FAQ Frequently Asked Questions - Read Before Posting!

MikeSlugDisco

Community Manager
Staff member
Community Manager
#1
When will the next update be?

We have a policy of not announcing release dates before we're sure we can meet the date. To be honest this stems from a history of being terrible at meeting predictions we've made for ourselves! We're not alone in this - even the really big developers have trouble pinning down when an update will be done.

Smaller patches without major new features are likely to come unannounced, but larger patches will likely get a few week's notice.

What ants / creatures will be in the next big update?

The focal species for the next major update will be fire ants! See the June 2019 newsletter for a bit more discussion about this:

http://slugdisco.com/june-2019-newsletter/

What's next for the game?

The next large update will focus on an overhaul of the freeplay mode. As well as adding the leafcutters into the mode, there will be some fundamental changes to the way it works and John has started development on this. Read the below quote from the April-May 2019 newsletter for more information:

There are many new features he intends to add – first and foremost, he will be adding leafcutters themselves as a species option to the mode. This didn’t make it into the main leafcutter update for several reasons – they operate so differently in their food gathering and caste system to the other ants that adding them is far from a trivial task.

It was relatively easy for John to add the new creatures to freeplay in time for release but the leafcutter colony itself needs a lot of work. The climbing system that the leafcutters use needs a way to be saved mid-climb (a first for freeplay – creature actions are not currently saved), and of course there needs to be special landmark and balance considerations for them since they harvest leaves as their only source of food, and want to avoid conflict with other creatures as much as they can since they get no resources from them.

There will also be a re-work of the creature spawning system. Currently, increased difficulty level leads to the spawning of more creatures. Towards the end of a freeplay game this can mean the entire map is simply swamped with enemies, which affects performance as well as experience. John’s plan is to add tiered enemies instead, which means tougher individual enemies rather than more of them.

Also, something we’ve wanted to add to freeplay for some time is optional victory conditions. When we did our last recording session with our narrator we recorded some victory narration for freeplay, and this is the opportunity to implement that properly. Optional conditions might be collect X number of food, kill X uber creatures, or survive for a set period of time. There’s lots of room for experimentation with this!

Finally, John is planning on a brand new freeplay level set in the new rainforest environment. He’s likely to livestream quite a lot of this, talking to the chat and taking suggestions. We’ll post on our social media when we do this and on occasion will post an announcement on the Steam page for particularly important streams.
When will the game be complete?

We are calling the game version 1.0 once we've completed 5 formicarium tiers. That means that now that the leafcutter update is in, which is tier 3, there are 2 more major updates before we take the game out of early access.

That does not mean that development will end at this point. As long as things are still going sustainably we will continue to add new things to the game. At some point we will likely want to move onto a new project but excluding outright catastrophe we don't see ourselves ending support for the game entirely.

Why can't we move the queen? Queen ants move in nature.

We're fully aware that most queen ants are very mobile in the real world - but Empires of the Undergrowth is not a simulation. Quite simply this is a choice of game mechanics - Our primary inspiration for this game is Dungeon Keeper. It has a "Dungeon Heart" mechanic which is a central point that must be defended. The levels are designed and balanced around this.

If it were possible to move the queen, the obvious tactic would be to move her to a much more easily defensible position than she starts in, far behind your forces. Unlike most RTS games we don't have a wide open arena - the underground is bound by many walls and allowing the player to do this would cause insurmountable balance issues.

Why can't we build dirt tiles? Do you plan on adding this?

The answer to this is similar to the queen one above. Allowing the player to build dirt tiles would unbalance the game by allowing the player to create labyrinthine paths to the queen, or force clunky things like path checks to make sure there's always a way to access the queen and brood chambers. This feels inelegant. We've been thinking about the game mechanics since 2014 and haven't come up with a way for building dirt tiles that we like and doesn't break things.

If this were to find a place in the game, it's not at all likely to be in the campaign.

Will the game have multiplayer?

We're all fans of Starcraft, C&C, AoE and any number of other iconic multiplayer RTS games and we'd like to do a multiplayer mode for the game. Whether this happens or not depends on several things - and it certainly won't be a feature before we exit early access. Most importantly we will have to assess whether the months-long endeavour that is adding a worthwhile multiplayer experience to the game will be sustainable.

In short - we will be assessing this post-release and not before.

Will we be able to make our own maps?

The in-house solution we use is great for us but isn't fit for public consumption. A lot like multiplayer, making a level editor fit for purpose outside of the dev team would take a lot of time and we'd have to weigh up whether it'd be worth it. Also like multiplayer, it's something we'd like to do but certainly not before we leave early access.

Will you add more things outside of the main formicarium story?

Yes. We have recently added a new demo level to the game - The Crucible - and because it didn't need new music, art assets, voice acting or sound effects it was a very quick turnaround (about a week). We've recently decided we'd like to add extra missions apart from the main formicarium story as a way of adding variety to the game.

We also plan on adding one-offs like the Hungry Spider level (which appears on the main menu on full moons and Halloween) for special events. Perhaps Christmas, Easter, summer holidays? Plenty of things we might do here.

Where are the saved game files located? Are you going to do cloud save?

For Windows users, the save files are at:
C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Local\EotU\Saved\SaveGames

If you're using a Mac, the save files are at:
/Users/[YOUR USER NAME]/Library/Preferences/EotU

Steamworks integration is definitely on the cards and that will include cloud saves for Steam users. Until we get to that point, copying the files in the above folders is a good way to back up your saves / move them to a different machine.

Is the game available on Android / iOS / consoles?

No, and there are not currently any plans for support outside of Windows, Mac and Linux. If this changes in the future we will make an announcement about it.

An important related point here is that if you see a game purporting to be Empires of the Undergrowth on any mobile stores, they are certainly not us and may in fact be dangerous to your device or personal data. Please report them to the stores and to us.

Are we going to get challenge modes for campaign levels that don't currently have them?

Yes - in the finished game, all the main branch campaign levels will have an associated challenge mode. These are usually added after their initial release.

My computer won't run the game / runs slowly / crashes. Why?

The most common cause of this is that your system doesn't meet the minimum recommended hardware specs for the game. These are listed below:

Windows:
  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit or higher
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
Mac OS:
  • OS: Mac OS X 10.12.6
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
Linux:
  • OS: Any reasonable new Linux distro (Ubuntu 16.04)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-4340 / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
Please note that although many Mac systems are highly-specced in some areas, they often lack a dedicated graphics card completely and rely on a low-grade Intel HD solution. Although we support Mac and the game might run on such systems, performance will suffer greatly as a result. Make sure you check that your Mac system has a dedicated graphics card before you purchase.

I meet the minimum specs but I'm still crashing. How do I report it?

Make sure you're not just clicking the "send" button on the UE4 crash dialogue - that goes to Epic Games, makers of the engine, not us. Instead please follow the instructions in this thread on Steam to make sure the correct information gets to us.

Anything contextual you can give us when you send the email will be very helpful - your computer specs, what you were doing at the time of the crash, if it's easily repeatable, etc. The more information we have the faster we can get to the bottom of the matter.
 
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