Optional Suggestions

First off, I'd like to address the simple fact that making video games is hard, and as of right now, you've done an incredible job at both creating a fun, balanced game and cultivating a sense of realism that has set this game apart from many others. You've truly created an unparalleled game.

Suggestion #1 - Venom to Chemical Damage Type:
Though I'm guessing that many people might not catch on to this right away, the "venom" damage currently being dealt in the game actually isn't venom in the strictest sense. The chemical solution sprayed by the Formica Rufa ranged ants is actually formic acid, and dissolves the exoskeleton of the opposing ants. Venom implies that the victim was injected. Poison means that it was ingested. Seeing as how once fire ants are implemented into the game, we will see a true example of venom, the damage type cannot be acid. This is why I think the damage type should be renamed to chemical. However, as I'm assuming that most people will overlook this detail, I'm guessing that it isn't very important.

Suggestion #2 - Another Ranged Unit:
Upon first glance, One might not think that this game needs another ranged unit, and perhaps it doesn't. However, another unit option could be an AOE (Area Of Effect) attack much like the Devil's Coach Horse Beetle's spray attack that could confuse the opponents, and could be a shorter ranged attack than the ones seen by the Formica Rufa ants. Crematogaster Striatula and Formica Archboldi are good examples of something similar. With Formica Archboldi, a new ability that allows it to mimic the smell of it's opponents, allowing it to get close enough to release it's spray of acid which dissipates if it is released too far away. The scent mimicry ability could also simply be implemented as a low threat generation. With the addition of this unit (or a similar one), the game would have all three variations of ranged: a rapid fire attack, a powerful but slow AOE attack, and a short ranged acid spray AOE attack. Personally, I wouldn't be too upset if this one wasn't implemented as I think that the game is balanced as it is. However, I do think that it is worth considering.

Suggestion #3 - Driver Ants for Tier 5:
I know that you've probably received innumerable suggestions for more ants, but I'd like to input my own suggestions nonetheless. I believe that your team once already had a model for the Driver ant, which means that hopefully, adding this ant to the game will be easier. The reason why I think these ants would make an excellent addition to the game is that they have a unique physiology and behavior. Driver ants are blind, and live a semi-nomadic lifestyle with temporary nesting sites housing the colony from anywhere between a few days and a few months after which they will march in a long column to new foraging ground, killing anything they encounter along the way. Additionally, driver ants will invade the nests of termites and other ants, potentially allowing the player to conduct raids on a nest (of either ants or termites) in the main formicarium levels. As mentioned earlier, Driver ants are blind, which could lend itself to some new abilities themed around this. Some unique traits could be that the Driver ant's attacks are slower but deal a lot of damage and also slow the opponent down, "latching on" to their prey and reducing attack and movement speed marginally, the percentage of which increases exponentially the more driver ants are attacking the same target, encouraging the player to play in a way that matches how Driver ants act in the wild. This would eventually restrain the target almost completely. Perhaps this takes place as an aura of some sort. Or perhaps instead of this ability, Driver ants instead use the same ability that the Army ants have or a stronger thorns ability than the Leaf cutter ant majors have. Another way the behavior of these ants could be demonstrated could be through their sentry-like behavior, guarding foraging trails. Perhaps if the player selects the "don't collect food" option in the pheromone control box, the Driver ant majors position themselves along the foraging trail, distributing themselves evenly so as to better protect the other ants. As for stats, Driver ant majors would have low attack speed, medium health, high physical defense, medium venom defense, high damage, and medium movement speed, though of course it will be up to your team to properly balance it.

Suggestion #4 - Extra Levels:
A really fun addition to the game were the extra levels. I'd recommend you continue to make these, as they are extremely fun and create unique situations which aren't seen elsewhere in the game. Please continue to make these. 1) I'm not sure if you'd be open to using new species of ants in these extra levels, but if you are, I'd recommend having an extra level in which a colony of Asian Bullet ants or another species of ant that employs gamergates, a worker ant that has been allowed to reproduce because it is the strongest of the worker ants. In this extra level, a colony of these ants have just recently lost their gamergate, requiring a male to mate with in order to create another gamergate. In this level, you'd have a set amount of workers/soldiers that once lost, cannot be replaced. A nuptial flight is occurring in a few days, and the objective of the level is to survive until then, needing to defend themselves against an oppressive swarm of fire ants that has made it's home nearby. 2) A Formica Fusca ant colony has made it's home in a territory not far from a supercolony of Formica Rufa ants. It's nuptial flight season, and Formica Rufa reproductives are taking to the air. Unfortunately, the young Formica Fusca ant colony marks itself as a prime target for newly mated Formica Rufa ant queens. The black ant colony must defend itself against these Rufa queens while simultaneously growing in size large enough to no longer fear the supercolony not far away and to no longer be vulnerable to Formica Rufa alates that could infiltrate the colony and replace the queen.

Suggestion #5 - The "Hide" Option:
I think it's important for a computer to be able to run smoothly when running this game, and this is made difficult due to the sheer number of entities on screen at a time. I suggest there be an option to hide the minum workers from view, though the program would still be running their code. I also think a hide option should be added for the arrows that become visible through use of the pheromone markers. I think it might be nice to be able to hide these as though they are useful in certain scenarios, they are quite unsightly.
Suggestion #6 - Achievements:
Though there are currently achievements in the game, I'd like to provide the suggestion of adding more, especially more hidden achievements for things not directly related to the story but are instead more for fun and can be achieved through the various formicarium levels. I'd also suggest that some achievements get removed because of redundancy. For example, for completing formicarium challenge #1, there is an achievement for every single difficulty level. Perhaps instead have an achievement for beating it on any difficulty, and another one for defeating it on insane? Also, I'd recommend not having every single achievement centered around beating levels on insane difficulty, as insane is incredibly difficult, and having achievements like, "don't let the slave makers steal a single egg" whilst also dealing with insane difficulty is...well... insane. Beating any level on insane is an achievement all in itself, and I think that perhaps achievements that require the level to be beaten on insane level in addition to something else should be separated and become two separate achievements. Here are some achievement ideas: Beat 2.1 whilst only using ranged units. Beat every level and every formicarium challenge on insane difficulty. Beat formicarium challenge #2/formicarium challenge #3 whilst only using melee ants. Never lose more than a single egg to the slave makers on the level Subjugation. Beat the level New Home with the last creatures being woodlice/woodlice larvae. Beat 3.1 while having at least 3,000 more leaves harvested than your opponent. Defeat the giant whip spider on 3.2 whilst on insane difficulty. Beat formicarium challenge #3 without using leaf cutter majors.

Suggestion #7 - Honey Pot Ants for Tier 6:
At this point, I've suggested three different ants for future consideration, including this one. I think Honey Pot ants would provide a new play style. However, these ants along with their respective levels could be added as a DLC if not included in the main game. The Honey Pot ants would be played in the same terrarium/environment as the Driver Ants. What makes Honey Pot ants unique is their repletes with their enlarged gasters, used to store food. In game, this could be implemented as a feature that will consume food, but will slowly generate food over time (I know this isn't how it works in reality, but this is the best way I could think of that balances realism and application in game that makes this ant worth using. One variation of this ant would generate food faster but generate less, while the other variation would generate slower but generate more in the long run. I'm not sure if these ants would break the balance of the game, so feel free to change the ability of these ants.

Suggestion #8 - Choose Your Own Formicarium:
I know that this would take a monumental amount of effort to complete. However, I do think it would be worth it to create a sort of branching system in which we could choose which formicarium we start with. This in turn would change which levels we got to play, eventually clashing with the other formicarium. This would introduce levels in which we could play as Trap Jaw ants, Army ants, Slave Maker ants, etc. This would take a lot of work but could lead to some amazing gameplay.

Suggestion #9 - Termites:
As the name of the game is Empires of the Undergrowth, it doesn't exclude other cooperative insects like termites. I think it would be interesting to see termites added to the game, even if we are unable to play as them. Perhaps let us play as them in an extra level that lets us be on the receiving end of Driver ant raids?
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#1 I agree with this.
#3 The 5th species is already decided and is in model making process.
#4 They only do extra missions that reuse assets because it's less time consuming.
#5 I agree with this too.
#6 I'd like to keep "any difficult" and "insane" too. They have made an achievement suggestion post, just use the search bar to find it.
#9 Formossan termites are confirmed for 5th tier.


Extremely Helpful Person
Ecosystem Beta Tester
Tier 5 is the end and while Honeypot's were planned on Kickstarter the game changed direction from quantity to quality. Tier 5 has apparently been planned out and Tier 4 are fire ants.
I love all of this! I know that game development is loads of work, but I love the game so much it’s impossible to restrain myself from making suggestions. You somehow addressed half of the concepts that had been stewing around in my own head, so thank you!