Ludum Dare overview
So @herteljt and I wound up participating in Ludum Dare 33 this weekend, and it was a blast! Neither of us has ever made a game before, so it was a learning experience.
We decided to use PuzzleScript (http://www.puzzlescript.net/), which is a really cool little game engine/scripting language made by Stephen Lavelle. It uses an interesting rule matching/replacement engine to process the code you enter in, which can have produce some interesting results.
I think that was a lucky choice of engine, because PuzzleScript is a fairly simple tool (at least on the surface..you can definitely make some very deep games with it, but you have to dig a little). Limiting our options made it easier to focus in on a few core mechanics for the game without getting bogged down in lots of extraneous stuff.
Overall, I had a very positive experience, and I'm planning to both make more games with PuzzleScript and also participate in future game jams!
Our game is called Delicious Ships! You can play it right here: http://www.puzzlescript.net/play.html?p=0eb7b2cdcdaaa548c091
If you want to play around with PuzzleScript yourself by adding some levels or tweaks to our game, we've got a GitHub repo right here that you can take a look at and submit to.