Early Game Feedback

  • Hey there,

    I'm happy that I chose to support Eco and get Alpha access. It's a beautiful idea and a game that I would like to keep playing.
    I just read through a lot of the bugs reported and didn't miss anything I came across yet. So I decided to simply give some feedback on how I feel about the gameplay. I'm sure that some of this is going to be changed anyways and is already kept in mind but this is alpha testing so holding back my feedback will definetly help less then being redundant.

    It's only a few points:

    1. (and most importantly) reducing clicks necessary for actions (e.g. farming, building)
      Chopping wood gives you 30 log or so with a few clicks. That's alright. But farming and especially building for me is at this point getting quite annoying after a while.
      For building my perfect solution would be: once a construcion site is entered it should show in the white light frame the number of pieces needed to build the wall, then there should be the possibility to click once and then drag a complete wall, same with a roof - just clicking on one edge and then drag to make a complete roof. Right now it is a thin line between love and hate for me because I enjoy builind new stuff but at the same time I get frustrated when I have to click for each block and then the game keeps misplacing blocks a lot too. This is what will - for me - make the game either long term enjoyable or not.

    2. orientation
      maybe make a compass and map be tools to be created so that in the beginning you will stay close to where you live but after a while when you need more and more exploring you can chose to make a map (printing press for those who have made a map and want to copy and sell them [brackets are just brainstorming-markers]).

    3. water: saw this one before - apparently it is difficult to make water realistic, but it would be more that awsome if cou could build dams and redirect rivers - if this can cause high level threats then its good because - look to Brazil - water engineering can cause problems to whole counties.

    4. Planting trees: maybe it is possible later in the game?

    5. A bit more technical: I have started playing on some servers now but all of them where taken down after a while. When in the menu it would be perfect to see whether a server is online or offline and some details about it. (status of the world kind of)

    6. evaluation of games:
      the best thing about eco is that it can simulate societies.
      It would be fantastic if there was a ranking of how healthy and successful different worlds did, analyzing whether how democratic a server is for example, or how many people are on it and how they eat ;-)

    Thats all for now, keep up the good work, it is worth it and you're creating something great here!

  • @Konrad said:

    It's only a few points:

    Honestly I disagree with point #1. Building in the game feels more like creative mode and not really survival mode. I hope building will take more work (clicks) in the future. There is nothing significant about constructing the building itself (unless avoiding build block bugs is considered) - all the significance is in the acquisition of the materials used in the construction. Personally I'd like to see building the building involve some sweat, at least as much as acquiring the materials. I think this would only reinforce the intended gameplay, regarding the sharing of buildings and what not.

    Regarding orientation, I think the ability to see coordinates is more than enough for alpha. I hope that these coordinates are removed after alpha - working based on landmarks/getting lost is a really powerful moving element to a game and will absolutely enhance the experience. Especially if something like a compass becomes craftable.

  • Thx for the feedback.
    I see your point - idk if there is going to be e.g. weather events that will make it necessary to build for survival. Also what I would like best is if the game makes people think about intelligent building design.
    However, I see a difference in if

    1. Building takes a lot of thinking/designing/testing
      2.clicking, removing misplaced blocks and so on

    For the orientation I think we're on the same page here, I think it would be best / most realistic, if orientation is based on landmarks / personal skill in the beginning - a global SURVIVAL game ...

    One thing I have to add: I just tested hosting on my own server which makes it much much more enjoyable!

  • @Konrad - Hey man, how's it going? I love your post, it reflects some interesting points. I too am going to have to agree with @Psycho-Romeo on #1 but each is to their own and there will always be difference in opinion here. I personally quite enjoy the slightly more complicated aspect of it and being able to build block by block can allow for more freedom in design.

    Some of the points you touched on, I will add - are being developed already I believe. 'Don't quote me' but the water physics were already touched upon by the Devs pointing out that nice flowing water would be awesome but it is difficult for programmers to implement without the result causing other bugs that can end up flooding the world in never-ending flowing water.

    Planting trees is a feature in the game - or at least, it will be. I can't say for sure but it's definitely in the works. The item 'Cedar Seed' is already embedded in the game SPOILER TAG: (This feature is highlighted when you unlock the trading post and can view all items currently available to trade - whether you hold them or not, this is possibly a bug but none the less, Cedar Seed exists within this item pool and therefore is likely to either already be present in the game (or at least exist for future development within it) - although, I cannot prove it as I personally have never obtained one as of yet).

    If you look at the Trello board on the development forum - you will see that the in-game server list is already in development and we should expect to see something like what you described in Eco's future.

    Your ideas regarding the printing press and the idea of simulating societies - I love the printing press idea, I hate the simulating societies idea (but again this is just my opinion). I can't help feel that in a game that was about simulating societies, it would suddenly become quite competitive and change the pace of what Eco is all about. Furthermore, if bonuses were granted on ranks - no doubt people would suddenly flood to servers that were doing well just simply because they wanted to 'share the wealth' and the game would lose the relaxing feel it has (regardless of the incoming meteor and other pressure-time-related features (that I do love, just to point out)). The game lacking this competitive nature is something I enjoy because it gives you free-time to think about the problem with your planet, without having to worry about glory and reward systems - which is inevitably what the game would begin to develop into should they have taken that route.

    Again however, I digress. Your ideas are still wonderful and I love your feedback :D

  • I agree with making the building a little more streamlined because there is no functional incentive for me to get creative with my buildings. A creative building is only for aesthetics and unless you're going for a minimalist approach, it will probably take more resources than is necessary so it's actually a disincentive for anyone to deviate from the bare minimum space box house.

    I really dig your idea for comparing servers to one another but that's because I'm competitive even in the most intended to be casual environments. The only problem would be the "share the wealth" problem mentioned by Linkman above.

  • @Dethpickle Perhaps, and maybe it's too early to say - but if you have read the Dev Blog, there is a section regarding the direction the Artist wants to head towards (The blog was only released today, it might be in your inbox on your email). The direction the Artist wishes to head in (just ideas at the moment - nothing has been confirmed) is to allow each block to have 9 subsections which you can potentially chip with a tool (for example, axe to wood or pickaxe to stone) and create interesting variations of blocks. This is the very kind of creative design I was hinting towards in my response to Konrad and is the very kind of thing I would love to see implemented in the game. Yes, it's aesthetic - however, if you're carving blocks you have simply already used - then perhaps really it wouldn't take more resources but the same amount. It would be even cooler if the chippings you take off the wood could allow you to use that material in some other way - meaning considering the aesthetics of your house could actually pay off! It's only early talk and ideas at the moment though.

  • @DNLinkman That sounds like a fantastic solution to the problem. I really would love a different approach to building. This game has so many cool things going for it and I think a break away from the typical place a block at a time minecraft style could really set this game apart in regards to building.

    Thank you for confirming and promising that will be in the game! I jest, but surrsly, you should definitely push for some innovation on the method of building things.

  • Hahaha, confirming and promising. I had a mini heart-attack when I read that. I would love to see something like this implemented in the game, you really should read that block though. It's actually quite fascinating about all the different mechanics and graphical directions the artist has in mind. I really hope they look into implenting most - if not, all of them.

  • The animals need to decompose when they die. Maybe the byproduct could be fertilizer. Also, this would incorporate a kind of sewage mechanic.

  • Hey All,

    thank you for the fruitful discussion!
    @DNLinkman regarding the topic of "simulating societies"

    What I meant was that whatever happens, when people play Eco together they develop a kind of society and they have to - as a society or as individuals - decide how they want to deal with resources and pollution and so on.
    I get that ranking servers will make people do what "gives a lot of credit" - but thats not what I intended at all. For me what is most interesting about Eco (my personal opinion) is that it makes you reflect the way we deal with our actual planet.

    Just a simple example: in Eco the first law that is proposed usually has something to do with deforestation because it can quickly kill the game when a lot of people just exploit without thinking. However in real life forests are owned by corporations and ...you get the idea.

    I would love to see if it would be possible to use dynamics/laws that are created in Eco to link them to real life problems. But you are absolutely right: if there was a server rating system that informs about pollution ratio, wealth and so on people will most likely chose the "most succesful server".

    How is it intended: when destruction of planet by meteor or anything else you come up with is avoided - can a server theoretically run "forever"?
    My thought is: if a game ends at some point there would be a way of analyzing its results and what laws effected what actions/outcome ...
    Take care! :)

  • @Konrad - I think I understand. If you mean, a general comparison that doesn't highlight any server in particular but just compiles data in overall statistics from different servers to analyse what kind of laws had what effects over different servers - then yes, I certainly agree that would be interesting statistical data.. provided, the developers kept the laws open as they are now (otherwise, again you'd find that sweeping generalistic, oh we can see this works so now every server seems to have this law proposed first). Certainly, I'll admit the data would prove intriguing to find out what works and what doesn't - however, such data should be taken in small samples and not frequently to avoid trends raising among servers in what is successful.

    @Airis-Damon - I think this has been fed back before, I'm sure I saw somewhere it was in development. I don't know whether it was a feedback or something a Dev actually said though so I dunno but I could imagine that corpses add additional data to servers that is a bit of a waste of memory.. so I could imagine it's something that will be fixed soon.

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