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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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May 2021 Newsletter

News

Good lord, it’s May already. This newsletter will spotlight some more enemies coming for the fire ant update, with a particular focus on nature’s favoured form – the beetle. We also have some talk about new AI systems that we’ve been working on over the past few weeks, which will be used in the last of the campaign levels and eventually in freeplay too!

A classically red Formica ereptor queen from GlitchyGamer


We’ve still got quite a few critters to show off as we complete work on them, as well as a few we don’t want to spoil until we get very close to release time.

4TH TIER CREATURES – BEETLES

Ah, beetles. They are the most diverse group of insects, and arguably of all animals. They appear throughout human culture and history, in art and science – they exist just about everywhere that we do. Naturally, we need more beetles in Empires of the Undergrowth (but perhaps not so many as to cause an uprising…) so we have a few more joining our various tiger beetles and rove beetles in the upcoming fourth tier.

BOMBARDIER BEETLE

Bombardiers are a kind of well-armoured ground beetle. There are several species – this one is called Brachinus alternans. They get their name from the distinctive popping sound they make when threatened, and a closer look at the cause of this sound reveals a defensive system that can be deadly if you happen to be small and in its way.

A bombardier beetle faces off against fire ants


By mixing various chemicals and enzymes together in a special internal chamber, the beetle produces a violently exothermic reaction. The resultant mixture reaches close to the boiling point of water and is expelled by the rapid rise in pressure through an opening pointed at the beetle’s enemy.

Near-boiling liquid is explosively fired at the beetle’s enemies


If you’re a large vertebrate predator, this irritant is likely to be enough to put you off having a bombardier beetle for dinner. If you’re the size of an insect, however, the momentary boiling temperature of this liquid can easily be fatal. With the large area of effect this defensive spray has, it’d be wise to consider carefully whether the bombardier beetle is worth the inevitable casualties.

FALSE BOMBARDIER BEETLE

Mimicry is seen everywhere in the animal kingdom – creatures evolve to look like more dangerous ones, which gives them a deceptive advantage. The false bombardier beetle (Galerita bicolor) has evolved to look almost identical to its namesake, with some minor differences in colouration and morphology.

An impostor among us – a false bombardier beetle looking sus


This helps it avoid predation, but the false bombardier beetle is not without defences – it’s significantly larger than the true bombardier, has the same chitinous armour, and uses muscle action to spray a solution that is mainly made of a familiar substance – formic acid.

Size comparison to the false bombardier (left) and the true bombardier


Whilst not as deadly as the boiling liquid that is explosively fired by the true bombardier, formic acid will still do considerable damage to small creatures. It’s the same acid used by the ranged wood ants of the 2nd tier, and it’ll have a similar in-game consequences – an area of effect venom-type attack.

CHECKERED BEETLE

Cleridae – the checkered beetles – are distributed worldwide. This particular species is called Enoclerus rosmarus, and it’s a common sight in North America. They’re active hunters, and their preferred habitats are moist and sunny – qualities which will bring them into conflict with your fire ants.

A checkered beetle minding its own business


CHECKERED BEETLE LARVA

Checkered beetle larvae are also hunters, which in Empires of the Undergrowth will give them a similar role to rove beetle larvae in previous levels. They’re more vulnerable in this state, before they develop the chitinous armour they have as adults – but they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

Checkered beetle larva fights fire antsAI SCANNING


At the moment, the various AI colonies we have in the game are either heavily scripted (as in 2.2) or reliant on preset “points of interest” which they use to decide where to send their forces (3.1, freeplay). This makes them relatively robust but doesn’t allow them to make very complex decisions on a changing battlefield. Liam has been working on a scanning solution that will let colonies periodically scan the surface for interesting things, giving them the ability to make much more relevant choices.

Green squares represent areas of interest the AI scan has found


These will be used on all of the remaining campaign levels, all of which will feature AI colonies in some form. Eventually, we hope to transplant this feature to freeplay too – after fire ants, we are likely to do another big round of freeplay changes to bring that game mode closer to its release form.

Two colonies scan for points of interest on one another – light orange is the real scan, the maroon is a skipped scan where it decided to use saved data from a scan not so long ago in the same place


COMMUNITY WIKI

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the fan wikis that crop up; fandom.com is one of the more prominent ones. We’ve been slightly bemused by these and not entirely sure what to make of them – up until very recently, they were simply placeholders with very little in the way of articles. However, thanks to some dedicated community members, the Empires of the Undergrowth fandom.com wiki has had some big content additions over the past couple of months.

Particular thanks to thanhmk28 on our forums for putting a lot of time into the fandom wiki, and writing / formatting a majority of the articles so far. On it you’ll see creature stats and abilities (taken from a version of the spreadsheets that the game uses that we host on our website) that might well be useful for people looking for a more solid idea of what various creature’s strengths and weaknesses are until we implement a way to see these in the game.

The EotU Fandom Wiki


There’s even a dedicated spoiler page for the upcoming 4th tier update, which details all of the new stuff we’ve revealed in Screenshot Saturdays and these newsletters. This wiki is open to further contributors, so if you’d like to help thanhmk28 out with writing some new articles then by all means do! Our community continuously proves itself to be one of the best there is, and we couldn’t be more thankful for that.

For final release, there will be plenty of information accessible in-game with our own encyclopedia system. Even after that’s implemented, there will always be a place for community-driven wikis like these – they’re definitely an appropriate place to post guides, creative strategies and suchlike that won’t be in the game itself.

ECOSYSTEM UPDATES

A couple of months ago, Tom Johnson released his evolution simulation game Ecosystem into early access on Steam. Slug Disco are the publishers for it, and it’s been a joy to see how it’s been received and how community feedback is already shaping the direction Tom has decided to push things.

About once fortnightly, Tom has been sharing his progress and direction with us and we’ve been posting these as articles on the game’s Steam page. He’s now at a point where he can share the path he’s chosen for Ecosystem’s first major update, which will focus on graphs and analytical tools so the player can see plant, predator and prey relationships in much greater detail than before.

The graphs and analytical tools coming soon to Ecosystem


Ecosystem continues to progress rapidly as a project and if you have an interest in speculative evolutionary biology, serene aquatic environments, or even just producing abominations such as human-like fish then we heartily recommend giving Ecosystem a spin. It has a demo which shows a lot of the basic features, but the full thing is gearing up to be something altogether more special.

SCREENSHOT CENTRAL

Seriously, I feel like this section is just for me – every time I write a newsletter, I look forward to the bit where I have a browse through some recent screenshots posted to our Discord or uploaded to the community, and select three of my favourites. If you’d like to participate, by far the easiest way to get your screenshot to us these days is Discord. You can also email them directly to mike@slugdisco.com.

A pleasing formicarium from BrickyGraph631


Trapjaws under attack from a hidden jumping spider from Rarity


A close call in extra level Excavators from Crazlex9


March 2021 Update

March 2021 Update

News 1 comment

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...

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...

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Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.2314

Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.2314

Demo 6 comments

It's Gamescom and we are here (digitally) as part of the Indie Arena Booth! To celebrate we are giving players the opportunity to try out fire ants for...

Empires of the Undergrowth Win32 Demo - V0.202

Empires of the Undergrowth Win32 Demo - V0.202

Demo 17 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...

Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.202

Empires of the Undergrowth Win64 Demo - V0.202

Demo 65 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...

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...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 298)
Guest
Guest

how do i play empires of the undergrowth

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SlugDisco Creator
SlugDisco

You can buy the game on Steam, Itch.io, GOG or EGS - there's also a free demo too!

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Guest
Guest

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Guest
Guest

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

Reply Good karma+1 vote
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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Guest
Guest

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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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McDev02
McDev02

Nice! Had that idea myself already, it looks like my dreams came true :)
I'd only love to see the ants climbing on bigger insects, that always looks devastating in reality.

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Twitter

RT @eotu_game: Accidentally discovering the Hungry Spider level be like Youtube.com (thanks @davidangel64!)

11hours ago by slugdisco

RT @eotu_game: A mighty titan of the skies - the great blue skimmer - casts a shadow on the denizens of the undergrowth. It hunts… T.co

May 14 2022 by slugdisco

RT @AdaptTheGame: Say hello to Fred! Shared on the Adapt Discord by user "Crab with a hat" *great name btw* If you'd like to share y… T.co

May 14 2022 by slugdisco

RT @EcosystemGame: Sylar88 over on the Discord shared this thriving Ecosystem which has made it all the way to generation 17! If you'… T.co

May 14 2022 by slugdisco

RT @BeetleUprising: Wondering what @BeetleUprising is all about? Why not take a look at @Blitzkriegsler evolving the deadliest beetle!… T.co

May 14 2022 by slugdisco

RT @Commander4X: Neues Angespielt: Komplexes Ameisen-Aufbau RTS Empires of the Undergrowth von @SlugDisco @eotu_game!… T.co

May 12 2022 by slugdisco

RT @eotu_game: A size comparison of most of the creatures currently in Empires of the Undergrowth, and the ones coming within the… T.co

May 7 2022 by slugdisco

RT @markcoakleyBOOK: I fell in love with a local leafhopper. T.co

Apr 30 2022 by slugdisco

RT @EcosystemGame: Don't forget about the ongoing Earth Appreciation Festival taking place on Steam! The entire @SlugDisco collection… T.co

Apr 23 2022 by slugdisco

RT @AdaptTheGame: 10 minutes to go until #SteamNextFest - why not jump in early and play the Adapt demo, live right now! 🦕… T.co

Feb 21 2022 by liamslugdisco