LD #25, the aftermath

by Grungi

So, the 25th Ludum Dare rating period has closed, so it is time for a little mathematics.

The first key piece of information is that there were 902 entries in the competition (1327 in total). That gives a frame of reference for the rest of the numbers.

So let us delve into the results :

Overall : #128 (3.45/5)

This ratings is the ‘main’ one. And the result is not half-bad! In fact, it is by a good margin my best entry so far if you take the size of the competition into account. I have made, so far, 3 entries in the main compo (2 others were jam entries, and the rest I have not been able to complete on time). The first one placed 231th out of 242 overall, and the second one was 61th out of 288.

If i take the ratio (rank)/(total # of entries), we get (the lower the better) :

  • LD19 : 0.95
  • LD20 : 0.21
  • LD25 : 0.14

So I am on the right track, I placed in the top 15% of the competition. That makes me really happy, of course! Let’s take a look at the other categories in alphabetical order.

Audio : #129 (3.16/5)

My game had not much in terms of audio content (two short and simple guitar tracks and a single sound effect), but they seemed to be quite well received. I still think sound is one of the most overlooked aspect of a jam game, yet one of the most important one. Audio really sells your game world to the player, and really makes it seem more polished.

I cannot make any comparison with the LD19 game, as my entry did not get enough ratings to place in that category, but I placed 36th in audio with my LD20 game. In terms of ratios :

  • LD20 : 0.125
  • LD25 : 0.14

So while I did a little worse (the music was more integral to the experience of the LD20 game I think), I am still in the same ballpark. I think I need to focus on the quality of my recordings to move pas these kind of scores, and maybe think more about the sound effects, or even do some sort of voice acting. Still a good score though.

Fun : #358 (2.85/5)

I do not think my game was very ‘fun’ in a typical way, as it was very methodical and lacked a bit of polish to not be a memory on steroids. The payoff came only for those willing to beat the game, and even then it was more a neat tidbit of information than anything else. So still a good score for that game. Again, I did not get enough ratings in LD19, but let us compare against the LD20 one, where I was 75th :

  • LD20 : 0.26
  • LD25 : 0.37

So a fair bit further down. But again, the idea behind the LD20 game was simple and focused on a very visceral sensation : it was a runner. The turn-based, slow-paced game I made this time was decidedly less ‘fun’, and it shows.

Graphics : #244 (3.25/5)

I was pretty happy with my output this time, it being my first really pixel art-based game, but I knew from the get-go that I could not hope to top my score from the LD20, where I was 13th in graphics with a 3D game. I did beat my LD19 entry though, wich placed at a pretty low 144th place. But as far as ratios go :

  • LD19 : 0.59
  • LD20 : 0.04
  • LD25 : 0.27

So, yeah, still a good final score for that. I have a hunch my next LD game will be in 3D though, but with me joining a now very numerous group of people making 3D stuff (as opposed to LD20 when it was more uncommon), I think beating my LD20 ratio will be my main goal for the forseeable future.

Humor : #330 (2.63/5)

I do need to focus on my writing, even though I do not usually do ‘funny’ games. Here the humor was not really in the mechanics, but really in the text, and it was not so funny. The score is decent, and at least this time I placed (not like, again, LD19). In the LD20, I was 178th in that category. Which gives us ratios of :

  • LD20 : 0.62
  • LD25 : 0.36

It was better in that department, but clearly still an area I need to progress in!

Innovation : #209 (3.2/5)

Innovation should be a cornerstone of many jam games, yet mine are not really good in that category. I hope to improve that in the next year, hopefully with the help of the #onegameamonth challenge. In LD19, I placed 69th, while LD20 saw me at the 209th place. In ratios, it gives :

  • LD19 : 0.28
  • LD20 : 0.51
  • LD25 : 0.23

So my best effort yet, and obviously better than a simple runner. I feel it deserved to be in the same general ballpark than the LD19 entry, which idea was not as fully realised as the one in this entry, but equally ‘innovative’. Two categories left!

Mood : #59 (3.55/5)

This is the best aspect of my game this time, and I am extremely happy about it. I tried really hard to have all the elements of the game come together supporting the same aesthetic, which was tied closely to the setting of the game. It obviously paid off, and was the main point I got feedback on. It is a new voting category that was not around for LD19 or 20, but it gives me a ratio of 0.06, almost on par with the one for the Graphics of my LD20 entry. So I was really happy to discover that score this morning!

Theme : #128 (3.75/5)

Again a quite good score! I was also quite happy with my interpretation of the theme, which is quite literal while having another layer of meaning to it, and again it paid off. For LD19, I was 121th, while for LD20 I placed 209th. As for the ratios…

  • LD19 : 0.5
  • LD20 : 0.72
  • LD25 : 0.14

So, yeah, I think the numbers speak for themselves. I really opted for a dumb way out for LD20 (I had the game idea way before the compo), and my LD19 entry was so-so. So this is something I will try to keep up next time.


I could dissect the numbers all day and draw various conclusions, but I will simply look at two last things. First is the range of the ratios for each entry :

  • LD19 : 0.28 to  0.95
  • LD20 : 0.04 to 0.72
  • LD25 : 0.06 to 0.39

The conclusion there is clear : I am doing better (or the others are doing worse). My scores were, this time, all in the upper 40% of the rankings, and my best score did not come down too much. If I can keep the level up, I can hope for some good things.

The other things that I need to check if I want to get a more objective picture of my progression are the actual scores. Here they are (all out of 5) :

Category LD19 LD20 LD25
Audio N/A 3.38 3.16
Fun N/A 3.25 2.85
Graphics 2.6 4.19 3.25
Humor N/A 2.2 2.63
Innovation 3.2 2.94 3.2
Mood N/A N/A 3.55
Theme 3.0 2.31 3.75
Overall 1.8 3.25 3.45

So, while I could not replicate my highest score of 4.19, my LD25 entry fared better in the big picture. So my first conclusion still stands : it seems I am improving. Eventually, I hope using a more modern engine will let me put out something that has the same kind of aesthetic ‘flair’ as my LD20 entry while maintaining the overall quality of my last entry.

Thank you very much for reading all this, if you have similar breakdowns of your scores, I would be interested to read them, so drop me a comment or a link or a tweet or something ^^ ‘Till next time!