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War for the Overworld is a next-generation Dungeon Management Game that sees you as a villainous god-like entity in charge of running your very own Dungeon.Influenced by Dungeon Keeper, Overlord and Evil Genius.
8,351 backers pledged £211,371 to help bring this project to life.

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WFTO Wednesday #121: Information is Power

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Hey folks,

Its been a quiet week over at Subterranean HQ, we’ve taken the opportunity to let a few of us spread our wings and have some short breaks to see the outside world.

Honestly we think it’s been rather oversold... In all our forays outside, strange frozen raindrops have assaulted us from the skies. The superstitious among have claimed that such signs herald the end times, or are punishment from the divine lord Sammy for abandoning our posts.

Still that doesn’t mean we’ve not been hard at work and continuing to improve the game for you read on for the progress this week! 

Patch 1.1 Progress - Information Panel 

Although we’ve been “blessed” by receiving the punishment of the sky gods there are those of us still slaving away on the new and returning features for patch 1.1. Progress is going well and we’re still on track for the release within a months time. 

Over the next few weeks you can expect a couple of teasers from us with details of the changes coming up in the patch, we’ll be showing these off as and when they become available for us to do so. 

First up is the information panel which is receiving a complete design review, the “Dev text” which was previously prevalent in this panel has now been replaced with friendly ’descriptive text and important information for the player. 

All props, units, rooms and tiles will display the information that we feel it’s important that you know about that particular object. For example the purpose of each prop is now readily available, ownership is now clarified and generally the whole panel is now tidied up.

We’ve still got some work to do so any feedback is welcome, be sure to leave a message over on our forums! 

The Future of WFTO Wednesdays 

Since the completion of our Kickstarter Campaign we have been releasing a WFTO Wednesday update every week, it’s always been our goal to keep you informed of where development is at as well as to tease some of the things you could expect to see in War for the Overworld. 

 Now that the game has released practically all of the information is already in public hands and our focus for War for the Overworld now on long term maintenance and expansion rather than the development of news units, spells or rooms. As such it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to fill in these regular news posts with brand new information that you don’t already know. 

 We can feel the twilight days of these posts fast approaching, but before the end we want you to know our plans well in advance. Next month we will be stopping our weekly news posts, instead we’ll simply be posting news as it develops and then recapping it at a set time in the month. 

 It’s our hope that this will save not only our time but yours as well and help us avoid the times where WFTO Wednesday is naught but a few lines. Naturally we’ll be remaining active on the forums and we’ll be posting all news to our social media channels and steam as well. You will always be able to contact us there! 

 WFTO Wednesday will be running for a few more weeks and then we’ll be switching over to monthly news recaps. Thank you all for sticking with us through all these years and we hope for many more to come! 

Until next time Underlord, 

- WFTO Team 

Click here to discuss this update on our forums! 

 Click here to view this update on our website!

WFTO Wednesday #120: A Patch in Time

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Hey folks,

We’re now back online after the latest engineer visit and we’re once again hard at work on patching up the game! So with that in mind this week’s WFTO Wednesday is going to focus on our recently released patch as well as what you can expect in Patch 1.1. Read on Underlords!

Patch 1.0.25 Released 

Yesterday we released patch 1.0.25 to the public steam branch, this patch contains a number of improvements to performance with further optimisations to the fog of war and other backend systems. We’ve also crushed another set of bugs that have been reported and made a few changes to some levels. 

Click here for the full patch notes 

Patch 1.1 in Development 

We’re happy to announce that we’ve planned out and are already underway with many of the features needed for the next major patch. 

We’ve been listening to the feedback that you’ve been giving to us and we’re planning this patch to reintroduce 4-Player Skirmish & Multiplayer support, the improved lobbies, more maps, new tooltips and more! 

Here’s just a few of the things you can expect in the 1.1 Patch: 

  • Skirmish & Multiplayer lobby reworks 
  • 4-Player Skirmish & Multiplayer Support 
  • Co-op vs AI in Multiplayer 
  • Many more 2 and 4 player maps 
  • Improvements to the Skirmish AI 
  • First pass on the information panel, replacing all placeholder text
  • Improvements to Possession Feedback 
  • Arcane theme for Early-Access testers & Kickstarter Backers 

 Of course we’re still working on the remaining bugs as they’re being found and you can expect more fixes in smaller patches and within 1.1 itself. Provided there are no significant holdups we expect patch 1.1 to release within a month. 

“Too many threads” crash potential workaround 

We're still investigating the "Too many threads" crash as a matter of priority and we believe we may be getting closer to the root cause. Thanks in no small part to Anialator100 over on our forums who has dedicated time to help us nail it down.

As part of the investigation into the issue we found that his crash only occurs when V-Sync is disabled and when this is enabled the crash no longer occurred. Seemingly indicating that there is crash affecting users on certain systems related to a jump in framerate. 

For now we recommend enabling V-Sync as a potential work-around while we continue to hunt the errant code. We don’t expect this will correct every variation of the crash so please let us know if this does or does not work for you! 

Introducing Link, the lost hero 

Nearly a week ago Subterranean HQ was invaded by a curious servant of the empire, rather than torture him for information we are instead holding him captive to see if we can attract further ambitious heroes whom we can ply their knowledge with carrots and head scratches.

For now we’ll be keeping him under surveillance in his prison but we’re sure that the corrupting influence of our code team will soon have him programming the next features for you! 

Until next time Underlord, 

- WFTO Team 

 Click here to discuss this update on our forums! 

 Click here to view this update on our website!

WFTO Wednesday #119: War for the Internet

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 Hey folks,

We’re partially back online after a few days of extremely unreliable internet, unfortunately we’re still suffering regular outages and this is making a few of our regular tasks difficult. Such as posting news or indeed uploading builds.

We’re having another engineer drop by Subterranean HQ and hopefully we’ll have some resolution by friday. As you may have seen a couple of days ago we posted our “State of the Game” video and retrospective, so as you can imagine we don’t have too much to report other than that so this we’re instead just posting a short recap of everything that’s happened this week.

State of the Game  

On Monday evening we released a short video outlining the direction of WFTO’s future development. This video quickly encapsulates our plans moving forwards, you can view it immediately below!

Alongside the video we also posted a large retrospective on the launch development of WFTO, we’ve tried to be as comprehensive as we possibly could at the time and it provides some incredible insight into the trials and tribulations we’ve faced over the course of development. Pop on over and give it a read!

Patch 1.0.21 Released

Shortly before the retrospective went up we also posted up a new patch which has addressed some critical performance issues facing a great deal of users. You can read the full patch notes over in our hotfix archive thread.

We’re still working on a number of other issues ranging from further performance optimisations to missings features but our top priority at this time is the “Too many Threads” crash that has been plaguing some players.

The Grimoire of Minions by Fireeye

This week we’ve also seen a fantastic Steam community guide written by one of our most dedicated community members come to light. The brilliant Fireeye has assembled this astounding compendium of units for both the Underlord and Empire factions.

Chock full of flavourful writing and useful information we highly recommend any Underlord worth their salt giving it a good read! Check it out over on the Steam site!

That’s it for this week Underlord we’ll be back next wednesday with some more news on our upcoming updates.

Until next time Underlord,  

- WFTO Team  

Click here to discuss this update on our forums!

Click here to view this update on our website!

State of the Game (13-04-2015)

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Darkest greetings Underlords,

As we previously announced in WFTO Wednesday #118 we’ve been preparing a statement on the current state of the game, the launch, and our plans moving forward.

Originally we intended to release this video on the 9th of April but since Thursday morning we’ve been suffering major internet issues that have prevented us from uploading to Youtube (you may have also noticed a slowdown in patching). During the time we’ve been offline we took the opportunity to re-record the video as the original footage we captured had become outdated and no longer relevant, mostly due to our ongoing work during the downtime.

This new video will focus primarily on the current state of the game and our plans for ongoing fixes, improvements, and features. For those interested in more context, this post will be going into more depth on the situation at launch. So without further adieu please view the video below and if you’re still looking for continue to read the post below!

Video: State of the Game 

This video focusses on the current development status of the game, our plans for ongoing support and the features we’re currently working on.

Launch

Throughout the two weeks since WFTO’s Launch we’ve been through a huge array of different emotions here at Subterranean HQ, something we’re sure many of our fans have also experienced.

It’s safe to say that the state WFTO released in was not something we had intended to happen and it was with great disappointment we realised exactly what had occurred. We had been extremely rushed in the last few months leading up to release; despite working around the clock to finish the game and despite our best efforts the final result was not as polished or as bug-free as we would have liked. 

The biggest question on everyone’s mind and one we’ve seen repeated again and again across the community is: “Why would you release the game in the state it was in?”.

This is a question that is hard to answer without making excuses, to which we know there is no excuse. Instead we’d like to offer some insights and clarity into where we were at the time, and hopefully bring some transparency to why we made some decisions at the expense of other things. But first we’d like to start with some history.

Some history 

In January 2013 our Kickstarter was successfully funded with a grand total of £225k raised. With the success of our Kickstarter we took on an extremely big project, perhaps too big for a team of 15 people who had never before released a game, and who weren’t able to appropriately identify the true lack of resources we faced for a game of this scale. Regardless, we immediately set to it with the fervent dedication and commitment we’ve become known for.

 No project is without it’s share of dysfunction however and WFTO is no different. During the early months of the project we ran into a few significant issues that cost us dearly. Early last year we posted a retrospective of the first year of WFTO’s development. It’s a pretty long post but it will provide more context for those of you that are interested.

It was after the the events described in the retrospective post that the team underwent a significant restructure and change of management. On top of that, the team came together and agreed to voluntary pay cuts across the board to ensure the continuation of WFTOs development. 

In addition, a significant amount of work that was done during this period had to be completely scrapped, the net result of which was a significant loss on our part. However we were confident that with these changes we could carry on for a while and through some lucky breaks we were able to catch enough funding to continue development for another year. For a time we were secure, and this lasted until late 2014.

The last 6 months 

Despite the changes we described above it was towards the end of 2014 that we again found our situation becoming dire. Early Access had been an extremely useful program for us both in terms of feedback, QA and financial support, but the funds coming in were not enough to sustain us indefinitely and our finances had become extremely tight, so we put together a plan and budget for the remainder of development to ensure we’d be able to see ourselves through to launch.

Firstly, we borrowed as much money as we could from various sources, mainly from the bank but also from a particularly dedicated member of the team who chose to put his own money into the project to make these last few months possible. 

Secondly, a portion of the team voluntarily chose to go without pay for the last two months of development. This period especially was very difficult for us to stomach but it had allowed us to push the game into the best state we could manage without risking us going under. 

We pushed ourselves extremely hard, often working 18, 24 or 48 hour shifts, devoting our lives to the game where we could but still that lead us to a situation we weren’t content with, yet still backed into a corner. 

Some of you are no doubt wondering why we didn’t share our situation in one of our weekly news posts. The primary of which was that we didn’t wish to cause a panic that the game would never be finished, and that the panic itself would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

This probably provides a good insight into how close we were to the end and helps to explain the next question. 

Why not delay? 

This is the huge elephant in the room, a question asked time again and though we’ve been doing our best to answer this as it’s appeared we wanted this to be in the most public space we can. 

The above no doubt helps to clarify why we were unable to shift our release schedule, it’s unlikely we would have been able to survive until another opportune window for release appeared. Something that would have cost us the game in it’s entirely. 

There are of course a few other less devastating reasons. Primarily that we were so focussed on the upcoming release on the game that by the time we realise we needed an extra few weeks we were already far too close to realistically delay. 

Physical boxes were in production, various commitments, both internal and external had been made and the budget left over for marketing had already been spent. The wheels were well and truly in motion and it was now impossible to put the breaker on without serious financial harm. 

How did so many bugs slip through? 

Something that has left us truly disappointed in ourselves is how many of you have suffered from various issues in the launch version of War for the Overworld. A question that pops up time and time again is why there were so many bugs and why we didn’t have them all fixed for release. 

Many bugs that have been discovered since launch were ones that we weren’t aware of, or they were introduced in the very last few days of pre-release development before we had a proper chance to catch them. 

The difference between having a couple of dozen users playing on a daily basis to literally thousands was extremely profound, we were swamped with issues that we hadn’t even come across or ones that affected systems with specs we hadn’t been able to properly test. It was an extremely eye-opening experience for us. 

Finally, we do have an extremely dedicated group of volunteers QAing the game, without their help the game would have been in a far worse state than it was and we can only thank them for their hard work. 

What’s next? 

As we’ve mentioned in the video above we’ve been working almost around the clock to improve the game, we’ve fixed a huge number of bugs through 21 separate patches at time of writing and are continuing to work on the most crucial issues moving forwards. 

We’re also working on implementing the features that had been missing from the game, things like tooltips and lobbies which had no right being missing, we expect that those will be implemented within a week or two. 

On a more long term basis, once all the major issues are out of the way we’ll be starting work on the free content updates including the Map Editor, Steam Workshop support and Survival Mode. We’ll likely be working on those alongside the story DLC which will introduce new levels to the campaign and is of course free to all our early-adopters. 

With regards to future levels in the campaign we are paying close attention to the feedback we’ve been receiving and we’ll be keeping it very much in the forefront of our mind when we are designing those levels. 

Conclusion 

We’d like to reassure you all that we are 100% committed and dedicated to War for the Overworld. It’s a game that we truly believed had to be made and though we have certainly slipped up from time to time, this has been a labour of love from start to finish and we’re keen to continue dedicating ourselves to WFTO’s future.

But we have plenty more to give and we’re planning to ensure that WFTO will live up to your expectations as best we can! 

 Until next time Underlord,

- WFTO Team 

Click here to discuss this update on our forums! 

Click here to view this update on our website!

WFTO Wednesday #118: Hot off the Presses

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 Hey folks,

Welcome to our first WFTO Wednesday since the game launched, as you know we've barely stopped in the last few days patching critical issues that have been appearing left right and center.

As such there won’t be too much to read here as we’re preparing a video statement regarding the game as it stands now, the mixed reception we've received and how we plan to proceed moving forwards. 

It’s currently in editing now and will be released tomorrow We plan to produce a video every month detailing the state of the game so please keep your eyes peeled today and every month.

15 Hotfix Patches Released!

Over the course of the past week we’ve been releasing regular patches to steam, sometimes multiple times a day and these have been fixing a lot of issues that are facing players.

For a full archive of patch notes please see this thread.

Our upcoming patches will have a bigger gap between them but we will still be releasing patches as often as possible. We’ve also identified the cause of the memory leak affecting many users and the fix for that will be included in the upcoming patch 16.

Status of the DRM-Free Version

Many of our backers have been asking on the status of the DRM-Free version and have been concerned that we haven’t mentioned it. We’ve certainly not forgotten about it though at this moment our code team is prioritising the critical issues that are facing players.

We will be working on the DRM-Free version once all the major issues are fully patched up. We will need some additional time to test the DRM-Free version as we will be removing many steam reliant features, though hopefully this should not impact the game too dramatically.

Crowdfunding Backer Support 

For our Backers, especially those who have been absent since our kickstarter was successful, if you’re having any issues getting your WFTO Steam key or expecting physical goods and need to update your address then please head on over to our help and support forums and ask for Alistair! 

 That’s it for this week Underlords, we’ll see you next week for another update! 

Until next time Underlord, 

- WFTO Team 

 Click here to discuss this update on our forums! 

 Click here to view this update on our website!