Gamescom 2022: Ravenscourt Wants You to Save a Flooded World

19 Sep 2022

Climate change has been a topic for quite a while now – not just in real life but in video games as well. Post-apocalyptic scenarios aren’t the only thing on the rise lately and, during Gamescom 2022, we got the chance to go hands on with a new survival city builder coming from Ravenscourt, the publisher of Dice Legacy and Siege Survival: Gloria Victis.

In cooperation with developer Vile Monarch, they will bring a new survival city builder game to the market. But with a very wet twist: most of the world is underwater, giving the game the inspiration for its name and its setting.

Floodland takes this premise of survival and climate change to a whole new level. The “society survival” game is set in the post-apocalyptic future of our world that has been destroyed and flooded due to climate change. In this harsh, new environment, the player will not only have to build up shelter for their population and find food and drinkable water, but also deal with the different ethics and morals of the surviving factions.

A series of random events will have players make important decisions on the future of their new society, thus shaping the future of the settlement. Some decisions will lead to a larger influx of resources, a jump in technology, or have characters leave your new safe haven. They could even sabotage or destroy some of your crucial buildings. More than just building a city, the player has to build a society that can both survive and strive in these new circumstances. 

To ensure your little colony thrives and can slowly reclaim the land, research is necessary and laws need to be passed. It is up to you to form this group of clan members into a society that can learn from past mistakes and survive in these new conditions.

Research is divided into four categories – Development, Survival, Exploration, and Living – each of which unlocks new buildings and other options to expand your colony. During my playthrough at Gamescom, all the research points I earned were unlocked either by completing missions or exploring special ruins on the map, ensuring safe progress throughout the demo. There are schools and other research buildings which allow for a more passive income of research points that I did not quite unlock.

The Laws & Customs interface offers six options on the other hand. And with Floodland‘s strong focus on its post-apocalyptic setting, it is not surprising that Survival shows up here as well, with Security as a very important pillar of the law. Both Work-Life Balance and Recreation allow players to ensure the (mental) health of their citizens while Specialization and Custom allow for a more tailored society.

You start off the game which a choice of four different factions, each of them offering different bonuses and play styles. The leader of the Fire Brigade faction, for example, lowers the effects of crime and grants a higher resilience against diseases for its clan members. The Good Neighbours, on the other hand, are lead by an expert plumber, increasing the Water production speed by 20%. In addition to that, players can level up their clan skills through research. Those skills are Discipline, Erudition, Expression, Fortitude, and Precision, which grant bonuses to the gathering or production of resources, as well as a general speed increase for your research.

Once you’ve selected your faction, you are thrown into a randomly generated map. Starting with but a handful of clan members and an encampment which also serves as a small storage area. Before you can build your first buildings, you will have to send out those clan members on missions to not only gather resources but also uncover more parts of the map, investigate different ruins, and much more. Every once in a while, the aforementioned events shake up they build up and make sure that your playthrough stays fun and exciting.

Contrary to other city builders, the game will not offer you a clear output value for your buildings. The efficiency of the buildings will be shown and is dependent on the amount of clan members assigned to the building, as well as the colony’s overall status. Players who want to min-max their inputs and outputs will have to do some trial and error while juggling different gathering and production jobs. Resource management is not intended by the developers to be a matter of the correct math and Floodlands certainly doesn’t go the way of games like Factorio where this struggle is quite literally made into a rocket science.

Overall, Floodlands played really well already and what little issues and misunderstandings I had during my roughly 40 minute session are down to ignoring the tutorial explanations, playing on maximum speed to see as much as possible, or are things the developers already are aware of and will be fixed before release. Floodland will release on Steam on November 15, 2022, and is currently available for preorder.

Images courtesy of Ravenscourt.