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The Grave Digger
Platforms: PC, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Mar 1, 2014 @ 6:04am
Jan 26, 2016 @ 7:48pm

View The Grave Digger in the store

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Recent Announcements View All (2)
Thanks everyone, we did it!
  • Added achievements
  • Added statistics
  • Added cloud saves
  • Added time leaderboards for all levels and difficulties, global, and friends only
  • Added total number of graves robbed leaderboard
  • Added trading cards (along with badges, backgrounds, emoticons rewards)
  • Added skeletons / coffins to the graves
  • Added support for different languages (though only English and Pirate available for the time being)
  • Replaced intro cutscene with static shot of last graveyard played
  • Narrowed The Soldier's field of view from 90 to 80 degrees
  • Added depth of field effect on cutscene cameras (on "Good" quality and above)
  • Added bump mapping to mausoleum and houses
  • Tightened main pub camera shot
  • Soil now deforms when you dig
  • Added SFX & dialogue when approaching a locked mausoleum
  • Remove transparency effect from locked mausoleum
  • Collected treasure now crossed-out rather than ticked
  • Turned the Bride's hearing range down, and the soldier's up
  • Stopped the Old Crones on God's Acre from hiding behind the far wall
  • Improved Fagus' jacket texture
  • Improved view when looking at certain graves on Hollow Woods
  • Made wall ends less angular
  • Made it more obvious you cannot access the far right segment in Pentagram Cemetery
  • Reduced overhead on AI Pathfinding by only using it when enemies are in range
  • Modified the wall configuration slightly on "Marching On"
  • Add "And stay out!" to the Soldier when he chases you out of his territory
  • Re-textured mausoleum at a higher resolution
  • Increased resolution of headstones and added some imperfections
  • Went through and manually aligned all the headstone viewing cameras and lights for best shots
  • Re-textured all the walls at a higher resolution
  • Improved soil level if a grave is dug in multiple stages
  • Ruffed up the ground at the bottom of all the walls to break up the straight lines
  • Replaced grave border texture
  • Improved run and dig animations
  • Added values to loot in inventory
  • Re-textured church at a higher resolution
  • Improved textures on roofs of buildings
  • Mouse cursor now hidden if mouse not moved or idle for 3 seconds so doesn't get in the way when using a joystick
  • Increased rotation speed when turning 180 degrees to make the turn more responsive, and slowed it down when turning less than 45 degrees to make it smoother
  • Added joystick controls to book pages
  • Improved Japanese Maple tree model
  • Added piano to pub scene
  • Made the lost key GPS lines a bit prettier
  • Smoothed out controller direction so no longer clamps to closest 45 degree angle
  • Tidied up the Doctor's texture
  • Tweaked the lighting in the lab to lessen the shadow under the Doctor's lip
  • Made fallen walls easier to pass on the Bonus level
  • Moved top switches on Deadlock to a separate wall
  • Darked skybox slightly on non-fog levels
  • Menu menu title now grows/shrinks depending on resolution
  • Lives and time are now hidden when the in-game menu is shown
  • On Soiled Souls, renamed "Lonnie Stoke" to avoid confusion with "Laine Elrich"
  • Made viewing your inventory pause the game
  • Made HUD icons a little bit translucent
  • Removed/added wall vines for front-on walls
  • Tweaked the lower Soldier's patrol route on God's Acre
  • New icon
  • Numerous bug fixes

Collated Feedback and our growing 'To-do' list.
At the moment The Grave Digger is only available in English. We would love to translate the game to as many languages as possible to broaden our audience, but we don't have any experience in this area so we plan to turn to the community for help! If any bilinguals would be willing to translate text for us we'd be ever so grateful and obviously give credit and thanks. If you aren't bilingual but have experience in this area or even just some good ideas do also please make yourself known! Get in touch using the Contacts page of our website[].

In terms of logistics, the main focus of this endeavour would be the subtitles during cutscenes and the menu items (including The Idiots Guide to Grave Digging, obviously) -- at the moment all text within the game world itself (mostly on tombstones) is embedded in textures and therefore a little more tricky to change, so that may have to come later.

We currently have no plans to provide audio in other languages as this would be a lot more work than either of us have time to undertake unfortunately -- I also don't think batman's available for any upcoming voice over work.

We're aware that The Grave Digger suffers somewhat in the looks department, both technically and in terms of art direction. Based on feedback from reviewers and players we've identified a few key areas to focus on:

'Art Direction' was a foreign concept to us when we embarked on this project as were most of the tools we'd be using to create the assets, which has resulted in a lack of visual continuity both in quality and design. You'll notice that the ghosts are much more cartoony than the surrounding environment and there are many other disparities that stand out -- for instance, a few characters don't have ears! Most of this is down to naivety during the design stage, as we failed to adequately nail down technical limitations and style, but we are working on cleaning these problems up.

Our animations receive the most negative feedback, partly due to the fact that they're one of the easiest visual aspects that people can pick up on in the rolling demo, but also because animation is an area both Tom and I have very little prior experience with -- rest assured, our animation skills have improved considerably since Fagus' (the main character) lumbering walk cycle was created, and we are working on new animations where possible. Along with the criticism, we've enjoyed a lot of humorous feedback, ranging from Masque and Mirror's "slipped disk" comment below to some truly flattering videos from the likes of Spike & Barley! Keep'em coming. ;)

All of our characters have low poly meshes and pretty low resolution textures, partly out of necessity (time constraints as well as technology) but also by design -- we've never had "realism" in our sights whilst making this game, but we are going for a certain bleakness in the visuals which means we can't have a lot of sparkly particle effects to distract your eye from the club-feet and stoic expressions of the game characters.

Where this visual weakness really becomes a problem is in cutscenes when we have closeups and angles that we hadn't thought about during the design stage. At the moment we're working on adding more detail to character's faces to make them a little more expressive in cutscenes.

Camera Angle
Camera angles are always a bone of contention in third person games and probably always will be. We've experimented with various changes in camera angles and found a fixed, almost 45 degree angle to be a good balance between visual and gameplay acuity. This angle allows a good overview of the area around Fagus and keeps the directional controls consistent.

In our crazier moments we have discussed turning the whole game first person to really ramp up the scares, but that would require redesigning a lot of cool gameplay elements and losing a crucial tension builder, which is the slow, downward zoom as you actually put shovel to dirt.

We spent a stupid amount of time deciding what to call The Grave Digger. The original design doc had "Grave Robber" on the front page and since then we've considered a range of options and then different ways to spell and format those options. The final title describes what Fagus does rather than his profession (professional gravediggers are far more reputable than Fagus and Tully), hence the space. Don't get me started on whether or not we should have put the "The" in.

Is there a demo?
Yes! Grab it here[]. The demo features three of the eighteen levels from the full game including the tutorial level. The levels available in the demo haven't been rebalanced to account for a shorter learning curve, so don't be too disheartened if you find yourself perishing a lot in the later levels -- we just wanted to show a broad cross-section of the gameplay without giving too much of the story or cooler features away. ;)

It sort of goes without saying, but the more support we can muster in the Steam community and further affield, the more feedback we can collect and the more improvements we can make so if you like what you're seeing please do talk about The Grave Digger whenever you have the opportunity and use the social media buttons on Steam to share us with your friends, family and followers!

Many thanks for your support.


Release date: NOW!

Take control of shovel-master Fagus the grave robber extraordinaire in this third person stealth action-adventure. It's a curious blend of whimsical English comedy and grim Dickensian horror made by a two-man team dedicated to fun, addictive gameplay.

Key Features
  • 18 Dickensian graveyards
  • 5 ghost types with individual AI
  • 1 gravel-voiced grave robber
  • Unlockable bonus graveyard

The full game and demo are out now and available on our homepage[]

Originally posted by Mash Those Buttons:
"The gameplay and humor give this game a charm and character that few games can hope to achieve"
Originally posted by Critical Indie Gamer:
"The Grave Digger plays almost like Pacman"
Originally posted by Pixels For Breakfast:
"a fun and well thought-out puzzle game that manages to take the morbid thought of grave robbing, and turns it into a fun adventure"
Originally posted by Choose Your Class:
"if you are a gamer that like challenges, I’d highly suggest you get this game"

About Us
HomeGroanGames are a fledgling game developer currently comprised of approximately 1.6 team-members based in Bristol, UK.

Tom is the experienced indie software developer, now finally giving in to his long-standing passion for computer games. In HomeGroanGames he's the full-time programmer, graphic artist, sound technician, level designer, voice actor and any other odd-job you care to think of!

Joe is currently a full-time bookseller by day, but when the moon is phat his attentions turn to game design, 2D and 3D art, wordsmithing, level design and frowning at incomprehensible business start-up guides written by Delphian wizards.

Tom and Joe have shared an enduring penchant for PC gaming since the early 90's and also the occasional wary dalliances with console-boxes. Throughout their adventures they've gibbed shamblers, frozen hamsters, built empires, cauterised stormtroopers, torched zombies, kicked tigers, slowed time, placed blocks, chased mimes around Paris, hacked supercomputers and capped innumerable flags, but now they're ready to add their own creations to the gaming landscape -- preferably involving top hats.
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Demoness❄ May 4, 2015 @ 5:38am 
why thr fuck was this peice of shit greenlit?
xSMWHOREx Nov 27, 2014 @ 12:13pm 
yasu-yasu83 Oct 31, 2014 @ 2:58am 
Nice game!
Grand Inquirer Kush Oct 24, 2014 @ 2:10pm 
Actually I take that back. There might be story spoilers too. I think. I don't know. It depends.
Grand Inquirer Kush Oct 24, 2014 @ 2:07pm 
If anyone wants to see more gameplay of this I'm doing a series on it as part of a project of mine. I suggest avoiding them though if you're the type that doesn't like non-story spoilers.
SovietReaper Oct 16, 2014 @ 3:12am 
Yes i would play this Because I gotta pay the rent, And because batman is the grave robber...
Chicken Oct 13, 2014 @ 10:04pm 
◥ςŗФŋℰ­_ρΰяع◣ Sep 4, 2014 @ 5:41pm 
Very involved gameplay, it gets you thinking. I doubt anyone could speedrun this game!
Tulen Senpaevich Jul 22, 2014 @ 9:11pm 
Good game
Curado Jul 19, 2014 @ 5:52pm 
Alone in the dark 1 brought back.