Category Archives: Unit Design

May Newsletter

As we steam ahead in our run up to early access May has seen many developments.

The process of putting a level together involves rapid iteration between our team members, and each level being added is more complex than any of the demo levels!

In putting these together, all aspects of the game have been affected. Here are some of the recent changes and updates to the game – please note that you’ll get your hands on these when we go into early access; there are no more planned updates to the demo.

Creatures

Models

Each level introduces an increasing pool of creatures. Formica rufa – the wood ant – has had multiple models added. These fulfil various roles in the colony from worker, to melee attacker to ranged attacker and the different models gives some visual representation for these. These have all required unique animations.

AI

Many of these creatures will follow the standard ant colony behaviour we have been developing from the start, however in order to make each feel both more realistic and unique a whole raft of new abilities and behaviours are being added.

Combat behaviour

Other creatures in the game will now have different behaviours to better reflect their natural tendencies. They can attack and fight furiously to the death, (which is what they do in the current demo), they can flee, they can ignore you or they might attack only in response to being attacked themselves.

Self-cast

Some abilities are not damage abilities and are instead buffs for the creature using them.

Ability triggers

Creatures can now trigger abilities based on more than just having an ability available to use. Certain abilities (such as the woodlouse bunker down) will be triggered when a creature takes damage, or when their health hits a certain level.

Totally Unique AI

Some creatures need to perform specific tasks and the default AI structure did not fit. These creatures have very unique AI and they may for example attack only when another creature enters their lair or they may target your colony’s eggs rather than the ants themselves.

Projectiles

Some creatures fire projectiles such as the wood ants below. Damage done by these is handled differently than melee abilities as there needs to be a check to see if it collided with its target.

Level design

With audio being added to the new levels, this needs to be triggered at certain points in the mission. This requires an extra careful approach to level design to make sure things fire at the right moment. That being said the maps themselves are coming together very smoothly. The tile-based tools we have developed to put levels together are really starting to pay for the effort that went into making them! Once the levels have had their basic design and gameplay pass, they can go to our art person to get them looking the part.

Game modes

On launch, early access will focus around one key game mode. This mode has a home colony (Formica ereptor) that the player keeps coming back to, unlocking upgrades and ant types to strengthen their home colony. To unlock these the player must complete other missions. Here the player can play as other ant colonies from nature in scenarios based on the natural habitats of those species.

During early access, we plan on releasing new species along with missions based around them that will allow you to further upgrade and personalise your home colony! With all this will come even more enemies, unique abilities and behaviours.

We have planned other game modes as well, including endless modes that get harder, survival-based wave modes and other more unique modes that we plan to add as early access progresses.

Interfaces

We want to deliver information to the player in an unobtrusive way that is easy to find out more should you want to. Most information in the game will be delivered through an in-game wiki with a search function. This will give both gameplay information and facts about the creatures in nature.

During play, the player will be given notifications when there is something new to read about. These can be ignored or turned off from the options menu and will open the wiki to give further info if the player requires it.

Additionally the whole home colony section of the game requires a unique interface to upgrade your colony and make other decisions.

Saving and Loading

In order to make the home colony work it needs to be able to be saved and loaded. We are still implementing this however we have made good progress – it’s one of the things we get asked most through our Stomt feedback page and we’re glad that we’re working solidly on it now.

Key Bindings

One of the most requested features are more hotkeys for interacting with the game world and interface, and a way to change those keys to a player’s preferences. We’ve taken some time to make all hotkeys completely rebindable to your liking from the menu.

Couple of site updates

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.

0107

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 Ant Facts

 

Facts About the Fire Ant

This painful ant is well know for its sting, it is also incredibly numerous. A terrifying combination!

SolenopsisFacts

Get the update faster and follow us on twitter, we are frequently posting there.

@SlugDisco
@JohnSlugDisco
@LiamSlugDisco
@MattSlugDisco

This Weeks Focus – The Fire Ant

The fire ant packs quite a punch, you would not want to be attacked by their acidic venom!

Solenopsis Invicta - Fire Ant

The fire ant is the first specialist unit we have mentioned, and they work quite differently to the other units we have spoke about. To find out more about the special mechanics of this unit and the facts from nature, check back later this week!

And to keep up with our latest announcements follow us on twitter!

http://twitter.com/SlugDisco

Leaf Cutter Gameplay

The leaf cutter is the tank of Empires of the Undergrowth. Large and imposing it will taunt enemies around it forcing them to focus on it and ignore the other ants around.

The leaf cutter is the tank of Empires of the Undergrowth.

 

Check us out on Stomt we often have in depth development discussions there and would be happy to hear any feedback.

http://www.stomt.com/empires-of-the-undergrowth

Leaf Cutter Facts

The leaf cutter Majors are huge imposing mini beasts that defend the foraging columns of ants. These strong ants will not be ignored. Tomorrow we will be mentioning how these facts translate into game play in Empires of the Undergrowth.

Leaf Cutter Facts

Catch up with our developments on our Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/slugdisco

The Leaf Cutter Ant

Large and intimidating for the ant world the leaf cutter cannot be ignored. This weeks focus towers above other ants. Check back tomorrow to find out what this beast does naturally which attracted us to include it in the game.

AttaSpin

Keep an eye out on our twitter account @SlugDisco, it gets the updates first!

African Driver Ant Gameplay

The African driver truly is a force to be reckoned with in Empires of the Undergrowth. Charging and pushing this ant can shift the tide of the battle through its might alone.

Option 1: Charges at the enemy line. When it hits and enemy unit, it deals area damage and knocks back enemies. Option 2: charges through the enemy line, shoving enemy ants out of the way and reshaping the front line.

Have you heard of Stomt? Well if you are interested in our development process you should take a look. We often chat about our game mechanics, and how it will all work together. Go on take a look at our Stomt page.

http://www.stomt.com/empires-of-the-undergrowth

African Driver Ant

One of our true monsters in the game! The African Driver will make short work of its foes with the huge jaws, perfect for crushing wouldn’t you say?

Check back tomorrow to see what these miniature terrors have in store in the natural world!

One of our monsters, the African driver will make short work of enemies with its huge jaws.

 

Check out our twitter profiles for a mixture of game news, funny game bugs and general game talk:

@SlugDisco
@JohnSlugDisco
@LiamSlugDisco
@MattSlugDisco