Author Topic: ECO - News / Updates  (Read 3813 times)

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The Design Pillars of Eco
« Reply #59 from previous page: November 08, 2019, 07:09:32 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 #60 on: November 08, 2019, 07:09:32 PM »

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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Towns, Nations, and United Nations: Multiple Governments in Eco
« Reply #61 on: November 08, 2019, 07:09:33 PM »

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

Hey all, for this week I want to go into some big ideas we have for Eco 9 with levels of government.

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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World Environment Day Sale
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2019, 07:24:45 AM »

World Environment Day Sale

Hey everyone,
for the first time ever, Eco is on sale in Steam. Get your 10% discount while the sale lasts and support charitable organisations with your purchase.
Source: World Environment Day Sale

 

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Version 0.8.2.0 released!
« Reply #63 on: December 19, 2019, 07:24:46 AM »

Version 0.8.2.0 released!

Vivox Proximity voice chat

We added Vivox proximity voice chat to the game. Now you can talk with your fellow citizens about the latest news, in town debates or just barter with them directly. The chat is based on proximity, so you’ll only hear people that are near to you. Of course, you can also disable the voice chat completely or mute specific players. With that, we also introduced a new face animation for people talking.

Reworked controls for vehicles


On popular request we have improved and redesigned the controls for the excavators and skid steers and made sure they are explained understandably. The excavator got a new UI toolbar, you can look around freely in both skidsteer and excavator now, the skidsteer tool is now activated by default when you mount it and we changed how the general controls work. They also should work much better than before for mining purposes, though they still need some further polish.

Performance

Demo video  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EhzRYzZvCyR5GJHY9CGsvesuh8TuSiA7/view

Being well aware of the performance problems we have done a lot of work to improve the matter. Starting with this update you should see highly increased performance in chunkloading, especially for faster computers, so driving with a truck should no longer make you fall through the world. We also fixed several potential causes for memory leaks and performance should no longer degrade as much over time as it did in the prior version. We also improved performance when loading the minimap, claiming land and closing the map while it is still loading. We still have quite a way to go, which we’ll do in the next update 8.3 and all the updates thereafter.

Improvements

  • Added command “/addimpacthours <hours>” to control meteor impact time after the world was started, both positive and negative values are possible.
  • Added explaining tooltips to graphics settings.
  • Added a shortcut for starting a new world.
  • The configuration option “MeteorImpactDays” now changes the remaining time for the meteor to impact even after world creation.
  • Improved buy / sell notifications to reduce confusal.
  • Removed the “where item is” condition for “Drop Garbage” due to being irrelevant and potentially causing crashes.
  • Added a few facial expression emotions, like /smile.
  • Configuration files are now no longer overwritten, instead a template config file is delivered that contains all the current existing config variables.
    • WARNING: This could lead to steam removing existing configuration files once, please backup your configuration files!
  • Increased the range you can shoot animals.
  • Improved the error message that shows when the account is temporarily blocked due to too many login attempts, disabled or not eligible to play Eco.
  • The mining tutorial can now be completed by mining either Sandstone, Limestone, Shale or Granite.
  • The food tutorial now checks for nearby food and adapts to the food sources available in the area of the player.
  • Added a hit memory for pickaxes, they now remember the last 5 hitted blocks to track mining progress on those.
  • Local save games are now sorted in descending order from the most recently to the least recently played.
  • Added an error message when trying to generate a world with invalid dimensions.
  • Campfires and Workbenches can now be crafted at a workbench to avoid a potential progression lock.
  • Otters now provide a carcass instead of meat.
  • Improved IP validation for direct connect.
  • Lavish talents now apply to crafting projects immediately after selecting, it is no longer needed to remove and restart the crafting projects.
  • Eco now automatically selects which server binary to use depending on world size to prevent out of memory issues when loading large local worlds.
  • Holding the start camp will now show the deed overlay to give new players more information on where a good, unused location would be.
  • Filters set in the minimap will now save and be displayed when the minimap is reopened.
  • The configuration option “DisplayAdminCommands” now has several levels:
    • None: No admin command logging or display in the chat. (Same as “false”)
    • LogFile: Logging admin commands to a file.
    • LogFileAndNotifyAdmins: Logging admin commands to a file and notify admins in the chat.
    • LogFileAndNotifyEveryone: Logging admin commands to a file and display them to everyone in the chat. (Same as “true”)
  • The configuration option “MaxRepFromOnPerson” is now correctly called “MaxRepFromOnePerson”.
  • Property claims can now be used as a backing item in the mint.
  • You can now specify a bank account into which the minted funds should go.
  • Fish traps now must (and can!) be placed underwater to function.
  • Choosing a skill will now show a warning that the skill can not be refunded after it has been chosen.
  • The bed in the starter camp can now be used to sleep.
  • Increased spawn rates of bisons and most desert plants.
  • Removed the display of no longer available species due to the removal of the wetlands.
  • The configuration option “RequireAuthentication” has been removed as it was intended for debugging and caused steam players to be displayed as long hashes.
  • Alt-Enter switching to fullscreen now restores the previously used fullscreen mode.
  • Exclusive fullscreen mode now constrains the mouse to the game window.
  • Improved avatar walk animation while moving slowly.
  • Improved avatar moving and tool blending in general.
  • Vehicles will now display “Drive” instead of “Use” as action.
  • Ramps are now carryable items and have a weight.
  • Ramps can now be placed underwater.
  • Ramps are now picked up as a whole again by using a hammer or a shovel (for dirt roads only).
    • This fixed several issues with laws regarding roads and ramps as well as a balance issue (crafting ramps, placing and digging up roads from them was cheaper than producing roads).
Bugs fixed

  • Fixed a crash related to the chat.
  • Fixed tree parts loosing their targetability and becoming unchoppable.
  • Fixed an issue that caused graphs in the web interface to be incorrect.
  • Fixed several issues with stockpiles that allowed duplication of items.
  • Fixed bank and registrar not having room requirements.
  • Fixed an issue with the object filter when left clicking a stockpile with a pickaxe.
  • Fixed an issue with authentication on objects when trying to move items via a tool instead of using the GUI.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the player to not be able to pick up items with left click while holding a hammer.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when editing the store list.
  • Fixed line breaks not showing in law descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented to propose a law when “redefine districts” was selected and then deselected.
  • Fixed an issue that caused item icons in contracts to not show when not using english as game language.
  • Fixed an issue that caused white sparkles to appear.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed the player to see distant terrain through unloaded chunks.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the crane to be not synchronized between players in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a redirect to a non existing page after proposing a law.
  • Fixed an issue with harvest contracts that caused the deposit marker to be missing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the chosen currency in world objects to reset to the world's default currency.
  • Fixed an issue that caused miners to only consume calories when the block was destroyed. Now they consume calories on every hit. This also applies to the durability of pickaxes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the excavator to be unable to move when re-fueled while driving.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause the house value tooltip to show no contents.
  • Fixed an issue with bad looking shadows.
  • Fixed several server crashes that could occur due to concurrency.
  • Fixed the “Focused Work Flow: Milling” talent.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when two people try to move the same item at the same time.
  • Fixed an issue that caused certain talents to not affect certain recipes they should affect.
  • Fixed an issue that caused tall grass to not be removed when digging with an excavator.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the ping to be displayed as infinite or a negative number.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the player to be able to accept more than one of the same repeatable contract at once.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the authorisation dropdown being unusable after unclaiming and reclaiming a property.
  • Fixed an issue that caused all servers to have the mods of one server when multiple servers are hosted on the same machine and all are started at the same time.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the mouse to no longer be usable when pressing “ESC” while the language selection dropdown is opened.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented to add multiple clauses to a law when the server language was not set to english.
  • Fixed an issue with worlds that contained non-english characters in their name.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when the client login failed.
  • Fixed an issue with the Lavish and Frugal talents, they now will apply to tables that have the most recipes requiring the talents skill
  • Fixed an issue with Lavish talents, they now correctly reduce the resources needed to craft.
  • Fixed an rounding error that occured for some recipes.
  • Fixed an issue with the display of the world objective when it was too long.
  • Fixed an issue with text on skill bars, they now will always take one line.
  • Fixed an issue with a missing sound when hitting a mineable block.
  • Fixed an issue with flickering blocks during blocks which can’t be removed in one hit.
  • Fixed an issue where tools were not correctly displayed in third person mode, they also will now display immediately after switching to third person mode.
  • Fixed an issue that caused players to get stuck inside trees when the tree loaded after the player already stood on its place.
  • Fixed an issue with switching to windowed mode, resolution settings are now correctly applied.
  • Fixed several issues that allowed to take more items from a distribution station than allowed or to take items from it despite the age requirement for the player account was not met.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the player to stay in record mode until the game was restarted when /record was used while in fly mode.
  • Fixed an issue with the field of view of the meteor tutorial video when replaying it.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the currency dropdown lists to no longer be synchronized with the available currencies.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause rooms to no longer be considered room when adding or removing objects nearby.
  • Fixed a rare crash related to world objects consuming liquid.
  • Fixed an issue with shift-scrolling on Mac OS.
  • Fixed rubble playing Portal 2.
  • Fixed an issue that caused trees to vanish while in fast-forward mode or sleeping.
  • Fixed screen settings not always applying during startup.
  • Fixed an issue that caused inserted fuel to go to the storage instead of the fuel tab for some vehicles.
  • Fixed an issue with UI scale that caused crafting numbers in recipes to be offset and therefore unreadable.
  • Fixed an issue with corrupted configs that caused the camera to be unable to move.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the player to teleport up a bit when digging and placing dirt.
  • Fixed an issue with the house value calculation when adding or removing rooms.
  • Fix an issue that allowed ramps to be placed without checking occupancy.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the world to convert to a new format even though there is no new format.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the world to corrupt when commands like /level were used.
  • Fixed an issue that caused combustion generators to produce sewage when not operating.
  • Fixed an issue with excavators that could cause them to behave like a ragdoll.
  • Fixed several issues with water pipes, causing incorrect flow.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the wrong currencies to show for clients in an exchange.
  • Fixed an issue that caused new old growth redwood trees to appear.
  • Fixed an issue with placing and removing blocks underwater.
  • Fixed an issue with a talent in the self improvement skill that didn’t grant as much increased carry weight as intended.
  • Fixed an issue with the scrollbar in the skills window.
  • Fixed several issues with localization, especially missing strings.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the species dropdown to not function correctly on servers using a different language than english.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the water filter to work and generate compost permanently despite no linked sewage generating objective was actually active.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause garbage bags to not convert into garbage blocks.
  • Fixed an issue with using shortcuts to move items that lead to permissions not being respected in the distribution station and contract storages.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the sweeping hands talent to also apply to vehicles. (We might introduce a specific talent for vehicles later on!)
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the minimap to not show, instead only the filters were displayed.
  • Fixed an issue with laws that could cause clients to crash and being unable to reconnect to the server.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the information about what will be pickuped when targeting a stockpile to not be available when holding a tool in your hand.
  • Fixed an issue that cause the player to be put into a not fully generated map when he pressed the tab button before world generation was completed.
  • Fixed several minor UI issues.

Source: Version 0.8.2.0 released!

 

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Version 0.8.3.0 released!
« Reply #64 on: December 19, 2019, 07:24:47 AM »

Version 0.8.3.0 released!

Today we are releasing Update 8.3.0, an update that was entirely focused on internal changes in order to improve performance short and long term.

Performance Improvements:
Our developers have been working hard on countless internal changes for this update in order to increase the performance of Eco on a wide range of different hardware configurations. We have noticeably reduced memory consumption on clients, optimized network code, reduced the frequency of FPS spikes (micro lags) during movement and you should now have a smoother experience playing Eco. Please note that there is still more to come in the 9.X updates, as we do have other optimisations prepared and in mind that require more work and / or breaking changes that are better to be introduced in a major update.

Relay Servers:
For this update we added relay server support for cases where connections between client and server cannot be established in a normal way. This should fix most of the connection issues some players have experienced.

The Network.eco config file for servers has the new option “RelayAdress” where a custom relay server can be configured (available for download as docker image from strangeloopgames/relay-server:latest). If no "RelayAddress" and no "RemoteAddress" is specified for a server then it will auto-discovery the relay server with best ping from a list of official relay servers and use it as fallback for clients who fail to connect the regular way.

Other Improvements:
Added auto-run function. It is disabled by default, but you can go to Key Bindings and assign a button. It works both for the character and for vehicles.

Bugs fixed:

  • Fixed an issue that caused players to fall through rendered ground with their vehicles when above mines.
  • Fixed an issue that caused changed keybindings for the moving keys to not be saved.
  • Fixed an issue that made trees non-interactable or vanish during slicing and collecting.
  • Fixed an issue with the french localization in regards to player currency.
  • Fixed skid steer no longer interacting with tree debris.
  • Fixed several server crashes.
  • Fixed ModKit Issues.

Update 9.0 is actively being worked on in parallel and the first non-public staging versions are soon to be released. Stay tuned for more news on that at a later date.
Source: Version 0.8.3.0 released!

 

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Version 0.8.3.1 released!
« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2020, 01:04:17 AM »

Version 0.8.3.1 released!

We have released patch 0.8.3.1 with the following fixes:

Fixes:

  • Using specific markup on signs and vehicle license plates can no longer crash clients around the object, not allowing them to reenter the game.
  • Giving reputation to a player with a unicode name (shown ingame as "?????") will no longer crash the client of the reputation giver.
  • We added a potential fix for leaves and vegetation on Mac and Linux not being displayed, please give us a heads up if it works.

State of Update 9.0:
As you know Update 9.0 has been in development for quite some time now and while we planned to have it released this year, we feel like the Update needs some more time to be what we want it to be. We already started weekend community tests for invited members of the community some weeks ago and want to take time to implement their feedback and fix as many reported bugs as possible before release.

Update 9.0 next to a lot of new features will now also include major balance changes and lots of background changes to improve performance both on client- as well as on server-side, given those two issues were on top of our priority list after all the feedback you - the community - gave us. All of this takes additional time, as we have to clean out some legacy issues in the game to get to a state from where development will be easier and faster with us being able to switch our main focus more onto new content.

In the process of developing this update we also decided to add additional measures to improve performance that weren't planned previously (for example migrating the server to .NET Core 3 in order to natively support linux servers which also leads to linux users being able to play singleplayer natively after one of the minor updates following 9.0) to have a good base for future updates that can then be released with less content per update, but a higher update frequency.


Source: Version 0.8.3.1 released!

 

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Version 0.8.3.3 released!
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2020, 07:18:03 PM »

Version 0.8.3.3 released!

We have released Patch 0.8.3.3 with the following small hotfixes:

Bugfixes

  • Fixed an issue with money transfers not working if some accounts in the list have special symbols in their names.
  • Temporarily removed "Exclusive Full Screen" mode from the game due to it crashing on some user configurations. (Will be reintroduced after Unity has released a fix)

Source: Version 0.8.3.3 released!

 

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Developer Stream on February 21th (2pm PST): Constitutions
« Reply #67 on: March 07, 2020, 07:04:56 PM »

Developer Stream on February 21th (2pm PST): Constitutions

As we are approaching release, the first of a series of livestreams about the upcoming Update 9.0 will start this Friday, 2pm Pacific Time (23:00 Central European Time). We'll be showing everything you need to know about the new Constitutions feature and answering all questions about this feature you may have.

The stream will be broadcasted mainly on Twitch[www.twitch.tv], but will also be available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. Additionally we try to stream it directly here on steam.

For those that are not able to watch the stream live, we'll be uploading an edited version to our YouTube channel on the weekend.
Source: Developer Stream on February 21th (2pm PST): Constitutions

 

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Developer Blog: Introducing Constitutions in Eco - 9.0 Update
« Reply #68 on: March 07, 2020, 07:04:57 PM »

Developer Blog: Introducing Constitutions in Eco - 9.0 Update

Hey Eco citizens, we’ve been heads-down working on getting Eco 9.0 ready and it’s getting close, REAL close, date to be announced soon! Don't miss todays stream at 2pm PST / 23:00 CEST (in about two hours from the time of publishing this blog). One of the main focuses of this update is the government system.

So to start the hype train up for 9.0 (choo-choo) we’re starting a series of blogs and streams, launched each week on Friday. We have a LOT to share, here’s the tentative blog and demo schedule:

  1. New Government system: Constitution (This blog)
  2. New Government system: Elections and Elected Titles
  3. New Government system: Demographics and Wages
  4. New Government system: Laws Part 1: Using the system
  5. New Government system: Laws Part 2: Taxes, Ownership, Property, and Wealth
  6. New Government system: Laws Part 3: Tour of different actions, and Executive Actions
  7. New Government system: Districts
  8. New Crafting: Work Parties
  9. New Crafting: Labor System
  10. New Crafting: Modules and Efficiency Redesign
  11. New Crafting: New Tech Tree
  12. New Building System: Hammer and new Building Styles
  13. New Mining System: Mineral Dispersion and Drill Usage
  14. New Mining System: New Processing Path and Pollution Info
  15. New Animal System: Attacking Animals
  16. New Ecopedia System
  17. New UI
  18. New Audio
  19. New Hosted Worlds System

We’ll be releasing Eco 9 somewhere in this lineup, and then keep going. So start us off, here’s the details on one of the cornerstones of the new update, the Constitution.

Eco 9: Constitution

Prior to Eco 9, the government was a fill-in-the-blanks affair, you can create very custom laws of course, but the workings of the government – how elections are held, what powers leaders have, how decisions are made – was largely hard-coded. No longer with Eco 9.  To start a new government, you’ll need to build a Capitol:

By opening up this object you’ll get access to a Constitution:

In Eco 9, there is no government until a constitution is ratified – this is the first piece that must be created for a government to exist, and it defines how the government will work. So players will not only run their own government, but design it as well.

How does that work? Through the addition of Civic Articles.

A Constitution in Eco is basically a list of Civic Articles, and each Article designates how something works in the government.  In the example above, this Civic Article defines how laws are created.  Row by row, you can see the settings that can be configured.  First, what it applies to (laws), then what types of laws, which can be several options:

You can also set the specific actions which are regulated by this civic article, if you want to get really detailed:

The bottom three settings, Executors, Proposers, and Election Process, determine how the law is created or changed.

  • If you’re an Executor, you can add, remove, or change laws at any time. In the example I’ve set myself as this of course (promise I won’t let the power go to my head).
  • If you’re a Proposed, you can start an Election to add, remove, or change laws.
  • That election will be run using the specified Election Process.

Stay tuned for a future blog on how election processes work, but basically they allow you to define all the specifics about how an election works, and you can have many different types of elections in a single world.

So in this example above, laws are either created by me by fiat, or through a Basic Election which can be proposed by Everyone.  That ‘Everyone’ tag is an expanded Demographic feature and can be defined by citizens as well. There’s a few that come with every world for convenience. This lets you divided up the populace in various useful ways and use it for anything government related, from Constitutions to laws to taxes and more. I’ll post more on that in a future update.

So that’s a single Civic Article, but a typical Constitution will have 8-10, designating powers for all the different government features.  So as not to overwhelm, we create a default set of these that work pretty well, with everything requiring elections, and let the founding citizens customize it.  Here’s a zoomed out look at a few more default articles:

I’ll go into how these other government features work in a future update, but I do want to explain how one special civic object works, Amendments. These are created on a separate Amendments object, and represent Civic Articles added after the Constitution is created, allowing citizens to make changes to the government as needed. 

Once a Constitution is ratified, you can no longer edit it, thus to make changes you must create amendments. An amendment is just like a civic article, but it can specify existing articles to replace. Say, for example, I went mad with power to enact any law I wanted, and that power needed to be removed.  Citizens could create an amendment like so (ignore the in-progress UI art, still finishing that):

This amendment removes the existing Law Changes By Election article I showed above, and replaces it with one that has no executors, meaning the only way to make a change at all is by a Basic Election, and changes proposers from Everyone to Active, which is a subset of players who play frequently.  This amendment can then be put forth in an election, and if it passes, it will replace the old one, which will then look like so on the Constitution:

It's still in the Constitution, just crossed out and no longer has an effect! If something were to happen to the amendment, however, say it was repealed, then this civic article would come back into effect. Using these tools, citizens have the ability to change their government to better suit a changing society. Anticipating all the challenges a population will face in the future is a monumentally hard task, and citizens that allow for changes to their original decisions, and a defined-process for how to make them, will have a lot more flexibility in adapting and changing the government to suit the current needs.

Of course, it comes with dangers as well: a populace can make ill-advised changes that can create terrible circumstances as well. Designing the government to both stay powerful over the tests of time while also being flexible enough to changing needs will be a major challenge.  Much debate should ensue as citizens design their initial governments. 

Ratification

Lastly, a tour about Ratification.  In order to take effect, a constitution must be ratified, that is, it will be put to vote in a Basic Election. It will not take effect until this election has successfully passed, meaning the constitution must reflect the will of a majority of the people to start. From then on, the Constitution will remain in effect, as long as the building that holds it stands and remains a valid room.

However, there is a safety mechanism to a rule of law that no longer serves the people: citizens can organize to overthrow the government. This is accomplished by building a second capitol which is grander than the first – meaning, it has a higher room value by 50%.  The Constitution in this second capitol will then show if it can overthrow the existing one:

Here, 'Constitution the Sequel' has a higher value than the current government, and can thus overthrow the existing government if it passes the ratification election.  This allows citizens a way to finally overcome a government that is too limiting, if none of the measures of change within the existing government (amendments, etc) are proving sufficient.

Government Beginnings

Building a constitution sets the rules for how your growing society will function, and designing the inner-workings can lead to incredibly different styles of government.  Over the coming weeks, we’ll give examples of those different kinds of government, and all the parts that can go into creating a diverse set of rules to suit the people’s needs.

This has been something I’ve been excited to get into Eco from the beginnings, and forms a key part of the philosophy of the game, which is that the government is one with the people, they create it, they run it, they are it, and they have no one to blame but themselves if it becomes malignant.  By allowing the government to be essentially programmed by its citizens, Eco provides a super valuable tool, and creates an event that, within the context of the game, is historic: the formation of the government.  In a world that you invest in, care about, and hope to save, that can be an incredibly powerful moment, and the thoughtful discussions, plans, and forethought among players that goes into that is what Eco is all about.

Stay tuned for more, and follow us on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook to see the streams I’ll do along with these blogs, where you can ask questions too.  Can’t wait to see the governments people design and run with this system when we launch Eco 9.

- John K,  Eco Designer, CEO Strange Loop Games

Source: Developer Blog: Introducing Constitutions in Eco - 9.0 Update

 

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Developer Blog: Elections and Elected Titles in Update 9.0
« Reply #69 on: March 07, 2020, 07:04:59 PM »

Developer Blog: Elections and Elected Titles in Update 9.0

Hi citizens, our Eco 9 series continues with a look at Elections and Elected Titles:

  1. New Government system: Constitution
  2. New Government system: Elections and Elected Titles (This blog)
  3. New Government system: Demographics and Wages
  4. New Government system: Laws Part 1: Using the system
  5. New Government system: Laws Part 2: Taxes, Ownership, Property, and Wealth
  6. New Government system: Laws Part 3: Tour of different actions, and Executive Actions
  7. New Government system: Districts
  8. New Crafting: Work Parties
  9. New Crafting: Labor System
  10. New Crafting: Modules and Efficiency Redesign
  11. New Crafting: New Tech Tree
  12. New Building System: Hammer and new Building Styles
  13. New Mining System: Mineral Dispersion and Drill Usage
  14. New Mining System: New Processing Path and Pollution Info
  15. New Animal System: Attacking Animals
  16. New Ecopedia System
  17. New UI
  18. New Audio
  19. New Hosted Worlds System
Elections

Elections are one of the most fundamental parts of a democracy, and with 9.0 we're adding a lot of flexibility for how they can be used (or not used at all, if you’re more into the dictatorship thing). Prior to Eco 9, elections in Eco were only used to elect the World Leader – with 9.0, they can be used to make virtually any civic decision as well as elect player-defined Elected Titles. This means no more single world leader, but potentially a whole slew of different elected leaders, each with different responsibilities. Polling the populace can now be a core way that a world makes decisions.

Elections are tied to Civic Actions, which are things Citizens can do that affect the government, in a way defined by the Constitution (see last week’s blog). An example of some of the civic actions you can perform in the game:

  • Add, change, or remove a civic object (law, civic article, demographic, elected title, election process, etc).
  • Perform an Executive Action (ie, tax all players with time in world > 5 days).
  • Remove a leader from office

Elections are started automatically based on the rules of the Constitution. The constitution sets which actions need an election to pass, and who can propose it. Every civic object contains a handy list of what privileges you get from the constitution at the top, so you can always tell what you’re able to do, in the form of your civic duties:

Here's what your civic duties might look like on a court, for example:

You can see it outlines all the things you can do there, as well as the articles of the constitution that give you that right.

You can also see all your civic duties for every type of civic object in the government menu:

Then when you edit a law, it will go to election:

From there, everyone gets notified in their new notification tab:

Then voting can happen by visiting any ballot box (or just going to the web ui of the server):

On the webpage, you can review the proposal, see the current votes and election details, and participate in discussions about the election.

Each election has a forum attached, where you can add graphs and maps arguing for your point of view. Arguments can easily be rooted in actual data from the world, encouraging citizens to formulate and debate using scientific reasoning.

Once the election is finished, the law will either pass or fail. If it fails, it can be edited and resubmitted.

Election Processes

So the way each election works is also something that can be determined by citizens. In fact, the election process is simply another civics object that can be changed, either by fiat or election, depending on what’s in the constitution. You can create these at a Board of Elections object:

Each Election Process defines a set of properties for how the election works, from basics like who can vote and veto, to advance rules like how often the election may occur.

As with every feature in Eco 9, we’ve added popup help text to everything, with the aim to create powerful features that allow for complex societies but are still easily accessed and understood by everyone.

Election Processes let you do cool things like design different tiers of government, creating representatives who are elected and then are permitted to vote on laws (you would create one type of election for choosing representatives, and another for letting them change laws). You can add protections in the form of vetoes that are limited to a subset of leaders, and determine how rapidly you want elections to happen and finish, balancing stability of government with adaptability to changing conditions.

Elected Titles

Before this update, there was only one elected title for everyone to fight over, that of the world leader, and they had tremendous power. This didn’t allow much flexibility in leadership, and would easily lead to a crisis if that leader ‘went rogue’ or left. Now you can create many titles, and divvy up powers for them in many different ways. To add a new Elected Title, you can set them at a Government Office:

Each position has a big set of properties that can be used to configure how the elected title works. You can pick the Election Process that elects the leader, decide who can run, requirements of candidates, etc. Positions can be held by multiple people, and a variety of privileges can be assigned to the office holders.

Here's a look at the properties that players get to configure:

You can see above that each position has special privileges to some government features, like adding global markers (markers in the world that everyone can see), setting tax rates in the treasury for things like sales, fees, and contracts, and creating and managing government bank accounts. Lots of power, which is wise to divy up accordingly.

Elected Titles can be specified anywhere you pick a citizen, and this is how you give special access to the leaders you choose. For example, we can go back to our election process described above and revise it to give this Minister of Finance special veto powers:

As you can see here, you can select options that are currently in a draft form, or under election, and if/when they become active they will automatically take effect in the new setting (but not before then). This allows you to compose a set of civic objects that reference each other and get them all passed simultaneously, instead of having to wait for them to each pass before you can set the next one.

Once the position is added, you can then start elections and enter them as a candidate from a ballot box:

Then let the campaign begin! Citizens can vote in the election at a ballot box in the same manner as described above:

The critical difference with elections for positions is that voting is performed using Ranked Choice Voting, which allows citizens to choose the order of preference of candidates, instead of selecting a single candidate. This has a number of positive effects on elections, especially when there are many candidates running: you don’t have to commit solely to the candidate you think will win but can choose your favorite preference and select a separate one as your second/third/fourth/etc choice. Then if your main choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your next preference.

Connecting it All Together

These three parts of the system: elections, election processes, and elected titles really shine when connected all together and to the rest of the game. One of the most difficult problems of building a society is giving power and flexibility to act quickly in a way isn’t destabilizing. By carefully defining how decisions are made, who makes them, and giving lots of checks and balances that ensure those decisions stay positive for society, you can craft a government that can last the ages and successfully steward your society to success in the race against the meteor, while preserving the ecosystem upon which the populace depends.

There are lots more civic objects that get added to the mix and make this even more powerful including districts, demographics, executive actions, and especially laws.

Stay tuned for future blog posts on them. Public playtests of Eco 9 are starting! Chat to D3nnis3n, our community manager in our Discord server if you’re interested in helping out.

No stream this week, but expect a double feature next week. Chat soon and can’t wait to see what people build with our new systems, and always feel free to send me and the team feedback.

- John K, Eco Designer, CEO Strange Loop Games
Source: Developer Blog: Elections and Elected Titles in Update 9.0

 

 

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