“Ludum Dare is a regular community driven game development competition. The goal is, given a theme and 48 hours, to develop a game from scratch. Ludum Dare aims to encourage game design experimentation, and provide a platform to develop and practice rapid game prototyping.”
In the early years of Ludum Dare, I took part in the solo competition on several occasions, usually using C++/OpenGL. In recent years, I’ve taken part in the team jam (72hrs, teams allowed, more relaxed rules), and contributed to these entries.
Working primarily with two experienced 3D artists (and being able to target decent-spec PCs, turning on all the Unity lighting/postprocessing features that we generally can’t use on mobile), we achieved some results that we were fairly proud of.
Ludum Dare #44 (April 2019) – Theme: ‘Your Life Is Currency’
Our Game: Scooter Looter
So we cheated a bit here. We were struggling a bit with the theme, and ended up making something based more on ‘your life is *stealing* currency’… you play as a thief on a scooter snatching items from pedestrians (by riding past them close enough), while dodging the pursuing police (more of which keep spawning as you play)
This game made particularly good use of several things that Unity makes easy – navmesh for the chasing police, some very simple Mecanim animation setup, ragdolls, and rigid body physics. As with all our 3D Ludum Dare games, the camera was once again the weak link… good 3D cameras still aren’t easy…
Ludum Dare #42 (August 2018) – Theme: ‘Running Out Of Space’
Our Game: Lava Palava
The intention with this one was to have a level that collapses as you try to defeat enemies while avoiding falling in the lava, but it ended up more as a platformer with a somewhat tricky camera and some collapsing blocks. It didn’t go as smoothly as MechaSnek, mostly due to additional team members trying to help out remotely, and spending far too much time trying to deal with source control problems… But we still managed to make something playable, and that looked quite nice (for a jam game)
Ludum Dare #41 (April 2018) – Theme: ‘Combine Two Incompatible Genres’
Our Game: MechaSnek
A Snake game, combined with a twin-stick shooter. While the camera made this a bit tricky to play, it still worked out quite nicely. The WebGL build is playable here (The native PC build has significantly better performance – but it still requires a fair bit of GPU power due to the shadows+postprocessing, and a somewhat high polygon count…). This was probably the best of our team entries – we kept the game simple (snake, with things to shoot) allowing a fair bit of time to polish the visuals.