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Simulation strategy ant colony game - excavate your nest and engage in RTS battles with large insects, arachnids and other colonies
Simulation strategy ant colony game - excavate your nest and engage in RTS battles with large insects, arachnids and other colonies
Simulation strategy ant colony game - excavate your nest and engage in RTS battles with large insects, arachnids and other colonies
1,019 backers pledged £18,087 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Empires of the Undergrowth: Rise of the Colony

£18,087

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Get the windows 32 and 64 bit demo on our IndieDB page!

Empires of the Undergrowth is a simulation-style strategy game in which the player controls an ant colony.  Underground the ants excavate their nest, store food and grow in number. On the surface they claim territory, overwhelm insects and arachnids and clash with other colonies!

Coming to steam on Windows, Mac and Linux
Coming to steam on Windows, Mac and Linux
Carve your nest from the earth
Carve your nest from the earth
Devil's Coach Horse larva are one of many little beasts that may cause you trouble underground
Devil's Coach Horse larva are one of many little beasts that may cause you trouble underground
In the undergrowth, bigger isn't always better. Sometimes numbers are king!
In the undergrowth, bigger isn't always better. Sometimes numbers are king!

We have taken influence from classic Dungeon Keeper for nest construction, and others will notice some SimAnt in our game. Combat with large insects and other colonies plays like a tug-of-war that you might see in some of Starcraft 2’s arcade maps.

I have been watching this for hours, will one of the colonies just win already!
I have been watching this for hours, will one of the colonies just win already!

The following video gives a more in-depth look at some of the gameplay features. This was originally published during our last Kickstarter and although the game mechanics have not changed - the look and feel of the game is quite different.

The game’s theme of insects and the story being told like a documentary programme add something more unique into the mix, all of this comes together to make a truly different experience. We are hoping that strategy gamers looking for something new will really appreciate the game.

Back the game on any tier and we will send you a "backers only" version of the demo, including an entirely new level and improved interface, by the end of the Kickstarter!

Watch one of our testers play the demo!

Empires of the Undergrowth is the largest project any of us have worked on. It is ambitious in its mechanics and has been both challenging and rewarding to work on. We have the underground framework in place for nest construction, user interface and combat; and as a result of feedback given about the demo we know what improvements we need to make next.

Download the demo to hear the ants popping as they emerge!
Download the demo to hear the ants popping as they emerge!

Our current focus is the mechanics of the surface. In order for the colony to feel alive and organic we are putting special focus on the swarming movements which will form the foundation of the colony vs colony clashes and attacks on large creatures. We are close with this and the battles already feel satisfying to watch.

These little workers have hit the jackpot!
These little workers have hit the jackpot!
Beach and jungle terrain
Beach and jungle terrain

By the end of May we expect to have a working prototype that includes the surface, titans, upgrades and specialist ants. From that point we will be into level design and content creation that will take us to the end of the project. This includes the various species of ants and other creatures that we want to introduce, scripting the narrator, and improving the balance of the game.

Stretch Goals

This stretch goal will be fulfilled as we have reached £17,500

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This stretch goal will be fulfilled as we have reached £15,000
You can expect to see and make fire ant bridge!

Fire Ant Bridges

Food sources to feed a growing colony can be scarce in the undergrowth and competition fierce, particularly in areas susceptible to flooding. Give your colony the edge and open up access to greener pastures with a living bridge of fire ants!

Paraponera clavata - Bullet Ant

This stretch goal will be fulfilled as we have reached £12000, welcome to the game Bullet Ants!

We are a group of Engineering and Computer Science graduates who decided it would be a great idea to make a game!

Left to right: Liam, John & Matt
Left to right: Liam, John & Matt

We have been working on the game concept for some time now, funding it ourselves through part time work. At the end of last year we were awarded some money from the UK Games Fund which allowed us to focus on the game, taking it into the Unreal Engine with the aim of producing a prototype/alpha by the end of May.

EGX 2016. We were really grateful for Hannah's help in showcasing the game at our first event
EGX 2016. We were really grateful for Hannah's help in showcasing the game at our first event

Turning this prototype into a full campaign will require more time. Additionally, we want to take it on the road to various trade shows and exhibitions such as Gamescom and Develop Brighton to raise the profile of the game and get more feedback.

We are trying to source the absolute minimum we will need to accomplish this; though raising more than the goal via Kickstarter or other means will speed up development and give us freedom to add more requested features.

A breakdown of planned spending from this Kickstarter
A breakdown of planned spending from this Kickstarter

This is our first full video game as a group. We have worked on small projects together before for fun, but this is the first time we have seriously tried to make a full game and take it through to release. It has been a steep learning curve, not just in game design, but in community engagement, listening to others, and finding out what it really means to be an indie dev. We appreciate all the help we have received along the way from friends, family, peers and (of course) those following our project. The encouragement we have received from you keeps us, and the ants going strong.

Rewards

We have received a few questions about the rewards. Whilst some are self explanatory a couple are not so here is a mock up of the posters, and a prototype of the soft toy larva.

Left ant fact poster, right game art poster
Left ant fact poster, right game art poster
The eyes are optional
The eyes are optional

Also we have added the Myrmecia ereptor reward, here is a sketch of what the optional in game model will look like.

Our Playful Oasis reward tier comes with two other nature games, Crest and Shelter!

Playful Oasis

We are part of a great little indie games collective about nature games. The site houses lots of other interesting nature based games.

Concept Art

Along the way many concept art pieces have been made for the game and websites. Here is a selection :

Game audio

Several tracks have been made for the game already, here is a sample of them:

Previous Kickstarter

Although made in a different engine, we put a lot of work into our previous Kickstarter video and it highlights the story aspects of the game.

Risks and challenges

We have already met with many challenges during the project to date. Tasks that are expected to take hours end up taking days due to unforeseen issues which can push back the plans. Additionally we understand the scope of the project must be managed to avoid feature creep. We are getting better at scaling back the ambition of the project and keeping our eyes on the finish line.

We've put in a lot of work into the prototype in advance of relaunching our Kickstarter and have invested a lot of our own time and money. We have a great handle on where we are and where we need to be, and we would not be asking for your help if we weren't absolutely confident we could deliver.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $14

    - Larva -

    A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    Access to the backers only demo of the game

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    Estimated delivery
    566 backers
    £
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £17 or more About $25

    - Pupa -

    Beta test the game before release
    Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    Printable origami ant

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    224 backers
    £
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $36

    - Worker -

    Complete game soundtrack
    Additional copy of the game

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    151 backers
    £
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £35 or more About $51

    - Myrmecia Worker -

    Alternative optional Queen and Worker ant model – Myrmecia ereptor (also added to all higher tiers)

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + Additional copy of the game

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    28 backers
    £
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $65

    - Playful Oasis Worker -

    Steam copy of Shelter and Crest

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + Additional copy of the game
    + Alternative optional Queen and Worker ant model – Myrmecia ereptor

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 10 backers
    £
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $108

    - Soldier -

    Physical ant facts OR game poster

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + 2 additional copies of the game

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    8 backers
    £
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £115 or more About $166

    - Specialist -

    Soft-Toy Larva (eyes optional)

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + 2 additional copies of the game
    + Physical "Ant Facts" OR game poster

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    7 backers
    £
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £230 or more About $332

    - Queen -

    Add a small insect to the game
    - Your choice of insect
    Physical "Ant Facts" AND game poster

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + 2 additional copies of the game
    + Soft-Toy Larva (eyes optional)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    £
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £400 or more About $577

    - Colony -

    Add a large "Titan" to the game
    - Your choice of insect or arachnid
    3 x Soft-Toy Larva (eyes optional)

    + A Steam and DRM free version of the game
    + Access to the backers only demo of the game
    + Beta test the game before release
    + Digital copies of "Ant Facts" & game posters
    + Printable origami ant
    + Complete game soundtrack
    + 2 additional copies of the game
    + Physical ant facts AND game poster

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    £
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Funding period

- (30 days)