Ludum Dare 26
Ludum Dare 26 Warmup
Ludum Dare 25
Ludum Dare 23
Ludum Dare 23 Warmup
Ludum Dare 22
- #63 Humor 3.59
- #102 Audio 3.58
- #107 Graphics 3.90
- #260 Overall 3.48
- #274 Mood 3.23
- #332 Fun 3.23
- #855 Innovation 2.73
- #901 Theme 3.17
I think I was in the right ball-park. Top 2% for humor, Top 4% for Audio/Graphics, top 11% overall. Didn’t reach my goal of top 10% overall but oh well.
Really the Ludum results are all wonky. There are some “winners” that really shouldn’t be there and some “losers” that really aught to be up there. Many of the winners weren’t even games, which -to me- points to some deep flaws in the rating system. In a mixed-bag of blessings nobody cares and some random less-talented folks get a huge boost of self-esteem, so I guess it works itself out.
I personally wish it wasn’t taboo to take the competition portion of Ludum Dare 48 Hour Competition more seriously, but it evidently is. I’ll try to cope with the mediocrity of it all and be happy we all had fun at least.
If you found the screenshot provided was a little un-enticing, here’s a screen shot beyond the gag intro.
Cat’s out of the bag on the joke anyway. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as it was a blast to make.
Thanks for all the encouraging comments so far.
With minimalism as the theme I figured lots of people would be making a game about a little red square this Ludum Dare.
I figured “why should I be any different”.
Here is my entry: The Square.
Add an extra mind-blowing level of difficulty to the already crazy Ludum Dare 48 feat and we’ll reward those who are brave enough to accept and complete the challenge.
Your mission, should you accept it, is to beef up your Ludum Dare 48 pandemonium by adding three extra requirement to your entry on top of the theme. The black box includes:
- A technical requirement
- A genre requirement
- A size requirement 4MB or less (source code + assets).
The black box will be announced at the same time as the official Ludum Dare theme on April 26th @ 7pm PST
- Your entry must qualify for all Ludum Dare 48 rules and guidelines.
- Solo entries only.
- Limit 4mb compressed or less (source + assets only).
- Source code, assets and compiling instructions must be submitted to OUR server before the extended deadline of 12pm April 29th (GMT).
- Entry must use the genre, technical and theme requirement components.
- Entries are scored by a small panel of 3 – 5 judges (to be determined).
- Each entry will be scored in 3 categories:
- up to 10 points for fun.
- up to 5 points for originality (in using theme and requirements).
- up to 5 points for presentation.
- The winner is the game with the most points.
- 1st Place
- 2nd Place
- 3rd Place
- Participation Ribbon
- More Glory
- Virtual Trophy
- Publicity – We’ll write some thoughtful articles reviewing entries, entrants, and winners.
Technical and Genre requirements will be revealed along with the Ludum Dare theme requirement.
Click here to join.
Declaring my base code and tool chain. AS3, FlashDevelop, GIMP, Flym, BFXR,Arkos Tracker.
Here is my template which includes some graphics drawing and collision code.
I’m the kind of person that doesn’t play video games, doesn’t listen to music, doesn’t watch movies, and doesn’t keep up with the mainstream at all even though I’m heavily into making all those things (except movies).
As a result, I don’t always understand the context of some Ludum Dare themes. An example was ‘Tiny World’, people seemed to understand this meant ‘tiny revolving world’, which is a genre of video games I had no idea existed. The first time I saw one I though it was innovative, then I realized there were over 200 similar tiny round world submissions.
Something tells me it was a ‘thing‘ that I just wasn’t on the hip-enough band-wagon to understand.
Since the themes with the most ‘meme context‘ tend to win, can someone please help me to understanding the “meme context” of a few of these suggested themes?
A link or just a quick explanation as to where/why they came to be would be greatly appreciated.
There was clearly something missing from my warm-up entry.
Here’s the updated version…
Click Here to play it.
Well I did it. 3 Warm-up entries as I promised.
Here’s the 3rd installment of LD 26 Warmup by Suese. Weighing in at 51kb, Space Squid.
It’s an action game where combination shots are the trick.
Click here to play Space Squid
Just finished my second Ludum Dare 26 warmup of three. It’s a puzzle game.
What I learned:
- Cleaning the office before jamming is a huge psychological boost.
- Streaming helps keep on task. Even if there are only a max of 3 viewers, it still puts you in a ‘I’m live’ mentality.
- Spend half the time developing, half the time doing polish. I thought I was way ahead for 4 hours, then I was behind at 7 hours.
- Mental fatigue changes development speed and moral. Speed of development at first is much faster than speed of development after 6 hours.
- I’m only going to get 10 – 12 solid hours out of any coding day.
- Making a puzzle game that depends on intricate puzzles is a silly idea for a game jam.
- Music is huge. Having title music and a title screen change everything polish-wise.
- As always, knowing I know my tools and am sharper than when I began my warm up fills me with glee.
P.s. Thanks for joining me on the stream.
Click here to play Dice & Arrows
April last year I got to warm up for Ludum Dare. Last December, my computer laid a giant William Shatner on the proverbial bed, I had to install an unfamiliar operating environment and I didn’t get to warm-up.
Here’s the difference:
December 2012 - Shorty 2600
I am always proud of my work but I think this was my worst honest attempt ever at a competition game. I didn’t warm up, and I was unfamiliar with the new operating environment. My only saving grace is that I used an audio system I had just finished porting, the Stella TIA SFX emulator.
April 2012 - Tiny Civilization
I got to warm up -twice- for this entry by making 2 x 10 hour warm-up entries. I made Video Asteroids as basic as possible in order to familiarize myself with the tools and still challenge myself to finish a complete title. After feeling great about knowing my tools and being in the zone, I made a second warm-up entry Bio-Contaminant whiched used Conway’s game of life as an actual game.
When the competition finally arrived I took a risky move with monochrome graphics because I wanted to concentrate on mind-blistering code and I think I accomplished that to a fair degree. There is a real emergent quality to the game and I owe it to preparation and warm-ups.
April 2013 – This Year
This year, I intend to warm up not twice, but THREE times. I got started, the theme-o-matic picked ‘platform shooter in space’, so I made this unfinished project in 10 hours.
I really diddled around and wasted my 10 hours. I figure since I’m doing 3 warm-ups and then a competition entry, this would be a very soft but important warm-up to get me back into the groove. Much needed and very satisfying to be prepared.
The idea here was going to be ‘jump from platform to platform and shoot baddies’. It somehow became a terrain destruction and building game and I didn’t get time to add a baddie or danger at all. So it’s not technically a game. I guess I played too much Minecraft lately x_x.
What I learned
Music – The Atari 2600 didn’t do music very easily or well. The games just aren’t exciting without it.
Get in the zone – I need to clean my work space and not begin a warm-up half-way through a day. I need to dedicate the entire day to warm-ups, just as I would the competition.
Should I stick with Atari 2600?
Pro’s: Familiarity. If I post things in the same consistant style over and over people might begin to recognize my entries without checking to see who the author is.
Cons: Atari 2600 kinda bites the big one for music and controls, which are important elements.
Tell me what you think. Should I stick with Atari 2600 simulation?
Ahh, many years of game programming competitions. Seems I rarely finish a title unless it’s a short competition. Can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 15 years!
Of coarse, I’m in.
I’ll be using AS3 and possibly the Atari 2600 TIA Sound/Graphics simulator software I made for Shorty 2600.
P.s. Shout out for the Ouya!
This Suese has received his OUYA Dev Kit. You are witnessing quite possibly the first 3rd party image of a working OUYA console. How exciting!
Lots of people said we wouldn’t get this far, but we did. The Indie game has changed. The TV is now ours! Rejoice.
I’ll post the unboxing video soon with my initial review with bugs and bouquets alike.
As a gift I made you all a desktop background to enjoy.
What went wrong:
- Computer Crash – Had to install a foreign OS before-hand, had to install a new dev toolchain.
- No warm-up – due to my crash I had to scramble to get a dev environment working.
- Over-Scoped for Preparedness Level – Since I wasn’t prepared, the scope was a bit too large. I think I could have done those extra awesome things
- Sound Levels – My speakers are junk so I didn’t realize the sound was so loud.
- Wasn’t fun - Really, I don’t think my game was fun.
What went right:
- Quick Coding – I coded briskly, though not as brisk as I know I can.
- No interruptions – I didn’t get interrupted or procrastinate at all.
- Quick Idea – I had an idea quickly.
- Consistency – The graphics and game play were at least consistent.
Things I wanted to add really badly:
- Street Names, Addresses & Random Apartment Names – I thought this would be important to adding depth of gameplay, much like it was in Tiny Civilization.
- An informant – There’s a ‘convict’ sprite still embedded in the SWF.
- More enemies – I wanted to make it so you couldn’t go inside buildings when enemies were nearby.
- Cars – I wanted to add cars as obstacles. I even had for a glimpse of a second the idea that bobbies would come out of cars, but I was already 24 hours in at that point.
- Other Obstacles – I imagined a few simple obstacles such as potholes. Never got there though.
- Tweaked bobby AI – Bobbys were dumb and didn’t properly follow the playing character. I wanted them to move about the map in a pac-man like fashion.
- Tweaked balance – I wanted to have more time to tweak the balance of power, how fast bobbies went, how often they appeared, and what kinds of deals you got.
What’s Next? – Retrocard Alpha
Retrocard is one of those things that’s really hard to explain. It’s a game where every area is designed and programmed by the users themselves, in-game.
It’s far from finished, but there’s a working prototype online. Click here to see it in action.
There is enough scripting available to keep a programmer busy. If you know a bit of LUA you will be right at home editing scripts. You can play musical melodies, pop-up dialogs, and soon add networking and chat capabilities too.
There are plenty of missing features still of coarse, as should be expected in an Alpha release. If you have thoughts and suggestions, I would love to hear them.
The Jam is the all-inclusive version of Ludum Dare where we relax the rules so newbies and teams can enjoy the experience along-side the hard-core competitors. I like that, a lot.
What I don’t like is how relaxed the 48 hour competition rules are. Now I know these suggestion might be heckled as ‘not in the spirit of the competition’, but really, with over 1,000 entries, it’s about time we tighten up the rules so serious competitors can sink their teeth into a real challenge.
Here are a list of things that bother me about the competition rules:
#1. Anyone can change their submission after-the-fact.
This is the biggest hole in the competition my friends tell me about. It sits very uncomfortably with me too. There should be a single submission server with a cut-off at the dead-line. This would ensure people don’t make updates after-the-fact. Even presentation upgrades after-the-fact can give an entry a big boost, so I would like to petition to remove updating the entries at all. Challenge is all part of the spirit of competition.
#2. Theme is too vague.
You could make any game with these themes and slightly modify them, or their titles, to include the theme. This is the number 2 flaw my non-coder friends point out. There needs to be technical and artistic limitations – more tough rules- otherwise entries could be almost completely finished before the competition even starts, minus a few theme-inspired assets.
#3. No file-size or other technical limitations.
Back in the day we had Speedhack and there was a file size limitations of 512Kb compressed. This limitation is important for many reasons. #1 it separates those who know how to code efficiently from those who use sloppy techniques. It also makes it much harder to pre-make a massive game/game engine and plop in some theme-related content during the competition.
#4 The worst rule of them all: Base code
Base code should be strictly FORBIDDEN. Much like the last three, this one is about being able to extend your ability to work on your game before or after-the-fact. One could literally write an entire game before-hand with lots of flashy sprite animation helpers and things, then come competition time simply make new graphics and sound for the engine. This ruins the spirit of competition.
My non-coder friends hate these rule flaws. They realize that the competition means virtually nothing if people could very simply, and very obviously cheat. Making the rules more strict would add to the intensity of the competition and help solidify the status of the winners.
I also have a personal gripe with the rating system. Having competitors rate games is a great way to ball-park the greatest entries; it’s unlikely really good entries will be underneath the top 100. Having said that, the top 100 games should be properly rated and sorted by industry veterans, or at least by competition organizers. Often times entries that, to outside observers, clearly don’t belong on the leader-board make it, and even sometimes make it to #1. Past winners made a lot of my friends, who realize that I take game competitions very seriously, very sour about Ludum Dare. The validity of the competition is constantly being questioned when I make mention of my participation.
I remember one Ludum Dare where a celebrity competitor had to opt-out because his entry would be so unfairly rated in his favour. If we really want a competition, we should have a place for such elite celebrity competitors.
Despite the common Laissez-faire attitude most people have towards ’the spirit of Ludum Dare’, I feel strongly that tightening the rules and pushing things harder is important not only to making better games, but in creating a better perception from the general public. It pushes us harder, it validates what we do, and it validates the winners. Without that validation the grand prize of notoriety falls upon the apathy of the greater public audience and damages the perceived importance of the competition winners.
To rectify some of these things, I would like to suggest some extra rules for the competition. Note that I am not speaking of the Jam, which is fine the way it is.
#1 No base code – All code and assets must be written during the competition.
#2 Announce technical and artistic limitation alongside the theme. See The Rule-O-Matic for the very best example of this http://speedhack.allegro.cc/rule-o-matic/spin
#3 Add ‘replay value’ and remove ‘mood’ from the ratings system. Just a personal suggestion.
#4 Add a submission server – no updates after the deadline, not even spelling mistakes or presentation fixes. It is what it is. This will require a ‘line-up’ system so the submission server doesn’t get bogged down. Perhaps checksum entries prior to upload so this system cannot be cheated.
#5 Add a file-size limitation to source code and assets of 2mb. This is for the sake of the submission server as well as to add an extra degree of difficulty to serious competitors. Obviously, this doesn’t include engine over-head like included library files needed for execution. Back in the day, 512kb was enough! 2mb is more than enough for the efficient programmer.
#6 Pre-approved, competition certified libraries only. This again, is to prevent pre-completed base-code. Libraries must be approved by competition organizers.
#7 Remove names from entries during rating. – Popular entrants get too much notoriety and are unfairly judged in their favour. I know a big tradition is promoting your game after-the-fact, but really we all know that popular entrants get unfairly high ratings based on past performance and celebrity status.
I know I will get flamed for these suggestions, but I feel they are important. Why? Because when I explain the competition rules to my friends who do not code, they immediately poke these very same holes in it. They dismiss the competition and don’t give it the credit it deserves. I would like to see Ludum Dare actually mean something to people outside the competition one day. I would like to see people gain the greater recognition they deserve. Having better rules adds to the importance of the competition, it adds to the tension, and it pushes us even farther. More importantly, it attracts the worlds truly elite game developers and validates their performance to the general public. I would like to see the winners go on to become not only credited by industry brethren, but by the populace of potential general public fans, eager to know who really is the best of the best. Until the rules are tightened, I don’t see that happening.
Please discuss, and thank you.
After Ludum Dare it would be easy to just game the rating system and ‘rate’ 100 games every night. However, I prefer to give each game the same amount of time I would hope others would give mine.
Let’s be honest, most entries are not replay-worthy, but replay value is the utmost important factor. Let’s also be honest: Games with outstanding graphics get more and better ratings across every category. I think that’s a shame because replay value is what makes the all-time greatest video games so legendary. Replay value really aught to be the second-to-top category, just under overall.
So here’s a list of games I’ve played so far that made me want to play again, and in some cases again and again. In my mind, these games fit in the true winners circle.
Trolls: Where the Sun Don’t Shine
I found myself wanting to get a higher score, to push myself. It’s amazing how such a simple title can be so addictive.
Click here to play
Plane of Misery
Although the timing is short, this game is a real gem. I couldn’t stop laughing at the mere premise of the game, and the gameplay itself was fun. Okay I admit the puzzle timer was way too fast but that didn’t stop me from trying this game over about 10 times.
Click here to play
Heroes are so Annoying!
Okay, so when I beat the game it was over; No more replay value. However, it took a couple tries to get it right. If only this title had random dungeons, I would sit here and play for hours.
Click here to play
Of the 43 games I’ve played and rated, these three gems are the only entries that made me want to play for longer than 5 minutes.
So it looks like on-top of not having a great start or finish to the competition, now the lack of web entries makes it impossible for me to gain any ‘coolness’. What can a guy do?
I’ve been trying since the end of the competition to play and rate entries, but so far I have only found 2 web entries. Perhaps there should be a way to sort entries by platform.
Well, I finished. The coolest thing about my entry is that it plays and feels just like an Atari 2600 game. Click here to play.
In the end I don’t think it reached its potential. I wanted to add pedestrians and cars as obstacles. Right now it doesn’t seem challenging enough. I feel like I’m hunting down the cops to beat them up. Oh well. In retrospect a warm-up and a pre-designing of the engine would have vastly improved this entry.
After that crappy BP experience, I’m cashing in my first power: The cash.
Bad start to the competition. Was starving, was taken to Boston Pizza for dinner (my breakfast), they screwed up my order, by the time it was replaced everyone was done dinner, so I sent it back. Had a narcoleptic attack in the parking lot, fell over, starving, freezing, tired, but not defeated… Going to re-coop after a short nap.