Eco Alpha 5.6 Released

June 20, 2017
We are pleased to announce that alpha 5.6 has been released! This new version contains many new features such as linked inventories, new graphics options, improved admin tools and more!

Here’s a look at the new features in this release:

Global Illumination

We’ve introduced ambient lighting to the game, and it has a huge impact on the visuals.  Now the interiors of forests are dark, (even during the day, with sunbeams shining through) mines are appropriately hard to see without lighting, and the shadows inside building corners are much more interesting looking, giving more effects to lighting.

 

Check out the before (left) and after (right) shots:

Realistic Storage

Previously in Eco, as with most games, you were able to store massive amounts of resources inside containers, way more than the space the container takes up.  With this release, we’ve introduced stockpiles, which will take up the same amount of space as the items stored inside them.

This has a huge impact on many facets of the game, and storing pollutants like tailings will continue to affect the environment, so you can no longer escape pollution by sticking stuff in rows of chests.

Along with our existing feature that requires vehicles to carry large quantities (preventing players from carrying more than is realistic), stockpiles should affect the gameplay in some interesting ways: to horde huge amounts of resources, you’ll need huge amounts of space, and the way buildings are constructed and located will be affected.

How items are stored and managed has been significantly changed. Craft tables no longer have intrinsic storage on them; instead, large objects must be stored in stockpiles or vehicles, and other items can be stored in chests. Crafting tables automatically are ‘linked’ to storage objects nearby, allowing them to both take from and deposit their items.

  • A new experimental lighting model for global illumination has been added. This is a relatively expensive effect but should run well on most modern video cards. Global Illumination models indirect lighting that bounces off other surfaces. This effect makes caves naturally dark, so bring a torch!
  • Optimized wind animation for plants.

Authorization System

The authorization system has been improved; allowing easier control over who has access to various things that you own. You can lockout everyone from a private chest, while allowing people access to another, for example.

Tutorial System

A tutorial has been added to Eco, helping new players get a feel for the early game. Existing players may not see much of the tutorial, since it attempts to detect what you’ve already done and skips those.

Pipes

Some craft tables need pipe outputs in order to spew hazardous materials from, chimneys work similarly now.

Room Requirements

Room requirements are now broken out by line item requirement, and the status is displayed for debugging why a table may not be functioning.

Excavators!

We’ve added a new late-game vehicle, excavators. These will let you move huge quantities of dirt, necessary for the giant construction projects required to stop the meteor.  We’ll be adding more construction vehicles that let players make big changes to a world, so a late game civilization can (and must) completely change the surrounding environment.

Modkit

  • Support for mod plugins.
    Modkit now auto-loads managed DLLs from the Mods folder. Modders can implement IModKitPlugin to add their own mods.
  • Support for client side mods.
    Tutorials can be expected soon, but it is now possible to build asset bundles for client side mods. PM or ask in the modding discord channel for some basic help if you want to get started on this early.

Government

  • Added tools for reviewing user activity.
  • Automatically creates discussion points from world events.

Bug Fixes

Looking forward to getting your feedback, hop in our discord here or our Facebook here and let us know what you think.  Very exciting to start getting close to beta and our Steam launch, and its been great all the amazing feedback we’ve been getting from players.

 

Cheers and see you in the game.

— 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.

19 thoughts

  • Reply
    Eric

    Has StrangeLoopGames considered a player AI or exposed an API for the simulation engine? The game is a fantastic environment for AI experimentation and poses an interesting problem for agent-based machine learning – I’d be interested to use the environmental simulation engine for some ML experimentation if there were a means to do so.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Ethan

      I think you guys should add cars and boats and add bikes that aren’t mounted to a cargo piece

  • Reply
    MaheR

    Hey , im new player and i need help .. please can one tell how i can donwload the lastet Version of this game ?
    And Thanks !!

    • Reply
      Xaessar

      If you’ve already purchased it, simply go to “account” and you’ll find the downloads for the current and future build. Download the current build for your operating system and you’re done.

  • Reply
    Anne

    Is there anyone using this with their students in a school environment ?

  • Reply
    steven Hardy

    Latter on adding more game modes would be really neat instead of just a casual no death mode and a meteor mode for game play options, more game modes be nice to have latter on like a true survival mode

  • Reply
    Mark Bennett

    Is it worth buying now or waiting until the Beta/Release?

  • Reply
    Moddy

    Nice Issue fixing, “Will not implemented” “Closed without a reason”. I can also fix problems like that, but my company will fire me, if i do this. So you schould not write 400 bugs resolved, instead you write 400 bugs reviewed.

  • Reply
    Luke

    Molecular gastronomy, still not functioning? I lost a bit of time and resource training that particular skill this last week.

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