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My Colony v0.70.0 Released

So today I am pushing out My Colony v0.70.0 to all platforms, and it should be arriving soon to a device near you.

This release brings an experimental new feature to premium users called Regions, which are essentially collections of game files places together on a single large map. You can read more details about the feature in this thread, and although the feature is listed as experimental, it actually seems to be functioning pretty good, mostly.

A Region is basically a mega-colony that consists of many small colony files which share Technology, Resources, Power, and Atmosphere. Each colony is still a separate game file like how My Colony currently works, and they each have their own population and industry. However, they are all taxed the same by their home colony, and they all declare independence from their main colony as a single entity.

Regions are going to be the primary focus over the next two or three updates, so any suggestions you have on how to improve the feature would be great.

Some questions I have gotten before which I will answer here for all. People have asked if they can import an existing city into a region. Right now, that answer is no. It might be possible in the future, but probably only for offline games, and the size of the existing city would also have to conform to the grid of the main region map. For instance, if you have annexed land on an existing map, land is annexed in chunks that make its dimensions no longer able to fit on the main region grid.

You can currently build both Small and Medium sized maps on the Region screen. I might add Large on the next update, but probably not Extra Large or Mega. Most of the issues in My Colony stem from the large, extra large, and especially Mega maps, so one of the goals with Regions is to be able to build a giant colony without having to use one of the giant maps.

The Region area is very big. While it is only a 50x50 grid, that technically allows it to hold 2,500 separate city maps, if the small map size is chosen. I don't really expect anybody to ever fill up an entire region map, but you never know with you guys 🤔

So anyway, there will be a lot more about regions over the next several updates. This update lays the foundation for the feature, as quite a few engine changes were required to allow the sharing of utilities and resources between maps. Now that the foundations are laid, work can be done adding new features to Regions, and also fleshing out the Region overview UI, which is pretty basic right now.

Moving on from the Region stuff, I wanted to quickly touch on the ongoing issues with My Colony on Android. I have actually gotten the crash rate reduced from the nearly 10% range to the 5% range. Looking through the crash stats, the majority are coming from users running Android v8.1.0, leading me to believe something is happening specific to that particular release. For instance, the crash rate on that specific version of Android is over 11%, while it is much lower on other versions. Regardless, this update contains several bugs fixes from both the latest Antiquitas release, and other stuff I found while going over the code, so perhaps I can reduce the crash rate even further.

The good news is that the game is at least no longer tanking on Android and seems to have leveled off, albeit at a far lower level than it was before. Still, things are still going good on Windows and iOS, and the Android version of My Colony now accounts for less than 1/3 of the games revenues, so I am not going to cry about it too much.

While I do like Android, I have been sort of disillusioned by the large spike in non-reproducible errors with totally unhelpful reporting in the Google Play Error console. I am also somewhat suspect when Google claims upwards of 10% of all sessions are force-closing, yet there are almost no reports in the Play Store comments about the app force closing. Not to mention the fact that an almost identical binary of the game is on the Amazon App Store, yet these same crashes are almost nonexistent on that platform.

The whole experience though has convinced me that My Colony may have a better future on Steam than the Google Play Store, and over the coming updates I will be taking steps to put Antiquitas and My Colony on Steam. They will be available unlocked at the regular purchase price of the Premium Upgrade. Now, if you have already purchased a premium license, there is really no point in buying it on Steam, you can just use the Native Client or Ape Apps Launcher edition, which will essentially be the same thing.

If you do purchase it on Steam though and sign in using your Ape Apps Account, it will check steam to verify your purchase, and sync that to your account, unlocking Premium on all platforms.

There is really no way (that I am aware) of allowing current Premium users to unlock the Steam purchase. I don't know. Really though, if you already own Premium, there is little point of buying it again on Steam, unless you like the game and wish to support it!

I do think that the My Colony/Antiquitas interface works a lot better as a Desktop game though (vs mobile), and so possibly Steam will be a good match for it. It is also very reasonably priced VS other Steam games, especially considering the vast amount of content/play time available in My Colony.

Speaking of interfaces though, My Colony is actually seeing a great surge in users on the Amazon Fire TV. This is great, although after playing it on my Fire TV for a bit, I realized that the TV interface could use some polish, so that will be coming in the next few updates.

Moving on, starting in v0.70.0, I have completely removed the auto-blacklist banner from the game. As resource checks and trade verification are now done by the server, this feature was no longer necessary, and was resulting in too many false-positives. It is much easier now to just ban bad actors on an account-wide level from the server, rather than trying to make the game monitor and looks for hacking on the individual colony files. A colony can still be banned into permanent offline mode, but there will now be actual human moderation before it is done.

Next, I have started the process of reorganizing the list of build-options in the construction sidebar, grouping like-structures together, instead of just putting all of the newest stuff on bottom. I will continue this over the coming updates.

Another small change, when a new colonist arrives, the "XXX Has Joined The Colony" popup message is now gone. I think the popup was more annoying than anything, especially on phones.

Another minor change, but one which might help ultra large colonies, is a further reduction in game file save sizes. I don't know if it will be noticeable to everyone, but it should help some files out.

Finally, there are two new structures available. Humans get the new Transcendent Triantanium Generator, which is far better than the current Triantanium factory. Additionally, Reptillians get a new Raw Materials Extractor, which is a significant improvement over the current (and horrid) Insectoid Mining Operation.

So that about rounds out today's update. The update frequency will probably increase going forward. I am pretty much giving up on trying to collect error diagnostics on the Google Play version of the game, and as such, I no longer need to keep one stable version number in the store for weeks at a time. Google has already blacklisted the game for "bad behavior", and I have reconfigured with the settings in every possible way I could think of on Android, and nothing made a significant difference. Considering there have never been any wide-scale complaints about crashes on Android, I do not think the users are suffering from the games "bad behavior" any. I am sort of just accepting the fact that Google Play is what it is, and focus on making the game as good as it can be, and not worry about trying to fix the crash stats on GPlay.

As I said before, the next few updates will add things to the new Regions feature, as well as new content to be added to all civilizations, but more especially the Reptilians. Thanks for playing the game, and enjoy the update!
3y
#2
I think this is a step in the right direction, I hope everything goes well with these next few updates and look forward to it. The new regions idea sounds very interesting, I had a bit of a play around with it and I noticed that on the creative mode only the first city was a sandbox where everything is free and all other cities apart from the first requires standard play to get anything. Just a minor thing bug, but I like where this is going.
Hello! I am a High Wizard from the Nations of OZ, come check out our discord server! https://discord.gg/qqCswpF

3y
#3
Is the game playable on a Smart TV when you stream with your browser through Google chromecast? Is it the same as playing on the browser, just on a bigger screen?
3y
#4
nunez499 said:Is the game playable on a Smart TV when you stream with your browser through Google chromecast? Is it the same as playing on the browser, just on a bigger screen?


I've never tried it with Chromecasting. I am not sure how Smart TV's relay button inputs through to the browser on the other end. If you are playing on the web and you play on an Xbox gamepad plugged in to your computer, the browser knows that you are using a controller and switches to the controller interface. I do not know if it would recognize that input through chromecast.
Owner of Ape Apps, LLC
3y
#5
Well I just bought a Smart TV with a Chromecast, so I´ll do the experiment soon and let you know :-)
3y
#6
Wubman said:I think this is a step in the right direction, I hope everything goes well with these next few updates and look forward to it. The new regions idea sounds very interesting, I had a bit of a play around with it and I noticed that on the creative mode only the first city was a sandbox where everything is free and all other cities apart from the first requires standard play to get anything. Just a minor thing bug, but I like where this is going.


oops, I didn't even check creative mode 😕
Owner of Ape Apps, LLC
3y
#7
nunez499 said:Well I just bought a Smart TV with a Chromecast, so I´ll do the experiment soon and let you know :-)


lol perfect!
Owner of Ape Apps, LLC
3y
#8
Could you not publish codes in the user area to redeem the product on steam.


I've had a bit of a read of the docs: https://partner.steamgames.com/doc/features/keys
and it looks like you'd need to manually send it to every premium user rather than by some automated method so I understand if you choose not to.
My Colony Discord Server - https://discord.gg/dvJSKBB
3y
#9
I'm one of those Android users. My Colony randomly crashes. It's usually tied to the autosaving process, but not with enough of a pattern to say "x times in y autosaves". Some days it happens every autosave. Some days it doesn't happen at all. I haven't commented about it on Google Play because I just learned to manually save often and the game easily opens back up.

Maybe others are treating it the same way and it's creating the disparity in numbers.
3y
#10
The regions thing is incredible. Although, i'd consider having the maps in the region continue producing/consuming resources in the background. So if i have say 10 maps, and am active on one of them, the rest of the 9 produce/consume in the meantime. It would make sense to me...

As far as steam goes, i'm fully behind the idea and to be honest i'd even pay a monthly fee for premium just to support the development of this awesome game. You've come a long way with little financial resource. I'd love to see what you could do if you lived off this game :)

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Ape Apps, LLC 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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