Devlog 1 – Towers, Sickness, Fires, and more

Wow, the first Devlog for Buoyancy. Let’s go!

The team has been working hard to get a build for Seattle Indies Expo (SIX). Since our last build for KobeKon we have been focused on adding as much features as possible. Our artists have been busy working on concepts for building redesigns, and some optimization. In the upcoming weeks we will be getting builds out for playtesting, fixing bugs, and polishing things up for showcasing.

We were accepted into the Seattle Indies Expo!



A new building has been added; the Junk Tower! The building takes Wood, Plastic, and Metal to build. And it needs Metal and Dirt to make Ammo. Currently it shoots explosive rounds that does AOE damage. We are still discussing where there should be friendly fire damage, but for now it’s off. Placeholder sounds, animations and particle effects for the building are implemented as well.


Two new city management hazards!



One of the new gameplay features in Buoyancy is Sickness. Villagers that are sick receive certain debugs and will die if not cured within a certain time. Sickness related
deaths can cause more disease to spread within your city. To combat this new feature we have given the players a new building, the Medicine Hut. Medicine huts require
dirt, seaweed, and plastic to produce a limit number of medicine per building. When someone in your city gets sick the doctor working at the medicine will go bring
them medicine to cure them of their sickness. Future improvements to this feature include pollution management, nourishment upkeep, and plague pirates.




Fires are an exciting new mechanic involved with building placement. Certain buildings have now been marked as either flammable (Like the refinery) or Fire Starters
(Like the Smelter). Buildings with open flames being placed next to Buildings that generate flammable materials are going to be a risk to your city. This new mechanic
requires proper building placement to prevent your city from bursting into flames. If a building has been set on fire its production will halt, the worker will die, and your
idle villager will need to put out the fire before it spread or burns the building down, resulting in destruction of the building.



New Water Shader


The water of Buoyancy is one of our most important aspects to our visual style. It has been through many iterations and will most likely continue to be re-worked until
we are happy with the outcome. We’ve been working on replacing our sin wave displacement with the Gerstner Formula displacement. While this has been successful in creating giant realistic waves. We haven’t been able to make it represent the giant calm water of the ocean we’re looking for. Instead we will still be using basic sin wave displacement until we can tweak the Gerstner displacement to fit our visual style. We are also moving away from our usual water texture and are instead focusing on proper normals and bump map scrolling. This allows us to color our water with a base color and gradient for variation. The true look of our water resembling ocean waves is our bump map scrolling with proper specular lighting. In the future we hope to modify our specular lighting to support more variation for the time of day.


Particle Effects


Indicating what is happening in-game to the player is an important and challenging feat to do correctly. This is especially true for “Buoyancy” where there’s so much going on at one time that it could easily get confusing for the player to navigate. We have gone through many iterations of notifications and alerts to let the player know what is happening in their city. Now we have begun to add particle effects into our repertoire for these events. After these effects are created, the particles throughout the rest of the world will be created and/or revamped. The following effects have been added for further broadcasting of these situations:


When a building gets within range of an appropriate resource, this effect will play over the affected building.


With the new disease system, a villager can fall ill. A sick villager will have this aura around them to indicate to the player that the villager is sick.


A diseased villager can be cured by a “doctor” (or whatever the refugees can muster as one). When cured, this effect will play around the villager.



The butcher is receiving new effects to its animation.


Age of Prosperity


We were looking for an additional way to promote exploration and good gameplay strategies by the player. Thus, “Age of Prosperity” was conceived. AoP encourages the player to explore the world and discover relics and monuments of civilizations that have been destroyed during the “event”. It also urges players to play well and reap the rewards. Triggering this event will grant several benefits to your city and villagers – including, but not limited to, bonuses to productivity and happiness – for a duration.


City Wars


I’ve started prototyping the interaction with other cities. There’s a lot more work to do for this feature, so it won’t be in for the SIX build. City interaction is intended for late gameplay possibilities. We plan for city wars using Guards and Towers, and also using your villagers to fight. If the gif is too hard to read out, we also plan on putting Trade, Demands, Rumors, Steal Techs, etc.

Resource Node Depletion


Resource nodes were visually static. Because most RTS games have some kind of mining, I’ve added some animations to represent harvesting of the nodes. It will help the player know visually they are using that node. They are also bigger in size. Expect this to look cool eventually.




I am working on a Smelter redesign. Here is a concept but it’s still a work in progress. I am redesigning other concepts.




Original Concept Art

I am working on the Trading Post asset. Here is a concept and the asset in Maya, but it’s still a work in progress.



Additional fixes and updates

  • Pirates incoming text bug in tutorial removed
  • Storehouse pathfinding fix
  • Added a notification if too many tasks for current workers
  • Food and Beer overheal added
  • Beer canvas overlay fix
  • Guards deaths no longer added to next pirate attack summary
  • Mouse click area fixes
  • Lumberyard removes
  • Scavenger produces only Wood and Scrap Metal
  • Bridges and platforms give villagers a speed boost
  • Collectable nodes usually have what the asset looks like
  • Building Information UI redone again
  • Build Bar UI text edits, added flammable and firestarter icons
  • Deep Diver has a higher base chance of collecting crude oil
  • Outline bug fixed from Building Info button
  • Pirate death animations werent playing sometimes
  • Buildings do a scale animation when construction is finished
  • Building Counts UI updating properly
  • Bridges and Platforms now cost 1 Wood
  • LOD’s created for most building assets
  • Floating trash piles bonus is 100% junk for Forager, and 100% Scrap Metal for Scavenger
  • Villager resource request bugfix

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