Eco Alpha 6 Released!

October 30, 2017
Programmable Laws, Physical Mining, Custom Player-Contracts

We’ve launched Eco, Alpha 6 Build, and it’s a big one.

Here’s what’s new:

Our new title screen

Programmable Laws

  • The new law system introduces a new way to construct laws for your Eco worlds. Build laws composed of many different conditional statements and effects, with a simple drop-down based interface.
  • Pass laws that restrict many player actions, such as voting, placing blocks, gaining skills, talking in certain chat channels, as well as the original harvesting plants and animals and crafting items.
  • Compose complex conditions on when to restrict actions, using parameters such as what property the player is on, what their skill levels are, and how often they have performed a certain action.
  • In addition to preventing actions completely, you can now tax certain actions, or even subsidize them by allocating money from the government treasury.

Physical Mining

When you mine blocks, they now break into chunks with physics, which can be picked up and stacked.  Makes for much more dynamic mining.

 

Tools Upgrade

Tool now have durability, and can be repaired with the right skills in the repair station.

  • Many items will degrade in effectiveness as they are used. Items that are more broken become more difficult to use, consuming your calories faster.
  • Players can use repair stations to improve item durability. Resourceful players may specialize in tool repair and buy and sell items to repair.
  • Not all tools are created equal. Progressing through the game gives you access to better technology to craft superior tools. Better tools degrade slower and use less calories.

Ecology Upgrades

  • New plant species! Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Buttonbush, Salal, Waterweed, Kelp, Rice, Pitcher plants.
  • Animals move more intelligently, are more difficult to trap and can be found in more realistic locations.

New animal species! Trout, Salmon, Tuna, Clams, Urchins.

  • Added wetlands biome
  • Find mushrooms and other exotic plants within the wetlands biome. (Requires newly generated world)
  • Added ocean biome
  • Waterweed, kelp, clams, urchins and fish are now spawned within the ocean biome.

Enhanced Tree Felling

  • Felling trees now produces tree debris. This material is a nuisance to remove and inhibits the growth of other species within the area.

Fishing

  • Fish are now able to be caught and used as a resource, both with the fishing pole or fishing traps.

Economy:

Contracts!

 

  • Players can create contracts at a contract board to describe jobs for other players to perform,
  • You can set a variety of clauses on a contract, combining various ones to describe many kinds of jobs.
  • Players accepting a contract will be given specific auth to do the work (ie, the Clean Tree Debris job will only allow them to remove debris, nothing else, on a property).
  • Added a ‘Custom Clause’ that allows you to specify in words what you want done, which then will have to be reviewed by the client before accepting it.
  • Clauses
      • Remove Tree Stumps and Debris
      • Transport
      • Put Items In Container
      • Build Room
      • Build Road
      • Add/Remove Blocks
      • Payment
      • Custom Clause
      • Reputation Limiter
      • Receive Permissions
      • Nested Clause

Reputation!

  • Players can give and receive reputation to one another, up to 10 points per day.
  • Player names will highlight different colors based on whether their reputation is good or bad.
  • Reputation from multiple people is weighted higher than reputation from fewer.
  • Contracts can be blocked based on reputation
  • Reputation is set by clicking the ‘reputation’ link in the player tooltip.

Player Objectives!

 

  • A new dialog displaying the objective of each player is added. Use this to convey to others the projects you’re working on, and how they can help provide or sell you what you need.
  • The leader of the server can set the World Status, which will be displayed in the server browser.

Player Credit!

  • Every player has an associated credit currency named after them. This allows players to begin participating in the economy immediately, doing things like charging a fee on their craft table which players acquire credit for by selling to their store, which uses the same credit.
  • Players have infinite credit of their own type, and can give out freely with the /pay command.
  • Mints create ‘backed’ currency, which no one has an infinite supply of, thus making is much more stable as it requires resources to create more.
  • Added a Currency Exchange object, which allows players to passively sell/buy currency of any kind, transferring between currencies.

Skills

 

  • Added skill options to the server, allowing different levels of skill cost inflation (flat and percentage) and limits on levels.
  • Added an option to allow unlearning skills.
  • Reworked skill costs and gains to be more consistent over the course of the game.

Performance

  • Various rendering tweaks and adjustments to improve rendering performance
  • Overhauled inventory system to improve general server performance
  • Various Minimap performance improvements

Improved graphics and lighting, new Global Illumination technique.

 

In short, tons more flexibility in the game as the big pieces of laws and contracts get fleshed out, creating a dynamic economy and government in which the ecosystem flourishes or perishes, depending how well it’s managed.

 

Lots more to come as we make the final push towards beta.  Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/ecovideogame and as always let us know any feedback, in our forums, discord, or email me directly.  Super helpful while we’re wrapping up Alpha.

— Team Eco
The Eco Team is a collection of introverted and sometimes genius programmers/designers based in Seattle and Australia. We all grew up and thrive in the video game culture, so of course making them is our dream job. We look forward to continuing to put out quality games for the community of players.

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