Power systems, Terrain Visuals, Slack-like Chat

Dev Blog: 11
January 19, 2016
With Eco Alpha 3 and a majority of bugfixes from our initial launch fixed, we’re getting pretty far along towards Alpha 4, 5, and Beta.

We got some big ticket items coming (power system, elections, taxes) and a new art style in the works. If you haven’t got on board yet you can join the alpha on our website here.

Check out our progress below.

Kklim@strangeloopgames.com

Power system is introduced. 3 main components of this system are Generator, Link, Sink.

Here is simple test with testing objects

Here is real objects this are Generator and Sink at the same time.

Work order will not processed if power for sink is not met.(first order will looks like processing but won’t be finished and if you open it again it will tick time again from where it actually stop. This will be fixed in the future.)

Johnjohn@strangeloopgames.com

Because collaboration is such a key aspect to the game, communication becomes incredibly important. We wanted to have everyone aware of what’s going in the server, even if it happened while they’re offline, and have easy ways to organize and trade and govern. To support this, we’ve created a chat system that works a lot like Slack or IRC:

It has support for tags, direct messages, logged offline messages, unread message displays, showing/hiding tags (and remembering state). It’s simple to use, but will be powerful in tracking and promoting all the interactions in the game, which will become critically important as players must collaborate through the economy and government to succeed. A seemingly simple feature that will make a big impact on how people play the game.

Similarly, if you’re in the dev tier join us in our Eco Slack Channel! Sign up on our account page.

Ericeric@strangeloopgames.com

Aside from fixing all manner of loose ends with alpha 3, I have been working with Keegan and Milenko to improve our existing art pipeline while they work to enhance the overall look of the game. This work is continuing and the first parts of it will be in alpha 4. Check out Keegan & Milenko’s updates for more pretty screenshots.

Jeffjeff@strangeloopgames.com

Made a bunch of design updates on ECO’s website. Added the trailer front and center for instant engagement. Also added in some bragging rights with a slideshow of critic quotes. And sorted the dev blogs, from our how to play articles and general ECO news.

Updated the account page to fix an email activation bug. You can also now login with your email or username – for your convenience.

Also searched through the plethora of awesome ECO dev supporters and was able to hire Jonathan to help us with server management (as we get ready to scale the game for a growing fan base). He’ll also help us remove that ugly port number in the forum url (I wonder if people actually notice that…)

Keegankeegan@strangeloopgames.com

I’ve been working on updating the art for the underlying terrain of eco– the grass, rock, sand, dirt, etc, that will make up the foundational block types of the world. We’ve all been coordinating to figure out what we want to do and how it needs to get done to improve the look of our world. The main thing I’ve worked on is the shader the terrain uses, and the meshes and ‘custom builder’ that determines how the landscape is built. Using new a new custom builder for the rock type blocks, and new meshes for the general landscape blocks, we’ve started to nicely differentiate these block types visually, and create more interest in the landscape.

The shader I’ve been working on uses a combination of triplanar projection and masking to mask off areas for regular UV space that I think will serve us nicely and have a lot of flexibility going forwards.

This is the kind of masking going on behind the scenes:

And a very WIP shot of the new rock builder/meshes and triplanar texturing (you can see an old version of milenko’s new trees in there too).

Next up I’ll be doing what I can to make material transitions better across blocks, probably using decoration/border meshes.

Milenkomilenko@strangeloopgames.com

And I have been working on all kinds of vegetation, and the ways it gets plugged into the game.

So there will be new grass, new trees, plants, etc that should come together and give world its volume. Still working on it though.

Thanks all and feel free to email any of us directly with questions/comments.

— 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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