Join us on Twitter and IRC (#ludumdare on Afternet.org) for the Theme Announcement!
Thanks everyone for coming out! For the next 3 weeks, we’ll be Playing and Rating the games you created. You NEED ratings to get a score at the end. Play and Rate games to help others find your game. We’ll be announcing Ludum Dare 36’s August date alongside the results.
New Server: Welcome to the New (less expensive) Server! Find any problems? Report them here.
Greetings everyone, and Welcome to Ludum Dare 36! It’s almost time to start jamming, but first we must choose our theme. Click the image below to Vote for Ludum Dare 36’s Theme! The highest scorer will be revealed on Saturday August 27th 01:00 UTC (Friday 18:00 PDT | Friday 21:00 EDT | Saturday 02:00 BST | Saturday 03:00 CEST | Convert to your timezone here).
Theme: Ancient Technology
For reference, results from rounds 1-4 are available here.
Join us on IRC (#ludumdare on irc.afternet.org) for the theme announcement!
Keynote! This time hosted by McFunkypants
As you may have seen in recent discussions, PoV is not hosting Ludum Dare this time around. The community was polled and wanted to run an august event regardless. In acknowledgement of PoV’s concerns, the community were willing to forego the game rating phase after the event.
We looked at all of our options carefully for a few days, and (omitting all the arguments here) decided that LD36 will have no ratings phase, so please be aware of that.
Some users expressed fear that this decision would have a negative impact on the number of plays and comments each game receives. While some users felt that feedback was always more valuable than ratings. Taking this all into consideration, we created Feedback Friends. This mini-site recreates LD’s Coolness system, where giving comments on games should earn you comments on your game in return. You’re encouraged to use this mini-site to search for entries deserving more plays and feedback. So I hope each of us will play and comment on games as much as before, despite the changes.
Good luck to all participants. See you on the other side!
Credits: Sorceress: LD36 organiser; website maintainance | Tijn: theme slaughter coding; website maintainance | Wan: feedback friends lead coding; web hosting | Rnlf: theme sorting; user moderation | Frozen Fractal: feedback friends coding and support | additional contributions from: Liamlime, McFunkypants
Welcome to Ludum Dare. Good vibes. Stay determined. Keep it simple and have fun.
Most of you already know that sorta stuff is what’s always rephrased in the official keynotes. Pep talks are fine and all, but how about a bit different and more concrete design advice? In fact, I’ll save you all my other musings and give you just one question to guide you.
Suppose it’s Friday/Saturday, the theme’s been announced and you’re grasping for an idea to spend your weekend with. You have all these cool features you wanna include in the game.
Just then, someone kicks down your door and barges in to shout at you:
What is it that you do in the game?
“Well, it’s a post-apocalyptic platformer with zombies and pixel art, and there’s upgradeable guns and time travel and–“
No. Those are presentation details. It’s not helpful to you as a designer nor interesting as a pitch to others.
I mean, for most of the time a player invests into your game, what are they actually doing? What sort of interactions are taking place?
If you can answer that question for your concept, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a smooth sail.
Let’s take a few examples from earlier Ludum Dares to see how the question is answered with style. Mind you, these are very memorable games exactly because they attempt to master one thing.
And third, a narrative example. There’s a lot more that you can do in a story-based game beyond clicking through textboxes. The Uncertainty Principle by radmars: “You act out multiple possible timelines at once.”
Note how using actions beyond “it is/there is” immediately makes the pitch more fleshed-out. It gives more for you, as a creator, to focus on.
And importantly, what you do in the game doesn’t need to be some sort of mind-blowing gimmick! The question is just a litmus test of sticking with a feasible scope. Literally what people mean when they’re telling you to keep it simple.
You can always expand on the amount of content and polish with your remaining time, but cooking a soup of irrelevant features is only gonna make your Sunday night a mess. Additionally, it obscures the above question – the only one that players ultimately find worth answering.
There may be more, but you’ll have to check the comments for more details.
New Server (Paris)
A few weeks back, I moved the Ludum Dare website from a server in Washington, DC to a server in Paris, France. This was mainly to save money, but along the way I was able to make some fixes. The old server cost us around $200 a month (used to be more, I negotiated less last year). The replacement costs around $27. Pretty good savings if I do say so.
The biggest improvement is that e-mail should actually work now. Setting up an e-mail server used to be a simple matter of setting MX records and running sendmail. Now it’s a lot more complicated, requiring multiple certificates, and technologies with silly acronyms like DKIM and DMARC. And don’t get me started on WordPress’s “feature” that breaks certificates. Ugh.
Suffice to say, it works now. Finally.
The site should also be faster. Gone is our ancient platter hard drive, we’re on an SSD now! That and a we actually have more cores (8 instead of 6), and nearly triple the RAM. On paper hte per-core performance should be lower (Intel Xeon vs Intel Atom), but our pages are generating anywhere from 2x-10x faster now.
That said, CloudFlare occasionally hiccups, thinking our server disappeared. But no worry. Give it a moment, and click that “Retry for Live” button, and it should fix itself.
Some months ago, I was made aware that Twitch changed how it handled Game Development streams. Though some people still set their game to “Game Development“, most streams found on Twitch have the game set to “Creative“, with a hashtag #GameDev in the title.
For Ludum Dare, you set your game to “Ludum Dare“.
Now Twitch hasn’t told me otherwise, but I expect we’ll eventually be encouraged to switch to the “Creative” game using a hashtag (#LDJAM, #LudumDare, #LD35, etc). These are not supported by the old streaming widget.
Now I have been working on the replacement for the streaming widget. It’s not fully functional yet, but it does do almost everything the old one did. Most notably, it does handle the Game=Creative with hashtags case. Because it was so close, when I migrated the server over, I didn’t bother getting the old streaming widget working. I assumed I’d find the time to finish.
Well here we are, 2 days before Ludum Dare, and whoops it’s still not done, ha! I *should* be able to get it working in a day (i.e. Thursday), but the backup plan is to get the old widget seen above back online.
What that means: Depending on which widget you see in the top of the sidebar.
Old Widget (seen above, rounded retro TV shape): Set your game to “Ludum Dare” on Twitch or Hitbox, or include “Ludum Dare” in your YouTube stream title
New Widget (channel thumbnails): Either set your game to “Ludum Dare” on Twitch or Hitbox, or to “Creative” on Twitch with a hashtag #LDJAM in your title. There *might* also be LiveCoding.tv support, but no promises (I’ve been having issues with their API). YouTube support is unfinished
Related, Beam has been giving me some trouble lately. It looks like there may have been an API change. I haven’t had a chance to investigate.
You might be familiar with a 2014 game they worked on Alien: Isolation, with Gary as a Lead Designer and Catherine as a Designer. I’m always thrilled to hear from fellow developers that have made their mark on the industry (Gary, Catherine), but then to find out “Oh by the way, I’ve finished 9 Ludum Dare’s, and she’s done 17!“. Seventeen! 23 if you count her Global Game Jams too. Wow!
Oh, and as if that wasn’t enough, Catherine has a BAFTA.
So with that, I’m thrilled to share this latest Ludum Dare keynote. Check it out:
That’s it from me. Good luck, and have a great Ludum Dare.
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.
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.
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.
Deals, Assets, Wallpapers and more! Click the buttons below the countdown clock for more.
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 HUGElibrary 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!
Well it looks like September is nearly gone, so it’s time to kick off for October Challenge 2013!
The October Challenge is a special Ludum Dare event I started three years ago. More and more people are making games today thanks to Game Jams and events like Ludum Dare. And more and more people talk about selling games, but don’t do it. Well, it’s time to start doing it. Put simply: