Unleash your inner hillbilly in this eccentric multiplayer mower racing game!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Developer Profile: Megan Buller

Developer Profile: Megan Buller

Good afternoon!

I like to live life in a fun and exciting way! Whenever I want to do something, I research the necessary steps to take, and then I'm on it. Because of this, I've traveled outside the country, learned new languages, gotten my motorcycle license, and even ended up in California, specifically Sacramento, among numerous other adventures! How does that tie into MGR? Well, because that kind of attitude, and a lifelong obsession with video games, is what landed me on this great Indie project!

I've been into video games since I got the McDonald's Happy Meal toy in the early 90s that was a simple racing game. Push left or right to dodge obstacles. HOOKED. My obsession only grew; I bought any video game system I could get my hands on, and any type of games. As an adult, I now have the luxury of buying whatever my heart desires. (Wallet permitting!) I love JRPGs, racing games, fighting games, puzzle games, action games, FPS games... the list goes on!

I act as the creative writer for this quirky racing game. The tidbits describing racers, tracks, and even some of the naming for said parts can be (mostly) credited to yours truly! I've always loved writing and creating stories. When I was little, my family had a typewriter, and I would type out all sorts of silly short stories. Eventually, we got a laptop and my stories were written there. I went on to win some small competitions and even wrote a short story for Amazon. (Procrastinating on the publication part...)

Getting into MGR was a lucky draw for me. When I walked into the Square One Club building, I had no idea what to expect. I had been researching and emailing with a current video game writer and he suggested I look at local VG Developer gatherings to help broaden my knowledge of the industry, as well as networking. So, taking his advice, I researched and found that there was, indeed, a gathering of Developers. I found the time and location, sent in a request I was coming in, and Boom! There I was, in a group of strangers, but excited!

The meeting was mainly about showcasing some examples of games the Indie groups were working on. I paid notice to what the Devs were looking at, the advice that was given, and the type of work the individuals were doing. I wanted an idea for a position I could do in the VG industry, since I was a little on the fence with no experience in programming, graphic designing, etc. I suspected I would be in writing, because I enjoy writing and I believe I can bring some individuality to the table.

Peter and Jim presented their MGR game, and I was very intrigued. The goofiness of the game, fun aspects, and set theme interested me. After the presentations were finished, I went up to Peter and introduced myself, and basically said I saw a lot of potential with the game he was making. He asked what my title was. I explained it was writing. Peter then proceeded to ask me to come on board as a writer! Woohoo! The meeting went even better than I expected!

This is an exciting time because I have never been involved in the creation of a video game. My childhood dreams are coming true. I look forward to this journey, and hope that my contributions can help make the game a blast!


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Developer Profile: Jonathan Camacho

I never would have guessed that I would spend my free time making rocks, painting grass, and designing lawnmowers. Yet, here I am. I'm a 3D artist working on Mow N Go Racing.

Early Days

Modding was where I got started making art assets for games. Sim City 2000 had the SCURK, where my brother and I made a custom tileset. I don't think it was too bad for a kid in middle school!

"Island" set that my brother and I made for Sim City 2000
Later on, I picked up making 3D art assets for The Sims, and eventually mods for Bethesda games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls

Sacramento Indie Game Devs

I moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area for college, studying Business at Sac State. It wasn't until after I graduated that I started thinking about trying to break into the games industry in Sacramento. I ended up back in school at American River College to take 3D Modelling courses.

I found myself bouncing around many small indie groups, working on many hopeful projects: an MMORPG, a small mobile game, a side-scrolling SHMUP, and other game groups that eventually fizzled out. Eventually I landed with a fun kart racing game called Mow N Go Racing!

Mow N Go Racing

Original Mow N Go Racing Concept Art
One of the original pieces of concept art for Mow N Go Racing
The idea of a lawnmower kart racing game was interesting and fun to make. I got to do a lot of interesting research, flex my hand painting skills, and also work on making interchangeable parts for customizable mowers. Too bad that whole thing got trashed, as well as a few other ideas.
Mow N Go Racing Trash Can Asset
One of the ideas that didn't make it into the current version of the game
Even with the unavoidable twists and turns of indie game developing, I still get to produce models for a game that I find completely fun and fascinating!

Anyway, thanks for reading! Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Developer Profile: Jim Niehues

I make the mowers run, the grass grow, and almost all bugs are my fault. I graduated with a degree in Animation & Visual Effects from the Academy of Art University, then went into indie video game programming... Not the most common transition, but hey, it worked for me.

Currently, in addition to Mow n' Go Racing, I am also working for 5th Planet Games as developer. I also try to participate in game jams as often as possible in the Sacramento area. Even with all this I am still at most events where we showcase the game.

I love to see when people enjoy the games I make, so be sure leave a comment and/or feedback.

- Digital Smith

Monday, April 23, 2018

Developer Profile: Peter Hansell

How to get to Mow N' Go

When I was born there was no public internet, cell phones, apps, interactive TV or any personal tech. Just kids riding bikes and rolling around in the country. Life really found direction in 1977 when Star Wars was released. I saw it over and over again and was completely taken away. The future was amazing technology, and heroes, and robots, and saving the world. As it turns out the reality of what has happened has exceeded even the dreams of a small boy in Iowa.

Back in the 1980's I was a DnD nut and I started making games. I submitted my first board game for publication at Gen Con (15/16??) and met with Steve Jackson. It was a big moment because he was a big game designer with a name I knew. Steve was very kind and took my prototype back to Texas. After a long time I got the materials back and a nice letter. He suggested rewriting the rules and submitting again. Looking back I am sure it was a mess but it was a great moment because I learned that failure is an option and yet still epic. This did not dim my ardor for making games, but alas games would have to wait.

By now I have had 2 dozen jobs but my lucky break was my first job out of college: Aspen Graphics in San Francisco. We had macs with something brand new - desktop publishing. There was Photoshop 2.0 and Quark Express and it was like magic. This was the beginning of a major revolution in communication. Before you used black and white cameras for copies and rub down type for headlines. Now we could set type electronically and do layouts all at your mouse. We worked right in the ad ghetto in San Francisco and I was lucky enough to work with major agencies and national promotions. It was and exciting time but this was only the beginning.

In the mid 1990's the Internet arrived and we jumped on board. We were making websites furiously and it was another brave new world. Back then it was very hard to make a web site. We had unix servers and we started coding by hand in jot. Soon we had Macromedia Dreamweaver knocking on our door with a graphical web development tool kit. Things were starting to change. We also began moving away from marketing and entertainment sites and into web sites that did real work. Before this time you could not check your bank account or pay bills online but all that was starting to happen.

I did 2 tours of duty with Trust Benefits Online making big data websites for union trust funds. This was not sexy work but the systems were massive in scope, and it was extremely sensitive for our clients. Being able to look up eligibility for health coverage and pension benefits was a remarkable service at that time and just starting to become the new normal.

Finally games! 
TableStar Games was founded in 2004 and I was hired on as the art director. Finally I got to work full time making games. We published 19 products and worked on dozens more. Our biggest achievement was making Wealth of Nations in 2008. We were nominated for and Origins award and things were rocking. That year the origins awards included Wealth of Nations, Pandemic and Agricola. Wow that is an amazing lineup and Pandemic took home the gold. That is a great game and we were happy to be put on the same list. After 5 years TableStar Games closed - we had a great run at it.

In 2012 after doing freelance app development I was hired by 5th Planet Games as a producer for Video Games. I was excited to move into a well established and successful company. I was put in charge of an online CCG: Clash of the Dragons. It was a brutal schedule with a new release every Tuesday afternoon. In addition to this I worked on large promotions for our flagship game - Dawn of the Dragons. This included managing the anniversary events which were a smashing success. Eventually I was moved to features development and game design. I created an online gem puzzler called Heroes and Dragons from prototype to production which was the final big project I did with 5PG.

Now I am doing projects that I want to do and the center of this is Mow N' go Racing. In our Sacramento Indie team everyone wears a lot of hats. I am working on a number of publishing and front end projects as well as producing and game development. Inside the game you can only focus on a few things at the same time. I will work on Kart and racer design, UI and UX projects, level design, as well as general development production. Lately we have spent a lot of time on content development. This is designing the karts, racers and tracks. This is an amazing and fun part of the project. We have so many awesome ideas for characters and their abilities that it is just a scream to work through them. We had big fights about how the robot character would have a flying drone. I pushed hard for this and it looks like we finally worked out a way to do it that fits. So far we have over 30 character profiles that we are trying to narrow down to 12.

This has been a great ride and the karts are now coming around the mountain.

Keep rolling those dice.

April 23, 2018
Peter Hansell

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Butterball Spukler's New Mower!

Hey racing fans! We've updated Butterball Spukler's mower to something with a little more personality! Here's a reminder of what the generic mower looks like:

And here's his new jalopy-mower-still, the White Lightning!

Stay tuned for more art updates!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Mow N' Go Racing is going to be at Square One Saturday Mar 8

This is the final Square One event at this location but not your last chance to race around the track and drop flamingos. Come by and see what we have added to the game and get a preview of some of our new racers.

For more information visit http://www.squareoneclubs.com

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mow N' Go Racing is going to Geekology Feb 24 2018

Come play Mow N' Go Racing. We are going to be at Geekology Day in Lodi.
It looks like it is going to be a fun event.
Saturday February 24th, 2018

For more information visit http://wowsciencemuseum.org/

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Try it at home!

Straight from the floor of SIA 2017! Here is the game demo we showcased free for you to play at home.