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2019-02-01 18:45:39

My Colony v0.80.0 Released

Edit: v0.81.0: I'm not going to make a new post for this, but I am now pushing out patch v0.81.0 that fixes an issue where the build options menu for vehicles would not appear. Sorry for the issues!

Today I am pushing out the v0.80.0 release of My Colony, and it should be hitting all platforms within the coming days. As I mentioned in the last update, I have been getting a lot of requests to slow down on content updates until some of the bugs and issues in the game are ironed out, and so that is what I plan to do over the next few updates, before I dive into the big Federations expansion which will probably leave the game broken again 😳 Just kidding (hopefully)! Anyway, let's see what is new with this release of My Colony.

Firstly, I have nerfed the Research Converter a bit, as it was slightly overpowered. It might still be overpowered, but it's a little better now. It now consumes more money and research, costs more to build, and produces at a little slower rate.

Next up, the little popup window on the construction options sidebar will now display how much housing a building provides, which was a request I was in the suggestions forum:


Moving on, many people have asked me to change the file names for region subcities, which were previously named with a timestamp, making it hard to tell what they were. So going forward, new regional subcities will be named like this: [region-name]-[subcity-name].mcz, making it a bit easier to tell what they are. This does not impact current cities though.

I have made it easier to share a saved file that is tied to an Ape Apps Account. You might recall that in the last update, I added the option to make an offline copy of a colony so you can share it with others. This has now been expanded a bit, to where if somebody gives you a colony file that is NOT a copy but is tied to their account, the game will automatically make it an offline-only non-account copy when another user tries to import the file into their game.

Next, the often requested 'Leave Federation' option has been implemented. It is fairly straightforward, you will see the new Leave Federation button on the Federations screen.

On all platforms, the Achievements window has been updated. It now shows achievement point values and total progress. Newly unlocked achievements are now also synced to your Ape Apps Account when you are logged in, keeping your achievement progress up to date across platforms. I might add more achievements to the game in the coming updates, so let me know what types of achievements you are interested in!


Next up, I have added a new policy to the Policies menu that allows you to block new tourists from coming to the colony, just like you can currently block immigration. The new option requires government level 3 or higher.

There were also a ton of bug fixes and improvements in this update, and I will just discuss a few of the larger ones. First, I think I have finally solved the issue where incinerators (and similar buildings) would shut down forever if you ever ran out of trash. You can let me know if you are still having the problem, but I think it's fixed.

Next, there was a huge issue involving how virtual colonists were organized and processed that, in large colonies, could potentially cause freezes and hangups of several minutes on regular intervals. The issue has been corrected in that it will not happen anymore on new colonies, but on existing colonies, the engine will slowly sort itself out. Slowly is the key word though, as a colony with over a million population would require more than a day of idle time to get sorted out. The slowness was required to let the colonists sort themselves out without completely killing the economy of the colony. If you want it to go faster, you will have to just kill off all of your colonists and let your population regrow. Most colonies are impacted by the issue, but the real problems are not apparent until populations are in the millions, so most people should be fine just letting the fix sort itself out behind the scenes.

Several optimizations have been made in regards to tourism. Tourism had the potential to really kill the performance of a colony, especially on large map sizes. The game was designed to place new tourists into 'simulated' mode so that they find entertainment without using the pathfinder, after you had so many tourists. However, this function was written when tourists only showed up a few at a time, so it was able to keep up. With the introduction of the Space Ports, tourists were able to show up way faster than the game could keep up with, and you would run into a situation where the pathfinder could not keep up and would cause memory consumption to keep growing and growing.

The engine is now much more aggressive at simulating tourists than it was before. Also, if a tourist does not find a tourist destination within a 60 tile radius of their arrival spot, they will now just leave instead of making the engine keep searching for a destination in a larger and larger radius. There are further optimizations planned for tourism in the coming updates, but if you have a large map with 10k or more tourists, consider using the new policy to block tourists from coming to the colony, which will let them slowly dwindle down as they run out of money. I do not think these tourism issues have much of an impact on small and medium sized maps, but on maps where people have done the Annex policy several times, it can really kill the game.

I have set up a small My Colony online merchandise store with a few things that I will probably expand on over the coming months, whenever an idea pops in my head. There are a few Lander items and a United Earth 'Make Earth Great Again' mug. I am drinking coffee out of the lander mug as we speak, and it really improves the taste of the coffee. 😜 Feel free to check it out and leave suggestions on items you would like to see:
teespring.com/stores/my-colony-store

Next, after literally years, I have posted a new episode of the My Colony Podcast. Feel free to check it out, and let me know if you would like to see me bring the My Colony Podcast back from the dead. If I limit it to shorter 10 minute(ish) episodes, it wont be too much or a burden to do.
www.ape-apps.com/viewpage.php?p=2655

Finally, I just want to let everybody know that after years of talking about it, I have finally begun full scale work on Colony Wars, the multiplayer RTS game taking place in the My Colony universe! I plan (hope) for a release to all platforms this spring (steam included), with the first public beta coming to the Ape Apps Launcher later this month, so stay tuned, and check out the new Colony Wars forum for info:
www.ape-apps.com/viewpage.php?p=28669

That's all for today's update. Should be hitting all platforms over the weekend, so keep a lookout. Let me know what issues you find, as I will be going hard after bugs and performance over the next few updates. Thanks for playing, and stay tuned for more!
2019-01-16 18:20:05

My Colony v0.79.0 Released

So I've just put the finishing touches on My Colony v0.79.0 and it should be hitting all platforms within the next few days. I had initially planned a great content update for this release, but I have been getting a lot of requests in email and in the app store comments to stop adding content and work on engine improvements instead, so that is what I did for today. There are a few new things in this release, so lets take a look!

As with every update, all of the hard syntax bugs reported through the app store error consoles have been addressed. In addition, I think I finally have the duplicate Federation balloting issue resolved.

I have also made a handful of improvements to the rendering engine. You will particularly notice that on a Water World map, there are no longer "waves" where the water tiles were not lining up properly when you zoom out.


I have also corrected a long standing rendering issue where some of the edge tiles would either a) not show up at all, or b) flicker on and off continually. Other small rendering improvements were made, but are not worth a write-up. Performance should be slightly improved as well.

I noticed (and corrected) an issue where colony resource stats were not being synced at all to the server if you were playing a sub-city to a Region game. This was not a major issue if you saved/quit your region game completely back to the title, but for users who didn't, it would result in lost resources the next time they started their region and it pulled their saved resource levels from the server. This is now resolved, and hopefully it helps the issues some people have with their regional resources not saving right.

Next up, I added a new feature which should hopefully help with debugging all of those odd issues that are reported by only 1 or 2 people and are almost impossible to reproduce and debug on demand. Since back when I tied online games to your Ape Apps Account, I have been unable to access and debug other players save files when they are having an issue. To get around this, I have added a new 'Offline Copy' option to the bottom of the stats screen.


This creates an exact clone of your game, except offline (and with a different file name). You can then export this cloned copy and send it to me if you have an issue you want me to look at. It is also handy if you want to test out some big changes to your online colony before actually committing them to your main save file. If you make a clone of a sub-region file, it becomes its own stand-alone map, it does not duplicate the whole region.

I have had several requests to add vehicle build counts to the construction side bar. Here they are.


Also, I did get one new structure added to this build, the Research Converter.


This is a late game Human structure for burning off your excess Research and converting it into raw materials. Might still need some balance tweaking, you can let me know what you think. It's basically like a Black Market Bazaar on steroids, and it also consumes Research.

Finally, this release includes the first batch of Russian language translations, there are just about 300 translated strings in total, but it covers most of the common ones. Russian is by far the most requested translation for the game, as Russia is the #2 market for My Colony in the Play Store outside of the U.S. More translations will be forthcoming.

That wraps it up for this update. Keep your eye on the app marketplaces over the next few days for the release to hit your platform, and stay tuned for a lot more My Colony goodness to come!
2018-12-31 17:26:17

My Colony v0.78.0 Released

Throughout the afternoon I will be pushing out the 0.78.0 update for My Colony to all platforms. This is a minor bug fix release only, although a couple of small UI changes were made as well. You can see more details in this thread:

www.ape-apps.com/viewpage.php?p=28037

Everyone have a happy new year, and there will be a whole lot more My Colony in 2019!
2018-12-21 22:59:18

My Colony v0.77.0 Released

Good news everyone, tonight I will be pushing out the long awaited v0.77.0 release of My Colony! This is actually a pretty big update, and truth be told there is a lot more I wanted to get added in there, but I ran up against a time limit since the Apple App Store will not be accepting any new app submissions after tonight due to the holiday, so I had to push it out now. There is still a ton of new stuff and changes in this update though, so let's dive in.

First, want to mention some engine changes, since several key components of the game have been totally reworked. The code for the simulated or "virtual" colonists has been completely redone. Because of the change, some extra large colonies might experience intermittent delays every minute or so that will look like short freezes. After a few hours of play, this should sort out as things in your game file are rebalanced. Normal sized colonies should notice any impact.

The path finding has been totally overhauled, again. Because of a new map class which I will discuss in a bit, I needed to rewrite the pathfinding to work with different types of passable terrain. I do not see any serious bugs with the new system, but of course let me know if I am wrong.

Several changes and updates have been made to Regions. The main region map has been updated and will now group connected cities into "metropolitan areas." Hovering over a city will now show what it's top resource outputs are. Capitol cities will have a Star on them. And when you start a new Region game, you can either pick a normal resource distribution, or have a completely blank map. Now if you look at your Resource stats in the Statistics screen while on the Region overview map, you will get pie charts showing which cities are producing what share of the resources. And now when you are inside of a city, instead of seeing "Regional" as a resource input/output source, you will see "Regional (City Name)", so you know which city is providing or consuming the resources.

Next up, infrastructure repair costs have been dramatically lowered. The price also scales down with the size of a building, so you will not see a giant building like the Hall of Congress drain your entire treasury on repair costs. Large buildings also decay at a slower rate than before.

I had a list of about 40 or so hard crashes that were reported through the various app marketplaces which have been corrected, as well as all Javascript based crashes that were reported through the analytics console.

Alpha Draconians have gained access to the Abandoned World map. The stats on many buildings have been slightly tweaked to balance gameplay and also to allow each Civilization to use the new Water World map.

Which leads to the next new item, the brand new Water World map.


I have wanted to implement this map for a long time, but I knew it would require a rewrite of the pathfinding code and I was not looking forward to it. But now the work is done and we have Water World! I wanted Water World to be available to all civilizations, and making that happen required a handful of changes to existing building stats, as well as a bunch of new buildings to support the new map across different tech trees. Here is the new content added that is related directly to Water World:
  • Resource: Fish
  • Terrains: Salt Water, Palm Trees 1 & 2
  • Units: Enslaved Worker Drone, Enslaved Fisherbug, Fisherbot, Fisherbug, Used Ore Miner
  • Structures: Small Wooden Bridge, Steel Bridge, Aluminum Bridge, Gold Bridge, Electromagnetic Bridge, Gold Reducer, Sand Path, Fisherbot's Hut
The map should be fully playable across all civs and in both single and region play. The difficulty will depend on your Civ, with Humans being the easiest and Draconians being the hardest.

Next up, both Insectoids and Reptilians now have Starship building capabilities. I am going to be adding Trade Routes soon, and so I needed to get all civs up to Starships in order for it to work. Draconians also got a new Level 3 capitol which is probably the tallest building in the game by far, the Chamber of Kings:


Next on the list, the GBT will now let you know what the minimum and maximum accepted trades by the server are, that way you do not submit a high or low trade and get the "Strike" message from the server.

There was a complete rewrite of the in-game Encyclopedia and the printable Owners Manual. Both are now found inside of the main Statistics screen:


The Owners Manual is now a lot more complete and can be viewed in-game, exported as a file, or printed. The printout is about 200 pages long though. The Encyclopedia is way more detailed than before and everything is hyperlinked together. It is now actually a useful tool for beginners. The Video Tutorials are now watchable in-game. I removed the link to the reference Google Docs spreadsheet as it has not been updated in over a year and the encyclopedia basically renders it useless anyway.

There is probably more that I forgot to mention, but I need to hurry and post this so I can start getting the update pushed out to all platforms before tonight. Hope you enjoy, let me know what issues you find, and stay tuned for more!
2018-11-21 16:09:05

My Colony v0.76.0 Released

Today I am publishing the v0.76.0 build of My Colony to all platforms. I was traveling all of last week, and due to the holiday I will be with family for the remainder of this week (U.S. Thanksgiving), so I was not able to spend much time on this release or really dig deep into the code. There were a couple of easy fixes that I wanted to get in there before the holiday though, as well as a little more content. So here is the rundown.

Firstly, the issue where Federation ballots were duplicated should now be fixed. Also, there was a bug where several money-related achievements were not posting. These should be working now. Also, and I have not been able to test this, but now when a colony has been disconnected from the server due to inactivity, it should now automatically register a new charter code when the player comes back online, with no further action required of the player. I have also implemented several fixes on the server side which caused stats not to be updating. Finally, any bug that caused a stack-trace exception to be reported to the error tracker has been addressed.

Beyond those fixes, I have added new content, primarily to the Zolarg.

Zolarg have two new techs to unlock now, Insectoid Oil Production and Mystic Uranium Generation. These techs unlock new structures, including the Petropit, the Petrocone, and the Unholy Uranium Generator. These additions are moving the Zolarg closer to being able to build Starships, which will be necessary for the Federation content I plan on adding soon.

The Reptilians get an upgraded capitol building called the Chamber of our Fathers, which also doubles as their very first Research producing building, so Reptilians are soon going to be getting a tech tree. Of course, and as with other things Reptilian, it will be a bit different than the other two races. Things are going to start getting crazy for the Reptilians, and you will even be seeing some My Colony lore emerge about the link between the Reptilians and the Ancient Aliens who are an underpinning presence across a lot of the game.

So that is about it for today. There is a lot more to come on all fronts, I just did not have a lot of time to do work over the last week and over the coming days, although I still wanted to get some fixes for My Colony pushed out. So stay tuned, and thanks for playing!

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