Ludum Dare 46 - Our Picks

Ludum Dare is a renowned gamejam which takes place twice each year in April and October.  The event gives entrants 72 hours in which to create a new game/playable proof of concept to a specific theme.  This theme is voted on from a list in the weeks running up to the jam and announced at the start time.  For Ludum Dare 46, which took place between April 18th and 21st, with voting due to end on May 12th, the theme was "Keep it alive".

Developers must upload their games and after the submission time ends there is a period of voting where competitors can vote on each others work to determine a winner.  Whilst there are not any physical prizes, the event does give the developers a concept and base to build on, should they wish, and flesh the game out to a full exprience.  In fact a number of games started out as Ludum Dare submissions including Evoland, Courier of the Crypts, Stories Untold, Mini Metro and Broforce all started life as submissions to Ludum Dare jams.

The latest jam saw over 13000 people start over 10000 projects, with a total of 4900 projects being completed and submitted by the end of the jam.  This was the biggest jam in LD history's with LD45 having about 7800 people, 5800 projects started and 2600 submitted entries.  Timing is probably key to this massive jump with the global pandemic, so it will be interesting to see if this trend continues with future jams.  Submissions are split into two main categories, jam and compo.  Compo submissions can be considered as Ludum Dare hardcore mode, where submissions must be made within 48 hours, with all assets created within that timescale and source code available.  Jam submissions can take up to the 72 hours and may use pre-existing assets or code.

In this roundup I'm going to have a quick look at some games submitted to LD46 which have caught my attention.

It's bring your child to work day, except you are a circus acrobat.  What could possibly go wrong?  A fun 3D platform game where you have to navigate your way round the obstacles in each level, careful though because when you jump you will throw the baby!  You need to time your jumps so that you catch the baby before it injures itself and "keep it alive".  For having been made in a weekend it's a pretty fun little game to pass some time.

A very simple maze based game.  You are a small robot and need to navigate to the end of the maze, marked by a green square.  You can only move in a straight line, and will continue until you reach an obstacle.  You only have a limited number of charges until your battery runs out, so you need to plan your route so that you can collect batteries to give you more moves.  Unfortunately there are no checkpoints in the game, so if you fail a level it's back to the start.

Sisters Lighthouse: Visual Novel
A beautifully drawn visual novel.  What is the mysterious event occurring at the lighthouse where you live with your sister?  Can you keep her alive?  Very nice short game, I played through to one of the endings within about 15 minutes.  Feels very much like a prototype and first chapter of what could be developed into a much larger adventure game.  Originally written in Russian the developers have made an English version, although this does contain a few typographical errors.

Ages of New Earth

Guide your colony through the ages of Earth in this web-based card game.  Terraform planets, gather resources and keep the human race alive.  Make decisions based on your draw of the cards and how you want to further life on New Earth - will you focus on clones or robots and how will you develop the terrain to support the population of New Earth?

Keep It Alive: A Love Story 

A team who took the theme a little too literally...  This is a simple platform puzzler in which you play 'i'.  After a misunderstanding 't' thinks they are not loved anymore.  Navigate your way through the mazes and prove the love the 'i' has for 't' and, literally, keep 'it' alive!

This is by no means a 'best of' or me saying that these are the games which should win.  It is just a small selection of the 4900 games submitted which caught my eye and I had a bit of fun with from 15 minutes or so.  There are many many more great games for you to look at and play, some games are even written to be played in your browser.  You can browse all the submissions here.

Congratulations to all of the teams and individuals who entered and completed their projects before the deadline.  I've enjoyed looking through all the submissions and can't wait to see what LD47 brings in October!
Ludum Dare 46 - Our Picks Ludum Dare 46 - Our Picks Reviewed by Parcival on May 07, 2020 Rating: 5

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