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Dig or Die

Explore, fight, craft and build your defenses!

About the project

Update : you can now try a small web game, spin-off of Dig or Die. Get as many crystals as possible before the time is up... and without drowning!

Dig or Die is a sandbox action/strategy game. Explore, fight, craft, and build your defenses!

Enjoy a unique and innovative game:

  • Strategy: survive massive attacks each night by building strong walls and placing turrets wisely.
  • Water cycle: rain, infiltration, underground rivers and lakes... be careful during the heavy rains, or you could be surprised by a sudden water level rise!
  • Physics: build wisely or your structures will collapse! And you will need them to defend your base, or build bridges and high towers to access remote locations

You are a representative of the CRAFT & Co company. You are selling automated fabrication tools across the galaxy when your spacecraft crashes into a hostile planet. Use the tools you sell and the local resources to build up all of what you'll need to survive and eventually be able to escape the planet.

And among other features:

  • Fun from the start: no awfully slow digging, so you can concentrate on the exploration, fight and strategy.
  • Multiplayer: team up with your friends to survive against legions of monsters, assault another team's fortress or try some other fun multiplayer modes.
  • Huge world with global real-time simulation of the environment, physics and water cycle.
  • Plenty of minerals to dig, plants to harvest, items, weapons and turrets to craft, and monsters to fight!
  • No swords or magic here! It's a real science-fiction game, with fast and fun laser guns fights!
  • Intelligent monsters: they will find the best path to attack your defenses. And be careful: even if they can't move through walls, they can still destroy them!

  Dig or Die got 4800 votes after 3 days on Steam Greenlight and reached the #4 position after 15 days. Check the Greenlight Dig or Die page top know more about the game!

Main current features

Game objective. You final objective is to build a rocket ship to escape the planet. In order to do that you have to retrieve some very rare ores and local resources, which can only be found in the most dangerous places, very deep underground or very high in the sky.

Defense. The game is a survival game in a strategic meaning. No hunger needs, the whole point of the game is to survive to the massive attacks each night. To do that, you have to explore the world to gather resources and craft your defenses.

Difficulty progression. During the day, you explore the world and encounter local monsters, so the difficulty depends of the areas explored. During the night, only the species of monsters that you have already killed before attack (they have been upset for sure!). The difficulty is not auto-adaptive, but you can choose when you are ready to move forward and fight highest-level monsters.

Game modes. There will be a peaceful mode where all monsters are nice puppets, a normal mode, a brutal mode really hard, and a permadeath mode only for completely crazy players. In multiplayer modes the difficulty will be much more customizable, without limit (2000% difficulty if you wish).

Base construction. You build a fortress, not a holiday house. So you won't find hundreds of flowerpots or tapestries, but rather turrets, strong walls, utility buildings and deadly traps. The idea is to get the feeling of a Starship Troopers or Aliens movie...

Digging & crafting. The digging and crafting system is classic: you dig some ores, get plants and retrieve some killed monsters body parts. But the digging is much faster that in other games of the genre, so you don't spend all your time on it. With your auto-builder machines, you craft items, machines and higher tier auto-builder machines. So you can improve your defenses, be strong enough to explore new parts of the world until you can finally craft a rocket ship and escape the planet.

Sci-Fi: it's a coherent world of science fiction, so you won't find any medieval swords, flying clown monsters or Santa Claus walking around. Nor chest full on money or monsters looting some laser-guns or gold coins. Monsters drop some organs or body parts very useful for crafting.

World exploration. The world's total size is 2km² / 6500 sq. ft. (~ 1000*1000 blocks). You will explore various environments like underground ocean, mountains, floating islands and mountains, and many more places to discover.

Physics for buildings: all blocks built above ground or in underground large caverns (where there is no background to be attached to) break if they support too much weight. So you'll have to add more support or use more resistant materials to build high structures, like in a "bridge construction" games. The monsters are also able to attack and break the structure if it can open a shorter path to attack you. So you'll have to manage that risk when you build your base, or when you build high towers to access some floating island or a bridge to pass some large ravine.

Water: the complete water cycle simulation (rain, runoff, infiltration, trickle, underground rivers and oceans) give the world more life and fun, but it can also be really useful. Dig some moat or rivers around your base to slow down enemies, and create irrigations for some plants you would like to cultivate.

AI. companion. Your crashed ship contains an AI that survived and will give you useful advices (or not!). In time you will be able to craft a little flying robot body so it can follow you, and upgrade it so it can better help you - or run away even faster.

Planned content. 10 world environments (surface, underground ocean, floating islands, etc.), 15 minerals and ores, 10 plants, 8 monster types (with several variations each) and 4 boss, 10 dropped materials, 15 turrets/walls/machines, 30 weapons and active or passive items. Note that the final count could be much higher - adding more is not difficult. Those numbers are the minimum planned to get a coherent world and an interesting progression of the player.

What are the funds for?

The money raised will be used to pay certain costs (sofware licenses, music and sound effects) and to allow me to work fulltime on the game until its release (Q3 2014).

Current development progress - last updated at march 28th

• general game engine..................... 65%
• player control & camera................. 80%
• water, physic and light simulation... 80%
• world and environments................. 35%
• minerals, ores and plants............... 30%
• monsters, boss............................... 25%
• items, weapons and machines....... 25%
• menus and UI................................. 20%
• multiplayer......................................   0%

About some of the rewards:

  • Alpha version and forum early access: you'll have access to the current alpha version of the game (see above for the development progress status) from day after the end of the crowdfunding, May 1st. Then you'll have access to all the following updates, about 1/week. The development forum will be private to the alpha version owners, so we can discuss the development and you can give me advices on what to do or change. This way I'll be more available to discuss with a small community rather than in public forums.
  • The super-hero outfit will be exclusive to the backers. And as the sci-fi background is strict in the game (no strange monsters and bizarre costumes everywhere), this one will be will be really remarkable. But it's only cosmetic, for multiplayer fairness,
  • The two last rewards are a sort of sponsorship. You can get your logo on the loading screens (world creation, game loading) or the main screen, with a clickable link to your website. This is a way to show the players who made the game possible, and give a really useful reward to those huge backup - and finally quite cheap compared to usual sponsorship agreements.


If I reach this main goal, I will be able to finish the game in solo mode. That means:

  • More locations in a huge world. In the trailer, from the surface to the underground ocean you can see about 30% of the total world’s height. You’ll discover many new places below, and above, with specific ores, minerals and plants!
  • More monsters to populate all those places, some with special behavior like wall-climbing spiders. And some giant bosses to defend the most dangerous places.
  • Many new items, weapons and buildings, like a storm-generator weapon, physic-based gun, auto-repair turret, etc.
  • A world’s global real-time simulation of water, light and physics.
  • A plant and crops system that requires some irrigation and light to grow.
  • Several game modes: peaceful, normal, brutal and permadeath


With this help, i'll develop the multiplayer part of the game with several modes:

  • co-op: team up with your friends against swarms of monsters (you can set the difficulty as high as you wish).
  • team vs team: assault your enemy's base!
  • and some other fun modes, like "Titanic": in a constant flood, you must reach the surface and build the highest tower, or prevent the others from doing so: the last player to drown wins...

If this goal is not achieved, that does not mean that there won't be a multiplayer mode in the game. I'll do my best to do it, but I cannot be sure I will be able to.


At this level, I'll be able to pay for a professional artist to make the game's menus and a better-looking user interface.


With this much funding, an artist will remake all the game's sprites and backgrounds, so the game will have a higher-quality look and original style.

Illustrations by Julien Fort

About the project owner

My name is Nicolas Gadenne. I worked for a time as a financial software developer, then moved to the much more exciting job of video game developer. I have previously been employed at Eugen Systems, Punchers Impact and MKO Games game studios. Two years ago, I became a freelance developer and since then, I have made a few small Flash and mobile games, and some advergames.

Visit my website www.gaddygames.com to learn more about those games and play them. I suggest you to try the Gaia Defense flash game, you will recognize some of the gameplay ideas that I developed in Dig or Die.