Underworld Overlord Update 2 Live Now – Details From Lead Designer Carl Ahlund
Hi there, this is Carl Ahlund, lead designer of Underworld Overlord. I’d like to take a moment to briefly discuss a couple of the improvements you’ll find in update 2, which went live today. As many of the enhancements are under the hood they may not be immediately obvious, but nonetheless should result in a noticeable improvement in the overall gameplay experience.
Underworld Overlord is a hybrid action-strategy game. It has a strong tower defense vibe, but takes a unique, non-traditional approach to the conventional mechanics. So, instead of long columns of enemies beelining towards their goal along a pre-determined path, our antagonists (the “heroes”) amble into an unexplored dungeon, totally unaware of their objective’s location. As such, they must spend time carefully searching the chamber while the player attempts to distract, misdirect or lure them into a deadly ambush.
This ‘searching’ AI behavior is something we are constantly working to improve upon. Previously, the heroes would spend too long at search points or get caught up in a sort of ‘search loop’ when attacked at certain spots. Also, there were circumstances where they would stroll past the animus without seeming to notice it. So, we’ve been working to further refine the hero AI, particularly during instances where searching and combat intersect. Heroes now explore the chamber in a more natural, deliberate manner.
Next, we revamped the scoring mechanic. Originally, player performance was judged solely by the percentage of remaining animus health. Now, each monster that perishes in combat factors into the score. This offers a more nuanced and challenging approach to earning skulls and encourages experimenting with different strategies to preserve the health of both monster and animus. Expect some tense final waves and last ditch fireballs to get that third skull now.
In addition to those improvements, we’ve made several handfuls of balance tweaks, optimizations, and bug fixes.
Stay tuned for more updates, with new content, more polish and tuning. As always, please let us know your thoughts and things you want to see in future updates.
Until next time!