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Ludum Dare: October Challenge 2011 Wrap-up

Ludum Dare: October Challenge 2011 Wrap-up

Welcome to Gaming on the House; don’t look down and and mind your step! Each week, we’ll be climbing the rooftops of the gaming industry to seek out great experiences that everyone can track down and play, and the best part is they’ll all be free! That’s right; FREE! Gratis. Comp’d. Unbound. Unrestricted. Zero-down. On the House!… we talk about free games here, is my point.

Many may be surprised at how many fantastic games are really out there that everyone can legally enjoy with no monetary commitment. Taking together all the flash and browser games, freeware downloads from the independent scene, speed programming archives, free-to-play business modules, and even promotional re-releases from big name publishers, there’s a never ending supply of great games new and old waiting to be played, and it’s our goal to play them all! So, if you’re strapped for cash or just waiting around for that next big release to hit retail, why not give these games a try? After all, they’re free; what have you got to lose!

This past month, we’ve been dedicating our “on the house” feature to the accelerated programming competition Ludum Dare, in celebration of the second year of their October Challenge. You can learn more about the Ludum Dare by visiting www.ludumdare.com.

The October Challenge is a little bit different than the standard Ludum Dare competitions, which call for a game to be created from scratch within a 48 hour time limit. For the October Challenge, programmers are tasked with the simple idea of finishing a game and taking it to market, in an effort to start actually selling their games. This typically leads to shared resources, market penetration, and of course, some encouragement and a nice slice of profit for independent developers involved!

Now that we’re into November at last (of course I imagine at least a few developers would wish they had at least a few more weeks), official submissions for the challenge are all in, so I thought it would be fun to have a look at a few of the results. I should note that not all of these games are freely available (if fact quite a few are built for mobile devices), but there’s plenty that’s worth a look.

While I’ll only highlight a few games here, I encourage you to check out the full submission list.

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 Legend of Equip > Pants: Chapter 1

Submitted by: Zachstronaut
Link to Game Details

This is what I hope to be the first of many more installments of a fun little action adventure-type game featuring some cute pixel work and a funny poke at the idea of a fully upgradeable inventory. It’s common in action adventures to come across certain barriers that’ll require a certain item to get past, but usually that item will be something a little more actionable, like a sword, or a bow. Here it’s pants; something that most game developers are generous enough to start you off with automatically.  Throw in a fun little nod to the competition taking place around Halloween, and you have a nice little submission!

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Rooms

Submitted by: Flub
Link to Game Details

 Similar to Where Am I, a previous Ludum Dare game discussed in this feature, Rooms also has you navigating a series of corridors with a less-than-stellar perspective. Only this time, you’re not alone, and suffice it to say, the other inhabitants of these rooms don’t like you too much. The fade in/out lighting effects look nice, and the sound quality is also excellent, although once or twice I did experience a few issues with objects colliding.

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Super Cuts

Submitted by: Gus Fune
Link to Game Details

Here’s one for the touch screen fans, Super Cuts (assuming no affiliation with the actual hairstyling chain) has players using their fingers to trim, shave, comb, and please a variety of customers into giving them the haircut of their dreams. The game, designed with the Unity engine, has a fair amount of polish to its details, and the characters within each have their own unique charms and quirks that make the overall experience quite enjoyable.

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Dwarven Miner

Submitted by: derf_
Link to Game Details

Available on Kongregate and MochiMedia, Dwarven Miner is a fun game that is all about resources. Similar to other acquisition-type games like Farmville or Harvest Moon, the player carves out a nice little life of mining, discovering treasure , and bartering with shopkeepers. It’s quite addictive, perhaps even moreso than the game’s level cap might have considered it to be.

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These were the games I enjoyed above the rest, but again, I would encourage everyone to check out the full submission list, and see what else there is to be played!

3 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot, I didn’t know about this site. :)

  2. Thanks for the write-up and the kind words. Legend of Equip > Pants: Episode 2 will hopefully arrive within the next 90 days. Ideally, there will be some speed up in the release cycle as I get more gameplay mechanics and art under my belt that I can recycle to tell new stories.

    In the meantime, if you’d like, you can play the original, ultra low-fi, more traditional RPG that started the Equip > Pants series.

  3. I’ll be releasing a sequel to Legend of Equip > Pants soon! The music is by Christopher Winter again.

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