All posts by Michael Connor

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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Dec 2018 – Jan 2019 Newletter

Our first newsletter of 2019! A bright, shiny, spanking new year – and it’ll be a big one for ants. After the holiday break the guys are back to working on the 3rd tier Formicairum levels. We’ve also released a couple of glitch-fixing patches in the meantime to deal with some widespread issues. Firstly, let’s get to what’s ready to show from 3.1 and 3.2.

A Formica ereptor queen from MorPacke
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November 2018 Newsletter

With the exception of a few necessary balance changes and fixes for the more recent playable builds, the team’s sole focus for the past month has been the leafcutter update. Over the past few weeks we’ve been showing off some of the progress on the creatures of Ecuadorian jungle where these levels are based. Our artist Matt has been producing amazing work to bring this sublimely rich ecosystem to life within Empires of the Undergrowth. John and Liam have been working on bringing the creatures into the game and figuring out how they interact with our leafcutters. This newsletter will therefore focus mainly on the amazing biodiversity of the rainforest setting. Without further ado, let’s get to having a look at some of these fantastic beasties!

The rainforest at night

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September / October 2018 Newsletter – Interim Update

Winter is… approaching. Since the last newsletter we’ve released what we’ve called the “interim update”, version 0.13 – interim meaning between Freeplay and the upcoming major update. That update introduced the planned challenge modes to the 2nd tier Formicarium levels, added a new level to Freeplay, addressed several issues, and included a spooky spider-based extra that you guys seemed to have a lot of fun with. In the meantime, the guys have also been working solidly on the next set of levels for the game, which of course will feature leafcutter ants. Let’s dive in and see how we’ve been doing!

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August 2018 Newsletter

Greetings all! We hope you’ve enjoyed your summer. Time moves on relentlessly, and as we chug the first pumpkin spice latte of autumn we’ve made significant strides in the progress of the leafcutter levels as well as plenty of other exciting things. We’ve recorded with our voice artists Mary Jo, Eric and Callum (Scientist 1, Scientist 2 and Narrator respectively) for the next levels and we’re delighted with their work. Before we conclude our work on 3.1, 3.2 and Formicarium Challenge 3, there are some missing bits and pieces in the existing game that need finalising in preparation. Our current plan is to do an interim update between now and the leafcutter update, and that’s going to be fairly soon. Let’s get on to what that’ll include!

A lovely green Formica ereptor colony from jasong

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June / July Newsletter 2018

Greetings everyone! This has been another one of those months where the general timings and various circumstances have meant we’ve not managed to get the newsletters done to the regular schedule – so enjoy this newsletter for both June and July! The biggest news since the last newsletter is obviously the release of Freeplay mode on the main branch. It’s been available for everyone for several weeks beforehand in beta form, so those of you who were most keen are likely to have been fairly familiar with it when it finally landed for everyone on 2nd July. We’ve also got some great progress to show you with our next Formicarium update – Leaf Cutters ants!

Freeplay Released!

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May 2018 Newsletter

Good afternoon, morning and variations thereupon ladies and gentlemen. We’re back to the monthly newsletters after the dual one last time – we’re about to pick up pace on the news front! It’s very near the end of the transitory phase now – all three developers are full-time on the project from now on, and we’re finalising the plans for everything going forward. However, we do have to give a special mention to one of our team – John, our lead Freeplay developer, has been celebrating the arrival of his baby daughter. Congrats to him on the expansion of his colony!

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March / April Newsletter 2018

Well met, one and all, for the March / April newsletter! As many of you know, a lot has happened since our last newsletter – the most important of which is the public release of the Freeplay beta. If you weren’t aware of that and would like to participate, there are details on how to do so in the rather extensive section below this arbitrary introduction. In fact, let’s end this arbitrary introduction and get straight to the best bit.

There are some pretty amazing Freeplay setups – like this one from Steam user Enablin

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