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Topics - Mike

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General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Spiny Devil
« on: November 17, 2018, 04:10:34 PM »
The fearsome spiny devil cricket (Panacanthus varius) faces off against a leafcutter colony. Covered in defensive spines, this monster may well be guarding some of the choicest leaves for the harvest - which means it must be confronted.

In Empires of the Undergrowth, the spiny devil's spines will mean that any creature that does damage to it will suffer some damage in return, whether or not it is actually being attacked by the cricket. It also has an area of effect bleed attack which will continue damaging the target for a time after.

General Discussion / Jumping Spider funsies
« on: November 16, 2018, 09:26:06 PM »
Just for fun - a species of jumping spider will appear in the leafcutter levels. The artwork isn't ready to show yet, but the preliminary coding of his mechanics a few weeks ago was a giggle.

Some work to be done here, I think...

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Rove Beetles
« on: November 10, 2018, 03:12:05 PM »
The familiar devil's coach horse beetle falls under the wider classification of rove beetles, primarily distinguished by their small elytra (wing coverings) leaving most of their backs exposed. Many, many more species exist, and some of those are rainforest dwellers. These rove beetles inhabit the same forests as the leafcutter ants - and they're not friendly.

Leafcutters do not eat other creatures, but other creatures definitely eat them - so despite their fungus-farming ways, they'll still defend themselves with deadly zeal should anything dare to attack them.

General Discussion / September / October 2018 Newsletter
« on: November 06, 2018, 11:47:23 PM »
Have just published our most recent newsletter. Usually I publish to Steam first but it seems to be having a bit of a tantrum tonight, so it gets to be last for a change. All about how the interim update went, and a comprehensive roundup of what's going on in the meantime.

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Trapjaws
« on: November 04, 2018, 12:48:54 AM »
Leafcutters share their rainforest home with many other impressive animals. Trapjaw ants are one of their many foes, boasting the fastest-moving predatory appendage in the animal kingdom. Their jaws are so fast that they can close within microseconds, maiming their targets, or even using them to catapult foes or themselves away.

The leafcutters will encounter these ants in their trials, and they're fearsome opponents.

General Discussion / V0.133 Released
« on: October 31, 2018, 11:24:44 AM »
Happy Halloween! That and a few more changes to 0.13 make it the perfect time to try out the Hungry Spider level (click the cobweb on the main menu - before it disappears!). We've also made a few other changes. Notes below!

General Updates and Fixes

  • Added warning text above the play button in level setup telling the player what they must click on to allow them to press the play button
  • Fixed an issue where root aphids would be spawned at 0,0,0 (causing ladybirds to fly to a very strange location in top left of Towhead)

Freeplay Balance and Fixes

  • Some balance changes have been added to Freeplay. This should allow players struggling to start a colony to get off the ground before harder creatures are about. For example setting the starting difficulty to zero will give player 15 minutes where only devil's coach horse larvae, wood worms and woodlice will spawn making the surface a lot more manageable.
  • Medium creatures will no longer spawn below 20% difficulty in Freeplay until 15 minutes have passed
  • Large creatures will no longer spawn below 40% difficulty in Freeplay until 30 minutes have passed
  • Removed the word none from freeplay scoreboard
  • The underground spider in Towhead has been replaced by a devilís coach horse adult
  • Fixed and issue in Freeplay not displaying the green outline of tunnels to surface before dug out
  • Renamed map option in Towhead to Flood
  • Fixed an issue that would flood Towhead immediately at the beginning of every play (removing all food including fish from the lower level)
  • Fixed death sequences on Towhead (and the ghostly queen)

Hungry Spider Balance and Fixes

  • Slightly increased the spider's attack and Venom Strike speed
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the keyboard controls to stop working when trying to use an ability that is on cooldown
  • Fixed an issue with the spider's projectile causing some particles to fly off to the bottom right
  • Fixed a spelling mistake on the hungry spiders bite ability

General Discussion / Pesky cobweb 😠
« on: October 25, 2018, 02:46:26 PM »
Sigh. We thought we'd had a nice cleanup of the lab, but it turns out there's still ants all over the floor from that dratted scientist and his careless experimentation methods. Why did we hire him anyway?  ::)

And to make matters worse, there's a persistent cobweb that keeps appearing at the back of the lab. Our cleaners are at a loss - could someone have a look at it for us? Thanks.

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Between the Trees
« on: October 20, 2018, 10:14:56 AM »
I think posting pictures from the rainforest levels 3.1 and and 3.2 is just cheating now for Screenshot Saturday - Matt's artwork is just lovely and we can't find a bad angle for it.. This particular snap is from 3.2 (we're keeping the level names a secret for now).

We know you're all waiting patiently for the interim update featuring the 2.1 and 2.2 challenge modes and a few other things, and we're asking for just a tiny bit more patience. We're *very* nearly there with it!

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - All About Beetle Larvae
« on: October 13, 2018, 03:13:37 PM »
We'll soon be releasing the interim update (it's in testing now) so for Screenshot Saturday this week we thought we'd talk a little more about the new enemy that will be introduced on levels 2.1 and 2.2 - the nightmarish tiger beetle larvae!

Activating challenge mode on these levels will spawn these monsters at strategic points on the map. The amount of them that spawn will depend on the difficulty level.

- They take one ant at a time, killing it before consuming it. During this brief phase they are vulnerable
- It has a large health pool and cannot be damaged between cooldowns of its lunging attack
- Taking them out is very difficult; it is often best to try to avoid them

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - The Rainforest II
« on: October 06, 2018, 02:19:46 PM »
Just another lovely shot showing the progress Matt's making on the artwork for the rainforest levels (which will feature leafcutters). It's really feeling like a proper biome in of its own now. We want each set of levels going forward to feel unique, and the artwork is key to this. Well played, Matt.

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Ecuador
« on: September 29, 2018, 10:43:35 AM »
Beneath the leaf litter of the Ecuadorian rainforests, the leafcutter ants stir. Atta cephalotes sends out trails to harvest the nearby flora - they use the leaves to grow a fungus on which they feed.

We have some ways to go for this update yet (there will be another one in the meantime), but we're really excited with the progress we've been making recently, particularly in regards to Matt's artwork. The rainforest is looking spectacular!

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Beetle Larvae In Motion
« on: September 22, 2018, 10:58:51 AM »
Coming in the next patch for Empires of the Undergrowth - Challenge Mode for levels 2.1 Rising Tide and 2.2 Queen of the Hill! When in Challenge Mode, these levels will feature terrifying beach tiger beetle larvae - the juvenile forms of the adult beetles that roam the beach. Although young, these beetle larvae are extremely deadly.

They live in burrows and wait for suitable prey - such as ants - to stumble too close. They then strike with frightening speed before retreating back into their burrow to consume their quarry.

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday: Small Improvements System
« on: September 15, 2018, 11:01:33 PM »
The next update will include a system for making small improvements to your Formicarium colony by spending royal jelly - a handy way for those of you who are sitting on a cache of jelly to spend it before the leafcutter update. For Screenshot Saturday this week, we're showing the menus for those!

General Discussion / August 2018 Newsletter
« on: September 07, 2018, 12:58:37 AM »
We've just published our newsletter for August 2018. If you'd like to see what we've been up to and what's next for Empires of the Undergrowth, it's full of information on topics such as:

- The interim update between now and the leafcutter one
- The addition of challenge mode to 2.1 and 2.2
- A whole new Freeplay map called Towhead
- How our recording sessions with our narrators went
- How we're getting on with the art, animation and AI for our leafcutter ants!

Read away, and as always, thanks ant fans. Thantfans.

General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Predatory Larvae
« on: September 01, 2018, 12:14:13 PM »
In small burrows carved into the sand, the larvae of the beach tiger beetles lie in wait. When a suitable prey item wanders too close to their lair - such as an ant - they rush out with frightening speed and grab the hapless victim.

These may be the younger form of the adult beetles, but even in their juvenile form they are just as deadly. In Empires of the Undergrowth, tiger beetle larvae will appear in the beach levels (2.1 Rising Tide and 2.2 Queen of the Hill) in its special challenge mode. Coming soon!

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