Please note: this is not the release of the game, but the Steam keys in preparation for your Early Access this summer!
Backers, rejoice! Steam keys for Empires of the Undergrowth have now been sent to your emails. This will be the email associated with your Kickstarter account, or with your PayPal account if you backed after the campaign – so please check that for your key (also check your junk mail folder just in case, sometimes your email provider can confuse things as spam).
There are a few things to be aware of here, so please read them:
If you are a beta backer, your key will allow you to download the Backer’s Demo through Steam immediately! When the game goes into beta testing in a few months, your Backer’s Demo will update to be the beta Early Access version.
If you are not a beta backer, your key will allow you to add Empires of the Undergrowth to your Steam library, but not download anything yet. When Early Access is released this summer, you will have immediate access to it through Steam.
If you backed a tier that includes additional copies of the game, you will receive additional normal keys (not beta keys). You are free to share these with your family and friends, and once activated, they will also get Early Access in the summer.
The guys are now soaring ahead to the Early Access release this summer. Once things have settled down from the Steam key release, the three of them will be knuckling down hard to reach that goal, so there won’t be any more demo updates until early access, barring major bug fixes. The upside of this is – there’s only a few months to wait! Early Access will bring the surface, lots of new missions, new ant types, and new modes of play. Exciting times ahead!
Go ahead and redeem your Steam keys now! We’re really excited to finally get to this stage – it’s been a long time coming.
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!
We had an explosion of interest in the project yesterday on Kickstarter. Cutting to the chase we are now 68% funded and rising, that is a jump from 45% yesterday morning. I still can barely believe it!
Additionally Kickstarter have featured us at the top of games which will have continued to push us on! The momentum the campaign has is amazing.
Many backers will have found us from an Imgur post we made about the game. We were not expecting it to do as well as it did, take a look for yourself: http://imgur.com/gallery/33Bvi
Thanks so much to everyone checking the project out, sharing it and of course backing it. This has been pretty overwhelming we are so grateful to each and every one.
I will be streaming some game development later today on our Twitch channel at midday (GMT). I will be editing a level so I would be very happy to show you the process and how our systems work in the demo build and I will be happy to answer any question you may have.
Additionally a few people have asked about a couple of the rewards. We have come up with a basic mock-up of of the posters and also have an image of the toy larva prototype. I will add these to the campaign page but take a look here:
Thanks once again and let’s keep this momentum going! We can do this!
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:
We will be taking our demo on the road in April. Slug disco will have a stand at EGX Rezzed where John and Matt (and possibly others) will be letting the public have a hands on look at Empires of the Undergrowth for the first time.
EGX Rezzed is a 3 day event at the Tobacco Dock in London on the 7th – 9th April. You can buy tickets to the event from their website: https://www.egx.net/rezzed
If you go to the event do come and see us. We will be live tweeting about it so follow the Slug Disco twitter account to keep up to date. @SlugDisco
Progress on the game is moving along well. Underground is looking very nice and the surface is moving along rapidly. Expect to hear more about the progress over the weekend.
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!