Gridmonger Manual

Getting started

Like most worthwhile things in life, Gridmonger is not instant gratification. To paraphrase the famous quote about Linux:

Gridmonger is definitely user-friendly, but it’s perhaps a tad more selective about its friends than your average desktop application.

But, alas, worry not — if you are a fan of old-school computer role-playing games, and you are able to set them up in emulators, you will get along with Gridmonger just fine!

The user interface is optimised for power users, and therefore is operable by keyboard shortcuts almost exclusively. While you could get quite far going by the list of Keyboard shortcuts alone, the more complex features — and especially the reason behind them — would be not so trivial to figure out on your own. I very much recommend reading through this manual at least once to familiarise yourself with the full list of program features. And don’t just read — create a test map, or load one of the included Example maps, and try the features for yourself as you’re progressing through the chapters!

Having said all that, some people are just impatient, or want to get a taste of the thing before committing to learning it. For them, I have included a few quick tips in the Quickstart section below.


Gridmonger requires very little hard drive space, only around 6-8 megabytes. Windows 7 & 10 and macOS Mojave or later (10.14+) are supported, although in all likelihood it will work just fine on Windows XP and much earlier macOS versions.

The program uses OpenGL for all its rendering; it works very similarly to a game engine. You’ll need a graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.2 core profile or later. In practice, this means that any graphics card released in the last 10 years or so will do (including integrated ones).



To install Gridmonger on Windows, download either the Windows installer (for standard installations) or the ZIP file (for portable installations) from the Downloads page. Then run the installer, or simply unpack the contents of the ZIP file somewhere. First-time users are encouraged to use the installer and accept the default install options.

The 64-bit version is strongly recommended as it’s more performant and more thoroughly tested; only use the 32-bit version if you’re still running a legacy 32-bit version of Windows.


If you choose the portable ZIP version, make sure to unpack it into a folder that is writable by normal (non-administrator) users. So don’t put it into Program Files or similar system folders, as that will most likely not work.


Just grab the program from the Downloads page and move it into your Applications folder. This is an unsigned application, so the usual advice for running such apps applies (you’ll need to grant the necessary permissions, etc.)


No Linux builds are provided yet, but you can build it yourself by following the build instructions. There are some graphical glitches when resizing and moving the application window, but otherwise the program works perfectly.


For the impatient among you, here’s a few notes to get you started.


Always have an eye on the status bar messages at the bottom of the window, as they contain important context-dependent information about the tools you’re trying to use.

Maps & levels

  • Ctrl+O opens a map, Ctrl+S saves the current map

  • Ctrl+Alt+N creates a new map; Ctrl+Alt+P opens the map properties

  • Ctrl+N creates a new level; Ctrl+P opens the level properties

  • Ctrl+D deletes the current level

  • Cycle through levels with Ctrl+-/Ctrl+= or PgUp/PgDn


  • Use Ctrl+PgUp/Ctrl+PgDn to cycle through the themes


  • Use the arrow keys or the HJKL for movement

  • Set the zoom level with -/=

  • Undo with U or Ctrl+Z; redo with Ctrl+R or Ctrl+Y

  • Hold D and use the movement keys to draw (excavate) tunnels

  • Hold E and use the movement keys to erase cells

  • Hold W and use the movement keys to draw/clear walls in the current cell

  • Hold R and use the movement keys to draw/clear special walls; change the current special wall with [/]

  • Use 1-7 to place various floor types; press a number key repeatedly to cycle through all floor types assigned to that key (hold Shift to cycle backwards)

  • Press N to create or edit notes


  • Press Shift+/ to display the quick keyboard reference

  • Press F1 to open the manual in your default browser