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The Grave Digger
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Platforms: PC, Linux
Languages: English
Players: Single-player
Posted:
Updated:
Mar 1 @ 6:04am
Mar 17 @ 5:26am

Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?

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again later
Recent Announcements View All (1)
Collated Feedback and our growing 'To-do' list.
Translations
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[www.homegroangames.co.uk].

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.

Visuals
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:

Continuity
'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.

Animations
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. ;)

Characters
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.

Spelling
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[www.homegroangames.co.uk]. 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.

Joe

Description
Release date: NOW!
Overview

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[www.homegroangames.co.uk]


Reviews
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.
148 Comments
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ςŗФŋЭ­_ρΰяع :D Sep 4 @ 5:41pm 
Very involved gameplay, it gets you thinking. I doubt anyone could speedrun this game!
danil.lyubochko Jul 22 @ 9:11pm 
Good game
Curado Jul 19 @ 5:52pm 
Alone in the dark 1 brought back.
Earl Jul 19 @ 12:54am 
GOTTA PAY THE RENT
Bluefunction Jul 17 @ 8:16pm 
i told you i was sick. also graverobbing.
osmattic Jul 14 @ 1:24am 
Fagus :D
Steak and Potatoes Jul 13 @ 4:44am 
Everything about this wreaks of amazing, voted it up.
Hoobliga Jul 13 @ 12:51am 
GOTTA PAY THE RENT
Irons Jul 12 @ 12:33am 
Is that Professor Layton?
Bandicode Jul 7 @ 9:32am 
Schaut gut aus.