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Ludum Dare 44

Ludum Dare is an international, bi-annual game making contest, (one of the largest game contests in the world) that I like to participate in from time to time. The contest lasts for 48 hours and a particular theme that you should follow is presented at the beginning of the contest.


This contests theme was: Your Life is Currency


I can't say that this was one of my favorite game jam themes. It just didn't seem thought provoking enough; because the main game mechanic is so obvious. But it was an intriguing idea, and I had a decent game plan in place.


Short weekend game jams like this are fairly difficult to get everything you want in, especially when working alone and everything must be made from scratch. Simple graphics are a must. Minimal music, effects, animations, everything. The gameplay must also be fairly compact if you want to be able to smooth it out and keep the game balanced, and you need time to be able to play test it.


Here are some key points I try to target when doing a game jam:


►Main Game Mechanic

  • I try to limit game jam games to having only one unique interaction that the player can do, and make the game revolve entirely around that. This way you limit the scope of your project and have a higher chance of actually finishing something. Usually in game jams, the more time you have to polish, the higher you will place in the judges eyes.

►Smooth gameplay

  • Even though it's a game jam game, players expect a well polished game loop that doesn't glitch when they try to perform the main game functions. Really this is the core of your game; an interactive medium at it's heart.

►Similar Graphics

  • Game jam graphics are expected to be sub-par, but your visuals need to be all on the same page. No mixing and matching of non-visually similar elements. Keep your pixel resolution the same.


The end result from my weekend was "The Circle of Life-Defense" which is a sandbox tower defense game. I did have a few moments to slap together a neat little trailer during the jam:

Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time to play test the game and re-evaluate some of the games balancing and pacing. Right now the super zombies don't have enough health, and the towers can be upgraded too fast to their ultimate status. Once the judging is over I can address these issues, and add some sound effects.


Until then, if you are a windows user, you can download and play the game here:

And if you are a Ludum Dare user, you can pass judgement on the entry here:

https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/44/the-circle-of-defense


Once the judging is over, I will update this post with the final scores.


Have a good one!

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