Ludum Dare 45: Ludum Dare Simulator

“Ludum Dare Simulator” by Marcin J.

“Become a budding game developer and take part in Ludum Dare jams. Improve your skills and try to do better with each competition you take part in. [It is] a simple card game with a little bit of player character progression sprinkled in. The only game mechanic you need to know, is that you have to use a release build card before the timer runs out.”


Game jams in general are very fitting to the theme of the forty-fifth edition of the Ludum Dare, which is “Start with nothing”, so it just feels natural that one game developer took this topic as inspiration for a jam entry. In “Ludum Dare Simulator”, you have to create a game from scratch in forty-eight hours. Each ’round’ you can choose one of five different activity cards, which will add points either to your own development skills (structured in game design, coding, art, sound, organization and popularity) or your jam submission (structured in playability, fun, theme fit, graphics, sound and innovation).

Simultaneously, each action will consume some of your time and three other, very important resources: Your health, energy and mind! When you are dangerously low on one of them, you will be forced to sleep for six hours. You can avoid that by giving yourself a break from time to time, either by taking a little nap, going for a walk or eating something. I absolutely adore the fact that this simulation is not entirely focused on making the game, but also that you have to take care of yourself for a bit.

As some of you may know, we already recommended the Ludum Dare simulation game “Ludum Dare: the Game” back in December 2016, which was made for the thirty-seventh jam of its kind. Even though both entries work with a very similar concept, there is one huge difference: In “Ludum Dare Simulator”, when you release the jam entry in the end and get your overall ranking, the game is not over at all. You can go on to the next edition and take the experience you got from older jams with you to make an even better game! This time, you do not start with nothing: You now have your experience. That is the best metamessage such a simulation game can deliver. [PLAY]

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