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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!

32, Male

Code Monkey


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davidmaletz's News

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!


Posted by davidmaletz - March 12th, 2018

This update is the first of two general improvement updates. They might not add much new content (nor the boss fights everyone's waiting for), but they do add a lot of minor features. While I consider this a minor update, it does have a LOT of new changes, as you can see from the changelog below.


For those who haven't heard, our Kickstarter completed successfully, and we're moving forward with the full first planet to post on Steam Early Access (and other platforms like Itch.io). You can read more about that and our plans here: Kickstarter Success! What's Next?. If you want to see Aground on GOG as well, you'll have to convince them that it's worth adding by voting here.

The full changelog is as follows:

  • 4440657_152096140132_pentagram.png
    Elemental strengths and weaknesses. All elements resist themselves, and follow this type table. We'll definitely be expanding on this system in later updates.
  • Added more enchantments to the Forge (Magic Island - including enchanting items from science island).
  • Dragons can now live in the dragon lair. This also makes it easier to fly between islands, and you don't auto collect the dragon when returning.
  • Net capturing is no longer always successful - it has to do with the health of the enemy and the difficulty of the enemy, and makes the system more interesting. Eventually, this will lead to better nets and capturing more powerful familiars.
  • Improved item descriptions - they now show a lot more details.
  • Added a Furnace, Campfire and Tent which are craft-able and very useful.
  • You can also now place the anvil and workbench, setting up a pretty functional home away from home.
  • Fire weapons now deal damage over time.
  • Enemies can now drop multiple types of loot (and the Dragon drops Dragonblood).
  • Backgrounds now cap so if you travel far enough out to sea, there is only open ocean. The sailboat also now has the full player sprite layers too. This will help for the upcoming seafaring update.
  • The Wyrm Queen now respawns. This will let you get more Spirit Gems (and Dragonblood) if you need them.
  • If your flying armor breaks, or you remove it, you now fall instead of getting stuck. This is also a way down from the floating islands. You will take falling damage though, and be warned, if you fall into the ocean before the seafaring update, it's instant death!
  • You can now rename the starting island. Talk to the farmer once you've completed all his quests. This is for fun, and it also lets you name your save file.
  • Dragon-equipment has been balanced and improved, and you can now auto-feed and equip when it breaks (assuming you have food and an alter gem handy).
  • You can now set which projectile to use by default for ranged weapons.
  • Optimized island generation - it now doesn't stall for a while to load the new islands the first time on older computers.
  • Other minor improvements and bugfixes.

The next update will be another one like this, and will include a day/night cycle, lighting, and possibly character customization and sailing/flying between islands (along with several other improvements from player suggestions). After that, we'll finish up the Science island, followed by the Magic island!

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


Posted by davidmaletz - February 26th, 2018

The Magic Island is finally available! This is a major update about as big as the Sunset Haven (the science island), with many new features and ways to use magic!

In other news, our Kickstarter is now over 100% funded! Thank you to everyone who backed! We're still hoping for some stretch goals (especially the multiplayer one which will add co-op multiplayer support), so check out the Kickstarter page, and if you don't have a credit card, you can now back via PayPal on our website and that will count towards the stretch goals too!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Fly a Dragon! You can now fly your dragon (if you have one) to the eastern magic island that includes many new structures, items, quests and enemies! The majority of the changes this update are on this island.
  • New Magic Systems! Including more enchantment options and goggles that let you see hidden magic!


  • Armor Sprites - Armor will now appear on your player sprite when you equip it!
  • Updated cloud saves, they now work on older browsers that don't support CORS or have cookies disabled (should fix the problem where it always said Sync Failed for some players).
  • Various bugfixes and improvements, including shrinking item name size so it never overlaps the count.
  • For Modders and Translators:
    • Added [item=id default=default name]. If set, and the item doesn't have a name (like a renamed familiar), it will show default name instead of the item name (useful for conjugations or declensions).
    • NPCs now have operate, over, out, enter, exit blocks like structures. You'll now need to put the NPC actions in an <operate></operate> block.
    • Equipment behindPlayer parameter now defaults to true (add behindPlayer="false" to put the equipment on top of the player).
    • Item icons are now defined with icon="...", not tile="...".
    • Added extends parameter to many xml tags, that let you quickly make a slightly modified item or structure.

Now that the Kickstarter has reached 100%, we'll be working on finishing the entire first planet for release on Steam Early Access (and other platforms). We'll also continue to update the free version with bugfixes and improvements as we go. And from there - we'll be launching into space!

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


Posted by davidmaletz - February 7th, 2018

Two small-ish updates before I move on to the Magic Island major update, but they include some cool new items and features!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • New Items Added Land Mines (powerful traps), Great Armor (higher defense), Map (buy in the Sunset Haven market, it'll show you your surroundings), Minecart (easy transportation of ores), Shovel (fills the tile below you to remove holes) and the Crowbar (pries up minecart rails).


  • NPC Auto-Collection NPCs will now collect items for you even when you are away from the starting island (slower than normal, but they don't stop). Enemies will also spawn in locations when you're away.
  • Added Town and Desert BG The science island town now looks a little less like a ghost town.
  • Improved Smelter UI Smelter items are now grouped, and it looks a lot cleaner for smelting (or cooking) tons of items at once.
  • You can now use an Adult Dragon to power the power plant once it's repaired. It looks cool, and can turn Steaks into power!
  • You can now rest in your boat, saving the game and restoring 33% of your stamina. You also need 400 rations to make the first trip to the science island (enough for a round trip of sailing). This will keep players from getting stuck on the science island before they find the titanium. I also made titanium (and iron) a little more common, so that first quest isn't too difficult if you go unprepared. The boat inventory management was also improved for transferring to/from your inventory or storehouse.
  • A bunch of minor improvements, like changing enemy speed to make melee combat more feasible, minecart rails were made cheaper and batteries draining one at a time.
  • Fixed some bugs, including the looping sound bug (drill, elevator).

The Kickstarter just reached 50% funded! Keep sharing the project, and I have some good stretch goals planned if we reach 100% funded early!

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


Posted by davidmaletz - January 31st, 2018

This is quite the major update - we're so excited to share it with you! We’ve added a entire new island with over two hours of additional content, launched the Kickstarter campaign for the early access version, and made a new trailer!

Unlike on the starting island, you will be an outsider in this new town, and you’ll get a lot less help and supplies for free. Make sure to stock up on food before you sail away from home, or you might find yourself having to buy from the market extravagantly just to have enough food to eat!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Sail to a new Island! Includes the sailboat functionality, and many new structures, items, NPCs, quests and enemies! I won’t spoil much, but the majority of the changes to the game are on this island.


  • Power System. Along with the new island, there is a new gameplay mechanic - power. Keep your batteries charged if you want to use the new power tools!


  • Improved Fishing! The Fisherman NPC will now explain how to fish, and the system will be a little more challenging for fish that are tough for your fishing rod level.
  • Boss Music track! Chase added a new music track that will play during the dragon fight… and also at one other point in this version!
  • Various other bugfixes and improvements.

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

We still plan to add the first magic island to the east, but this update is getting close to the end of the planned content for the free version. After that, we’ll be working hard on new content for the early access version!

I hope you’ll check out the Kickstarter and share or back it! We really need your help to take this game as far as we can!

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


Posted by davidmaletz - January 16th, 2018

Here's a minor update to tide you over until the big 1.1.0 update! The cloud saves are finally in!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Cloud Saves - Login to Aground Cloud and all your saves and settings will be automatically synced across browsers, websites, and even with the exe version of the game. No more losing saves because of clearing your browser history!
  • Developer Console - This is mainly for developers and modders to view details and run scripts in game, but it also comes with a built in debugger that will show an error should the game crash and allow you to send that error directly to me for faster debugging. Can be opened with Ctrl+Shift+D, and special commands are: clear (clears the console), watch variable (shows that variable wherever you are), unwatch variable removes from watch list, and debug [hide] to display debug info and watch variables.
  • Added chinese fan translation - this required some improved font support in game.
  • Fullscreen HTML5 - You can now go fullscreen in the HTML5 version (depending on the browser)!
  • Other minor adjustments and bugfixes (including the dragon fight crash).

In other news, we're preparing for our Kickstarter, which you can read about (and other plans) here: https://www.reddit.com/r/aground/comments/7qmbry/aground_kickstarter_plans/ . This will probably be the last update until we launch the Kickstarter on January 31st - which will include at least one of the next islands!

I hope you enjoy!


Posted by davidmaletz - January 8th, 2018

Explore dangerous caves, find new secrets, and meet a mysterious new NPC in this update!


The full changelog is as follows:

  • Added caves and dungeons to the map.
  • Added 1 new enemy type.
  • Added 1 new NPC and quests for him.
  • Added enchanted axe quest.
  • Added underground music track.
  • Added enemy health bars.
  • Added burn flame effect.
  • You can now rename familiars.
  • Improved mod support.
  • Miner gets coal automatically if there is no coal left.
  • Added feed amount to feed info window so you know the effectiveness of different foods.
  • Fixed memory leak - may improve performance.
  • Stopped page from scrolling in HTML5 when using mouse wheel on a scroll window in game.
  • Various bugfixes and improvements/balance changes.

There will be one more major update including new islands (and perhaps a few minor updates) for the free version of the game. After that, we are now planning to run a Kickstarter at the end of this month and fund development for an Early Access version of the game - we hope you'll support us when it is live!

If you haven't yet, also sign up to our Newsletter to get update notifications via e-mail!

I hope you enjoy, and you can play the game here: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/701110 !


Posted by davidmaletz - December 19th, 2017

You can now raise your baby dragons and have them follow you around, grow, burn things, and eventually even fly off on them! This update focuses on the familiar system, and you may notice a few other familiars you can have follow you other than the dragons (with various effects).


The full changelog is as follows:


  • You can now have familiars! Use the equipment window to set them, and don't forget to feed them on occasion or they won't be able to attack.
  • New quests involving dragons and them growing bigger.
  • You can now fly off to the right (towards the magic islands), but it just goes to credits with an animation for now.
  • Other minor tweaks/improvements/bugfixes.


I also set up a Newsletter for Aground if you want to subscribe and get future update notifications via e-mail.

I hope you enjoy, and you can play the game here: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/701110 !


Posted by davidmaletz - December 5th, 2017

This is another small-ish update that's setting up systems that will be needed for the next major update. The main changes are the equipment system/window, item durability, and shields. Shields don't have infinite durability, and you can't attack or mine while they are held, but they block all damage until they run out of durability (excluding critical hits). It adds a lot of new interesting combat options versus all enemies.


The full changelog is as follows:

  • The Equipment Window including characters stats (and revising how equipment works)
  • Items can now have durability and be destroyed. Repairing them will come later :P.
  • Shields!
  • You can sell items from your storehouse directly in the market.
  • You can specify how many items you want to craft at once.
  • Alchemist now adds dragonblood from the wyrm pen to the storehouse periodically.
  • Coin limit shown on coin purse, and you can't sell items when you've hit it.
  • No more instant-collection of animals from pens.
  • Tweaked dragon, yeti and fire chicken enemies.
  • Other minor tweaks/improvements/bugfixes.

The equipment system was needed for the pets/familiars, so you have a way to select who you want following you. That'll be the next update unless there are high priority bugs that need fixing, along with growing (and flying on) your dragon!

I hope you enjoy!


Posted by davidmaletz - November 28th, 2017

It's finally here! Update 1.0.7 is the first semi-major content update to Aground, and while it's a little late, I hope it was worth the wait!

The big new feature here is the Mountain, which will appear now on the right side of the island. It's all stone, so you won't be able to enter it with starting equipment, and it's a good thing too, because there are much tougher enemies and new loot here.

Note, it may take a few hours for the update to appear, but Shift+Refresh to do a hard reload of the page often helps.

The quests have not been updated yet, so exploring the mountain is just for fun for now (and to have more to mine), but it's eventually going to expand the storyline with the Alchemist and the history of the island. And there will be something special deep in the mountain eventually - those ranged enemies guarding that space aren't there for nothing!


Should I leave the sleeping dragon be?


The Fire Gem is intentionally unusable, un-trashable and un-sellable. This is so you don't get rid of it, as it'll be very important in the next update. While it'll take some time to get all the quest changes and new features in, I'm really excited about where this is going!

Of course, there were other improvements and bugfixes (including that annoying invincible wyrm bug that took forever to find), but they weren't too major.

The next major update will focus on raising your baby dragons into ones as large as the boss in the mountain - and yes, you'll be able to fly on it off to new islands (although, when I first add this update, it will just show an animation and roll credits like sailing). Going off left for science and right for magic is definitely a thing we're going to continue with in this game. I might include a smaller update before that with general improvements and bugfixes.

I hope you enjoy!