When I say “franchise”, I don’t mean a big commercial entity or anybody else’s property, what I actually mean by that question, is: “Would a Ludum Dare game that ties into a backstory or universe I have already created be considered within the rules?”
A little example to illustrate my point :
I’m currently working on a tabletop roleplaying game and a card game within a science-fiction universe I created, for the moment the working title is “Neurohack: Legacy” and “Neurohack: Mercenaries” (I found out that “Neurohack” is already something else, so I’ll change that soon, but I’m still calling it Neurohack as I play test the games with my friends).
Suppose I make a shooty game of some description for a Ludum dare competition, would giving it the Neurohack backstory and lore be considered against the rules, and if it isn’t, how do you feel about the idea?
(Note that I don’t have any specific game ideas for Neurohack yet beyond the fact that you’ll be shooting things with futuristic weapons and armor, so if I were to make a Neurohack themed LD entry, all gameplay mechanics would be built from the ground up.)