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Eco Game Arc: From powerless to powerful

Dev Blog: Eco Peaks Newsletter
April 23, 2019
Eco is a game that has a huge scope, covering a massive section of human development and history, and through that time humanity’s powers have increased exponentially.

That’s what we want the arc of Eco to be: the progression from powerless to massively powerful, and the increasing need for management of those powers to prevent them from becoming self-destructive.

The driver of this progression is technology, and as an Eco world advances in technology their ability to impact the world increases massively, for better or for worse.  With each advance in technology, you gain the ability to do everything you already do in greater quantities. And with each step in technology, the challenges become greater, making those powers very necessary to continue advancing.  This manifests in gameplay in the following ways.

  • Gathering resources becomes faster. Your tools get more powerful and you can gather more. New resource types are unlocked like oil.  You move from handheld manual tools to powerful machines and vehicles that gather for you. From axe to chainsaw, from shovel to excavator.   By the end of the game you have the ability – and need – to move mountains of material. Massive quantities of materials will be needed for end game content, and you will have the ability to gather that.  The impact it has on your environment will be equally as massive

  • Transport becomes more powerful. At the beginning you’re moving things by hand, and slowly you gain abilities to transform your world to make moving larger quantities of materials faster and more efficiently.  What once were local villages (where trade happened only within them) become global networks connected by roads (and eventually, rails). The world becomes smaller, you’re no longer limited to your immediate area, and the world begins to be shaped by the infrastructure build to move resources around it.

  • Building can be performed in bulk, with new construction equipment like the crane, and the ability to transport materials easily to new places with infrastructure. Soon the habitats and industry and commerce of humans are displacing the natural environments that once thrived there, and the byproducts of that growth can affect the surrounding areas in significant ways.

We’ve got the broad-strokes for the technology arc already, but it’s something we’re continuing to build through early access.  Vehicles are a huge part of this, and with 8.2 we’re tuning up the use of the existing vehicles, and in future updates we will be adding more and making them more useful and flexible.

 

This growth in power will put enormous pressure on the ecosystem, and thus follows the purpose of the government, to regulate and decide as a group how those powers should be used. As your powers grow, so must your regulations, ideally leading that progress rather than playing catch-up, but that is not so easy.  Government, then, is a tool to manage the powers you are gaining as a society and keep them pointed towards sustainable growth.  Thus, there is an arc of government that mirrors the arc of progress: from free-reign at the beginning of the game when powers are meek, to complex regulations when powers are extensive.  Going through this whole process should be an illuminating experience, and different every time, with tons of potential problems coming up that you’ll need to solve as a group. With our 9.0 government upgrades, the ability to do this will become much more flexible and powerful.

 

We’ll need the community’s help with this as well. When we get the 9.0 test server up we’ll need lots of feedback. And ideas you can submit to our suggestion database here.  So many great ideas come from the community, and developing it in tandem with them has been a great experience.  We also have a dev tier available on our websitefor those that want to dig into the code.

 

Thanks for following Eco and looking forward to lots more to come.

– 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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