Eco Alpha 2 released!

December 15, 2015

We’ve just released our first update for Alpha, Eco Alpha 2! We’ve been working hard since alpha fixing bugs players have found, adding player suggestions, and creating new content. Here’s what’s new:

New Content:

  • Town hall now allows you to mint coins.
  • Tree seeds will now sometimes drop from cut logs if your logging skill is high enough.
  • You can now craft new axes at a builder’s hut.
  • Cooking skill now attainable at any campfire.
  • Kitchen buildable. You can make better meat-based foods here.
  • Baking Skill book now attainable at the mill.
  • Bakery buildable. You can make better grain-based foods here.
  • Added waste management building. Turns items into larger stacks of garbage at the cost of minor pollution.
  • Shoveled dirt will be added to your inventory. This will likely change in the future with transport, but for now we’ve enabled it.
  • You can now build dirt and stone roads at the town hall. Both of these will give varying movement speed benefits. The art is not final for these.
  • /reopen when you are standing in an owned building will put it back in construction, letting you make modifications to the building. This feature will be integrated properly (not through commands) in the future.

Improvements:

  • Logging now gives wood proportional to your logging skill.
  • Log roofs may be removed with axe, not just hammer.
  • Buildings should prevent deconstruction correctly now.
  • Town hall creation requirement reduced.
  • Added /help for chat commands.
  • Added /players to get a list of online players.
  • You can no longer eat craft table fees.
  • /unstuck now places you at the highest block position, doesn’t just Icarian Flight you.
  • Storage House is now a larger building, but gives a “big chest”.
  • Added an automatic backup plugin to the server.
  • Re-ordered tech tree to make prepared meat more useful.
  • New items no longer are placed in the first available empty spot.
  • Vastly improved server startup time. Should be at or around 15 seconds (depending on CPU specs and excluding any load time.)
  • Numbers on toolbar and mouse-wheel to scroll through items added.
  • Did a pass on max stack sizes for all items.
  • Law page: edit and remove graphs.
  • Law page: URL and port are both relative to the server’s domain.
  • You no longer need to run the server as admin for laws to work.

Bug Fixes:

  • Mouse lock fixed for users playing in fullscreen with multiple monitors.
  • Issues with construction sites such as “This site is not yours” have been resolved.
  • Server crash fixed when picking up and placing world objects quickly.
  • Fixed issue with laser beam always showing when building laser.
  • Fixed issue with mod kit compiler failing to write to temp directory.
  • When abandoning a construction site, your current location currently updates.
  • Skill scrolls actually consume themselves on use.
  • Occasional mismatch between held object vs selected object resolved.
  • Fixed bug with middle-mouse dragging icons.
  • Skill scroll crafting no longer duplicates skill books.
  • Various save/load issues resolved.
  • Can no longer plant seeds in volume you don’t own.
  • Resolved problem where cancelling an order led to an instant second order being fulfilled.
  • Food correctly sets its start time for freshness calculations.
  • Fixed variety of bugs resulting in improper building progress.
  • Fixed crash on organism flee.
  • Fixed occasional black or oddly colored terrain
  • Improved selection logic for toolbar when using items.
  • Fixed mismatch between crafting-related laws and cancelling work orders.
  • Fixed various startup issues.
  • Law page: correct fonts working on major browsers.
  • Law page: partial fix to Firefox not opening a law.
  • You may not abandon a re-opened building.
  • Placing construction post on debris/plants no longer results in no craft table.
  • Fixed a variety of issues for the Linux build.
  • Various arrow fixes.
  • Various fixes to laws.

What’s Next

This release is primarily a stability release, fixing the issues we discovered with our first public alpha launch a couple weeks ago. Thanks a ton to everyone that helped us find, track, and fix these.

Next we’ll be looking at releasing builds on an alternating cycle, with a week of new content, then a week of polish/bug fixes. This will keep the game growing in features at a steady rate, but with enough polish that it continue to remain playable throughout development, and gives us a chance to respond to player feedback. Balancing this game especially will be a monumental task, and will really help to have feedback from player-run servers to get that working.

We’re also in the process of implementing the remaining core features of the game, transport and energy. Once those come in we’ll start seeing a lot more of the connections between food, building, research, government, and skills start to emerge. I’ll be writing a doc on where we want to go with Eco for Beta and some higher level ‘vision’ discussions about the game in the coming week.

Thanks to our supporters, it’s a pleasure to be working in such a great community. Be sure to let us know what you think in our forums.

-John K

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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