So, has anyone done any game contest like Ludum Dare? I've only tried one and the deadline was like a month. What do you think of them? As I play around with Unity, I'm beginning to think something like that might be fun but I don't like pressure.
I haven't done any contest like that yet, but then again I wasn't exploring gamedev that much until recently.
So I'll probably try.
Just checked current Ludum Dare: "Finish a game — Take it to market — Earn \$1". Hmm..:) Different?
I have been a judge at a hackathon.
Was fun in a way, though very tiring. I was surprised at the quality of some of the code that was generated in 24 hours, and I learned a few things.
1 Don't get between coders and pizza, it's very bad for your health 2 Pinewood studios may be a famous location, but it's not a good place to try and sleep 3 Even damn good coders can fail when tired
Actually, I was in two contests. I forgot about one. I finished both games and didn't do that well, but I did enjoy it. I just haven't been in one of those 24 or 48 hour deals, but I'm starting to think that would kind of be fun also. Not quite yet, but when I feel a little more comfortable in Unity.
I think they are good in that they force you to get an idea all the way to the finish line, even if it's not the greatest idea. A lot of times we quit before giving something enough of a chance.
The thing I don't like about the take it to market thing is that then it's a tax deal I have to report. The odds of actually making a meaningful amount of money are pretty small. I think even Kongregate pays a little for advertising or something, so I suppose it's inevitable.
I wouldn't want to be judge because it's so subjective. Two people would rate games completely differently, unless that's not what kind of judge you mean.
games inherently take long. it gives the wrong impression, that anyone can whip one out quickly. but if the particpant realizes that its an excersize and not they way to make a game there is no harm. and you may stumble upon somehting
Most of the winners at the one I judged stood out.
One team was doing my "Procedural generation challenge" and managed to generate a playable underwater game in 24 hours, looked lovely.
Another team created a crappy game, but developed a system that let you just dump smart phones and tablets on a table and link them to form one display. In any orientation, cool code.
Others just created a port of any old 8 bit game, not really impressive.
Another hacked a xbox kinect box to work on a PC and wrote a simple motion input game
The last one I remember did an augmented reality game, wasn't very playable, but looked very cool.
That's kind of what I have against them, and why I never joined the very short term. I can come up with something short and playable in a month, maybe. Anything less will be a little too simple to really call a game. The winners of those short games are something you forget 3 minutes after you played it. As an exercise, they do make sense, but only for someone that is very familiar with his tools and wants to find weaknesses in the whole procedure.
In one I joined, I found there were games that really stood out. Someone must have put an extraordinary amount of time in it, and this was a longer time period so it wasn't cheating. In another, I really thought my game was better, but not in the usual category that was entered and favored by the judges. I think I did get a runner up or something like that. Anyway, it was basically a good experience, but it put me under more pressure than I cared for.
I've done about 3 small game jams using simple game making programs like construct 2 and Multimedia fusion 2. I really enjoyed them and even won categories in 2 of them. It can be stressful when it comes down to the last few hours and the game seems totally broken but it was still a great experience to see such a collaborative effort come together so quickly. I would say definitely get yourself out there and try it out. Keep the game simple stick on simple mechanic and really polish it. We only get better with practice! Even if the games aren't all that spectacular I always see a couple of features or ideas that would be amazing with a little more time; I think that in and of itself is worth it.
I've done Ludum Dare 48-hour challenges a couple times, twice alone and once with a team. It is an EXCELLENT way to get experience with EVERY part of the game design and development process, in my opinion. And, often, having something playable at the end of it. Flawed, sure, but playable. You can look at it and say "Wow, I DID that. And it wasn't even that hard!" Or maybe "I should have done it this way". Or "Wow I never knew that throwing together some programmer-art was so much trouble, maybe I'd better think about how to handle that next time."
You CAN make a good game in 48-72 hours, with a bit of luck and inspiration. The LD top-scorers are pretty much all worth playing.
Some people here have grumped about judging, which LD makes a bit nicer by having the participants play and rate each other's games. They encourage this by tracking how many games you rate, and boosting your own game higher in the list of games for others to rate the more games you play.
Thanks for your input. The short time frame worries me a little, but I think I am going to give it a try as soon as I feel comfortable enough with Unity.
Interesting idea for judging. Gets everyone to play each other's games anyway.
I think the last contest I attended was TOJam long ago, but I didn't attend to compete. I was there to socialize and talk about the games industry and stuff like that. I don't really bother much with competing, I prefer to take my time and enjoy what I do. There were times however I set goals for myself to complete a game in a week. Old stuff I did like chess, air hockey, pong, scrabble, backgammon, etc. Heh, fun times. Wouldn't mind remaking those actually, for the web.