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Art direction, Crafting, Buildings, Tech Tree

October 13, 2015

Chugging away towards alpha, here’s the latest:

Eric – eric@strangeloopgames.com

Work on the UI, crafting tables and stores continues. Very soon the full initial tech tree for alpha will be coming together.

(Check out the ‘fee’, this lets craft table owners make profit per-hour by sharing their crafting tables publicly, and does a huge amount to jump start the economy of the game.)

Fuller – nfuller@strangeloopgames.com

Did a ton of work on network-related systems. Lots of technical, not-so-fun flowcharts were made. I’ll spare you the screenshots of my scrap paper.

On the other hand, building authorization is coming along nicely. We slightly re-ordered the building process to make it flow a bit smoother. Construction deeds are back, so you can now swap the ownership of land by passing around an item. Remember to keep it locked away tight, else you’ll lose the rights to your property.

We also added, then subsequently removed, the ability to change how the client responds to user input regarding tools and items. This is a part where modding and networking collide. Good news is, it’s now figured out automatically based on some pre-processing magic I got going for the items. Bad news is, there’s a few tools that don’t quite fit in this spectrum (I’m looking at you, bows) so expect to see it revised in a different form post-alpha.

John – john@strangeloopgames.com

Built out a rough draft of the tech tree for alpha, consisting of buildings, skills, items, and research, and the graph for how each unlocks the other. Will wait to share this one as we get it a little further.

It’s going to be heavily weighted towards early tech, with most of the later stuff placeholder as we fill in the mechanics required (electricity, transport, waste, machinery), but the goal is to have tech implemented all the way to destroying the meteor for alpha.

K – klim@strangeloopgames.com

Serialization was being serious.

Made tool follow animation to act(almost.)

Working on search and select item UI for crafting table, store, etc.

Keegan – keegan@strangeloopgames.com

I’ve been working on effects for the meteor impact sequence, and many other preparatory art tasks and research for the new building types and materials. First up will be the whole-log building type, and then stone will be next.

Milenko – milenko@strangeloopgames.com

Exploring the overall look of the game still. Waiting for the code to get on top of their alpha task and then we will start looking at the way we implement terrain in Eco. Also, doing a bunch of remaining icons for the UI. Some rough sketches follow: Collage.jpg


We’re targeting end of October for alpha, but as mentioned before we may push into early November, just so we have a more solid experience when we start.  Can’t wait to share it with everyone.

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.

31 thoughts

  • Nicolai

    Can you still buy alpha access, even though you didn’t back the games kickstarter?

  • Dragendave

    Will there be an Alpha Server from you to test “Society/Networking/SMP” or do Alpha testers have to do that them selves or Alpha SSP only? If so, what languages are you working on, I imagine it will start of as English only and may later on add German, Chinese, Japanese, French,… Maybe some alpha testers (like me) could help you out there with these Local things. Promoting, Games-Con, etc.

    • John K. Post author

      English for now, we’ll be adding more later though. Not sure what you mean with SMP/SSP?

      • Dragendave

        SMP (Survival Multi Player) or SSP (Survival Single Player). So simply put if it’s Multi and Single Player.

  • Dragendave

    You may also keep in Mind, that a main feature and Goal of that “Game” is to be EDUCATIVE.
    It’s supposed to go into Schools someday to actively teach Eco-Systems and to make it easy to understand how certain things and actions change and alter such systems.
    Yes it also is an awesome Game, no doubt about that and I am looking forward to it as well as a “gamer” and not as student but still, the idea remains and I think that this is a super great one. Wish I had that kind of game back when I was in school.. maybe it will change future generations in the way they thing about the world and interact with it.

  • Zexus

    I think that you do not understand the EARLY ACCESS and ALPHA terms. They only mean that the game is in very early dev. and it might change 100% over time. Maybe it will not be EXACTLY the same as on the kickstarter, but the concept will be the same. Of course, if you want a copy of what is showed, don,t go on kickstarter, you will only be deceived. You should trust the developpers of the game more and I’m sure they will do an awsome job for ECO. Finally, you have the right to be angry, but PLEASE, wait for the final product or even the alpha before you start shitting on the game and devs.

  • Zexus

    I can’t wait for this game. This is the only game that I feel that much hype for it. Continue your great work! See you in Alpha!

  • Delenca

    Can’t wait to setup a Server for this game….
    Will love to see how they compare resource wise to MC.

    • bobbinkin

      Hopefully the graphics will be better than minecraft’s 😛

      • Madaras

        I second that opinion. It’s like Terraria, I like the game, but it’s not beautiful to look at, you can build and mine and create, but it’s not the sort of immersive environment you can lose yourself in. I’m hoping to play ECO in VR. To watch and participate in this living and growing world, in a way we’ve not yet known. Not expecting year 2020 sort of gameplay for VR yet, but I do believe it’ll be something exciting to experience. All good things need to begin somewhere.

        • Delenca

          Well I think it looks nice already. However it should be quite easy to improve the detail to the models. So you could try to make a High Res/photo realistic mod.

      • John K. Post author

        Yep lots more graphics additions to come, though it will be our focus after alpha (alpha is gameplay focused).

  • Eli

    Keep up the good work! I look forward to playing the Alpha seeing this game grow.

  • Madaras

    Push it back until early December if needed. Only release Alpha when you “need” the input of your Alpha testers. Trust me on this you’ll get more people like Dave who expect everything to be right and at its best right from the start. We all have high expectations and believe you’ll be able to meet them.

    Thanks Strange Loop Games
    and Mr. Handsome – AKA John Krajewski

    • John K. Post author

      Thanks for the support! Yeah we have a ‘min spec’ for alpha we want to meet, we judged it better to meet that than release it before we have that.

  • Johnny

    I kind of dread the power that trolls may hold, but on the other hand I cant say I wont burn the world for the hell of it at least once 🙂 looks great guys, keep at it!

  • Chris

    What are you talking about? First of all, It’s a dev blog, They wont show off everything all at once, They show what they’re working on. Second. The game is looking exactly how it was pitched, The only differences are the additions they’re adding for reaching their goals.

    • Mike

      Dave has a point. When this game was pitched it looked like it was going to be a sand box. In its current iteration it has a time limit. And how is anyone supposed to go from the stone age to blasting a meteor out of space in 30 days?!

      • Jonathan

        I am worried about this as well. With the time limit, the law system, the different roles, the bartering system. The game seems like it’s getting very complex already. Too complex and it will scare away players. Need to ease them into it. I envision starting server in different modes that start from simplistic and allow the world creator to add on the different dynamics (time-limit, roles, law,bartering) that increase the complexity and yet add more reward in terms of game play. That or of course an in-game as you play tutorial will suffice. Still with it being in DEV yet I’m sure these kinks will be worked out. Excited for alpha and mod-kit release.

        • John K. Post author

          Yep there will be a lot of complexity, but it will unlock as players build society. When you build the town hall for example, you start to get government features like laws. It starts simple and expands, so it should be easy to get into and complex to master.

      • Delenca

        They have already said you can change when the meteor hits if at all.

        If you had like 50 people you could probs advanced that quickly. Tho you may wreck the world while doing it.

      • John K. Post author

        Servers are welcome to turn off the meteor if they want a totally open experience, but it gives a pressure to build and develop that wouldnt be there otherwise.


    Well, the kickstarter release date was an estimation, not a prosmise, right?
    I think you should launch it in november if it’s necessary, some extra days can make a great difference to the game quality.

  • Tommy C

    Could you try and get it out fast instead of pushing into early November? When we pay for alpha, we don’t pay for a perfect, polished game.

    • Mysticfocus

      Even if they push it back a month to polish things people are going to cry about it being buggy and lack of features…people definitely don’t act like they know they are playing an alpha. Leave developing to the developers…Better that way.

    • The Hoff

      I’d rather they push it back instead of releasing it at the point they’re not comfortable with. Otherwise you’d get literally tons of people saying “hey, there’s this thing here that doesn’t work” and devs thinking “we know it doesn’t work, its alpha… the game’s not done”

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