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Cart #digdig-4 | 2022-02-20 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Currently working on this mining game - happy to hear some feedback if you play :) Still a lot of work to be done and a lot of ideas in the pipeline.

Just gotta dig out some gems and sell them at the shop / upgrade screen to purchase consumable items and permanent upgrades. Your battery will recharge automatically and you will sell your gems automatically when you surface.

LADDERS and TORCHES are VERY IMPORTANT! Without ladders, you will get stuck. Without torches, you can not see where the gems are.

IF YOU GET STUCK, PRESS ENTER THEN "RESCUE" - this will reset your inventory and bring you to the surface

Currently you can dig down 200 meters. The rocks get harder to drill at 100m and below. More valuable gems are deeper in the mine.

You have 3 hearts currently. You lose a heart when you take fall damage. In order to take fall damage, you need to fall ~9 blocks (about the distance from your player to the bottom of the screen - so if a pit extends beyond the bottom of the screen, be careful!). If you lose all 3 hearts, you will be automatically rescued (lose inventory and placed on surface).


  • Arrow keys move
  • Z to select inventory item
  • X to use item (hold to drill!)
  • UP to interact w/ shops and teleporter
  • ENTER>"RESCUE" if you get stuck


Visit the Upgrade Duck to get permanent buffs:

  • Inventory Size: can hold more consumable items from the shop or gems you find in the world
  • Battery Size: capacity of your battery. A larger batter allows you to dig longer without having to surface
  • Walking Speed: how fast your character can move
  • Drill Power: how quickly your drill can destroy blocks of dirt and free gems

Consumable Items Shop

Visit the Shop Cloud to get helpful consumables:

  • Ladders: gives you 9 ladders to place in the mine. Very important for getting out!
  • Torch: lights up a medium-sized area and exposes buried gems
  • Light Bulb: lights up a very large area and exposes buried gems
  • Power Pack: recharges 50% battery - can be found buried in the dirt sometimes as well
  • Power Station: permanent building placed in the mine - will recharge your battery. Can place more than one
  • Teleporter: permanent building placed in the mine - will teleport you to and from the surface. Can place more than one

Thanks for checking it out. Lots of changes still to come.


2-20-22 v0.4.1:

  • Bugfix shop layout
  • Bugfix pressing Z while X is held down
  • Allow player to force down-drill while holding the down arrow. Safe down drill by holding Z but not Down Arrow

2-20-22 v0.4:

  • Removed personal illumination. Must rely on torches now
  • Added RESCUE menu item. This will reset your inventory and place you on the surface
  • Added player hearts. Lose 3 and you are automatically rescued
  • Added gravity and fall damage
  • Added ladders to the shop and given to player at beginning of game
  • Default to 4 inventory slots now
  • First layer of mine is now undrillable grass blocks

2-20-22 v0.3:

  • Layered gem spawns & sale price changes
  • Economy and upgrade scale rebalance

2-19-22 v0.2:

  • Added light & shadow system
  • Torches and light bulb consumables added to the shop
  • Player receives one free torch at the start of every game
  • The price of upgrades now scale with your level. More balance changes still to come
  • Gems are automatically sold upon surfacing. No need to enter a shop to sell
  • Unburied items are now permanently visible in the mines
  • Renamed certain upgrades
  • Updated graphics + shop graphics - items you can afford are not shown in green
  • Depth display

2-18-22 v0.1:

  • First release. Dig to get gems and sell for upgrades and items.
P#107209 2022-02-19 00:11 ( Edited 2022-02-20 23:33)

Movement through open tunnel is a little slow, @professir. I would give option for item to purchase and double it.
New items to purchase could be:

  • Bigger storage, hold 3-items, 4-items, etc. can be upgraded.
  • Drill engine, drills 2x as fast through normal rock, 3x, etc. can be upgraded.
  • Wheels, faster movement through open tunnel, can be upgraded.
  • Drill tip, drills 2x as fast through treasure tile, can be upgraded.
  • Scanner to search for treasures, can be upgraded.
  • Stunner, stun nearby enemies a short time, can be upgraded.
  • Warp to surface
  • Dynamite, destroys 5x5 area around drill.

Enemies could damage drill, fill in holes, steal treasure.
Cave-ins could be possible for certain kinds of soil. Player would not just drill down to search for treasure but have to drill back up if they witness a cave-in.

P#107215 2022-02-19 01:25

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions @dw817

FYI You can upgrade your speed and inventory size in the game currently. Head to the upgrade shop. You can also upgrade your drill power and sight range. There is even a teleporter item in the shop that you can use to teleport to and from the surface. Take a look at the description under the game for more information. Getting into the 2 shops is a little confusing right now but you'll figure it out.

Appreciate your other ideas, thanks so much.

P#107217 2022-02-19 02:02 ( Edited 2022-02-19 02:51)

Ah ! I do see the upgrades, @professir. You must float up to access them. I would also increase the price. For instance, let's say your GEM_SIGHT_RANGE upgrade sells for $120.

Instead of maintaining the same price for a further upgrade, take the total price, divide by two, and add that to the total. So you would have these levels.

2. $120 next = (120+(120/2)) = 180
3. $180 next = (180+(180/2)) = 270
4. $270 next = (270+(270/2)) = 405
5. $405

Also add option, either through PAUSE or pressing both 🅾️ and ❎ to show status of player, his drill strength, scan strength, etc.

To compensate for the higher priced upgrades. Either double or triple the number of artifacts to find in the dirt. You can see HERE I'm not finding much.

Also a SAVE GAME option. We have 12288-bytes that can be saved now per cart, so it can be done.

P#107264 2022-02-19 19:44

Just wrote this playing your first release, @professir. I see you've made many suggested changed. These are just some additional ones if you are not already doing them.

If you are using a map say 128x128 in size, this code generates layers of sand and jewels in that area.

Cart #scatter_jewels_in_the_sand-0 | 2022-02-20 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Color #0 is free space to move in.

Colors #1-7 are types of sand with 1 being the easiest to dig through and 7 being the hardest.

Colors #8-14 are types of jewels. As you can see with the first layer there are only 10 jewels type #1, in the next layer there are 10 jewels type #1 plus 10 more of jewels type #2.

The last layer has 10 jewel types for each of the types #1-7 so there are 70 jewels in the 7th layer.

No jewels lay on top of another, all are carefully checked to make sure they are counted correctly and separate in their layer.

As it's more difficult to dig in the deeper layers it is to the player's advantage to mine the heck out of the first layer for jewels and cash as jewels #1 is also in the remaining layers and more difficult to dig for.

Of course any of these numbers can be changed to have less or more jewels in the layers, possibly as a difficulty level setting.

The game is won when ALL jewels have been dug up and any enemies remaining have been defeated. A time could be shown showing how long in hours/ minutes/ seconds it took to win the game. Also save game. Simply save the 8192-byte of the screen array (128x128 pixels) + you have an additional 4096-bytes for player status, items, and upgrades.

P#107305 2022-02-20 06:06 ( Edited 2022-02-23 01:49)

Awesome game so far! One thing I've noticed is that if you buy multiple teleporters they all send you to the same place on the surface. Perhaps you could instead have an expanding row of teleporters on the surface where each one corresponds to a teleporter underground?

P#107339 2022-02-20 15:56

Hi @professir!

I played your game and had a good time. Thanks for sharing! 😊

I gathered some thoughts that popped up while playing. It seems like you recently updated the game though, bear in mind that these note were made playing the first version.

Battery Packs and Energy

The battery packs ended up having little value to me as a player. The reason for this is that there is no significant penalty when I run out of battery.

Consider introducing a risk/reward dynamic. For example, what would happen if moving through open tunnels costs a bit of energy? This would mean that I could run out of energy before I’m able to make it back to the surface. If running out of energy is associated with a tangible penalty (e.g. I get teleported back to the surface and loose all the loot I was carrying), then strategizing around the energy use becomes a lot more interesting: "Do I keep digging, hoping to increase the value of my haul, but risking loosing it all, or do I play it safe and accept a smaller payout?".

In this scenario, the battery pack becomes a much more interesting and desirable item I believe, as it plays into this dynamic, allowing me to make it part of my strategy: "I could spend a bit of my funds on a battery pack, guaranteeing me a bigger payout"


The torches too, did not seem worthwile for me to use when playing. In essence, the effect of the torches is that they reveal all treasure within a certain radius of where the torch was placed. As it is, the return I get from placing a torch feels very small. I'll quickly pick up the treasure it reveals and then it has no use anymore. Also, I can quickly and without much effort cover the same area by just moving through it after just a few upgrades to my personal torch.

The torches might become more useful to the player if they either boost your personal torch for a limited time, or if their radius was made significantly larger.

Value Feedback

Do the treasures have different values depending on type? I'd love to get some feedback showing me how much a treasure is worth when I pick it up. This would help me prioritize what treasure to go for first when digging. It may also generate some excitement if I spot an especially rare and valuable treasure.

It would also be great to get some feedback on the total value you are carrying and/or the total value you get when cashing in as you return to the surface.

Thoughness Ramp-Up

The ramp-up in toughness when going from level 2 to level 3 was way to high for me. A single block in layer 3 took me somewhere between 30 secongs and one minute to break. This halted my flow in an instant and this is where I stopped playing.

I suggest you aim to have any new layer you reach be about as tough as the first layer was at the start of the game, given the expected upgrade level at that point in the game.

P#107362 2022-02-20 23:34

Thanks everyone for the feedback - many things suggested in this thread have been implemented + more. The game has changed considerably since the first version. Ladders and torches are now imperative to the dig. Gems spawn in layers. There is gravity and fall damage. I still haven't reworked teleporters yet, though. Still considering a total rework / rebalancing so I haven't landed on a final design of them yet.

I am nearing the end of getting all of the base systems in place and will begin polishing the experience after that. This final pass will include gem price feedback to the player. In the meantime, though, just know that deeper gems are more valuable.

In terms of the toughness ramp-up issue... I believe you hit the bedrock which is not meant to be drilled through. I will make those blocks unbreakable in the future to avoid this confusion for other players.

There will be a major change to the way upgrades work in the next version (more of a "skill point" system based on finding special gems rather than purchasing upgrades with money) and a rebalancing of the shop economy. Also have some new items in consideration and some light narrative elements with a few surprises in store coming eventually.

Currently have about 2k tokens left and am really pushing RAM/CPU but I'll try to make it all work :) Thanks again for playing and for the feedback - its been helpful!

P#107480 2022-02-22 16:03

I hit a snag where I was not able to find any gems because the first torch I placed happened to not reach any gems with its light. Without any gems in sight, I'm unable to earn any money to buy another torch and essentially get stuck before I'm able to get started.

Are you certain about the removal of the personal torch? If so, perhaps consider ensuring that at least a few gems show up when the first torch is placed. Either by postponing gem placement until the first torch is placed, skewing the result to place gems within the torch's reach. Or by just placing a few additional gems within reach when the torch is placed.

P#107489 2022-02-22 21:27

Hey this is looking right and dandy. I spent a good hour, maybe even two, just digging around seeing how far I could get and during that time I came up with a few ideas you may or may not like.

  1. I had the thought that currently the only threat of fall damage is due to ones own poor planning and the addition of perhaps small caverns to fall into could spice things up a little bit.
  2. It could prove tricky but, generating gems only where the light shines could prove useful not only to ensure no softlocks occur, but also in ensuring that the purchase, and subsequently upgrade of torches/lightbulbs is greatly reinforced
  3. When I first bought a lightbulb and teleporter I figured I would need a powerplant to run them, I then discovered that they did not need a powerplant to run and wondered what electricity they were running on, while it might prove annoying it could be a fun idea to tinker with
    I'd like to finish by saying that I am still very new to pico-8 and am learning its limitations so I really don't know if any of these ideas are feasible, but I figured I'd send them your way if any of them tickled your fancy.
    I cant wait to see what you end up doing with this game.
P#107608 2022-02-24 19:49

Running into a problem, @professir. If you light a torch on your path, you cannot use a ladder to get back out, even if it is just the tile above you.

I am not liking the ladder personally and it was not needed nor required in your first game release. Here is version where you can climb without the ladder - so you don't need to buy any, nor do you get stuck neither do you need to be rescued. You can always climb to the surface or create a new path and dig to the surface.

Cart #digdig_mod-0 | 2022-02-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

With that, I give you the gold star for an interesting game in spelunking and mining.

P#107620 2022-02-25 04:36 ( Edited 2022-02-25 04:45)

Hey I reached the bottom, @professir. Does the game not end ?

May I suggest an appropriate way to close it up ?

A question is asked, do you wish to start the pipe to the surface ? Y/N

If so, you draw pipe behind you with an exception, you cannot draw pipe down. So it is up to the player to create a path to the surface where at no point does the player move DOWN, it would be like this.


This shows the aqua dot as the player and having reached the bottom. The decision is YES to start the pipe.


This shows the player laying down pipe (purple) and tracking back their original dig where the red pixel means you cannot lay the pipe in the downward direction and you are stuck.


This shows the player canceling the current pipe and moving to a point to dig a new path.


This shows the player digging a new corridor that does not force the player to go down.


This shows the player starting the pipe again and this time successfully traveling through the newly dug corridor to work their way back to the surface.

Once the player successfully leads the pipe all the way to the top. A machine scrolls from either the left or right side of the screen to the top pipe. Then animation is shown moving water or white crystals with the camera starting at the top where the player is, then tracking all the way down the pipe to the absolute bottom where a message appears like.

"Congratulations ! You have successfully installed the necessary pipe to the bottom. Your final score is ... and you took ... hours/minutes to do so."

. . .

Additionally you may cap the number of inventory size to 14 as 15 would be off the edge:

P#107701 2022-02-26 20:03 ( Edited 2022-02-26 21:07)

I quite like dw's concept for the ending screen, although I feel that may be a bit of a challenge to implement.

P#107704 2022-02-26 21:03

Glad you like my suggestions, @wallgraffiti. And yes, it should be possible to do this.

A little more than half the total space has been taken to save the compressed cart online. Still 3299 tokens and 29957 chars remaining.

P#107712 2022-02-27 02:22

Alright, I have absolutely dug every single tile - and not sure where to go next.

P#107797 2022-02-28 02:59 ( Edited 2022-02-28 03:01)

Thank you again, everyone for the continued interest.

Incredible work drilling every block @dw817 - that gif is unbelievable! Whats the deal with the invisible block that you jumped on at the end? Very strange! Interesting concept for an ending, as well. Currently, in the next version, there will be an item at the bottom that you need to bring to the surface in order to finish the game.

@siwu in the next version, the personal torch is an item that you can collect about half-way down in your dig. This should provide a bit of gameplay with and without the personal torch and hopefully keep lightbulbs useful since your personal torch will start off rather small.

@PolarisGoat I definitely like the concept of having the Power Station provide power to those other structures... I'll have to play around with that concept a bit. Perhaps it could provide wireless power to you as well when you are within range. In terms of extra risk, I agree. Currently, I'm working to polish the existing experience and hoping I will have tokens left over to add some more risk - like those caverns and potentially some boulders or traps that could hurt the player.

EDIT: also, in regards to @siwu - I have included some starting cash for the player to help ease the case of not finding any gems with your first light placement. That said, it is always okay to dig blindly and stumble upon some gems to get you out of a really tight spot.

P#107873 2022-03-01 16:03 ( Edited 2022-03-01 19:48)

This is great fun, but I also think it needs an ending of sorts. I really hope you continue to develop this game.

P#110183 2022-04-13 09:19

This game has heart! Keep up the good work.

P#138253 2023-12-05 00:11

I actually enjoyed this game's digging mechanic better than Terraria's. I liked the fact that you couldn't move outside of the grid system the game was built upon. This game was relatively inventive for how few game-rules it uses. I think that you could get much, much more mileage out of this central resource-limited, mining mechanic with whatever else you add.

Cheers to a great game!

P#138434 2023-12-08 05:52

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