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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!
Owner of Ape Apps
Posted by
2019-12-17 22:13:25
Edited by bastecklein on 2019-12-17 22:24:58
#2 2019-12-17 23:04:13
Aye! thanks a lot for informing. Mizar, westy and ansom have kept quite a lot of us updated with these changes, but really liked the way you said, "If you know how to grow a colony into the 6-figure population range, you probably already know how to get new colonists fast."

well, but looks like am going to loose almost all my pop soon. will have to restructure most of my colony completely. which makes me ask, idk if its possible but better moving tools, were we can select colums of buildings together rather than clicking and moving every single building. with map size like mine, filled almost upto brim on 600x600, it shall take me days and weeks to reorder it all. though its fine, if its not. and since you are talking about single maps, let me pull your attention to this thread: https://www.ape-apps.com/profile.php?u=Invincible&p=32677
Archmage Of Nations Of Oz[NOZ]
Invincible
Join The NOZ discord server today!!
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#3 2019-12-18 04:38:19
So I am not against the idea. The deal is though, that because of my schedule, if I do not finalize this update by Thursday afternoon, then I will not be able to get it released until probably the second week of January. There is really no feasible way for me to implement that for this update, unfortunately 😕, and this update has already taken way longer than I had expected.

Now, I do plan on making v1.1.0 the “Mass Transit” update, and although I have not seen your map, I suspect that update will help set up almost any type of layout you would want. But yeah, that’s next update, so it doesn’t help you right now. But I already know in my mind exactly how the transit system is going to work, and it’s going to be great.

I’d be interested to know how your 600x600 map runs right now, since not many people play a map anywhere near that size. I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on an offline copy for tuning purposes...
Owner of Ape Apps
#4 2019-12-18 05:36:48
How'll be the open events go? :3
A mad colonist, a mad forum dude and a mad amateur substandard artist.
🚩Assembling all creative ideas!
#5 2019-12-18 06:21:45
Ah it's fine! I wasn't even expecting it this update. I'll mail you my offline colonysave, so you can play around in it. But mass transit... It's going to be interesting. It adds new dimension to the game. Will wait for it!!! GL!
Archmage Of Nations Of Oz[NOZ]
Invincible
Join The NOZ discord server today!!
https://discord.gg/aFUB4NU
#6 2019-12-19 02:45:41
cant wait for mass transit! seems like it would be hell of a time to set up a large monorail around the colony, or metro, or something of the like
Mlg
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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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