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So close, yet so far...
May the dinosaur ant be with you, oh and also do you like my MS Paint drawing of an ant?- Hawk 2017

but did you guys not say that when we gets the beta version of it, the demo version on steam we go will update and then we will have it right?
my army will grow and i will rule the world of ants!

  • Mike

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Yep. As soon as we upload it to Steam your current demo will update to become the beta.

  • Mike

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To keep people abreast of what's going on - we totally intended to release the beta a couple of days back, but in what we hoped would be successful testing for our small group of friends & family several game-breakers were discovered. With just three developers playing it on their own for so long, it's very easy for things to be overlooked.

Now, we've uncovered a bug which resides deep in the Unreal engine and causes semi-frequent systemic crashes. We think upgrading the version of Unreal we're using will fix this. So we've decided to upgrade the engine, which entails another round of testing.

That means a bit longer. But not much longer. It's happening in very short order. I, as the social media person, am still going to have fun posting teases on Facebook and Twitter.

And by upgrading the engine you probably gonna give life to a new happy family of nasty little bugs ready to troll you ;)
But I agree, better a late release than a broken game.

Let's see if all my ant brood turns into workers before the game gets released ;D

That's btw a Lasius niger caught back in August. They've been breeding quite quickly lately, I really need to get their larger outworld ready...
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 10:24:22 PM by Serafine »

  • Mike

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I remember you posting about your Lasius niger queen! I was thinking about it at the time and I spotted some queens. I'll be ready next year. I really want a colony. Yours is thriving under skilled ownership.

Thank you so much everyone for your patience. It'l be rewarded.

Mike studying a colony can help with the ant behavior in the game.

Mike studying a colony can help with the ant behavior in the game.
Nah, not really.
You don't want your ants to be too realistic, that would be infuriating.

Just look at my Camponotus - they are absolutely terrible at teamwork. If there's three workers on a dead fly every one of them is pulling into a different direction. They get the job done in the end but it takes forever. Also while often a single worker just grabs a food item and drags it straight into the nest, it doesn't happen too rarely that a worker grabs an item, drags it an inch and then walks a away - a minute later another worker finds the item, drags it another inch only to walk away as well, and so on (until they finally got it into the nest).
And quite often they spend several minutes removing the wings and legs of dead flies or spiders before they drag them anywhere. Players would be driven insane if the EotU ants expressed such behavior.

Admittedly my Lasius are far more effective at teamwork but even they are far from being as efficient as you'd want them to be in a computer game.



What I think could be improved is the way brood gets handled - it would be pretty cool if workers would have to get food from storage areas and feed the larvae 2-3 times before they actually pupate. That would also solve the kinda silly situation where you just place some food storage tiles under a food pile and can then collect said food and dish out new ants within seconds.
You'd then have the choice between collecting close to the food source and workers having to move longer distances when feeding the larvae or transporting the food back to food tiles near the brood so brood can be reared more efficiently.

Of course that would also require an interface part that allows you to order ants to transport food from one food storage area to another (it would work in a "group selection" like the chambers, basically select one food "chamber", press a button that says "transfer food to..." and then select another food "chamber" - if these orders could be set up permanently (and ideally even percentage-based, like >transport 25% of the incoming food to "chamber" 1, 25% to "chamber" 2, 25% to "chamber" 3 and keep 25% of the incoming food stored in the chamber<) it could even allow you to form transport chains across your nest to optimize food distribution.
This could be a really cool feature that adds some economical complexity to the game and actually gives players a reason to build semi-realistic looking nests. It would also give the "groupless" worker ants something to do beside replacing eggs and looking pretty (and obviously it would vastly increase the amount of ants required to maintain the nest which I consider a good thing and also a realistic one - in most ant colonies only 10-30 % of the workers are actually outside, the rest is managing the nest, although I think a 50/50 quota would be perfectly okay for gameplay purposes).

This also would help giving the player a feeling of actual achievement for creating something, for getting this complex ant hive machinery up and running - a tiny bit of a Factorio/Settlers/Citybuilder feeling but with much much simpler mechanics. Because let's face it the economical aspect in EotU is reaaaaally underdeveloped.

Oh and it would make the formicarium mode SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING and so much prettier to look at (and for formicarium mode you can simply slow down larvae development and make them need like 200 feedings instead of 2-3 like in the missions).

(Actually I'm gonna think this through and then make a larger topic about it, this really has potential...)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 07:24:51 AM by Serafine »


If i don't get a beta backer badge would i still be able to test the beta?

  • Mike

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I'll get John to double check the thread about beta backers. If anyone has used a different email address than your Kickstarter one, please let John know what that address is and he will give you the appropriate badge. Either send him a PM on here (but the PM system here isn't great) or email him john at slugdisco dot com.

Today's update - our upgrade of the engine version EotU is using fixed some important systemic crashes, so that's great. Unfortunately it introduced some weird lighting issues in the underground - and with further experimentation it seems if we upgrade the engine one notch further those problems go away. So it looks like we're going down that route. Thankfully this isn't quite as dramatic an upgrade as the previous one, so we're expecting fewer problems from it. In a few hours once we've packaged a build we'll run through some testing ourselves, then we'll have an idea of when we're releasing it.

i bought the game know what do i get to play the beta?

  • Mike

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Hi Hawkeyes - this is a closed beta for our Kickstarter backers. But don't worry, it will not be an extended beta, only a few weeks. In the meantime, download the backer's demo from itch.io and enjoy your exclusive supporter's level, Holdout!