The team has been working hard on new features as we move towards releasing alpha 5.6. Just wanted to give an general update as to what to expect in 5.6
The client side of the modkit has been repaired and will see new re-release in 5.6. This will allow adding new items, objects, and blocks on the client side. The great thing about the modkit is it is server-specific and requires no additional downloading ahead of time by clients; simply connect to the server with the mods and they will send you all the additional content you need.
Perhaps one of the larger reworks of game systems is the reworked inventory system. No longer will every crafting station come with its own inventory; instead tables will be 'linked' automatically to storage objects within a certain distance, allowing configuration within the table of where you want the finished products to go. Large, bulky items such as soil, or tailings, now require a special storage space in the form of a stockpile, which requires significantly more space. Wheeling logs to market to sell your goods? Simply park your cart outside and more easily buy/sell from within the store, without ever having to drag items around or make multiple trips.
Pipes, Wires, Logic Gates
John and Craig have been working on adding new systems involving pipes, wires, and logic gates to the tech tree of Eco. This will allow for a whole new way to transport materials around your worlds.
Sean has put a lot of work into getting the Excavator functional. This heavy-duty vehicle can hold and collect various blocks much more efficiently than using the shovel. Look for the initial version in 5.6
Marjie has been working a lot on the webserver API along with Jeff and the web team to improve the website. While this is primarily aimed at helping teachers interact and manage the educational side of Eco, regular server admins and operators can get a host of new information from the simulation and incorporate that however they wish.
As we push towards beta, we've assigned 1 day every week exclusively for bug fixing, so expect to see lots more fixed bugs going forward. As a reminder, feel free to post any issues you see to our github bug list, https://github.com/StrangeLoopGames/EcoIssues/issues
Starting next week, staging builds of 5.6 will become more frequent, so you are always welcome to jump in and try some of these features out early. We anticipate 5.6 to be released within a month or so.
Thanks for playing and supporting Eco!