A downloadable interactive experience for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$1.99 USD or more


CONTENT WARNING Software contains imagery that suggests or references self-harm and death ideation.


The Shape On The Ground is not a game, in the conventional sense. It is a short horror-themed first-person walking simulator experience which can be completed in 20 minutes.

Consider it as a tarot reading : both a divination and self-reflection tool. A moment in time for yourself, a magick circle, to freely explore your inner world. Walk around a desolate town in search of the 12 dioramas where you will be asked a question.

Answer truthfully, with the answer that best corresponds with how you are feeling. There is no right or wrong answer. Then you will be shown an ending and given a personalized reading based on your answers.



  • Five different endings : based on the answers the player has provided
  • Horror-Themed atmosphere : explore a miniature cardboard town inspired by the works of the Brothers Quay
  • Low risk gameplay : no enemies putting the player in danger, just a tense and heavy atmosphere
  • A personal space of introspection : This software is meant to be revisited from time to time, to help identify the changes within the player



"[...]a thoroughly bizarre experience with some very striking imagery and a very unsettling atmosphere throughout. [...] Strap in for this cleverly crafted spooky psychological evaluation." - Free Game Planet

"[...] a very creepy, interesting experience where you wander around a strange, dying town. [...] Shape on the Ground will mean something different to everyone" - Rock Paper Shotgun

"[...] this a well-built adventure set in a place that's quite enjoyable to explore." - PC Gamer

"[...] a very exciting thing to invest in for ten minutes. Not only is it an unusual idea but also [has] a pleasant atmosphere." - plnehry.idnes

"`TSOTG looks quite appealing. The town has some colour and the stages and shadow-play puppets look excellent. [...] (...) anyone curious should give it a go." - Big Boss Battle

"[...] it is ominous and enchanting, with moments of genuine dread. (...) If you’re the right patient, maybe it’ll conjure real ghosts." - Sufficiently Human



W, A, S and D to move around
Mouse to look around
1, 2 or 3 numerical key to answer questions when prompted
ESC to access in-game menu

Programming, additional modeling and music by Somewhat.
For full attribution credits, please read the .txt file bundled with the software.

For press contact, please use :


Builds for MacOS and Linux are offered here, based on manifest interest on past titles. But please note that it is not possible on our end to do even basic testing on those versions, so there is a distinct possibility they might not work properly.

Please contact us if you come across any issues with those versions and we will see what can be done (if anything) to help create stable builds for those systems.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars
(55 total ratings)
Made withUnity
TagsAltgame, artgame, Atmospheric, Experimental, Exploration, Gothic, Halloween, Horror, Psychological Horror, Walking simulator
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Mouse


Buy Now$1.99 USD or more

In order to download this interactive experience you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

The Shape On The Ground 2.0 (PC).zip 441 MB
The Shape On The Ground 2.0 (Mac).zip 474 MB
The Shape On The Ground 2.0 (Linux).zip 524 MB

Development log


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Viewing most recent comments 1 to 40 of 69 · Next page · Last page

Super cutting edge form of game, or more accurately, a psychoanalysis integrated through a shell of a visually-oriented game. I'd like to see more commodity concepts like "personality tests" be integrated with art of this kind, like games!


Thank you for the kind words! TSOTG is a very specific and unique experience, and it's always reassuring to see it is finding its audience!

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Scary Scuffed Games #203


Vorgeschlagen von: winter_fox8

Visuell sehr interessant, es baut gut Spannung auf gib sich wesentlich krasser als es ist. Am Ende reflektiert man mehr über sich selbst und warum 2€ dafür ausgebeben hat, denn belohnt wirt man am Ende mit einem von fünf schlechten Glückskekssprüchen.

Ich habe wirklich mehr Tiefe oder irgendeinen Twist erwartet, aber am Ende war es wirklich einfach nur ein ästhetisches Kasperletheater, dass auf Edgy macht und mich leider einfach nur enttäuscht hat.


Dito: 2/5

Chat: 1.64/5

Gesamt: 1.82/5

Thanks for making this. I really enjoyed it. My ending had the church breaking apart around me as I walked through it, the windows told me that the only way to love something is by losing it and my tarot reading said "Nothing ever ends."


Really glad that this weird little experiment finds its audience even years after release. Thank you for the kind words, and you might be the first person to comment on the hidden message in the stained glass. Good eye!

Thank you for making it.


Absolutely stunning, the dioramas had so many unsettling little details and it was like every time I turned the camera I noticed something horrifying about even the most ordinary parts of them. 

I should have written down the exact wording but my ending was something to the effect of "blame is shared"

Thank you for playing, and paying this much attention to the details!
There are no canonical endings to TSOTG, it is meant to be inspiration for either self-reflection or creativity. Glad you've enjoyed it.

Beautifully made, but I have no clue what my ending reading meant, lol; 'Shed the Inanimate'?


Thank you for playing! While the ending messages are meant to be opened to interpretation for personal introspection purposes, we can hint that you've most likely been given the 'material grief' ending. Thus, 'shedding the inanimate' in this case would suggest you to reconsider your attachment to material possessions.

very nice, cool look on how everyone thinks differently 

I really liked this. The ambience of the town is haunting, but in the way where you go through a liminal space that is normally bustling with people. The creaky, mechanical sounds of each "stage" as you pass them while searching for the others, personally, made me feel uneasy, like they were watching me, which added to the unknown and the confusion. One thing I will say however, the ending was slightly underwhelming, but hey, with everything else in this game, that's okay. Please be proud of this game, it is so beautifully unsettling and I'd love to see this on console, or a second, longer one! 

Thank you very much for the kind words!
Yeah, the end messages, which we assume is what you are referring to when you say it was underwhelming, were meant to be left vague as to become as wide-reaching as possible for as many players as possible. Unfortunately, the effect is that it lacks the personal, directed feel of the rest of the experience, we agree. 

The new, yet-unannounced project we are currently working on is a spiritual successor of The Shape On The Ground. While being wider in scope and fundamentally different in gameplay mechanics, it came from a similar place initially. We hope it will please you as much as this one did!

Oh, I am so excited for that! I do hope that you will release your work on more platforms as you deserve to have a wide range in audience to be exposed to your work and I'd love to stream TSOTG or your next game on Xbox. Like I said, this game is beautifully haunting.

I also took the time to read your Arcane: Post Mortem post on the inspiration behind the game and I loved how you incorporate tarot subtly into the game and in the post and the theme of the game hit so close to home. As someone who reads tarot and is currently going through a time of mind numbing grief, it feels like I was meant to find this game. Thank you for sharing this with the world and may you continue to wow us all with your art. 

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You can contact us at somewhatsoftware AT gmail DOT com
Otherwise, if you are running the game on PC and have an antivirus installed, try disabling the antivirus. It's a well known issue that some old Unity executables are being detected as a false threat.

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Very very nice one. Greetings from Germany.

Thank you for taking the time to play. There is a language barrier between us so I couldn't understand most of what you said during your let's play, but you looked pensive and intrigued, I can say that much. I'm glad you seemed to enjoy.

I enjoyed it a lot. It was a very good Adventure for me. :)

Wow, this game is beautiful. i didn't know what to expect when i opened it up to be honest. the imagery in each of the individual questions was SUPER cool. im glad that this is one of the first games i bought on itch.io

I am honored my game would be one of the first to make you take the jump and buy on itch! Your support means a lot, never underestimate it! Thank you for the kind words. You'll find that TSOTG is the odd one out from my games catalog though. My other titles are very different.

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You should be amazingly proud of this game.  It is beautiful...  Reminds me of Terry Gilliam and his eye for detail.  It is both haunting and unsettling at the same time.  From your entire bundle, this is outstanding (and I really enjoyed the others too).  I would have paid the whole $6.66 for the experience alone.  Can't wait to see what you do next.  All the best :)  Paul

Wow, thank you very much for the kind words.  I've always promised myself I'd go back one day to the art style of TSOTG, but for now, the new project I'm working on has its own thing going on. Hopefully you'll enjoy what's next just as much. :)

Can't wait to see your next project.  I'll keep an eye out for it :)

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Thank you very much for the kind words and for taking the time to play!
There is actually 5 different endings. You can see the software as some sort of abstracted tarot reading, or some sort of personality test. The endings are not so much to be 'unlocked' as they actually are based on the answers given by the player and should offer a space for reflection and introspection, ideally. 

It is a very different game from my other titles (the others are definitely more horror-  or dread-focused), so proceed with caution and read the content warning I added in the game pages for more information about them. 


It took me three whole questions to understand that the very specific depth of field was on purpose.


No worries, I agree it's a very divisive choice. But yeah I went with the macro-vision puppet-stage type look to really lean into the Brothers Quay aesthetic. 

I actually appreciate it. It was really fun to realize that each box came in layers, and your experience varies based on whether you base your answer on your first glance or investigate the whole thing.

Another solid entry from somewhat. I really enjoyed this one and the form I received was definitely a nice touch.

Thank you so much for playing. Lots of praise in that video, I'm not sure how to react! :)
I am glad you've had a good time, and I believe you've approached that experience with the correct mindset. It was a pleasure watching you play through it! New stuff coming soon, hopefully in time for Halloween.

Awesome! I'll be sure to keep an eye out and try to get a video of it up quick.

An interesting game with a gripping premise that was exactly what I hoped it would be. The developer(s) were very quick in responding to the email of my filled sheet, within 1-2 days. Recommended for anyone who is interested in psychological tests. https://youtu.be/cRWd4zVuk30

Thank you very much for playing! You were one of the few players to include the form in the video of your playthrough, which should be of interest to other people curious as to what to expect to get the full experience of TSOTG.

When looking through others videos, it was a bit disappointing to see that myself. I found the form to be the most interesting part of this experience. It kept me wondering more about others' playthroughs.

Shed the inanimate, what does it means? 

Really interesting the game, thanks, but makes me feel a little insecure walking in those dark streets.

I made the itch.io account just to be able to state my sincere respect for the authors. As I'm "that guy that overthinks everything" and analyse i immidiately searched for answers when i got "Seek the lesson to be learned" and seemed not many people got this one. Funny as people stayedthere were only 5 endings (maybe only towards opening "church gates" ? not to answer?) still fantastic work

Thank you for the kind words. It seems you approached the software with the correct frame of mind, considering that TSOTG needs to be taken as a tool for introspection and self-analysis. Of course, as with everything, moderation is advised, and if overthinking leads to anxiety, perhaps start there to retake control of your sense of self. 
There are indeed 5 different church environments at the end, and each have their own set of messages centered around the 'theme' of the ending. It is meant for players to replay the software at different points of time and see what other / different results come up. I am glad you enjoyed it. 

I like the ambient, like a horror style and even remember me some of the streets of my city, even I was a bit hesitant to walk through some of them (not a fan of walk into a bad illuminate alley) So I reached the church and had to go back for more answers. The music and sound effects mix perfectly with the scenery, it was amazing.

I want to send the form but I'm having troubles saving it, could I send you screenshots of it?

My phrase was "Tragedy begets opportunity" I'm going between a lot of troubles at home and family, and feel awful for all the homicides and other violent stuff going on my country and city, so I'm still thinking about the meaning and I tend to overthink so it will take me a while.

A screenshot of the filled form would do nicely, don't worry. I would also argue it's a good thing to take a while to think things over, as this software was made to be a place and opportunity for introspection. Thank you for playing.

I liked how the game was laid out. It gave 90's horror game vibes which was very pleasing to the eye. I liked the outcome since I usually take care of other people before I take care of myself (which rarely happens also). "Love yourself first" really set home. I sent in the form if you're wondering—I hope I did it right.

You should receive an email soon about the form. There was an issue in sending it and thus could not be analyzed.
Otherwise, thank you for taking the time to play. 

I don't know what I was expecting, but when I recieved the message "Let Go," I understood that this thing was reading my mind like a magazine. I recently went through a death in the family, so the message displayed really impacted me in a way I can't begin to describe. 10/10, Amazing experience. Form 42-B should be in the mail soon.


I’m glad the experience could somehow reach out to you (or you to it? what’s the relation between a player and a game, after all?).

It was made for introspection purposes, and I am reassured everytime I hear something like this.

Expect Form 73-D in your emails sometime over the weekend. 😊

I'm in sort of a transitive state in my life right now, and I've always been hesitant to take the steps to go through with something; so getting "Open yourself to it," really spoke to me in a way I wasn't expecting. Don't know if you'll see this, but amazing work.

I'm glad the experience could be of use to you. Best of luck to you for whatever comes next in your life. :)

My ending was simply "Let Go"... honestly, i hold on to way too much thanks to anxiety, and as a result i always want control of a situation. This was very in tune with me, well done

Thank you for playing. You seem to have approached the game in the right way. It is supposed to be a space for self-reflection, and if the ending and its message speak to you, then I'd humbly suggest it's a mission accomplished.

Make peace with the anger... Anger, hatred, repulsion and rage - I experience them so often that I almost forgot what was my life like before all this.

I am glad the experience could reach out to you. It was intended as a place for introspection, so if it put you in a thinking mood, then I accomplished my mission.
Living with anger causes all sorts of damage, to oneself and also to others around us. Hopefully you can find peace for yourself. Don't give up.

Thank you for your reply...

"Build it Anew"

"Shed the Inanimate" was my result at the end. Very fitting.

Didn't bother with sending the form~ 

Love the game! 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Do not worry, sending the form is not mandatory. We hope you found the time spent with the software satisfactory.

I loved this test and kinda gave me an insight at how I see things. Really well done. 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest. The candidness with which you approached the evaluation honors you.

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I have completed my test and submitted my forum. Video documentation is above. This was an...interesting experience, and I mean that in a good way. Looking forward to my evaluation! - Zander "Crazyfanboysteve"

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest.  Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the software made you experience in attempting to launch it and making it work properly.
Please expect Form 73-D in your email inbox today.

Looking forward to my evaluation. This was a good little surreal play.

Your game starts at 15:30, and i've filled out the form and sent it in!

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software.Your video performance was evaluated with great interest by our clinical staff. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

 Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

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It works yay. Had some issues getting to work but after awhile of finnicking it did work..

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest.  Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience the software made you experience in attempting to launch it and making it work properly.

This was a really neat experience! I only wish I had uploaded my video before submitting the first form, as now I'm curious what my form  73-D would have said with that added in. 

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest. 

As a supplement to Form 73-D, here is relevant information.  You have obtained self-reflective result :

"[X] Material Loss" 

 We can also ascertain the following senses were affected during testing : 

"[X] Spatial Awareness / [X] Visual / [X] Hearing"

As a side note, thank you for insisting on the entertainment nature of the software and forms. We feel it is an important point to make about the entire experience.

I think the gaming world needs more to offer with an Alice  feel, which this game had for me (maybe even some Terry Gilliam? Who knows). The weirdness is delicious and I ate it up. 

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software.  Your assessment of related works is correct. TSOTG could be seen as a companion piece for stated work and creator.  

The game crashes as soon as you start the "tests"... Tried fullscreen, windowed, aspect ratio changed - crashes all the time...

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Our guess is that it doesn't crash, just takes too long. Any interaction, such as mouse clicks, on the (admittedly poorly implemented) loading screen will be interpreted by Windows as an idle program and it will suggest you to close the program. 
If waiting doesn't help, we will need more information. Feel free to contact us with error logs at somewhatsoftware@gmail.com

I sent a mail with the error report, says it crashes - although what you wrote is also true, from what I noticed. 

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

This was one of those games that Just sucked me in. I immediately fell in love with the visuals and how weird it was

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

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Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your enthusiasm and willingness to share your train of thought were highly appreciated. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

You guys do love Quay Brothers, don't you ? :) You should have a look at Patrick Bokanowski...

Indeed Bokanowski falls under a similar aesthetic than our main visual influences for TSOTG, the brothers Quay and Jan Svankmajer (especially the latter, since he always included more actors and live performances in his output).

Greetings from MikeyBlighe's Examination Supervisor.

A pleasant yet rather excitable patient, MikeyBlighe played through the simulation with great interest, although did experience a rather large amount of disorientation, which according to the patient is completely normal for him.

The patient found the graphical qualities of the game to be lo-fi yet still eye-catching, and the queries based on visual representation to be a very interesting methodology. However he did seem confused by the ending of the test, but was nonetheless impressed (if not equally bewildered) by the experience.

Form 42-B was sent along to you via electronic mail earlier today, I sincerely hope you find its contents useful and informative.

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your form was received and analyzed by clinical staff. Expect form 73-D in your mail box in the coming day.

I am not crazy! I am not crazy! I am not crazy! Really cool "game". Was not sure what to expect but was pleasently surprised and I throughly enjoyed this experience! Very unique as far as I know and it is worth your time for sure!

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

A bizarre game with an interesting premise. I loved the game Nevermind, and how it showcased twisted imagery in the name of Psychology, and this was an interesting take on the Rorschach Test.

Thank you for the time you put into experiencing the TSOTG evaluation software. Your performance was analyzed with great interest by clinical staff.

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