How RPG master Obsidian created the backyard survival game Grounded with the help of his community

Grounded was always meant to be shaped by its community: Director Adam Brennecke told me nearly three years ago when the game was first announced.. But the size of that community and the suggestions they would bring to the (picnic) table exceeded Obsidian’s expectations. In the two years it’s been in Early Access, the small team at Obsidian that’s been working on it has learned a lot. Most of those learnings come from a dedicated player base that has been shaping Grounded since July 2020, offering suggestions on everything from gameplay additions, quality of life updates, and UI tweaks.

Now, with Grounded 1.0 scheduled to release on September 27, Obsidian is finally ready to deliver to those players, and a host of new ones, a mainly ultimate version of your survival game.

We’re going to need a bigger yard

Grounded

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

In February, Obsidian announced that more than 10 million players had jumped to Grounded since its launch in July 2019. (opens in a new tab). The Grounded Discord has nearly 40,000 members; his subreddit has 52,000 members. “It was definitely a big surprise. Most of us are people who really like survival games, most of the people on the team have played Forest, Subnautica and a bunch of other survival games and really enjoy the genre. So it was kind of like just a group of people on the team really liked this genre and wanted to make a game within it.” explains Adam Taylor, principal QA analyst. “But I don’t think any of us expected it to be as big as it is. And it’s been two years now, which is crazy.”

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I hope that the community feels that this game is as much theirs as it is ours.

Aarik Dorobiala, Obsidian

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