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Eco 8.0 will be released on February 6th!
« Reply #29 from previous page: January 10, 2019, 07:01:52 AM »

Eco 8.0 will be released on February 6th!

Hello everyone, hope you had a good start into the new year!
Eco 8.0 - the BIOMES Update - will be released on our 1 year steam anniversary on February 6th!

The update will introduce new biomes and species, notably:

Trees: Palm trees, Redwoods
Animals: Mule Deer, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep
Grasslands Plants: Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Sunflower
Desert Plants: Agave, Creosote Art Update
Forest Plants: Ocean Spray, Trillium
Taiga and Tundra Plants: Lupine, Saxifrage, Peat Moss, Deer Lichen, Dwarf Willow, Arctic Willow
Rainforest Plants!: Papaya, Taro, Orchid, Heliconia, Pineapple, Lattice Mushroom, Bolete Mushroom, Cookeina Mushroom, Filmy Fern, King Fern
Wetland Plants: Pumpkin

On top of that we'll have

A New Skill System! - Earn levelups by doing work, then choose specialty talents.
A New Animal AI system! - Animals have new behaviors and are much smarter.
Pipes! - Create plumbing networks to supply your villages and remove pollution.
Banks! - Create new bank accounts and designate who has access.
Registrars! - Create titles and use them to determine who can access what.

and many more (performance) improvements and bugfixes!

We'll be showing off these features and answer player questions in our livestream this Friday at 2pm PST / 23:00h CET, come in and say hi!

https://www.twitch.tv/strangeloopgames
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/user/StrangeLoopGame[/youtube]
https://www.facebook.com/EcoVideoGame
Source: Eco 8.0 will be released on February 6th!

 

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Version 0.7.8.9 released!
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2019, 01:03:06 PM »

Version 0.7.8.9 released!

We have released patch 7.8.9 with the following changelog:

Fixes

  • Fixed annoying issue with resetting Store public access permissions after server restart

Backups

Backups logic fixed and reworked to be more predictable. There are now following options (default value in brackets):

  • MaxBackupsInLastHour (2) - max number of backups for last hour (if backup frequency less than 1 hour)
  • MaxHourlyBackups (24) - hourly backup is a first backup in a hour, in average it is one backup in a hour
  • MaxDailyBackups (3) - daily backup is a first backup in a day, in average it is one backup in a day
  • MaxWeeklyBackups (10) - weekly backup is a first backup in a week, in average it is one backup in a week at Monday
    With default settings it will keep hourly backups for last 24 hours, daily backups for last 3 days, weekly backups for last 10 weeks.

Default backup frequency changed to 0.5.

Also now your backup settings will not be rewritten by Steam, instead you have `Backup.eco.template` with default settings.
Source: Version 0.7.8.9 released!

 

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Eco ranked #1 game of 2018 by Venture Beat's Jeff Grubb
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2019, 01:09:20 AM »

Eco ranked #1 game of 2018 by Venture Beat's Jeff Grubb

We're blown away, it's so great to see people 'get' what we're going for with the game, and this is just the beginning, still in Early Access, so much more to come.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/12/27/jeff-grubb-game-of-the-year-2018/

"Eco made me realize that games are actually crucial for understanding our relationship to all kinds of natural and man-made systems. The thing that gives me chills is that I think it is only in games that we can play with economic systems. And I walked away from my experience in Eco feeling like I learned so much even though we had no instructor. No one was connecting the dots for us. We simply learned through play."
Source: Eco ranked #1 game of 2018 by Venture Beat's Jeff Grubb

 

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The Big Eco Game Event
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2019, 01:06:16 PM »

The Big Eco Game Event

Fellow Eco-Players,
the Big Eco Game community event with Jeff Grubb and friends started this night.
They're playing through Eco 8.0 all month long with 70+ players and three major factions!

Multiple people are streaming this event, so here are some of them you can follow to get a look on Eco 8.0 in action on a highly populated server:

- GamesBeat on Twitch http://twitch.tv/gamesbeat/
- Jeff Grubb on Twitch http://twitch.tv/jeffgrubb
- DrJonez on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/drjonez
- Rinderblock on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/rinderblock
- Cristian_arg_ on Twitch (Spanish) https://www.twitch.tv/cristian_arg_
- Matt Chandronait on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/mattchandronait
- Jesterpc on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/jesterpc
- Skrattybones on Twitch http://www.twitch.tv/skrattybones
- GoodWorkVideoGames https://www.twitch.tv/goodworkvideogames
Source: The Big Eco Game Event

 

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Version 0.8.0.1 released!
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2019, 01:04:33 PM »

Version 0.8.0.1 released!

We have released patch 7.8.9 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:

  • vehicles crossing 0-coordinate should behave less obstinate
  • fixed some "Alice in Wonderland" effects (world titled issue)
  • fixed problem with unfair deals when you get full price for part of sold/bought items if destination inventory has not enough space
  • fixed links to previous elections in Web UI
  • fixed starting New Game from clean Steam installation
  • fixed incorrect ping calculation
  • fixed crash while connecting pipes through zero point
  • fixed redefine District action to take into account existing Districts
  • fixed issue with large world generation and ore amounts - low sample size sometimes created inadequate amounts of ore in worlds 200x200 or larger

Performance improvements:

  • memory optimization (fixed regression for chunks memory consumption)

Balance:

  • self-improvements experience slightly nerfed
  • minor changes in tech tree for pipes
  • the following objects now require flowing water supplied via plumbing: BlastFurnace, OilRefinery, Sink, Laboratory, Combustion Generator

Source: Version 0.8.0.1 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.1 released!
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2019, 01:09:32 AM »

Version 0.8.0.1 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.1 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:

  • vehicles crossing 0-coordinate should behave less obstinate
  • fixed some "Alice in Wonderland" effects (world titled issue)
  • fixed problem with unfair deals when you get full price for part of sold/bought items if destination inventory has not enough space
  • fixed links to previous elections in Web UI
  • fixed starting New Game from clean Steam installation
  • fixed incorrect ping calculation
  • fixed crash while connecting pipes through zero point
  • fixed redefine District action to take into account existing Districts
  • fixed issue with large world generation and ore amounts - low sample size sometimes created inadequate amounts of ore in worlds 200x200 or larger

Performance improvements:

  • memory optimization (fixed regression for chunks memory consumption)

Balance:

  • self-improvements experience slightly nerfed
  • minor changes in tech tree for pipes
  • the following objects now require flowing water supplied via plumbing: BlastFurnace, OilRefinery, Sink, Laboratory, Combustion Generator

Source: Version 0.8.0.1 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.2 released!
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2019, 07:02:13 PM »

Version 0.8.0.2 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.2 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:

  • tweaking for view distance and chunk loading
  • fixed completed tutorials list layout
  • fixed "?" as balance string in treasury
  • fixed DefaultWorld to one with valid Citizenship law
  • fixed dead-lock with steel (when pump was needed for steel and steel needed for pump)

Improvements:

  • graceful shutdown for Windows servers. If you close it (Alt+F4 or with close button) then it will try to save state (Windows will only provide 5-10 seconds for that) or you can configure your software to send Ctrl+C to console app and configure own timeout for shutdown.
  • added ping retries if for some reason ping was last for first attempt

Performance:

  • minor performance improvements

Source: Version 0.8.0.2 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.3 released!
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2019, 01:05:27 PM »

Version 0.8.0.3 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.3 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:

  • Fixed contract payment issue (source user hadn't access to escrow account, to get back his payment/deposit)
  • Fixed confused "zero" tax string when transfering funds to special account
  • Fixed issue with vehicles and players sometimes become invisible.
  • Make Real Estate Desk working again!
  • Fix for the not working law taxes

MacOS & Linux clients included!
Source: Version 0.8.0.3 released!

 

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Eco 8.0, Early-Access Anniversary Update. Biggest Yet
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2019, 07:02:32 AM »

Eco 8.0, Early-Access Anniversary Update. Biggest Yet

After many long months of work, Eco 8.0 is released! We’ve got a ton of new stuff in this update, resulting in a very different feel to the game overall.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

New World Generation

        

World generation has undergone a variety of changes and improvements.  Many new parameters have been added to world generation, such as land/water balance, number of continents and islands, sizes of biomes, and number of water features such as rivers and lakes.  All of these parameters may be tweaked within the world generator config file.  As a result, worlds are much more varied with specific resources only being made available within specific biomes.

                                      

I addition, we have reworked the world geology, by adding an assortment of rock types like Sandstone, Granite, Shale, and Limestone. Certain rock types appear only in specific biomes and at specific depths. These rocks all have different uses in recipes and can be made into unique looking mortared stones. Ores like Iron, Copper, and Gold are now located in specific host rocks which will encourage you to choose the place of your settlement wisely.

                                      

Lakes have been added, and the river generator has been rewritten to have an improved look and feel to them.

New Plants
  • Trees: Palms, Redwoods, Ceiba

  • Grasslands: Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Sunflower, Pumpkin
  • Desert: Agave, Creosote (Updated Art)
  • Forest: Ocean Spray, Trillium
  • Taiga and Tundra: Lupine, Saxifrage. Peat Moss, Deer Lichen, Dwarf Willow, Arctic Willow
  • Rainforest: Papaya, Taro, Orchid, Heliconia, Pineapple, Lattice Mushroom, Bolete Mushroom, Cookeina Mushroom, Filmy Fern, King Fern

New Animals

Mule Deer

Mountain Goat

Bighorn Sheep
New Skill system

The skill system has been simplified and reworked to encourage active engagement. While specializations will still be based on the same time-gated model as before, you no longer need to choose between improving your current specialties and gaining new ones. Instead of having multiple skills under specialties that all need skillpoints to advance, we've rolled all those benefits into an action-based leveling system. For example, players who choose to take the hewing specialty will be able to hew logs with increasing efficiency and speed as they complete orders rather than being forced to wait on skillpoints to achieve maximum efficiency.
The second major change is that the vast majority of recipes are now available without taking the related specialization at a drastically increased cost. This should allow players to experience parts of the game they would have previously been locked out of while still giving players an immediate and powerful benefit for choosing specializations.

In addition to more generic benefits for a specialization, player will occasionally be able to choose specialization-specific talents upon leveling up. Talents for a given specialty are mutually exclusive: if you take one you lock yourself out of the other. Do you want to destroy the forest faster or do you want to be able to clean up the debris you leave behind easier? The goal is to encourage you to pick talents that benefit the way you want to play the game.
Even with the new changes, don't neglect your diet or house! What used to be skillpoints/day has been changed to an experience multiplier that is applied in two places: the rate at which you gain new specialties and the rate at which those individual specialties level up.

Banks

We have implemented banks to allow you to create additional bank accounts that you can share with other players. You can set who has access to the account and who is allowed to manage it, which will make playing together easier and also allows the world leader to grant other players access to the treasury. Everywhere where you need to pay with currency you can choose from which bank account you want to make the payment. Of course, you can also set into which bank account payments should go. And to make your life easier, we added the possibility to transfer money to different players and bank accounts just by clicking a button.

Registrars

Registrars enable you to create titles that you can grant to other players. Those titles can then be used in any authorization UIs and in the law system which allows you to easily group players or create titles for people that you want to work for the government.

New Animal AI

The AI of animals has been greatly improved and exposed for modding. Animals now eat, sleep, form packs and have species-specific behaviors. Beware though, as they became more intelligent and will now notice when your arrow hits just besides them. We have also implemented a headshot mechanic to make your life easier.

Sewage

In Update 8.0 several workbenches need to be supplied with water to function. In order to do so, you craft a pump and place it near a water source, connect it with pipes and deliver the water to the crafting table where it is converted into sewage. The sewage then needs to be taken care of – in the early game your only option is to release it into the environment, harming it. Later in the game you will get access to the water filter which allows you to clean the sewage and create compost blocks out of it which make a good ingredient for fertilizers.

General
  • Added UPnP support for the game server.
  • Added the ability to customize the reputation colors.
  • Added an API for viewing and setting server configs.
  • Added “HEAD” backups that keep the latest snapshot and happens often
  • enough to minimize data loss.
  • The behavior of backups is now more predictable and works correctly for all settings.
  • Added Disconnect from game when entering another lobby, allowing to join a different server is the player is already in game.
  • Added Arabic and Vietnamese language support.
  • The physical behavior of falling objects has been improved.
  • Animations for jumping players and network interpolation have been improved.
  • Updated the meteor intro sequence.
  • All tutorials can now be reviewed in the “tutorial” tab, left clicking an tutorial there will show it’s popup.
  • Language names in the language selection in the menu now show in their respective language.
  • Added pathfinding functions to allow movement between land and water and quickly finding paths back to water for amphibious animals.
  • Most animals now attempt to return to their home area so visible populations should be more similar to the world layer displays.
  • Added basic herd/pack behavior to some animal species.
  • Moved animal movement behaviors to mods to give modders some examples of how to work with animals.
  • Wolves are now nocturnal.
  • Otters can now venture inland and float with their glorious tummies on display.
  • Tree felling now scares nearby animals.
  • Updated predator behaviors to show eating prey, hunting, relaxing and sleeping.
  • Animal will now flee hunting predators.
  • You can now get closer to animals if you move slow or avoid moving directly towards them.
  • Animal corpse physics is now synced between clients.
  • Improved splitting items by offering specific values to split.
  • Stockpile graphics have been altered so you can now see if there is a hole below.
  • Currency drop downs are now sorted by backed currencies first, then by amount of currency in circulation.
  • Improved behavior of item selection when left-clicking a storage with a tool in your hands.
  • Improved the hammer tool to not cause any more unintended item removals from storages.
  • Added /spawnsewage and /raisesealevel developer commands.
  • Added /sealevel user command.
  • Added /spawn command that accepts different parameters to spawn automatically claimed buildings with a specified world object inside.
  • Added /listadmins command.
  • Added animation randomization scripts to the modkit.
  • Added launch parameters --restoreBackupIfSaveMissing which will inform the eco server to try restore latest backup if save file is missing, and --restoreFromBackup which will force the eco server to restore from specified backup instead of using save file
  • Added ability to set initial server ID with command line argument (--serverId) or environment variable (ECO_SERVER_ID).
  • Added display of progress when loading mods instead of just hanging on the “Loading …” message.
  • Added error handling for local server connections.
  • Dropdown lists now automatically close after leaving them.
  • /setreputation can now skip value clamping.
  • Admins can now be specified by username which allows to grant admin rights before a user logged in.
  • Usernames that could resemble a slg or steam id are now prevented.
  • Chat commands now both accept the English and localized names.
  • Empty data files are now treated as corrupted and will start restoration from a backup, if available.
  • Slight optimizations in bandwidth for the web interface have been made.
  • Improved shutdown logic for Windows and especially Linux servers. The server now catches SIGTERM and SIGINT signals and tries to gracefully shutdown.
  • Improved the dev-tool to be able to destroy everything.
  • Extended the drag zones for items – no more item drag reverts.
  • Added shift modifier to dragging items, you can now drag all items of the dragged type anywhere you want.
  • Species and World Layer settings are now defined in the mods directory, making it easier to release simulation mods.
  • Improved physics performance of animals.
  • Improved connection logic for the server started from client, it is now less likely that it will hang on startup.
  • Single player servers now start in the same language as the launching client.
  • Chat commands were added to the localization system.
  • Disabled the possibility to click on main menu buttons until it is visible to the player.
  • The meteor intro screen is no longer skipped if space or mouse button is pressed during the end of a scene.
Graphics
  • Added volumetric fog graphics option using Aura.
  • Added quality slider for global illumination.
  • Changed view distance slider to 50-200
  • Tweaked shadow settings for better performance
  • Tweaked foliage LOD settings, can set all the way up to 200% quality if desired.
  • Improved performance of global illumination and reflections; These effects will update less frequently, but at a dramatic improvement in performance.
Gameplay
  • Added tier display to world object tooltips if it has a tier. (Doors, etc.)
  • Added tier display to items, if they have a tier attribute.
  • Added extra seed recipes to the Farmer’s Table for all new plants.
  • Added seed recipes for Amanita Mushrooms.
  • Added minimap store location display in the economy tracker.
  • Added housing category color to housing tooltip.
  • Added batch selection to stores.
  • Added title to the minimap UI.
  • Added a delay for “has for sale” messages to prevent spam.
  • Added an “All” button to UIs with an input amount.
  • Added a description to the chainsaw that is used instead of the description of the axe.
  • Added quick item transfer between inventories using mouseclick and shortcuts.
  • Added automatic quantity capping on item transfer.
  • Added the possibility to set the worlds default currency by the leader in the treasury.
  • Added the bank account balance of a storeowner to the economy viewer.
  • Added the possibility to see if you are authorized to use a shop in the economy viewer.
  • Added an elevator call post to control the elevator remotely.
  • Added the possibility to charge fees to the repair station.
  • Added a popup when trying to open the skill ui without finishing or skipping the needed tutorial first.
  • Added an “transaction successful” popup for bank transfers and payback of debts.
  • Players now move slightly faster on roads.
  • Most higher tier food recipes now require lower-tier food recipes to be crafted.
  • The areas in which farming is suitable have been drastically expanded. For example, tomatoes now may survive in almost all 'grassland' areas as opposed to only smaller areas of those biomes.
  • Left clicking on a storage with an empty selected toolbar slot will fill it with the first item in the storage.
  • Tree debris is now dependent on the tree species and slows you down.
  • Seeds for all tree types except cactus are now acquired from the debris rather than whacking branches.
  • Almost all object and item crafting recipes had their costs increased. (From very slight adjustments to almost double, depending on the recipe) to account for the new skill system granting 50% efficiency immediately when choosing a specialty.
  • Removed the storage tab from some objects that didn’t need them.
  • Pipes are no longer considered walls and thus do not affect room score or count as structure.
  • Plants now impede vehicle movement, construction vehicles are unaffected.
  • Plant sounds are now played for animals, other players and vehicles. This should help moving entities feel more present in the world and finding animals hiding in dense vegetation.
  • The tooltip for room tier will now differentiate between constructed blocks and stacked blocks.
  • The computer lab will now show a message if there is not enough power available to run the lasers and disable them when they run out of power while active.
  • Treasury will no longer show currency if there is none of it in the treasury.
  • Tweaked treasury currencies update times, it now shows more recent information.
  • Tutorial tasks that have been completed before opening the tutorial will be completed when the tutorial is opened.
  • Removed selecting land claim papers subtask in the tutorials.

Bug Fixes:
  • This list includes all notable bugfixes since the start of development for 8.0.
  • Fixed transferring of multiple stacks into the inventory.
  • Fixed strange behavior of the shelf cabinet.
  • Fixed multiple issues with nested contracts that have multiple sub-clauses.
  • Fixed an exploit related to contracts.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to change store listings without proper access.
  • Fixed some issues with the housing bar.
  • Fixed calories in the stomach triggering the foraging tutorial.
  • Fixed repair station titles and mechanics.
  • Fixed forgive mechanics for debts.
  • Fixed loans and bonds targeting the wrong account.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the web ui to randomly not show water in the map.
  • Fixed a problem that caused random server names to appear on the continue button and in some cases connecting to the wrong server.
  • Fixed some issues with the UI of the real estate table.
  • /testtreasury now works as intended.
  • Fixed adding new entries to authorization.
  • Fish and otters no longer swim through the ground (or air when going up a waterfall)
  • Adjusted the height offset for checking if grass is below a certain level, fixing the mow contracts.
  • The contract board will no longer show “bucks” in some of its dropdown lists.
  • Prevented the server from crashing after setting the World Leader as an authorized user.
  • Fixed loans not saving their currency on server restarts.
  • Fixed some bugs with debts and contracts.
  • Fixed an issue related to discord hyperlinks and them not showing in the server browser.
  • Fixed players getting their crafting fees waived for orders when they should be paying the fee.
  • Fixed arrow disappearing in choose world screen.
  • Fixed treasury currency dropdown, it’s now dynamic and adapts to window size.
  • Fixed treasury button margins for better localized text support.
  • Fixed /allplants to work again.
  • Fixed accidental block placing with shovel, for example when the storage is full when trying to put the carried item into it.
  • Fixed the local server to be unable to be started from the client.
  • Fixed skill benefits rounding with server-side only calculations.
  • Fixed treasury buttons spacing for localized names.
  • Fixed some skillpoint localizations.
  • Fixed a bug that caused icons to eventually become offset when being dragged around.
  • Fixed orange color in tooltips.
  • Fixed storage interaction errors when the storage is full.
  • Fixed position of the food status UI tooltip.
  • Fixed hitboxes of status bar tooltips.
  • Fixed blocks attempting to connect to the wooden elevator. The elevators ‘doorway’ for sealing rooms is now below the elevator and you must have an empty space there when placing it.
  • Fixed a strange behavior for law buttons to sometimes cause to scroll instead of their intended action.
  • Fixed wrong bank account funds numbers in direct transfer dialog.
  • Fixed target bank account name not shown in direct transfers.
  • Fixed an issue that caused completed tutorials to not show up in the tutorial list.
  • Fixed the escape menu to no longer show the wrong default selected tab.
  • Fixed item selection in the toolbar.
  • Fixed digging and mining tutorials.
  • Fixed picking up carried items with left click.
  • Fixed sorting in the economy viewer, it now sorts by the localized name instead of the english name.
  • Fixed graphics tab layout and sliders in the escape menu, allowing them to dynamically scale for bigger localized text.
  • Fixed /give command, it now behaves more like usual inventory transfers.
  • Fixed cranes no longer showing their interface and being unusable.
  • Fixed showing of error messages in the Web UI in cases of a server error.
  • Fixed the chat to jump to a wrong position when opening.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the animal populations reset to max population on a server restart.
  • Fixed scrolling in the server browser.
  • Fixed distribution station tracker for remaining items to update correctly.
  • Fixed third person camera behaving oddly near large plants.
  • Fixed wrong name in work orders being passed to the localizer.
  • Fixed “Array out of Bounds” Exception in /creative command.
  • Fixed distribution station caused breaks.
  • Fixed double connection error message.
  • Fixed broken inventories.
  • Fixed editing of bank accounts.
  • Fixed exception on the removal of bank accounts.
  • Fixed a problem that lead to the server not being added to the recent servers when joining through direct connect.
  • Fixed several localization bugs.
  • Fixed crash when placing a starter camp.
  • Fixed being stuck at the connection UI.
  • Fixed an issue when reconnecting to servers.
  • Fixed a crash on shift-clicking empty slots.
  • Fixed strange behavior when setting tax percentages in the treasury.
  • Pinned “Make a transfer” button outside of the scroll area.
  • Fixed the layout of the housing tutorial.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could happen when multiple players tried to pickup the same world object.
  • Fixed hunting not leveling up properly.
  • Fixed several issues with tier requirements on various tables.
  • Fixed server browser layout.
  • Fixed buggy line in the header of the crafting UI.
  • Fixed the name parsing of the leader in the treasury.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed other players than the leader to change the worlds default currency.
  • Fixed star glow effect appearing on level up and points changes.
  • Fixed frame-rate degradation after closing crafting UIs.
  • Fixed title tooltips not shown
  • Fixed skill notification window layout.
  • Fixed adding double rows in currency exchange offers.
  • Fixed ping to server behind a NAT.

Next up for the developers is a focus on performance and polish in Eco 8.1, which will arrive in March (date TBD). After that is Eco 9.0, the Laws and Government update, which will add constitutions to the game and many other new features. Look forward to more details on that to come.

And next week I’ll be describing our long-term goals and plans in an article ‘The Eco Movement’.

Thanks for all your support,

- The Eco Team                    

Source: Eco 8.0, Early-Access Anniversary Update. Biggest Yet

 

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Version 0.8.0.4 released!
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2019, 07:01:14 PM »

Version 0.8.0.4 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.4 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:

  • Fixed zero tax display in transfer UI.
  • Fixed world leader removal from treasury bank account
  • "Your currency" law clause now counts all funds on all accounts!
  • Optimized rubble.
  • Fixed initial currency setup from server default currency
  • Fixed issue with non-withdrawing funds during trade when total tax (seller + buyer) is greater than buyer funds.
  • Fixed currency dropdown indexing (from master) => results in working /leader command and some minor stuff
  • Fixed black screen on first login
  • Fixed steam tractor exceptions when it moved with no driver

Starting with this version, we ship a 32-bit version of the EcoServer.exe which is used by default for singleplayer worlds, greatly reducing memory consumption.
Source: Version 0.8.0.4 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.6 released!
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2019, 01:02:54 PM »

Version 0.8.0.6 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.6 with the following fixes and improvements:

Features
* Added new GI quality setting levels.

Localization
* Revised existing localized strings
* Added localization to species Yield and Capacity
* Fixed registrar localization category filter failure

Gameplay
* Compost now has a tooltip in the water filter UI.
* Trashed compostables will now turn into compost.
* Pickaxes now work on a damage system rather than a strict tier system. Repeatedly hitting harder rocks will eventually destroy them.
* The water pump was split into a mechanical and electrical version.
* Waste Filters that shut down due to full inventories will now restart themselves if there is more inventory space available.
* Added specialties display in foodstatus hud
* Made water filter accept 20x more throughput (from .1 sewage block per second to 20 sewage blocks per second)
* Made water filter output 10x less compost (from 1 compost per 10 sewage blocks processed to 1 compost per 100 sewage blocks processed)
* Fixed sewage continuing to output after a recipe finished
* Tree trunks now give some wood pulp when destroyed.
* Most non-progress blocking recipes have had their skill level requirements returned. This includes objects like beds, chairs, some light sources, etc.
Skills
* Made Character XP tooltip more clear.
* Fixed talent sync, when skill window is open
* Added Food UI hide skills button until skills tutorial
* Fixed xp icon huge lag when no specialty
* Fixed xp icon no specialty "x" sign position
* Fixed skill window opening when you do not have completed tutorial ("z" key, xp bar, specialty bar, chat links, xp icon)
* Fixed skill star flashing and proper number display
* Fixed display for specialty level users
* Fixed skill research and skills ui sync (on server restart, on missing resources, etc)
* Now you can see the hotkey "Z" for open skill browser during mouseover it

Vehicles
* Fixed rare issue with crossing borders after a vehicle was destroyed while the player was driving
* Fixed various issues with mounting other players on vehicles
* Fixed vehicle speed multiplier on ramps
Economy
* Removed Users from Tax/Allocate menu
* Added Bank accounts to Tax/Allocate menu
* Added proper messages on Tax
* Optimized tax/allocate to use with old system (users list, ex for laws)
* Added tooltips to bank accounts in allocate/tax menu
* Fixed bank account dropdown update on leader changes
* Added law tax from all accounts
* Fixed zero tax display
* Fixed world leader removal from treasury bank account
* "Your currency" law clause now counts all funds on all accounts!
* Fixed transfer dialog ui fields reset on tied ones changed
* Divided direct transfer taxes (self & public)
* Fixed currency limiter in economy viewer
* Fixed wrong currency indexing in dropdowns
* Fixed durability display in store offers
* Fixed store headers (now sticky)
* Added ability to set negative prices in trade offers
* Fixed world leader sync in government tab
* Fixed world leader removal from Treasury bank account
* Fixed "Your Currency" counting in laws and law taxing account pickup. Now it accepts only managed/created by you accounts except special ones, like treasury, etc.
Server Webpage
* Web map now animates voxel change history
* Started storing full-resolution terrain history
* Web map now starts paused at the current server time, switching layers while in this state is much more responsive.
* Added a layer comparison page with synchronized maps

Other Fixes
* Updated Aura to address memory leak issue
* Optimized rubble even more.
* Specialization tutorial now appears after food tutorial
* Replaced the "ExperiencePerAction" option on the server with a "PlayerExperiencePerSpecialtyExperience" option which grants experience for overall levels when players gain specialty experience. As with the previous option, this is not intended for normal use.
* Updated sprites on pies (foodstatusUI)
* Fixed server crash when loading after demographic was repealed by law

This update includes parts of the planned performance fixed for Update 8.1.

There is a known issue with a memory leak on servers, which will be fixed later this day with patch 0.8.0.7.
Source: Version 0.8.0.6 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.6 released!
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2019, 07:09:56 PM »

Version 0.8.0.6 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.6 with the following fixes and improvements:

Features
* Added new GI quality setting levels.

Localization
* Revised existing localized strings
* Added localization to species Yield and Capacity
* Fixed registrar localization category filter failure

Gameplay
* Compost now has a tooltip in the water filter UI.
* Trashed compostables will now turn into compost.
* Pickaxes now work on a damage system rather than a strict tier system. Repeatedly hitting harder rocks will eventually destroy them.
* The water pump was split into a mechanical and electrical version.
* Waste Filters that shut down due to full inventories will now restart themselves if there is more inventory space available.
* Added specialties display in foodstatus hud
* Made water filter accept 20x more throughput (from .1 sewage block per second to 20 sewage blocks per second)
* Made water filter output 10x less compost (from 1 compost per 10 sewage blocks processed to 1 compost per 100 sewage blocks processed)
* Fixed sewage continuing to output after a recipe finished
* Tree trunks now give some wood pulp when destroyed.
* Most non-progress blocking recipes have had their skill level requirements returned. This includes objects like beds, chairs, some light sources, etc.

Skills
* Made Character XP tooltip more clear.
* Fixed talent sync, when skill window is open
* Added Food UI hide skills button until skills tutorial
* Fixed xp icon huge lag when no specialty
* Fixed xp icon no specialty "x" sign position
* Fixed skill window opening when you do not have completed tutorial ("z" key, xp bar, specialty bar, chat links, xp icon)
* Fixed skill star flashing and proper number display
* Fixed display for specialty level users
* Fixed skill research and skills ui sync (on server restart, on missing resources, etc)
* Now you can see the hotkey "Z" for open skill browser during mouseover it

Vehicles
* Fixed rare issue with crossing borders after a vehicle was destroyed while the player was driving
* Fixed various issues with mounting other players on vehicles
* Fixed vehicle speed multiplier on ramps

Economy
* Removed Users from Tax/Allocate menu
* Added Bank accounts to Tax/Allocate menu
* Added proper messages on Tax
* Optimized tax/allocate to use with old system (users list, ex for laws)
* Added tooltips to bank accounts in allocate/tax menu
* Fixed bank account dropdown update on leader changes
* Added law tax from all accounts
* Fixed zero tax display
* Fixed world leader removal from treasury bank account
* "Your currency" law clause now counts all funds on all accounts!
* Fixed transfer dialog ui fields reset on tied ones changed
* Divided direct transfer taxes (self & public)
* Fixed currency limiter in economy viewer
* Fixed wrong currency indexing in dropdowns
* Fixed durability display in store offers
* Fixed store headers (now sticky)
* Added ability to set negative prices in trade offers
* Fixed world leader sync in government tab
* Fixed world leader removal from Treasury bank account
* Fixed "Your Currency" counting in laws and law taxing account pickup. Now it accepts only managed/created by you accounts except special ones, like treasury, etc.

Server Webpage
* Web map now animates voxel change history
* Started storing full-resolution terrain history
* Web map now starts paused at the current server time, switching layers while in this state is much more responsive.
* Added a layer comparison page with synchronized maps

Other Fixes
* Updated Aura to address memory leak issue
* Optimized rubble even more.
* Specialization tutorial now appears after food tutorial
* Replaced the "ExperiencePerAction" option on the server with a "PlayerExperiencePerSpecialtyExperience" option which grants experience for overall levels when players gain specialty experience. As with the previous option, this is not intended for normal use.
* Updated sprites on pies (foodstatusUI)
* Fixed server crash when loading after demographic was repealed by law

This update includes parts of the planned performance fixed for Update 8.1.

There is a known issue with a memory leak on servers, which will be fixed later this day with patch 0.8.0.7.
Source: Version 0.8.0.6 released!

 

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Version 0.8.0.7 released!
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2019, 01:02:35 PM »

Version 0.8.0.7 released!

We have released patch 0.8.0.7 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes:
* Fixes memory leak that was crashing servers
* Fixes Sweeping hands talent
* Water pumps now migrate to mechanical pumps
* Fixed skill level update in skill level UI on level up
* Fix repair cost display for repair table
* Fix crash with transfers
Source: Version 0.8.0.7 released!

 

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Version 0.8.1.0 released!
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2019, 01:04:37 AM »

Version 0.8.1.0 released!

We have released update 0.8.1.0 with the following fixes and improvements:

Additions:

  • Added the barrel cactus, white bursage and joshua tree to the desert biome.
  • Added exclusive fullscreen mode.
  • Added spruce trees to the taiga biome.
  • Added configuration menu for single player world to allow adjusting some settings easily.
  • Added /repairallrooms command to repair rooms that should contribute to the housing score, but don’t.
  • Added several admin commands to manage bank accounts:
    AddAccountManager (accountID, userID)
    RemoveAccountManager (accountID, userID)
    AddAccountUser (accountID, userID)
    RemoveAccountUser (accountID, userID)
    CreateAccount (name(optional))
    DeleteAccount (accountID)
    SetAccountOwner (accountID, userID)

Performance:

  • Fixed an issue that caused FPS drops when opening a store window.
  • Fixed an issue that caused ‘holes in water’ to cause FPS drops.
  • Fixed an issue with changes to cached storage UIs that cause framerate issues in busy areas.
  • Fixed an issue with long disconnect timeframes when selling or buying a large batch of items by using a customized LiteDB version with sum aggregation support. This also significantly reduces database size and database write counts.
  • Changed thread priorities to allow a better responsiveness and network performance with servers with a low count of cpu cores.
  • General performance improvements by optimising the amount of property updates being sent.
  • Several other optimisations that should help with fps issues including such that get better after restarting the game.

Improvements:

  • Single player servers now start in the same language as the launching client.
  • The level up messages no longer overlap targeted animals in hunting.
  • Stability of the authentication servers were improved and made independendent from our website servers.
  • Added an “All” button to the treasury allocation menu.
  • Added a configurable comma digit cut to the quantity selection.
  • Papaya plants can now be felled by axes.
  • Trees in plant pots now display a cute bonsai version of the trees.
  • Windowed mode retains its size and position and remembers changes to fullscreen via alt + enter.
  • Added minable tooltips to pickaxes.
  • Animals now try to avoid walking on roads and respond to vehicles more quickly.
  • Animals transition from lying to fleeing a bit faster now.
  • Collision with animals has been disabled for most physics objects.
  • The housing room value now calculates the best value for all specific categories + general and general separately and chooses the best value. All other housing components are being ignored, hybrid rooms full of items to maximize value is no longer possible.
  • The player activity layer was split from the trampled layer. Player activity underground should no longer ruin the biomes above.
  • A number of recipes had their level requirements restored.
  • Hewn logs were added in place of normal logs in multiple recipes to make the hewing specialty more useful in the late game.
  • Rubble can now be dropped in air without targeting another block, just like dirt
  • Fuel inputs are no longer a valid input slot for crafting recipes.
  • The UPnP error message was made more user-friendly.
  • Removed the generic calorie reduction from the self improvement skill.
  • Balanced the other benefits of self improvement.
  • Changed all crafting skill gains from being based off the craft time to being a per-recipe value.
  • Added the experience gained for a recipe to their tooltips.
  • Changed a few recipes to use more resources from the previous tier.
  • Added a confirmation popup when the player tries to place his starter camp on someone else's property.
  • Mints can now craft more than 999 items into coins at once.
  • Taxing in the treasury now also requires a reason to be given.
  • The vehicle controls are now disabled in chat mode.
  • The bed in the starter camp / tent can now be used to sleep, allowing single player players to sleep without needing to craft a bed.

Bugs fixed:

  • Fixed a freeze when launching localized local server from client ‘New Game’ menu.
  • Fixed server initialization log messages to support Unicode characters.
  • Fixed localization of server initialization messages.
  • Fixed an issue with mints taking resources despite a law preventing the minting process, leaving you with neither coins nor the backing items.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the treasury to not show all available currencies.
  • Fixed the currency report showing unused currencies after dumping a currency in the treasury.
  • Fixed an exception related to taxes.
  • Fixed an exception related to minting.
  • Fixed the conditions that make the skills tutorial appear.
  • Fixed several typos in skill descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the skills menu to be unusable when clicking on the icon that notifies you that you got experience for a task.
  • Fixed yellow colored text on yellow background for the experience bar.
  • Fixed issues with tooltip placement in the skills menu.
  • Fixed lan server detection issues.
  • Fixed the ping display for servers that are reachable both locally and by remote address.
  • Fixed an issue with negative law allocations being able to cause a negative account balance.
  • Fixed various things disappearing when turning very quickly.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed the impersonification of another player in the chat.
  • Fixed an issue that caused tooltips to not appear when mousing over a link in the tutorials.
  • Fixed world markers overlapping district / room and nutrition / housing UI.
  • Fixed an issue that could lead to an insane amount of memory allocation on world migration.
  • Fixed an issue with the sweeping hands talent, it should now pick up stones properly again. Pickup should also work much faster.
  • Fixed an issue that could lead to a crash when cutting a tree stump.
  • Fixed fishing pole and fishing process, fishing can now also be performed in rivers if there is fish nearby.
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed to transmute carried items into a different item.
  • Fixed the multiple crafting speed related talents.
  • Fixed work clothes to no longer remove calorie cost completely.
  • Fixed a crash when opening the economy viewer.
  • Fixed the skid steer and excavator not being able to collect rubble.
  • Fixed an issue that caused rubble pieces to randomly flying away, clipping through textures and popping up on top of the terrain when mining.
  • Rubble causes less trouble.
  • Rubble is no longer frozen on top of vehicles or players to prevent blocking movement.
  • Fixed contract payments to allow setting the amount of payment to a value below 1.0.
  • Fixed generated worlds not being random because of the seed not being changed.
  • Fixed holes in water no longer filling up.
  • Fixed an issue that could lead to room data being lost after a server restart.
  • Fixed several issues with the behaviour of the chat, including random scrolling.
  • Fixed an issue in contract clauses that could lead to a crash.
  • Fixed an issue that required a player to re-login to get access to a bank account after being authorized to use it.
  • Fixed an issue that caused money transfers to not function when a transfer tax was set.
  • Fixed an issue with currency dropdowns displaying the top most currency instead of the selected one.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the transfer menu to show an incorrect tax.
  • Fixed world map in the web ui not working correctly on paused servers.
  • Fixed the block form selection for cranes.
  • Fixed animals appearing at the wrong height when first viewed.
  • Fixed alt-tab not showing windows behind game window after switching from exclusive to borderless mode.
  • Fixed an issue that made it impossible to get back into the game when alt-tabbing out of the game in exclusive fullscreen mode.
  • Fixed display for labels in the web ui for missing localization strings, instead of numbers it now shows the original english strings.
  • Fixed the broken economy viewer filter.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a crash when passing a law that affects the run for office function and then trying to open the law menu.
  • Fixed occupancy of treasury, bank and registrar.
  • Fixed meteor no longer being enabled by default.
  • Fixed several issues related to the citizen account feature.
  • Removed the display of “Tier 6” and “Tier 10” in item filters.
  • Fixed tutorials sometimes not completing despite all tasks were completed.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the player to have to interact with a world object twice to open it after closing it.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to accept repeatable contracts that were already taken and in progress by another player.
  • Fixed stockpile tutorial to also recognize when a player puts logs into a stockpile by using the inventory UI.
  • Fixed the talent selection popup not appearing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused specialties in the skills menu to not react correctly to unlocking a skill without reopening the menu.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to only consume calories and tool uses for one hit, despite them needing several hits to break a specific rock type.
  • Fixed an error that showed up when submitting a new law where “Redefine Districts” was first selected but then unselected.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the effects of clothes to not work correctly for new users until the server got restarted.
  • Fixed an issue with the housing skill points calculation.
  • Fixed collision on the back wall of the starter camp.
  • Fixed treasury synchronisation with leader elections.
  • Fixed the range option in bonds and loans contracts. You can now set it to values that are different from “1 - 1000” again.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the treasury to not show all personal bank accounts in the allocation menu.
  • Fixed a server crash issue related to titles.
  • Fixed an issue that caused recipes to disappear from crafting tables.
  • Fixed an issue related to allocations in laws.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the lasers to show no visible signs of actually destroying the meteor.
  • Fixed an issue that causes garbage bags to not convert into garbage blocks until a server restart as well as issues in converting when sleep mode is used.
  • Fixed economy viewer not showing the backing item of a currency.
  • Fixed the first tool animation after switching to third person mode.
  • Fixed an issue that caused players mounted on a vehicle to be shown at a wrong position.
  • Fixed an issue with the head / view rotation of passengers in a vehicle.
  • Fixed a server crash issue related to garbage processing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused animals to occasionally freeze when multiple players are nearby.
  • Fixed a migration issue when trying to upgrade a world from a version before 0.7.8.8 to the latest version.
  • Fixed an issue that required a player to hit reconnect several times when reconnecting to a server.

Source: Version 0.8.1.0 released!

 

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Version 0.8.1.1 released!
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2019, 01:01:32 AM »

Version 0.8.1.1 released!

We have released patch 0.8.1.1 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes

  • Fixed elevators to be usable again.
  • Fixed allocate and tax in the treasury.
  • Mint now performs a single check and single action record per Mint operation (previously it was for every single item in request, for 1000 items - 1000 checks and inserts). It greatly improves Mint speed if Mint limiting law is active and also reduces DB size (in any case).
  • Changed logic of Mint operation. Now it completely aborts Mint operation if you don't pass a law instead of partially execute it (i.e. you have limit of 100 items per day, minted 50 items and try another 100. Old behavior: 50 will be minted + error message. New behavior: operation rejected + error message with corresponding law statement).
  • To prevent extra queries law statement logic changed. Now it counts Mint actions before user action, but also added Current Action Count numeric value. So you can rewrite law as current action count + mint actions count < 101 to have the same effect. Actually buy and sell actions already worked this way, so it brings Mint action in line. Also now you can use Current Action Count with Buy and Sell actions.
  • Fixed several potential crashes

Update: We became aware that there is still an issue with the elevator and are going to fix it as soon as possible. We are sorry.
Source: Version 0.8.1.1 released!

 

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The Eco Movement: The Eco Peaks Newsletter
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2019, 01:04:04 AM »

The Eco Movement: The Eco Peaks Newsletter

It’s been over one year since we launched Eco on Steam Early-Access, celebration! But in the long-game, it’s just the beginning.

Eco: The First Three and a Half Years

Eco was born out of the core idea of ‘Tragedy of the Commons: The Game’ where all your resources come from the ecosystem, and all economic and governmental actions happen through real people.  That’s a huge, seemingly impossibly scoped game, and I believe we’ve made incredible progress.

The above screenshot comparison (between our Kickstarter and today) is crazy to look at.  We’ve been working on the game nonstop since 2015, and it’s improved continuously, incrementally, until it looks like a totally different game.  Through that, the core idea has remained constant: a society simulator inside an ecosystem. With the strength of the team and the community that has supported us throughout we’ve been able to do some really fantastic things, and we have much more we want to do.

What to expect from Early Access

We haven’t set a solid date for the end of Early Access, but we expect it to be within a year, give or take.  Mainly we want to keep on the path we’ve set, fully delivering on all the many features of the game to make a very polished experience. This will include:

  • A focus on the legal system, with the addition of a constitution players create, and much richer law and tax support for v9.0. We want Eco to be an incubator for social experiments, with enough richness that some very deep, sophisticated scenarios can emerge fully from the governmental and economical designs of the players.
  • Ecosystem enhancements, making deeper pollution mechanics and ecological systems, and the need for joint large-scale projects for v10.0.  We want to continue building out the depth of the simulation, and doing so in a way that everything is visible and accessible to players, and can be used to make decisions about the world.
  • Further economy enhancements, that will tie to the government as well.  Building residency, a rental market, mortgages, equity markets, stocks, all kinds of financial instruments.  This opens the door for more complex government features like location-based representatives, laws on interest rates, central banks, etc.  Managing a thriving economy and government should be one of the main challenges of the game, and that should be a very challenging and interesting thing to do.
  • We plan to continue extending our mod support, which we see as critical to long-term replayability, and the potential to create total-conversions of the game. We’ll introduce more mechanical-type objects like switches and tolls, which will let players create some pretty interesting creations.  The law and economy systems will be fully moddable, one of our most unique features, creating the possibility for modded games that do really unique and interesting things with player governments and economies. We fully intend the Eco engine to be a platform, both for future games we make, and modded experiences that the community creates.

What to expect after release

Release won’t mark the end of Eco development, not by a long shot. Eco is a forever-game for us, as long as we have the community’s support, and we intend to continue increasing the depth and reach of the simulations indefinitely.  There’s really no limit to how much depth we can put in the game, and there are tons of areas we’d like to explore: geological change, evolution, health systems, flying vehicles, you name it.  This stuff is still far out so it hasn’t been planned, but we’re taking our time building out the tech right so it can support it. The game may radically change over time (as it changed in the last three years that you can see above), but the core will remain the same: a society simulator in an ecosystem.

Within those confines there are infinite avenues to expand, and I expect we’ll never run out of systems to expand and make deeper, connecting each to the other so it remains a whole and cohesive package, not just a collection of features.

In the Strange Loop office we have this amazing graph on the wall with the plaque ‘Eco Graphs, 2030’:

It’s an illustration of how much depth we want to add to the simulation, and a vision to lead us there.

At the same time, we will keep improving the engine we run, expanding the size of worlds and how many players they can support at once. We’ll be looking at connecting multiple servers for a single world, so the capability to host massively populated worlds becomes possible.

Future Games

The current plan is that all future games we create, after Eco’s 1.0 release, will be built in Eco’s engine, and be connected to Eco, meaning you can travel between Eco and the future worlds that we will create.  With multiple games sharing the same technology, we can really invest in and continue building it, with each new game will come engine improvements that affect all previous games.  We already have some prototypes of new games, but we’re still focusing on building out Eco to its full potential before we start scaling them up, but can’t wait to share them with you.  Long term, I see the future of Strange Loop as building out a universe of connected games, each connected to the others and allowing players to move between them, build on the common platform of the Eco tech, with each game being connected to education subjects, simulation focused, and highly collaborative with real players forming institutions.

The Character of Our Virtual Worlds

All of these plans for Eco also fit into another more subtle (but loftier goal) of our work here, and that is to change the dynamic of how we play and learn in virtual worlds.

With Eco we are creating a game where the conflicts and struggles you face are unique in that they are not violent ones.  That is a topic that has been explored endlessly in games, while there are vast landscapes of unexplored possibilities lying at our feet: conflicts that arise from cases of competing economies, government philosophies, and human greed.  Violence is really the least interesting conflict in the mix there, and well-covered by other games. I want to create a game where players need to save the world not from an alien threat but a financial crisis that threatens to collapse the world’s food supply, by player-run corporations that twist regulations into their favor with political influence and destroy the biosphere for profit, by well-meaning individuals acting in their own self-interest, unable to see the destructive biases they possess.

These are much deeper and more complex problems to solve, and it is now in the realm of video games to let player solve them, with real people, in worlds running complex simulations. The tools that you use to solve these problems are not guns, but scientific analysis and debate, economic growth, taxes and regulation, leadership and collaboration. These are your ‘weapons’ in the game, and your foes are rarely ‘villains’, but well-meaning people like you, carrying opposites views and biases, whose resolution you must find to succeed.  The world in video games is often extremely black-and-white: good vs evil, good guys saving the world from bad guys. We aim to create games that exist in a much more complex world, illustrating how even people with the same urgent interests and goals (like a meteor incoming), can fall into conflict, and just as in the real-world, simplifying that problem into good-vs-evil is not sufficient.

I firmly believe that the character of our virtual worlds is going to matter immensely over the coming decades, as they become more and more merged with regular life, and we spend more and more time in them.  Indeed, I believe they represent our future as a species, and their character thus far has been excruciatingly focused on violence.  I don’t believe that is our decided destiny, we can choose to create another option. There are much more interesting worlds for us to occupy, that let us achieve higher ideals.  With our little project here, we hope to create a demonstration of that, and to grow that idea. And most of all, to welcome in supporters of that movement, the players, who are also the contributors.

  The Missing Piece of Education

Taking this approach to our games opens up a huge opportunity: applying games to education.  I believe the education system, especially in America, is in vast need when it comes to preparing students for the future. It’s saddled to an outdated system training students for an era that no longer exists in the present, let alone for the future they will enter.   Specifically, education still focuses primarily on the acquisition and demonstration of knowledge, but we live in a world where knowledge is ubiquitous: anyone can learn virtually anything they want from anywhere.

The more valuable role of education is inspiration, context, application, meaning.  Giving you reason to care, and a community to care with. While there are many incredibly passionate teachers who understand and give this to their students, the underlying educational system doesn’t value that, instead relying on the pressure of tests to ensure learning, upon which their future success rests.

Enter video games, which are the opposite: they are motivation-machines, shared worlds of achievement where players are inspired and self-driven.  Unlike homework, game players do not need to be compelled to play a game with external consequences, games are their own motivation. They are natural use-cases of the ‘Four C’s’ of  what’s needed in contemporary education: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.

I believe the integration of games into education is a major part of the answer to the problems education faces. Games answer the question of ‘why do I need to learn this’, by providing shared, collaborative worlds where the skills they learn are needed to succeed. Rather than providing raw knowledge, they provide a need for that knowledge, and the resources the existing education system provides them to retrieve it (teachers, books, the internet) suddenly become essential and relevant to their lives, and thus interesting and desired.  Knowledge is infinitely more useful to person when it is pulled than when it is pushed.

And so with Eco and our future titles we aim to provide this platform for education.  This year we are focusing on building extensions to the game that make it work seamlessly in a classroom, taking care of hosting, billing, world management, curriculum generation, teacher dashboards, and more. We will begin pilot testing of this later this year, and will be calling on our community to help find teachers who can join us in this project.  We believe this will provide a needed and underserved value to the education system, with the potential over the long term to start changing ideas about how we prepare students for the future.

A Shared Movement

And that’s where the community comes in, as supporters of this movement and new approach to education, we can’t do it without you.  The support we have received from our growing community thus far has been phenomenal, and we’re just at the beginning. If we succeed, it will be because of those that supported us from the beginning, and saw the potential and far reaching impact that can come from games with purpose.

It’s going to be a busy year for us at Strange Loop, and it’s great to have you along for the ride with us.

-Team Eco
Source: The Eco Movement: The Eco Peaks Newsletter

 

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From Running a Government to Building One
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2019, 01:09:54 AM »

From Running a Government to Building One

Hey all, for this Friday’s Eco Peak I wanted to talk about the new government system I’m working on for Eco 9.0.

The high-level idea is that in the current version of Eco you run a government.  In 9.0, you will build a government.

First thing you’ll need to do to create a government is form a constitution, which will be an object placed in the world. The value of the building it’s placed in will determine how much influence the government has, and whichever government has the most influence will dictate the rules for the world.

Overthrowing the Government

This means that governments can be overthrown by making a more powerful one, represented by a more valuable building, and players will need to create fantastic palaces to ensure the legitimacy of their government and prevent being overtaken.  (Later, we will allow multiple governments to co-exist and compete, but for now there can Be Only One).

I wanted to add the ability to overthrow a government because it fits thematically – if a government no longer represents the will of the people, there is a way to overthrow it and start a new one.  This is costly, as it should be, as a second palace will need to be built that exceeds the first in strength, which is difficult to do without the support of a lot of players.

Government Features

Once a constitution is built, you can start adding Civics Objects to add features to it. A Constitution does nothing by itself, but once you add a ‘Court’ you can create laws, and once you add a ‘Census Bureau’ you can create demographics, an ‘Election Hall’ to allow elections, ‘Parliament Office’ to add an elected position, a ‘Bill of Rights’ to add constitutional amendments, and lots more.  This way your government grows in pieces, and the selection of things you can do with it grows slowly, allowing players to dictate what kind of control they want in their world, and not overwhelming them with infinite options from the get-go.

Furthermore, the different options within those categories can be extended as well. So if you add a Lumber Licensing Office, you augment a court with the ability to create laws about logging.  Additional modules can be plugged into these government objects to expand their abilities.

Editing Laws

I’ve set a personal goal for myself this year to ‘make creating tax code fun and interesting and straight-forward’.  Basically take something many people think of as one of the most boring things in the world and making it exciting and interesting. The key to doing this is to make it relevant to things that are interesting to you, IE how your Eco world functions. 

To allow creating both simple and powerful laws, we’re moving the law and government editor into the game.  Here’s a preview of it still in-progress:

You can see there are lots of options available everywhere, but the simple things are still easy to do. If you want a very basic cause-and-effect law (when people chop down a tree, tax them), you can easily slot that in to the ‘cause’ and ‘effect’ lists by just picking from dropdowns.  If however you want something much more complex, you can do that too by displaying the Advanced Properties in these options and plugging in different values into the different fields. In the above case are three logging-related causes that lead to a conditional effect: if the user is high-skilled, they can perform the action without even needing authorization.  If they’re not, then they pay a tax related to the population percent of the species in the world.

We’re still working on this, the icons aren’t in yet and we have some more things to do to simplify it, and it'll be something we continue to expand and grow for all kinds of possibilities (think mortgages, contracts, rental agreements, ad infinitum).  It will be the foundation of all kinds of complex civics and economic experiences you can create in the game, with the goal of making them all both simple and powerful, with lots of help text guiding you along the way.

Here’s a look at the ‘causes’ drop down that shows a lot of the different things you can use to trigger a law:

Once you pick one, you can mouse over it to see the properties that you can tie into the law:

These are all values that you can slot into other parts of the law, letting you make very generic laws that depends on what kind of trigger happened.  It’s like programming in a way, with to-the-moon intellisense turned on to prompt you at each step.

Also since this is all generically created, it’s incredibly moddable.  Every piece of it can be modded and extended easily, opening the door to lots of intricate government structures.

Can’t wait to see the brilliant and crazy stuff that players build with this.  9.0 is still a few months out, and we’re currently staying focused on polish and performance for 8.2, but following that we hope to roll out 9.0 not long after.

Cheers and say hi in Discord.  Discord.gg/eco @johnk
Source: From Running a Government to Building One

 

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Eco Game Arc: From powerless to powerful
« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2019, 01:05:47 AM »

Eco Game Arc: From powerless to powerful

Eco is a game that has a huge scope, covering a massive section of human development and history, and through that time humanity’s powers have increased exponentially.  That’s what we want the arc of Eco to be: the progression from powerless to massively powerful, and the increasing need for management of those powers to prevent them from becoming self-destructive.

The driver of this progression is technology, and as an Eco world advances in technology their ability to impact the world increases massively, for better or for worse.  With each advance in technology, you gain the ability to do everything you already do in greater quantities. And with each step in technology, the challenges become greater, making those powers very necessary to continue advancing.  This manifests in gameplay in the following ways.

  • Gathering resources becomes faster. Your tools get more powerful and you can gather more. New resource types are unlocked like oil.  You move from handheld manual tools to powerful machines and vehicles that gather for you. From axe to chainsaw, from shovel to excavator.   By the end of the game you have the ability - and need - to move mountains of material. Massive quantities of materials will be needed for end game content, and you will have the ability to gather that.  The impact it has on your environment will be equally as massive.

  • Transport becomes more powerful. At the beginning you’re moving things by hand, and slowly you gain abilities to transform your world to make moving larger quantities of materials faster and more efficiently.  What once were local villages (where trade happened only within them) become global networks connected by roads (and eventually, rails). The world becomes smaller, you’re no longer limited to your immediate area, and the world begins to be shaped by the infrastructure build to move resources around it.

  • Building can be performed in bulk, with new construction equipment like the crane, and the ability to transport materials easily to new places with infrastructure. Soon the habitats and industry and commerce of humans are displacing the natural environments that once thrived there, and the byproducts of that growth can affect the surrounding areas in significant ways. 

We’ve got the broad-strokes for the technology arc already, but it’s something we’re continuing to build through early access.  Vehicles are a huge part of this, and with 8.2 we’re tuning up the use of the existing vehicles, and in future updates we will be adding more and making them more useful and flexible.

This growth in power will put enormous pressure on the ecosystem, and thus follows the purpose of the government, to regulate and decide as a group how those powers should be used. As your powers grow, so must your regulations, ideally leading that progress rather than playing catch-up, but that is not so easy.  Government, then, is a tool to manage the powers you are gaining as a society and keep them pointed towards sustainable growth.  Thus, there is an arc of government that mirrors the arc of progress: from free-reign at the beginning of the game when powers are meek, to complex regulations when powers are extensive.  Going through this whole process should be an illuminating experience, and different every time, with tons of potential problems coming up that you’ll need to solve as a group. With our 9.0 government upgrades, the ability to do this will become much more flexible and powerful.

We’ll need the community’s help with this as well. When we get the 9.0 test server up we’ll need lots of feedback. And ideas you can submit to our suggestion database here.  So many great ideas come from the community, and developing it in tandem with them has been a great experience.  We also have a dev tier available on our website[accounts.strangeloopgames.com] for those that want to dig into the code. 

Thanks for following Eco and looking forward to lots more to come.
Source: Eco Game Arc: From powerless to powerful

 

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Version 0.8.1.4 released!
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2019, 07:03:30 AM »

Version 0.8.1.4 released!

We have released patch 0.8.1.4 with the following fixes and improvements:

Fixes

  • Fixed issue with elevator UI can't be opened (holding hammer in hands and pressing 'E')
  • Fixed issue with non-working elevator buttons.
  • Fixed issue with staring big old worlds in-game
  • Fixed crash when fast moving items to storage from toolbar with no item selected (with mouse right button)
  • Fixed rare server crash during building SkillTree

Improvements

  • Added new admin command /teleporttodark - teleports you to the opposite side of the world

Source: Version 0.8.1.4 released!

 

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The Design Pillars of Eco
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2019, 01:00:31 PM »

The Design Pillars of Eco

This week I’d like to dive into the core of Eco’s design a bit, and talk about the principles that guide the design and development of the game. These are things that go way back to the beginning ideas of what Eco would be, and are used to this day to determine what we choose to bring next in the game.

Game Mission

Eco’s design mission is to have players “Solve the Tragedy of the Commons,[en.wikipedia.org]” taking place among real people. That means creating conflicts among people with the same end goals, where a collection of self-interests is not enough to succeed, you need some representation of collective interest.

To implement that, the game exists within the intersection of the game's design pillars: Economy, Ecology and Government.

The role of these pillars in the game is as follows:

Economy

Encompasses the efforts and progress of humans.  Manufacturing, creating infrastructure, building, harvesting, performing research, specialization, trade.  Collaboration and competition is a big goal of this pillar, to connect players together in productive (as well as adversarial) creation.  The features of the economy should be grown to support these features, as well as influences from the other two pillars. Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Asynchronicity, allowing players to collaborate across time and space,
  2. Discoverability, making it easy for players to find the information they need about how to participate in the economy.
  3. Involvement, incentivizing players to work together, especially between different levels of experience.
  4. Organization, allowing players to organize labor seamlessly through the interests of many parties, with lots of data on progress and economy state.

Ecology

The substrate of the player experience, this is the ‘reality’ that they are forced to contend with. It is both the source of their solutions and problems.  Our emphasis when building the Ecology simulation is a feature-set that both affects and is affected by human actions.  That is, resources that are useful to the economy, and systems that are vulnerable to pollution and over-harvesting. 

Beyond that, the ecology is a goal in itself, and the beauty of the ecosystem has natural value in the game outside of any human purpose.

Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Visibility, players should be granted powerful tools (the stats system) to understand how the ecology system works and how players are influencing it.
  2. Impact, simulated features are highly reactive to the actions of players.
  3. Diversity, promoting the usage or more far-spread regions of the world, increasing needs for transport and collaboration, and allowing for myriad complex effects from different biomes.
  4. Existential Threat, the ecology needs to be capable of dying and creating a losing world for players due to their actions.

Government

Government in Eco serves as a tool to manage and dictate the relationship between players in the economy, and between the economy and the environment.  It needs to be powerful and flexible enough to express a rich variety of governmental structures, and still easy and fun to understand and build (I see these two goals as supportive of each other rather than opposites). Government must be necessary to win the game, allowing players to dictate the interactions that happen with the environment.

Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Ease of use.  All players should be capable of understanding and using the system.
  2. Power. Many different and deep structures of government should be possible with the system.
  3. Created by Players. Government should be both run and constructed by players, allowing them to form it as a solution to their problems in the economy and in interactions with the ecosystem.
  4. Meta-Game Support. Promotes the positive interaction of players in the meta game (active players coming and going, property arrangements, etc).  Serves to handle problems that occur not just in the game but in the meta-game.
  5. Transparent. The workings of government should be available and in fact highlighted for all players to see and participate in.
  6. Iterative. The government should be expected to change throughout gameplay, not simply be created once and run forever that way.

Community

The second mission of Eco is to build meaningful community, and some features may apply to this even if they don’t directly promote the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ goal.  Examples of such features include:

  • Meta-features for finding, hosting, and joining servers.
  • Organization of server works among players
  • Avatar creation and customization of appearance, custom animations for interactions
  • Decorations and cosmetic buildings and clothes.

As we start to roll out our performance update for 8.2, we’re tasking out more features for 9.0, and we’ll be using this guide to flesh out the features and content we want to target.  We’ll be putting it into a nice ‘Eco Tree’ that shows those parts visually and conceptually as they grow. The community’s feedback will factor in a lot to these decisions, so do share your feedback on our Discord,[discord.gg] in our Suggestions Github Database,[github.com] and via email john@strangeloopgames.com

Cheers and thanks for your support, looking forward to sharing all the new stuff we’ll be building.

- Team Eco
Source: The Design Pillars of Eco

 

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Mining with Realism - Wet and Dry Tailings
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2019, 07:02:50 AM »

Mining with Realism - Wet and Dry Tailings

Hey folks, this week I wanted to show you the fancy new mining system we’re creating in Eco:







There are now three steps in processing ore from mines. Each step produces different products and byproducts, requiring different skills and equipment, and each creates various levels of pollution that must be dealt with. The new steps are crushing, which generates crushed rock and crushed ore, and concentration. Concentration produces ore concentrate, and either wet or dry tailings depending on the machine and ore. The step we’ve always had, smelting, will now produce slag as a byproduct instead of tailings.

With the addition of wet tailings, we have one of the most dangerous pollutants yet, which will be especially catastrophic if it leaks into the water supply. Concentrating iron ore without water will be an option, but gold and copper concentration will always produce wet tailings. The amounts generated here will be enough that a waste management plan will be needed to keep the surrounding areas safe. Since these facilities might be located in different places, transportation becomes in issue. In general this change will increase the depth and fidelity of processing mined ore, and set the stage for connections to other aspects of the game (skills, buildings, transport, pollution, treatment, and so on).

What's Next
We’re continuing on 8.2 which we plan to release ASAP, and will contain tons of performance updates as well as in-game voice!  And after that we’re full speed ahead on Eco 9.0, which you can read more about the government update here

Thanks and as always let us know feedback on Discord[discord.gg], Github Suggestions[github.com], and email (john@strangeloopgames), great to have your support.
Source: Mining with Realism - Wet and Dry Tailings

 

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The Design Pillars of Eco
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2019, 01:01:41 AM »

The Design Pillars of Eco

This week I’d like to dive into the core of Eco’s design a bit, and talk about the principles that guide the design and development of the game. These are things that go way back to the beginning ideas of what Eco would be, and are used to this day to determine what we choose to bring next in the game.

Game Mission

Eco’s design mission is to have players “Solve the Tragedy of the Commons,[en.wikipedia.org]” taking place among real people. That means creating conflicts among people with the same end goals, where a collection of self-interests is not enough to succeed, you need some representation of collective interest.

To implement that, the game exists within the intersection of the game's design pillars: Economy, Ecology and Government.

The role of these pillars in the game is as follows:

Economy

Encompasses the efforts and progress of humans.  Manufacturing, creating infrastructure, building, harvesting, performing research, specialization, trade.  Collaboration and competition is a big goal of this pillar, to connect players together in productive (as well as adversarial) creation.  The features of the economy should be grown to support these features, as well as influences from the other two pillars. Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Asynchronicity, allowing players to collaborate across time and space,
  2. Discoverability, making it easy for players to find the information they need about how to participate in the economy.
  3. Involvement, incentivizing players to work together, especially between different levels of experience.
  4. Organization, allowing players to organize labor seamlessly through the interests of many parties, with lots of data on progress and economy state.

Ecology

The substrate of the player experience, this is the ‘reality’ that they are forced to contend with. It is both the source of their solutions and problems.  Our emphasis when building the Ecology simulation is a feature-set that both affects and is affected by human actions.  That is, resources that are useful to the economy, and systems that are vulnerable to pollution and over-harvesting. 

Beyond that, the ecology is a goal in itself, and the beauty of the ecosystem has natural value in the game outside of any human purpose.

Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Visibility, players should be granted powerful tools (the stats system) to understand how the ecology system works and how players are influencing it.
  2. Impact, simulated features are highly reactive to the actions of players.
  3. Diversity, promoting the usage or more far-spread regions of the world, increasing needs for transport and collaboration, and allowing for myriad complex effects from different biomes.
  4. Existential Threat, the ecology needs to be capable of dying and creating a losing world for players due to their actions.

Government

Government in Eco serves as a tool to manage and dictate the relationship between players in the economy, and between the economy and the environment.  It needs to be powerful and flexible enough to express a rich variety of governmental structures, and still easy and fun to understand and build (I see these two goals as supportive of each other rather than opposites). Government must be necessary to win the game, allowing players to dictate the interactions that happen with the environment.

Key goals of this pillar are:

  1. Ease of use.  All players should be capable of understanding and using the system.
  2. Power. Many different and deep structures of government should be possible with the system.
  3. Created by Players. Government should be both run and constructed by players, allowing them to form it as a solution to their problems in the economy and in interactions with the ecosystem.
  4. Meta-Game Support. Promotes the positive interaction of players in the meta game (active players coming and going, property arrangements, etc).  Serves to handle problems that occur not just in the game but in the meta-game.
  5. Transparent. The workings of government should be available and in fact highlighted for all players to see and participate in.
  6. Iterative. The government should be expected to change throughout gameplay, not simply be created once and run forever that way.

Community

The second mission of Eco is to build meaningful community, and some features may apply to this even if they don’t directly promote the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ goal.  Examples of such features include:

  • Meta-features for finding, hosting, and joining servers.
  • Organization of server works among players
  • Avatar creation and customization of appearance, custom animations for interactions
  • Decorations and cosmetic buildings and clothes.

As we start to roll out our performance update for 8.2, we’re tasking out more features for 9.0, and we’ll be using this guide to flesh out the features and content we want to target.  We’ll be putting it into a nice ‘Eco Tree’ that shows those parts visually and conceptually as they grow. The community’s feedback will factor in a lot to these decisions, so do share your feedback on our Discord,[discord.gg] in our Suggestions Github Database,[github.com] and via email john@strangeloopgames.com

Cheers and thanks for your support, looking forward to sharing all the new stuff we’ll be building.

- Team Eco
Source: The Design Pillars of Eco

 

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Towns, Nations, and United Nations: Multiple Governments in Eco
« Reply #51 on: Today at 01:06:10 AM »

Towns, Nations, and United Nations: Multiple Governments in Eco

Feedback Wanted

We’re exploring ideas about how to bring multiple levels of government to Eco, and how their growing and combining would work within the game.  Along with that comes a new approach to property. Check it out and let us know your feedback, this is an initial concept so lots more to be designed still.

Eco will be changed to have the following new features:

  • Multiple governments will be allowed in tiers: individuals, towns, nations, global.
  • Governments start bottom-up, with growing towns merging into nations, and nations merging into a global government.
  • Property is controlled by the governments (no longer affected by reading skillscrolls).
  • Multiple governments will compete for citizens, offering incentives when new players spawn into their region, or when other players move to them.

The results on the player experience these changes are intended to bring are:

  • Players are ‘wanted’ in the world. Having more citizens in your town / nation / global community should be a big benefit.  When a player enters the world other players should respond ‘thank goodness you’re here’.  Mutual benefits to sharing the same town / nation / globe should abound, such that players will work to overcome their differences to better achieve their goals better and collaborate more effectively.
  • The game arc will feature growing and merging governments.  It will begin as a collection of individuals, with big events as they form towns together, then merge towns into nations, then merge nations into a global government. The same way that it’s currently an interesting event in the game when players move to a common currency, merging governments and building hierarchies of governments should be even more interesting.
  • Conflict and resolution of ideas should be the ‘PvP’ of the game. In this way, it should be much better for both parties to resolve their differences and merge together, but if they can’t there will still be a prolonged/difficult/costly process to force another individual or group to your whim, such that both parties would much prefer a resolution.  In this sense, it’s not the typical winner/loser pvp of video games; instead win/win and lose/lose situations are possible
Influence Example

New objects will be created for different levels of government: a ‘Town Hall’ for towns, a ‘National Constitution’ for nations (can replace the existing Constitution) and a ‘Global Charter’ for global governance.  These objects will be known as Government Sources, each with a different tier of government associated with it. Additionally, a new ‘Home Claim’ marker will be used for each individual, which marks their residency, and is essentially a level 0 government containing just the player.

When placed and meeting building requirements, a Government Source will create a radius of influence around it, competing with all the other governments at the same tier. 

Example: a couple individual plots in the world.  The triangles mark where they have placed their home markers, and all their property must be contiguous with that marker.

The red player then builds a Town Hall at the starred location.  This extends a circle of influence (yellow circle), which envelops part of the green player’s territory.  The size of this circle depends on the housing value of the Town Hall. It encircles both the home markers of Red and Green, so they can both become citizens of Yellow Town.


The green player now has the option to become part of the shared town; the option appears on their home marker.  If they choose to become part of the town, they will become members of the automatically generated ‘Yellow Town Residents’ demographic, which can be configured to give specific benefits.   Many other benefits to being in the same towns will be added over time (knowledge sharing, boosts to skill growth, etc).

If they choose NOT to become residents, they will stay as an individual.  The red player can force them to become a member of Yellow Town by paying a large cost (say, 500 wood), having a much more powerful town hall (housing value is a multiple of the housing value of green), having a larger town population (say 2 or 3 people), and waiting for a delay (a day or two).

In this case, we’ll say green decided to join the town voluntarily.


Now that the town is formed and has a population of 2, additional land can be claimed, and Red and Green have claimed more property.  Each resident will have additional claims granted to them on their home marker, benefits from Yellow Town. As residents, they can claim property anywhere within the influence of the town, even non-contiguous blocks. 

The number of land claims they get depends on the population and power of the town.  As the value of the property in the town increasing (measured by housing value of all property) and as the population increases, more claim markers are released.  This provides an incentive to players to increase the power and population of their town, with specific ‘immigration tools’ being introduced to help players find new residents. 

Government is unlocked with the creation of a town, and the new government objects can now be placed (Bill of Rights, Election Office, etc), which will determine the town government, allowing laws that affect any player within the yellow radius (whether or not they are ‘residents’ of this town).  The laws created will override some (but not all) of the individual rights of the town population (property rights will be meta-protected, so players can’t troll others and steal their property this way).

Later, a neighboring town is created, Blue Town:

They begin to push on each other’s borders, affecting what area can be claimed by an individual (although already claimed land won’t be lost by this pressure).  They can either continue fighting for influence, increasing the value and populations of their town to exert border pressure on each other, or join together into a nation.

Yellow Town builds a National Constitution in a fabulous palace at the east of their property (which is still considered Yellow Town territory because Red Player is a resident of Yellow Town):

This creates a very large circle of influence, which envelops all of Blue Town. Just like with individuals, the government of Blue Town can decide to join the nation, or resist.  If they resist, they can still be absorbed if the nation pays even larger penalties and has even larger influence/population as described above. For our example, blue town decides to become part of Gray Nation. Much rejoicing and celebration takes place. Festivals with fabulous elk tacos are thrown to welcome the two groups.  Now all the area in the extra-large gray nation radius can be claimed, and residents of the nation will again gain extra claim papers.

Now laws of Gray Nation can impose restrictions on both towns. Gray Nation can even revoke laws and titles assigned by the town governments, as the nation’s government supersedes the town governments.  It can also offer more powers not available to towns, like new kinds of laws (property revocation could be one, more kinds of tax, etc). Going up in tiers in government allows groups to have more powerful controls, and new types of government get unlocked at each level. 

This process can repeat at an even higher level with Global Governments.  These would envelop multiple nations, and have a large enough possible radius to cover the whole world, imposing laws and taxes worldwide.

Benefits

The benefits to joining into towns and governments are:

  • More claimable property per player for larger governments.
  • More governmental powers are unlocked for upgraded governments.
  • Wider influence of laws, more ability to control actions of the population.
  • Shared benefits to residents – boosts to skill points for town buildings like libraries.
  • Increased levels of trust between fellow citizens, promoting more shared work projects, which will be another area of development.

Governments will have their power grow with their populations, so having more residents will allow for more progress and upgrades.  For example, a town will need a population of say, 10 people in order to found a nation (configurable). To incentive growing populations, towns can create ‘immigration centers’, which will provide resources and possibly land claims or land deeds to new joining players, communicated in the server browser, and available for selection on the spawn page (a new feature will be added to let players choose if they want to spawn in an available immigration center or in an unclaimed land somewhere).   Note that governments won’t necessarily require greater populations to gain more powers, they can also be gained by more buildings and house value.

Summary

This feature would be a big addition to the game, and turn what was previously automatic (everyone is in the same society) into something that is built.  I believe this will go a long ways towards shifting the game to a more collaborative one, where players are building trust and community through expanded growth, with interesting political maneuverings required at each stage of expansion.  New debates surrounding immigration that mirror the real world will be added to the game, the tradeoffs between the additional resources required to support new residents and the benefits they provide. The conflict it introduces will add more complex situations to navigate, with complex solutions required that go beyond yielding a winner and loser.  All within the high-stakes of a vulnerable ecosystem facing an existential threat from a meteor will create a very unique experience.
Source: Towns, Nations, and United Nations: Multiple Governments in Eco

 

 

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