Ludum Dare Theme Generator

What is this?

This generator randomly provides you with a theme that was suggested in previous Ludum Dare events. The themes in this generator include both winning themes and themes that passed the culling phase and made it into the voting phases. Working to a theme is a pretty good way to practice for Ludum Dare at your own leisure, and it’s also a nice springboard for ideas. Each theme links to its own Google search, just like they do in the LD voting phase.



Interactions Cards as game design tools

This is an effort to identify the different ways that a player interacts with a computer game, and put them into a card game as a tool for game designers.

Hey! You can get these cards professionally printed now!
(US$10 plus postage)

Or you can download the free version
They’re smaller, no longer maintained, not as well-written, and a bit confusing in places. You also have to print them yourself. Good for having a look at what’s inside, though!

Thanks to Lorc for the icons!


Each interaction falls into a category:

Positional interactions involve the spatial relationships between player-controlled objects and game objects. In Asteroids, the the ship avoiding crashing into asteroids is a positional interaction.

Indirect interactions are instigated by the player, but take effect some distance from whatever the player controls (a player character or the mouse cursor). A player might press a button to fire a bullet, for example, but the bullet only does something when it strikes an enemy further on.

Contructional interactions are those which maintain the current state of the system (healing your ally so he doesn’t die), increase the complexity of an object (combining two objects to make a new one), or increase the number of objects in play (building new units in an RTS game).

Deconstructional interactions reduce the number of objects in play (killing an enemy) or decrease an object’s complexity (reducing a building to rubble).

Inquisitional interactions are about how the player gets information from the game.

Modificational interactions change the original state of an object. Hacking an automated turret to make it friendly is an example of modification.

Goals and Challenges mark the objective of the player. A game may involve collecting n coins, or getting the high score, or reaching the end of a level.



'PlayThinker' cards are now for sale!

Do you remember my player-game interactions cards? A lot of people asked me to make a professionally-printed version of them. I totally agreed. And now it’s for sale!

I call them PlayThinker cards now, and they’re not only bigger and nicer-looking, but they’re also edited to be the best cards they can be. They can be yours for US$10 plus postage!

Look at the PlayThinker product site!



Some tools for your LD experience

While I probably won’t be participating in LD26, I have added the themes from theme voting to my LD Theme Generator and Game Idea Generator tools, both of which are here to serve you for your LDing needs!

Also, remember how I made a deck of cards that can help you come up with game ideas? I’m keeping the free version of the deck up for download so you can use them for LD! A professionally-printed version will be out around the end of this month.

Good luck to all the LD entrants!



Updated the idea generator, and other news.

Firstly, I’ve updated my Game Idea Generator with more games I liked, more concepts, and hundreds more Ludum Dare themes. For the themes, I grabbed everything from the published theme voting lists all the way back to LD 17. I then removed any themes with a score lower than -300 before conducting a final quick veto of crappy themes that remained (‘pastries’, for example). These new themes are also accessible from my Ludum Dare Theme Generator.

Still middling at ideas.

Ideas continue to be hard to come by, but easing up on myself over the past few weeks has led to some interesting rough premises that I’d like to think on a little more.

Twine is pretty cool.

Having always loved the mediums of text adventures/interactive fiction and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (CYOA) books, I was very impressed to find Twine by Chris Klimas. It uses TiddlyWiki (which I incidentally use for personal organisation and planning) to present a CYOA game, which you write in a convenient GUI. It’s very cool, and I totally will use it one day.



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