Posts Tagged ‘theme’
So, you know those little mini-themes that have been in the past… how many Ludum Dares? Things like “Goat”, “Potato”, and… “Bieber”, I guess was one. Usually just showing up as little Easter eggs, but in a lot of the games. Those were all failed themes in the voting, I think, but whatever.
How about this for a mini-theme for LD29: the Konami Code! Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start/enter. Just make something happen in your game when the player enters the Konami code! Some sort of Easter egg. It will be fun!
So, that’s all. I’m definitely putting this code in my game! I hope to see it in some of yours!
“You only get one” is not a bad theme at all.
I spent one hour thinking about the different ways that I could tackle this theme, and had quite a few ideas. One thing that came up almost immediately was a “shoot them up” where you only get one upgrade – every level you must choose which upgrade you are going to use for that level.
Now, that seems such an obvious Idea, that I tried to think a few others before setting.
Something that also came up was a “dating simulator” – You only get one also fits very well with that. The problem is that dating simulators depend too much on their art and content to be fun, and that is something that I know I can’t do well in just a weekend. After playing with the idea for a while, I soon tossed it out.
Another idea that came up was “EXTREME GEOCACHING” – basically a dungeon game where you have to find a hidden item, and you can get the help of one friend, who will give you some sort of power. Then I realized that this is just a more complicated version of the first idea (one power), and a variation of my first LD game to boot. To the trash!
Another idea is some variation of “You only get one (try)” – but that seems even more obvious than the first idea, and no good implementation comes to mind.
So I’m going to go with the Shoot Them Up thing. If the idea is not unique, how can I make it an awesome game?
One word: DINOSAURS!
Hey Guys, makehimanoffer here. This was my first actual Ludum Dare jam thing. I’ve done plenty more jams before though. But alas, this wasn’t my jam at all at all. I didn’t really like the theme at all. 10 Seconds was sort of annoying with whatever coming to your mind being: like X but in 10 seconds.
Like I had plenty of ideas, but with regards, implementing them.
You’re about to OD on acid in 10 seconds, so you have to take more acid to extend your perception of time. Platformer where more acid = more powers. But I quit it after I got platforming in because I was meh about the whole thing.
Like the first one but as a topdown roguelike similar to binding of isaac. But there’s already a binding of isaac so I didn’t bother continuing on past room generation.
This one I liked, but I really felt was missing something. And I will possibly expand upon it later. You’re present with a button and over the course of 10 seconds a bio of a person is give, you must decide whether to push the button and kill them or let them live. If the death is just you gain points based on when you pushed the button. if not you lose points.
It was cool concept. I could definitely expand upon it in an interesting way. But for the most part coming up with the bios was alot of effort. For something where I feel the emotional impact of what you were doing was lacking. More Design is needed.
This was basically a way of trying to have some fun. It was called Tense Conditions. And you basically would masturbate on a house by pressing space rapidly. Would have expanded. But got sick of the effort of this. In case I scrapped it tomorrow.
So that basically rounds up a fairly meh experience at Ludum Dare. Wasn’t a fan of the theme. Bit me in the ass this time round.
Oh well. I’ll be back for the next one. Cheers
Let me put my rant hat on:
Death is useful +426
“Death is useful” is a really cool idea. I’m pretty sure that a game made around this idea would be really unique and interesting.
But I don’t think it is a good theme for Ludum Dare. The reason is quite simple: It directs too much. It points very clearly to a direction, and removes a bit of surprise, a bit of creativity.
Ludum Dare nowadays has upwards of 1500 submissions. With this many games, I think a good theme has to be as open ended as possible. In short, not a “sentence” term (“death is useful”, “you are the companion”, “protect your enemy”), but rather a “noun” theme (“Glitch”, “Illusions”, “Colours”, “Castles”).
A noun theme allow first time LD’ers to make simple games with simple interpretations of the game (A 2D platformer in a castle), while veteran LD’ers can spend their creative juices trying to surprise us out of our socks (A dialogue-adventure game where the end goal is to convince feuding families to collaborate in the construction of a castle to defend against foreign invaders).
This LD, let’s try to choose an Open Ended theme, even if it doesn’t sound cool at a first glance (or because it doesn’t sound cool at a first glance!). You can always use the cool candidates that didn’t make it to further define the open-ended game (A castle-building game where progress must be paid for with the deaths of your workforce!)
Off with the rant hat
I have posted saying I will be in, which I fully want to live up to. But at the same time, some of these themes are just a bit too dark for me.
Just to name a few:
IF any of these are picked, I’m out. I can’t deal with any more dark shit in my life (let alone 1500 other people’s take on it) right now. Sorry.
The first thing I said to myself before the start of the Jam was this : “I will do my best to respect the theme in every aspect of interpretation or development.” Then the theme was announced : “Minimalism“. I was very frustrated because I knew that obeying THAT theme would kill almost every fragment of creativity I have could put into it my game. I wasn’t creating a personal game anymore, but a thing resulting of the maximum extrapolation of an invasive theme.
My thoughts are a battlefield with Conformism (C) against Anticonformism (A).
I do hate the C part, but it’s keeping me sane. This is how I proceed, talking to myself :
- A : What is the Minimal in a Game?
C : Interactivity. Without interactivity, it’s just a show.
A : But is a show a real game with unconscious inputs and inexplicit outputs?
C : Don’t mix show and game or people won’t understand.
- A : What is the Minimal in Interactivity?
C : An input, an output.
A : It seems to be true with 2 people (considering Player and Game).
- A : What is the Minimal Input or Output?
C : A click and displaying a pixel I think.
A : Where are your arguments?
C : In common games you just have to click and pixels are small and light.
C : Remember, people need to understand.
A : MAN, stop attacking your liberty of thinking by using understandability as a filter.
C : Do a game for your yourself if you want BUT UNDERSTAND that shareability is primordial in LD.
A : Go **** ******** C!
– Cerebral Meltdown –
I’m not going to show you everything, because it took hours.
And my head hurts.
- A : So… what’s the minimal game engine?
C : Notepad.
A : LOL, are you trying to mimic me? You’re bad at this, you know.C : It was a serious answer.
A : It was unoriginal originality, around 10 people will have the same idea.
C : So what’s your idea?
A : No game engine.
C : WHAT???!! We are NOT going to make a game??
C : GOOD JOB, YOU’RE RIGHT : 0 octets, that’s Minimal!
C : Who won? Everyone who did NOT submit a game.
C : You’re going to be hated for that.
– Conformism ragequit — Long wait — Conformism comeback –
- A : Bro, try to understand me,
A : I was saying : no “standard” game engine.
A : Let’s use Ludum Dare website as a game engine.
A : One possibility : Title = Question ; Download links = Answers.
A : Let’s minimize everything
C : Wow, you’re a genius, no kiddin, but can we?
A : It’s not forbidden, I think. Let’s submit in “Jam”. In case of.
- C : So, what’s the minimal question for you?A : “How are you?”
C : Answer links : “Fine, thank you” and “Not so well”?
A : I don’t like this, the question must be more challenging.
A : What about “X = 3 – 1“, btw : weird name, easy to see.
C : That’s not challenging at all.
A : Well, it looks challenging so people UNDERSTAND where the game is.
A : Remember, there’s no downloadable game, no Flash, no HTML5!
C : Why not “48÷2(9+3) = ?“, we will get more points in fun.
A : Too hard, and minimalism has a difficulty interpretation.
A : Note : We must do minimalism in the most diverse field of interpretations!
- C : Where the “download” links are going to redirect?
A : Maybe to wikipedia, to the true or false page.
C : I like the “true” or “false” idea, it’s very “game-like”.
C : However, some people will not understand that wikipedia is a part of the game.
C : They will say “the link is broken” or something else.
C : I will write “you need a web browser” so people don’t search a “physical” game.
C : And it’s funny at the same time.
- A : Good idea, hhmm, for the links I will write true or false in images.
A : I will then upload the images and use their direct links.
A : It’s important to lure people into thinking we spent minimal time and skill.
C : I think you’re right.
A : Haha.
C : Be careful, some people will look at the URL, so upload the false image several times.
And that’s roughly how I got this :
I’ve been going around trying to test and rate some of the games. One thing that I like is how this competition heavily encourages you to rate games, so your own game gains visibility. I feel this helps create the great community for this competition.
I’ve personally been checking my entry page every once in a while to reply to every comment and thank them for checking out my competition, and check out their game if they have a submission. I feel like I really want to give back to the community, and really like getting constructive criticism.
I remember there being a lot of complaints on the IRC chat after the theme was announced. I personally really liked the them, because it forces you to cut out unneeded elements from your game until you get straight to the core of the game. That, at least, is my interpretation of the theme. I feel like if you really embrace the theme, you can get a lot out of it, no matter the theme. It really gets you to think outside the box, and outside your comfort zone.
This theme had me thinking of something either way too complex or way too simple for this competition. I’m no novice to the tools, so doing the least bit of work would be a waste. Pushing myself beyond what I feel comfortable with is the key to the Ludum Dare for me.
The Theme Announcement: After the theme was announced last night, I took a while to think about permutations of the minimalism idea. Admittedly, it’s pretty abstract, not easy to visualize. So I thought of the zen/taoist view of minimalism, which is the emptying of ones self, the binding of mind and body, and the ability to calm distractions. This narrowed it down, and I had considered some sort of heroic Rampage-style game. Way too big and most likely not readable by you great Ludum Dare judges/developers. After another hour of plans in my head, I was exhausted so I went to sleep.
That Archimedes Moment: A great experience occurred while I was drifting into dreams. I had a major ‘eureka’ moment, as visions of a hero became clear, and of a platforming game, a fun mechanic, and a theme tie-in boiled to the surface of my sleepy-brain. I lept up and jotted down everything I could, messaged my best friend the great news, and smiled widely. This game development challenge now has a direction!
Morningtime: So, this morning has been piecing together a platforming engine. It will be very similar to platformers I’ve done before. Except for the gameplay twist. (No spoilers this time). I drew a placeholder hero character, and have enjoyed a nice breakfast and iced coffee. Momentum is high! No fear!
Plans for the Day: Actually, even with this momentum and good vibes for dreaming up a good idea, I’ve only got about 3 more hours before a long break in the middle of the day, to continue at about hour 19~20. Not letting it bust my groove for this moment. My plan! The plan is to have the level map system and moving the player around, jumping, attack hitboxes all before hour 14. The graphics are all placeholder until tomorrow. I do my best sprite work at 3am anyway!
That is a hard theme… but using the good, old “think of 5 ideas, throw them away, and pick the 6th”, I think I got something.
I have this notion that “theme” is something your game should move around, not just the window dressing. Using “minimalist art and sound” is something that went out of the window right away.
So what can we do? Minimalistic gameplay… another quick idea is a “1 button game”. That might be fun, but I decided to think about things a little bit more.
How about a game where “minimalism” is the goal? A game where “less is more”? (Strip poker? Lol, kidding) – Hmmm, I work a lot with “minimization functions”. Not the same thing as minimalism, but close.
Most “puzzle” games are about putting pieces together to form a system. How about the opposite? A puzzle game where you have a very complex system, and you need to take as many pieces from it as possible, while still allowing it to work.
Now we got something! Of course, creating rules for such a different puzzle game might be a bit complicated. I will give myself one hour to think about it, and if it doesn’t work, I might just go with a 1-button action game anyway.
… is terrible. Did people honestly find this more inspiring than Potato or ANYTHING else?
I got luck and had a nasty flu this week. This made me be stuck at home for a whole day – and this time was well put into rating games
When I first heard the theme, I thought about a few ways that the theme could be approached: simple villain dressing, reverse-games, or villainous game design. I should have kept my trap shut. In just playing a few dozen games, I saw some very interesting approaches to the theme.
Today I want to highlight some games with such interesting approaches. Go play them!
- Evil Wall, by Zaszx
- Meteors: Look at them go, by Fonserbc
- Cure 48 – By Sonnybone
- Ludum Dare Musical – By ILO
- The Villain Complex – Maxim Schoemaker
This was the first time Zaszx joined the LD. It shows – the graphics of his game are really simplistic, and the game is lacking a lot of polish. That said, he had a genial idea for the gameplay: You play as a ghost that can turn into walls. There are “good guys” in the game area, and a “bad guy” is trying to kill them. The bad guy is evil and slow, he cannot catch the good guys. There is where you come in – your character can materialize and become a wall, blocking the path of the good guys so that the bad guy can catch them.
What is so fantastic about this idea, is that this game makes you FEEL evil based on game mechanics alone. You could stay put. You could not interfere. But you do, you stand in front of the good guys who are trying to flee from the bloodthirsty evil guys. You FEEL evil while playing this game, in spite of the bad graphics and no sound.
This is another very different game. You observe the earth as it succumbs to a deadly asteroid shower. You can click on the asteroids and move them around a bit, to mess with the earth’s defense, but in the end your actions don’t affect the end result too much. This is one of the main faults of the game, which otherwise is quite fun and creative.
In this game you play as the hero… until you find out that you’re not. I won’t say much as to not spoil the game, but it is really worth your time. If nothing else because of the gorgeous musical score and the very polished feel given by Sonnybone.
another unique take on the theme. In this game you are literally the villain — of a musical! The game simulates a school play, where your character has the role of the villain. The partner, controlled by the CPU, will sing a verse, and you have to pick a matching verse, taking into account the rhyme and the contents of the verse, as to fit your villainous persona. Very original.
This game’s take on the theme is interesting, but it is not what hooked it to me. It was the very original idea of letting you design the weapons available in the game. This game is a shooting platformer, and between each level, you can change the weapon’s range, strength, fire rate and many other properties at will. The enemies will be equipped with a random selection of the weapons that you create, which makes an interesting dilemma: make strong weapons, and your enemies will eat you alive. Make weak weapons, and you can’t properly use them against your opponents.
Hope you enjoy these suggestions, and please play my game as well! Feel free to plug your game in the comments, I will give it a fair shake