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From Running a Government to Building One
Posted on April 16th, 2019 03:01 PM EST
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.
I wanted to add the ability to overthrow a government because it fits thematically – if a government no longer represents the will of the people, there is a way to overthrow it and start a new one.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.
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.
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