For now, go to ldjam.com.
What is this though?
You know how ludumdare.com runs those Ludum Dare game jams? Well Jammer is everything else.
As my library of Ludum Dare related web projects grew in to a network, it made sense to take a step back, and consider giving the network itself an identity. The network is about growing what Ludum Dare does for you, Game Jammers, the people that recreationally challenge themselves to make games in a short period of time. I decided to call it Jammer; Something everyone can spell (Ludlum), can say (lou-dumb dah-ray), and something that highlights that it's about the people that jam. So when the Ludum Dare website tells you to make a Jammer account, that's us telling you to make an account for the network. For Ludum Dare, and it's future.
Game Jamming is a thing now. It's a culture and a way of life. As it matures, to keep it moving forward, we need to do better by preserving and organizing that culture. Being the premier online jam, Ludum Dare has become the home of a huge community of makers from around the world. I'm extremely humbled by this. Despite our flaws, our ups and downs, you've stuck with us for nearly 15 years, and created many tens of thousands of games! This makes me feel that it's our responsibility to be spearheading this effort; Be part of the solution, the evolution, rather than just being one more place to jam on the internet. I'm not the best leader, and I've certainly made my mistakes, but I've been here this whole time. This is something I deeply care about, and though it may happen slowly, I'm seeing it through (whether we like it or not). 😉
The first step is the new ludumdare.com (alpha testing on ldjam.com). The focus there is entirely on the main event. This here, jammer.vg, is the next step.
To avoid confusion, I've disabled this website for now. Effectively though, ludumdare.com and jammer.vg are the same. They do the same thing, share the same data, and work the same way. But the distinction will be more and more important in time. It lets ludumdare.com specfically focus on Ludum Dare. It can be streamlined, assume you're there to participate in the Ludum Dare (thus making it easier for new people to get involved). It can become self indulgent and brag about the accomplishments of the Ludum Dare community, like all the games on Steam and PlayStation 4. It can push tips and tricks on how to make the most of your 48 and 72 hours. This then moves the responsibility of the extended community stuff to Jammer. Running off-season events, collecting and archiving data from other jams, forgotten jams, jam-like things, all in one place. Like a Mobygames or Wikipedia of jamming. And because both sites share the same core and data, Ludum Dare is automatically a part of it. And anything that improves Jammer makes Ludum Dare better.
Jammer is the core that powers the new Ludum Dare.
Realistically, I don't expect the community to up-and-move their activities to jammer.vg (not any time soon at least). But as these two sites continue to evolve, ludumdare.com will focus primarily on Ludum Dare the event, and Jammer will focus on the greater game jamming community, it's culture, and you. It's not a replacement; It's complementary.
Things to look forward to
I hope you tag along for our little adventure. 😃
- This (jammer.vg), of course. Opening our database up to store all your game jam games (and other games) in one place. Eventually letting you run your own jams on our system.
- Jammer.bio - You know how some people have lots of games on their Ludum Dare user pages? Well along with adding your other games (jammer.vg), wouldn't it be nice to have a version of your user page that focused entirely on you? Something without all the noisy Ludum Dare banners, announcements, etc. Something you could send like a portfolio, or even recite to someone in person (What's a ludlum? How do you spell that?). jammer.bio/your-user-name
- Jammer.tv - What began as a Twitch streaming widget (nicknamed LDtv) has growing in to its own project. Shh, don't tell anybody, but we've been collecting analytics for pretty-much most of 2016. 😉
- Mike Kasprzak (@mikekasprzak)