To Be Different: Ludum Dare 24

By Adam Smith on August 23rd, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

Ludum Dare returns tomorrow but there’s still time to influence the global gamejam, with voting on the theme ongoing at this very moment. There are some excellent choices, with a sprinkling of the lost and the lonely, including ‘ruins’, ‘deep space’, ‘end of the world’, ‘trapped in another world’, ‘tunnels’ and ‘abandoned’. There’s also ’1000 kittens’, which I definitely didn’t just give a ‘+1′ to. Voting isn’t the only way to involve yourself. You could also make a game, either right there at your computer or at one of the gatherings listed here. Keynote video by Seth ‘Dink Smallwood’ Robinson and more details below.

Ludum Dare is delightful and always a pleasure to cover, made more so by the fact that so many contributors tend to talk about their own games in the comments, or in excitably written emails. There are always at least a handful of games that impress beyond the fact that they were created under a time constraint and the weeks afterwards are often spent checking obscure corners of the internet, hoping to see news of an updated version of a personal favourite. Even joyous acts of global sociability and creation can attract controversy though, and this time around Ludum Dare has been criticised because of a Kongregate competition for flash game entries.

The actual competition, which will award a total of $2,400 to the three highest voted games, is not actually part of Ludum Dare 24. It is hosted at, paid for and controlled by Kongregate, but by only including Ludum Dare entries, some developers reckon it will dilute the contest, with games designed for the cash prize rather than the theme, and less risks being taken. Indiegames.com have an excellent summary of the whole kerfuffle.

I understand the concern that having a prize on offer might make the money rather than the creation itself a goal, but I’m also happy when indie developers can actually find a way to convert their imagination and hard work into bill payments. Will there be a few more entries that aim to be populist and/or commercially viable? Probably. Will that detract from the entries that dance to the beat of controversy and curiosity for its own sake? I doubt it. Debate the issue over at Ludum Dare, if you so desire.

Anyone planning to contribute? Concerned by the Kongregate Kontroversy? Voting for the kittens?

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15 Comments »

  1. Berzee says:

    If only I wasn’t ridiculously busy this weekend, this might have been the first time I mustered the gumption to participate! Ahh well, perhaps next time? I look forward to the results.

    I read something on gamasutra about the prize money, earlier today, and I was going to link it until I realized that it’s written partially by the same guy and includes many of the same paragraphs. =P

  2. danlthemanl says:

    It’s awesome that Ludum Dare gets as much attention as it does. I’ll be participating, it’s rather exciting and I hope i can actually make something good.

  3. Kynrael says:

    Hey, maybe I will ! :) It’s been a while I haven’t done a game jam.

  4. Brun says:

    What? There’s stuff other than Guild Wars 2 going on this weekend?

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Entering the Jam this year and utilising the Minecraft community I co-run to maked voxel art IN Minecraft. All the people within our community who want to participate will be building giant game sprites, while I put the game together. The builds are converted to a textureless Blender model and animated in that. No assets from Minecraft end up in the final game.

    It’s an experiment, but will be fun even if it fails. And we are livestreaming too, yay.

  6. Terragot says:

    Fair play to the Indies who put the effort in with these, I’m correct in thinking there’s no financial gain with these? Really rings home the sentiment ‘We create for the act of creation’. Beautiful, I love this shit. Greatest expressive platform in history, right here, PC Games. God damn.

    • Berzee says:

      No financial gain except in that you might get slightly famous from Ludum Dare and that makes it possibly easier to turn your idea into a commercial product. And of course this year Kongregate might give you money. But on the whole and for almost everyone involved, I think it’s just a “for the fun of it” deal — which is fun.

  7. OrangyTang says:

    I’ve participated in more LDs than I can count, and it’s been awesome to see it get bigger and more inclusive every time. It’s also been refreshing to never really hear anyone say “it was better back in the old days when LD was smaller”.

    I’m still not saying that, but I am slightly saddened by the presence of money and prizes (however tangentially) in the competition. “Your game is your prize” really was the ethos and I feel it helped the community remain positive.

    (I’m also not participating this time, but only because of Real Life stuff. Next time Gadget!)

  8. matthias_zarzecki says:

    I can’t wait to compete (for the 5th time now :) I always get super-excited should I, or a dev I know, be featured here

    -Matthew

  9. LukeAllstar says:

    I’m taking part and it’s my first time. I really am hyped up and maybe I think too much about it, but there are always the two main goals in my mind, “have fun” and “the game is the reward”.
    I’d be very happy if my first participation ends in some good ratings but even if I get bad ratins, who cares? it will be a great experience (i hope)

    • Tanner says:

      Good thing on the bad ratings is that only the folks who can actually kind of judge how much work and thought has been put into your product are allowed to judge.

      And from what i can tell so far, those are mostly some fine gentlemen eager to help :)

      Will contribute too. Something multiplayerish.

  10. icupnimpn2 says:

    Excuse me, Seth Robinson should be remembered for Legend of the Red Dragon before Dink Smallwood.

  11. max pain says:

    After it’s done, are you going to cover only entries that avoided the main theme completely?