Road Map to Update 10

Posted on January 23rd, 2023 11:51 AM EST
Hello Eco Citizens,
with 9.7 performance updates almost complete (one more big update for this version to come), the majority of the team is working on the long awaited ECO 10! We’re going to be doing little quality of life updates along the way, but have a deadline set of April 3rd for the start of public playtest for Update 10.

We’re going to be demoing the features as we build up to this launch with live streams, here’s the schedule, with each livestream from various Eco devs typically happening on Fridays at 21:00 CET / noon Pacific Time. You can watch the demos on Twitch[], YouTube, Facebook[] or directly here on our Steam store page. We’ve put together a calendar you can sync with if you’d like to keep track of these, click here[].

Twitch Election Plugin – February 3rd

We’re building a custom plugin for twitch that will let users cast votes in a streamer’s elections and view and interact in other ways with the game. Streamers are a huge part of the Eco community and we want to make some really interesting ways for them to interact with their audience and blend the barrier between creator and audience.

Avatars with Facial Animation via Webcam – February 17th

We’ve got brand new upgraded avatars coming into the game, with much more expressive and customizable faces, hair, and clothes. On top of that we’ve got lip-syncing based on your microphone and facial animation based on your webcam (both optional of course). This means that as your avatar is giving a speech or interacting with others you’ll see the actual facial expression the real human player is making applied on your avatar. With the depth of role-playing we’re seeing in Eco and the potential for live events like town halls, campaign speeches, etc, we’re expecting this feature to add a ton of depth to your characters identity and how you connect with others.

Boats Demo – March 3rd

The long awaited boats feature will be at last shipped in 10! We’ll be demoing all the new boats in the game, from row boats to industrial barges, and how they work. We’ll also show the other systems that support boats like new dock blocks, new placement systems, new swimming systems, etc.

User Pictures Demo – March 10th

We’re adding the ability to take pictures of what you see in game, and then use that on the sign, as icons for your avatar, and much more. This will further connect our new avatar feature, allowing you to take a picture of your avatar and use that for your presentation to users in chat as well. It’ll also be a part of the new culture system we’re building, you’ll be able to make a museum of pictures from other players around the globe to create culture points for the new settlement system.

Render to Horizon Lodding Demo – March 17th

With our performance upgrades for 9.7, the stage is introduce lods to render the landscape all the way out to the horizon, at 60fps on recommended hardware. You’ll be able to see the curvature of the world clearly, see distant cities and mountains, and really get a feeling for the scope of the world that’s being shared with everyone in it.

Settlements Demo – March 24th

The new Settlements system will allow the creation of towns, countries, and federations. Towns contain multiple citizens, Countries contain multiple towns, and Federations (think United Nations) contain multiple countries. Each has their own overlapping governments, complete with laws, taxes, treasuries, etc. Each casts ‘influence’ based on their culture (another new system) where their laws apply. The property system will be completely transformed too, based on population rather than skill upgrades. This is going to be a giant change to the feel of the game and looking forward to community tests and feedback! We’re also keeping support for the old style without settlements, which players can disable in the server if they like.

These are the major feature demos, but on the other Fridays we’ll have livestreams showing other features, and a chance for feedback from players.

We’re all super excited to get this version of Eco out to you all, its going to be like a new game. We got a ton of work to do still, so back to it! See you soon.

- John K, CEO Strange Loop
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