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Wooden Cart Crash, New Building Items, Minimap, Tech Tree

Dev Blog: 16
May 12, 2016
Been working hard getting the Alpha 4 release of Eco ready for release, this will be a big release with some major new systems in the game, including transport, power, a new building system, logging system, and much more.

Here’s a look at what’s on the way:

 As always the alpha version of the game is available to buy on our site at strangeloopgames.com/eco, and we’ll be giving Steam keys to all our backers when we launch on Early Access later this year.

 We also got a couple new team members, welcome Craig and Steve to the team!


Tons of features and polish for Alpha 4. Added a new ‘module’ system for buildings. Here’s a test of it (those chests are actually Sanding Blocks and Tool Shelves), showing how you can plug modules into a table to get extra benefits and unlock other recipes.

This will be useful in fleshing out the building system, giving lots of ways to customize and create buildings that will have game effects.Also been working vehicles, giving feedback to the player. Notice the new status window when you’re driving around.  Here’s a video of an unfortunate wooden cart crash:


I’ve been blocking in the early parts of the skill and tech tree, making sure everything connects correctly and flows well. The skills now include branches allowing specialities such as baking to be researched and learned separately from the generic cooking skill. In addition to that, a few quality of life changes like sorted skill benefits and availability-culled skill trees should help make navigating the rapidly growing content.


Working on all manner of bugs and loose ends leading up to getting alpha 4 out.  With the myriad of new features since alpha 3, there is a fair amount of fixing going on to get everything solid.


I’ve been working on many things since the last update, but recently I’ve focused on blocking out placeholder models for the game’s “world objects”, our internal technical term for objects that players place in the world on top of the voxel custom builders. This way we can start to implement the first iteration of our tech tree, since revamping and refining that will be a huge part of Eco’s design. Even in the process of figuring out what to rough out for the objects, I did a fair amount of design work, researching what physical objects might be best to represent different technologies.(Again, this is not art that will be in the finished game, these are rough-outs of what objects we’ll likely be implementing)


For the last couple weeks I’ve been working on the minimap UI element – the model used to render the map is now updated in real time as players make buildings or dig into the surface. Trees are also shown on the map, and specific types of objects (players, workbenches, etc.) are highlighted and listed on the side of the map screen.I’m also working on various meshing, rendering, and networking optimizations for the minimap.
The player icon shown is temporary 😉

Getting ever closer to Alpha 4, can’t wait to hear what you think of it. As always send us any questions or comments you have or message us on Facebook. Look forward to hearing from you.

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.

19 thoughts

  • egdy

    ‘unhandled exception’ if you don’t play everyday this pops up and wipes your whole map I played 3 days in a row like 8 hrs each I skipped the 4th day and then the ‘eco server stopped working’…. fix this bug. server-map memory need to be separated…

  • egdy

    crashes never go away the seed saves when you reset it but what you build doesn’t save so its useless

  • egdy

    for any one who has this issue all you have to do is crash it by copying the game.eco place it into a zip file then create a new server\game.eco place old eco into storage this will create the dotnetzip tmp file then close it then delete the tmp file then the new game.eco memory then place the old game.eco into the storage then start the server and it will open up your old world!! this is my 1st go at this. if any thing happens ill post it for someone who has this issue.

  • egdy

    the cause of this bug that makes the server crash is this=”DotNetZip-d4f5jpg.tmp TMPfile”
    can someone help me with this because no one seems to check any of these comments this file is the rot cause I tried everything I could to crash or impede this and this is the only thing that creates it….

  • egdy

    now there is a new problem “crashaggregateexception” it has to do with a bad zip from the storage of game.eco it worked all day yesterday now its messed up today this is the bug that will not go away or fix itself with containing the memory of a world. so the way to fix this is to create a zip folder place game.eco memory in it then delete it from the storage. this fixes the problem but deletes the server from the memory but the memory exist if you remove it from the zip folder back into the storage. but then it crashes again. can someone fix this bug?? need to remove memory of the ‘game.eco’ from the ‘server’ these two do not measure out one gets screwed up to where it cant be ‘read right’ but not solve or give a idea how to fix this is very annoying I’ve lost over 20 worlds because of this shit

  • egdy

    never mind in the 6.4.1 update in order to get hewned logs you have to place them on the ground you then hit them on the ground with the axe then pick them up then use the hammer to turn them into a building block when you mess around and do random **** you figure stuff out on your own.

  • egdy

    what’s up with this 6.4.1 update its terrible…. you cant build a room without building blocks why is it only listing tier +0 blocks??? the hewn logs are in the carpentry bench and not the workbench you cant progress in this game without a hammer creating a building block but in this update you cant even use the hammer?? this update is trash. the 6.4.0 update was 10x better the only issue with that update was the blocks disappearing and you cant fix it. why is there never any NEW content with this game every video on utube is over 4 months old??
    this game is literally DEAD right now. 1/19/2018

  • egdy

    why is it in the 6.4.1 update you must have tier 0 to build a room when tier 0 items on the listed are not building blocks? why doesn’t the hammer create building blocks anymore like it did in the 6.4.0 update? with the hewn logs and normal logs. the logic is annoying that you create this update and its literally worse than the one before it? you cant progress in this game unless you have a room but when you lack the ability to create a room because of a hammer not being able to do its job, but you must create a carpentry table the hewn logs are in that, instead of the work bench?? who aloud this update to happen? why is there never a updated interface on this website? every utube video on this game is over 4 months old no new content is every presented with this game?? 1/19/2018

  • Joshua.T

    Hello, is there a way to pay for he game other then Paypal, I’m not really comfortable with pay pal so I never made an account. I love the way the game looks and I’m really interested in it, I do have a way of paying by card, but when I hit the buy screen it brings me to a paypal . Is it possible in the future you can add other methods of buying the game? I don’t mind if the price goes up to compensate a banks transaction as that would be fair. I found this game by accident on steam and only just noticed there was a web link lol, so I noticed a buy option and everything and got really excited 🙂

    • Joshua.T

      Sorry, didn’t see the bottom section (I had to scroll a bit further down) thanks for having that xD

      As far as vehicles go, maybe a basic bicycle would be a good addition, taking speed into account to make the same distance where calories will cost less (Cause you can stop peddling on downward hills and the like)? I’ve seen some complicated vehicles, but I think bikes would probably be a first stop 🙂 Thanks for reading these and hope you have a good day!

  • Guillekpo14

    quiero ya este juego, lo comprare sin dudas! 🙂

      • Woolridge

        i think he was talking about how the dev-logs ended in may
        I’m wondering, will there be any future devlogs aswell

        • Will

          Ah, yes, we’ve been hard at work on Alpha 5 and have a ton of new stuff coming soon.
          Thank you Woolridge.

  • Nick

    I like the design of the vehicles. But will there be a way to get a vehicle out of a situation like a crash? Also, will there be different road tiers that will increase the speed of the vehicle? Lastly, what does the UI mean by road efficiency? Thank you for all of your hard work, can’t wait until Alpha 4!!

    • DC

      hey guys i like the progress of this game and the potential for future additions.
      i just have one suggest for you to consider.

      add some form of black powder weapons it would add a unique system to the game that could be a step up from primitive bows to co-inside with your progression system you have…


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