Jan / Feb 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to 2020! We’ve been running an optional beta on Steam since late December which mainly introduces a reworked freeplay mode, and more recently adds the challenge mode for the third tier formicarium levels. Since that time we’ve been working through the veritable mountain of issues and other feedback with it, and we’re now in the home stretch for bringing this out of beta and to the main branch for everyone to play. There’s still time to join the beta if you haven’t already – see the instructions near the top of this link if you’d like to join in.

Leafcutters on the march from Limey21
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November 2019 Newsletter

And so, winter came. And with it, the season of darkness and cold but also the season of goodwill and cheer. A little bit of a shorter newsletter this month, as we are still (I know, I know) working through the last of the movement code changes. Keep an eye open for the beta announcement – before putting it onto the main branch, we will run an optional beta for all Steam Windows players to help us pin down the last of the issues.

Night-time jungle from returning contributor MorPacke
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October 2019 Newsletter

Autumn (or fall if you’re that way inclined) has well and truly began to take a hold in our part of the world. The nights are drawing in, the temperature is dropping and there is some fun stuff being worked on for Empires of the Undergrowth. Or boring technical stuff, depending on your point of view. Either way, we shall detail it here for your perusal!

Night crab hunting from Steam user Bald Hippo z
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August – September 2019 Newsletter

With the summer coming to a close we thought we’d publish another newsletter for you guys. This time we’ll be talking about a few extra systems we’ve been working on (such as achievements) as well as talking about us as a company taking the intrepid steps into working with some other indie developers. So, we’ll be introducing Tom and his game Ecosystem a bit further down!

A dramatic shot of leafcutters battling wood ants in freeplay from Steam user hugo27rex
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July-August 2019 Newsletter

We are now deep into our open-engine surgery of the game which will streamline and reduce computational overheads allowing for bigger armies, faster frame rates and smarter enemies. We detailed this a fair bit in the previous newsletter. Whilst this is happening we’ve also been working on a new, hopefully regular feature that will be debuting along with the next large update – extra missions!

An ereptor colony takes on a wolf spider from appropriately-named Steam user wolf
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June 2019 Newsletter

To start with, a small distraction from the main event – Steam have recently held a summer promotion whereby leaving reviews gains you points. The recent reviews have been pushed into “overwhelmingly positive” territory – and we recognise that’s directly down to you guys. Thank you so much! Now, on to the actual content of the newsletter!

Leafcutters doing their thing in this widescreen shot from Steam user Himmuguegeli
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April-May 2019 Newsletter

It’s been just over a month since we unleashed our first major update for Empires of the Undergrowth – the Leafcutter Update – upon the world. We’ve worked through most of the glitches and balance issues now, and it’s been a joy to see you guys have fun with the new additions to the game. Feedback has been almost entirely positive and we’re so happy that you guys seem to be enjoying it!

Leafcutter trail from Steam user Jynn

This newsletter will cover some of the issues that have come back in the immediate fallout, go through what we’ve added since the update in a bit more detail, and discuss what’s going to happen in the immediate future.

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The Leafcutter Update – Coming April 25th!

Please enjoy our updated trailer, featuring the leafcutter ants and rainforest environment!

We’re very pleased to announce that our first major update for Empires of the Undergrowth, the Leafcutter Update, will be coming to the game on April 25th! Featuring an all-new rainforest environment with new critters of all sizes, two new levels which will see you face off against fully-fledged colonies, and a new Formicarium Challenge where the dastardly scientists have something special planned for you.

The jungle floor stirs. Ants of all sizes creep out of their holes to harvest the nearby foliage, traveling far and wide to find the choicest leaves. The odds are stacked against these fledgling colinies – you may be tempted to dismiss creatures that forage for leaves but with huge crushing mandibles on their side they are not to be underestimated.

March 2019 Newsletter

Although we have a policy of not announcing dates until we’re 100% sure, it is safe to say we are now very, very close to getting the leafcutter beta out to Kickstarter closed beta tier backers. Those of you who are on this tier, please keep an eye on your emails over the next week or so. The coming build for you guys will be feature-complete from a gameplay perspective, but will be missing some things like sound effects (the new creatures currently all sound like the Devil’s Coach Horse adult). Those will be added in throughout the beta as we continue development.

Leafcutters gather leaves in level 3.2 Front Line

As a quick explanation for everyone else – the closed beta group consists of people who supported us at a certain tier during our Kickstarter campaign in 2016. The beta typically lasts a few weeks, where we take feedback on things like balance and glitches. It really helps us polish things to be great for everyone and gives a bigger sample size than just the four of us on the team, and it means when we get the update out to everyone it’ll feel really good to play right from the off. Of course, things like balance and glitch fixes don’t end when the beta does (the size of the beta group doesn’t come close to all users!) so we will still be very grateful for your feedback as things continue.

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January – February 2019 Newsletter

We’re now much closer to our first major update, featuring leafcutters. As well as continuing development of the update to completion, we’ve been dealing with quite a lot of meta-requirement systems in the meantime, such as subtitles (which will be a long-overdue feature beginning with this update). Once we’re at a point where we can get meaningful feedback from our closed testing group, we will release it to them and that will soon give us a good idea of how long it will take to correct any detected issues. As always, our policy is to not give vague guesses on release timing, only solid dates once we’re certain of them – but we’re feeling good about the current pace of things and the rate at which the remaining task list is being ticked off.

A cloud of venom surrounds this Formica rufa queen from alexraptor554

There’s been plenty of good visual things finalised and ready to show off over the past month – some of which show off some leafcutter mechanics. So let’s have a look at some of the fun things that await when you introduce Atta cephalotes to your Formica ereptor colony!

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