time limit, 48 and 72 hours, is important to a lot of people. The fact that we have a solo-only event is important to a lot of people. The fact that one of our events requires source code is important to a lot of people.

I have a few too many constraints to deal with, to make it perfect for everyone. :)

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Welcome to Ludum Dare 34!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 10:39 pm

Hi everyone, and Welcome to Ludum Dare 34! It’s almost time to kick-off the event, but before we do that, we need to pick our theme.


Click the image above to Vote for Ludum Dare 34’s Theme! The highest rated theme will be revealed on Friday December 11th at 9:00 PM EST (6:00 PM PDT, or Saturday 02:00 UTC).

Join us on IRC (#ludumdare on irc.afternet.org) or Twitter (/ludumdare) for the Theme Announcement!

If you haven’t been around these past few weeks, you’ll notice something different when you click above. Some weeks ago, we kicked off part of the new Ludum Dare website, and we’ve been testing it along the way. Blogging and Submissions for Ludum Dare 34 will continue to use the WordPress powered Ludum Dare website (you are here now). However, the entire Theme Selection process was handled by the new website.

There were some hiccups and experiments along the way, but I hope those of you that got to use it liked what you saw. If you run in to any issues with the theme selection site, leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch.

And before I go, if you’re having troubles activating your account, send me an e-mail with your username and I’ll help you when I can.

Keynote! Hosted by Crowbeak

Here to get you hyped is Lena “Crowbeak” LeRay. She’s one of our favourite people from IndieGames.com, and she recently finished a post-compo (post-jam) version of a game Ultra Hat Dimension with fellow Ludum Dare 29 keynoter Emma “Eniko” Maassen. Here’s her story.

That’s it from me. Let’s get Ludum and Daring!

Theme Voting is Live!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, December 7th, 2015 11:18 pm

Thanks everyone for your patience! The Theme Voting is now Live! Go here and vote:


A huge thanks to my Beta Testers. I think we were able to get most of the quirks out with your reports. :)

We usually start the Theme Voting on the weekend, but due to reasons, I wasn’t able to get this kicked off at the usual time. My apologies.

As of now we’re kicking off a new round of Voting roughly every 12 hours. Each round lasts a just over 24 hours. Be sure to click the tabs to visit prior rounds and get your votes in before they close!!

If you’re having troubles activating your account, you can send me an e-mail with your username. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

EDIT: As an experiment, Theme Voting Result details are NOT shown. They ARE still sorted by their scores, but you no longer know by how much (or how little) a Theme has an advantage. This also means you don’t know exactly what themes will be in the Final Round.

That’s all for now. Go Vote!

Theme Voting Starting Soon…

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, December 6th, 2015 3:19 pm

Hey Folks!

Theme Slaughter is closed (details), and I’m running a little behind on getting the Theme Voting kicked off. Apologies for the delay. You know, stuff happens. πŸ˜‰

I’m hoping the beta is live tonight. Stay tuned for that. You can follow me for the latest.

If you’re having troubles activating your account, you can send me an e-mail with your username. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Busy busy. We’ll see you soon! πŸ˜€

Wallpapers for Ludum Dare 34

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, November 30th, 2015 5:08 pm

Post links to wallpapers you’ve created in the comments.

Ludum Dare 33’s wallpapers are here. Ludum Dare 32’s wallpapers are here.

Theme Slaughter Round for Ludum Dare 34 begins!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, November 30th, 2015 2:26 pm

Progress continues. The all-new Theme Slaughter has started. Go here:


If you don’t already have one, you will need a Ludum Dare account to participate in the Slaughter.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Theme Slaughter Round is the first phase of the Ludum Dare Theme Voting. We’ve taken the thousands your suggestions from the Theme Suggestion Round, removed duplicates, and set up this easy form for you to say whether you like them or not. Every click helps, so please help us slaughter some themes. :)

What’s new:

  • Now just 2 options (Yes and No), to make it less ambiguous
  • Hotkeys: Quickly select Yes and No using the Left and Right arrow keys, submit with Spacebar or Enter.
  • Edit your Votes by clicking on them in the Recent Themes list
  • “Flag” option to mark inappropriate themes (offensive, racist, etc)
  • Ludum Dare Account Required

Coming soon:

  • Stats
  • Making it less likely to see the same theme twice

If you have any problems or feedback, leave a comment below.

Ludum Dare 34 in 3.5 Weeks! Theme Selection micro-site is Live!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 12:11 pm

EDIT: Ending Soon!

Hey everyone!

We’ve just launched the Theme Selection micro-site. We’ll be using it for the next 3 and a half weeks to help us decide the Theme of the upcoming Ludum Dare event. To get started, click here:

** IMPORTANT **: Login problems should now be fixed! Sorry for the trouble!


I’ve tried to make it as straightforward as possible. Click above, click the Login button, and you’re good to go.


EDIT: Final Beta Test has Ended. Theme Selection site soft launch!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, November 15th, 2015 9:58 pm

EDIT: Beta has ended. We are Live!

That said, for the moment this is a soft launch. Go ahead and use the site as you would. I just have a laundry list of things to do before we officially launch (post all kinds of messages, change lots of text, etc).

* * *

Ok! Data is wiped! We’re going to run one last test. Go here: theme.ludumdare.com

EDIT: Updated Screenshot. Old shot from yesterday is here.


Too many changes to list (old thread is here).

I’m not going to tell you what not to expect this time. If something seems wrong (or unexpected), leave a comment.

*deep breath*

Try to break it. πŸ˜€

By popular request, “3 Theme Suggestions Total”, per user

I did some polls yesterday. To my surprise, a majority of people wanted a small limit on the number of Theme Suggestions each user could make (i.e. 3). That could potentially mean we end up with better ideas overall, since you need to pick your favourites. We wont know until we try it, so we’re going to try it. πŸ˜€

If all goes well plan, we’ll be kicking off Theme Suggestions FOR REAL very soon. πŸ˜€

Thanks everyone for your patience!

Theme Selection – Suggestions Beta Test

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Friday, November 13th, 2015 9:18 pm

Sorry for all the delays, but here we are. Lets lets give this a test before it goes live!

Go here: theme.ludumdare.com


FYI: This is a Beta Test. I will be deleting the data after, so feel free to suggest whatever.

*deep breath*

Try to break it. :)

Known Issues

  • If you aren’t logged in on ludumdare.com, after you finish logging in, you aren’t automatically redirected
  • On the mobile site, you may not be able to delete themes with names that are too long
  • If any of the servers time-out, it may not fail gracefully (untested).
  • Alerts for deleting aren’t pretty. :). I’ll make dialogs soon.
  • It could definitely use some flair to know when you’re waiting for the server to complete a request. Right now, if there’s any delay, your theme is just not there for a moment.


  • By request, the enter key will now Submit
  • 0, <, >, \, and ” characters should now work as expected (you can type HTML tags now, and it will remember them, but they will not apply)

Please test these. :)

The Mobile Site should work too (both orientations), but it has only been tested on a 10″ iPad and a 6″ Android Phone. The styles will probably not fit smaller phones yet. The HD Site should also work, but that said, I haven’t really tuned the font sizes yet. For reference, you can check what mode you’re in by looking at the end of the “Generated” line on the bottom the page.

  • [M] – Mobile – Tall orientations of Phones and small Tablets
  • [T] – Tablet – Tall orientations of Tablets
  • [N] – Normal – Wide orientations of Tablets and Laptops
  • [H] – HiRes (HD) – For those with 1080p and higher displays

Coming Soon

A little bit later, I’ll be adding some perks to the process. The first, anyone that’s participated in a Ludum Dare event will get extra suggestions. As a base, everybody gets 10 suggestions. If needed, I’ll look in to adding a way to get additional suggestion.

Thanks everyone for you patience! :)

EDIT: By popular demand, we’re actually going to do the opposite: No bonus themes, and in fact, ONLY 3 THEMES PER USER. I ran some polls on Twitter, and a surprising number of people wanted us to do only 3 themes total. So, why not? Lets try that! :)

Suggestions will open on Sunday, and will run for just under 2 weeks.

Theme Suggestions opening next week!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, November 5th, 2015 4:24 pm

Hey folks!

Just a quick update: Theme Suggestions will open a few days later than usual. Was supposed to be Friday, but it will probably be Monday.

The new website isn’t ready, but we are going to start doing Theme Selection on it. That’s the whole process of suggesting, slaughtering, voting, and announcing the theme. I ran in to some server issues earlier in the week, and I wont be ready Friday.

Soon though. Stay tuned! :)

EDIT: Yarg! Lets say Wednesday. πŸ˜‰

EDIT 2: We’re almost there! Here’s a preview:


Going to roll this out properly though. Here’s the plan:

  • Thursday Friday – Theme Selection micro-site Beta Testing Day
  • Friday Night – Theme Selection micro-site LIVE!

On Beta Testing Day, we’re going to try the micro-site out, but do understand I WILL BE WIPING THE DATA during and at the end of the Beta Test.

It’s kind-of a big day once the micro-site goes Live. That means I can’t kill/recreate the database tables on a whim anymore, and backups need to start immediately. Every table included is officially Version 1, and every change herein bumps that version. This is both the first public test of the software and the first public test of the network I’ve set-up to run the new Ludum Dare website (Core: 2 VPS servers in New Jersey. Network: 2 off-site database cluster nodes for backups). Plenty of places to go wrong, so better safe then sorry. :)

I’d like to thank everyone for their patience. We’re almost there! πŸ˜€

How I ended 2014, and plan to end 2015 (a hardware non-Jam)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, November 5th, 2015 4:19 pm

TL;DR Last year, a few dudes on the internet made tiny games for retro game systems, and it was awesome. Planning to do it again (though I’m building something physical this time). You should join us! #HardDare

This is a story.

Near the end of 2014, I started researching how to program the Commodore 64. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. The Commodore was the computer I grew up with as a kid, but as a kid, I only ever wrote lousy BASIC programs on it. I never made anything that truly utilized the hardware.

But once I stumbled across this video, there was no turning back.


After getting some test code running on a C64 emulator, I set a goal. Since the Commodore 64 was the gaming machine of my childhood, to make things that much more interesting, I decided: In the final days of 2014, I would make a small game based on something I wanted to make as a kid.

After digging through my sketches, doodles, and notes, I chose to do something with these:


This was me from the early 1990’s, probably when I was 11 or 12 years old. I used to draw pixel art and game maps on graph paper (I painted on my Commodore 64 too, but I don’t have backups).

In the 20+ years since then, I have learned a bit about drawing. I’m not great, but I have improved. So I decided to re-create the character.


Using some of the excellent free tools available for Commodore 64 dev, I made sprites.


And after a bunch of work, I got this running in an emulator.


Before finally getting it running on an actual Commodore 64.

(NOTE: I stole the SID music file, but it’s playing for real on the C64)

At the end of the day, there wasn’t really much of a game there, but I was extremely proud to have finally make something that ran on the Commodore 64. That machine meant so much to me as a kid, and this something I’ve wanted to do for such a long time.

Want to hear something interesting? I wasn’t the only one.

A couple friends on Twitter were also playing with little retro projects for old game hardware.

Ryan made a game run on the Nintendo Famicom (NES).

Tim made a game run on the Atari 2600.

As you can see, we were sharing Vines of our progress while we made them. It was really cool seeing the progress videos. So cool, I had to message the guys recently just to say how cool that was. πŸ˜€

And you know, I think we might be doing something like this again (I know I am). :)

Me, for 2015, I’m planning to dabble with hardware.

Some weeks back, I ordered some old sound chips. Chips such as the MOS 6581 (AKA the Commodore 64 SID), Yamaha YM2612 (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive), and an AY-3 (other). I’m going to try directly interfacing with those sound chips using either an Arduino or Raspberry Pi (still deciding).

I ordered them via AliExpress, which means China, which means shipping can take a month+ to get to me. That’s why I’m bringing this story up now, a good month+ in advance in case anyone else gets inspired.

* * *

This isn’t a Ludum Dare event, or an announcement for a new Game Jam. We’re not planning a structured event. This is merely an invitation. It’s me saying hey, some of us will be doing cool things with hardware in December, and maybe you want to too.

Maybe you too have a few spare days before the end of 2015 to do something. I usually have a few just after Xmas and Boxing Day. I’ll be doing my little project then.

Unlike software, hardware requires that you have what you need on-hand. December is often an extremely busy time for mail, and since folks may want to order things (Arduinos, Raspberry Pi’s, ICs, Flash carts, etc), you may want to do it sooner than later.

I suggested to the guys that we should come up with a common hashtag (not sure what it should be yet, feel free to make suggestions). That way, it’s easier to find the stuff we’ve been up to. Photos, Videos, Vines, maybe a wrapup blog post. But this isn’t a structured event. Just a casual intent to play.

That’s the plan. You’re welcome to join us. :)

EDIT: I’ve been using the hashtag #HardDare, a pun on Ludum Dare and Hardware.

October Challenge 2015

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, September 28th, 2015 11:04 am

Hello! It’s nearly October, so it’s time to kick-off our 6th October Challenge!

The October Challenge is a special event here at Ludum Dare. How is it different? Well, if Ludum Dare encourages you to make a game, the October Challenge encourages you to sell a game. Or put another way:

Finish a game β€” Take it to market β€” Earn $1

That is your goal. That is the October Challenge.

Disregard all the usual Ludum Dare rules (no restrictions). Finish any game you previously made during a game jam, something else you’ve been working on, or heck, something entirely new. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to finish and do everything necessary to start earning money from a game. No specific rules or platforms. Make good on that goal or promise to start selling games.

Finish your game, fill out all the necessary paperwork, prep all the assets, and publish it to your respected market or store by November 1st. That’s your goal.

Once you’ve published it, let us know about it by submitting it:

[ Submit/Edit | View All ]

Finally, if you can successfully earn $1 in the weeks that follow, then you’ve won the challenge!

And even if you don’t, you’ve probably learned something, something worth way more than $1. :)

That’s the October Challenge. Good luck!

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

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Monday, August 24th, 2015 8:40 pm

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

Shameless Plug (i.e. Mike’s Patreon) :)

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 9:06 pm

Hello! I’m not big on doing stuff like this, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it once. If you enjoyed yourself and like what we’re doing, I’m required to say that I have a Patreon over here:


Alternatively, if you don’t like Patreon, you can make Paypal contributions over here:


Every little bit helps. Contributing is not required (LD will always be free), but greatly appreciated.

Ludum Dare has been my focus this past year. The plan is to finally switch us to a new custom website for December’s Ludum Dare event, so as soon as we wrap up here I’m back on that.

Thanks again everyone for your support! πŸ˜€

Welcome to Ludum Dare 33!

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 5:45 pm

Hi everyone, and Welcome to Ludum Dare 33! Lets get down to business!


Click the image above to Vote for Ludum Dare 33’s Theme! The highest rated theme will be revealed on Friday August 21st at 9:00 PM EDT (6:00 PM PDT, or Saturday 01:00 UTC).

Results from Rounds 1-4 are here.

Future Stuff

If you caught the announcement 4 weeks ago, you’d know that I’ve been busy. We’re not ready to use the new site just yet, but the plan is to run December’s Ludum Dare event on the new site.

If you want to learn of the madness coming to a Ludum Dare near you, check this out:


Keynote! Hosted by Ratking

FOR SCIENCE! Dr. Ratking is here to get you HYPED for the upcoming Ludum Dare:

That’s it from me. Let’s get this Ludum Dare ball rolling!

Ludum Deals for LD33

Posted by (twitter: @mikekasprzak)
Thursday, August 13th, 2015 1:23 pm

Deals! See the comments below for this LD’s list of offers, bargains and other things.

If you’d like to submit your own deal, post details and a link in the comments below, or send me an e-mail.

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

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