Patrick Ward words, code, and music

Ludum Dare 26 Results

I entered the Ludum Dare game contest between April 26th-29th this year (2023). It was my first time competing in the competition. Although, the competition itself has been held since April of 2002.

Despite my anticipation and general lack of confidence going in, I have to say I had an absolute blast. It really opened my eyes to what a game jam competition could do for your self esteem and creativity. It was a real creativity booster for me. I figured there was no way that an older hacker like myself, using simple graphics and a homegrown guitar tune as a soundtrack, could compete against all those bright young stars out there, but I entered anyway.

After the competition, my game, Stijl ( found here ), seemed to be fairly well received at the time, but when I saw the results, I was blown away. I never thought I would have done that well, especially considering there were 1610 48-hour competition entries and 736 72-hour jam entries (2346 entries overall ). My game isn’t in the top 100, but it did make it to a very respectable place near the top. And what I thought was one of the weaker elements, my quick guitar doodle and simple sound effects for audio, ended up showing at #130 in the overall rankings. I’m humbled and pleased that it did so well.

The final results for my game can be found on the game’s ludum dare page, but I’ve listed them here as a reminder for myself as well. It’s a reminder to never count myself out, particularly when I don’t think I can do something.

Compo Ratings for Stijl

Out of 1,610 48-hour competition entries.

Rank Category Rating % Rank
#130 Audio 3.48 Top 8.07%
#207 Mood 3.47 Top 12.85%
#223 Overall 3.53 Top 13.85%
#224 Innovation 3.57 Top 13.91%
#261 Fun 3.33 Top 16.21%
#270 Theme 3.86 Top 16.77%
#300 Graphics 3.42 Top 18.63%
#655 Humor 2.09 Top 40.68%

My game even made it to a Best of Ludum Dare 26 list. That was a pleasant surprise too.

I’m working on a post-competition version of the game, with an expanded soundtrack, new puzzle levels, and some bug fixes. But, the core of the game remains the same.

This simple, 48-hour competition opened my eyes to the joy and challenge of a game jam, and it reawakened some of the excitement and creativity that drew me towards computer programming in the first place. So, I’ve decided to continue making games over the next few months and enter the One Game a Month challenge. My May game will be available here on this site and at my one game page within the next week.

I don’t expect my newfound passion for game development will lead to anything more than a creative spark, but that in itself is worth the effort.