Post-apocalyptic city builder Floodland arrives November 15 on Steam, tasking you with rebuilding society after the catastrophic effects of global flooding. Each playthrough is randomly generated and, as you begin constructing a new kind of life in this harsh environment, age-old problems begin to rear their head. Even in such dire circumstances, can humanity co-operate for the greater good: or are we doomed to division and isolation?
Previously we’ve explored the wider world of Floodland and the challenges players will face. How you meet them depends on how you balance the four key pillars of society: what your priorities are, in other words. Keeping people well-fed and happy matters, of course it does, but that’s to no good end if you’re not also planning for the future and making tough calls.
Keeping your clan happy and content, nevermind alive, first of all means a focus on survival. This first pillar is all about food and potable water, with the survival tech tree allowing you to build foraging stations and water-stills. But berries and drinking water won’t sustain more than a handful of survivors. As your society grows you’ll need more efficient water supplies and frankly more nourishing supplies: whether that’s bread, fish, or farming delicious insects.
With everyone fed and watered, the second pillar of survival is exploration. Your start on a small island with few resources, so in the long-term expansion is essential and you’ll need to send out expeditions to discover what’s around you. What they’ll find is different every time: abandoned buildings to loot, perhaps, or a band of survivors that can be persuaded to join up.
The exploration tech tree is all about how your society prepares these expeditions. Soon enough you’ll be able to send them out with boats, climbing gear, and diving equipment. They’ll be able to set up encampments on scattered islands and, eventually, turn these into new districts for your society.
The third pillar is all about that society’s future: growth. This tech tree is dedicated to improving your camp’s infrastructure and researching relics from the pre-flood era. Relics can be found across Floodland’s world and are crucial for unlocking the secrets of the past, discovering new materials and how to use them, and opening up new routes for all your other tech trees. Work smart, as well as hard.
The final pillar is simple and maybe easy to overlook. Keeping people alive is one thing, but looking after their well-being, the fourth pillar of survival, is a whole other kettle of fish. You can have all the structures and tools in the world but, if people are too unhappy to get out of bed, that’s all for nothing. Well-being starts as simply as making sure someone has a roof over their head, but then it becomes about the social side of society. Life is about more than just surviving, and this route allows you to create recreational activities like a canteen, nights by the bonfire, and perhaps even a tough of gambling.
Balancing these four pillars is crucial to your success in Floodland: and in stopping your own followers from rising up against your leadership. But this is only the start of the journey for a thriving society and you’ll also need to think about how the new world should function. Surviving is one thing but, afterwards, it’s time to think about the laws you’ll enact, the problems you’ll face, and the knife-edge calls you’ll have to make for the greater good.