About this project
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This stretch goal will be fulfilled as we have reached £17,500
Vote for you social insect by sharing and liking on social media!
Twitter link to post (like and retweet)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Also we have added the Myrmecia ereptor reward, here is a sketch of what the optional in game model will look like.
We are part of a great little indie games collective about nature games. The site houses lots of other interesting nature based games.
Along the way many concept art pieces have been made for the game and websites. Here is a selection :
Several tracks have been made for the game already, here is a sample of them:
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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