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November #1GAM Entry: Raking Leaves

November’s One Game a Month entry is uncreatively-named Raking Leaves, a leaf raking simulator chock full of leaf-raking action!

Download Raking Leaves for Linux 64-bit (1.2 MB tar.gz file)

The object of the game is to rake all of the leaves into a single pile. The wind will blow the leaves around, however, and if you lose too many leaves off of your lawn, the game is over.

I had a lot going on this month, and so I didn’t dedicate a lot of time to making a game. Still, I wanted to make something for #1GAM. What could I make?

I recently bought a house, and with home ownership comes the oh-so-fun task of raking leaves. I decided to make a game out of that experience, and raking leaves is usually done in the Fall, which goes along with the optional theme of “Change”, so it was a perfect concept.

I started out making leaves and randomly throwing them about the yard.

November #1GAM

I then added a rake, which replaces the mouse cursor:

November #1GAM

I wanted to capture the frustration of raking leaves, and so when you click and move the rake, the leaves will move, albeit a bit slower than the rake. This means you have to go rake the same leaves over and over to move them a long distance. I was pleased that it was working as well as I had planned.

November #1GAM

I had some funny bugs, such as this accident which features the level resetting over and over, except it wouldn’t reset the number of leaves but merely add to them. It looks like a giant set of orange hedges.

November #1GAM

Another funny moment was after I added wind. I wanted early levels be less windy, while later levels would get more wind. Here is what it looks like to rake in a hurricane:

November #1GAM

Wind affects leaves in a radius around it, and the farther away the leaves are from the center of the wind, the less of an impact the wind will have. It works very well, but out of curiosity, I set the level to 1,100, which has over 20,000 leaves in it and has winds every second. It resulted in some cool visual effects, as you can see in this video:

Eventually I think I achieved a good balance, complete with a scoring system to let you know how well you’ve done compared to your best raking.

November #1GAM

Considering I worked less than seven hours on this project, I’m pleased with what I came up with. I had plans for rocks, bushes, trees, and other obstacles, as well as a child running around jumping into your pile and scattering the leaves. Having sound would help, too, but for now, I think I’ve got one of the best games about raking leaves out there.

3 replies on “November #1GAM Entry: Raking Leaves”

You’ve really managed to capture the essence of leaf raking here. I’ll be glad to have this game around in mid-July, when waiting for the return of leaf raking season gets the hardest. Speaking of which, can you tell me how you fixed the bug you had where the leaves just kept getting added and added until the yard looked like it was nothing but leaves? I have that bug in my yard in real life, and I’m hoping I can apply your patch and resolve it.

Some addons that would have been cool: Leaf blower (the wind mechanic is already there), flame thrower.

blendenzo: Hmm, ideas for DLC…

Larry: Yes, a couple of months ago! And yes, there were plenty of daily (or twice-daily) trips to the Depot for that first month.

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