How Food and Skills Work

September 7, 2015

In most games, food is an afterthought, something you need to periodically consume to ‘not die’, but beyond that it doesn’t usually do a whole lot. In Eco, food is pivotal, because it is tied to your skills.  In Eco, the better fed you are the faster your skills go up.  Not only do you need to have a sufficient amount of food consumed as an individual, but that food must have diverse nutrition.  Thus, eating only one type of food may let you survive, but your skill improvement rate will not be at the top of the charts.

Skills in Eco raise continuously, even when you’re offline.  As a player, you choose which skill you want to raise and it will continue rising, with no level-cap.  Depending on the type, those skills determine what you can do in the world and how efficiently.  Skills in ‘Logging’ for example will raise how quickly you’re able to harvest trees, and how much yield you get from each tree.  As your skill increases ad infinitum, you will begin to get diminishing returns, meaning it will usually make sense to change skills at some point, but there’s always room to specialize more in any given a skill.  Players will be able to load up their inventory with food and set their character to eat offline, so they can stay at the top skill rate even when logged out.

Because players simply don’t have the time to specialize in every single skill, they will need to seek out others to help them in skill areas they lack.  This limitation on skills thus has a tremendous impact on the game, because it creates the need for a player run economy.  Players will be able to build a society much more efficiently if they collaborate with others, trading goods and service that they specialize in for goods and services they don’t (read about how players can sell not only goods but services in our earlier update here).

This connection between skills and food is key, because it ties players directly to the ecosystem from which their food comes.  If a society is going to thrive, they need to take care of the ecosystem that is fueling them to ensure a diverse diet, or else their skills will stall, and they will lack the abilities needed to collaborate successfully.  The growing, harvesting, and processing of food will become an industry itself, and players that support this industry can make a huge impact on the overall skill levels of the server, and thus the ability to work together to stop the meteor.

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

  • Reply
    Davthon

    I really am enjoying this game and have maxed out in most things but am stuck on getting the farming skill book because I cannot find mushrooms anywhere on my world, and that is stopping me getting some other skill books as well, when I got the wetlands skill I should have been able to find mushrooms and other growth but it did not happen can anyone help me please

  • Reply
    Shawn T S

    So no internet, no group play. Does that mean im so out of luck? I like this games potential.

  • Reply
    Necromangel

    Ce que je trouve dommage, c’est que vous n’avez pas prévue de faire des composteurs pour les fermiers.

    Ce que je trouverais surement sympa, ce serait d’avoir des vélos pour aller d’un point A à B avec peux être en options des charrettes qui s’y accrocherais.

    • Reply
      Perleflamme

      Il y a déjà tout ça, en réalité : les fertiliseurs existent au tier 1, de même que des brouettes, et des charrettes existent déjà dans les derniers tiers technologiques.

      It already exists, actually: fertilizers are tier-1 items, as well as carts, and you have fast travel items in the most developped technological tiers.

  • Reply
    Kqrlq

    Could someone please make a tutorial how to grow plants? I think the agriculture needs some improvements, something like a watering can could be helpful.

  • Reply
    Daniel

    Hello. Its hard to play singleplayer, i can unlock just few things. I need more xp points to unlock a thing and next thing to unlock is even expensive, i dont like the game now. Yes i saw what you write about economy but i like old version of the game. Please think about that or ill want my money back. PS: I like to play solo.

    • Reply
      Perleflamme

      Can’t you edit the config.xml file to increase the earning of skill points and adapt the gameplay for singleplayer? It should be possible. It’s at least possible in a multiplayer world.

  • Reply
    Ethan

    I would like this game to be free or free game keys every once in a while that would be great

    • Reply
      Eguzky

      Really? You want this to be free? Why?

      That’s pretty selfish, dude. A game this complex, even funded well via crowdfunding, deserves to make money in sales.

      Try walking into a McDonald’s and going ‘I want a #1 and I want it to be free, or maybe make it free next week’.

      Not trying to sound like a jerk here but put some perspective on it, ok?

      • Reply
        Zane Aston

        Lots of games have free play servers that simply don’t provide full content it’s like getting sample foods in grocery stores makes you hungry for more, I personally would like to see the game get into some serious real life chemical reactions for educational purposes, instead of bs’ Ing ” oh learn how to save the world but do it in the ficticious perameters of our *for fun* game” cars burn fuel fuel must be processed let’s not just throw wheels on a block of wood and have it run indefinitely. All of my exp with this title is 5 mins of grey still plays YouTube channel during his noob nuance but it peaked my interest immediately

        • Reply
          Perleflamme

          Hmmm… maybe a free tier-0 version where you can’t have tier-1 house (and as such can’t have all its benefits)? Maybe the removal of hewn logs or something? That would be a market advertisement.

  • Reply
    duke

    Besides skills, food and health can be tied to your abilities and experience of the game, ie, less food means you move slower or can’t jump as high, or low water means your visions starts to get blurry or you cannot see as far (lower render distance)

  • Reply
    Cainan Fortun

    I really like this idea, but how will it work if you want to play solo? Will there be a way to specialize in all the skill if you choose to play the game solo?

    • Reply
      Chris

      I was thinking that the solo play would probably want to take out the meteor completely. The amount of time it would take to try and specialize and build the needed items to take out the meteor would be a bit taxing. I think it’ll be a bit like a mincraft (goal-less except for goals you attempt to set for yourself) experience solo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *