Today I found out about a video game that seems truly fresh and different. The game smith studio Strange Loop Games is working on a simulation and they simply call it ‘Eco‘. It is designed to allow players to build a sustainable civilization and govern the world with other players by creating laws and group decisions. Sounds very interesting right?
About Strange Loop Games
Strange Loop Games was founded by John Krajewski in 2009 and they hail from Seattle, WA in the United States. They are primarily working on educational entertainment in social environments and invite to learn and collaborate. Eco is their fifth development project – previously produced games are Scribbly Wits, Vessel, Sim Cell and Code Breakers. They have won several prestigious awards and are partnering with renowned organisations to make learning a fun activity for children and grown-ups alike.
“Our goal at Strange Loop Games is to use the massive power of today’s hardware for gameplay, not just graphics. We use deep, interactive simulations to explore the boundaries of what can be done within a game.”
– Mission Statement
Eco – The Global Survival Game
On a quick glance Eco seems like a mixture of Minecraft, the Discovery Channel and politics. The world in Eco is ‘alive’ and runs 24 hours every day on a server. Animals are designed to behave like their real-world counterparts and their development and survival is depending on flora and fauna.
Just like in Minecraft you can punch trees but here comes the moral clause. If you behave like a desolator, you are responsible for death and possibly extinction of species who are unable to adapt to the environmental changes. Chop that tree for to build your house? You better plant some new trees if you don’t want to live in a desert.
Controlling a human – you can also go hunt animals to eat but how to prevent sustainability issues in the ecosystem? A player-run government defines laws such as a daily hunting limit on a certain species to prevent it from becoming extinct. You’re a big data fan? Frolic – because the ecosystem data is readily available to players and you can support law changes based on factual data.
A house is not enough for you? Build a whole city and create your own metropolis, but again – you better make sure to keep an eye on the potential environmental changes. If you don’t play this smart you you soon run out of food and watch everybody die in agony (oh – the tragedy!). You don’t build enough schools? You can already kiss scientific and technological advantages good-bye. Bye bye technology – it was nice knowing you! You think you’re ok with a tent and a campfire too? If you’re not smart you might run into a end-of-world scenarios and you really don’t want that.
Eco is currently available on Kickstarter to be backed and supported by all sim gamers and EdTech enthusiasts alike. Almost 3,000 supporters have pledged more than $123,000 and therefore they already reached their 100k goal. The campaign is still running for 13 more days and if you want to support them to reach their stretch goals you should definitely consider backing them with a small or large sum. Next to their successful campaign on Kickstarter they are also partially funded by the US Department of Education and that indicates their interest in gamified learning as well.
I am a frequent and more than casual video gamer but there is not much innovation in the industry right now. I found the idea and design of Eco to be really fresh and interesting and if they were not still in development I would have directly bought it. Education is so important and learning can be exciting as well and a form of entertainment. This game should be really interesting for all who enjoy a deep simulation and collaboration with a little hint of survival. I can’t wait for the release of the game – I’ll see you in-game!
Kickstarter: Eco – Global Survival Game
Photo credit: Strange Loop Games