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How Buildings and Crafting Works

September 7, 2015

In Eco, there’s no crafting grid or recipes for making specific items.  Instead, you craft directly in the world, by creating buildings.  Unlike other games, buildings in Eco are not simply decorative, they have gameplay effects.

In the building menu, players can choose what type of building they want to create, and they will be shown what the requirements are to create it.  Those requirements will include:

  • What types of materials must it be made from (wood, stone, etc)
  • How large must it be (cubic meters of contained empty space)
  • How many rooms must it have, and what is the minimum size per room.
  • How much energy must be supplied to the building, and what forms are allowed. Currently implemented energy include local-power sources like waterwheels, windmills, and wood burning furnaces.  We will be adding more advanced non-local energy sources like electricity.
Within these constraints, players have a ton of flexibility of how the building actually looks, where it’s entrances and exits are, integration with transport (rail tracks), etc.  As long as those requirements are all met, the server will verify it and grant the building the given powers, which include:
  •  Spawning construction tables and resource converters that the building owner can use or lease out (for example, a furnace that converts ore + energy into minerals + waste).
  • Area effects for occupants, for example being able to auto-eat food when in a building of type ‘home’ you have control of.
  • Granting a deed to the constructor which signifies ownership, and allows you to transfer/sell ownership to another, or lease usage rights, or determine access rights (see our Land Ownership stretch goal which we achieved!)
  • Unlocking the ability to perform new research, which will open up new skills and other building types that players can create.
Buildings will play a hugely important role in the Player-Run economy, because they allow new and/or more efficient uses of resources and energy, new items to be constructed, etc.  And what’s more, the owner of the building may not even want to use it, they may just be constructing it for a contract that another player paid for (in which case their client would gain the deed), or they may intend to rent out usage.  Because the skills needed to build a building are almost always very different from the skills to operate it, this will be very common.
The skill of the builder and the quality of the materials used in the construction of the building can also cause a significant bonus in the building’s efficiency, and thus specializing in buildings structures or producing/processing materials for construction will be very important and in-demand skills.
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.

20 thoughts

  • oranisz

    I’m very found of the concept !
    I’d love to try it, but is it possible to play solo ?
    Is there a demo download so i can try it out before purchasing ?

  • Mags

    I think I am going to love this game but I have not been able to get a workbench. I have maxed my basic crafting in survival tree. What am I doing wrong?
    Someone in another thread suggested skipping tutorial but I only have an option to reset it. Can anyone offer a suggestion please?

  • Max335

    I have two Problem with the game : first i cant play singleplayer because when i enter my world or when i create one my game is invisible and secondly when i start the server console with administrator it crash so please help me.
    i play on my Computer and there it doesnt work when i try to play it on my laptop its laggy
    pls help me!

  • Daniel Molash

    Wow love this game so far just spent 14 hours playing … man this is awesome great job !!!

  • prullenbak2004

    can someone help me? I know where to buy it but I do not know who to pack ….


  • Greg

    Will there be a maintenance of structures involved? Are there plans that structures will decay over time if they are not?

    As much as we build things in the real world they do need regular maintaining or fall apart or break. It would be a good way for Nature to reclaim what was taken too? (especially if someone abandons the game world).

  • Coldtnt01

    I have not purchased it yet but I want to. I’m wondering how it runs on a dell laptop with 4 gb of RAM. Anyone know?

    • Coldtnt01

      My computer is old so I don’t want to by the game and have it lagging the entire time I am playing because that is just not fun.

      • Bas

        Eco uses about 1.5GB RAM while running.

        Just be sure to close down any open web browsers and you’ll be fine

  • james

    Hi i am playing alpha 5 and trying to use a workbench but it says i have to put it in a closed room what does this mean? I have made a wood foundation with walls of 10×10 and it will not work i have lef a gap for a door other than that it is completely sealed off

    • Anon

      Have you closed off the roof? The game will allow you to have two spaces for the door unenclosed, but everything else, including the roof, must be closed off.

  • Lisa

    Hi 😀 My friend and I recently bought the game and have started playing, we were wondering how we get the construction/blueprint tab open. I saw in older videos on youtube that there was a Blueprint button on the bottom right, but it is no longer there. We really want to get the Builder’s Hut built, and would really appreciate any help. Thank you 😀

  • Austin dahl

    This looks like an absolutely beautiful game. I love build your own worlds, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this game!

  • Evan Zhuo

    I really really love this idea. I would love to know how I can help with the development of this project and when it will be out. I would also like to know how much money it would go for and what kind of devices/programs is it going to run on.

    By the way, dude. This is amazing. I am really really looking forward to this game.

    • John K. Post author

      Thanks a lot. You can join the dev tier, we will have an account system for that soon!

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