Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Collaborate to build civilization in a simulated ecosystem, creating laws to make group decisions.
Collaborate to build civilization in a simulated ecosystem, creating laws to make group decisions.
4,583 backers pledged $202,760 to help bring this project to life.

First stretch goal in sight: Land Ownership

Posted by John Krajewski (Creator)
27 likes

With Eco fully funded over the weekend (thanks to our amazing backers), we can start thinking about stretch goals. Here’s details on how our first stretch goal at the 150k level of Land Ownership will work:

How Land Ownership Works

This stretch goal may sound unassuming, but its implications for the types of societies that will form in Eco are huge. Land ownership has been one of the most transformative concepts in human history, and in Eco it will be the same.

With this feature we will implement:

  • Buying and selling of land. Owned land will come with deeds that can be transferred between players using the existing trade and store interfaces, allowing ownership to transfer between players on terms they decide.

  • Government control of land. Tools will be added to the player-run government to allow players to decide how land is distributed to players to use, and a huge amount of flexibility will be possible there. Is land gifted upon joining the server? Is it auctioned off to the highest bidder? Can it be reclaimed for the ‘communal good’? Or perhaps all land is free, and the concept of ownership prohibited? Each of these choices will make a huge impact on the types of economies that will form, and how resources from the world are distributed, and players will make them through their government as an extension of the law system. 

  • Taxation. With this feature, land can be taxed, depending on rules set by the player-run government. Different types of land can have different taxes, and the resources gathered from a specific piece of land can also be taxed accordingly. 

    The revenue generated by this taxation will go into a public fund, which can be spent on public works, which will be another feature enabled by this stretch goal. Public works are projects decided by the player-run government (via voting or fiat if it’s a dictatorship) that are assigned a budget and a player agent. That player is then authorized to spend the funds towards building the project (for example, building a road connecting two sections of the city would be a good public works project). As in the real world, government waste will become an issue, and we will implement means of oversight that will hold agents accountable based on how they spend the public funds. 
  • Zoning - By embedding an interactive world map in the law system, we will introduce a zoning mechanic, where players can propose and vote on zoning restrictions, allowing players to decide what kinds of buildings are allowed where. This will allow players to contain polluting buildings like refineries in specific areas to prevent them from contaminating other buildings like farms, as their pollution will spread to neighboring areas. Through zoning laws, players will be able to design their society much more efficiently as a group, allowing players to build individually still but restricted by agreed-upon zones. 
  • Rent - Players will be able to rent usage rights to other players for land that they own, making real estate ownership a viable business in the Eco economy. Players renting land/buildings from another player will be given certain rights to them, such as using the facilities that are built there (a refinery could be rented to a player who then charges other customers to use the building). This provides another option for sparse-players, allowing rich economic interactions between players without large time commitments or having to be online simultaneously.

The effects of these features on the economies (and indirectly, ecosystems) of Eco will be huge, and can play out in many different ways. It could lead to more efficient resource collection and usage, contained pollution, support for burgeoning industries through rent, and many more positive effects. Or, it could lead to real-estate moguls who keep a stranglehold on the resources of the world and prevent meaningful progress. Whichever occurs will be the result of the politics and law making routes players take, and have tremendous impacts on the surrounding ecosystem. 

Forums

We are setting up the forums and will be sending an email this afternoon with invites for the $125 tier and above to join up and begin discussions and plans for the development community today! 

 Let’s push through and hit this stretch goal! We’re changing the subsequent 200k stretch goal as well and will be offering details about that if we hit the 150k goal. Thanks a ton to all our supporters and looking forward to continuing this journey with everyone. 

-John K 

Designer of Eco and Founder at Strange Loop Games

john@strangeloopgames.com

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. John Krajewski Creator on

      Pre-government territory is an interesting one. The way we're planning to do it is this: players can use land, but as soon as a government forms it can either choose to accept or not accept the validity of that ownership. You see this kind of thing in history all the time, 'we're the government and we decided this land is ours', ie North American colonization.

      Separate governments will be really interesting, but that's something we're going to leave for now. Hope to get to it someday as a later feature, including things like trade, tariffs, international law, and wars.

    2. John Krajewski Creator on

      @Rodlon oh yes. Players will do that without any prompting I'm sure.

    3. Elliander Eldridge
      Superbacker
      on

      oh, and if you implement territory maybe a nation could buy territory by both buying parcels from a connecting nation and also buying it as territory as a separate purchase. Much like how foreign governments can buy American land without gaining it as territory. Or, if the government decides, maybe it could sell or trade territory without the land being purchased or sold leading to players experiencing what many real life groups experience.

    4. Elliander Eldridge
      Superbacker
      on

      Question: Can the player claim land prior to the formation of a government? Just like in real life, the people with the most land tend to get it early. Maybe through a pre-gov form of land ownership? And what about property that is share owned by a coop or even a corporation with or without share holders?

      And in regards to government, couldn’t there (depending on the size of the world) be governments with geographic boundaries? Like a second layer of land ownership where the government treats the land you own as territory thus allowing the possibility of other governments to exist which would allow in turn many other options such as diplomacy, or a group of people attempting to secede from the government they are part of.

      Maybe territory can be decided initially by land ownership (as was originally the case) in which case a large land owner could try to be a dictater while a group of industrial land owners decide to form a polluting nation.

      It would otherwise be very difficult for a dictatorship or monarchy to form, but through trade tariffs and embargoes the players can learn how to deal with the impact of other nations.

    5. Missing avatar

      RODLON on

      You say "via voting or fiat if it’s a dictatorship" a lot. In spain we can only vote once every 4 years to choose who is going to make the decisions for us. It's allowed to lie and make false promises in the electoral campaign, like our actual government who did exactly the opposite of what they promised. They also privatized the solar energy...

      Remember to add this things to the game :p

    6. Missing avatar

      RODLON on

      You say "via voting or fiat if it’s a dictatorship" a lot. In spain we can only vote once every 4 years to choose who is going to make the decisions for us. It's allowed to lie and make false promises in the electoral campaign, like our actual government who did exactly the opposite of what they promised. They also privatized the solar energy...

      Remember to add this things to the game :p

    7. Missing avatar

      Bryan Hakey on

      Very interesting. The possibilities with this game will be truly epic.

    8. Justin Stansell on

      This is awesome! I'm so looking forward to this game!