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Topics - John

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1
General Discussion / Freeplay Beta Patch 0.122 Released
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:47:11 PM »
There have been many changes since the last beta update. This will hopefully be the final version for freeplay release. Many of the changes have focused around having a better game experience, making the end game more difficult and improving performance. Along with this many bug fixes have been added.

Features
  • Population upkeep cost added to Freeplay. This feature has been added in order to make the end game more challenging whilst also keeping performance high. The end game is now more difficult with fewer creatures.
    • This is a soft population cap and will increase the cost of ants beyond a specific population
    • Workers have a seperate population
    • Cost increase is exponential (starts small and increases rapidly with each ant)
    • This can be disabled in setup, however doing so will reduce score by 60%
  • Added in notifications for a few things in freeplay
  • Fog added to minimap when Fog  of war is on

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where moving the marker between the surface and underground could cause ants to walk to the edge of the map
  • Fixed an issue where ants could get stuck facing walls underground, especially when there were a lot of ants about
  • Fixed an issue where resource score was lost when a game was loaded in Freeplay
  • Fixed an issue where hovering chamber info could be seen in the death animation
  • Fixed an issue where dead creatures would disappear if brought underground with Fog Of War on in Freeplay
  • Fixed an issue where stored corpses despawned on game load in Freeplay
  • Time now restores correctly for scoreboard on loaded Freeplay games
  • You can no longer save Freeplay if your queen is dead
  • Fixed text overlapping in Freeplay setup
  • Fixed the levels displaying incorrectly on chamber hover information
  • Slightly altered queen start position on The Dunes Freeplay map
  • Fixed an issue preventing ladybirds spawning at the the correct rate for the difficulty in Freeplay
  • Fixed an issue where ants when loaded from a save would immediately go home from a trail end
  • Fixed an issue allowing nest group ghost marker placement on surface tunnels
  • Fixed an issue where ants would spin on the spot when walking or picking up food at the bottom of ramps
  • Fixed an issue where wood ant projectiles could hit a lip on the tunnel exit
  • Fixed an issue where ants were moved towards the queen on load if they were nearby (still exists but not as bad)
  • Fixed an issue where saved fish would have their food restored on load and could duplicate
  • Right clicking a notification now unpauses the game
  • Word cost removed from build tooltips
  • Fixed right clicking on harvestable resource placing marker correctly
  • Prevented photo mode when in a cutscene
  • Fixed an issue where ants would be very slow to register to a marker with no ants assigned
  • Funnel Web spiders will no longer attack wave creatures in freeplay
  • Minimap damage notification will no work no matter where your starting location

Changes / Improvements
  • Loading throbber returned to the loading screen
  • Tunnel exit tagged for excavation restores when loaded
  • Changed the information on chamber hover to be more relevant to each chamber
  • Reduced ant reaction time (wood ants should no longer reach targets before starting to fire)

Freeplay
  • Ant fog of war vision radius has been increased (nearly double)
  • At higher difficulties creatures will now drop less food (starting from 50% difficulty) and be much more likely to attack the player in Freeplay
  • Later waves will now produce higher level ants
  • Wave power significantly increased
  • Wave timer has been reduced to 5 minutes and a 12 minute setup time has been added.
  • Every 5th level wave creatures changed
  • Added a warning to the player if they do not tunnel to the surface when waves are queing up to spawn
  • Ubers can now spawn in all waves after wave 15
  • Wave number is constantly displayed once they start spawning
  • Added wave number to Freeplay score screen
  • Chance of Ubers spawning increases with difficulty
  • 14 landmarks will always spawn at the beginning
  • Landmarks types are now evenly distributed
  • A new landmark spawns every 150s down from 180s
  • Uber creatures stats reworked, should attack slower but be more deadly and deal AOE damage
  • Prevented smaller creatures spawning in waves later on (tiny spiders and devils coach horse larvae)
  • More creatures spawn at lower difficulties
  • Added a reload button on defeat in Freeplay

Performance Improvements
  • Refined collisions for substantial performance improvements
  • Performance improvements with certain animations
  • Performance improvements with skeletal mesh updates
  • Small optimisations added in for Freeplay
  • Blueprint Nativisation in use for substantial performance gains
  • Major optimisations in nurseries
  • Creature decision making moved into C++ for major performance boost
  • Job management speed improved
  • Minor array access improvements
  • Minor creature AI speed improvements
  • Multiple minor optimisations

2
General Discussion / Freeplay Beta Patch 0.1213 Released
« on: June 12, 2018, 01:02:46 PM »
With this update to the Freeplay beta comes saving! Due to the complexity of this there are likely to be bugs here and there and we would very much appreciate reports of them. As this will affect saves we strongly recommend you backup your saves before trying this update.

We’re close to the end of the beta period for Freeplay and it will soon be made available for all players, but if you aren’t yet participating and would like to please follow the instructions here:

  • Find Empires of the Undergrowth in your games library
  • Right-click and select “Properties”
  • Find the "Betas" tab
  • Enter the code "betatestants" (without quote marks) and press "Check code"
  • Make sure you've chosen the beta from the dropdown menu
  • The game will now update to the beta branch version

As always, thanks for your help with this. We will soon be ready to test on Mac and Linux then finally release Freeplay officially.

New Features

  • Freeplay games can be saved
    • WARNING: Whilst we are testing this we STRONGLY recommend backing up your game before trying the new update
    • At present Freeplay games do not save backups themselves; we will be introducing this in the future
    • You will notice the Freeplay colonies you have already made available to load when you open Freeplay – These saves will be incompatible, please delete them as loading them may cause a crash (they do not have level data saved with them)
  • Fog of War added to Freeplay
    • This hides all enemies on the surface unless you have an ant close to them
    • Due to the difficulty this adds, it dramatically increases your score
  • Some Freeplay setup options now add a multiplier to your score
    • Nest invasions increases score by 50%
    • Uber creatures increases score by 10%
    • Attack waves increases score by 10%
    • Fog of war increases score by 150%
  • Placing a marker will draw the path the ants are likely to take to reach it
  • All ants have an icon on them which roughly describes their role (worker, melee, ranged, tank)
  • Hovering over a chamber will now give information about the room (ants, eggs, tile levels, storage)
  • The nest group can now be selected and can have aggression and gathering turned on and off
  • Realistic mode added in general options (hides tile surfer outlines, food outlines, path arrows on markers and marker icon overlays)
  • Request to dig to surface can now be cancelled
  • Minimap darkens as the day darkens
  • Game will now pause when notifications are open (can be toggled on and off via notification button or option)
  • Some tech tree icons have been updated
  • Some furniture added to main menu screen

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could cause all creatures other that colony ID 0's health to be halved in Freeplay
  • Fixed Royal Decree (thanks to Rayalot72 for reporting this)
  • Potentially fixed issue with some hardware causing large black shadows to appear in 1_1 and 1_2
  • Fixed a crash that could happen in levels with no surface
  • Fixed a bug with the last chance worker in Freeplay
  • Fixed an issue with the spawn point of waves in Freeplay
  • Fixed some text capitalisation inconsistencies
  • Changed title of Other Modes
  • Fixed the "Reload last save" button in Freeplay

Balance changes / improvements

  • Uber creature corpses can now be harvested by 8 ants at a time
  • Stunned swirl updated
  • Performance improvement added for rendering the upgrade overlay
  • Several minor optimisations added

3
News and Announcements / 0.11421 Change Log – Hotfixes
« on: December 21, 2017, 01:09:33 PM »
Note these are minor fixes added for a couple of issues that have come to light recently. Mac and Linux users do not yet have these hot fixes and so we recommend turning Arachnophobia mode off for these users. We will get fixes for those platforms up as soon as we can!

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed and issue with Arachnophobia Mode festive hats causing wood ants to not be able to attack the spiders
  • Fixed an issue where the cavern tunnelled into south of your queen in the formicarium did not refund territory spent to mark it
  • Main menu link to the forum now takes you to the correct forum landing page

4
News and Announcements / 0.1142 Change Log
« on: December 16, 2017, 04:36:56 PM »
*Edit* This is now available for Mac and Linux

At the moment these are still mostly bug fixes, however there are a couple of balance changes and additions in there as well! We very much appreciate your feedback and do keep letting us know if any issues occur.

Additions and Improvements

  • Added photo mode:
    • Please note - this is an early feature. It is fully possible to see off the edge of the map or inside the terrain with this feature. Additionally, there are some issues with shadows that will be looked into in forthcoming builds
    • By default F9 will enter photo mode. This Pauses the game, hides the UI and gives you control of a unique camera allowing you to get closer screenshots and interesting angles. Additionally, you can unpause and re-pause the game whilst in this mode. Note the photo mode camera is tethered to a limited distance from the initial point the camera was activated
  • Digging out the tunnel to the surface is now done in the same way as tagging any other tile to dig
  • Formicarium ability purchases can now be swapped for the other (but for the full cost)
  • Subtle increase of light levels underground
  • Formicarium challenge mission button graphic updated to make it more obvious it is a mission
  • Alert message added about seeds dropping on the surface each time you receive seed rewards
  • Changes to Mac build to allow lower OS requirements
  • Updates to Formica ereptor queen animations
  • OpenGL has been added to windows (considered alpha)

Balance Changes

  • Beach wolf spider nest behaviour has been changed - It will now path to random nursery tiles for 40 - 60s. During this time it will not attack the queen. This should give players time to respond to the attacks even if they have nurseries right next to the queen.
  • Pop cap changed to 100 / 125 / 150 (from 50 / 100 / 150) allowing more ants to be used for formicarium challenge 1
  • 2.1 Night creatures will now attack the player if they are attacked at night
  • 2.1 When a night creature takes damage on the surface it may attract other night creatures (1 every 5 seconds) to its location

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where dead spiders (and possibly other creatures) could not be harvestable if they die on top of the surface tunnel (let us know if this still happens)
  • Fix added for mass of eggs appearing at the queens rear. This was caused by a tile being deleted before it received an egg. The job is now removed as well as any eggs currently in transit to the tile
  • Collision shape fixes for surface tunnel - ants should no longer get stuck in the walls
  • Creature instant kills (water, spiders, tile removals) now always kill the creature
  • Fixed an issue where upgrading an ant would not update its maximum health stat
  • Fix added where pheromone markers placed on tunnel exit could sometime hit an invisible sphere and end up in the sky - the ants could not reach it and froze
  • Removed code that stopped multiple version of the game being open at the same time (It was happening if you had any Unreal Engine game open which has undesired effects)
  • Large Beach Wolf Spider devour ability now removes the ant it eats, rather than the ant floating in the air, along with other fixes for the ability
  • Possible fix added for Oculus Home opening when the game was started. Let us know if this is still happening!
  • Fix added for surface torch being on in the ending cutscene
  • Fixed some pebbles in 2.1
  • Disabled access to the wiki from the tech tree (currently wiki only has placeholder text)
  • Time bonus has been removed for levels 2.1 and 2.2, as these levels cannot be completed any faster
  • Fix added to reduce (and hopefully prevent) creatures getting stuck when moving from above to below ground
  • Fixed some issues that could cause eggs to be dropped on floor where there is no nursery
  • Fixed some issues where text would appear un-wrapped then suddenly wrap in tooltips
  • Royal Jelly tooltip in tech tree corrected
  • Fixed a typo on the rapid fire wood ant tooltip
  • Fixed a typo in challenge mode

5
News and Announcements / Change Log 0.1141 - Crash Fixes
« on: December 03, 2017, 06:30:26 PM »
Please note we are still making the build for Mac and Linux. We will update this message once it is available. This is a very small patch that fixes a couple of the most major issues (and a typo).

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed a major bug that caused loading to sometimes create duplicate ants. These ants did not die when their tiles were deleted.
  • Fixed a crash caused by the above duplicated ants attempting to assign themselves to deleted tiles (this is what has been causing the formicarium load crash)
  • Fixed a crash on game startup caused by loading time taking longer than 30s. We have now allowed 60s for the game to start up before it crashes. Please let us know if you are still having issues with this after the patch
  • Fixed an issue where Prevent Gather tooltip would display the hot key for Remove Marker

6
Bugs / Troubleshooting / Crashing on start-up
« on: December 03, 2017, 11:45:06 AM »
We have received a few reports now of the game crashing on start up. We believe there may be a couple of causes for this however some people have had success fixing the issue for themselves and there are a couple of things you can try:

Remove the LevelSetup.sav file from the game saves folder
To find them go to your save game folder, on windows this is usually in:
C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Local\EotU\Saved\SaveGames
Note that AppData is usually hidden, you can either un-hide the folder in the files settings or just type it into the bar.

In there is a file called LevelSetup.sav, and this file is made every time you start a level. It is also used when the game starts up to determine if you have a save game to continue. We believe this may be the source of one of the crashes so simply delete this file and run the game.

Disable Steam Overlay and Game Theatre while in SteamVR
Someone reported disabling these worked for them. Simply right click Empires of the Undergrowth in Steam an go to properties. In the general tab are two tick boxes, untick both of the following:
“Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game”
“Use Desktop Game Theatre while SteamVR is active”
Then try running the game.

Disable MSI afterburner
We have heard disabling this can fix startup issues. If you are using it and experiencing a startup crash you may want to try disabling it.

Let us know if these worked for you as they may help us pin down the issue!

7
Bugs / Troubleshooting / Restoring formicarium save from backup!
« on: December 02, 2017, 10:33:48 PM »
Each time the formicarium saves it saves the previous 3 saves with it. If you are getting a crash when loading for example you could restore one of these backups!

To find them go to your save game folder, on windows this is in:
C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Local\EotU\Saved\SaveGames

Note that AppData is usually hidden, you can either un-hide the folder in the files settings or just type it into the bar.

From here you see all your save games and the backups. Backup 1 is always the most recent backup and 3 the oldest.

Your colonies are orders by number in the order your made them in. So your most recent colony will be the ColonyX where X is the largest number.

Now you may want to copy all these files to another directory before trying to restore a backup, just in case something goes wrong!

To restore a backup, simple remove the ColonyX.sav and ColonyXLevelData.sav (where X is the number of colony you are trying to restore) and then deleate the -backupY (where Y is the number of the backup you are trying to restore) from the end of the backups name on both the backups Colony and LevelData files.

So for example, I have 3 colonies. I wish to restore a backup from my most recent colony, and I want to try the most recent backup.

I go to the above folder and make a copy of all the save files.

I then delete Colony3.sav and Colony3LevelData.sav
I then rename Colony3-backup1.sav to Colony3.save
I then rename Colony3LevelData-backup1.sav to Colony3LevelData.sav

I then open Empires of the Undergrowth and open my most recent colony, it has been restored to a previous state.

Hope this helps some of you!

8
Bugs / Troubleshooting / Reporting Crashes
« on: December 02, 2017, 10:30:52 PM »
It has come to our attention that some of you are experiencing crashes, particularly when reloading formicarium from another mission. If you get any crashes, we ask politely if you could email us with the crash log files which you can find by following the link on the crash reporter (see the image linked below).



Email the files to crash@slugdisco.com

Also, could you please zip up and send us your save files too as these could be very helpful. They will usually be found at C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME\AppData\Local\EotU\Saved (where C is the drive letter of the drive with your Windows installation, and YOUR_USERNAME is your Windows username). Please note, the AppData folder is usually set to be hidden, so you will need to set Windows File Explorer to 'Show Hidden Files and Folders' (Googling this should show you how).

Thanks again for playing, we'll try and fix these crashes as soon as possible,
The Slug Disco Team

9
We have put together an extended selection of gifs from the trailer for the image sharing community imgur. It would really help us out if you could like, and possibly share the post on social media!

https://imgur.com/gallery/kQnBF

The posts on social media are here:
https://www.facebook.com/slugdisco/posts/1732804266738897
https://twitter.com/SlugDisco/status/936954013307695105

Thanks for helping us get the word out about the game!

10
News and Announcements / Early Access Starts 1st December
« on: November 17, 2017, 06:17:18 PM »
Finally.

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 delighted to announce that Empires of the Undergrowth will be entering early access on December 1st, 2017!

Early access brings an entire overhaul of the game - the biggest of which is Formicarium Mode, where you build an ant colony in a lab and upgrade it by playing missions out in the wild as different species of ant! There are four entirely new missions, two special challenges for your Formicarium, and you can explore the bountiful yet dangerous outworld above your nest.

This means the game will be for sale on Steam, and those of you who already have a copy (by backing the game or through itch.io) will be able to download it through Steam on this date!

It's been a tough few weeks for our dev team. We've taken feedback from beta testers, worked through a huge number of game-breaking glitches, balanced, tweaked and tinkered. Obviously that won't stop - when early access is underway we'll still be listening to suggestions and responding to balance issues, whilst we begin work on the first new content for early access.

So you'll all be building your formicariums and battling the critters of the undergrowth in two weeks. In the meantime, enjoy the epic announcement trailer!


11
General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Aphids vs Ladybirds
« on: July 29, 2017, 10:59:35 PM »
Our ants like to farm root aphids for the sweet honeydew they secrete. This ladybird has other ideas, however - he eats aphids, and if he isn't dealt with the entire herd will be gone!

In Empires of the Undergrowth, certain species of ant will be able to collect food in the form on honeydew from aphids around the map. They'll need to be defended, however.


12
Since releasing our first demo in Spring 2016 we have received mountains of feedback from the community, which has been constantly shaping the game’s core mechanics and features.

We feel this has ultimately resulted in a better overall game and we want to continue moving forward with help and suggestions from players.

Full blog post here:

http://slugdisco.com/entering-early-access-this-summer-steam-page-is-up/

Steam page here:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/463530

13
General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday - Beach Wide View
« on: April 08, 2017, 11:36:13 AM »
For this week's Screen Shot Saturday a wide view of the beach level we took to EGX Rezzed



The beach may be rich in protein for our ants, but there is danger lurking around each corner. Beetles, spiders and even other colonies are not going to make survival easy for our ants.

14
General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday – Fish Food
« on: March 04, 2017, 07:59:49 PM »
Each week we post a high resolution screenshot to social media. To allow discussion of these we will now also be posting these to the forum.

This image of Fish Food was posted on 4th March.


15
General Discussion / Screen Shot Saturday – Poster
« on: March 04, 2017, 07:57:42 PM »
Each week we post a high resolution screenshot to social media. To allow discussion of these we will now also be posting these to the forum.

This image of the Poster was posted on 25th February.


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