Ludum Dare is an accelerated game development event held every 4 months. Thousands of developers create games for two concurrent competitions taking place over 1 weekend. Full competition rules can be viewed on Ludum Dare's webstite, but here's a summary:
- 48 hours long
- You must work alone
- You must use the competition theme
- All game content must be created within the 48 hours, with a few exceptions (see full rules)
- Publicly available libraries and middleware (e.g. Construct 2) are allowed
- Source Code must be included when submitting
- 72 hours long
- Work alone or in teams
- All creation tools are allowed
At the end of the weekend, entrants rate eachother's games for 3 weeks. Winners are announced at the end of the rating period.
Why should you participate?
- It's fun.
- You'll join a great community of developers.
- C2 is, in my opinion, perfectly suited for Ludum Dare.
- Making it to the end, and submitting a game provides a great sense of accomplishment.
- It will make you a better developer. Testing your game creation abilities under tight conditions, with a strict deadline, is like a game development adrenaline shot. It's a serious learning experience that will test your existing skills, and force you to rapidly develop new ones.
Let's get the excuses out of the way
"But I can't afford to participate."
"But I don't know how to make a game."
Download C2, go through some tutorials, and play around with the software. You'll quickly realize that creating a game much more possible than you think.
"But 2 or 3 day is too short a time to create a good game."
Long, in-depth, gaming masterpiece aren't possible, but you can absolutely create an awesome game. I dare you to play some of the winning Ludum Dare games (see below), and tell me they aren't awesome.
"But I already have plans that weekend."
Challenge yourself to create the best game possible in whatever time you have available. My LD29 entry was created in 2 hours. It's not particularly sexy, but I'm quite proud of what I created in 2 hours.
"But there aren't any prizes."
Monetary prizes... no. The prize is the experience and the game you produce. It's not uncommon for participants to further develop their entries into commercial products. Speaking from personal experience, professional opportunities have come my way both directly and indirectly from participating in Ludum Dare.
Here are a few links you may find useful/interesting:
- Ludum Dare Survival Guide - Great tips, especially if this is your first Ludum Dare.
- Tools - A nice collection of popular tools used by many Ludum Dare participants.
Not hyped yet?
Go play some games from the previous Ludum Dare:
- Theme: An Unconventional Weapon
- Overall Compo Winners
- Overall top 5 highest scoring Compo games created in C2
- Overall Jam Winners
- Overall top 5 highest scoring Jam games created in C2
I hope I've convinced a few of you to participate. Best of luck to everyone.