Always Mowing

Alakajam 3 Entry

All assets, code, art, music and SFX were created by me (TigerJ)

Theme: Always Growing

Use WASD/Arrows/Controller to move your lawn mower. mow yards all day!

Clearing a yard will give 500pts

Post your highest score in your comments :)

Press Escape to quit at anytime

Explore the map after your game ends or just mow for fun! or press R and play again!

Voting results

Overall
8th
6.563
Graphics
13th
5.875
Audio
11th
5.625
Gameplay
8th
6.375
Originality
12th
6.125
Theme
3rd
8.000

This game entered in the Solo competition (29 entries).

Comments (17)

Caique Assis
(@caiqueassis) • 6 months ago

I cleared the first yard and it felt satisfying. Then I started cleaning the second, doing my own business, and the grass on the first one started growing again.

I thought "hey, that's neat".

However, the grass started growing on the yard I was currently cleaning shortly after.

I thought "HEY WHAT THE FUCK STOP IT GRASS".

I couldn't clean the second yard and the game was over shortly after.

I thought "hey, this is actually quite relaxing".

hyperlinkyourheart
5 months ago

The trick is to position yourself so you're mowing two rows of tiles at once… But, trying to do that made me miss a lot of patches that I had to go back for! Let's just say my dad would not appreciate my lawnmowing technique in this game.

I didn't realise there was a time limit initially, and by the time I saw the timer in the corner I couldn't make sense of it. When I examined it on my second play I thought it was quite cleverly done though. I'm not sure what could be done to draw more attention to it, maybe having it extend the full width of the screen?

I like this game, but I do think it needs another dimension to the gameplay. The thing is that clearing a big field of grass is actually quite satisfying in itself, and something that there are only limited approaches to doing efficiently, so there's no real possible response to approaching the time limit. However, if you were earning money by mowing the lawns, and could upgrade your lawnmower to be able to get more lawns done the next day, rather than just replaying with the same stats, I would be totally hooked.

TigerJ
5 months ago

@hyperlinkyourheart
I really enjoyed ed in the shed it was fun to play/stream for movie game jam!

my dad would not appreciate my lawnmowing technique in this game.

Yes, I agree. There are several times when I leave a streak in a lawn and think… Dad wouldn't like this :)

I'm not sure what could be done to draw more attention to it (the timer)

I thought of a few ideas, like animating it when it reaches a milestone, scaling it larger and back down and adding some partical effects, updating the music with an increased bpm/tempo. There was a lot that could have been done there more on that next…

I like this game, but I do think it needs another dimension to the gameplay

This is the reality, I added the timer and score during the final four hours. I had started to create a map like super mario 3 on the nes with different properties to travel to.. I really struggled to find a game inside the mechanic of just mowing the grass. It was fun to do, but lacked actual depth as a game. When I finally started to think of possible games to build around the gameplay I was running short on time. I made three drafts: 1) a world map with levels and different style properties to mow with some progressive system to reward continued play 2) an arcade style score game with pac-man type scoring for "dots" and a sense of constant action 3) an open world exploration action game with all sorts of neat scenary and fun things to interact with and discover

due to time #2 was the easiest to implement, I would have preffered 1 or 3 if it was a week jam instead of 48 hours. (I only had about 12 hours)

Thanks for the feedback I am glad you mentioned things that were already on my mind as it reassures me in my ability to percieve what playes might experience.

LazorLord
(@LazerLord) • 5 months ago

I like it a lot it fit the theme and remind me of an old game I have made longtime ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ME0DM1ZJ8

TigerJ
5 months ago

Thanks @LazorLord! I appreciate the comment, what did you make that mowing game for was it another jam

hyperlinkyourheart
5 months ago

@TigerJ Ah I knew I recognised you from somewhere! I enjoyed playing Larva as well, very innovative!

I'm glad my feedback was useful. So many things in any game jam just come down to a lack of time - I'm actually kind of amazed that anybody finishes anything in 48 hours! I mean my game's basically just a pretty, noisy slideshow :P

Baconinvader
5 months ago

Quite a relaxing game, which was a nice change of pace after playing some more hectic ones. I liked the art quite a bit, particularly the particle effects when you cut grass.The controls were a little annoying at first, but were fine after I got used to them. Not much else to say really, just a fun little mowing game.

TigerJ
5 months ago

@baconinvader Thanks so much for checking it out! I had a mechanic but really stuggled to turn it into something near the end of the time limit (see notes above) I'll have a post mortem soon to explain in detail all the components and struggles.

I found it relaxing and fun to just mow the yards so I intentionally left it playable after the time limit ran out.

My main time sink was the controls, Intentionally annoying to force the player to pivot the mower :)

float targetVelocityX = input.x * moveSpeed;
        float targetVelocityY = input.y * moveSpeed;

        // 1 = up, 2 = right, 3 = down, 4 = left
        if (Mathf.Abs(targetVelocityX) > Mathf.Abs(targetVelocityY))
        {
            if(lastDirection == 0 || (targetVelocityX > 0 && lastDirection!= 4))
            {
                velocity.x = targetVelocityX;
                PlayerSprite.transform.eulerAngles = new Vector3(0, 0, 270);
                lastDirection = 2;
            }
            else if (lastDirection == 0 || (targetVelocityX < 0 && lastDirection != 2))
            {
                velocity.x = targetVelocityX;
                PlayerSprite.transform.eulerAngles = new Vector3(0, 0, 90);
                lastDirection = 4;
            }

            //velocity.x = Mathf.SmoothDamp(velocity.x, targetVelocityX, ref velocityXSmoothing, (controller.collisions.below) ? accelerationTimeGrounded : accelerationTimeAirborne);
        }
        else if (Mathf.Abs(targetVelocityX) < Mathf.Abs(targetVelocityY))
        {
            if (lastDirection == 0 || (targetVelocityY > 0 && lastDirection != 3))
            {
                velocity.y = targetVelocityY;
                PlayerSprite.transform.eulerAngles = new Vector3(0, 0, 0);
                lastDirection = 1;
            }
            else if (lastDirection == 0 || (targetVelocityY < 0 && lastDirection != 1))
            {
                velocity.y = targetVelocityY;
                PlayerSprite.transform.eulerAngles = new Vector3(0, 0, 180);
                lastDirection = 3;
            }


            //velocity.y = Mathf.SmoothDamp(velocity.y, targetVelocityY, ref velocityYSmoothing, (controller.collisions.below) ? accelerationTimeGrounded : accelerationTimeAirborne);
        }
        if (targetVelocityX == 0) velocity.x = 0;
        if (targetVelocityY == 0) velocity.y = 0;

thomastc
5 months ago

Fix that Arial font and this would look just like a SNES game. Lo-fi sprites, retro but non-annoying (for a change) sound effects, loving it!

Gameplay-wise, there could be more of a challenge. Right now it's a matter of precise navigation, so you can take two rows at once. The fact that you can't turn around and move backwards makes this a bit more difficult, which is good. Maybe if there were moving obstacles that you had to avoid, or particular weeds that had to be mowed quickly before they become a horrible nuisance?

TigerJ
5 months ago

@thomastc Thanks so much for the feedback! Obstacles were on the list as were dandalions I'm really happy you mentioned that! Scrapped for time. If you want to check out what an obstacle might have been like, I did get a single dog house into the game on the lawn to the right :) I wanted to add in bird baths, kids bikes, maybe some animals or things moving around…

Which font? the title or the score? I appreciate the sfx feedback, I try to make a lawn mower not annoying and I am glad I was able to pull it off. Overlapping two sound effects and randomizing the pitch slightly seemed to help with the ticker noises.

mowerSFX_Timer = mowerSFX_Timer - Time.deltaTime;
        if (mowerSFX_Timer < 0)
        {
            if (isMowing == true)
            {
                cuttingSFX.pitch = Random.Range(.8f, 1.0f);
                cuttingSFX.Play();
            }
            //cuttingSFX.Play();
            mowerSFX.Play();
            mowerSFX_Timer = 0.05f;
        }

smbe19
5 months ago

Cool game. It is quite satisfying to mow the yards. I really liked that the lawn mower kind of slided when you turned. My only negative point about the gameplay is that it was really hard to guess where the lawn mower would land after a turn. Because of this it was rather difficult to line up the mower to mow two lines at a time.

TigerJ
5 months ago

@smbe19 Just waking up. After reading your feedback I thought of making a lawn mower game with the HUD of a flight sim

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 5 months ago

Pretty cool game! Fit the theme perfectly.

But as has been already pointed out, it'd need a bit more to it. The mowing in itself was fun and the slippery turning (which I hated at first) brought a bit of skill aspect to getting those perfect two column mows. But the constant timer, linear scoring and pretty easily perfected execution resulted in very small variance in final scores. I played several times and excluding the first run, my final scores were almost the same each time. And if I'm not completely missing something, the scores were few missed turns away from the best possible.

Got the full clear bonus few times when there was still loads of grass left. Maybe exploiting that glitch would be a key for a better score ;)

Good job!

TigerJ
5 months ago

@anttihaavikko thank you so much for your feedback! I really appreciate the attentiont to detail that you have placed on the scoring and depth of the game!

If I could ask a big favor due to the nature and depth of your detailed feedback..

Could you check out a game I made a couple days ago? If you have time to play the windows v0.1.1.0 build it is here: https://tigerj.itch.io/tower-of-safety

Antti Haavikko
(@anttihaavikko) • 5 months ago

I could but I'm on mac…

TigerJ
5 months ago

@anttihaavikko I have updated the game page with a mac version if you could still check it out I would be grateful thanks!

HuvaaKoodia
5 months ago

Lawn mowing does not get any better in digital form. Sorry!

The audio visuals: big pixels, harsh sound effects; not for me either.

Can't complaing about the technical side of the project. No bug here.

I just can't get no satisfaction from mowing the lawn…

Overall: Average (5)
Graphics: Bad (3)
Audio: Bad (3)
Gameplay: Bad (3)
Originality: Above average (6)
Theme: Great (8)

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# User Score
@Iris616 6086
@smbe19 4253
@Wan 3935
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