bastecklein's Recent Posts

Death 3d v0.7.0 Released

2020-01-21 21:32:19
Today after many months for on-and-off development, I have finally released the v0.7.0 patch for Death 3d to Android and the Web.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ape.games.death3d
https://www.apewebapps.com/death-3d/

This update contains loads of changes, including a complete re-write of the multiplayer code, most of the rendering engine, the lighting engine, and remasterings of every map in the game. Let's take a look at what has changed.

Heightmaps

As I had mentioned six months ago now in this post, support for heightmaps has been added to the game engine. Prior to this release, maps could only be flat, with a fixed room height of 1 tile. This is no longer the case.


The new change introduces support for variable room heights, different floor elevations (including stairways), objects hanging from the ceilings (like vents or computer panels, etc), and movable floor platforms, like elevators. This gives maps a lot more character and dynamic.


Lighting Engine

The texture and lighting engine introduced in v0.6.0 actually looked quite nice, but it was a killer on game performance. Lights were object based, and certain light points could be placed at various locations in the map. For this release, I have moved to a more performant sector-based lighting system (similar to games like classic Doom). Admittedly, this does not look as pretty. That said, the performance is way better, and it does sort of fit in better with the overall "cartoonish" atmosphere of the game. Sectors can have different lighting intensities and colors.


Multiplayer

The multiplayer engine has been completely revamped and improved. The game now supports native online multiplayer in-browser without the need for the Ape Web Apps Desktop Bridge software. Multiplayer now works cross-platform between Web, Android, and Ape Apps Launcher, and many of the existing multiplayer bugs have been eliminated. It should now be easier than even to setup or join an online multiplayer deathmatch.

Just for good measure, here is a little bit of multiplayer footage from the latest patch, played on the Don't Fall map, which has also been remastered with new lighting and heightmaps, as well as other improvements allowed by the latest engine updates.


Weapons

The Rocket launcher has gotten a big upgrade. Before now, only a direct-hit from a rocket would drop an enemy. Now, the rocket launcher carries blast radius damage, just as it should. You basically only need to hit a rocket near somebody in order to take them down.

In addition to the rocket launcher, the brand new shotgun now joins the weapons lineup.


The shotgun packs a major punch at close range, and can take out most enemies in one shot if you are at or near point-blank.

Campaign

The last update completed the Episode 1 campaign, and this update begins the new Episode 2 campaign - The Pegasus, with three new campaign maps. Following your escape from the Lunar 3 prison in Episode 1, you find yourself stowed away on the Pegasus, a heavy cargo hauler operated by Galactic Freight. Galactic Freight is known for their brutality and lawlessness, and is able to get away with it due to their personal connections to the United Earth General Assembly. Like Episode 1, Episode 2 will also be an 8 part campaign.

Coming Next

What is on the drawing board for the coming updates? Firstly, I want to add "Capture the Flag" mode to multiplayer. I also want to allow multiplayer co-op for both packaged campaign maps, as well as user-created single player maps. I'd like to add full TV and gamepad support, as well as non-combatant NPC characters that you can either talk to or have join your party (sort of like the security guards in Half Life). I also need to finish Episode 2, and I do have an Episode 3 planned as well.

Although a full game in it's own right, Death 3d also serves as a test-bed for the development of my own 3d game engine that I can use in other projects as well, sort of like how the rendering engine for My Land eventually branched out to power games like My Colony, My Starship, Gone Rogue, and even the built-in level editor for Death 3d. Death 3d has actually spawned two new rendering engines for me, a pure raycaster Software engine that was used up until v0.3, and a WebGL based hardware rendering engine. The two are mostly interchangeable up until this update, with the added heightmap support which is only available on the WebGL hardware engine. The software raycaster does work better on older devices though, and may ultimately be utilized in some future projects that do not require different room and floor heights.

But anyway, that is all for this update to Death 3d. Stay tuned for more!

RE:"Moving Forward from Chrome Apps"

2020-01-21 20:37:09
Thanks @Ansom , they are switching everyone away from packaged web apps to Progressive Web Apps (PWA's), which My Colony has already transitioned to a while ago. So we are ready to go!

RE:rovers constantly moving

2020-01-19 19:30:50
Also try going into engine settings and switching pathfinding to "Multithreaded"

RE:My Colony-Job prioritizing

2020-01-11 23:18:49
Have you seen the new priority slider on 1.2 @Stecat94 ?

How Do You Play My Colony?

2020-01-11 18:05:08
My Colony is played on a wide range of device classes, but I think there is no question that the Desktop interface is the best way to play the game. By far though, most players are playing the game on their smartphones. Here is a breakdown from the last 30 days of the type of devices players are accessing the game on:


So although I spend most of my work making tweaks and improvements to the Desktop interface, I think it's clear that most of my work should be going into making improvements for phone players. It's just not as fun working on mobile!!

RE:Premium not working

2020-01-11 15:33:02
There is a bug on the iOS app, which I am submitting an update for today. Sorry everyone!

RE:No Premium After Update

2020-01-10 14:05:43
Everyone has been fixed now.

Antiquitas v1.26.0 Released

2020-01-09 18:01:58
I have just put the finishing touches on Antiquitas v1.26.0, and the update should be hitting all platforms within the coming days. This is a major update which rolls up all features and bug fixes from the My Colony engine contained in MC patches v0.96.0, v0.97.0, v0.98.0, v0.99.0, v1.0.0, v1.1.0, and v1.2.0. Now, if you've followed My Colony, you know that there have been some major changes contained in those releases, and they are now hitting Antiquitas, so let's go over everything that's new!

The popular unit grouping feature is now available in Antiquitas! Now when you select a group of similar units, you can "stack" them into one single unit, combining their abilities into one. This provides much faster build times, and also improves game performance.


Certain buildings can now be moved. If a building does not also function as a resource drop-off point for your harvesting servants, you can now click on the 'move' button to place it in a different location. This comes in handy if you accidentally built something in the wrong place, or you just want to rearrange things as your city grows.


On the Gallia map (the only map that contains a river), rivers in Region games are now generated on a region-wide basis, instead of generated at the individual map level. This gives a greater since of continuity for Regional players, and it just looks nicer. You can have the game automatically generate the rivers, or you can supply your own template from an image file.

Also in Regions, you can now move servants between region maps. To do this, simply walk a servant unit to the edge of a map, and he will move over to the adjacent map. You can also now click on the border area around a region city and the game will ask you if you want to switch to that city, letting you move between regional areas without first having to back out to the region overview screen.


The largest change comes in the way that the simulation is handled behind the scenes. As with My Colony, Antiquitas now runs on a statistical based system, rather than trying to simulate the lives of each individual citizen. This change greatly improves the performance of the game, but does come with some changes you need to be aware of.

Each residential building in the game now has internal rating statistics that you will need to maximize in order to run an efficient city.


You can see a detailed explanation on how this works in this post, but essentially you will need to make sure that each residential structure has adequate Medical, Educational, and Entertainment access, in order to keep your citizens happy and productive.

In order to help with these changes, several structures in the game have been buffed in this update. The Medical and Education ratings of the Taberna Medica, House of the Sun-Nu, and Druid Healer Hut have been increased. The Education ratings of the Grammaticus, Scholae Magister, Scholae Rethor, House of the Scribe, School of the Scribes, Druid Healer Hut, Druid Ring, and Druid Assembly have all been increased. Finally, the Shrine of Jupiter, Shrine of Bastet, and Bard Stand now offer a minor medical rating boost. With these changes, most existing cities, if well designed, should not have to make many changes in order to "just work" with the latest update.

You will now have to deal with the birth, death, and aging of your population. There is a new Age Distribution chart in the statistics window to let you see how old your citizens are.


You will now need to provide additional housing for minors and retired citizens, who are not a part of the labor force.

In order to help you manage these changes and micro-manage your city production and output, there are two new slider options added to the stats screen for individual buildings, the Production Priority and Employment Capacity sliders.


Using these new sliders, you can prioritize buildings, making them fill up with workers before other structures. You can also put a cap on the amount of workers each building has, so that a building that requires a large number of workers does not suck up all of your available workforce. Using these sliders, you can tweak your city's industrial output to your liking.

There were a ton of engine changes in this update, but I am hoping that the transition is smooth. These changes have been in My Colony for a little while now, and I think a majority of the kinks have now been worked out. So that's all for today, I hope you enjoy the update, and stay tuned for more improvements to come!

RE:Suggest another way to move bots from one city to another city

2020-01-09 13:01:27
That wouldn't necessarily be difficult. Shouldn't it be the ability to move bots from one city with a Stargate to another city with a Stargate? I feel like you need a Stargate at both ends for the transfer.

EP13 - The New Engine

2020-01-08 22:07:13
The colonist simulation engine has been rewritten from scratch, and Brandon discusses what that means for you and your colony!

What's that you say, you haven't downloaded My Colony yet? Well what are you waiting for? It's available on every device. Find download links here: https://www.my-colony-com

Try Antiquitas, the Roman themed "sister" game to My Colony: https://apps.ape-apps.com/antiquitas/

Want epic My Colony merchandise? Check out the new My Colony online store: https://teespring.com/stores/my-colony-store

Contact Information:

Attn: Brandon Stecklein
Ape Apps
PO Box 382
Spring Hill, KS 66083
United States of America

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 9

2020-01-08 19:50:12
@Ansom When you have a lot of small housing units, it skews the number a bit. If a house has only 7 people, one person might need medical, which 1/7 is about 14%.

My Colony v1.2.0 Released

2020-01-08 17:12:40
Today the finishing touches are going into My Colony v1.2.0 and the patch should be hitting all platforms and app stores over the coming days. Although this is v1.2.0, it's really more like v1.0.0 Part 3, as it mainly features more cleanup from the fallout of the major engine changes introduced in the v1.0.0 patch. It is my hope that, with this patch, the engine changes are mostly stabilized and I can finally move on to some more interesting updates. That said, there are also some new structures and features coming along for the ride in this patch, so let's take a look at what is new!

Firstly, more engine tweaks have been made in regards to health, medical, and the colonist lifecycle. In addition to other minor tweaks, colonists will now enter the workforce at an earlier age (14) and retire at a later age (75 I think). Retired colonists will now start dying off at a faster rate too.

The University has been buffed a bit, and it now has a student capacity of 6,500.

In this update, I have now added the ability for players to fine-tune their industrial capacity on a per-building level. If you open the building stats window on a structure that has workers, you will see two new slider control bars.


The Production Priority slider will let you control which buildings fill up with workers first. This setting has been requested for a long time, and now it's a reality. The higher you set this, the higher this building will be prioritized against other worksites. Keep in mind that there are still other factors which are considered, including distance, building condition, and eventually crime (more on that later). However, the Production Priority setting is the #1 factor when colonists are being assigned jobs by the engine (unless the jobsite is simply out of range).

In addition, the new Employment Capacity slider is useful for when you want a worksite to be up and operational, but you want to free up some of the labor to work in other buildings. For example, if a building takes 50 workers and you set the slider at around 50%, then only 25 of the jobs will be filled. The total output of a building depends on how many workers it has, but when you are trying to prioritize your production in specific ways, this new control setting should come in handy.

Finally, three new structures have been added in this release, the Medium Hospital, Transcendent Medical Clinic, and the Large Stadium. All three are upgrades to existing buildings, and offer increased capacity and efficiency.

Next I want to take a moment to welcome all of the new players to My Colony! The game has seen an increase in downloads over the last few weeks, so I just want to welcome all of the new players to the game, and to the My Colony community! If you have any questions, suggestions, or bug reports, this forum is a great place for all of that. Our community is not huge, but there are a lot of experienced players here who are always willing to provide help and answers to your questions. And a large percentage of the content and features in this game have come directly from community feedback and suggestions, people just like you posting something they wanted to see added to the game. So feel free to bounce your ideas and suggestions off in the suggestions forum!

And finally, the next two updates are going to feature Crime and Mass Transit. I don't know which one will come first, but those are the next two. The Crime update will feature various Police Station and Prison type structures, and crimes will be committed in areas of low land value and low IQ. The Mass Transit will be in the form of a train station with rail, and will allow people to work in buildings that are normally outside of their regular range. When used in region mode, the Mass Transit will also allow workers to live and work in different cities. Eventually the Mass Transit will include an underground subway system, but probably not right away, as it will be more work to implement an entire subterranean layer to the game.

I am also going to be adding a way to "return" existing buildings to your building queue. This is sort of like the current "move" feature, except the building just goes away and there will be a number on the construction sidebar indicating that there is a building of that typed queued up for move. Then, you will be able to place those buildings again, without construction time or cost. You will only be able to do this on buildings that are able to be moved, non-resource drop off points.

So anyway, that's all for today's update. Hope you enjoyed it, hope you all had a Happy New Year, and stay tuned for more!

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 9

2020-01-08 16:40:48
@Ansom there is one new entertainment building, the Large Stadium, I would not call it big or insane but it is better!

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 9

2020-01-08 16:10:38
unrelated, I seem to have a problem with pagination on the forum :-/

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 9

2020-01-08 16:10:06
I should say, just let your city run on the beta after a hard-reload for a few minutes and see if anything changes. Also, what is your current population on that map?

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 8

2020-01-08 16:09:17
@Ansom After looking at the code, the Hospital is not showing up blue because there are no patients in it. This is a little "bug" to save on CPU performance so that the engine does not have to look up the game def for each building while rendering the overlay. I think nobody is in the hospital because all of the houses are so small that their "needed medical" rating averages out to 0, and since the whole colony is rated at needing no medical, it is just giving you a 50%.

I am making changes to this so it should get better, but I have reduced the importance of medical on populations under 250 in order to make it not so brutal for new cities.

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0

2020-01-08 15:46:25
Ansom said:
bastecklein said:@Ansom you also need to post the actual city file it is happening in, all you have attached it the region overview map. I am working on a way to export an entire region into 1 file but there is so much other stuff to work on I havent had the chance yet :-/


how?

i don't have any option to export the city file. :(

(chrome, 1.2 beta)


From the title screen, you just open the options menu -> Game Data -> Backup and find the filename. The naming convention is region name - city name.mcz

I guess it wont work right if its an online game. I really need a way to export region maps properly, really for sending me a file, you can only do it with single city maps.

Maybe you can give me more info on the bug? What else is going on in this map? I know that my medical stuff is currently working on Beta without issue. Can you open the dev console (ctrl+shift+i) and see if there are any errors being reported? I was hoping to get this update released today so that I can finally be done futzing with the medical/health stuff and finally move on to some real updates.

RE:chrome 1.0.0 when pay roll comes due it is now making number of colonists go to 0 - Page 8

2020-01-08 14:30:36
@Ansom you also need to post the actual city file it is happening in, all you have attached it the region overview map. I am working on a way to export an entire region into 1 file but there is so much other stuff to work on I havent had the chance yet :-/

RE:Colony saving issue

2020-01-07 18:52:00
Sorry everybody, this saving issue should be fixed, but you might have to do an empty cache/hard reload for the update. This was impacting all non-cloud sync colonies, as there was an error in the way data was being saved to the browser.

RE:#RoverLanderProblems

2020-01-06 23:01:06
Thank you @cry8wolf9 , I plan to start working on the next update tomorrow morning!

bastecklein

Developer
Member Since: 2017-09-02 00:09:04
Last Active: 2020-01-22 17:22:28
Post Count: 2038 (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.
Welcome
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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