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December 17th, 2020 update – Droughts & Irrigation


Miami
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Hello everyone!

The previous patch added dynamic water that can be rerouted and controlled with dams. Let's put that to good use! With this update, we’re implementing two mechanics that dramatically affect Timberborn’s gameplay: droughts and irrigation.

Before we get into details, a PSA. Droughts, famine and lack of drinking water are very real issues across the world. It’s a Holiday season, and we would like to encourage you to support a charity of your choice helping the drought-stricken regions. For example, Polish Humanitarian Action is a respected entity that works with such issues, and there’s the United Nations’ World Food Programme. You could also check GiveWell for a list of other trustworthy charities. Thanks!

NOTE: All maps have been rebalanced with droughts and irrigation in mind, and the old saves may break. We strongly recommend you start a new game!

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Irrigation
The post-apocalypse continues! Crops and forests can now only grow if they have water – from rivers, artificial lakes and canals, the new irrigation towers. Without water, desert creeps in and plants begin to wither. If you don’t fix the problem, they die. We are also introducing Small Water Tank, to be paired with a rebalanced Water Pump that now stores less water.

  • Plant life can now only be sustained in the vicinity of a water source. The time before a plant on unwatered ground dies depends on the plant’s type.
  • New building: Irrigation Tower (200 SP to unlock; 15x log, 20x plank to build; uses 2x water per hour; employs 1 worker) – waters a surrounding area.
  • New building: Small Water Tank (no unlock cost; 15x log to build; stores 30x water).
  • Water Pump now only stores 15x water.
  • Water Wheel now stops when the water current is not strong enough. In the future, the power output will depend on the current’s strength.

Droughts

  • The world now cycles between wet and dry seasons. You will always begin in the wet season, and you will be warned ahead of the dry season. Dry seasons are semi-random and become longer over time. When a dry season comes, water on the map begins to disappear. Deeper water sources take longer to dry up, so artificial reservoirs will help you store water for a longer period.
  • New mechanic: cyclical wet and dry seasons. Dry season causes open water sources (rivers, canals, reservoirs) to dry up gradually.
  • Added new UI elements informing you about the progress of the wet/dry cycle and warning about upcoming droughts.

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Ruins & metal
Human ruins will now provide your beavers with a finite amount of metal. Metal is a new resource used to build some of the existing high-end buildings (check the next section).

  • Added a new resource, metal, collected from ruins. Amount of metal depends on the size of a ruins block. Depleted blocks disappear.
  • New building: Scavenger’s Hut (75 SP to unlock; 20x log, 15x plank, 5x gear to build; employs 2 workers) – used to acquire metal from ruins in range.

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Metal-related changes
To account for the addition of metal, we have changed the resources needed to build some structures. At the moment, metal comes only from ruins, which may be hard to reach and are limited. We'll be closely monitoring feedback on the game's balance here.

  • Triple Platform: now costs 4x log, 4x plank, 2x metal. Single and Double Platforms have not been changed.
  • Printing Press: now costs 50x plank, 30x gear, 30x metal.
  • Engine: now costs 20x log, 5x gear, 10x gear.
  • Carousel: now costs 50x plank, 50x gear, 40x metal.
  • Tribute to Ingenuity: now costs 400x plank, 200x gear, 300x metal.

Explosives
It’s not very safe to task your ordinary Joe Beaver with preparing explosives, so we have added a dedicated building that handles the hazardous production.

  • New building: Explosives Factory (150 SP to unlock; 10x log, 30x plank, 10x gear to build; requires 150 HP to operate; employs 1 worker); crafts 1x explosive from 3x paper.
  • Dynamite: now requires 1x explosive to build.
  • Added a new Dynamite model.

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Maps
Droughts and the need for irrigation required changing existing maps once again. We’re sorry if your beaver paradise suddenly turns into a wasteland. Time to build a new one!

  • Redesigned all maps to work better with the wet/dry seasons and encourage playing with irrigation.
  • Added “natural dams” called Barriers that can be demolished to unlock additional water areas without Dynamite.
  • Plains (256x256) is now a recommended map when starting a new game. Really, start a new game.

Visual changes

 


We know the new visuals are a major shift in the game’s esthetics, especially when you open an older save. However, the contrast between post-apocalyptic feel and life brought by beavers has always been our goal.

  • Made major changes to the look of the land, now split into desert areas and the living, irrigated ground.
  • Replaced water shaders.
  • Added models of withering and dead flora (including ivy on ruins found in the desert!).
  • Made minor tweaks to textures of trees, slopes, and some buildings.

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Keywords
Stackable buildings are now referred to as “Solid”. We’re doing this in anticipation of the future. Over time, buildings in Timberborn will receive different keywords making it easier to understand their role.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused haulers not to deliver logs to the Engine.
  • Fixed a few bugs and exceptions causing the game to crash.
  • Fixed an issue with Energy Shafts attaching to a Mirrored Lodge on the wrong side.
  • Fixed an issue with the Options panel re-opening after closing the Save game panel with Esc.
  • Fixed an issue with trees aggressively spreading onto field areas.
  • Right-clicking while marking resources will now correctly turn the tool off.

Holiday stream
Need a hint on how to keep your settlement alive after the changes? Want a beta key? Or maybe you're interested in a sneak-peek of what’s coming in 2021? On December 22nd, 2 PM GMT, we’re going live on our Twitch! We’ll be streaming simultaneously on Steam and on our YouTube channel. 🤩

Request from the team
Thanks to our awesome players' votes, Timberborn made it to the top 100 games in the Indie of the Year 2020 contest! You rule! Your votes put us in the second and final round, and we're now reaching for the “Best upcoming” title. If you think Timberborn deserves this, please vote for us! No registration required. It’s the first time we participate in a contest like this and your support means a lot for us. Thank you!

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That's it for today. Do you like the changes? How difficult is the game with droughts and irrigation? Tell us either here, on Steam forums, or on our Discord server! 🙏

PS If you're not in the beta yet, check your inbox – we've just added quite a few testers to our pool! And starting on December 24th we'll have a week of daily mini-giveaways on our Twitter.

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