Honest, Concerns and Worries

  • Hello, I have had ECO for a little while, and performance has not been the best, as most of you people are aware! Over the last updates /Pre-5.3(coming) performance has been getting fairly worse, too the stage of it is becoming unplayable.

    My Worry....
    The Steam Release is looming, being this year, matter of months - and well, i dont feel like the Developers have ever mentioned about any performance fixes, or let us know that like "A few weeks in 5.3 will be dedicated too reducing the FPS Required" - example, I have mentioned it within Facebook, and i feel like it gets ignored, i have seen other players asking if it runs good, and people saying it doesnt run good...

    With the steam release looming, i actually feel like optimization is a key piece too any good title, especially on steam - being the extremely wide audience of people, with a huge range of different hardware specifications. It could be a side which will let ECO fall - People will just Refund the game, and ECO shall sadly not benefit.

    Another worry is that, the main purpose of ECO was too provide classrooms a realistic enviromental impact game, which children could play, without affecting real world matters, and potentially learn from this and grow up too be a better human being! - With that paragraph in mind, i do not believe schools have the correct systems with the correct hardware requirements for children to be able to play this game, which would possible destroy the "main" purpose this game was created.

    I hope you read what i have put, and i am not trying t start fights, destroying a game before it has even released too the public, its just a concern for the classrooms and nearing steam release.

    Thank you

  • First, remember that this is an alpha release. Traditionally alpha is for getting in the base code and key systems in. Optimization and performance tuning comes after all systems are in and usually mostly during beta. When steam release comes the game may not yet be fully into beta and may still be considered 'alpha' and people are warned on steam, like they are here, what an alpha entails and that you cannot expect great performance. Even steam makes sure users are aware that an Early Access game comes with possible issues and performance might not be that what you expect with a fully released game. If this was being release on steam as a final release then performance issues would be an problem but as it is now the release will be 'early access' and are aware, or should be aware that this is where the game is at. they are invited to join early access games to provide feedback and suggestions to development but to be able to get in on the early development of the game they may have to deal with performance issues.

    As for the school issue, some schools just don't have computers at all, some have very old ones and that is sadly not something that SLG can fix. I don't think they can develop an game, even an educational game for technology that is decades old just for that reason. That being said the server will run on a windows 7 desktop and manage to run the game fine for a classroom and the client runs well on macs which seem to be what is in the majority of classrooms. Once .Net core 2.0 is release they will also be able to run the server on Linux. Many companies, like mine, that offer Eco servers are providing servers to schools that are adding ECO to their curriculum if they don't have a way to support a server (although most seem to not have a problem doing so so far). Its not in many classrooms yet but as it gets in more, it will also be into beta and into getting performance fixes so there should be resolution there. We have several teachers in the local district that have the game, my company gave away copies to several local teachers so they could work with the game and develop a curriculum around it and have been working with it for a couple of months now and have not had a problem running on the equipment they have nor have thy had complaints about performance. The minimum requirements for the game are not very high and should be doable in most schools. Sadly there are school districts that do call what they have 'computers' but they decades old because those districts don't support IT in the schools. I am not sure you can ask a company to dumb down a game to be effective on those systems. Yes, its sad they won't be able to run the game but its sad they are not able to run any modern day software and are stuck running titles that are decades old and very old technology.

    I should add that the game has already been released to the public, it was already released on the eco site - you don't have to go on steam to be a 'public' release.

  • I like to reply to this post, just as a confirmation.
    I love the game, and follow its development.

    Myself im a bit of a pc hardware junkie on a tight budget.
    Performance per Buck, and in the current state its true if you dont want to reduce your game play resolution, the game runs pretty heavy.
    I dont mind this as its a difficult process creating a game like this, on a low budget with only a few staff members, but depending what kinda audience you want to reach performance could be very important.

    But i have to say the games does run on 720p with every thing on low, on a low end video card.
    But with the expectations of people playing the game,at home or on schools. every thing on low wont satisfy the users.
    the game looks decent on 1080p with graphics at medium view distance medium. not great but decent,
    Its a very raw game at the moment, functional i would say but not very pleasing on the eyes, if you dont know what kinda game your getting into.

    But to play the game at 1080p, medium settings, the average pc wont be powerful enough, most new pc's have a Intel I3, or AMD cpu that's about the same speed and that is enough for eco, but the game runs very heavy on its gpu and most people with low budget, laptop, or potentially using eco at a education facility wont have the gpu power to run the game decently, in its current state.

    This post is just a confirmation to the post made by @DonkeySurvivalist
    and not ment as criticism,

    quick summary:
    1: the game is in alpha, so i have no expectations in any aspect, and every development is a surprize ;)
    2: gameplay: The basics is done and looks good and promising.
    3: Performance: On a game pc it runs, decent to good. - pc systems with a gpu cheaper then 125$ from 2017 and the game runs bad.
    For a alpha game published to small public its good so far, If the game would be released on steam in its current state, i feel it would do more damage then good. cause of the heavy gpu requirements in its current state.

  • Problem maybe GPU but again - not sure we can ask software companies to keep making games for out of date non- supported gpus just because some schools are not keeping up. Some educational software is going to have to be released for the schools that do... we can't all keep making 2d games. At some point schools will upgrade but won't have modern software to run if developers are forced, still now, to create games so that a school using a Wildcat II 5110 can run the game. :)

    Yes, this means some schools won't be able to run ECO and that is sad, but perhaps as more software comes out for schools that push the school to buy better computers for the classroom that will benefit the kids. The GPU tech for this game is over 5 years old and it does run fine on a GTX660.

  • I have to say for a modern game its not that hardware heavy like world of warcraft and other games, in fact i actually get better fps on this with my older computer than I do with minecraft. My older computer is using a first gen I5 2.2ghz processor with 4 gigs of ram and a GTX 750ti that i bought on sale on newegg for 89 dollars .... most of the time the game with all of the settings about medium runs just fine, i do get a little lag now and then but not bad, now on my newer computer running dual 1080ti well with everything on high it is smoking fast.

    Now that being said the game is in alpha phase still, and there will obviously be some tuning down the road, but to get the game out there its at good specs right now for what is on the market....My high school back in 1994 when i graduated had good computers, every 3 years they updated their computers to keep up with the latest software that was out, many high schools do this.

    If this is used at the college level which I could easily see happening, well then there really shouldn't be a problem as most students are required to provide their own computers. I agree some schools don't or won't upgrade computers.... but the hard fact is that the average computer should be able to run this game just fine with a decent GPU.... as far as computers with integrated graphics I haven't attempted it yet but I do have an older computer in my garage i could try this weekend.

    The other factor to keep in mind is that for schools its about learning not about the game looking as great as it can, running the game on low to medium settings if that is all they are capable of would still accomplish this. Also please remember that a school is most likely going to contact the Dev team and make sure their computers can support this game before making such a purchase and trying to add it to their classes. I have many friends that are teachers that I have shown the game to, and one of them has already had their budget adjusted for next year to allow for the purchase of 10 new computers so that they can support this game and other software they would like to use. So in a way not only will this game be used as a good teaching tool, but it has also provided her a reason to get upgraded computers in her school..... and getting upgraded computers in the schools is always a win.

    Also a couple of teachers i know are working with a local computer shop that may donate computers to the school so while there are limitations, there are also good hearted people out there that will find a way.

  • Thank you for all your reply's, I read them all! I do understand that some schools do have the capability's too run this program - which is very nice, but then again, we have got the "deprived" areas, which do not have the actually funding for the computer hardware, but ECO could be very beneficial too these people. Its nice too see some of you have supported some schools, and gave the teachers a free key too test the actually game out, which they will possibly add too the teaching syllabus.

    I suppose, all that is left too be said is lets hope, John K and his excellent team of Developers finish this game successfully and work through increasing how it runs and push it out too schools too hopefully fulfill the games purpose, and provide information onto children of the future on how to build there self a better world!

  • Actually this topic spawned a very long discussion last night about this in discord. We really can't keep asking software developers to develop tools with requirements of only hardware that is a decade or more out of date. Sure they could do a ECO game in 2D with minimal graphics requirements and such so that 'deprived' schools could run the game but then who is going to write software for the schools that do have more modern equipment and what happens when the deprived schools get more handme does and can run better software and everyone is stuck running very out of date software because people insisted that developers only develop educational software for the lowest common denominator. I think instead of putting error into telling developers they are doing a disservice to education or pushing them to code towards older standards that effort should go towards educating school districts and boards out there and showing them what more modern software looks like if they would make the hardware available.

    You would really be surprised how much it is about the game looking as good as it can. You may have a 'disadvantaged' school that can't afford to step into this decade, but believe the kids know. They know old software from new and good graphics from bad and can actually be vert tough critics.

    The answer is getting the schools to adjust budgets to get the hardware that will support software written for this decade. And actually no school even needs to get a 'new computer' to run Eco. They got those 10 new computers because they needed 10 new computers - if it was just for Eco they could have spend the same money and gotten 30 5-7 year old used computers for the same price and run ECO fine. But the point is that this is what needs to happen, school districts, tax payers, whatever need to step up and buy computers that will run modern software not whine to developers that they need to dumb down their code or use ancient graphics so they don't have to have computers created this decade.

    And yes there will be some schools that can't get the software because they can't/won't get the hardware that will run it and while that is too sad, that is the way things work and if that need to change the the effort needs to go to there - fixing the problem there not putting on the software developer. Same goes with the cost of the software. Again some teachers/schools are not going to find it in their budget but that does not mean that its the game publishers fault or that they should lose money or cover the cost out of their pocket or that they should not even cover their costs and 'give' the software away.

    Also, remember that its not all about education also. The fact that its a crossover and is played as an entertainment game and people buy it as such does help cover the development cost so the overall price can be lower for schools. Put you can't just say to your entertainment customers "Oh sorry we are doing 20 year other graphics but its is primarily an educational game and so it has to run on very old gpus because schools won't buy new computers". That won't fly far, nor should it.

Log in to reply