Bastecklein's Recent Posts

RE:Sloped Terrain

2020-11-23 14:38:14
Yeah I do need to get the sun/lighting locked down. Will be cool the able to watch it rise/set and give a nice looking day/night cycle to the planet.

Sloped Terrain

2020-11-22 14:11:06
I thought the hard-cliff block edges was making MC2 look too minecraft-y, so I've been replacing most of the edges with softer slopes:

It was actually way more difficult to program than I anticipated, mostly because I am not "Mr. Math" or "Mr. 3d" by any stretch of the imagination.

Anyway, it is far from perfect, but I think it looks a lot better than the more block-y style it had before. There will still be a hard straight cliff if two adjacent tiles have > 1 tile of elevation between them, or if a cliff is next to the water.

I think this is also better because it will allow rovers to drive pretty freely without the need for the player to do manual grading or sloped road building, which I figured would get annoying considering the sheer amount of elevation changes.

RE:Few Problems With Mobile Gameplay

2020-11-22 14:01:20
The long-press issue has been eluding me for some time, I have tried several things to correct it and none have been successful thus far. It begin with the introduction of iOS force touch, or whatever they call it. I thought I got it fixed on the Colony Wars web app on iPhone, but I need to test more to verify.

Playing with Terrain Generation

2020-11-18 17:47:58
Have been messing around with terrain generation for MC2. I am developing a world "seeding" mechanism, in which a unique seed will generate the exact same world terrain + biome placement every single time. In this way, not only can players share world seeds that they enjoy, but the game also does not have to internally store it's topography information, allowing for much smaller save file sizes given the potential "infinite" size of MC2 planet maps.

This is just a sample MC2 red planet with some ice patches, a few tiles of which are actually liquid surface water.

Anyway, I still have some work to do on terrain/biome generation, but if I can get it to always create the same thing every time with a given seed, it will cut down massively on the amount of data needed for save games, not to mention the amount of data which needs to be transferred from server to clients, as it would be a lot easier for the server to simply transfer a single seed string VS a bunch of compiled terrain data.

I still need to decide if lower-level terrain features, such as natural resource placements/rocks/trees/etc will also be determined by the seed, or if those would vary by game. I can't really let the client generate those based on the seed, since they will always be changing. For instance, trees can spread or be cut down, resources can be consumed, etc.

I have thought of other technical considerations as well. For example, if MC2 v1.0.0 ships with a Red Planet that has 5 available biomes, and then the v1.1.0 update comes along and adds 4 new biomes, the game seed may end up assigning incorrect biomes to different places. For example, if chunk x:y is designated as a winter tundra biome, but the new update changes the number of biomes, the generator may get confused and change chunk x:y into a canyon or something.

One solution would be to keep a record in the game file of all assigned biome locations, although the downside is the added data being stored in the game file. Another solution is to keep a list of available biomes in the game file that is stored when the game is created, and if new biomes are added, they will not be available on existing maps.

Anyway, these are the technical parts of MC2 I am working on before I even get into adding an interface, buildings, or rovers!

RE:Region reborn

2020-11-11 20:42:59
So the bad news is that the "cloud sync" option is just that, a sync. The files are not actually maintained there long-term, and are culled after just a few months of inactivity, so if you have not accessed those maps in 6,7 11 months ,etc, I don't have any information on them on my server outside of a nearly empty meta definition file :-/ That is likely the reason why they are not loading.

Chickens Come to Epic Adventure

2020-11-04 17:28:52
Epic Adventure v0.11.0 has just been released, and adds the first "mob" of the game, Chickens!

This is more or less a test of the mob spawning algorithm. The chickens are theoretically able to drop a new "raw chicken" item when killed, but since I haven't gotten combat implemented yet, you are currently unable to retrieve the item.

This release also includes improvements to multiplayer. In-game chat has been added, and if you have Epic Adventure installed as an app (either from Google Play/Windows Store or the PWA installed to homescreen), you can now quickly join with the new Friends List integration.

Finally, there have been various bug fixes and you can now also move diagonally.

There is a lot more to come to Epic Adventure in the months ahead. The game is starting to build up some players, particularly on Kindle Fire devices, so the updates will probably start coming more frequently now, so keep the suggestions coming. Next on the to-do list is getting combat up and running, either Player vs Player or Player vs Mob (so you can kill and eat these chickens). You will also be able to build a campfire to cook your chicken meat, or mix other recipes together. Cooking will also be possible on the furnace. I am going to get Seeds working, since you are currently able to plow the land, but not plant the seeds you collect. Also, procedurally generated surface buildings and underground dungeons are coming to the game, with the dungeons including new mob types that you can fight for loot (and glory).

So stay tuned for more, because Epic Adventure will soon be morphing into a full-fledged multiplayer procedurally generated role playing game!


RE:Not being able to access building options

2020-10-31 15:13:09
In what way? It doesn't even open?

RE:Second Thoughts on MC2

2020-10-27 15:45:41
Sobeirannovaocc said:But I thought the major change compared to MC1 was going to be the fact that the server does the simulation and the client does the rendering. Is this not going to be the case with the centralized server ? It's too bad, I liked this idea. And same-map multiplayer should be easier to implement as well.

This would only be the case with decentralized servers. I could not personally afford or even manage the server infrastructure to do the processing for every single MC2 player.

My Empire Arrives on Steam!

2020-10-23 14:09:36
My Empire is now available on the Steam platform, and you can get it here:

My Empire is a 4x turn based strategy game sort of like the civilization series, and the first game to feature the new Ape Apps Scroll3d engine. Head on over to Steam and check it out today!

RE:New game not starting

2020-10-23 14:06:56
Which platform is this on? Android/iOS/Web/etc?

RE:Second Thoughts on MC2 - Page 3

2020-10-21 12:42:09
Right @Stecat94 , but the issue I see is that we are not "seeding" a static video or music file, it's a game world that is changing each time somebody plays. So if a world has 10 players total for example, and players 1-4 are all playing Tuesday and then on Wednesday players 5-8 only play, and then Thursday players 2,6 and 10 play, now we have 4 different copies of the map out there all with different data. I think it could lead to major issues.

My Colony v1.10.0 Sort-of Released

2020-10-21 12:38:10
My Colony v1.10.0 has started going out recently and is hitting various platforms at different times and in different iterations. This is a bit of a different update, as there is nothing new to My Colony itself.

Over the last few weeks, I have been busy doing a total rewrite of Web App Core, the cross-platform app wrapper that hosts most of my apps and games, including My Colony. This rewrite cleans out years of outdated/unused code, is more efficient, and should bring more consistency between all of the various platforms. The problem though, is that this project is massive and is taking me longer than I anticipated.

Since the rewrite is quite massive and touches every single function available to Web App Core, I went ahead and published it on my two biggest cross-platform applications, My Colony and PDF Document Scanner, so I could collect crash reports and see what is and isn't working. I know that this isn't something a "professional" company would necessarily do, but I did (mostly) test everything beforehand 🤐

Anyway, you may see several iterations and releases of the 1.10.x branch on each platform over the coming weeks as I work everything out, so you can report all issues you find in this thread.

While I am talking about Web App Core, I might as well give an overview of what I am changing on that product, since it is a large part of My Colony as well. My Colony is currently running on v3.7.6, and after I have all of the bugs worked out on all platforms, Web App Core will be bumping up to v4.0.0 and getting a ton of cool new features that will help My Colony and other products as well.

If you are not aware, Web App Core is basically an abstraction wrapper I wrote starting in 2013 or so that allows my apps and games to use device-specific native functions while sharing the same code base. It's basically what allows me to release updates to all platforms in a fairly short amount of time. It's not a third party library or anything, so I have total control over it's features and capabilities.

One of the new features coming to Web App Core v4 is the ability to fully customize the theme/look of the wrapper. For example, on all of my current apps, the default left-hand slide-out menu looks the same for every app on a specific platform. So all of my Android apps have the exact same looking slide-out menu, same looking title screen, same looking dialog popups, etc. They are all very generic and the same across the board. A productivity app like PDF Document Scanner uses the exact same looking menus and dialogs as a game like My Colony. With Web App Core v4, My Colony (and other games) will be able to have their own customized UI and look more "game" like.

Web App Core v4 will also bring full local filesystem access to My Colony on the Web. This means that on the My Colony web app, you will be able to choose a local folder on your PC or Android device that you want My Colony to use, and all game data will be saved there, instead of on the cloud or in the browser's internal database. Since saves will no longer be limited to using the database, game compression should be unnecessary, and this change should virtually eliminate file save corruption on the web edition of the game. This will also make backing up your data trivial, as you can just copy/paste your save files any time you want.

Web App Core v4 will also start making way for upcoming web technologies that are not yet available in stable channel browsers, but will be coming in the months ahead. For example, installed Progressive Web Apps (PWA's) will soon be gaining the ability to become the default application for certain file types. For example, if you had the My Colony PWA installed on your device, you will eventually be able to simply double click on a game file on your desktop, and it would automatically launch the game (and your colony). Same thing with apps like Voxel Paint, simply double clicking on a .vpp file would launch the app and the voxel model.

Anyway, there are a lot more capabilities coming soon that have nothing to do with My Colony, so I wont bother polluting these release notes any further. If you've been following my work for any length of time, you may know that I really dislike the various App Stores, their draconian content rules and restrictions, their 30%+ cuts on all transactions, etc. My ultimate goal is to have the web editions of all of my products just as capable (or more) than their native counterparts. I am a big fan of Progressive Web Apps, and as time goes on I believe they are going to become more and more indistinguishable from native applications. I am going to continue to be on the bleeding edge of the PWA side of things!

RE:Second Thoughts on MC2 - Page 3

2020-10-20 20:27:03
I do not understand how the P2P would work logistically. I think there has to be one "master" copy of the game world that all of the other players are synced to.

RE:Second Thoughts on MC2 - Page 3

2020-10-19 18:15:01
Well no matter what there will not be a centralized server for "building-in-the-same-map" multiplayer, as I cannot afford that kind of infrastructure. That would only work decentralized. I am fine with still allowing decentralized multiplayer, as it would not be overly difficult to implement, it just requires the understanding that other players would not be able to connect when the host is offline.

Thinking of the lag, I think it would only really be a major issue if two people were building right next to each other at the same time. If the server only transmits to the client the information needed for the current "chunk" of the map that the client is currently focused on, it wouldn't really matter so much if a client was lagging behind. It's when you get several players all building in the same area that issues would start to arise.

I guess it really depends on how much info needs to actually transmit between server and client. For example, if all rover activity is just simulated client-side, then no path information would have to cross the network, which would be the majority of the network activity if the current version of My Colony was online. Really, the client wouldn't even need to know any of the stats for any of the buildings until the player selects one. So it's hard telling. Really the biggest issue is going to be when the host player is offline. That is really going to bug people.

RE:1.10.0 UPDATE game saves Fail when exiting city's in region

2020-10-19 18:01:41
@colbya which edition of the app does this happen on (android,desktop,web,etc)

RE:My Colony v1.9.0 Released

2020-10-19 18:00:40
I'll get to it soon @Luker124 , there is really nothing in the patch besides some minor changes to conform with the latest version of the Web App Core wrapper.


2020-10-08 13:04:31
Can you open those same colonies by clicking on them from the regional map? Can you confirm that it is just not working by clicking on the green border within a city?

RE:Ape Web Apps Total Rewrite

2020-10-07 13:23:47
Yikes, thanks @hamman2019 I'll try to get it resolved presently.

RE:Ape Web Apps Total Rewrite

2020-10-06 12:05:45
hamman2019 said:When I log on, I have issues with menus not loading correctly. The "gift" box lacks a scroll bar and has content load way out of the black box. Same thing with "Engine Settings". A bunch of options and their text are overlapping, with the bottom tabs and those only accessible through scrolling down are now inaccessible.

Thanks for the report, which browser are you using?

RE:Second Thoughts on MC2

2020-10-04 12:49:46
The bad performance with large maps in MC1 was largely from the combination of pathfinding/rovers and sprite rendering, and not necessarily related to the server. The primary reason for decentralizing MC2 is to allow multiple players to build on a single planet. This would require a lot more server capacity VS MC1. The real question, is if that feature is even necessary? Does going decentralized add a lot of unneeded headaches for a feature that may or may not be that great?

I think that decentralized infinite maps will oddly perform better than the current small map + region model. The reason is that, although unseen by the player, this model is somewhat similar to the region model anyway, at least in the way I envision it. The planet is broken into "chunks" of some fixed size, perhaps 32x32 tiles, and at any one time the game is only "actively" processing your "chunk" and the ones surrounding your current camera position. The others are still being updated, but at a lower less intensive level. And your client is not rendering them anyway.

Also in MC2, most of the game logic will be occurring on a separate background thread, which should in and of itself afford a significant performance boost.

Finally, using WebGL instead of the software canvas should improve performance even further.

Whether it is centralized or decentralized, I do think performance will be a lot better than MC1. The main bottleneck will be in allowing multiple players to build on the same map, since on some level you will need to keep all players in sync, and one player with a slow device or connection could kill it for everybody. Now, since the game isn't as fast paced as, say Colony Wars, you may be able to let one client fall behind, but it could become an issue if players are right next to each other.

Actually the game could just as easily have both options. If the clients are not using modded content anyway, what does it matter if you are in a one player game or a planet with multiple people? If basically all the centralized server is doing is managing trade routes and resource prices, any un-modded non-creative game type should be able to connect.


Member Since: 2017-09-02 00:09:04
Last Active: 2020-11-24 16:30:37
Post Count: 2310 (View Posts)
Brandon Stecklein (bastecklein) is the creator, owner, and principal developer of Ape Apps. He started the business back in 2010 and operates it out of Spring Hill, Kansas.
Ape Apps is an independent software development company founded in 2010 by Brandon Stecklein. Over the years, Ape Apps has published over 400 apps and games across various platforms. You can get in touch with Brandon on Twitter or by leaving a post on his wall @bastecklein
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