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.
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.
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.
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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Updates and Announcements - Page 3
Major Changes Coming to My Colony v1.0.0
My Colony v0.99.0 Released
The time has come for yet another My Colony update, the v0.99.0 patch, aka the Reptilian Content patch! This is a very special release, as it is the very last beta version of My Colony! It's going to be sad to see beta go, but there is a lot in store for you guys with this update. Because of some of the core changes, this update is going to take several days to push out to all platforms, with Web coming today. I actually can't even push it out to the Ape Apps Launcher yet, as the Launcher will require an update itself before this patch should go live, so please stick with me as the v0.99.0 roll-out will be a bit slower than most releases. So what's new in this patch? Let's go over it right now!
My Colony v0.98.0 Released
After several weeks of work and dealing with a suspension from Google Play, My Colony is back with patch v0.98.0, the Zolarg Update! The Zolarg have long lagged behind the Human races in terms of content, and they are still behind with this patch, but the gap is closing, and will continue to close in the months ahead. But this is a good step in the right direction, as this update adds 20 new structures to the Zolarg lineup, as well as a couple of new techs and units, and access to the Abandoned World map. There are a couple of other goodies thrown into the mix as well, so let's take a look at what is new!
My Colony Suspended from Google Play
Update (20191016): Google Play has accepted my appeal and My Colony is back in the store! Thanks to all who contacted them to help them "see the light." Original post follows.
Without warning, Google has taken the extreme step of removing My Colony from the Google Play store for violating their malicious behavior policy, while offering no explanation or examples as to the reason for their decision. You can see further information related to this removal on this thread. Please feel free to contact Google Play regarding this decision.
My Colony v0.97.0 Released
I am now putting the finishing touches on My Colony v0.97.0, and it should be hitting all platforms over the coming days! Originally I had planned on making this a big Water World update, and there is some new Water World stuff in here, but as usual, plans tend to change once I start getting into the update. But asides from the new content (there are 10 new structures in this release), there are some nice interface tweaks in this update that I think (hope) you will enjoy. So let's take a look at what is new!