Of the species that emerged from the Event, without a doubt the most intriguing is the recently discovered Formica ereptor ant. As unique and mysterious as the island on which it is found, it gets its name from a Latin word for thief, and it very much lives up to it.
The closest analogy seen is in old-world slave-making ants. However, rather than enslave the offspring of rival colonies like those more familiar species do, Formica ereptor literally harvests the DNA of its conquests. This allows it to spin polymorphic DNA into its genetic code, giving birth to offspring that exhibit the traits of their foes.
The ereptor ant lives a unique nomadic lifestyle centered around a super-colony on the island that serves as its breeding site. The recently mated queens fly far from this fertile pinnacle, with the intent to bring fresh genetic material back to the larger colony. As she does this, she diversifies her workforce and it is the most diverse colonies of this species that tend to be the most successful.
There would be far too much genetic material to include every desirable trait into their offspring, so Formica ereptor selects only the choicest gene sequences to splice into its own double helix. The method by which it does this is unknown, but research continues into the matter.
Formica ereptor is as competitive with its own species as it is with others, since competition is the driving force of evolution. In the end, only one colony will dominate atop the ancestral mating grounds, and take its place among the great Empires of the Undergrowth.
As the guys get properly elbow-deep in code, artwork and audio, they find themselves with less time to dedicate to the social aspects of game development. Which is a real shame, because interacting with a burgeoning community is one of the most joyful things about building a game from the ground up. Something must be done about this.
Introducing me. I’m Mike, and the Slug Disco guys have taken me on to be their community person, or “antbassador” if you will. Some of you will know me from Youtube – I own the MasterMike7000 channel, and I did some videos around the time of the Kickstarter introducing the game mechanics and suchlike. If you supported Empires of the Undergrowth around the time of its successful Kickstarter you’re likely to have seen one of my videos.
It’ll be me handling the social media side of things as well as answering questions on all the various platforms we use. I have a Twitter account @MikeSlugDisco, but will be mainly posting on the official @SlugDisco. We have some exciting news coming up in the near future regarding the game, so keep an eye open for that soon!
Last week we began a bit of a media drive ramping up to EGX Rezzed. We have been releasing more gifs, screen shots and music than ever before. You can see them by visiting our twitter account and Facebook pages, but here is a selection of them in case you missed them:
Sample of some in-game music, I think Liam has done a great job:
The first iteration of the games main menu, credit to Matt for putting this together:
The first model to receive an update is the ant egg and we think you will agree that it looks splendid in Unreal Engine 4.
The worker AI and user world interactions are currently being added to the game. Once they are running I write a post about the new system changes. We are taking a slightly different approach this time to worker task priorities.
We still cannot share our good news, but it should not be long.
With the first couple of weeks of the year already gone by you may be wondering what we have been up to. Well, Matt has a screen shot for us today:
This is an early shot of the Queens chamber in Empires of the Undergrowth, running in Unreal Engine 4. The little white point-lights will eventually form part of ground decoration which should be appearing in the coming days. Exciting times!
Happy Christmas Eve! I thought we should chat about this most festive of topics, the move to a pre-built engine.
TLDR: Kickstarter showed that PC is the most popular platform for the game so we are focusing on that. We need not be as efficient with our programming for PC and a pre-built engine allows us to give prototypes to the community so they can help in development. Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) has some great features that will help us more rapidly move forward with the project.
A mailing list – join it and you will receive updates on the game and sites as they happen, the first will be send out with the launch of our Kickstarter campaign a week on Tuesday.
Added a new unit in the species section, the trap-Jaw ant!
Added the Kickstarter launch date to the site
Added some social buttons in the top right.
We have been working extra hard in the build up to the Kickstarter! Matt continues to render stunning 3d scenes, Liam is preparing the music and bringing the video together and I am getting into the specifics of the Kickstarter campaign. Much to do so I will get back to it.
The eotugame.com site has seen a couple of updates today. A new section with a bit of information about gameplay has been added, also the queen ant makes an appearance in the units section.
Also our gallery of ant facts in Imgur went into most viral images. Thanks anyone who viewed and upvoted it has been amazing getting so much exposure whilst at the same time giving people some interesting ant facts. If you have not seen the gifs yet or if you just want to see it again check it out!
I have been working on added some stuff to the eotugame.com site. It is not up yet but tomorrow there will be an additional unit and a Gameplay section. This section will give people an idea about how the game will play.
It is really exciting that so may people appear to want this game as much as we do. We have received a lot of really nice comments and we are thankful for them all. We have put a lot of work into this game but this really makes it feel worth it. Onwards!