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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2022, 01:11:19 AM »
August 2022 Newsletter - Roadmap To 1.0
Fri, 12 August 2022



All about how the fire ant update went, and a roadmap to getting us to version 1.0 & the end of Early Access!

It’s been a while since the situation has warranted one of these newsletters – we said that after the last one in March, we didn’t want to spoil anything else and just wanted to concentrate purely on getting the fire ant update ready to go, and so we did! Welcome to the first newsletter as the sun rises in a post-fire ants world.


The Green Swamp


We’ll be dividing this newsletter into a few sections - firstly, we’ll talk about how the fire ant release went. After that, it’s time to talk about the future - we’ll put forth a new roadmap to get us to version 1.0, and detail the steps that we will take to get there, including the development of a specific tutorial level to make player onboarding much better.

After some internal discussion, we don’t quite feel like we want to talk about the tier 5 species and setting just yet - just know that it’s been long-planned, scripted, voice-acted, and partially implemented already!

The Fire Ant Update

First and foremost, we would be remiss in our duties if we didn’t express a heartfelt thankyou to all of our players for fire ant release day and the days after. We absolutely smashed our concurrent player record, which had been unbeaten since early access launch day in December 2017, and for an entire week we were trending on SteamDB’s front page - which is an absolutely mind-boggling occurence for our tiny little development studio.



Dad's Gaming Addiction plays 4.2

It’s been an utter delight following the content creators as they post (and continue to post) their coverage of our biggest update yet, whether that was Frazzz feeling the ominous presence of the skimmer, Man of the Antz giving the new camera rotation features a good outing, TheGamingBeaver putting in a very good argument for using Pervasive fire ants in 4.1, Drawing_Pin laughing his butt off at the scientist’s antics or Blitz clearly just living his best fire ant life. As the community manager, seeing the reaction of everyone who’s followed and played this game over its lifetime, and interacting with them, is the best part of my job – so naturally seeing the reactions to cool new stuff is even better.


‘Early 2022’

Yes, yes, we know. Last year we estimated "early 2022" for the fire ant release date, and that was our original intent – but as is always the case with game development, some things take a lot longer to complete than anticipated. We strained credulity of the definition of “early” until we made a final decision to wait until we didn’t have to compromise on the update.



A fine addition to the soundtrack


Read on... https://steamcommunity.com/games/463530/announcements/detail/3369275026630866919
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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2022, 12:10:54 AM »
Update V0.3011 - Fixes & Changes
Mon, 5 September 2022




An extensive list of fixes and minor changes in this update - read on for the full patch notes

A whole bunch of fixes have been made, mainly regarding the fire ant update and freeplay (there’s plenty more changes to freeplay coming in a larger update a bit further down the line). Extremis fans will be pleased to know that level is now playable again, and the poor bullfrog will no longer get beaten up by its lunch!

Thanks to everyone who’s helped to test this patch over the last few days.

Patch Notes

4.1 Cold Blood

    Bullfrog will now always eat creatures intended to feed it instead of being beaten up by them if they get too close
    Titan health bar will no longer appear during feeding events if the bullfrog is dead or has hopped away



4.2 A Bridge Too Far

    Player’s ants still in the Monomorium
    colony after it floods will now die
    Monomorium
    nest entrance now looks correct after end-of-level flood cinematic
    Reduced ‘Top of the Hill’ level end requirements on all difficulties
    Underground aesthetic updated


Formicarium Challenge 4

    A few decals added to cupboard interior after FC4 for extra detail
    Fixed an issue where continuing play too quickly after FC4 could cause the end to not properly happen



Freeplay

    Little black ants & big-headed ants will no longer be called Atta cephalotes
    in defeat screen
    Fixed a convoluted issue in freeplay causing random leafcutters to spawn in the place of dead queens
    Fixed an issue in freeplay where if dead enemy colonies were in the game, creatures would be less likely to attack the player
    Fixed an issue where the freeplay setup info would always appear as if 4 players were in the game (1v1v1v1)
    Fixed an underground tile that was crashing games in Basin
    Fixed an issue that could cause fire ant queens in freeplay to be off the ground



General Fixes

    Extra level Extremis will not crash the game any more
    Fixed carried aphids sometimes being removed if the ant is distracted whilst picking it up
    Fixed refund being prevented for 2nd refuse tile / leaf drop-off chamber
    Moving queens in 2.2 can no longer be killed by environmental creatures
    Fixed army ants despawning in Beetles Rise Up! which sometimes made the level unwinnable
    Fixed autoclicker food duplication issue
    Various UI elements made more stretchy to account for languages with longer sentences
    Distance increased between Battle Arena lanes to prevent knockback abilities hurling critters into the other lane
    Fire ant & little black ant queen mesh repositioned so they should float less
    Fixed population totals not being updated when a tile is cancelled before being built
    Removed access to a decorative plant that looked appetising to leafcutters in 3.2
    Buried creatures (! & ? icons underground) will now only ever be visible by their rendered outline; no more accidentally seeing the model poking out somewhere
    Fixed an issue where Formicarium Challenge 2 would never end if all creatures were dead at some point after spider spawn
    Can no longer click through augmentations menu to select a tile
    Reduced size of fire ant worker eggs so they are not poking out the top of the queen
    Cancelling a tile before it is built will now correctly update population totals
    Corrected some spelling issues in the Freesound credits



General Changes

    Replaced queen worker chamber crown icon with a flag
    Team stripes added to abdomens of fire ants, little black ants & big-headed ants
    Reduced size of all little black ant eggs to make them properly little
    'Play More' button removed from 2.2
    Couple more first-time playthrough hints added to the first formicarium
    Numerous texture optimisations; they should pop in faster
    Font update in minor improvements panel
    Various animation optimisations added
    Some lab decorations moved closer to the formicarium so they can be seen in play
    Objectives will now update faster when something has changed
    Star power scale is now taken into account for minimap & physical size of buried creatures
    When an indestructible tile is made destructible (by, for example, a toad burrowing through it in 4.1) the tile break effect will play
    Chinese localisations updated
    Credits updated



Known Issues

    Under some circumstances, fire ants seem unable to place pheromone markers on the surface in freeplay
    On rare occasion, fire ants can get stuck when they're part of a bridge and the bridge is disassembled
    Green lynx spiders can rarely get stuck at the base of a pitcher plant



please let us know in the discussions if you see any of these issues!


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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #92 on: October 05, 2022, 01:16:27 AM »
Vlog - What's Next For Empires of the Undergrowth?
Tue, 4 October 2022




Our new vlog format is here, keeping you up-to-date in between newsletters.

Time to talk about the immediate future of Empires of the Undergrowth, in video form.



This is the first of our new vlog format, which will act as a counterpart to the newsletters, running bi-monthly alongside and inbetween them. We recognise not everyone wants to read a 1,500 word essay to get their Empires of the Undergrowth news, so hopefully this video series fills in that gap!

If you have any better ideas for the vlog's name than just "Slug Disco Vlog" then please let us know.

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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #93 on: November 02, 2022, 11:39:49 PM »
November 2022 Newsletter - Adventure, Velvet Worms, Rotting Logs!
Wed, 2 November 2022




Time for the last newsletter of the year! All about some extensive changes coming in the near future.

We've had a remarkably busy couple of months since the last newsletter, and there's a fair few things to discuss relating to the next update for Empires of the Undergrowth. Most of this newsletter will be going over progress made in matters written about in the previous one. We're currently in a consolidation phase, working on improving under-the-hood systems to increase the efficiency and reliability of many game systems, as well as improving the onboarding process for new players and revamping some of the older artwork. We've also made some fairly extensive changes to the main menu.


A river crossing from Discord user Ice Age 2


We’re also very close to introducing a long-awaited enemy to the game – the velvet worm, and have several extra levels lined up over the next few months. To preempt the question of when all of the changes detailed in this newsletter will arrive, the answer is in the near future (fingers crossed)!

On the community side of things, we’ve also made the first edition of a new video series that will work alongside and in tandem with these newsletters. We’ll discuss the plans for those at the end of the newsletter, after all the game news. Let’s get to it!

Read on: https://steamcommunity.com/games/463530/announcements/detail/3404185547127526322
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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #94 on: November 04, 2022, 12:21:00 AM »
The Adventure + Update is OUT NOW!
Thu, 3 November 2022



V0.302 introduces the velvet worm, extra level Adventure, tutorial mode, and a new tile set for the rotting log!

Surprise, we’re doing it now! As it turns out, everything we talked about in yesterday’s newsletter is good to go, so here it is! The Adventure + update is available now.

This is a ‘regular’ update, but quite significantly larger than most of our regular updates. As well as the long-awaited extra level Adventure, we’ve also put the even longer-awaited velvet worm into its rightful place in the 3.x levels - including previously unheard narrator lines!




This update also includes a feature that has been overdue for a long time - tutorial mode. New players will be encouraged to first play through the tutorial before diving into the campaign, and even more experienced players may benefit from the refresher course it provides. A redesigned menu integrates this addition into the game, with a new section called the ‘arcade’ for extra levels, battle arena, and demo levels

Finally, the 1.x levels now have their own tile set - the rotting log will no longer look like sand! A new texturing of decomposing birch wood and crumbly soil will set it apart from the beach. Full patch notes below.


Headline Features

Velvet Worm

    Added to 3.x levels, freeplay, battle arena & new extra level Adventure
    Long creature with the ability to spray slimy glue at its enemies that slows them
    Comes in 3 sizes of varying strength


Adventure

    A long-form leafcutter extra level with unique mechanics
    Build up XP to upgrade your colony & unlock new units
    Unlock the uber velvet worm for use in freeplay as a reward


Tutorial mode

    A new 10-15 minute tutorial to explain the basics in a practical way
    Goes over digging, hatching, pheromones, combat & more
    Both new & experienced players should benefit from this thorough tutorial


Main menu rework

    More descriptive buttons to guide players to the right place
    Will highlight tutorial mode for new players
    Added an arcade section for battle arena, extra levels & demo levels


Rotting log tile set

    Woody, crumbly textures added for the rotting log environment
    1.x levels no longer use the beach underground tile set


Other Changes & Additions

    Big-headed ant workers are no longer encumbered when carrying
    Camera rotation buttons are now rebindable
    Resource, tile & creature info toggles moved to side of pheromone panel
    Reworked underground lamp distribution
    Hold Out scoreboard changed to match that of Extremis
    Added thumbnails for demo levels
    Some rewording of objectives & descriptions
    Numerous improvements & optimisations to many game processes
    Updated localisations


Fixes

    Enemy colony in 3.1 should no longer hide underground permanently
    1.1 victory cinematic reworked slightly to not show the ‘sky’
    Subtitles no longer overlap if a certain creature is killed too quickly in FC4
    Fixed an issue that caused lynx spiders to shrink on loading a freeplay game
    Fixed accidental switching of some minor improvements menu descriptions
    Status effect particles now present for the hungry spider
    Extra level scoreboards now all display the difficulty
    Fixed some spelling mistakes

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Re: Empires of the Undergrowth
« Reply #95 on: November 23, 2022, 11:37:21 PM »
Demo Updated - Tutorial, Battle Arena
Wed, 23 November



We've made some updates to the free demo - if you've not taken the plunge yet then now's a great time to try out the demo, and if you like it, the game is 10% off for Steam's Autumn sale

! This update adds the tutorial level that we recently added to the main game, as well as a limited form of the Battle Arena - a mode where you can easily pit the various critters found in the demo against each other to see what wins.

Demo Changes

    Tutorial added to demo
    Battle Arena added to demo with creatures included in the demo
    Demo levels The Nest and Hold Out updated to use rotting log textures
    New menu added to demo
    Various smaller changes from the full game are now reflected in the demo
    Support in demo for recently-added languages

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