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?