Ludum Dare 42: Game Ideas

For Ludum Dare 39 & 41 I did a little bit of pre-preparation by going through all the themes in the final round and coming up with a handful of game ideas for each. Both of those turned out to be a pretty good jam for us (even though we didn’t submit in 41 it was a most excellent jam in which we built our first FPS and our first CCG!

This time around we will not be jamming together as I’m away for the weekend, but I will try to steal 12 or so hours so that with the Monday included I could maybe manage a little mini-individual-jam. So my first criteria is to think small - something I can implement on my own in 12 to 24 hours. The second criteria coming off the realisation that I’m really bad at making my favourite genre, is to try for a turn-based strategy game of some sort.

So without further ado, here’s my list of game ideas for Ludum Dare 42. The (+1/0/-1) in the title shows how I voted.

Running out of space (+1)
  • The player is in charge of running a cramped city that has no room for expansion, so the player is forced to replace old upgrades if they want new ones. It’s all about the trade-offs…
Night is coming (+1)
  • It’s two in the afternoon and you’ve just realised that you are in a (werewolf / vampire) infested corner of the world… soon night will be upon you and with it the monsters… Do what you can to prepare and try to survive through the night.
Decay (+1)
  • You are emperor of a decaying empire… try to lose as little as possible during your rule.
Safe In The Dark (-1)
  • You are a thief, steal as much from the museum as you can, but beware… as day begins to break your chances of being caught will go up dramatically. Do you push your luck or is it time to take what you have and run?
Fragile (+1)
  • A heart is a fragile thing… try not to break it.
You Are The Final Boss (-1)
  • Heroes have come to put an end to your evil. Choose from a variety of moves to try and defeat them - it’s only your own self-preservation that’s at stake…
Evolve (-1)
  • Send a number of your brood to fight the enemy, then breed the survivors to create a stronger race that will prevail in the end.
Light is key (-1)
  • A puzzle with light? Use prisms to refract a pure white beam into different colours and mirrors to get the right colour to the right crystal, thereby unlocking the door to the great treasure.
Death is useful (+1)
  • Roguelike-style bump-to-attack tactics game where the player is fighting a horde of enemies that are always converging on the player, except when the player is dead… so dying is useful to reposition after luring the enemies into a bad position. The player is some form of godly being that reforms a few turns after death.
Two points of view (-1)
  • Something to do with the Cold War might be good? Two diametrically opposed philosophies fight it out for domination of the world.
Dying planet (+1)
  • The planet is being ripped apart by tidal forces from a wandering star that has strayed into our solar neighbourhood… use your shuttles to load as many as you can onto the generation ship that is headed for the nearest habitable planet.
It’s spreading (+1)
  • A disease is spreading - fight it by quarantine, medicine or slaughtering of the susceptible population.
3 Rules (+1)
  • Try to build a successful society by specifying its 3 cardinal rules. Try different rules at different points in the culture’s development and see how the resulting society evolves.
One enemy only (+1)
  • A turn-based bossfight where the player must outmaneuver a much stronger enemy over the course of a long drawn out battle.
One minute (+1)
  • A turn-based game that aims for turns that take no more than a minute to play.
You control the environment, not player (-1)
  • A hidden object game where all you can do is to make the environment hot or cold, thereby motivating the automated player in the right direction.

Matt Van Der Westhuizen

Back-end service developer at Ubisoft Blue Byte by day - wannabe game designer & developer by night.