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One Year of Ludum Dare

Aug 5, 2017 • Sarah

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This past year, from August 2016-2017, I participated in each Ludum Dare! I worked on three jams, and my first compo! I’ve made 4 different games, two by myself and two with Joel! We also did Ludum Dare 32, our very first Ludum Dare jam in April 2015.

Ludum Dare 32 - An Unconvential Weapon - Plan.IT

Ideas are flowing

We used assets from Kenney and an online planet generator for our graphics and we never actually finished the game itself. The idea was to collect resources from planets along the way to a Hackathon. And upon arriving to the hackathon, use the resources to build something and win! We finished the resource collecting mini game, but that’s as far as we got!

Ludum Dare 36 - Ancient Technology - Choose Your Fate

Ideas are flowing

I forgot about Ludum Dare until Saturday night when I decided to start anyways! I worked by myself and I didn’t really have an idea. My main goal for this jam was to build an inventory system, and a dialogue system. I finished both! But then there was literally nothing else to do. I played around trying to build a cutscene at the beginning to [sort-of] have a story.

The characters all had randomized names and personalities, which determined their dialogue options. At the beginning of each game, you could choose between two random characters. Spoiler alert, your choice had no effect!

I didn’t have a playable game, but I did have a world where you could talk to snobby NPCs. But hey, don’t touch strange technology in the woods, it’s not my fault!

Ludum Dare 37 - One Room - Hacker Cafe

Ideas are flowing

Joel and I worked together on this game, and we actually finished! Our first complete Ludum Dare game! We took a lot of inspiration from Reigns, and had definitely been watching a lot of Mr.Robot… We were very happy with the final outcome, it’s still a potential game that we might work on again. We completed the things we had hoped to; which were, a notification system, and loading in the story line/options with json and scriptable objects.

This was the first game that we made where we used our own graphics. We also used Google material icons. We tried not to let our lack of artistic ability stop us from making our own game! We didn’t have enough content, because we ran out of time to create more. The notifications get reptative fairly quickly, so that needed to be deepened quite a bit. The feedback we got on this game was really great, a lot of people really liked it.

Ludum Dare 38 - A Small World - Village Builder

Ideas are flowing

Yay, new Ludum Dare website! This was a mostly finished, but not finished, entry. Our goal was to create a small world builder. A small sandbox to design a village and see what your rank was. We used Kenney assets again but we had a limited amount of things. We used what we had, and I worked on my UI skills. I generated an isometric grid of grass, and trees around the edges, the player had a set amount of money to build the village, but in the end I just gave the player way more money than they would ever need :) Just for fun!

We were really busy that weekend so we didn’t have a lot of time to work on the game, so part way through we cut our scope. Originally, the goal was to keep your village thriving over many days, and slowly build it up and make money etc. But we didn’t have the time to build those systems, so we changed the idea to just build a village in one go :) It all worked out.

Ludum Dare 39 - Running out of Power - Power Tripping

Ideas are flowing

My very first compo! Timing was different this time around, with only two days to build. I started Friday night at midnight after deciding not to participate, until I read the theme and instantly had an idea. The best ideas always happen once you’ve decided not to join in. It was pretty late, so naturally I stayed up until 6 getting things started. The bulk of the game was finished in the first hours, all the graphics and base scripting. I added UI Saturday before going to a party :P

I spent Sunday finishing the UI and adding smaller details, and finishing the game play. I saved the last 6 hours for making music. This was my first time actually making any music for a game, or anything really. I used Bosca Ceoil, and I love it! I actually finished my game 2 hours before the deadline. But it took me almost 3 hours to get my build, my source and my Ludum Dare submission ready. The servers went down just minutes before I tried to submit my game, so I had to wait until later in the night to actually complete the submission.


So with Ludum Dare 39, I’ve completed one whole years worth of Ludum Dare. And it feels great, I love getting feedback on my games, and I love seeing what the rest of the community has built. It’s great to see the different ways the theme is interpreted, and there are always lots of top notch games. The community is really nice, and very supportive whether you’re on your first jam or your 10th! Some days it’s difficult to see the progress I’ve made, but looking at all four of the games at the same time really brings it out.

I can’t wait to keep participating in Ludum Dare, Global Game jams and any other game jams I find :)
Don’t forget to keep creating!

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