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Ludum Dare #14's 123 entries in April was a pretty big deal, but our 15th Ludum Dare competition in August had a whopping 144 entries! Yikes!
The breakout success we had just 4 months earlier meant we needed to seriously clean up how our competitions run. We came together the weekend before the competition. I was finishing up my new Smiles trailer, Phil doing some Galcon stuff (probably... heh... I forget exactly), and one thing lead to another then blamo! An all new Ludum Dare.
Thursday was the game changer. We'd gone ahead and fixed the old submission system over the weekend, and got half talking about how we'd do a proper system. Then Phil was hit with some maniacal inspiration. He wanted to take a stab at building the new compo system, and threw down some further demands for co-organizer Mike and myself. So not only did we get the submission system we've wanted for years now, but updates to our long out-of-date rules and FAQ, some additional stuff to improve the credibility of the website (new look, new logo, numerous little things), but a freaking keynote too!
The keynote was an idea I snuck on to our wishlist sometime around Ludum Dare 14. Mike and I have been dabbling with video over the past year, and Mike had been producing an entertaining video blog. So we put 2 and 2 together, and Mike headlined our opening ceremonies (we have those now?) with this great 3 minute keynote video of his.
So wow! And now we stand, the 48 hours have ended, and voting has now begun. In 2 weeks time, we'll crown some winning games.
If that, along with Phil and my escapades at GDC in San Fransisco wasn't enough, we got some fantastic news earlier in the week.
Joseph White, a long time Ludum Dare veteran got his latest game a slot in the Sense of Wonder Night at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. Swarm Racer 3000, a great looking game based on his awesome Ludum Dare entry Swarm Racer. And of course with me in media mode, how could I not acknowledge him with a front page news post.
So what's next? At the very least, we're going to let the voting finish on this current compo. We'll be holding the next big one, Ludum Dare 16, some time in December. We want to bring the rules even more up to date, and do anything we can do to help foster this growth trend we're seeing. We feel an odd sense of responsibility, now more than ever, to be sure it continues to grow. And well, there's a pretty good chance you'll be seeing me at GDC again. I don't know how I'll be representing, but hey, I'll be there. I'm hoping to see more Ludum Dare veterans showing their stuff in the IGF and beyond.