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Updates and Announcements

2020-01-08 17:12:40

My Colony v1.2.0 Released

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!
2020-01-05 12:50:28

How to Access My Colony Beta

Tomorrow (Jan 6) I plan to begin work on the My Colony v1.2.0 patch, as there are still outstanding bugs related to the recent major engine changes. For this next patch (and with all patches going forward), the Web version of My Colony no longer defaults to the latest in-development beta code.

Web will now be a "stable" branch release like the other platforms My Colony is available on. In addition, the web app service worker has been updated and improved to where, after you've played the web version once, you shouldn't even need an active internet connection to load the game and play offline.

For those who do wish to test out the latest Beta code, that option is still there on the web. You will now have to access My Colony in your browser at the following URL:

https://www.apewebapps.com/my-colony/beta/

Finally, if you are playing on either the Web or Windows 10 (Store) client, the non-beta app will have a new menu option at the bottom of the slide-out menu titled "Try Beta" when there is currently beta code in development. This button will automatically bring you to the above link.
2019-12-29 19:29:19

My Colony v1.1.0 Released

I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas and is looking forward to the new year next week. Today I am putting out a quick bug-fix patch to all platforms as v1.1.0. I do not have time to do a full update right now, but since so many people are having mass-death issues on the v1.0 patch, I had to take the time to rush something out real quick. I have not had enough time to research the issue 100%, but in testing some people are having less of an issue than they were before.

In addition, I have also made a change on this patch to make multithreaded pathfinding the default on all platforms, since the single threaded pathfinding was causing strange bot issues on the last update, and I don't have time to investigate the reason at this moment.

That's it for today. Have a happy new year, and stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!
2019-12-20 17:40:54

My Colony v1.0.0 Released

I hope everybody is having a good week! Today after several weeks of work, I am putting the finishing touches on My Colony v1.0.0 which will be heading out to all platforms over the coming days, just in time for the holidays! There is not a lot of new content in this update, and pretty much nothing that I had originally planned to add to it is here, but that is ok! What you get instead is almost a total re-write of the underlying simulation engine, which I think will improve performance on most devices, greatly reduce save-file sizes (and save corruption instances), and greatly expand the possibilities for new features in the coming updates. With all of that said, let's take a look at what has changed. This will probably be a longer write-up than most, so sit tight!
2019-12-17 22:13:25

Major Changes Coming to My Colony v1.0.0

I generally save posts in the Updates section of the forum for My Colony release notes, but the upcoming update (which I will hopefully be releasing before this weekend) introduces some major changes to the game engine which people should be aware of, particularly those with large single-city (non-region) maps.

Firstly, I had originally said that the main update to v1.0.0 was going to consist of online leaderboards and that sort of stuff. Once I started coding on it though, one small engine tweak here and there ended up leading to another, then another, then another, and before I knew it I had rewritten significant parts of the underlying game engine. At this point, I have used up so much of my time on engine updates that trying to implement the leaderboard stuff would push the update back until mid-January, since I am going to be traveling soon for the Holidays and will not have any time to work on My Colony.

The core of the engine changes will be explained in detail in the release notes, but I wanted everybody to be aware of several issues that will effect players, particularly those with large colonies.

Age

My Colony always kept track of colonists' age internally, but because of the way the game simulated colonists prior to v1.0.0, almost every single colonist was stuck in the 18-35 year old age range. Starting with My Colony v1.0.0, a new Birth/Death model has been added to the game, where colonists will now age properly, have children, and eventually die. Life expectancy is based on a variety of factors (mostly medical access).

Colonists can give birth when they are between 16 and 40 years old. For a new colony this is fine, but consider an existing colony, particularly a large one with several hundred thousand colonists or more. You will be starting out with a huge group of colonists in birthing range, so you will experience something of a baby-boom right at the beginning. However, these colonists will begin aging, and will eventually all retire and ultimately die at the same time. New births will also quickly taper off once the initial group of colonists moves out of the starting range.

For brand new colonies, I do not expect this to be much of an issue, as populations will start out small and the distribution will be more evenly spread out. But for the existing colony, there might be some issues associated with the Demographic Cliff that your colony might find itself falling off of (Perhaps My Colony is a preview for Japan/Europe).

Now ultimately, I do not believe that this will be as big of an issue as it seems, at least not the death part. Pretty much all large colonies already have the ability to scale up population quickly if needed, using Cloning Vats, Star Gates, and the like. New immigrants and new clones all show up to the colony in the 18-35 age range, so I do believe that any massive loss or mishap can be quickly corrected with little effort. If you know how to grow a colony into the 6-figure population range, you probably already know how to get new colonists fast.

A bit more complicated is the retirement part of the equation, however this also may not be as bad as it seems. With other changes to this update, productivity output is (in most cases) significantly higher than it was before, and a large non-working population can pretty easily be sustained by a smaller working population, particularly in late-game which is where most people will be who are impacted by the demographics issue. You just need to have more housing now than you would of had to before non-working minors and retired people were a part of the mix, but I think that this is a reasonable and realistic feature for a game such as this.

Amenities

The other large factor coming in this update is the increased need for amenities, like Education, Medical, and Entertainment. Before, these things were more of an afterthought, and you really didn't need them to keep your colonists happy. Now they are an important part of the game. You will need to have sufficient Education, Medical, and Entertainment facilities within range of your housing in order to keep your colonists happy and healthy.

Work Range

Simply put, after v1.0.0, colonists will not travel more than 50 tiles distance from their home to get to work. There isn't a lot more to say on this, but you might need to look at the layout of your city and make sure things are in the right place to account for this change.

Why the Changes?

Although I will go over this in great detail in the full patch notes, I believe that after the initial shock of the changes, most players will think this update is a major step forward. I can tell you from the testing I have done so far on colonies of all types and sizes, I have found overall game performance to be improved across the board, for pretty much every colony type and scenario. Running a 200x200 map with almost 300k colonists and virtually no lag is a fairly enjoyable experience.

The new engine updates are also going to lead to a couple of features that have been long sought after by the My Colony community - Mass Transit and Crime.

The changes also offer a significant reduction to game save file sizes, which should reduce the occurrence of save file corruptions (which are usually caused by failed cloud-sync).

Again, I will go over everything in more detail in the patch notes, but please be aware of what is coming!
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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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