Ludum Dare: What to Do When the Theme Isn’t Working

It’s inevitable. When the theme is announced, more than a handful of people don’t know what to do with it. The theme might be too esoteric or vague. The theme might be too restrictive. It could suggest a particular kind of game, and that’s not the kind of game they want to make. Maybe they just simply don’t like the theme. We’re a diverse community, and so the theme doesn’t work right away with every one of us. This was me when “An Unconventional Weapon” was announced for LD 32. If this is you, this post is here to help you work through the theme so you can get to working on your game. Don’t give up at the start because you don’t like the theme! Remember, Ludum Dare is about making a game. The theme is there to help. This post is meant to be encouraging and helpful. Continue reading

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Projects From 2017

Hey all. It’s been over a year since I’ve written anything here. I haven’t much felt like writing about things since I’m not yet established in a somewhat stable job, but I’ve been working nearly every day of the year on one project or another. I wanted to spend some time today writing a tiny bit about each of the projects I’ve worked on this year. This is helping me organize my thoughts about what I’ve done, but also allowing you some little insight into my world.

This will by no means be a comprehensive list. I’m sure that I’ll forget something or another along the way. I work on a lot of projects, and some are just one-offs that I forget about. That said, I keep copious notes about projects, so I’ll be going through that.
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Disseminating the Fantastic

Like with my posts on the uncanny and the abject, I am here providing the raw text of my description of the fantastic, a literary genre described by Tzvetan Todorov in The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre. The fantastic (and Todorov) is extremely straightforward, but this particular theory is actually key to the work that I’ve been doing. As such, I may have spent a bit more time describing it than needs be, but I want to make sure everything is clear (something you can help me with). In any event, here is the text of the final theory being described by my thesis.

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Disseminating Abjection

As in my last post, I am trying to make sure that my thesis writing is accessible to a wider audience. Since psychoanalytic theories are difficult to grasp without a psychoanalytic background, I am doing my best to distill texts down to meaning. This time, it is for Julia Kristeva’s concept of the abject, as described in Powers of Horror. Kristeva can be more difficult to understand than Freud, so I have tried to be redundant in my description of the abject. Although it is not required, the following text will have expected you to have read the previous passage on the uncanny.

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Some Potential Design Project Ideas

I just thought I would make a quick post and describe some design ideas I am considering working on, particularly for MFA projects that may come up. These are not all of my ideas, but I tend to have new ideas and remember other ideas quite randomly. This is just a list and short description of each. They are in no particular order (except the order given by headings). If you are interested in one project or another, or would like to see a different project, just leave a comment!

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Childhood: The Open Studios Version

Friday, I participated in my program’s yearly event, Open Studios, with the game I’ve been working on all quarter. Overall, it went pretty well. Four of us were stationed in an arcade on the third floor of the building, and we had quite a lot of traffic, despite being out of the way. There were four of us in the arcade and it was pretty busy. I won’t talk much about the event here, but I will talk about the version of the game I had for Open Studios.

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