On the Topic of Extra Levels

Personally, I love the extra levels. I love how they add a ton more play time to one of my favorite games. I’d be pleased to see more extra levels added to the game, and I have some personal suggestions for such levels. Additionally, I also have some recommendations for how these extra levels could be “unlocked”.

“Unlocking” these extra levels would make each level seem more special, giving each the attention it deserves. Here are some example ways to unlock some extra levels:

- Unlock “The Other Foot” after losing (or winning) Formicarium challenge 3
- Unlock “Excavators” after obtaining the achievement “Enemy of my Enemy”
- Unlock “Babysitting” after entering the nest of the opposing Formica Rufa colony on the “Queen of the Hill” level (2.2).
- Unlock “Aggrandise” upon completion of level 3.2
- Unlock “Hibernation” during the first out of game winter after completing formicarium challenge 2.

As for any extra level ideas, here are a few:

1) SemiclaustralA level in which a semiclaustral trap jaw queen ant (or perhaps a bull ant?) must hunt for food while raising her first nanitic workers. This level would play much like the “hungry spider” hidden level. The queen must hunt for weak enough prey to feed herself and her young brood while avoiding stronger predators. There would be a certain amount of food she must collect whilst avoiding a more and more difficult environment in order to win. Modeling a queen trap jaw ant would take extra work, but it would allow the use of the trap jaw ants in free play.

2) Invasion: A level in which you play as a Formica Fusca (or Rufa) colony, and unknown to them, a threat is growing on the horizon. Fire ants are notoriously invasive, hitching rides on ships across the globe. One such queen has made landfall on a particular stretch of land home to the player's colony. This level plays out like a race in which both colonies compete for resources. Hopefully, the player’s colony won’t turn out like many of the other similar colonies displaced by fire ants.

Please take some of these ideas into consideration.
 

MedinBurnic

Colony
I do appreciate the time you took to write this, and I feel like it is appropriate for me to give my opinion on this.

“Unlocking” these extra levels would make each level seem more special, giving each the attention it deserves. Here are some example ways to unlock some extra levels:

I don't agree with this. Will I need to recomplete the other documentary missions just to get these extra levels I've already played? What if this gets implemented, and I'm on the tier 4 levels, how do I complete Formicarium Challenge 3 again, so I can unlock these extra levels? It'll take a chunk of work just to get this system into place, and it's not like many people will even like this new feature.

As for any extra level ideas, here are a few:
For your first suggestion, the queen will be able to attack prey? Is that what you are saying? The issue with this is it's breaking a lot of the game's rules, I wouldn't see something like this being added.

Please take some of these ideas into consideration.
One of the biggest problems I have with the EotU community is how people suggest things. Some people's suggestions are so specific, and it's something I don't like. Very specific suggestions like this need the opinion of other people in the community, as the developers aren't going to make something the exact way one person wants it.
 
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All valid concerns. I must defend my points, however. I fully agree that this community seems to make a lot of suggestions that are completely flushed out with details already, and seem to expect that when an idea is used, everything attached must be implemented as well.

I, however, believe that rather than viewing each suggestion as something that, if implemented at all, must be added in it’s entirety, each suggestion is merely an idea. An idea which serves to mainly stimulate the development of levels which the community would be pleased with. These suggestions also serve to show to the developers that the community cares a lot about the game. No suggestion will be considered more valuable than another. At least how I view it. And at the end of the day, there is a reason why this forum is called “suggestions and feedback.” Slug Disco obviously expects a lot of feedback, and a lot of it will be disregarded.

Extra levels in particular seem to be a bit topic among the community. It makes sense as to why. Extra levels are a great way to add features that seem out of place in a standard game, and a way that the community can actively participate in the direction the game goes. Many extra levels started off as community suggestions

To address your other concerns, yes, you might need to complete previously beaten levels in order to unlock these extra levels (if the developers like this idea). All this would mean is the player would have to raise up another ereptor colony. It might be a little tedious to someone who I’m sure has already completed the game, but to a new player, this system would seem smoother than to a veteran player like yourself.

The extra level idea I proposed isn’t refined. However, in my mind, I pictured it playing out much like the hungry spider hidden level, controlling the queen that way. If you aren’t aware, the player controls the colonies of fully claustral queens, meaning that the queens build claustral cells in which they fast while their eggs develop. For a semiclaustral queen, this queen needs to hunt for food while raising yours because these queens aren’t equipped with the same fat reserves that fully claustral queens are. If you are concerned about how such an extra level would feel in the game, I think I must remind you about other extra levels which also seem to not match the standard gameplay. Levels such as “Beetles Rise Up!”, and “Tug of War” already feel off from the standard experience. And yet, this is partly what makes these levels so entertaining to play. They’re different.

I hope this clears some things up for you on my intent behind this post.
 

MedinBurnic

Colony
Thank you for your response. I'll take a look at your points.

Slug Disco obviously expects a lot of feedback, and a lot of it will be disregarded.
This is a problem for Slug Disco, yes. A lot of feedback will be ignored, especially if not many people talk about it. However, I believe there is good reason on why. It's a bit of a complicated answer, but mainly Slug Disco is a small team, consisting of only three main active developers.

It's pointless to expect a developer would add every single thing the community wants, if that did happen, Empires of the Undergrowth would be a different game. The roadmap is already out, and the developers are intent of finishing the game. Once the game leaves early access, the developers should slowly branch out onto a few suggestions and see if the wider range of the community would be fine with an idea. I've seen people on the Slug Disco Discord suggesting next-tier ants, which wouldn't be an issue, if it wasn't so specific. These suggestions are written exactly how one player decided it, and I don't like that. The developers should not be listening to the community entirely, like as I said, EotU would be a different game if they did. — I think a lot will disagree with my opinion, but after all the time I have interacted with the community, I can firmly stand behind this.

Many extra levels started off as community suggestions
I'm not sure how true this is. I might be wrong, but I only spent most of my time on this forum, and I can't think of one extra level suggestion that was added. If what you are saying is true, then these suggestions happened on the Discord, not on the forum.

To address your other concerns, yes, you might need to complete previously beaten levels in order to unlock these extra levels (if the developers like this idea). All this would mean is the player would have to raise up another ereptor colony. It might be a little tedious to someone who I’m sure has already completed the game, but to a new player, this system would seem smoother than to a veteran player like yourself.
That was the issue with this thread, I'm too lazy to rebuild a new formicarium colony. It wouldn't make sense either, my current colony has all these different types of ants I that will need to rebuild over several hours. I'm assuming most of the community has completed the entire story, and I've played the documentary missions to death. I'm getting a bit tired of the 4.X missions already. I've already played them so much...

And yet, this is partly what makes these levels so entertaining to play. They’re different.
I agree, extra levels are definitely an interesting way to change the game. You do bring some valid points. I am certain your extra level idea won't happen, because it seems almost all suggestions happen on the Slug Disco Discord. It's now a waiting game to see what will happen after early access.
 
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thanhmk28

Soldier
Extremely Helpful Person
Some of my takes on the whole discussion:
1. Extra missions mostly act as test runs for new mechanics and give people stuffs to do while waiting. They don't make new stuffs unless they will be reused later in the story.
2. There is only 1 extra mission that is publicly confirmed to be fan idea: The Other Foot.
3. Beetle Rise Up! is just standard pheromone control using beetles instead of ants. Tug of War is how the mobile game Empires of the Undergrowth should have been in 2015. The missions feel new but they are mostly old stuffs.
4. A trap-jaw ant colony was planned to be in Adventure. The queen was a resized soldier. Recently, they are still debating if they want to make an actual queen model, because they don't plan the current trap-jaw ant species to be playable as complete species in freeplay at all.
5. People pay to play how they prefer. There are people who only play story or those who only play freeplay. Besides, they have already locked new units behind the extra missions and plan to continue doing so. Adding another layer of lock is redundant in my opinion. Also refer back to point 1.
6. The story only takes like 10 hours to replay, if you know the strats and how to spread out rewards.
7. I'm not in any position to answer this but the forum is very slow, most bug reports here are from 1-2 dedicated individuals. Discord exclusive tests only last like 2-3 days. They needed fast responds to fix and pack everything to make usable public tests. They can also ping everyone for quick announcement, unlike here.
8. Discord suggestions are easy for the devs to gauge interest with the whole emoji response. But there is no proof that they only take suggestion from there.
 

MikeSlugDisco

Community Manager
Staff member
Community Manager
In 2021, Slug Disco added a Discord-exculsive beta for the fire ant demo. Why was it “Discord Exclusive”? When will we have a “Forum Exclusive” beta? Why are some announcements are only posted on the Discord, and not here? I need an answer, I believe I will not get one. It seems Slug Disco always puts Discord as first priority when it comes to community interaction. For what reason? Probably just because more people have Discord, that's the reason.
.

This is an... odd take. I'm not sure how I feel about being called out for prioritising the much more supported and populous of the two. I've only so much time and I need to make that time have the higher impact.
 

MedinBurnic

Colony
This is an... odd take. I'm not sure how I feel about being called out for prioritising the much more supported and populous of the two. I've only so much time and I need to make that time have the higher impact.
Yeah, this is a reasonable response. Everyone has Discord nowadays, and the “Discord Exclusive” betas are a great way to promote it. This isn't a huge deal anymore—the roadmap is already out. Now I just feel ashamed after writing that... Time to press delete.

I'm not in any position to answer this but the forum is very slow, most bug reports here are from 1-2 dedicated individuals. Discord exclusive tests only last like 2-3 days.
You are right, I didn't fully realize this until now. A lot of people have Discord, and this forum is very slow. The Discord is always active, always something new happening. Heolx streaming, new suggestions, and a lot of community interaction.
 
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Scyobi_Empire

Queen
Extremely Helpful Person
Ecosystem Beta Tester
I'm not sure how true this is. I might be wrong, but I only spent most of my time on this forum, and I can't think of one extra level suggestion that was added. If what you are saying is true, then these suggestions happened on the Discord, not on the forum.
Ditto
6. The story only takes like 10 hours to replay, if you know the strats and how to spread out rewards.
Depends on the speed of the player, I plan a lot of things out and aim to have a large full store with buffed ants, so I have still yet to finish the FC4 (ignoring the fact I am currently using a lot of things to format USBs, transfer files and just lack of time on my hand).
 
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