Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 24
Ludum Dare 21
Ludum Dare 20
Ludum Dare 19
Ludum Dare 17
Ludum Dare 16
Ludum Dare 15
The A+ Post Founding Award for Excellence in Explaining Code Monkeys ("Well, of course, the problem is there are virtuosos out there that can accomplish a ridiculous amount with code.")
Awarded by GreaseMonkey on January 10, 2011
The "I got your cookies. I got your cookies right here." Award
Awarded by GBGames on August 26, 2010
A jagged trophy as tall as your waist blocks your path
Awarded by HybridMind on May 2, 2008
Do you want to become mankind’s Messiah or a strident Singularity that wipes out the Earth?
Voted best game of competition that allows you to resurrect your wife and then eat her!
Time for Ascension!
Play Online Now
Is anyone going to try to play all 1732 entries this year? Lol..
Whew, finished my game. Only got to really work on it last night and today, but still pleased with it. Definitely fits my style. I wanted to build a web game that was mostly built on story, but Twine seemed too limited for what I wanted to do, so I decided to roll my own, so to speak.
It should work on all computers, tablets and phones with a modern web browser.
I believe it fits the minimalism theme because 1) it is a text-based game and has no graphics or sound and 2) the design of the game is based on a simple event queue – it is incredibly simple.
Limited testing, but I was able to verify a win condition.
You are Danial Gibson, a software genius and billionaire who is trying to save mankind from a deadly plague.
Can you make the Ascension and become Mankind’s savior?
If you like science fiction stories, give it a shot.
It’s always fun when LD time comes around. I stop what I’m doing and start looking at all the various new languages and frameworks out there, and of course I feel the tug. Clojure had its womanly grasp on me for a while. Then I was heart-struck by a Monkey. CoffeeScript beckoned with its smooth curves and warmness.
But I was pissed this time because I didn’t finish my last entry for Tiny Worlds. And I had a great idea for that theme, with an interactive fiction about an experiment with nano bots. If you didn’t get the experiment under control, it would lead to the destruction of the whole planet. But I just couldn’t get to the finish line with TADS 3, or at least with my knowledge of it. Spent too much time just trying to figure out how to do things and looking stuff up.
So for this compo I was determined to create the decent interactive fiction game I couldn’t last time. So I went back to a language I was familiar with, Inform 7, the language I had used to make a crappy fiction game maybe 4-5 competitions ago. This time the week before I read and worked through the only book available on the subject, Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7. In retrospect, that worked out well, because though you can build things with just knowing pieces of a language, it is really helpful to at least know about all of the parts of a language.
For instance, Inform 7 had this concept of scenes that the book really didn’t touch on until the end, but it was a critical part of my game and allowed me to make it much more narrative than it would have been otherwise. There are separate chapters in my game and the state of things changes heavily between them, creating a tight narrative focus.
So to make a long story short I felt Erebus and the Terror came out pretty well. It was my best IF by far. I knew how to add the synonyms to keep people from getting too frustrated and I wrote in enough actions that people were surprised how well the parser could follow them.
It was not perfect though. After I laid out all of the rooms, I got sidetracked with implementing ship directions, ie, port, starboard, etc. But I ran into a bug with it and finally I realized I was as confused as heck with the directions and so would everyone else probably. So I just tossed the concept and I’m sooo glad I did.
I would definitely use Inform 7 again. In fact, I might go back and port what I have of my Tiny Worlds entry to see if I can finish it.
If you like survival horror or science fiction, you might want to give it a try.
I wanted to mention one more thing because I think I glossed over the most important thing I gleaned from this LD. That is that out of failure can come success. My failure to finish the IF game in ld23 was direct motivation for my success in ld24. I switched back to a language I had more success with, and I was determined to be more prepared so I invested in the purchase of a book and I spent a week working through that book before the ld. There’s no way my entry would have been as well done without having taken these steps of preparation. And there’s no way I would have bothered to do that if I had not failed at ld23. So take note in that, and if you failed in ld24, use that as motivation for ld25. Carry that failure with you and I guarantee that you will be more prepared and have more success as I did. I think it’s true that we really learn the most from our failures, if we open ourselves up to them and embrace them.
Finished the game just in time. Exhausted. Mentally gone. Will check back tomorrow. It was fun I guess but I can’t enjoy it yet.
My compo entry is an interactive fiction survival horror set on the prospector spaceship Erebus.
It should run on any system with a web browser. Even iphones or android phones.
Well, getting a good start so far on my interactive fiction. There are no graphic shots to post, so I thought I would post the intro text to the game, to give you a feel of it. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a science fiction thriller set on a prospector’s ship, the Erebus:
Welcome Number Three, SERIAL NUMBER 4FJ394WS198. Your given name is Bobby, by the way. You have been awakened from stasis for active replacement duty and should now be in a relaxed and comfortable state.
I will now UPLOAD your duties. Process begins in 3…2…1–UPLOAD has failed due to unknown error.
Please remain in relaxed and comfortable state as the backup protocol is accessed.
Bobby, you are on the prospector vessel Erebus. I am the ship’s computer and I will be your companion and assistant during our time together. My systems are currently running at 23 percent, however the good news is life support is currently unaffected. You can listen and communicate with me at any time through the neuro-transmitter embedded in your skull.
Before I release the restraining straps Bobby, I need to advise you of a few things. Although you are human and have free will, you are property of the Issaka-Allen Corporation. You must endeavor to protect company property and resources above all else. Failure to comply will lead to criminal prosecutions being enacted upon the ship’s return to Earth.
Now that that is done with, I hope you are still in a relaxed and comfortable state. Due to memory UPLOAD failure, a manual tutorial will be run to prepare you for your duties.”
The straps are released. You are in a coffin-sized compartment attached to the side of the wall.
The voice in your head continues, “Bobby, you may refer to me as Raul. I am named after the sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin of the man who invented me, by the way. If you have any questions, you may simply ASK me, and I will do my best to answer, even though my systems are currently functioning at 23 percent.
Now Bobby, I have detected you are not in a relaxed and calm state, so your first duty is to locate the crew’s quarters and get some sleep. You have been in stasis 4021 days by the way. What is a few more hours?
Please have a look around the ship as you make your way to the crew’s quarters and feel free to ASK me any questions you might have.”
You step out of the hibernation chamber and have a stretch and a look around.
Hey, caught this wonderful documentary film last month. It’s a very inspiring story about successful indie gamer developers. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Now is the perfect time to catch it to inspire you to greatness.
Check out the preview:
I was wondering if any of you know if any of the guys in the movie have ever done a Ludum Dare before? They definitely seem like the type!
Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy)
Jonathan Blow (Braid)
Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy)
And of course the unforgettable Phil Fish (Fez)
I thought I should mention a list of my favorite tools which I think really might help people out. These aren’t free tools necessarily, just some I’ve fallen for.
If you are interested in doing a cross-platform game, check out monkey. This language is really going places. Code your game once and it will run on: Mac, PC (OpenGL or DirectX or XNA), flash, html5, iOS, Android, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, and even believe it or not Amiga apparently.
If you need to do pixel art or tiles sets, look no further than Pyxel Edit. This is the best tool of this kind I’ve seen since Deluxe Paint!
Now if you’re a programmer type and want to make music, you got to check out this amazing DAW, Renoise. I just love this tool for making music, because it is 1) so well done, 2) so full featured for a tracker and 3) let’s me make music in a way that makes sense to us programmers, I think.
I am going to try to do a IF game this time, so I won’t be needing most of these tools. If you want to make interactive fiction, I don’t think there is a better choice than Inform 7. It’s the ultimate “natural language” programming language. The things you can do with it will blow your mind.
So what are the tools you are in love with?
Working on a science fiction IF game by the title of “Day of the Introns: an Incident in Laboratory 14″. It definitely fits comfortably into the “Don’t Fuck with Mother Nature” genre.
Didn’t get as far as I wanted today for a couple reasons. Had some family obligations and spent way too long going through the documentation trying to learn TADS.
I love learning new languages, but I have no idea why I always choose to do it under the time constraints of a 48 hour contest.
Anyway, I think I finally know enough to be able do a lot of the stuff I want to do to try to do.
It’s all going to come down to how far I can get tomorrow, because there’s a lot of stuff I’d like to add. Things will definitely have to move along faster than today for me to finish the game (without huge sacrifices).
Hope things are going well for everyone else on the Nebula tonight! Goood night.
Got a name for my entry and I think I have the story line in place. Think it should be a good fit for the theme.
So far I’m pretty happy with the progress. The writing seems to be flowing ok. TADS 3 is nice and I think I like it better than Inform 7. Much more intuitive to my OOP programmer’s brain. Still have a lot to learn with it to do anything interesting.
Hopefully I can come up with interesting puzzles tomorrow. So tired, I can’t think any more.
Good night all and good luck to you.
I have had a tough time deciding what framework to use this time.
I was going to do something flashy and vectory in Unity with RageSpline and PlayMaker with some tunes created with Cubase.
But I don’t know, I just sort of feel like writing something.
So I’ve decided to go ole school and I’m doing a work of interactive fiction. I’ve used Inform 7 before, but this time I’ll think I’ll try TADS 3 and see how that goes.
I’m going to use my MacBook Air, the Frob TADS compiler tools, Text Wrangler, and bash.
I got the colors just the way I like them in my text editor, yellow against black. And I got my bash looking all transparent and cool too. Too cool for school.
Have fun guys and good luck! Remember, don’t get stuck on anything for too long…
ABC, Always Be Compiling!
I think the number of first timers completely outnumber those of us who have been in the contest before. The posts are flying by. But not a single reply or even a “heart” on the front page. I doubt this post will last more than a couple hours on the front page.
I can remember when this contest had about 50 entries or so. Wow, times have changed.
Anyone entering the contest who has been around here for more than 5 years (like me)?
I’m in for this one. Going to do a text adventure using inform 7. I’m hoping for some dark topic because I want to do something really dark this time.
Hope everyone has fun out there!
I think I read somewhere on the site that the gentlemen who run Ludum Dare now have monthly server costs in excess of $200.00.
Shouldn’t there be some kind of donation system so we can contribute to the site?
I know I would be willing to contribute some of my money to keep this fine site up and running.
Hopefully this donation system comes up soon before the site goes into its inevitable hibernation between contests.
What do you guys think? Would you donate? (a star means heck yeah I would donate to the cause!)
Some people think my game is unbeatable, but it is actually not that bad once you know what to do. It is definitely easier than about half of the arcade games in the 80s which is what I tried to model it after.
There is one bug that causes real problems, but the workaround is you just have to wait at least eight seconds before dropping a boulder. I don’t think there are any other bugs that are really an issue to beating it.
Here is the video walkthrough. This one shows the “eliminate the obstacles” strategy. This is not the quickest way to win, but it is one of the easiest ways to win for sure. I died three times trying to make this video btw.
The feedback coming in is that my game is way too hard. The level that I managed to build would normally be like the last level of a 20 level game. It has everything thrown in it and I made it as hard as possible. If I had had more time I could have made the tutorial levels necessary to make it not so frustrating for players. The one thing I really screwed up on was running out of time before I could build more levels. I had this wonderful toolbox ready and I could have easily built more levels (especially easier ones) if I had just had time. Oh well, I learned a lot with Stencyl so next time my progress will be better. Game difficulty is something that I just need to start considering when I’m developing these games. It’s just something else that I’m going to have to add to the list. Hopefully I learn for the next entry
Due to people having so many issues with making progress, here is the walkthrough:
Jump over the growlers and get a boulder. Climb the rope and jump on the cannon. The boulder should load into the cannon (if you aren’t standing on top of the cannon). Then the cannon should fire the boulder into the crane. Drop the boulder on the blue rock by controlling the crane. the rock should break if you hit it. By the way, due to a bug, always wait at least 10 seconds after loading the crane before dropping a boulder. Ok, now you have a way to get back down and get more boulders. Keep doing so and reloading the cannon and try to kill off as many of the obstacles (knifers and growlers) that you think you need to to make it easy to get more boulders. Once you feel safe, start dropping the boulders on all of the things above the exit. Once you have cleared a path to the exit, then this time load a boulder but stay on top of the boulder. This might take a few tries (you have to be on the boulder just right). But then if done correctly the boulder should shoot you up into the crane and you will be stuck in it. Now move the crane over to where the exit is and release down. You have escaped!
END SPOILER ***********************************
Hey the real good news this weekend was that I took late friday night off from the compo and managed to score a $99 HP TouchPad. Woot!
Welcome to the hotel TouchPad,
Where you can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave.
The Planning (or Lack Thereof)
It’s funny the way things turn out. Every time the contest comes around, I hope that I have honed my game-making skills so I’ll really be ready to make something great. The reality is that I only make games as a hobby and I don’t have that much time to spend on it, so I’m always ill prepared when the time comes. I think I know what language and framework I’m going to use, but I’m always watching the board to find that Magic Bullet to help allow me to spend more time making the game and less time on all the other crap.
So this time the Magic Bullet that would save me was Stencyl (at least I was praying), which I noticed in posts on here a few times. It is a tool that lets you make games without coding. It is one of those, do-it-all game making environments like GameMaker, Multimedia Fusion and Unity. Out of those three I only really like Unity, but I don’t think it’s ideal for contests like this one because 3D tends to add a lot of complexity that can keep you from making a great game in the time frame allotted.
Stencyl is a java based IDE that generates flash games. Internally, It uses many popular frameworks such as flixel and box2d. I guess the idea of it is based on some sort of MIT project. Basically it lets you code your game with “lego-like” blocks that you drag and drop around. Here’s the funny thing. It actually works. It saves time. And it’s fun. It lets you visualize all of your code in one page, which is pretty amazing.
Wait, there was no coding actually. I wrote not a single line of code. Now you can do that with GameMaker and such, but I always found them limiting. Building your game with Blocks in Stencyl did not feel nearly so limiting to me. Here’s the thing. When I started I knew nothing about Stencyl. The first thing I did when the contest started was build the 15 minute game which allowed me to create a few actors and behaviors and create a scene. I had something working immediately.
But I had no idea of what kind of game to make. All I knew was that I wanted to make something that looked like a classic arcade game. I was tired with doing experiments and weird stuff and wanted to try making a platformer for the first time ever.
Scratchy Get Out actually just came about through playing with the actors, deciding to try something, creating an actor or behavior, and seeing how it turned out. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to add AI details that I never would have had time to do if I were just coding this in FlashPunk. Every actor has multiple AI behaviors. All of the behaviors are simple but there were so many, that the game started to develop into something I had not comprehended before. I was very simply able to lay out accurate collision boxes (or other shapes) and control what actors interacted with what. For example, the crane was probably the most complex AI. It could catch boulders or players showing different animations for each action. When it was loaded, you could control it. It passed messages to tell the player to halt all movement. Then you could release the object the crane was holding (actually the crane created the object) and it would reset itself and reactivate everything. I know from my past experiences, that I’ve never had time in one of these contests to delve into such AI details and polish things as much as I was able to.
The thing is I didn’t have that much time so I was only able to do one level. I had to do all the graphics (including animations) and I barely had time to create some sound effects with SFXR. But later I made another level. A totally cool indiana jones style levels with falling boulders that would shake the screen when they hit the ground. I think I could easily pump out ten more fun levels today if I set my mind to it because stencyl makes level design so ridiculously easy.
And even though Stencyl was easy to learn, I did learn a ton over that 48 hours. If I was to redo it, I know some things that could probably cut my work time in half. I’m now aware of some things I was doing the hard way or incorrectly that should be much easier now.
I am really crappy with graphics. Stencyl really helped for this though. What I did was just design my game by picking out placeholder graphics provided by the Stencyl community. I think this has a big advantage to just making quick temporary graphics. I was able to pick out images that I actually liked and enjoyed playing with during development. I think it helped with the actual development because I was inspired by how cool things looked. Then when the game was completely done and I was running out of time, I fired up the Stencyl graphic editor and created my own likenesses of the graphics that were in placeholder. Because I kind of knew what I wanted, it was really easy and I actually think some of my art turned out better than the fine placeholder art (like the cannon for example).
I was determined to get sounds in. Usually I try to do something ambitious with my synths and effects machines, but I just didn’t have time on this one. I only spent about an hour on sound, generating a few sound effects with SFXR which is a wonderful time saving tool. Ok, it’s a classic must have for when you only have ten minutes left in a contest and you want sound! I mean what else is there for that?
What Went Right
Well, everything went right this time. I’ve done this enough to know every time the contest starts, the experience is going to be different. Sometimes it’s going to be easy as smooth sailing and somethings things are going to go so badly that I will want to kill myself (or at least just give up, which I have done more than once). This time I felt very calm the whole time because when using stencyl I was spending about 95% of time actually making the high-level AI for the game. I knew that at any point, I could just add a couple more actors and behaviors and whip up a game of some sort. So the whole time I could just work with total confidence and spend the time adding more and more cool game AI like fun death scenes and little animation details like the player’s head stuck in the crane.
What Went Wrong
I wish I had had another few hours because I really didn’t get to utilize one aspect of Stencyl which is its great level designing tools. Once I had the first level done and the art and the sound and all those actors and behaviors, I could have easily built ten more cool levels in a matter of a couple of hours. I mean, just with the actors and behaviors I created, I left so much on the table that the player will never see that it is kinda sad. Because of that, I’m going to work up about 40 levels or so and release a new version later on. Hopefully it will have the things I didn’t have time for like a menu screen and all the features a game should have.
As always, it was a wonderful experience. I look forward to trying everyone’s games. I hope all of you got what you wanted out of this contest as well. In the end, we aren’t competing against each other, but against ourselves and if there’s one thing I learned is that doing as many of these contests as you can, will only make you better and better at making games.
Wow, finished my game and am just exhausted.
This is an arcade game that I tried to model after classic arcade games like Mario Bros. The objective is to escape from the room (alive).
I should point out this is as much a puzzle game as it is an arcade game. It is pretty tricky but it is solvable. You will definitely have to use your brain to escape the room.
Well, please check it out. It is in flash and I posted it on Kongregate. Let me know if you like it. Hopefully I can do more levels now as that should be super easy.
Warning, this thing is probably buggy as hell. I got what I could, but there have to tons of issues left.