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Developer Blog: Geology Generation and Rock Drill Tool
Posted on March 30th, 2020 02:53 PM EST
Here's the Eco 9.0 hype-train of blogs so far:
- New Government system: Constitution
- New Government system: Elections and Elected Titles
- New Government system: Demographics and Wages
- New Government system: Laws Part 1: Using the system
- New Government system: Laws Part 2: Taxes, Ownership, Property, and Wealth
- New Government system: Laws Part 3: Tour of different actions, and Executive Actions
- New Government system: Districts
- New Crafting: Work Parties
- New Crafting: Labor System
- New Crafting: Modules and Efficiency Redesign
- New Crafting: New Tech Tree
- New Building System: Hammer and new Building Styles
- New Mining System: Mineral Dispersion and Drill Usage (This blog)
- New Mining System: New Processing Path and Pollution Info
- New Animal System: Attacking Animals
- New Ecopedia System
- New UI
- New Audio
- New Hosted Worlds System
In our 9.0 update, we are improving and expanding our representation of these resources and their use in industry. We have also improved the procedural generation of the world in Eco to better control how and where these resources are located. We are laying the groundwork with 9.0 to keep evolving what mining is in Eco and how it impacts both players and the environment. I think our players will be excited by some of the changes, let's take a look:
Prior to 9.0, we had in place a layer system that allowed us to generate different layers of rock in the environment, and assign these layers to different biomes. With this we could begin thematically creating a diverse world of different types of rock and ore located in different places. But biomes can be large, and ore deposits are not all shaped like layers. To combat that, we've created a new ore deposit module in our generation:
One of the biggest improvements to this is that in 9.0 we have an ‘ore deposit module’ in our world generation system that allows us to insert ore bodies into the layers which have their own definable shape and likelihood of appearing. We can also locate these at any level we want in the layers, and define size ranges for them. With this, we finally are generating a set of earth resources that works much more like the real world. These improvements will have a good impact on how mining feels. Players will likely get a bigger sense of reward for finding a deposit, and have much more to think about when it comes to efficient extraction and the shape of their mines.
Here's a series of cutaways using a new admin command we added to debug ore generation. In the first shot, all the soil has been removed. In the second, the bedrock granite has been removed to reveal bedrock basalt and gold ore. In the third all rock and ore has been removed except copper ore
And here is a view from the bottom up, where you can see some of the copper ore deposits that have formed deep below the surface.
Since ore deposits have massively concentrated where resources like metal ore and coal are located, players will have more incentive to create efficient infrastructure to link a successful mine to other parts of their civilization. Mining towns will grow around these deposits, supplying miners with the tools and resources they need to extract the resources. It also means that players will have to explore for earth resources much more, since where deposits are located in particular biomes will be different for every different world.
To use the drill, you can aim it in any direction at a landmass and activate it. Based on the tier of the tool, it will inform you what is buried beneath the surface to a given depth. You'll be able to easily mark these positions in space with world markers.
With this addition, exploration and prospecting will become an important first step to every mining operation.
As part of this update, all of the layers which contain ore and other resources like clay and sand have been revamped and improved with an eye both towards balance and future improvements coming to mining and industry in Eco. Mineral processing has been deeply expanded in 9.0 to more realistically break down rock and ore and create the correct byproducts from the right processes, which will be detailed in another update!
We are in the process of big updates to the balance of different ores with regards to their byproducts, so with all these factors changing we are being generous with ore quantity to start. We are excited that as far as what’s waiting under their feet, players will have a brand new world to explore in 9.0.
Our next livestream will take place on Thursday, noon (12:00) PST / 9pm CEST (21:00). I will be showing off all the content of this blog live on our Twitch and Youtube channels as well as on Facebook.
- Keegan O'Rourke, Eco Lead Artist, Strange Loop Games