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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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davidmaletz's News

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!


Posted by davidmaletz - November 17th, 2017

I have uploaded two smaller updates to Aground since my last post - 1.0.5 and 1.0.6.

1.0.5 included several features that I wanted to add to 1.0.4 but didn't have time for, like fishing and fertilizer. It also added more hotkeys, and sticky items to keep items in your inventory when hitting move all.


1.0.6 included per-pixel movement (you can now stop between tiles) and a bunch of improvements to combat. Already, there is now weapon range (thanks to the per pixel movement) and some cool tricks you can do with that, and weapon attack speed could also become a factor in the future. I also changed how equipment works so it doesn't confuse people, and added a dedicated attack key (set to C for now, but you can change it in the controls if you like).

This makes the gameplay a lot smoother, and is a big step towards the next update which will include new content and bosses (which will be bigger than a single tile, making the per pixel movement more valuable).

I hope you enjoy, and are looking forward to the next update!


Posted by davidmaletz - November 6th, 2017

We released another update for Aground! This one mainly focuses on improving the farm and pen systems, but has a bunch of other improvements and fixes.

The full changelog is as follows:

  • The pig pen is now like the wyrm pen, you can manage the animals and you even now have a cow and chicken option for better milk and egg production. Pigs still produce milk and eggs, though, as it's simpler that way, and if you need a better reason: Wollmilchsau.
  • The farm has also been improved for managing crops and additional fields. It also now groups all farm items by type, so you don't have tons of entries of the same farm item. I also added a harvest all option.
  • Added cotton (for cloth), sugar and pumpkin crops. Pumpkin crops you'll only get if you saved around halloween and the Farmer gave the jack o' lanterns to you. Change your system clock to halloween to get them in future saves, and they can be carved into jack o' lanterns.
  • Spanish, German and Russian fan translations added.
  • You can now get the market after building the dock if you turn the thief away.
  • Sign posts were added, so you can add messages and label tunnels.
  • A BIGGER backpack was added to the market after getting the boat.
  • You can now turn potions back into dragonblood, and it wont let you drink more than the maximum.
  • XP added to crafting, smelting, cooking and capturing enemies.
  • Some treasure chests are buried underground if you start a new game.
  • A bunch of improvements and bug fixes.

The next update will include a bunch more improvements and features (like fishing, familiar/pet system, building placement and a day/night cycle), finishing up the improvements we wanted to make for the starting island. We'll begin work on additional content (quests/dungeons/bosses for the starting island, and future islands) after that update!

I hope you enjoy!


Posted by davidmaletz - October 30th, 2017

I decided to start using my news posts for Aground updates, since that's what I'll be working on for the coming months. A few days late, but I recently uploaded Aground version 1.0.3!

The update focused on improving the existing content of the first island, and included a few new items. The full changelog is as follows:

  • Added auto-consume for health restoring items before death.

  • Changed surface structures to be accessible with UP key.

  • Added a workbench item for crafting of some items anywhere - and made it available before steel items.

  • Added a chest item that can be placed anywhere and operated like a storehouse.

  • Allowed quests and crafting to take items from storehouse as well as your inventory.

  • Added a few Halloween-special items/graphics.

  • Added a French fan translation (set in options -> language).

  • Added a notification when NPCs add items to your storehouse.

  • Set escape key to unequip item quickly (if equipped).

  • Increased wyrm spawning rate a tad.

  • Increased wyrm and golem health.

  • Changed feed window to show what they eat. Changed wyrm food from steak to live pigs.

  • Added overall mute button (M).

  • Allow players to remove farm upgrades.

  • Allowed changing direction without moving a tile.

  • A bunch of other minor updates/tweaks and bugfixes.

​Look forward to future updates!


Posted by davidmaletz - May 29th, 2017


This is the story of TransFuse, a game made in 48 hours for the Butterscotch ShenaniJam.

The Idea

At the start of the Jam, I rolled the theme: "Electric Leech." At first, we were at a loss about what to do - as while the theme brought a vivid picture to mind, it didn't really inspire any particular gameplay for us. All of our ideas were just games with electric leeches (and a few of the ideas were just leeches... the gameplay was pretty questionable). However, eventually I came up with the idea for a tower defense game where the enemies were leeches, and they both sucked your blood (leech) but also gave you power which you needed to build towers (electric). This double-edged enemy type was a very interesting twist to the tower defense gameplay - and changed the game from trying to have an impenetrable defense (letting as few enemies through as possible), to balancing how many enemies got through and how quickly.

About two hours into the jam, we had finalized the idea and came up with a quick design document for it.

The First Day

After we came up with our idea and design document, we had about four hours left in the first day to make something. Aaron sent me quick placeholder art and I got to work setting up the grid and pathfinding for the ground leeches. I also looked through old code of mine and reused a bunch of stuff - mostly utility classes and the tower placement (and also a lot of the animation/display stuff). By the end of the day, there was no UI, but you could place towers that did nothing (except block leeches), and watch the leeches pathfind through your towers to reach your ship. Not really a game yet, but a good milestone.

The Second Day

The only full day of the jam, this was where the majority of the work happened. By the end of this day, the game was very playable (and very fun, which is always a good sign). There was no title page, game over or victory screens, and you couldn't power/unpower or sell towers, but you could place towers which would automatically fire at leeches (including aiming for targets closer to your ship and leading - firing at where the leech will be instead of where it is), and you could fire the cannon and the majority of the UI was in place.

The Third Day

Ideally, the third day of a jam is left for polishing, tweaking, and submitting. That was most of what we did (plus the title, game over and victory screens and the tower menu where you could power/unpower and sell towers). I also added the notifications so you could see how much blood/energy leeches took when they reached your ship, and did some balancing. Obviously the game isn't perfectly balanced and there are no tooltips, but for only 48 hours I am quite pleased with where it ended up. I also had to create the video for the game, which I didn't realize I needed until 2 hours before the deadline so it was a little bit of a crazy rush making that and adding the last of the art/music to the game, but we did it (with a whopping 5 minutes to spare).

Final Thoughts

Overall I think the jam went very well, and I feel like we accomplished a lot in only 48 hours. While it's not perfectly polished and there's a ton of features that would be nice to add (like more towers, tower upgrades, more enemy types, ship upgrades, and a level or wave based progression), I feel that it is pretty complete and fun.



Posted by davidmaletz - September 19th, 2014

I Can't Escape was a great experiment, and we're now developing a full game with all new tricks and traps!

Do you still wake up in a cold sweat with flashbacks from playing "I Can't Escape" last year? Well, we're afraid this isn't going to help: "I Can't Escape: Darkness" has just been announced with an extra creepy teaser trailer - check it out:

So many of you played the original, we can't wait to bring you the sequel - and if you vote for us on Steam Greenlight, you could be playing it by halloween!

I Can't Escape: Darkness on Steam Greenlight

I Can't Escape: Darkness on Steam Greenlight

Official Site | Official Twitter


Posted by davidmaletz - May 20th, 2013

Two pieces of big news to share!

First, for Rhythos! Arcade BETA fans, I am starting a project called Rhythos RPG Builder that will be cross platform and support many cool features, and is built upon the Rhythos! Arcade BETA battle system! That means you'll be able to create your own full RPGs using Rhythos as the battle system, and tweak and balance the enemies as you like. And it will support adding new battle systems and features too! Right now, I'm running a kickstarter campaign to fund the project (which includes a lot more details about the project), so check that out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/davidmaletz/

Chase Bethea (the composer behind I Can't Escape) has also just released a soundtrack for the game! So if you've been wanting the songs, get them here: http://chasebethea.bandcamp.com/album/i-cant-esc ape-original-soundtrack!

Finally, so you can get a sense of Rhythos RPG Builder, below is a 2x speed example video of me creating a simple house interior in the current version of the Rhythos Map Editor:

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Rhythos RPG Builder and an I Can't Escape Soundtrack!