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Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend [9 PM EST] — Theme: ??? (Slaughter Ends Soon!)
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    LD24 had 700 more theme votes than LD23, but the same number of games.

    Posted by (twitter: @thedayturns)
    August 27th, 2012 11:51 pm

    I bet this was because the theme was really hard.

    Anyone want to share stories about difficulties they had with the Dare this time, or the theme?

    For my part, I scoped WAY too huge. I spent most of the 2nd and third days scratching out different ideas for my game that I realized I had absolutely no time to do.

    10 Responses to “LD24 had 700 more theme votes than LD23, but the same number of games.”

    1. axcho says:

      Same sort of thing happened to me – I spent the first 24 hours entirely just trying to figure out how this one idea would work, only to decide that it was way too ambitious. So I started over with a new idea. It ended up turning out pretty well, though unfinished…

    2. My Milked Eek says:

      Yeah, the theme was hard. I scrapped two or three concepts that didn’t really work or were overestimating myself or the deadline. I was +- 8 hours in when I started coding the first concept and threw it out. After that I set clear and simple goals, didn’t go overboard with mechanics and made it. The first step was the hardest: choosing which game to make and which games not to make.

    3. Kinokochan says:

      We went into the Jam completely unsure of what exactly we were making. My teammate and I actually argued for a long time about whether or not to drop out because he didn’t want to do this particular theme.
      I’m glad we stuck with it, but our game came together part from stubbornness and part from luck.

      Our biggest frustration was the same as yours – all the concepts we liked that we could think of were far too ambitious for 72 hours.

      • johnfn says:

        Always stick it out :-) My games usually tend to be pretty far away from the theme anyways (not because I ignore it but because it gets me thinking in weird ways and I get a good idea after thinking about it for a while).

    4. fpMiguel says:

      I’ve spent the first day wondering on game ideas and implementing Box2D (physics) and some nice particles. At the end of the day I still didn’t have any ideas for my game so I called it a night and I hoped I’d get some inspiration the next morning, but I didn’t come up with any nice idea so I decided to not participate this time.

      And guess what? I had a really nice idea on Monday but not enough time to still enter the Jam.

    5. I actually had a pretty easy time. I knew I would be doing a puzzle game or a platformer because I don’t have the skill for much else. So I brainstormed for the first hour, realised that evolution doesn’t have to be biological, thought about stuff mixing together to make new stuff, thought about colors mixing, bam. Wrote down some possible game mechanics, then started working on the level loader and stuff while I mulled it over.

    6. KHANanaphone says:

      Yeah it took me forever to think of a non-obvious idea to use that dealt with “evolution”, but that idea meant I had to spend a ton of time drawing and not enough time on gameplay/level design. I was way out of my element, I barely draw at all. Really tough theme.

    7. wibblymat says:

      Ditched my completely non-working prototype with 15 hours left to go and made something else. Evolution wasn’t a hard theme to think of ideas for but it was hard to actually make the ideas into games :)

    8. digital_sorceress says:

      There are a few reasons why more people will vote, but a lesser % of them will take part.

      (1) In august lots of people go on summer holidays and weekend trips. Perhaps 15% of people would be away that weekend, and not be able to participate, but still have the means to vote. Christmas period sees similar commitments, and they would all focused on the same weekend. Perhaps 25% of people would have other commitments and not be able to take part in december.

      So we would expect the number of participants in April > August > December. PoV said this pattern was readily visible in LDs past.

      Even though LD is a growing community, this seasonal variation will still be part of the equation. The growth from April to August (visible in the voting) could be masked by the seasonal drop (visible in the percentages).

      (2) As the community grows, it will pick up mostly noobs (not veterans), who will have a naturally lower success rate.

      (3) As LD grows, it may attract more spectators — people who choose to vote, but not take part in the contest.

      (4) New participants are more likely to be non-returning. eg, their taking part was a one-off, or they feel disillusioned after taking part, they feel they are not skilled enough, etc. So only a fraction of new participants carry forward to the next LD.

      ie, December -> April saw a large growth in the number of participants, so the greater number who didn’t carry forward to August.

    9. Adok says:

      I needed some time to come up with an idea but eventually I had no problems implementing it.

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