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Ludum Dare 48 Hour Competition 4


The Ludum Dare Competition is a 48 hour solo endurance game design/programming community competition. The goal is to explore unique, innovative, and wacky game design ideas, without the commitment of a regular length game project. Given a community decided theme, each entrant builds a game from scratch over the period of 2 days. For a sense of competetion, the entrants vote and score the entered games, but there are no prizes.


Friday April 16th, 9:00PM EST to Sunday April 18th, 9:00PM EST (GMT -5:00)

Sign Up Here

Game Voting

Entrants that submit a game, get to vote and score the other games. Games are scored from 0-5, 5 being the highest, in 8 catagories. Voting will last for 2 weeks following the end of the competetion (give or take a day or two).

Themes and Theme Voting

The theme idea suggestion period is over, and theme voting has begun. Every friday (and the last thursday) until the start date, 50% of the themes will be eliminated from the theme voting page. Voting on the last Thursday/Friday before the competetion start time will decide the final theme. At start of the competetion (9:00PM EST (GMT -5:00)), the theme with the most votes will be announced. Any ties will be randomly decidid. Sign up now to vote for your favorite themes.

Changes since last compo

This time we don't have a system for submitting base code, or a system of fairness regarding base code, it's been decided that there will be no base code allowed. The competetion is also organized by a different staff, as Geoff the original organizer is busy.

Rules For The Competition

Rules For Submission

After the Competetion Activities


Through the sign up page, you can provide links to downloads and screenshots of your game. When you complete your game, fill these in. Unfortunately we don't have a central location for file storage, so you are required to host your game. If file hosting is unavailable to you, visit the forum, as we've had volenteers offering space.

Source Code

Although we've yet to enforce it, we require that you share your source code.

Other Activities

Many entrants keep a log of progress. You can post a link to your log along with you entry on the Sign up Page. Also, Join us on IRC (#ludumdare on


All platforms are allowed. However, most of the entrants run a Windows based OS with a DirectX 8 capable video card. The easier it is for users to play your game, the less chance they'll ignore your entry. Most users expect a ZIP archive file that can be unzipped to a directory, and run an executable. Games that have complicated or excessive setup procedures are prone to lose the interest of players, or result in low scores. Many users would prefer a longer download over a treasure hunt. Some tips:


Any compiler/assembler that can produce executables or binaries is allowed. While it's not required to provide a Windows executable, most entrants run Windows.


Many 'Standard', 'Open Source', or 'Free for Non Commercial Use' libraries are allowed in the competetion. Generally speaking, a library is allowed if it does not do game logic. What we mean are more general purpose libraries, such as ones for loading and drawing graphics, playing sound and music, or getting controller input. While not recommended, we do allow many higher level libraries (which we may change in the future) for physics, scene graph, but not AI (too close to game logic), in order to be fair for those worried about Blitz Basic giving a stupid advantage. Either way, it's up to you set up all your libraries yourself durring the competetion, without base code. In the past, winning entries used core libraries like GL, Allegro, SDL and pyGame, this has yet to prove to be a problem. To clarify, a 'Standard' library is any library included with your compiler (<stdio.h>, <iostream>, etc...). The comprehensive list of allowed libraries (assiming they meet the criteria of Standard, Open Source or Free for Non Commercial Use):

Sound and Music

Since it's common in computer music to use existing samples to create music, you are allowed to use any 'one shot' musical note or percussion samples you have for composing music. What you're not allowed to do is pre-record vocal tracks, guitar solo's, custom drum loops, or similar. On the other hand, you must create your own sound effects. This can be done with a microphone, by composing jingles, software sound synthesis, or mixing samples. Take note, all composition and creation of sound and music must be done durring the competetion (not before). The point we're trying to make here is we don't want you ripping sound effects from a sound effects website. This also serves as an excercise in time management. Many entrants will not have time to create sound and music, and their games may not requite it, so this is a catagory for those who have free time or have different priorities.

Content Creation

You are required to make all your assets for your game between the start and end time of the competetion. All publicly available (free or commercial) tools are allowed, as long as all content created with them is durring the competetion. Tools with clipart libraries (Paint Shop Pro) are limited to basic mathematical shapes (circle, square, triangle, hexagon, etc...). No baloons, bugs, or other clip art. No custom pre made map editors, but publicly available open source or freeware ones are ok. No game makers.


Join us on IRC. Half the fun of the event is watching the progress shots, and insane ramblings of the other programmers... in real time.

#ludumdare on


Any comments or questions, visit the forum.


No teams, this is a solo competetion.


Though this has yet to be a problem, we're always anticipating something. Post cheating claims (preferably with proof) on the forum. Cheaters will be disqualified from final standings, but it's not like we can punish them any more than that.


No prizes. On the other hand, you will have a finished game, so that can be your prize, if you want it.


We're not any sort of company/empire/government. Your game belongs to you. Do with it as you like. Go ahead, sell it for money and stuff.


It's been a year since the our last Ludum Dare competetion. Geoff, the original organizer has been too busy to run another competetion, so several LD vetrans have taken control of the latest one.

Isn't this the 5th LD?

Yes, but it's the 4th "48 Hour" competetion. The first one in April 2002 was a '24' hour compo. ;)

Results of the Previous Competetions

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