Ludum Dare 23: Tiny World

Ludum Dare is a game jam event that happens every few months.  It’s a combo of a 48-hour competition and a 74-hour jam.  In the compo, you’ve got to make everything solo and post your source.  The jam allows you to work in teams and opt out of posting source.

I’m a huge fan of the idea behind the event.  Commercial game development is an extended processes that can last years.  Jams ask you to go from idea to game in a few hours – forcing you to hone your skills in deciding what are the most important things to create.  It’s like sketching but for game design.  Reducing the time it takes to get from idea to implementation is an essential ingredient to creativity and creating in general.

This LD’s theme was ‘tiny world,’ and it had 1401 entries between the jam and the compo.  So if I were to spend one minute playing each, that’d be a whole day gone (or specifically 23.35 hrs).  I can only lay claim to playing about 50 or so.  Many of which were broken beyond being playable, but that’s a given within the jam environment.  They are rough around the edges.  Here are my favorites – in order of how much I recommend them :)


This Precious Land

A game that caught my attention because it denies your basic intuition of what’s the right move.  Haste will leave you out of luck.


There’s just something engaging about the simplicity of the world in this game.  I can’t explain why I liked it so much.

Planet Life

A game that initially seemed incredibly shallow.

Tiny Vessels

A little too sparse for me to have felt strongly, but I like the idea.

Pretentious Game

It’s got heart.


6 Degrees of Sabotage

A memory test whose visual style kept me interested

Memento XII

I’m a bit hesitant to include this one since it riffs so directly from the short story Memento Mori and the movie Memento.  Playing the story as a game didn’t add anything.  It would have been interesting to see indirect storytelling through environment rather than all the dialogue.  Let the player realize the twist without trusting it upon him/her.


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