Empires of the Undergrowth is in Early Access on Steam!
Store.steampowered.com


"Your queen has set up home beneath a rotting log. She is fat, and vulnerable. Her first brood will need to move quickly if the colony is to survive. Their priority now is to find food, and there is plenty around; but there are other hungry creatures in the undergrowth. The workers will need to be vigilant."

The Nest


Empires of the Undergrowth is an ant colony management game, in a fast-paced real-time strategy style. The player excavates their nest underground, constructing tunnels and chambers to store food and raise brood. On the surface, the ants claim territory, gather resources, overwhelm fearsome arachnids and clash with other colonies. Nest design, army size, composition and attack timing are key to securing victory.

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Missions are narrated from the perspective of a documentary film maker studying the ants, who offers intelligent insight into the goings-on of the colony and the undergrowth beyond. The primary game mode in early access is Formicarium, where you take ownership of a home colony of unique DNA-harvesting ants as they work to assimilate the desirable traits of their foes. You can upgrade them by playing one-off missions, sometimes with your home colony and sometimes with other ant species.

  • Carve out and construct your underground nest to suit your strategy
  • Engage in fast-paced colony versus colony combat above ground
  • Play as different ant species and explore their unique traits and weaknesses
  • Encounter and overpower dangerous beetles, arachnids and other awesome arthropods
  • Grow your pet formicarium over time by completing missions

Official Website: Eotugame.com

YouTube Channel: Youtube.com

Stomt Page: Stomt.com

Dev Blog: Slugdisco.com

Facebook Page: Facebook.com

Twitter: @slugdisco

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March 2021 Update

News

We’ve got another few Empires of the Undergrowth critters and some size comparisons from the upcoming fire ant update to show you in this edition of the newsletter. We’ve also done an engine upgrade which has had us banging our heads against our keyboards for the past few weeks! Those of you who have been having issues on certain laptops, whilst a small number, will be pleased to know that the next update will fix this problem in a roundabout way. See this thread for more detailed discussion of the issue.

Image 1 2

A wood ant queen surveys her dinner from Steam user roobyRoss


We’ll also be talking about the latest release of Slug Disco’s foray into publishing, Ecosystem! We’re not the developers of this game by Tom Johnson but are publishing it under our banner!

ECOSYSTEM EARLY ACCESS - OUT NOW

We first spoke about Ecosystem shortly after we brought it on board as the first Slug Disco publishing-only project (we are not developing it), back in September of 2019. Tom Johnson is an accomplished developer and we were impressed with his ingenious ocean evolutionary sim based on real-world science.

We’re very pleased to announce that the game hit early access on March 16th! Please check out the launch trailer below and read on further to find out about this genuinely brilliant simulation game.


Set in an ocean world of your devising, the first task in Ecosystem is to design your marine environment using an array of terrain generation and decoration tools. Your world can look decidedly familiar at one extreme and positively alien at the other. A variety of plants, rocks and decorations can be used to enhance the look of your Ecosystem. Plants and corals have a direct effect on how your creatures will evolve – they form the basis of the food chain on which all evolving animals ultimately depend. You can unlock new plants and corals as you progress.

Ecosystem is a technical marvel and it’s been a joy to see how far the game has come. It’s a remarkably satisfying experience to know your creatures are evolving in a true sense, using neurons that learn how to apply torque at the joints to push against the water, without any preordained animation. The game is available on Steam now – you can purchase it here, and give the demo a spin if you’re not convinced!

Now, back to our regular programming!

TIER 4 CREATURES

THE BIG-HEADED ANT

Another species that will be tussling with fire ants in Empire of the Undergrowth’s 4th tier is the big-headed ant (Pheidole morrisii).

Like many species, it has minor and major castes, but it also has a category of major often called “supersoldier” in scientific literature. This beast has a huge head and a wicked pair of pincers. The head powers huge bite force much like a leafcutter major, but in a much more awkwardly-proportioned form.

Image 2 1

Pheidole morrisii about to drop the hottest album of 2021


The head is very big in comparison to the body (hence the name), so although the bite is formidable the supersoldiers do tend to be a little on the clumsy side! This is likely to translate in-game as the supersoldiers being very tough, but also having the unfortunate tendency to stumble and fall every so often simply due to the disproportionate size of their heads.

The big-headed ant joins the little black ant (Monomorium minimum, see the previous newsletter for more details about them) as another peripheral species that will appear in the fire ant levels opposing them, but they’re not the focus of the update. Unlike the peripheral species of the leafcutter update (trap-jaw and army ants), both of these species are ideal candidates for inclusion in freeplay as their own distinct colonies, as they have suitable nesting and foraging behaviours. As always with unreleased in-development things, this is subject to change.

THE COW KILLER

The cow killer, or red velvet ant (Dasymutilla occidentalis) is not an ant at all but is a kind of wingless wasp. In nature, the males fly to find mates but the females spend most of their lives looking remarkably ant-like as they busy themselves foraging. Seeing her resemblance to a queen ant but with distinct furry red patches, it’s quite easy to see how ants and wasps are closely-related in the insect kingdom – both being members of the order Hymenoptera.

Image 3 1

She doesn’t actually kill cows, but her sting would certainly put one out of action for a while


Red velvet ants are usually non-confrontational and will avoid conflict if they can, but if threatened the sting is so potent that the species gets its common nickname of ‘cow killer’. Her exoskeleton is remarkably tough for an insect – it has been reported that entomologists have difficulty using metal pins to pierce it for display mounting!

Her stats and abilities are related to the tough exoskeleton, reluctance to fight and exceptionally painful sting. She’s likely to be very tough for her size, and to only start using the stinger at low health, perhaps also sometimes fleeing with a speed boost. Overall the cow killer is a tough and deadly addition to the swamplands of North Carolina.

THE WASP MANTIDFLY

The wasp mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea) is neither a wasp nor a mantid – the wasp-like pigmentation is mimicry to fool predators, and the mantis-like arms are an excellent example of convergent evolution, where similar solutions to a problem evolve in unrelated species.

Image 4 1

Hello there!


Voracious hunters of insects, they are more than willing to tussle with fire ants for a quick snack. They grab their prey very much like a praying mantis does – using those uncanny front arms. They then fly off to devour it in peace. Expect to see them lurking among the flora of North Carolina waiting for your colony to stray too close!

SIZE COMPARISON – GREAT BLUE SKIMMER

Titans – huge creatures with unique behaviours that differentiate them from the regular denizens of the undergrowth – will be coming to the game along with the fire ant update.

Image 5 1

She’s a beauty!


We detailed the first confirmed titan, the great blue skimmer (Libellula vibrans) in the previous newsletter. Check out its animations to see it in action! What is difficult to see from these stills and video is just how big this dragonfly is. In the above picture, we’ve put it next to a very familiar ant type – the Formica ereptor ant – as well as the upcoming fire ants, who the skimmer will battle. You can see just how much of an absolute unit she is.

SCREENSHOT CENTRAL

Always my favourite part of writing these newsletters – this time round taken exclusively from our Discord‘s screenshots channel. If you haven’t already, come along and join our nature-loving community! Friendly ant enthusiasts guaranteed.

Image 6

Fezes are definitely cool in this shot from PeepsPlays_YT


Image 7

The Hungry Spider never forgets his top hat. As long as you have arachnophobe mode on. From syrian dugong


Image 8

The hermit crabs await the arrival of their uber-powered lord from Dr. Spooks


Empires of the Undergrowth November 2020 Update

Empires of the Undergrowth November 2020 Update

News

A round-up of recent goings-on: a new team member joining Slug Disco, news on tier 4 levels, recent changes & more!

Empires of the Undergrowth Newsletter

Empires of the Undergrowth Newsletter

News

Welcome to our March / April 2020 newsletter! First of all, I’ll address the corona-elephant in the room and hope that you and your families are staying...

Empires of the Undergrowth - major content update from Slug Disco Studios

Empires of the Undergrowth - major content update from Slug Disco Studios

News

We're very pleased to announce that our first major update for Empires of the Undergrowth since December 2017, the leafcutter update, is now available...

Empires of the Undergrowth Enters Early Access

Empires of the Undergrowth Enters Early Access

News 2 comments

You’ve all been amazingly patient, understanding and supportive as we’ve worked through our list of tasks and solved our problems, but we are entirely...

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Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.202

Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.202

Demo 55 comments

This demo includes 4 underground levels and a new level, The Crucible! Take control of the new leafcutter ants, gather leaves to raise a brood whilst...

Empires of the Undergrowth Win32 Demo - V0.202

Empires of the Undergrowth Win32 Demo - V0.202

Demo 10 comments

This demo includes 4 underground levels and a new level, The Crucible! Take control of the new leafcutter ants, gather leaves to raise a brood whilst...

Empires of the Undergrowth Linux Demo - V0.202

Empires of the Undergrowth Linux Demo - V0.202

Demo 4 comments

THIS IS THE LINUX VERSION OF THE DEMO. This demo includes 4 underground levels and a new level, The Crucible! Take control of the new leafcutter ants...

EotU Win64 Underground Demo 0.064

EotU Win64 Underground Demo 0.064

Demo 192 comments

Updates include improved trail mechanic, re-balanced levels and optimisations (more ants!). Windows 64-bit Empires of the Undergrowth is a simulation...

EotU Win32 Underground Demo 0.064

EotU Win32 Underground Demo 0.064

Demo 22 comments

Updates include improved trail mechanic, re-balanced levels and optimisations (more ants!). Windows 32-bit Empires of the Undergrowth is a simulation...

EotU Win32 Underground Demo 0.0561 - New Level

EotU Win32 Underground Demo 0.0561 - New Level

Demo 11 comments

This version includes multiple updates, please see the version 0.05 video to see what has changed. New Level, new enemy, updated graphics, updated controls...

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Hi everyone

My son is really excited to be able to play this game. I am getting too old and can’t figure out how to get the Empire of the Undergrowth game for him to play. From what I can see it looks like a free download but wanted your help. My boy would be on cloud 9.

Many thanks

An out of touch Dad

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SlugDisco Creator
SlugDisco

Hi, sorry that we have only just seen this - the game is available on Steam here: Store.steampowered.com

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frenchiveruti
frenchiveruti

So, SimAnts for 2020?

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SlugDisco Creator
SlugDisco

Our game isn't a simulation like Sim Ant, this is more akin to Dungeon Keeper :)

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Matt02
Matt02

My wife's new hobby is ant collecting. So I brought this for her off GOG a few weeks back. She loves it and is still playing it. Very good job, Well done!

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Empires of the Undergrowth
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Slug Disco Studios
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Highest Rated (4 agree) 10/10

My best Game 2017.

Dec 11 2017 by juliantt

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Twitter

A little less spider ignorance in the world would make us very happy. T.co

55mins ago by slugdisco

RT @IUSSI_NWES: The world biomass of ants is a massive 70Mt and termites 50Mt, more than humans at 60Mt #FunFactFriday #AntsT.co

4hours ago by slugdisco

RT @Son_Of_Mowgef: Many thanks to Dan at @SlugDisco and Tom the dev of @EcosystemGame for hooking me up with a key to Ecosystem! I had… T.co

6hours ago by slugdisco

"Alas, poor primate!" #MadeWithUnreal #UE4 #indiedev #gamdedev #indiegame #EotU T.co

Apr 15 2021 by slugdisco

Too many trapjaws! T.co

Apr 13 2021 by slugdisco

RT @danpos_: Needs some more clean up, but I am quite pleased with this little leaf cutter ant trophy! @SlugDiscoT.co

Apr 12 2021 by slugdisco

Will @LiamSlugDisco manage to avenge the matriarch and take back the lot? Find out in the livestream series of… T.co

Apr 12 2021 by slugdisco

RT @Myrmecos: A miniature trap-jaw ant, Acanthognathus ocellatus, from Venezuela. T.co

Apr 11 2021 by slugdisco

Even in larval form, the checkered beetle is fearsome. However, they're vulnerable in this state before they develo… T.co

Apr 10 2021 by slugdisco

RT @gotlegsmacro: DIG DIG DIG T.co

Apr 9 2021 by slugdisco

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