To Ludum Dare or not to Ludum Dare

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Ludum Dare is a competition, held three times a year, in which game developers all over the world aim to make a game fitting a given theme. The challenge is that you only have two days to finish your game and you get to know the theme of the game right before your 48 hours start. Avid game makers and game changers  as we are, many ludocraftees have participated in the competition over the years (with Teemu Väisänen from our art team winning the whole thing a while back with his game Superdimensional. The latest Ludum Dare was held in April with the theme Shapeshift. Heikki Törmälä from our coding team braved the challenge. He shared his process in what it takes to make a game in 48 hours. There are some tips in there for the would-be Ludum Dare contestant and game developer in general.

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Summertime Clashing – 5 Pro Tips for Winning in Clash Royale

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It might seem weird that we would write an entire text about the best methods to win at a game that isn’t even made by us. However, when you make games for a living, it’s important to play games made by other people to gain perspective on your own work. This is also a view our CEO encourages, for example in this article. Sorry it’s in Finnish only. Besides, LudoCraft is big on games that celebrate collaboration, so Supercell’s Clash Royale makes sense in that regard, too. But what have we learned from our fierce adventures with Clash Royale?

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Sound of Silly

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When people ask what I do for a living precisely, I usually say I make sound effects for video games. That’s not the truth though, it’s a just convenient answer and not a lie. I do tech support. And video shooting plus editing. Occasionally script writing. I think I once wrote few lines of code that actually survived to a shipping product. And I make sound effects, too. Sound effects take the most time, so I’ve chosen that as my default answer.

I once made a sound for something that was essentially a thinly veiled bouncing boob joke. My first attempt was a sort of ”sproing” sound. The client did not feel that was what they were after and I got the feedback ”The sound should be more round and organic.” That’s the art school way of saying: ”Not good enough. Try again.” My second, more wobbly, attempt sold the joke.

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Games and Gaming – Why Is There a Difference?

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I had the surprising pleasure to visit London and see the latest up and coming trends in the gaming industry at ICE 2016. Not the game industry – gaming industry. This means betting, slot machines and the like. Now, games and gaming are very close to each other as terms, so I’ll try to keep my wits about the distinction when discussing how the two do relate and could relate. Because the two can be easily considered as cousins and both can benefit from each other in many ways, I chose stories & skills and social gaming as my main points to avoid this post from turning into an essay.

Coming from the game industry it was fun to recognise familiar brands, like Frogger, turned into slot machines and pay notice to how the Walking Dead brand (comic book turned TV series turned games) conquers in all aspects of games and gaming from the amazing Telltale series to the NextGames mobile game and into slot machines with a special Michonne bonus that made me smile. With the gaming industry and the game industry intertwined so closely in regards of brands and the purpose to entertain, it is amazing that the actual game content of the two are not more closely linked. Naturally there are some limitations, like the nature of luck and odds in gaming and the strong element of story and skills in games. 

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Games at Tromsø Film Festival Thoughts on Design and Play

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This year at the 26th Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF) digital games were present in a form of a seminar called Film 2.0 – Games People Play. I had the honor to speak at the seminar. I arrived to Tromsø on the last day of polar night and left a few days later with many experiences richer. It became clear to me, once again, that play is the key to successful design.

The first night there I came across with a performance of improvised piano music. The music was played on top of silent movies played from YouTube and picked randomly by the audience. Right away when the first image came to view the performer was playing tunes. He improvised his playing as the movie unfolded. The audience could shout stop whenever they liked. He would then stop playing and a new topic would be chosen. This was an interesting way to bring play into a performance. A second example of play molding performance and content was soon to follow.

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