Grain to Gain: An ASCII Game

Howllo and welcome!

[Link to Google Drive for download] (You do NOT need a Google account to access or download)

Also, this is only known to run on Windows, I have not tested if Unix or Mac can run the program. Does NOT run on Linux atm (Thank you Discord::Asimov).


I’ve been developing this game for the past couple weeks and wanted to hear some feedback. It’s a weight gain sim where you start underweight and try to increase your weight by cooking and eating food. You can use supplements if your having trouble putting on the pounds. You’ll need to also attend to your basic needs such as hygiene, hunger, and energy.

You can choose from a variety of species to play as, with them currently, being: Bovine, Cat, Mouse, Owl, Pig, and Rabbit. You can also choose the color of your character from 15 choices. (Technically more if you want to break the parameters or never see yourself).

:information_source:Source Code:
I’ve also provided the source code so anyone can read it and play around with it if you’d like. This will be one of the few projects I’ll be having its source code open. It is written in C++, but on high request I can rewrite the code into another language. I may port the code to Javascript when it is later developed and expanded on.

To view the code, you can use Notepad, but I recommend Notepad++ since you can see the formatting of the code better.

:bug:Bug Report:
If you’d like to report some bugs you find in the game, please use this link to report a bug! (You do NOT need a google account to leave a report.

:checkered_flag:Goal for next Update:
For the next update, I want to fix those bugs and add a little more flare with adding furniture to the surroundings. I’d also like to include saving and loading so y’all can play it longer. I’d also like to add more mechanics such as timed sleep and skills that you can practice to improve the effects of things such as cooking. Better cooking equals better food which also equals more weight! I’ll dub the next update…The Visual Update!

:spiral_notepad:Helpful Notes:
If anyone wants to help me add stuff like more species, provide some ASCII art of what they’d look like. I’ll try to figure out Unicode support later (or if one of you know how to implement it you could help wink wink nudge nudge). I’ll be providing credits in the next version and will credit you if you help me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Thank you for your time and have a nice day!


I’m getting these two errors when I try to open it, is there something I’m missing?

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I think this is relevant. Probably the executable needs to be recompiled with that library linked so it’ll run on most machines.

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No, this was on my end. I forgot to set a couple flags in the compiler so it can run on other machines. It should be working fine now, thank you :3

Your right! I was missing a few of those, I didn’t know it because my computer was already set up with those paths. Also what’s funny was that I was looking at that post before you posted it XP Thanks for the help!

First stackoverflow result whens searching for the error message lol. I’m not surprised!


I’m running into an issue with gaining weight at any appreciable speed. Frankly, I seem to have plateaued barely after game start. I suspect I need to use the weight gain supplements, but when I buy them, they don’t seem to do anything.

If they have a time requirement, which I suspect, a wage increase might be needed. As it stands, I generally have to pick between food and supplements; I can’t afford both.


I’ve noticed as well that money seems to be a bit tight, and there’s a kind of trap in the game. If you go to work hungry, you barely get paid at all… in fact, not enough to buy food, so it can trap you in a pretty pointless cycle.

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Since you’re planning on adding more visual flare, then may I suggest that you make the basic stats always visible next to the character we’re playing? It’s kinda tedious to always have to check every few minutes if I’m lacking this or that stat. Plus, you can then replace (S)tats with (S)kills and I think that would fit in quite nicely, along with no need to constantly check on them.


[Insert cheat options here because game difficulty is too hard]

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This is failure on my end to explain some of the mechanics. This version has it so you increase weight when your stomach is over limit (past 100) or when eating, the supplements increase the rate that the weight is gained during this state. I’ll try making Version 2 state clearer on what stats are being effected.

Supplements are triggered immediately, but can stack on one another. Super Supplements are best deal since they extend the effects by 4 hours AND doubles the effect of weight gain (This is also stackable). Thank you for telling me what I should tweak for later versions. I’ll try to make it easier to gain weight more effectively.

Duly noted, it was more of a last minute addition to try and give penalty to the player for neglecting hunger. I’ll be changing how work performs most likely, but if I don’t fully attend to changing the income mechanic I’ll at least try fixing it so its not crippling. Thank you for the feedback!

I’ll make it more clear on what stats are getting effected. One of the largest issues right now is my game communicating to the player effectively. Originally Stamina was going to be displayed and time would be needed to be checked, but I found it tedious on checking the time. I guess since I know what does what, I forgot it be tedious to check the fluctuating stats every minute.

It may get changed to (S)kills at one point, but for now stats and skills will be clumped together and called (S)tats. Thank you for noticing what I failed to notice ^w^

[I’m going to tone down the difficulty, but I’ll add a form of debug menu at some point. Thank you for the suggestion]


I hope the update goes quickly. There is still potential in this game.

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Will you add a skunk species soon?

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Now it’s time for what you all have been waiting for
:drum: Drumroll

The Visual Update!

:new:What's New?

  • The “Untitled Text-Sim” aka “TextAdv” has been renamed to “Grain to Gain”!
  • Bugs have been squashed
  • Title screen has been added
  • Saving and Loading have been implemented
  • Extended ASCII library has been accessed
  • New Fighters to select: Bat, Elephant, Fox, Human, Goat, and Skunk
  • You are no longer penalized heavily for going to work hungry
  • You can now have a name on your stat page so everyone knows it’s YOUR stats, not theirs
  • Dirt takes longer to accumulate on you
  • Realphabetize some of the rooms
  • You can take initiative by performing more actions
  • [Key] + [Enter] is less relevant with new real-time input
  • Time to level up with Skills: Capacity, Cooking, Profession, and Speed
  • Now you can take a cat nap if you’d like, instead of hibernating most of the day
  • Tore down the local store to make way for a mall
  • Inventory implemented, now your house can tell you what it’s carrying

:checkered_flag: Goal for next Update:
I did a lot of things, in this Visual update to make the GUI look better and playing it feel a bit smoother instead of hit key, hit enter, repeat. One plan I failed short on was adding more “aesthetics” to the room your in. I do plan to rectify this in the next update, which may include more visual flare. But, the next goal will be to improve the job system such as having a choice of job, getting raises, and maybe buying some new furniture. A few more options for the game like maybe increasing font size? Perhaps an actual working ingame debug menu. Maybe encrypting the save file? I’ll dub thy quest… The Working Update!

Now what are you waiting for? Hit this link to go back to the top and go to the download page!


This game is really cute so far! The little ascii sprite of your character adds a ton of charm. A few criticisms -

Right now the only way to gain weight at a reasonable pace is by overdosing on supplements and then stuffing yourself with a stockpile of rations. Which means you spend most of the game not actually gaining weight. The stacking nature of supplements makes progression really lopsided. You might want to remove the stacking and rebalance weight gain around that.

Sometimes moving to different rooms causes hunger to snap to 100. I noticed it when moving to work and to the living room.

After the first level or two of capacity, you’ll never be too full to eat again. Which is hot, but I dunno if it’s intended to be that easy to achieve.

If you’re not going to fetishize hygiene, it seems kinda pointless as is. Regular weight gain supplements also seem pointless when super supplements are the same thing but better.

An option to bulk cook food would be nice.

Otherwise I’d just like to see more content. Looking forward to seeing this expanded!

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Thank you for letting me know, movement was not suppose to do that, and Capacity was suppose to stuff you. So…

Patch 2.1

  • Movement no longer changes hunger to 100
    -This was a bug that needed to be squashed
  • You can now cook in bulk
    -I didn’t think much on this but repeating the same action for even ~10 food can be repetitive (You’ll have to unlock this btw)
  • Capacity now functions more appropriately
    -Your suppose to stop eating when you hit capacity, since that is the main function of the skill
  • Supplements have been rebalanced
    -Naturally, players would avoid the least favorable option. I think I have that balanced a bit more, and the super supplements only stack twice.
  • Grocery store items are now unlockable, and higher bulk purchases available
    -Tax is now justified a bit more since you’ll need it to unlock higher bulks of ration
  • Version number is now on Title Screen
    -So you know what version your playing :3

So, now jump back to the top and play the new patch!


When I saved and reloaded, my skunk character turned black and the GUI also turned black. My maximum stamina was reduced to 99 and my current stamina was reduced to 1. Then when I set the GUI to a blue background and a different color foreground it turned red. As well, my maximum Stamina was reduced from 100 to just 1, and my maximum hunger decreased from 150 to 137. Then, I could try to restore stamina by sleeping, which increased stamina past the maximum of one, so I can save again. When I reloaded that save, my maximum hunger was at zero, and my profession was at level 15. When I tried to sleep, the game crashed. Can you fix this?

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@Kanto_Ruki I think I know why this happens:

I was playing around with the save file and it looks like you are not saving and loading the stamina information from the same location.

opening the save file in notepad++, the current stamina saves to line 17 and the total or max stamina saves to line 18.

when you load the game it gets the current stamina from line 16 and the total for 17.

I hope that’s helpful and I’m not butting my head in where it doesn’t belong.

I really enjoy the game so far and wish you the best of luck on it;s continued development.

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I just patched the patch, hopefully it will now work without breaking like that again in the future (Until I fiddle with the save/load mechanic again probably)

This dawned on me while at work earlier, but your right, it was saving correctly (designed it to be dynamic with variable array loops) however it wasn’t loading correctly (designed with part static with individual assignments)

Now I hope everyone can enjoy the game until V3 hopefully! (Btw, I just replaced V2.1 with an appropriate file rather than adding new nonsensical number gibberish since it was a game breaking bug)

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Thanks. I’ll restart the game from scratch, since my character is still black, which I suggest you do as well.

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: /

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