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Eco 8.0 release announced

Happy new year all! It’s coming up on one year since we launched Eco on Steam Early Access, and it just so happens we have a huge update planned for that.

But first I wanted to share with you this article from Venture Beat, where we were chosen by their gaming editor as Game of the Year!

Editor Jeff Grubb writes:

Eco came out of nowhere for me. Some friends decided to give it a try, and I went along with them. Over the next three weeks, I fell in love because it was using the intrinsic elements of video games to enable me to play with economic concepts that I had previously only read about.

 

I used to think that games were best at enabling human beings to experiment with physics. We go through life with a body that deals with the constraints of physical limitations at all times. Video games empower us to play with and change physics to help us better understand our relationship to it.

 

But Eco made me realize that games are actually crucial for understanding our relationship to all kinds of natural and man-made systems. The thing that gives me chills is that I think it is only in games that we can play with economic systems. And I walked away from my experience in Eco feeling like I learned so much even though we had no instructor. No one was connecting the dots for us. We simply learned through play.

 

That’s powerful. And it has ruined me for a lot of other games that don’t believe in their own capacity to experiment with similar mechanics.”

 

It’s really fantastic for us on the dev team to see people ‘get’ what we’re going for, that our vision for games as more than mere entertainment but something deep and important to society is possible.  This year is going to be all about that, as we launch Eco out of Beta to version 1.0, and begin our quest to bring Eco into classrooms around the world with dynamic curriculum support and hosted worlds. This month I’ll be writing more future columns on our roadmap for Eco 1.0, our plan for classrooms and education, and beyond.  I want to be really open with everything we’re working towards, as we have an awesome community that has been super supportive, and together we can achieve something amazing.

BIOMES update – February 6th!

To mark the one year anniversary of our launch to Steam Early Access, we have probably our biggest update yet, Eco 8.0 Biomes.  New species include:

Trees: Palm trees, Redwoods

Animals: Mule Deer. Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep

Grasslands Plants: Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Sunflower

Desert Plants: Agave, Creosote Art Update

Forest Plants: Ocean Spray, Trillium

Taiga and Tundra Plants: Lupine, Saxifrage, Peat Moss, Deer Lichen, Dwarf Willow, Arctic Willow

Rainforest Plants!: Papaya, Taro, Orchid, Heliconia, Pineapple, Lattice Mushroom, Bolete Mushroom, Cookeina Mushroom, Filmy Fern, King Fern

Wetland Plants: Pumpkin

In addition we have new features, which we’ll go into details with future livestreams, including:

New Skill System!

Earn levelups by doing work, then choose specialty talents.

New Animal AI system!

Animals have new behaviors and are much smarter.

Pipes!

Create plumbing networks to supply your villages and remove pollution.

Banks!

Create new bank accounts and designate who has access.

Registrars!

Create titles and use them to determine who can access what.

 

 

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