Release #3 is out!

The third release of The Ground Gives Way is now out! As I mentioned earlier it has a lot of new stuff and fixes. Many things have come from feedback from players, so thank you very much everyone who have made suggestions/bug reports! The most significant changes are:

  • New item category: rods.
  • Cave levels.
  • Better autorunning and targeting.
  • Better Stealth/ranged combat feedback.
  • Better Service/upgrade interface.
  • New stuff, items and features.

For all changes (with credits) see the changelog. This version breaks save compatibility with earlier versions so unzip in a new directory or delete .ini and slot-files from the previous one.

Get it right here. I really hope you enjoy it!



  1. Excellent! Looking forward to playing this again, such a well made wee game. This version unfortunately doesn’t work for me. The .exe just crashes right away “The Ground Gives Way.exe has stopped working”

    1. Hm.. that is very odd. Is it the Win8 or XP version? Maybe it got corrupted during download, did you try to download it again?

        1. I really have no idea what can be wrong. For me it works even when I download it and run it on my system. Maybe you could try to download the XP version and try that. Also, I take it from your previous comment that some of the previous releases worked? I’ll get back to you if I come up with a solution and please let me know if you get it to work.

          1. No idea either, I tried the XP version, same thing. The old versions worked fine but I don’t have them anymore to try now.

              1. The old version doesn’t run now either πŸ™ No idea what’s gone wrong here.

                1. Yay! Got it working by creating a shortcut to the .exe and using that. It was suggested in the readme as a way to try different font sizes so I thought I’d give that a try. I didn’t even change the font size from the default but the shortcut works.

                  1. Ah great! Still weird that it won’t work without the shortcut though. Maybe this is an issue with Windows and not the game. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. You’re doing a great job. And more importantly, you are a man of your word. It is nice to see updates on time.
    So, I’ve tried it. Died on 9th level from drowning in trap, just like always πŸ™‚ And I can say that:
    – UI looks nicer and more functional for me. These distance meter and changing sign of sleeping are really handy for stealth and ranger characters.
    – Caves looks great. It is fun to use rods there.
    – You can’t use rods when confused πŸ™ For some reason I thought that idea of rods is that it can be used when drunk, it doesn’t use mana and doesn’t need to be aimed accurately, just “press a button” thing. But it is okay.

    1. Thank you very much for your feedback! πŸ™‚

      Well rods are still magical and it requires focus just to use them, there’s no button on them πŸ˜‰

      1. Hmm.. Is Magma Ring the same as Fire ring? It looks like they both have 50% Fire resistance on comparison screen. So does that crook demand 730 gp for nothing?

      2. Also, I think monsters interacts with large rocks in weird way. As example – In this case warrior would continuously climb on that rock, retreat back, climb again and so on. I just stand still and throw snowballs at him safely. Logically, he should move to me after climbing that rock.

        1. That’s weird, I have never seen them act like that. Thanks for reporting!

      3. Yes! I finally won the game! Well… kinda.
        I have captured ancient looking artifact and ascended, but when I try to bring it to enchantress, I get crash. I tried drop everything except artifact before ascending, tried rest, tried move other path… nothing helped. So after 3 recoverings I can’t restore this save anymore. (Sorry about language, it is the standard XP program crash message).
        So shall I send this save file to you, or you know what the problem is?
        P.S. Levitation is OP. Deeper levels are much easier without traps πŸ™‚

        1. Congratulations!! Really cool to hear! πŸ™‚ Just sorry that your winning experience ended in a crash. So the crash occurs just from walking (it looks like that on the screenshots)? You’re not missing anything though… that enchantress shouldn’t be there! I have no idea how she got there, so that’s another bug.

          I will see if I can reproduce the bug just by testing, but if you want you can send me the savefile so I can remove the block from reloading if you want to keep it for review.

          Well, I wouldn’t say levitation is OP… it’s certainly useful but I think the final levels are quite challenging even without traps…

          1. Hi, man. Thanks for fixing that savefile. But I didn’t really need it, because I’ve won the game again πŸ™‚
            Just look at this ninja-like character – I felt invisible and invincible with all those immunities and noise=0. And game crashed outside again. You say it is normal, but I find that ending kinda unsatisfactory. When I first saw that enchantress outside, I thought she/he is a kind of great wizard that will offer me to exchange artifact for eternal life, piles of gold or other goodies, and will fight me if I refuse. Since I didn’t find the Final Boss at the lowest level, I thought he waited me outside πŸ™‚

            1. Wow, you’re good! That is easily the best character I’ve seen. Noise 0 alone is extremely powerful, but that plus those immunities. Wow. Congratulations again man! (I see that you encountered the rare dragon of FBT also… but even that is no problem with your stats).

              Well, I didn’t mean that it’s “normal”, I just meant that this is a bug in this release and I will fix it for the next one… of course its unsatisfactory.

              Thank you for sharing what you thought though, those are some really good ideas actually (final boss on the outside, powerful wizard for ultra powerful stuff). I might very well implement something like that!

  3. Yeeessss!!!Thanks for this update ,and for the improvements and features you have add! πŸ™‚

    Now, it’s time to seek for secrets πŸ˜‰
    And use rods *pew pew pew*

  4. Nice release that makes a great game better. Been playing a bit each day and my latest character is on level 10 and doing fine for now (melee 5, block 10, plus a bow and large supply of arrows), though elementals really scare me because they are so deadly…

    Some notes I’ve taken over the past few days:

    “Rod of Sleeping” description “Sleeps all monsters that cannot hear you.” should be something like “Puts to sleep all monsters that cannot hear you.” (Sleep is not a transitive verb.)

    Straight running via spacebar is causing strange behavior when in a tunnel. Such as when I want to use it just to get to the end of a long straight tunnel, but it decides to go beyond the end into the next room (until the next interesting feature), when my intention was to turn left/right at the corridor exit.

    Another spacebar wait-vs-run conflict was when I closed a door then moved one space to the side to wait for a monster, but because there was already no monster in view it thought I wanted to run instead of wait, so I ended up running away from the door and losing my chance to close it behind him after he entered. I like the premise of sticking to the “spacebar does nearly everything” input scheme, but I may have to turn it off and use shift-running instead since it causes problems through unpredictable behavior.

    I’ve left it on for the past few days though and it is pretty smart about finding features and even pathing through areas for the most parts–I’m just afraid it’ll make that one wrong move and kill me somehow :/

    I really like the rod of teleport–finally a teleport option that has hope of getting far enough away from danger.

    Haven’t yet seen a cave, but I’ve found plenty of different rods, new and interesting items, and useful enchanted gear.

    1. Hey! Nice to hear from you!

      Yes, elementals are the most threatening things at lower levels, I actually nerfed them several times before the first release. Fire elementals and water elementals are the most dangerous and it’s important to save any sea pearls you might have for these levels.

      Yes… I am pretty satisfied with the space autorun overall, but it is still somewhat experimental which is why I left that option to turn it off there. There’s always a risk of use conflict when trying to minimize the number of keys to use. Thanks for reporting your experience!

      Thank you very much for your feedback! πŸ™‚

      1. Hm, I didn’t yet think to use sea pearls when fighting elementals, thanks for the tip πŸ˜‰ I do happen to have one in my inventory, just in case. If you nerfed them already, they must have been really scary before the first release!

        Thanks for making a cool game!

  5. I have encountered quite a few “dead end” scenarios I wish I hadn’t.
    1. Entire room full of water/lava. Exit is on the other side.
    2. Exit blocked by pit trap. Pit trap leads to a room with single up stairs that only connects to where I was originally.
    3. Exit blocked by spinning trap. Spinning trap knocks back in the same direction every time (not towards the exit).

    Some other minor things I was thinking about.
    1. Wish there were a way to close a door I am standing directly in front of (and no adjacent walls).
    2. Should entry into gold vaults be strictly voluntary? If so, may need to eliminate possibility of accidentally entering via pit trap / teleportation / mining adjacent mysterious vein, etc.
    3. Seed. How do I plant it?
    4. If I have 100% rFire, wish I could cook my food over lava.
    5. Way to coat ammunition?
    6. Maybe more animals should drop pieces of meat (e.g. wolves, dogs)?
    7. Maybe ammo shouldn’t mulch every time? Ammo upgrades from Fletcher are pretty much never worth it.
    8. Stepped on a summoning trap, trap summons a death fungus, death fungus instant-kills me due to 10 Dmg Always Hits attack. Just thought I’d share.

    The game is incredibly fun and I’m amazed some people are able to beat it. It feels impossible after a point even with good stats/equipment.

    1. Regarding the dead end situations, I am aware of them (even though I didn’t think of the possibility of the spinning trap blocking your passage) but it is quite rare that they completely block your progress and given the short game time I don’t consider them that severe. That said, I will probably attempt to reduce the number of such situations in future versions.

      For your other points:
      1. This would introduce a new key which I am very hesitant to do. Doors without adjacent walls are quite rare.
      2. Not really. Mining into one is actually a new feature (as of release #3). But you can no longer enter them via pit traps (I hope).
      3. You have to find the appropriate terrain to plant them. Once you do, you can experiment (it’s quite straight forward).
      4. Good point. I’ll see how to solve it.
      5. Not currently. It has been requested before so we’ll see.
      6. Yeah, I will see. Wolves currently drop something else and dogs are too common for dropping meat.
      7. I think ammo mulching will stay as it is, but I will consider making upgrades cheaper.
      8. hehe… extremely unlucky. Insta-kills that deep are not nice, I might have to do something about that too.

      Well, I am aware of only 4 or 5 wins so far, so it is not that common to win… Even with good equipment you have to change your playstyle quite a lot when you reach around level 8-11. In the late/middle game you should rely a lot on temporary boosts and consumables and not rest that much. For the last 3-5 levels your goal should be to explore as little as possible and finding stairs as fast as possible.

      1. Thanks for the reply! Regarding #1 I think I meant no walls adjacent to the player so basically this:


        Currently I have to move one space and bump the wall. Wish I could just close it where I am standing before that dire wolf on the other side eats me.

        1. This is pretty much by design, opening a door is a risk; if there is a monster right behind it you shouldn’t have time to close it in one turn. You might be lucky to have walls adjacent though, but not always. This really makes a difference for golden doors for example.

          1. Ok, it just made sense to me since you can close a door immediately in a hallway which is quite common:


            So why not able to close it in open ground?



            It is strange that the players ability to close a door in front of him is dependent on there being a wall next to him.

            1. Yes, I agree it’s not completely logical. I think it works well from a gameplay point of view though, it makes the position of the door matter more and it becomes more of a tactical choice whether to open. But the main reason to have it like this is to keep the interface as clean as possible.

  6. I WIN!

    Having okay melee as well as ranged and magic backup options helped, but it was mostly the super high block that kept most enemies from even touching me.

    My character record shortly before leaving the dungeon is here.

    Having a higher than average speed meant I could outrun most threats or circle around them in rooms to escape as long as they didn’t have a ranged attack.

    Surprisingly I didn’t find any body armor at all.

    Also surprising I never ran into a situation where those Firestorm rods would really help. Kept saving them up for a group of weaker enemies.

    In other news, it was pretty cool to make it outside the dungeon after the conclusion (certainly didn’t expect that), but… I walked about two-thirds to the right edge of the screen to look around and the game crashed πŸ™

    Another thing I noticed was in the Octopus description: “Hides and the water and spits water at you!” (I think you can see the typo.)

    1. Oh, and by the way thanks again for making such an awesome game. Can’t wait to see more content; it has so much already, and yet there’s always room for more variety in terms of environments!

      1. Thank you! Yes, there will definitely be more content and variety in future releases. I’m really happy you enjoy it!

    2. Awesome! Congratulations!! πŸ˜€

      Yes, very good character indeed. But blocking is usually not so useful against the most dangerous enemies (such as elementals). But in combination with excellent ranged combat it seemed to have been enough.

      I have seen a few player wins now, and I am really happy to see that all characters have been very different from each other. That’s exactly how I wanted it to be!

      I am really sorry for the crash on the outside, it is a bit of an anti-climax to winning the game. I will have it fixed in the next release!

      I also realise that I must include a way of making text dumps from characters for easier YAVP/YASD comments πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah, definitely need a text dump to make records easier. As is we can have to upload screenshots πŸ™‚

        Block is certainly not as good as other means in the late game, but I ran from everything I could, made easier with extra speed from the boots. At least any enemies relying on physical attacks usually had less than 10% chance to scratch me. Elementals are scary, but the ice elemental I met died pretty quick when I took off my gear and blasted it with that wand of fire πŸ™‚ Also met a water elemental and used the sea pearl trick which I hadn’t known before.

        I even took down a rock-throwing giant (forgot the name), the one that can do 5 damage at 5 range and says clearly in the description that you should run πŸ˜‰ That thing had 35 HP or something like that?! (I lost count.) The thing about the AI is it will always try to back up to its optimal range, and only has one possible attack, so I just charged it from around a corner and cut him to pieces as he kept trying to back away.

        I was also surprised to find the artifact only guarded by *one* armored guard (before taking it, of course),
        since last time I was there it was a huge room with a vampire, dragon, guards, and more.

        1. Yeah, rock giants have 35 HP, good estimation! I think they have the highest HP of all monsters in the game. Taking advantage of the AI might be the only way to defeat it, so that was good.

  7. Finally beat the game! Two things really helped I think. One was the wand of striking which provided a reliable way to handle those dangerous elementals. Another was an item that granted scare undead. Can confirm the game crashes while I was exploring the surface. Great adventure! Thanks for making it.

    1. Congratulations, that’s very good! πŸ˜€

      Such a basic thing as a wand of striking can be great, it’s cheap to use and the knockback effect can be used quite creatively.

      Yes, I am sorry for the bug. I have fixed it now (for the next release that is), it was surprisingly difficult to find.

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