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2017-10-08 22:13:19

My Colony v0.46.0 Released

Welcome to another exciting edition of the My Colony release notes! There were several changes made to the engine on this update, so let's see what all is new and what has changed.

My Colony v0.46.0 Changelog

New Stuff
  • Added new experimental lighting engine to the game
  • Colonies now go through a day/night cycle
  • Added in-game link to the release notes
  • New engine settings: Building Animations, Lighting Effects, Day/Night Cycle, Particle Effects
  • New structures: Small Light Post, Glow Goo, Paste Boiler, Atmosphere Scrubber
  • New ad-free content: Small Red Light Post, Small Green Light Post, Security Wall, Security Wall Light
Changes
  • Zolarg Mound now produces a small amount of food even if you have no sugar
  • All buildings can now be built in "chain" mode, regardless of size
  • When the game has a display width > 1000px, there is a new building confirmation window at the bottom of the screen that shows total cost of all queued buildings
  • The ice world is now a bit darker by default
Notes
The biggest change was the addition of the day/night cycle to the game, which has been requested several times before. It can be turned off if you do not like it. I was hesitant to add it because I though I would need to draw new night-time graphics for all of the buildings, but instead I made it so that buildings and vehicles can generate light sources. On my computer, iPhone, and 2 Android devices, I did not see any noticeable lag associated with adding light, but that does not mean it can't hurt performance, especially on a large colony. That is why the setting can be turned off in the engine settings, as can night-time mode altogether. There is still work to be done on the lighting effect, most notably the fact that lights can be seen through buildings when they should be covered. Blocking the lights will require more calculations and might impact performance, so I am looking at options of how to do it correctly. I think the lighting though adds a nice look to the game's graphics, without requiring any extra art skills on my behalf :-)

Some changes were made to make Zolarg ice map a bit easier. The Mound now produces some food on its own (without requiring sugar), and there is a new Paste Boiler building that is like a Zolarg version of the Atmosphere Generator. In terms of strength, it's actually somewhere between the regular human Atmosphere Generator and the Medium Atmosphere Generator.

Humans get a new Atmosphere Scrubber building which should help manage atmosphere levels. I have not turned on the negative atmosphere effects yet, since I realize that people who have been playing a long time probably have a ton of atmosphere built up, and I don't want to damage their colonies. The game is balanced to where a new colony starting out should be able to easily contain atmosphere before it becomes a problem, but for existing colonies, turning on the penalty right now could be an issue, so I will continue to wait on it.

The new (work in progress) construction bar for Desktop and Tablet users has been implemented. It shows the number of buildings you have queued up and their total cost. I think this will be helpful information, since a lot of times it can be easy to get a bunch of buildings ready to go and then run out of resources. Let me know on ways that I can improve it.

I also brought back the 'Private Charter' option, which can be found on the statistics screen. I didn't even know that it was removed, which was an oversight on my part. Should be back to working like it always has though. Additionally, more engine settings have been added, including the often requested 'Disable Animations' setting, although I don't know why you would want to turn off my glorious animations!

The next few updates will probably focus on new content/structures more than engine changes, although fixes will always be made. I also plan on further changes and refinement over the next few weeks, as I want everything with the engine to look polished before the release of Antiquitas later this fall. Since Antiquitas will not be receiving near-weekly updates like My Colony does (and it wont be released as a beta), I want things to be fairly locked up on that game by the time it's out. Speaking of Antiquitas, I've got a bunch of new structures coming over the next few days, featuring amazing artwork from our own forum user @jova , so stay tuned for that!

Anyway, that's it for this update. Stay tuned, cause there is a lot more to come!
2017-09-29 22:15:16

My Colony v0.45.0 Released

Greetings everyone, it's time for another shiny new version of My Colony, v0.45.0! This update is a lot smaller than I had planned, but there were numerous bug fixed that I wanted to get pushed out, so I rushed it. It's still solid gold though, do don't worry :-) Here is what's new:

My Colony v0.45.0 Changelog

New Stuff
  • New Structures: Unholy Pit of Stuff, Unholy Mound of Worship, Unholy Core Mine
  • New Resource: Alien Relic
  • New Premium Content: Creative Mode
Changes
  • LIS Black Market Bazzar now randomly gives out a random resource in exchange for 1 coin. Goods are always flowing in through the black market.
  • Unfinished changes to the 'New Game' flow
Notes
If it seems like this update is rushed, it was. It's ok though. There were a lot of bug fixes made to pathfinding (again), and colonist/vehicle selection. I also found a bug that was making harvesting vehicles request a new path from the path finder almost non-stop, which is now fixed. This should increase performance and help with mobile battery consumption.

Beyond that, this was mostly a Zolarg update. You might notice they have a new alien artifact of their own, the Alien Relic. This comes from the same ancient alien race as the Alien Artifacts on human worlds, and will open up the Zolarg's own alien tech tree in the updates to come. Eventually there will be three classes of ancient alien resources in the game and combining them will allow each team to unlock the ultimate ancient power in the game! But that is a ways off.

Finally, for premium users, a casual Creative Mode has been added. All building options are unlocked and cost nothing to build, so you can make whatever kind of colony you want. Offline only, of course.

One final thing to note, the server that the web version of My Colony is hosted on is acting up right now. I think I am being throttled because I have used up all of my hosting bandwidth for the month. I expect it to be resolved by Oct 1, and it shouldn't impact the Android/iOS/Windows/Mac/Linux versions of the game, only the browser-based version.

That's all for now, much more to come, and thanks for playing!
2017-09-20 20:39:47

My Colony v0.44.0 Released

Today I have released the 0.44.0 update to My Colony to all platforms. This update is another mixture of bug fixes and content updates, including the all new concept of waste management. Here are the details, with commentary to follow.

My Colony v0.44.0 Changelog

New Stuff
  • New Resource: Trash
  • New Structures: Microincinerator, Incinerator, Small Trash Pit, Landfill, Small Recycling Center, Medium Recycling Center, Conference Hall, Advanced Medical Research Center, Unholy Brew Pit
  • New Premium Content: Blue Residential Tower
Changes
  • Warehouses (of all sizes) now store Crystalline.
  • Canceling building construction mid-way now returns all resources back to the player.
  • New Galactic Emperor one-time windfall profits tax for online colonies.
Notes
I will discuss some of the additions and changes in a bit, but first I wanted to briefly mention some of the bug fixes that have been introduced. So I think that everybody knows the rover path-finding has been an issue for the last few updates, and it may well still be an issue now, but I think I have finally gotten it reduced to a manageable level. Please still issue bug reports on it though, because this one is a real pain.

I saw in the logs that most of the path finding errors were related to the path finding worker thread running out of memory. Several changes were made to address this. First, the engine's collision map is now only updated when new structures are either added or removed, whereas before it was being updated on a regular interval.

In addition, now when a rover (or colonist) decides to move from tile A to tile B, instead of going through the normal path finding routine, it will first check if both the starting and ending points are currently visible to the player. If the answer is no, then instead of going through full path finding, the game will just quickly check if there are any obstacles blocking the units path. If the path seems clear, the unit will become invisible for a simulated amount of time based on the distance between the two points, and then reappear at the destination. If its not obvious that the path is clear, the regular path finding will be used. Commonly used paths are now also saved and reused by rovers instead of going back to the path finder. For instance, if you are harvesting Clay, the game remembers the path from the clay mine to the warehouse and will keep reusing it until an obstacle appears in the way.

These changes greatly reduce the number of times the engine has to call up the path finder thread, providing both performance improvements and memory usage reductions.

I have also added a cap on how much immigration and colony statistics data that your game file will retain. Before it was unlimited, which could lead to large save files with colonies that have been operating for a long time. This change should reduce file sizes a bit, along with compression and save times.

There were also bug fixes added that related to lottery, taxation, and the amount of money the game assigned to new colonists. A glitch had arisen where there would be colonists walking around with trillions of dollars in their wallets. A change has been made to where this will no longer happen for new colonists, but if you have existing ultra-rich colonists, they will still be ultra rich.

Now on to the addition of Trash. Human residential structures now generate Trash, and it is up to the user to manage it. Right now there are no negative side effects, so colonies have a change to get on top of the situation. This will be changing soon though. Trash buildup will soon impact the health of the colonists, based on a ratio of trash per colonist. The threshold will be fairly low on trash too, although don't ask me what it is yet, as I will figure out the balancing at the time of implementation.

In a similar way, excess atmosphere will start causing colonist health issues. Once atmosphere surpasses the 15 million mark, colonists will begin getting sick. Unlike trash, the effect is much more subtle, so if you are worried about balancing trash vs atmosphere, I would advise that trash is the larger concern by far. Again, the exact numbers are unknown still, but I will figure out the balancing during implementation.

There were other changes and fixes in there which I don't remember off of the top of my head.

Moving on, I want to talk about what is coming next for My Colony. I already mentioned the changes related to Trash and Atmosphere. I planned on adding a lot more Zolarg this time, but I didn't get around to it. Next time I plan to implement most of the suggestions for Zolarg as found in this thread by @IIIStrife: https://www.ape-apps.com/viewpage.php?p=800

Also, for Premium players, I will be adding a new Creative Mode (offline only). It will basically just be a sandbox mode where everything is free and unlocked, and you can just build whatever you want.

So anyway, that's all I've got for now. Enjoy the update, report the bugs, and have fun!
2017-09-06 21:59:13

My Colony v0.43.0 Released

Today My Colony v0.43.0 has been submitted to all platforms and should be arriving on your respective device shortly. I am still working on getting the bugs from the big engine overhaul worked out, and they are getting better for the most part, but the primary focus in this release was on new content. It had been quite a while since a new content release was made, and this is one of the largest ones ever. So without further delay, here are the release notes!

My Colony v0.43.0 Changelog

New Stuff
  • New Map Type: Ice World (LIS and Zolarg)
  • New Resource: Crystalline
  • New Structures: Fantasy Land Arcology, Ore Synthesis Lab, Big Playhouse, Micromine, Regolith Furnace, Compacted Snow Path, Diamond Crystal Reactor, Alien Enrichment Facility, Crystalmound, Ore Tunnel, Synthetic Crystalline, Independence Hall Level 2
  • New Vehicles: Tundra Rover, Tundrabug
  • New Techs: Next Gen Power Production, Crystalline Synthesis
  • New Premium Content: Monument of Heroes, Blue Residential Complex
Changes
  • A new Center Map option has been added for buildings, allowing you to select the new "center" location of the map.
  • There is a new build options screen on road tiles, with a slightly revamped upgrade flow. A similar experience might be coming for Structures too, if people like how the new one looks.
Notes
The biggest change revolves around the addition of the new Ice World map and the new Crystalline resource that was added along side it. This was my first test of having a map type work across multiple civilizations, and I think it works alright for the most part.

The Ice Maps are very micro-managy (especially on the Zolarg side), and much is yet to be added. They are fully playable right now though, just don't expect an easy ride. You particularly need to be careful to conserve Gold so that it does not run out before you have the means to produce it artificially. I expect Ice World maps to be profitable export colonies in the future.

In addition, some other much needed (in my opinion) items have been added to the game, including a Level 2 LIS capitol building, allowing the annexation of new lands. Also, a better Uranium facility, and an upgraded method for producing Ore on base-regolith type maps. A new Arcology type was added, and the old Arcology now provides education to its inhabitants. The Internet Relay Booth now also provides a small IQ boost. Oh yeah, the forum has moved too, so if you have not yet done so, you will need to create a new account.

Moving forward, the next update (besides working on more bug fixes) will probably focus on the Zolarg some more. I want to get the Zolarg race more fleshed out before adding in the next civilization, which will probably be the evil Reptilians.

One more thing, some of you might remember the My Colony Podcast I was doing a while ago. I plan on trying to merge the podcasting server here with the new forum and maybe doing another episode just to see how it goes. Then again, maybe I wont. We'll see.

So that's all for this update. There were probably more additions and changes that I didn't remember, but you get the point. Thank you to everybody for playing and stay tuned, much more to come!
2017-09-02 02:10:30

Welcome to the new My Colony forum!

As I noted in this thread about a month and a half ago, I have been in the process of developing a new unified Ape Apps account and forum system. This is to make management of my several forums and websites a bit easier, and also to reduce (and ultimately eliminate) my reliance on Facebook as an online account system. As part of that change, the My Colony forums have been moved to this brand new location and are being restarted from scratch.

The old forum will remain online for some time, because there is a lot of good information there. You can access the old My Colony forums here: http://forum.ape-apps.com/forumdisplay.php?fid=23

If you had an account on the old forum, you will need to create a new one here. Going forward, this new account will work across all of my Ape Apps related apps, games, and websites. Eventually it will also store all of your premium keys/IAP histories and sync your purchases across all devices, so that you no longer have to mess with .amk files (although .amk files will continue to work for those who have them). Your account will also eventually be used for a new non-Facebook related cloud sync function I am currently working on.

The new forum will be a bit rough for the next few months. I am writing the entire system myself from scratch, and it is still very much under development (like most of my projects). Let me know what bugs you find with the forums and what features you would like to see added. Since I am writing everything myself, we have the ability to add a lot more customization to this one versus the previous forum. I am eventually going to use the code for this website to replace my current RP Forums website, which I have been wanting to do for years now (I hate relying on 3rd party solutions).

A lot of the sections are currently blank. If you had a good thread that people found useful at the old forum, please by all means copy it over here to the new one. In the next update to the game (0.43.0), the link to the forum will be changed over to this one, so people will no longer be able to easily find your posts at the old forum. Over the next few days, I will be copying stuff over here as well.

Anyway, have a look around the new forum, check out the features, find out what's missing or broken. If you look at your profile, each user has a "Wall" that is like their own private personal forum that they are in control over. You can customize all of the colors of the forum to your liking. Take a look at the BB Code Reference to see some of the things you can do on the new forum. And leave feedback and suggestions here. Thanks!
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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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