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How we took part in Ludum Dare

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We are the Arcane Gaming development team, developing games since 2021. As of now, we have two major projects: Fanbattle and Suetologia. The time has come for us to take part in the Ludum Dare gaming hackathon for the first time.

Initially, we decided to take part in the hackathon to see whether our team could cope with the given task in a very limited amount of time, and in general, to get a new experience. Thus, we chose to participate in Ludum Dare 53, which took place from April 29 to May 2. Since it was the first jam we took part in, we’ve decided to share our experience with you. 

What is a game jam?

In simple terms, game jam is a gathering of game developers with a goal to develop one or several games in a limited amount of time (usually from 24 to 72 hours). Game jams participants are usually programmers, game designers, digital artists and other professionals working in the game development business. 

Ludum Dare hackathon is one of the most famous game jams for the novice participants of such competitions. It was first held in April 2002, and has been firmly established in the gaming industry ever since. As part of this event, developers have to create a small game on the given topic (in this case, "Delivery") in a very limited amount of time (3 days). You can participate in the contest for free, the main thing is to register on the Ludum Dare website.

Ludum Dare works in such a way that the more you rate other participants’ works, the greater the chance yours will be rated as well. Evaluation takes place according to 8 criteria:

  • Overall

  • Graphics

  • Audio

  • Fun

  • Humor

  • Mood

  • Theme

  • Innovation

Each project also has the following scales:

  • Karma for Feedback given - accumulated for the feedback received 

  • Ratings given - accumulated for the rating of other projects 

  • Ratings received - arithmetical mean of 8 rating parameters for your project 


So, on April 29 at 4 AM Moscow time, the topic of the competition was published on the Ludum Dare main website. This year’s topic turned out to be “Delivery”. Since the moment the topic was announced, we started to actively brainstorm ideas on how to create the game. After a lively discussion we settled on the idea of a pizza-apocalypse. It is a world where people have become too addicted to pineapple pizza, and when a poor delivery guy tries to deliver a fresh pineapple pizza to a customer, the real apocalypse begins. A player has only 10 minutes to deliver the pizza, collect as many points as possible, and, of course, to survive. 

Team and responsibilities 

Our team consisted of 5 people: 3 developers and 2 designers. We actively worked on the game for 3 days in a row: we coded and developed design without a break. 

The illustrators drew and animated the characters, all their movements, background and menu. 

 The programmers divided their responsibilities in the following way:

  • the first took on the tasks of players’ logic and partly of the city setting,

  • the second took on the tasks of the logic of spreading pizza around the city, picking up a pizza by a player, turning on a delivery point near a random house and developing a scoring system, 

  • the third was responsible for everything related to UI and sounds.

In general, the whole work went on simultaneously.

First day 

At the beginning of the very first day we organized a brainstorming session, where we divided tasks and the scope of work over 3 days. The plan for the first day was the following:

  • Active discussion of the project’s vision and the game’s idea.

  • A detailed work on the design document, including all the necessary mechanics, references, visuals and audio parts.

  • Distribution of tasks and areas of responsibility.

Second day 

On the second day we started an active work on the project:

  • Adding UI;

  • Work with sound and music;

  • Work with the camera (tracking, transparency of obstructing objects);

  • The logic of moving and attacking enemies;

  • Mechanics of various in-game actions

In general, there was a lot of hard work to create a comfortable UX and UI.

Third day 

On the final day all efforts were devoted to finding and introducing visual effects into the interface, as well as to optimizing all systems. 

  • Adding points;

  • State system adjustment: switch between friendly city state and dangerous city state when delivering;

  • Implementation of models and animations;

  • Implementation of effects;

  • Adding the ending of a day;

And then there was a complete assembly, testing, and, of course, publication of the game on the Ludum Dare site.


As soon as the clock on the jam’s website indicates that the time is up, voting begins. The game should have at least 20 ratings, from which the average score is calculated. If only 20 people vote for you and all scores are good, then the overall rating will also be high. The voting itself lasts a month.

In fact, there are no winners at the Ludum Dare hackathon, all the games published on the site are simply rated by other users. 

The main reward of this hackathon is the experience you get, and, of course, the game, which you can improve based on the reviews of other participants. 


Our team has performed well in terms of generating ideas, showing coherence and organization when working with a critical lack of time. A number of mechanics were noted that may be useful in future projects. We also decided to finalize the created working prototype to a full-fledged game.

Our team members also shared their thoughts on the results of this event:

“Working with the guys was a pleasure. It’s a new and, indeed, very useful experience of developing an idea to a full-fledged prototype in a very limited amount of time. If I could turn back time, the only thing I’d change is to get myself a bit more time to sleep.”

“It was very interesting to participate in such a project. Lack of sleep, active work, tight deadlines might seem a serious test for some people, but I enjoyed all of it. I’ll definitely take part in other game jams.”

“The plan is to continue taking part in this type of projects, and, of course, to win in the next hackathon😎”

You can also rate the result of our 3-days work - Pineapples Pizza Delivery  , and we’ll be glad to read your comments.

Total votes 2: ↑2 and ↓0+3