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The Design Pillars of Eco
Posted on April 30th, 2019 03:39 PM EST
Eco’s design mission is to have players “Solve the Tragedy of the Commons”, 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:
- Asynchronicity, allowing players to collaborate across time and space,
- Discoverability, making it easy for players to find the information they need about how to participate in the economy.
- Involvement, incentivizing players to work together, especially between different levels of experience.
- Organization, allowing players to organize labor seamlessly through the interests of many parties, with lots of data on progress and economy state.
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:
- Visibility, players should be granted powerful tools (the stats system) to understand how the ecology system works and how players are influencing it.
- Impact, simulated features are highly reactive to the actions of players.
- 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.
- Existential Threat, the ecology needs to be capable of dying and creating a losing world for players due to their actions.
Key goals of this pillar are:
- Ease of use. All players should be capable of understanding and using the system.
- Power. Many different and deep structures of government should be possible with the system.
- 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.
- 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.
- Transparent. The workings of government should be available and in fact highlighted for all players to see and participate in.
- Iterative. The government should be expected to change throughout gameplay, not simply be created once and run forever that way.
- 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, in our Suggestions Github Database, and via email.
Cheers and thanks for your support, looking forward to sharing all the new stuff we’ll be building.
- Team Eco