How to use the Ludum Dare Website
You want to participate in a Ludum Dare event, but you don’t know how? Is the website layout and functionality confusing? Are you wondering how to make and submit games when the competition site seems to be nothing more than a blog? Then this is the article for you!
Links and More Links
Let’s start with the main site: LudumDare.com
You’ll see a number of important links there. /compo will take you to the main competition site, and for the most part, it’s the only site you need to worry about if you want to participate in weekend competitions. /planet is basically a collection of blogs by regular Ludum Dare participants. If you have a development blog and enter a few LD48s, you can probably get your blog’s feed added, too. The Wiki listed the rules and was the primary method of updating the theme lists, but it’s been under attack by spambots. It’s still accessible, but I dare not link to where! The mailing list is for announcements about competitions, and the IRC channel is the primary meeting spot for the LD48 community. And of course, there’s a link to the About Ludum Dare page.
What’s on the main competition site? The rules, for one. The rules page also doubles as a summary of what Ludum Dare competitions involve.
You’ll also see a link for creating an account, and according to the rules page, creating that account is how you join the competition. Yes, the account is for the LD blog, but you don’t need to worry about posting anything just yet. Having an account makes you eligible to submit a game. Creating blog posts is simply a nice benefit. If you’d like information on how to use the blogging software, see WordPress Lessons.
Using the site during a compo
Now that you have an account, you can participate in the competitions! Here’s how an LD48 compo typically plays out:
First, the theme is announced. Usually the theme is announced on both IRC and a post on the compo site. Initially there’s excitement, paranoia, whining, and confusion, but eventually everyone gets down to the business of making a game.
During the weekend, participants can use their awesome LD blog posting powers to give updates, post screenshots, and ask for feedback on works in progress. It’s optional to make such posts, but interesting journal entries do have their own category in the final LD scoring.
As the competition deadline draws near, a submission form becomes available on the site. Make sure you’re logged in to see it. Then you can fill in the form, including screenshots and a link to your game, and submit your entry!
After the deadline, voting starts. Only developers who submitted a game can vote on other games. Once again, make sure you’re logged in to see the voting forms.
Hopefully this article has helped you to see how you are expected to use the Ludum Dare site. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on the IRC channel or by commenting on the appropriate competition post.