Property, Transport, Landscape, Foliage!

Dev Blog: 13
February 16, 2016
We’re in the middle of production for Alpha 4 on Eco, and making great progress.

There’s going to be several major new systems appearing in Alpha 4 and 5, and players will be able to get a much clearer picture of what the game will be like at Beta and launch. Here’s a look at that work in progress:

Johnjohn@strangeloopgames.com

We learned a ton about the game from watching people play the alpha, and we’re applying what we learned now to a second pass on systems. This week I worked on a big iteration of the property and building systems, it now works as follows:

Players will start the game with several property-claim flags, which they can place anywhere unclaimed (later, they will be restricted by player-government zoning rules).

Claiming property will add it to the first deed in your inventory:

You can use the deed interface to choose who can build there, and see what property is assigned to it, and if you want to transfer it to another deed you can just pull it up and click ‘attach current plot’. This will let players divide up property however they want, and if you give/sell a deed to someone they become the owner of that property. Real estate market created!

Buildings work a lot different now as well. Instead of choosing what type of building you want and then constructing it, you must place crafting tables in buildings of a certain type. You can see what the requirements are on the tooltip, and you’ll get notices what’s wrong if you try to place it in an invalid space.

This will make building a lot more flexible – you can construct rooms however you want on your property, and place tables as you like, as long as they meet the restrictions. I think we’ll see a lot more interesting player constructions with this. Later we’ll be adding room-bonuses so that your craft tables will get boosts if you place it in a building with special properties.

We also made re-building more flexible. Previously buildings were locked down once they were finished, now you can change them at will. The restriction system will auto-detect changes that break tables and notify you:

Now you can keep building onto one house if you want, adding stacks of rooms or underground caverns and filling them with useful tables, and then selling access. Building is such a core part of the game, and we want it to be both aesthetically interesting and strategic, and this system promotes that. Along with the transport system below, where and how you build will make a huge difference on the success of your world.

Kklim@strangeloopgames.com

Vehicle and road system beginnings. Vehicles and roads will be the basis of transport, and moving resources between places in Eco will consume resources and create pollution, and infrastructure will be costly to create. It will be one of the main group challenges of the game, organizing public works to create the most efficient transport.

Currently you can just place it, but it will be some different way to craft vehicles.

It can have inventory (open UI with right click)

And you can ride vehicle(E)(behind the scene)

And you can dismount with pressing “E” again

Road system is in development, but it can effect your vehicle.

Road can increase your “mile per gallon” and limit your speed.

Ericeric@strangeloopgames.com

Helping Keegan and Milenko bring their art dreams to fruition. (Trees + Terrain, see their screenshots for more)

Keegankeegan@strangeloopgames.com

I’ve been working with Eric to fix up and update the base terrain in Eco, improving performance and the look. Eric improved custom builder tools and I reassembled all the pieces we use for grass/dirt/sand, and I’ve continued to iterate on the rock and ore’s custom builder geometry. We’re starting to approach the point where we can focus on authoring art rather than technology issues with the core terrain of Eco– and as the next step I have been transitioning to working on buildings to get them to the same standard.

Milenkomilenko@strangeloopgames.com

Well, working on many things at once.

So everything is sort of halfway there. New plants are coming along, as well as the terrain textures. But the current thing is setting the tree meshes to look right and grow right in the game.

I am up to the third iterations of my meshes, and I think I have finally figured out how it is all going to work.

Lots more to come, looking forward to your feedback, and as always feel free to email us.

— 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.

5 thoughts

  • Reply
    Jayme

    Will there be horse transport? This way we can have ways to transport goods and not have to worry about pollution. Add in carts and stuff so we can move resources. Maybe not as much as a truck or what ever will be added but at least a way for us to save the environment.

    • Reply
      Peter

      I’m pretty sure a horse causes more problems than a car: They eat *alot* even when they’re not being used, and produce methane just like cows. They also have a very limited useful working life and have to be fed during the times they’re not producing, not to mention being trained, which is a high skill labour intensive process. In addition, before the invention of the automobile, disposing of horse dung was a major crisis for urban planners. Back around the turn of the century people were genuinely unsure as to whether cities would be able to continue growing purely because they couldn’t get rid of it fast enough, they had to stockpile it in lots and try to find farmers willing to cart it away. It also caused health problems, helping spread diseases in wet weather and causing breathing problems in dry weather.

  • Reply
    MilesNocte

    I love that you have separated the structures from the tables. This was one aspect of the game i was not very fond of.

  • Reply
    wolle

    That is a big step!
    It looks great and gets better and better. Some more weeks and i am sure, that your game style is what i wanted and i will buy it!

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