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Our most explosive update ever & what’s next


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  • Developers

TL;DR We’re adding dams, dynamite, reworked crops, and more to the beta. We have a new trailer and talk about Early Access!

Hot dam! It feels great to finally share today’s update with you. Dam & Blast (a.k.a. Dam Good Update or The Smoke and the Water, as we couldn’t agree on a name) turned out to be the largest update to the game so far. You could say it opens the floodgates to all future releases!

But first, moving pictures.

Dams & dynamites
If you have watched the trailer till the very end, you know what’s coming. Timberborn is all about beavers – and dams have been the most anticipated feature. It required adding water physics, changing how water is rendered and how it interacts with objects in the game – but it’s here.

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The first iteration of the system allows you to put up Dams and Levees. The Levee modules block all water and can be stacked on top of each other, and you can build on them. Dams, on the other hand, allow some water to pass through.

If you mess with a river, you need a way to redirect its waters – and that’s why we’re equipping our post-apocalyptic beavers with dynamite. Once you arm it, it blows up a single voxel of the ground beneath (and if there are more explosives nearby, a chain reaction follows). This way, you can dig new canals and reservoirs. Just be careful: accidents happen. You could cause the river to flood your settlement, paralyzing your buildings and threatening the life of your colony.

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For now, the system makes it easier to expand your settlement and provide it with water and energy, but it’s just a beginning. Rivers will be at the core of new mechanics we plan to add to the game, such as droughts and irrigation. We’ll share more about that in the coming months.

Reworked forestry and farming
With the new update, you will be able to build fields and orchards in any shapes you want. You can finally cover the steep hills of Beaverville with golden wheat and rows of carrots!

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A similar tool is used to plant bushes and trees. We have also simplified how gathering and tree cutting work. Once you mark an area for your tail-wiggling lumberjacks, they will remember about it when trees grow back, while gatherers automatically collect fruits within reach.

This feature required a lot of work under the hood, but it paves the ground for adding fresh content, such as new resources. We’ll get to one of the upcoming resources in a moment.

New buildings
In order to make the new systems work, we changed how Foresters operate and added a Farmhouse you see above – a new building facilitating two beavers that handle the crops nearby.

There are also two new ways of providing your settlement with energy. Just like dams & dynamites, these are more of a simple “another option” now, but when droughts strike and you can no longer rely on water energy, you’ll definitely want to have them at the ready.

  • Power wheel is an idea the beaver borrowed from a certain lesser species.

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  • Engine, on the other hand, is a much more advanced building that uses logs as fuel.

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Platforms
We are replacing footbridges and scaffoldings with a universal Platform module that comes in three variants (1-, 2-, 3-levels high). You can stack platforms and build on them – and the beavers will be able to walk on them or beneath. You can place dirt paths below the platforms, and shafts fit in there too. Oh, and you can build them on the water.

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The new platforms open up a lot of possibilities, such as running paths or your energy grid below buildings building more condensed and higher living quarters.

And since we all love the vertical building mechanics, we have even more tools coming. We’ve heard your requests for overhangs, L-shaped stairs etc. We’ll see what can be done!

Ruins and new maps
The post-apocalyptic aspect of Timberborn hasn’t been prominent so far, but we’re starting to change that. For now, ruins are a mostly cosmetic addition, but in the future, we’ll make it a scarce resource. You will need metal to build the most advanced structures of your settlement.

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We’re adding ruins to the map editor as well, so after the update is released, be sure to play around with them when you work on your new creations and share them with the community!

Speaking of maps: we’re adding two new playable levels. We have also redesigned the existing maps with the new water system (and destructible terrain) in mind. They pose a whole new challenge – see how a few well-placed dynamites can change their layouts!

Other changes
Dam & Blast adds even more novelties, such as a UI refresh. While the UI is still temporary, we have changed the colors, installed a non-awful clock etc. We’ve also added freshly baked art to the main menu and loading screens. When you visit the menu, be sure to stay awhile and listen.

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There are some other minor surprises coming, but we’ll let you discover them yourselves. Spoiler: one of them is mirrored in one of the screenshots.

Yeah, okay, SO WHEN CAN I PLAY THIS?
If you’re a closed beta tester, you’ll be able to download the update on November 3rd.

If you’re not, don’t worry. We’re not ending the closed beta yet – in fact, we’ll have a flood of beta invitations before the update releases! You still have a few days to sign up for the beta access – use this form to sign up. Also, join our Discord to share your feedback!

Early Access
As you might have noted in the new trailer, we have decided to push the Early Access launch to the first quarter of 2021. We know this might come as a disappointment to many of you, but we’re doing that because we do not want you to spend your money and be disappointed later.

We’re going to use that time to add more content needed to make Timberborn more complex, engaging and, well, “lumberpunk”. With Dam & Blast, the core of the game is here and adding fresh features will be quicker – but we won’t be able to hit our internal goals this autumn.

Before Early Access launches in Q1 2021, we want to add more features, resources, and buildings. We still need to rework some older stuff – the game requires a better UI and more fleshed out beaver races. There are also some other, less flashy changes that need to be made – for example, getting the game ready for translation. Oh, right, we haven’t mentioned that.

For Early Access, Timberborn will be available in English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, French, Simplified Chinese, Russian and, of course, Polish. Additional translations may come in later, perhaps with the help of volunteers and Steam Workshop.

Beaver be ready!
To give you all an additional sneak peek of the new update, we’ll be hosting our first-ever developer stream on 3 PM GMT on November 2nd! We’ll see you on our Twitch channel!

Until then, remember to hop on our official Discord channel!

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