Ludum Dare is a game programming contest where individual contestants attempt to create a complete game (code, artwork, sound) in a period of 48 hours. Note that, while participants must hand in the source code for their submissions, to release it as free software is not required. Each edition of the competition has a theme which the contestants must base their game around.
"Ludum Dare" means ludum play, game and dare to give in Latin.
An up-to-date overview of all LD competitions held is available on their website.
|April 2002||LudumDare #0|
|July 2002||LD1 - Guardian|
|November 2002||LD2 - Construction/Destruction|
|April 2003||LD3 - Preparation|
|April 2004||LD4 - Infection||341||67|
|LD5 - Random|
|April 2005||LD6 - Light & Darkness|
|December 2005||LD7 - Growth|
|April 2006||LD8 - Swarms||150||66|
|January 2007||LD8.5 - Moon, Anti-Text|
|April 2007||LD9 - Build the level you play|
|December 2007||LD10 - Chain Reaction||52||Hamumu|
|LD10.5 - Unexpected/Surprise|
|April 2008||LD11 - Minimalist||mrfun|
|August 2008||LD12 - The Tower||Hamunu|
|December 2008||LD13 - Roads||increpare|
There is a mini competition that runs once a month, with less stringent rules, created to keep the contestants busy in the off season between the main competitions. The rules were changed in an effort to provide a more relaxed feel to the competition. Some of the changes include: teams are allowed, existing art/sound/media/etc. are allowed, theme is not voted on, but chosen by the person running the competition. It first ran in June of 2008. 
Concurrent with the main contest, Ludum Dare also runs a Game Jam with more relaxed rules. In particular, the total time is 72 hours, teams can compete and any libraries/frameworks/... are allowed.
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