Ludum Dare, the 48 hour game jam, is celebrating 20 years today with its 50th main event.
Or 51st, since LD#0 was a thing.
In 2008, I joined my first Ludum Dare. LD11’s theme was Minimalist, and I was very proud of the game I put together. It even had sound effects, which is more than I could say for some of my later Ludum Dare submissions. You can read the post-mortem here: https://www.gbgames.com/2008/04/29/ld11-minimalist-post-mortem/
Back then, there were a lot fewer participants, and it naturally felt a bit more intimate. Since then, it has grown quite a bit. There were MiniLDs, including #20 which I “hosted” (and got scolded by McFunkypants for not having ratings at the end). I remember meeting up with Ludum Dare colleagues at GDC 2011, putting faces to names and/or IRC handles. Instead of a hundred new games, there are thousands being made each event today. It has a dedicated website to call home instead of merely being on someone’s website. I miss my LD Trophy collection, though.
My last LD was #33 in 2015, and it was well-received and one I was very proud of (see the post-mortem here: https://www.gbgames.com/2015/11/30/ld33-free-me-you-idiots-post-mortem-ldjam/). Out of 1,199 entries, my game was rated in the top 36% overall and top 8% in innovation. Not bad.
I haven’t participated in recent years, partly because priorities made it difficult to dedicate a weekend to game development.
But thanks to my wife putting in herculean efforts to make it possible for me to focus more or less 100% on it this weekend, I will be participating in Ludum Dare 50.
I watched the LD 50 Keynote today, and it was nostalgic and inspirational. I’ve missed you all.
While her brother Diego died a few years ago, Gizmo is still alive and kicking at about 19 years old, and she’ll be next to me (or on top of my arms as I try to make a game) this LD, too
As always, I will participate in the Compo version of the event, in which I work by myself, create all of the code, art, and sound myself, and release the source at the end. I’ll be on IRC, and I’ll be blogging about my progress as I go. I will create a timelapse of my development. I will post pictures of my food. I will probably drink orange juice at some point.
In 2012, I wrote a Ludum Dare pre-compo checklist, and as I read it today, I realize it is pretty much still valid. I need to get groceries. I still need to prepare some of my tools. And we’re in the final hours before the theme is announced and the compo starts.
Are you participating? Good luck!
We’re all counting on you.