Eco Beta Plans Underwater Ecosystem, Programmable Laws/Contracts, Boats, More

July 8, 2017
With our last Alpha release of Eco released, we’ve set our sights squarely on beta!

With this release we’ll be rounding out and connecting the three pillars of the game we’ve been building, EconomyEcology, and Government.

Focus for the next several months:

Get all the post-its from the left column to the right column. Team members are assigned via printout of the least-flattering head-shot picture we could find on the internet.

Here’s the list of features we’ve got for beta:

  • Underwater Ecosystem
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Late Game Tech Tree
  • World Generation improvements
  • Blending Landscapes
  • Area Buffs and Player Housing
  • Contracts
  • Regional Laws
  • Dynamite Mining, Physical Rubble
  • Animal Behaviors
  • Pets
  • Biomes Species Complete
  • Durability on Items
  • Wires and Logical Objects
  • Sewage and Water
  • Boats
  • Reputation System
  • Player Credit
  • Loans
  • Deforestation
  • Animals Vs Plants
  • Prospecting
  • Improved Leader and Server Goal Coordination
  • Ladders
  • CO2 and Sea Levels Rising
  • Fix River Canyons
  • Garbage
  • Multiple Materials on Blocks

 

Each feature has a design doc associated with it and it would be great to get your feedback on them. You can check out the master list, with priorities and time estimates and each feature document linked, where you can add comments.

We’ll be highlighting each of these features as we work on it as well.  The Eco Forumsare a great place to start discussions.

 

Here’s a look at a few of the features we’re working on:

Reputation System

Players can give out 10 ‘Reputation Points’ per day, and these will give an indicator of the most collaborative players on the server.  This feature is part of the uber-task of increasing the need and benefit to collaboration and specialization in the game.

World Objectives

Each player can set their ‘objective’, and the leader can set the world objective.  This list will make it clear what players are working on and how to contribute, and give the elected leader the ability to guide the high-level goals of the world.  The status messages are marked up with rich-text, so you can advertise store locations, contracts, specific skills or items, etc.

Programmable Contracts

Programmable Laws

On the government side, we’re building a similar programming system for laws, where you can add interacting restrictions, in a scratch-like interface where you’re inserting modules into different slots.  The laws created this way are put up for a vote, and if they pass the server will enforce them.  Programming + civics for the win.

Deforestation

Cutting down trees will have stronger consequences on the ecosystem.  Cutting down a tree will kill nearby plants and spawn debris.  Debris prevents plants from reclaiming the area, but costs a lot of calories to remove.  Furthermore, some species like Elk will be unable to live without forest around them.

Underwater Ecosystem

Despite covering a large percentage of the world, Eco’s oceans are rather barren; after beta this will no longer be the case!

Looking forward to your feedback and excited to start seeing all these features we’ve been building come to fruition.  We’re doing a ton of experimental stuff involving groups of players in a persistent world, so having your feedback and support makes all the difference.

Cheers

-John K

john@strangeloopgames.com

@jkrajewski

 

— 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.

14 thoughts

  • Reply
    Tinytina79

    Totally loving the all the effort and ideas you have in place for the game for beta. i personally was hoping for a more diverse section of animals and farming in the game. Another thing i was hoping for if there is a way to add to the game would be horses to tame ride, feed and train to pull the cart. this would add yet another realistic feature to the game.

  • 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
    Ekke

    It’s great that you’re going to focus on BETA, but with the current bugs that are in the latest version I’m not sure I can wait a couple of months. There’s so many game and server breaking bugs and without very active admins on the servers they’re unplayable. For instance sometimes when you cancel a project the server freezes, during that time you can’t craft anything or use your carts. I’m on a server which has to restart about 10 times a day, without active admins it won’t be playable at all.

    I’ve heard old players say that it didn’t use to be like this, that the latest version somehow spawned alot of bugs. I really think you should focus on a bug fixing patch as soon as possible. It shouldn’t take months to fix it, if it does people will lose interest.

    • Reply
      Claire

      Fixing game breaking bugs is what’s done during alpha and beta but right now no game breaking bugs other than crashes caused by bad hardware have occurred so focusing on beta and more content is the right choice, I run a server myself and the issue you’re having with server lag when stopping projects and 10 restarts a day sounds like a bad CPU, not enough RAM or the server being hosted on a computer which is in use by other programs, the last one will always create such issues when hosting a server

      • Reply
        Claire

        Also something else that’s worth noticing is that this is what’s referred to internally by developers as beta because alpha is for QA tester only and alpha really is unplayable as a game, try paying the staging builds and you’ll get what I mean and those builds are not even buggy compared to when QA testing is done

        And during beta the game is in development and is not meant to be played but to be tested and after beta comes debugging which is usually 2 months of intense QA testing and bug fixing and only after that comes final release which is meant to have no bugs but that’s not possible to do so normally you make it so that there are no serious bugs and minor bugs like a small glitch is acceptable

        If the devs had to fix every bug as it arose the Game would not even be a game as they wouldn’t even be anywhere near making world generation

  • Reply
    Juni

    The deforestation idea could be too punishing – consider that natural forests require fire and destruction as part of its natural cycle in order to ensure nutrient and sunlight balance for the undergrowth and younger trees, and certainly do not “take much calories (effort)” to remove artificially.

    If anything, encouraging easier/more accessible building materials other than raw logs, healthy selective logging (pruning encourages useful undergrowth) would be much more rewarding, and realistic.

    • Reply
      Pulsid

      I agree entirely. If John could somehow let us create effective tree farms that we can prune, or even cut down every other, and increase tree seeds, that would be more efficient. I think his reason for doing this is to show a real impact of initial over gathering of wood though, and to really be careful in your selection of which trees to cut down, and to make sure you leave the land clean for the animals. I like both approaches.

  • Reply
    beekeepers James Hanna

    Not sure Eco is ready for Beta, but might as well be so. I enjoy having to manage things, but I would like to play Eco to the point where I find out how the mint system works.. P.S. ( I want to coin my first Eco coins Please. )

    • Reply
      Pulsid

      I can assure you the Mint is rather awesome. It converts a single gold ingot into 10 currency of whatever you want. On one of the servers for newbs, I’ve got a mint up and running. If you need a server that is stable and fun enough to get that far, let me know and I’ll give you a link to one.

  • Reply
    PeteTheBoss

    Here is a thought, local voice chat. Some people don’t like having to constantly type to say anything and it can get tedious. Just a idea that might help the game a lot

  • Reply
    BLACKLIVESMATTER

    Can you please add singleplayer all the multiplayer servers are not fun at all

    • Reply
      Valkyrie Atlas

      They kind of do; a server is available to download and play singleplayer or with friends.
      Alternatively, you could play on a few different servers to find friendly people.
      I play on a pretty good one hosted in Australia (but for international connection may not be the best, as expected though).

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