Posts Tagged ‘Ludum Dare’

Jump Leads For Goalposts: Roboduck Football 2030

“The rocket launcher in this turn-based future-football game doesn’t have the best aiming mechanism.” That’s the worst thing I have to say about the half hour I spent with free Ludum Dare offspring Roboduck Football 2030 and if that were my strongest criticism of every game, I’d be altogether happier and healthier. Roboduck has other issues, including AI that seems to slap down orders at random and catchy music that has worked its way deep into my brain. It’s best played with two, swapping the mouse back and forth, and like many Ludum Dare games, I’d love to see it expanded.

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A (Subway) Platform Game: Mini Metro

Live your dreams. Make a Circle Line which is an actual circle.

Why are the trains in Britain always late? Here is one possible reason: efficiently connecting train routes is flipping hard. I only realised this while playing Mini Metro, a Ludum Dare entry turned alpha for a full game which arrived right on time when I needed something to play this weekend. It’s a neat strategy game, as visually clean as the finest tube maps, and currently freely available to play in your browser.

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Refried: Burrito Galaxy 64 Expands Taquito Tower

The best thing about Ludum Dare is the regular avalanche of tiny games that people produce during the event. The worst thing is discovering a brilliant concept or idea, and waiting for a larger continuation to be released. Porpentine spotted Taquito Tower during Ludum Dare 27 and described it as follows:

A tower of cube mazes filled with burritos and sassy enemies. Semi-turn based, so actions take place every second…Having at least 5 burritos makes your attacks more powerful, but eating them regains health.

An expanded version, Burrito Galaxy 64, is now seeking votes on Steam Greenlight. The trailer is pleasing.

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All The Fun Of The Dare: Ludum Dare 28

The Ludum Dare jams are splendid occasions, bringing designers together in person and across the strands of this electronic web. Every event throws out at least a handful of games (I can reliably carry seven games in one hand) that are either brilliant proofs of concept or miniature masterpieces in their own right. Now that the voting results for the Ludum Dare 28 are in, I’ve been playing through the crop’s creamier portions. The league tables are sorted into categories – Overall, Innovation, Fun, Theme, Graphics, Audio, Humour and Mood – and I’ve included the winning entry in each. There is a well of free gaming goodness below.

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Hark: RPS Manchester Social And Gamejam This Saturday

This weekend, Manchester’s MadLab will play host to a two-day Ludum Dare gamejam. The capacity has just been doubled so tickets are still available and if the chance to make games, share ideas and learn isn’t enough of an incentive to show up, read on. Last year, around this time, I organised a Manchester RPS social event in Terrace, the bar next door to MadLab, and the same shall occur this Saturday, from around 3pm right through into the night. Whether you’re at the gamejam or not, it would be lovely to see you. Details below.

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Where Eager Devs Dare: Lose Yourself To Ludum 26

I wonder if 'EatYourBeef_Doug' ever expected his name is 8-point lights like this

Yeah, Notch’s game got a mention on its own, because a big name is a good way to encourage those who otherwise wouldn’t be interested to take a look at the many splendid things created as part of the twenty-sixth Ludum Dare global game jam. It is very important to reiterate, in this case via the medium of a post (and in addition to the one below singling out The Unseen), that you will be generously rewarded for looking at LD anyway, regardless of whether or not anyone you’ve heard of is involved. Ludum Dare – and many other speed-development events across our blue’n’green marble – is the bleeding edge of game-making, where ideas and pure talent hold far more sway than fancy graphics and big-budget explosions. It is ur-game and omni-game, a wild, wonderful badlands for all the potential that software holds.
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Planet Of The Japes: Plan M

Get a few more of them together and eventually they'll play Giant Steps

We’ve already hosted a brilliant collection of Ludum Dare games but Indiegames.com have spotted another that I feel compelled to share. I know there are probably hundreds that I’d feel compelled to share if I played them all but sadly this is the first Ludum Dare for ages that I haven’t been able to dig into properly. On to Project M though, which is a fairly lengthy point and click adventure about mad science and not-dead detectives. Grab the competition version or an enhanced release with tweaks and soundtrack here.

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Live Free, Play Hard: Ludum Dare 24 Special

Become Earth’s nude martial ambassador. Make cunning wagers on gladiator beetles. “somewhere… at the bottom of piss ocean…” Crushed to death by beautiful cubes.

This week is special. This week is the Ludum Dare edition. Ludum Dare is a massive game design competition where the goal is to make a game from scratch in 48 hours, a pressure cooker of insomnia and brilliance.
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To Be Different: Ludum Dare 24

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.

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The Weight Of The World: Gravity

Ludum Dare is the gift that keeps on giving, the jam that keeps on jamming. The latest jar full of sweet goodness to spread all over your monitor is Gravity, picked out by the observant folk over at IndieGames. A tiny island floats above lava, which is rather silly of it, and blocks slowly fall from above. If they hit the island, all life ceases to exist immediately and the final score is tallied, which is what happens when you die. A leaderboard appears. At least here the objective is clear; survive as long as possible. This is achieved by shooting the blocks and either deflecting them into the lava with your bullets, or shoving them off the island once they crash. They’re heavy, you see, and they’ll drag you down if you’re not careful. Play in your browser now.

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Tiny World Tour: Ludum Dare 23

Ludum Dare 23, get your Ludum Dare 23 here! I’ve gathered together eleven of my favourites from the recent 48 hour compo/jam, although that’s not to say I’ve played all 1,402 of the entries. The theme was ‘Tiny World’ and below you’ll find a musical, an existential microjaunt, a personbreeding simulation and a space cat trader, with other delights sprinkled about. There are also unconventional marks out of ten, based on number of graphics, similarity to Tetris and inclusion of comical readme file.

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In The Flood Of Games: Tinysasters


Game jams are proving to be one of the most fruitful phenomena of the current era of gaming. Ludum Dare constantly throws up a bunch of fascinating stuff, and it’s tough to keep track of it all. So much of what is created – the window for making is just 48 hours – is so small and unassuming that it is likely to be missed. Tinysasters is one such microcosm, but it’s a beautiful, perfectly formed gem of an idea: terraforming an 8×8 tile based grid, while natural disasters roll in every thirty seconds to undo your work. Worth a look, if just for a moment.

By The Tiny World Forgot: Memento

Games with a 'remember' action are too few

I’m playing as many of the Ludum Dare games as I can before I do a full roundup of my favourites. There are more than a thousand though, which is a strong indicator of the spirit of the global indie community but a terrible thing for me because I can’t possibly play them all or I’ll wear my fingers down to nubs of bone. The theme was ‘Tiny World’, rich for invention, and I have to declare my love for one entry immediately. Memento, by Sébastien ‘deepnight’ Bénard is a beautiful miniature point and click adventure about memory. Visually, it’s like peering into the rooms of a lovingly crafted dollhouse. If you’ve seen any spectacular entries let me know in case I miss it and I’ll take a look.

Ten Years Of Weekends: Ludum Dare 23

The venerable 48 hour game design competition/jam that is Ludum Dare always manages to tickle my curiosity bone but that’s usually when hundreds of games suddenly sprout up across the internet, as if some manner of imagination/caffeine downpour had filtered its way through the digital dirt. This time around, for the 10th anniversary event Ludum Dare 23, I’m writing before the theme has even been announced. It all takes place this weekend, beginning in just over 12 hours, and there’s an interactive keynote to introduce the concept, energise the participants and demonstrate the basics of iterative design.

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Frostbitten Midas: Ludum Dare Winners

Stay inside with the ghosts or go outside and freeze. It's a choice I face every day.

There’s always something unexpectedly brilliant brewing in the indie community and when an event like Ludum Dare actually challenges all the talented designers out there to produce playable snacks at a rapid pace there’s an overwhelming amount to keep up with. That’s my excuse for missing the two winners of Ludum Dare 22 during my two previous pieces on the competition. Didn’t play them, didn’t notice them. But now I have, because they have been crowned and even I am not shortsighted enough to miss a coronation. If you are utterly myopic, however, you may not have played Frostbite or Midas yet. Read on!

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Grapple With Selective Gravity: Abandoned

Never touch lasers. Unless they are fixing your eyes I guess.

The great thing about the aftermath of Ludum Dare is that there are so many games out in the wild, just waiting to be tracked down. While carting my blunderbuss around the steaming jungle that today’s expedition of Colonel Freekirk’s IndieToy Hunting Party chose to visit, I became aware of a rustling in the mulchy remains of a collapsed banana grove. Nudging a cluster of razor-sharp yet brittle fronds aside with the butt of my gun, I was startled to see Abandoned, a gravity-flipping box-and-button puzzler, feasting on a strange purple fruit. It ran as only an indie game can but I gave chase, bagged it and present its trophied face for your appreciation.

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They Are All Alone: Ludum Dare Picks

Lots of free games! I haven’t played everything entered into the latest Ludum Dare because I do not have all the time in the world, but I did want to try out some of the other entries after Alec looked at Minicraft. No doubt I’ve missed the one game that everyone will be talking about 24 hours from now, the one that forms the basis for Valve’s next major franchise and blows the minds of everyone who plays it. I probably skipped past it because it was called ‘Alone’, which is the theme this time around and therefore the title of 78% of entries. For those who don’t know, these are games designed around the set theme and created in 48 hours. Here are some of them.

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Minecraft But Not: Minicraft

Crafty

The latest Ludum Dare gamejam hit over the weekend, which means the internet is now awash with tiny experimental games created in just 48 hours. There are many we should nose curiously at, but a handy starting point is the effort from Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, who finished his game with hours to spare. He’s moved on from active Minecraft development himself, but clearly he hasn’t moved on from the design values of his zeitgeisty building and survival hit.

Minicraft is his LD48 entry: a game about chopping down trees, mining rock and stabbing zombies. YOU MAY BE SOMEWHAT FAMILIAR WITH THESE CONCEPTS. But Minicraft is not Minecraft, despite the clear self-referencing.
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Super Eek Boy: Hollow

I'm willing to bet that mouth is exactly the size and shape of my character's head

The fountain of splendiferousness that is Ludum Dare spurts up another mini-gem: spooky platformer Hollow. Retroesque indie platformers are ten a penny, but the vital trick in Connor Ullmann’s free browser game, created for Ludum Dare 21, is to make you afraid of the dark. For in it, monsters lurk. Many of these monsters can be defeated, with a consistently joyous flying headbutt move, but that’s not the point. You can’t quite see where they are and when they’re coming for you until they’re basically about to eat your tiny, pixel-art, spelunking face.

Therefore, scary. Only a little, but enough, and with a wide range of impressive grotesques lurking in the all-too-near shadows. Beneath the spooks, it’s an artful and rapidly fiendish wee platformer in its own right. Play!

Via Indiegames.

Ludum Dare 21: Ships, Spikes, Batpunching

Ludum Dare, ho!
Ludum Dare, for those who don’t know it, is a competition that challenges people to code games on a specific theme, ‘Escape’ this time around, within 48 hours. I could probably spend 48 years trying to make a game, but it would end well. As a boy, I once programmed a Commodore 64 to draw some flags but I copied the code from a magazine. That’s what we did instead of modding in the Eighties. It was radical. Here in 2011 I have spent slightly less time than these games took to make playing through a bunch and bringing you my pick of the crop, below.
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