Some ‘Splainin To DO

I feel like fans of GrindCraft are wondering if I’m ever going to make another game.  Short answer: yes.  Big question: When?  When are we going to release another game?  Well, last month I made 20 games.  They’re very bad, purposely made in 3 hrs each, just to get some frustration off my chest and say I did something.  (If you really want to see them, ping me on discord.)  The real question is  “When are you going to make a good game?”  Good games are subjective.  I have to think that a game is good, otherwise I’m kidding myself that its going to get done.  Even if everybody else thinks its good, I’m the one coding it.  So I have to think its good.  There’s rules to make it the best it can be.  I understand the rules.  But if I’m not into it to begin with, its not going to happen.  I don’t always throw it out.  Sometimes it has to incubate.   I’m probably not going to make “Barbie Makeup Simulator.”  But I do want to do a dungeon crawler.  We’ve been planning on it for a long time, thinking about knights and archers and things.  Life got in the way (hospitalized family members, loss of job, etc.).  Investors came and went.  And during that time, the dungeon crawler was incubating.

Then, Tom Lintern, the artist behind Girrion, came up with an amazing idea.  My biz partner Seth took it and spun it into a card game.  And then everything started clicking.  So we’re back to our dungeon crawler, which is now a post-apocalyptic 1980’s mall crawler, DeathMall.

If you like StrangerThings, or TurboKid, or Danger5, then you know what I’m talking about.  Our game takes place in an endlessly-sprawling mall.  Shoppers browse for the best buys.  And vicious gangs are there to prey on them.  You play Fred, a buffet manager, and you’re fed up.  You decide to clean out the mall with your trusty party of fry cooks.  But instead of fighting a bunch of orcs, skeletons, and zombies, it’s The Killer Punk Assassins, The Suburban Mom Death Stalkers, and the Arcade Creep-Freaks (and more).  And instead of breaking open chests of gold, its glass displays, storefronts, and kiosks.  You might get a +10 nailgun from the hardware section of the department store.  Or you might get a Magic 8-Ball from the novelty shop that gives you a random item.  Or maybe a cool t-shirt that allows you to have even more followers in your gang.

The first release will be a short run of 4 or 5 levels.  If the game is well-received, we’ll continue on with more baddies, levels, in-app purchases, and multiplayer.  Here’s our Fred walk cycle:

So, that’s where we’re at.


We’re the guys who made GrindCraft.  It’s been played 50+ million times since its release back in 2015.


GrindCraft was a perfect storm of opportunities and ideas.
Seth brought me the idea of idle games, pointing to the success of Adventure Capitalist.
I had just finished up a 2-year Minecraft build.
It was Christmas break and I had 30 days, so I decided to program an idle game based on Minecraft.
We released it, and people liked it.

We have the fans to thank in a huge way. Thank you, fans!
You all spread the game far and wide, made videos about it. There’s even a remastered version now.
But I have to mentally say goodbye to all of that and move on to other games.
I had a lot of plans for GrindCraft — more levels, a mobile version — but I have to let that go.
It’s easy to focus on a success and not be able to move past it.  So goodbye, GrindCraft. It was fun.

We’re still planning on releasing Withering Heights, a small GrindCraft sequel, and Grindcraftia, an idle mmo.  We’re working with an artist that has a card game on Kickstarter.  One of its stretch goals is a video game version, which we will make and use that time to also finish up Withering Heights.
Without finances (or an extra 30 days), there’s zero creative momentum, and projects usually die or dwindle.  Better to wait for the next perfect storm.
Welcome to my dev blog btw.