Ludum Dare 42 game jam: Back again with games about "Running Out Of Space"!

It’s that time of year that only comes four times a year, it’s Ludum Dare! The thing where a bunch of random people on the internet come together to make literally thousands of video games on

Updated thread:
Ludum Dare 42:
Running out of Space

Ludum Dare 41:
Combine Two Incompatible Genres.

Post here about your game ideas, progress pics, and favorite entries!

I am currently doing some nonsense on top of MiniFB (Do you just want to write some bytes to an array and have them appear on the screen? Tired of having to set up a proper rendering API or dealing with platform-specific methods? Well now you can! Ideal for a quick jam) because I’d never used it before and wanted to do some ‘retro’ direct draw stuff. Comes in Rust and C flavours, also manages basic input events.

(GPU? Who needs a GPU?)

I… can’t fight the urge…
It has to be a turn based racing game. It’s… it’s too good.

I suspect this will not be finished in time.
I am however, learning modeling stuff, so that’s good.


I usually burn out on these because I often don’t have the programming skills to make anything of note in time, but I’ll give it a shot in Construct 2 and pick a relatively easy thing via this great genre mashup generator by Caffinated :slight_smile:
My current eyes are on Stealth + Point & Click.

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Oh this is cool! Thanks for sharing.

I just let it go for a while and a dating sim + tower defense combo caught my eye. At the very least I think writing up a design document for that could prove to be interesting!

Wow HAHAHAHAHA I had the exact same idea.

Ok, I decided that I’m making a cat-based Tower Defense + Racing game. Giant cats are trying to sit on your racetrack. During the build phase, you place giant cat toys to distract them. Then, during the racing phase, you try to drive around the track while the cats attack. The cats don’t actually damage you, they just block the track and make it harder to finish each lap on-time.

Also, here’s some of my favorites so far from twitter:


Here’s what I have so far on mine on point & click + stealth game, basic concept works as intended, gonna do enemy paths and hacking terminals next.
Also gonna make it so that you just right-click to interact, selecting from the menu isn’t that great.


I didn’t participate in this, but now I want to make a turn-based rhythm game.

I wonder if I have time to make one in the three remaining hours… no, no of course I don’t. Good luck to everyone still working!

Well, I didn’t have the technical know-how for some of my key ideas nor the energy left in the day to build them, as I was up very early for a very boring meeting and was occupied most of yesterday.

This is what I had by the end, a working albeit unreliable click-to-move system and an enemy with a simple patrol route. I also added a more fine tuned camera system that both responds to wasd keys, arrow keys and moving the cursor to the edge of the screen.

…it also included the previous ability to take down a target, although no time to make any animations for it so :stuck_out_tongue:



You might be interested in Crypt of the Necrodancer!

Necrodancer is fun! I’d also suggest The Metronomicon as another rhythm-strategy mashup.

I was thinking something that was more traditionally turn-based, that let players take as long as they want to plan turns. That’s obviously incompatible with the rhythm game genre, but that’s sort of the point. The rhythm gaming part would come in by having the theme of the game be related to music, so players would spend their turns planning what instructions to give to an orchestra (for example) and once they commit their turns, their instructions would be translated into a short segment of music before the game pauses for the next turn. I like the idea of poking fun at the way turn-based games mangle the representation of time and hey, at the end of this game you could listen back to the whole thing at full speed which would be a fun completion reward.

I had another idea for a rhythm/strategy mix, but it's kind of silly and also long so I'm hiding it in this tag.

The other idea I had was a fighting game where the two players take turns to move with the catch that each player needs to input the precise timing of their upcoming moves while it’s the turn for the other player to move. So, the sequence would be:

  1. Player A has X seconds to input moves (during this time no one moves).
  2. The X seconds of moves that Player A entered are executed. During this time, Player B enters their moves.
  3. The X seconds of moves that Player B entered are executed. During this time, Player A enters their moves.
  4. Loop back to step 2.

In other words, “input lag: the video game”. A slightly more sensible variant on this is that instead of having the turns be [record timing of moves : play back moves] it could be [select intended action : play rhythm game to determine the effectiveness of the action] while keeping the alternating control structure.

Anyway, all these ideas are kind of out there and they’re a lot easier to describe as ideas than to actually make into fun video games. Props to all of you who actually worked on your ideas!

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Well, I just barely finished my game! Would have posted it yesterday, but was too tired of looking at screens so I decided to go outside and do some gardening instead :blossom:

Neko Drift!

It’s a racing tower defense game where you try to defend your racetrack from waves of giant boxy cats. Before each wave, you spend money to place and upgrade towers. Then, you have to complete 2 laps around the track before time runs out. You get bonus income based on quickly you finish the race.

Mini post-mortem

I’m pretty satisfied with how the game came out.

I spent a while just tweaking values on the racing physics, and I ended up with something that’s fairly challenging/deep, but hopefully also fun. The tower/cat physics are definitely my favorite part. I think there’s a lot of interesting emergent gameplay because everything is physics-based. You have to think not just about the tower’s radius, but also about the angle-of-attack, and where the projectiles/cats will get pushed. For example: it’s very effective to place towers on the inside of a curve to push cats outwards off the track, but this also creates a risk that your car will get caught in the crossfire.

There were parts during the jam where I was worried that the tower defense gameplay wouldn’t feel very satisfying. I was thinking that I would need a lot of different enemy types, tower upgrades, etc. to make it enjoyable. But I think the pure physics mechanics are fun enough that they were able to stand on their own.

After coming up with the initial “tower defense + racing game”, I was initially imaging the traditional “kill monsters who want to kill you” tower defense game. But I asked myself the question: “Could I make this a non-violent game?” So I changed from “kill monsters using weapons” to “distract cats using toys”. I think this made the game much more unique and interesting. But I do wish I had a little more time to push the “distract” mechanics further. I had ideas for “sticky” yarn balls where the cats would pounce and get stuck on the yarn, and “catnip” balls that would suck in nearby cats. I also wanted to have more animations, sounds, and maybe some cute heart particle effects to make it clear that the cats are having fun playing with the toys that your towers are launching.

The 3D modeling took longer than I hoped, I guess I need to practice using Blender more often. For the textures, I layered and modified a lot of paper/cardboard textures. It looks decent, but if I had more time I would prefer to create proper normal-mapped PBR materials. I didn’t quite have enough time to throw in some of the other effects I wanted, so after the end of the jam I went back to throw in a better skybox, anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, and better lighting in a “post-compo” version. I also added some quick tire animations that I forgot to do, but it’s not very noticeable with the camera position.

I threw in some sound effects at the absolute last minute, and used an old pentatonic scale trick to randomize the pitch. I’ve used this trick in previous game jams, and I always love how it sounds. I do wish I had an extra hour or two to make a little looping music track.

I also really wanted to put in a bunch of particles and trail effects for drifting, but that stuff is a tricky mix of technical + artistic skill, and would have eaten up a lot of time during the jam. I really wish Unity had some kind of built-in tool for tire tracks! Unfortunately, both the “Trail Renderer” and “Line Renderer” kinda suck. I think I’d either need to cobble something together using particle systems with trails, or write some code to manually generate and place line renderers.

You can play the game here:

I’m really looking forward to playing everyone else’s games. I saw a lot of Tower Defense, Dating Sim, Golf, Fishing, Card, Pet Sim, and Racing mashups so it feels like everyone’s reading my personal game genre wishlist! :grin:


Bumping this thread for Ludum Dare 42!

Ludum Dare 42 just ended yesterday. This time, the theme was: “Running Out Of Space” and 3058 games were submitted!

Lots of people interpreted the theme by making either a game about a limited space that gets filled-up, or a game where the space itself becomes smaller as the game progresses. Puzzle games seem very popular, I’ve seen games inspired by classic puzzle games like Tetris, Sokoban, and Snake. Inventory management was another common interpretation. A lot of people used the “space” part literally, and made games about planets, spaceships, or characters who are literally running in space. Another common theme was computers, with games about managing hard drive space or other resources (even the Ludum Dare server seemed to join in).

My own entry was Decal Royale, a combo-based puzzle game inspired by running out of space while putting stickers on laptops. You can play it in the browser on! I won’t go into detail about the mechanics, but here’s a gif that should explain the gameplay pretty well:

I had a lot of fun making the art for this one, all the stickers were hand-drawn on paper and scanned-in, while the backgrounds were made as pixel art with a variety of dithering and noise effects. I was going for a sort of Gameboy Advance Wario Ware / Rhythm Heaven feel, and I’m pretty satisfied with it. I’m a bit disappointed that I spent the day before the jam downloading virtual instruments and setting up music-creation tools, but I ran out of time to actually make music. But I did spend about 30 minutes creating some quick sound effects, so at least it’s not a totally silent game.

I can’t wait to play a bunch of the other games that were created for the jam, I’ve been seeing some really cool stuff!

Also, for anyone who’s curious about Ludum Dare but feeling overwhelmed by over 3000 games, Jupiter_Hadley has a great video series where she streams games for about 1 minute each.

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A friend of mine did something for the jam!

He’s the guy making that Golden Girls RPG. It’s called Shelf Life, a game about organizing trophies.


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