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I like creating games and new worlds to explore, especially games with interesting mechanics or twists. I love indie games, anime, my wife and my cats!

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Code Monkey


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davidmaletz's News

Posted by davidmaletz - June 26th, 2019

Update 1.7.1 is now live! In this update, we finished the incomplete areas on the colony ship and did some overall improvements and bugfixes for the science path to end update!


The biggest additions are the cafeteria (pictured above) and the museum. These are fun optional areas that flesh out the colony ship and give you a few more options for the tough fights at the end of the game. Speaking of tough fights, a lot of people thought the final boss was too easy... so we made it harder!

We're a little behind now, so we updated the Early Access Roadmap, but we are still confident we'll make the March 2020 full release date.

In other news, we're also on sale for 10% off in the Steam Summer Sale! If you haven't gotten the game yet, or have a friend who wants it, now is a great time to get it!

We're back to working on the Magic Path to End update, which we hope to release by the end of July, so I hope you're looking forward to that!

Enjoy, and as always, don’t be shy if you have any questions or feedback - we are always happy to hear from our players. And don’t forget to join the social channels below if you haven’t already:






Posted by davidmaletz - March 5th, 2019

The first new major planet is in, and it’s an exciting one! We think you’ll be very curious to see what happened to this familiar planet - along with new NPCs, quests, and features. This planet focuses entirely on the science path - but don’t worry, we have plans for the magic path too! This planet took a little longer than we would have liked, so we adjusted the roadmap, but I think you’ll agree it was worth it. We’re getting closer to the end of the game in terms of content, but we have lots of additional updates planned before we leave Early Access (including the highly requested multiplayer update).


The full changelog for this update is as follows:

  • Added a new star system + major planet to the game! This also includes a new music track!
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  • Added drones, a new kind of vehicle that can be piloted remotely.
  • iu_11236_4440657.png
  • Added a whole new spaceship… and it’s a big one (no spoilers, it should be obvious if you do all the new quests).
  • Added new quests, NPCs, items, crafting, structures and a research lab. No spoilers, but… I will tell you a com device helps.
  • Teleportals can now be renamed, and are sorted by name. You can organize them by using special characters/numbers before the name, and use this to make a note about important parts of islands. Teleportals are now also locked to the star system they were built in, so the list will only show teleportals in that star system.
  • Added an FTL jump animation for vehicles.
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  • Placing items in vehicle interiors (workbenches, furnaces, etc) can now take items directly from the vehicle’s storage.

The following changes affect the demo as well:

  • When you discover an item for the first time, the game now tells you! It doesn’t know about items you already discovered in old saves that aren’t in your storehouse or inventory, so it might come up a lot when you first continue an old save, but eventually it will work as intended.
  • Crops and pens can now function without a barn (and be placed without a barn). The barn structure is now just a convenience, where you can harvest them all at once.
  • Added many new sound effects, both to the demo and the full version. We’ll be adding more in the next few updates, fleshing out the sounds for all the attacks, enemies and items.
  • Added a gameplay option to make steel walkways un-mineable (so you don’t mine them by accident). Just toggle the option to make them mineable again when you want to change/move/collect them.
  • Added a gameplay option to hide blueprints from the “All” tab in your inventory. A lot of people complained that blueprints cluttered the inventory and could not be removed - well now they can be hidden, unless you intentionally go to the blueprints tab.
  • For people playing on the keyboard, shift+Z now moves the current object/vehicle to the back. This is useful if you have two large vehicles on top of each other.
  • Many bug-fixes, tweaks and minor changes!

You can play the demo right here on Newgrounds: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/701110 !

Enjoy, and as always, don’t be shy if you have any questions or feedback - we are always happy to hear from our players. And don’t forget to join the social channels below if you haven’t already:






Posted by davidmaletz - January 8th, 2019

Update 1.5.5 brings a lot of new features, and some new content (including a small dwarf planet), and I'm very excited for it as it's the backbone for what will be the final stage of the game - travelling between planets! Spacefaring has always been one of my goals in Aground - I wanted you to be able to eventually build up to travelling between planets, but start the game having no idea that was even possible.


I also set up a Patreon if you want to support my work! It might not seem like much, but every dollar counts!

The full changelog for this update is as follows:

  • Added Orbit and the ability to travel between planets
  • Added a new planet.
  • You can now build space stations in orbit.
  • Added underground structures (and an event that will make them very useful).
  • Added ladders and walkways for stacking surface structures.
  • Added several new songs! Here's a preview of Chase composing one of them:


The following changes affect the demo as well:

  • Cables and rails can now be placed vertically.
  • Structures now operate even when away from the island.
  • Blueprint error guides (they visually show you what is blocking the structure from being built).
  • Combat update! I tweaked how combat works yet again - it is now easier to defeat enemies without taking any damage (by dodging), but also more dangerous to blindly mash the attack key as they will knock you back out of range.
  • 4 more hotkeys have been added by popular demand.
  • Miner now gives a quest about minecarts.
  • Builder will explain sticky items when you build the storehouse, and sticky items now are placed above others in the inventory.

Enjoy, and as always, don’t be shy if you have any questions or feedback - we are always happy to hear from our players. And don’t forget to join the social channels below if you haven’t already:






Posted by davidmaletz - October 23rd, 2018

Update 1.5.1 is here, and it’s a big one!! You can now follow the magic path all the way through many new quests and areas, right up to launching into space! This means that the entire starting planet is now complete, besides a few side quests and optional features we still want to add.


Alongside this major update to the game, we have a very exciting new trailer to share with you! Made by the talented M. Joshua and scored by our very own Chase Bethea, we are thrilled with how it came out!

What do you think? We hope you love it as much as we do!

In other news, back in late August/early September we showcased Aground at PAX West, which was an amazing experience. We were a part of the Indie Megabooth, and had a very steady crowd of gamers, press, and industry professionals stopping by to chat and try out the game. Pictures from the event are here (featuring our Miner and Alchemist cosplays!): https://www.flickr.com/photos/166774367@N06/sets/72157695274883630/.


A huge thank you to everyone who came by at PAX, especially the awesome streamers and Youtubers we met, who have released so many great videos which have helped to spread the word about the game - including SplatterCatGamingWanderbotsRufioGuy, and many others!


The full changelog for this update is as follows:

  • Added a new magic island with new bosses, enemies, NPCs, sub-areas and structures. Rest in the purple hut after defeating the Old One to start these quests (and check out the place the Old One was defeated).
  • Added many new familiars and new types of nets to catch them.
  • Added spellbooks and a spellcasting skill.
  • Added a magic spaceship equivalent, and the quests to get it.
  • You can now mine the second layer of magic island (although we are still planning on adding caves there later).

The following changes affect the demo as well:

  • Added an indicator when the smelter/kitchen/pen/farm have items ready.
  • Allowed some weapons/items to work underwater.
  • Added spider familiar.
  • Some magic structures can now be uprooted and moved.
  • You can now collect items while riding the dragon (like helium sacs)
  • You can now aim dragonfire manually while riding a dragon by using up/down while holding attack.
  • Many smaller fixes and improvements, including color changes to the background art.

For Modders:

  • Added <loadAfter> tag to the mod metadata. This works just like <requires> (forcing the labelled mod to load first), but won’t cause the mod to fail to load if the labelled mod is missing.
  • Added the evalXml function. This parses the passed argument string as xml and then runs it after the current action block completes. Useful for dynamic xml generation.
  • Added setGlobal and getGlobal, to manage global variables that can be used between saves and in different scopes. These are not saved, and clear when the game is restarted (or you set them to null).
  • Added setPlayer and changePlayer functions. setPlayer changes the player to an already created player object, and changePlayer changes the player to a new object with the passed id. These are dangerous functions.

Enjoy, and as always, don’t be shy if you have any questions or feedback - we are always happy to hear from our players. And don’t forget to join the social channels below if you haven’t already:






Posted by davidmaletz - August 8th, 2018


The early access version of Aground is now available on Steam and Itch.io! Join us on Discord, Reddit, Facebook or Twitter today for some launch day festivities!


It has been a wild ride getting to this point - from the initial prototype over a year ago, an underwhelming reception to the early versions, to an incredibly enthusiastic response to the browser version, an amazing crowdfunding campaign, and update after update of new content and improvements.

And - hopefully - this is just the beginning of Aground’s story!


The early access version includes new quests, vehicles, enemies and areas not in the demo version. And we still have a ton of exciting content left to add before the game is complete.


As we mentioned before, Aground now also has support for mods with the help of mod.io! While we haven’t written a guide yet, there are already a few mods uploaded, so feel free to subscribe to them or join the #modding channel on Discord for help making your own!

We are also pleased to share that a new member has been added to the Aground team! Megan has joined us to help out with social media and marketing. Together we’re working hard to spread the word about the game!

Update 1.4.0 is now Live!


This update includes lots of new content for the early access version (see above), but we also included an update to the free version too! This update includes swimming and many small improvements and tweaks to the game. I also added a secret to the game on Newgrounds to thank them for all their support - can you find it?

I hope you enjoy the early access version and demo updates! And if you played the game, help show your support by writing a review or posting a screenshot! I hope you’re looking forward to the magic path update, which will include the magic path between the demo and outer space!


Posted by davidmaletz - June 14th, 2018

We’ve been hard at work on the Early Access version of the game, but we decided to do another small free update with improvements and vehicles!


We also now have a Steam Coming Soon Page! Feel free to wishlist Aground there, or you can pre-order the game here and get a steam key when the game goes live! 

Speaking of pre-ordering, we are now only a little over $500 away from the Co-op Multiplayer stretch goal (you can see our continued funding progress here)! Can we make it before the early access launch when pre-orders close?!? Be sure to spread the word, and pre-order/back the game above if you want to help us reach that goal!

At the end of May, we had a blast showcasing Aground at Phoenix Comic Fest!  Over the 4-day weekend, our stations were almost never empty. We received amazing enthusiasm for the game, met a few fans who had already played on Kongregate, and got a lot of helpful feedback and ideas for making the game even better (many of the improvements were from this feedback). It was an excellent experience overall, and while we were exhausted by Sunday evening, we were so pleased to have been at the event! We uploaded some photos of the event here: https://imgur.com/a/ohAsyhp!

The full changelog for this update is as follows:

  • Vehicles! While most vehicles are for the early access version only, you can now sail your boat and fly your dragon using the vehicle system! The dragon is quite awesome to fly - it can even breathe fire - just beware of skyfish!


  • Intro Video - It’s deliberately left vague, but the start of the game has been changed and a short cutscene added to give you a little context for what’s going on at the very beginning!


  • Chase - our composer - added a new track for the Magic island!
  • The combat system has been tweaked and improved. It is now possible (although difficult) to defeat melee enemies one-on-one without taking any damage!
  • Stamina has been doubled, and you now auto-eat stamina restoring foods (useful especially for new players and to make the game less about focusing on your stamina bar).
  • If you select a quest in the quest log, it will now show an indicator for locating the quest giver. No more getting lost trying to find the NPC needed to complete your quest!
  • The farmer now explains how to use seeds better when you complete the orchard quest, and is now always capable of crafting seeds for you (just keep talking to him until it pops up).
  • A bunch of other minor improvements and bugfixes.

The early access version of the game is still on track to launch in July, but we’ll keep you updated on our progress towards that goal. The vehicle system is already quite fun to play around with!

Enjoy, and as always, let us know if you have any feedback!


Posted by davidmaletz - May 11th, 2018

All of the loose ends for the free version have been tied up, the science path now has an ending, and we added many new features too!

While a smaller update than the last two, this one includes some new things I've been wanting to add for a while!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Science Path End. There is now a definitive end to the science path (where you'll be able to continue from in the early access release). Check out the Mirrow's Lab to see it!
  • Blueprints. You can now use blueprints to build and dismantle structures! You can play the game without ever finding or using blueprints, but they can give you flexibility over building placement and allow you to build a kitchen if you don't have the builder.


  • Seeds. You can now plant crops, bushes and trees with seeds. Seeds allow for flexibility of crop placement (similar to blueprints), and they are now an integrated part of the farm (plant instead of upgrade). Plant where you want - even on new islands!
  • Hair Styles. There are now 7 hair styles to choose from (8 if you count bald)! When first loading an old save, you'll be able to customize appearance again to select your hair style.
  • Resting/saving no longer skips to night from the morning. This was causing new players to encounter night too early, and made night too easy to get to. You can still skip night by resting though. There may also be a few new night-only things added.
  • Added 2 bird familiars. There are no enemies to trap to get birds from yet, but you can buy them.
  • A bunch of other minor improvements and bugfixes.

We'll also be presenting the game at Phoenix Comic Fest, May 24-27! If you're nearby, come say hi - we'll be in Hall 1 with the Southwest Videogame Showcase. There may even be some exclusive giveaways!

From now until June/July, we'll be working on finishing the first planet for the Early Access release! We have some pretty exciting things planned, and if you want to see where we go with the game, you can pre-order the full version here: http://fancyfishgames.com/Aground/ (it will include all future updates)! We'll also continue to post bugfixes and non-content updates to the free version (you won't get new islands, but you will see some new features, including some relatively large ones like seafaring).

Enjoy, and as always, let us know if you have any feedback!


Posted by davidmaletz - May 2nd, 2018

The Old One boss fight is here! This update includes a lot of improvements and upgrades to the magic island.

The Old One might not be as strong as his “brethren,” but he’s still the most powerful boss so far. Luckily, you won’t have to fight him alone (or at all).


The full changelog is as follows:

  • The Old One. Facing the old one ends the game on the magic path for the demo/free version (it is quite an epic ending). It will save after you defeat it, and you can load that save to continue playing other areas, but you won’t be able to progress further on the magic path in the demo.
  • New Caves. There are now 2 new areas you can visit on the magic island. This includes the ice caves, and a new area which is quite large and easy to get lost in. Wyrm Queens no longer re-spawn, but you can find them in the second cave.
  • Ice Structure. The ice structure can now be activated. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. This means all elemental structures are functional except Plant.
  • Skill Points. You now get skill points every level instead of health and stamina. These points can be used for a variety of upgrades.
  • The Plant Spirit was added, allowing you to get all 5 elemental gems.
  • You can now only auto-eat one health-healing item when taking damage. This is a good balance between letting players survive, but not letting players soak up infinite damage with enough dragonblood.
  • Languages that are not up to date (all but English and German) are now marked red in the options menu.
  • New Achievements.
  • A bunch of other minor improvements and bugfixes.

We’ll probably have one more free update that finishes off the Science path (it doesn’t really have an ending right now) and adds Blueprints (a feature we’ve been wanting to add for a while). After that, we’ll start work on the rest of the islands on the first planet - we have a lot of work to do if we want to finish the first planet on time for backers! The free version will still get updated with improvements and bugfixes, but it will no longer get content updates after the next one.

Enjoy, and as always, let us know if you have any feedback!


Posted by davidmaletz - April 16th, 2018

The Mirrows boss fight is finally here! This update includes a lot of improvements and upgrades to the science island.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but you can now confront the Mirrows (and complete the innkeeper’s quest for an amazing reward), and there’s also a way to negotiate with the Mirrows without fighting them. It’s a tough fight - so be prepared with a shotgun, chainsaw, and titanium armor (or better).


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Confront the Mirrows! Can you beat them? Can you negotiate with them? What awesome rewards will you get for defeating them?


  • New Caves There are now 4 new areas you can visit on the science island. They contain a variety of rewards and challenges like the caves on the starting island. One cave doesn’t appear to have much, but it will be a pretty important place in the future.
  • Cyborgification. You can now be turned into a cyborg. Cyborg enhancements are powerful, but they also restrict what equipment you can use until you have them surgically removed, so you lose flexibility.
  • Computers added with story snippets that you can read if you want to learn more about the backstory.
  • Science island music.
  • There are now several townfolk who populate the science island so it doesn’t feel like a ghost town.
  • Water now exists in game with a (very) simple simulation. You can’t yet mine the sand to release it and flood your world, but soon you will be able to (and this will also include some underwater mechanisms - right now if you cheat and flood your world, you’ll instantly drown and die).
  • Familiars now have two commands you can access in the equipment panel: Enable/disable attacks and Summon. Disabling attacks is useful if you want them to save their feed in an area where they aren’t effective against enemies, and Summoning them will instantly bring them to you if they get too far behind (assuming there is space).
  • To avoid stun locks (especially when being ganged up on by night time creatures), I added a few frames of stun invulnerability after being hit. While being attacked from both sides is still dangerous, you are now able to run and escape (and you will never literally be stuck).
  • In an unannounced mini-update (1.2.2_1), I added functionality to the golem statues. For those who were curious what would happen when they were activated, you can try them out now.
  • A bunch of other minor improvements and bugfixes.

While we’ll probably do a few more minor edits and improvements to the science island, this update represents the end of the major content updates along the science path for the free version. In our next update, we’ll finish up the magic island (and the boss fight there), and then move on to the next islands for the paid only releases.

Finally, for those of you who didn’t figure it out, in the last update the random character customization was an april fools joke. If you load a game now, you’ll be able to customize your character’s appearance.

Enjoy, and as always, let us know if you have any feedback!


Posted by davidmaletz - March 31st, 2018

This update focuses mainly on adding a day/night cycle, but it also adds a bunch of other improvements, including new achievements, new items, and character customization.


For the character customization, we originally considered letting you choose your appearance, but then we realized how very unrealistic that would be. So instead, your character is “born” with randomly assigned colors, and until you get higher tech or magic to change your appearance (like hair dyes and color contacts), you will be stuck with those colors. I hope you’ll be able to accept - and even grow to love - your character, even if he ends up with bright purple skin or neon green hair. We’ll be adding more hair styles and a gender option in a later update, but once again, these will be assigned randomly (with the ability to change them via upgrades). All of your past saves have been randomly assigned appearances. Feel free to share screenshots to show off how beautiful your unique characters now are!

The full changelog is as follows:

  • Day/Night Cycle. The world now slowly changes between night and day. You can rest in your hut to switch between day and night. This includes a lighting system which adds a lot of ambience to night and deep underground. Light-producing items (like torches) are now more valuable.
  • New night-only enemies. They are more dangerous than daytime enemies - so you might want to sleep at night if you aren’t prepared for them.
  • Custom character appearance. You can now have different color skin, eyes, hair, and clothing. We’ll eventually add additional hair styles and a gender option. We also updated all of the equipment for this new system.
  • New achievements have been added.
  • Night time music.
  • New items and enchantments, including backpacks (and a new equipment slot for them), light producing items, and the upgraded workbench.
  • Wyrms can now be familiars, and they increase your mining speed.
  • Coins are now stored in the coin purses, and you can obtain more than one coin purse to increase your coin limit.
  • Equipment is now shown on screen so you can quickly see what is about to break. For mouse-using players, you can click it to perform equipment actions.
  • Flight no longer takes stamina - instead it takes power or enchantment power. There is also now a flight weight limit (to keep you from flying infinite weight).
  • A bunch of other minor improvements and bugfixes.


This was the second and final general improvements update. We will now begin working on content updates for the science island (and after that, content updates for the magic island). 

Also, happy April Fools day everyone!

Enjoy, and as always, let us know if you have any feedback!