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Scroll2d and the Future of Ape Apps

If any of you have ever peeked at the source code of My Colony or many of my other games, you might notice a common script in all of them called scroll2d.js. Back in 2013, I thought it would be neat to create a web browser based game engine that could be used to render and manipulate 2d tile maps in either normal or isometric mode. Scroll2d is the engine I came up with, and My Land was the the original technical demonstration for that engine.

Since then, I have reused that engine in many different projects, including Gone Rogue, My Colony, Musical Kittens, Antiquitas, EZ Composer, Hell and Back, My Starship, Epic Adventure, the map editor in Death 3d, and more. I think it's fair to say that over the last 7 years I have gotten a got bit of mileage out of the engine, but I think it's also fair to say that the engine is a bit dated. From a technical standpoint, I did a lot of things weird in Scroll2d that, if I could redo it all, would have been done a lot differently. The problem is, the engine is used in so many projects I can't really just make huge changes to it without breaking everything.

I have been thinking of this for a while, and I am considering "sunsetting" the Scroll2d engine and all of it's associated projects and moving completely into 3d/WebGL. I am thinking of creating a brand new engine, unimaginatively called Scroll3d, which will offer similar capabilities of scrolling around a map and manipulating tiles, but will be entirely 3d and use 3d models instead of 2d sprite graphics.

Now, when I say "sunsetting," it's not as though I am going to discontinue any of my Scroll2d apps and games. Really, nothing with Ape Apps ever reaches an "end of life" and I will probably support all projects until I fall from the virus or some other tragedy. That said, I do plan on moving all of the current Scroll2d projects down from the priority list and start working on new titles using the new 3d engine.

I currently have two fairly extensive Scroll2d projects that I do plan on completing first before making this switch, Colony Wars and My Empire. I am pretty far along into both projects, so it only makes since to finish them and get them published to the markets.

So all of that said, here is my roadmap going forward for Ape Apps:
  1. Complete Colony Wars. This is my current #1 priority project starting now, and pretty much the only thing I am going to be working on until it's done. Time to get this game finished and released.
  2. Complete My Empire. As soon as I am done with Colony Wars, I am going to go straight full time into My Empire and get that game done as well.
  3. Begin Scroll3d development. I am then going to be moving all attention into creating the new game engine, which will be a combination/mix of everything I have learned over the years between the Scroll2d engine and the Death 3d engine. Of course, the new engine needs its maiden project, and I think that maybe the time is right to start working on:
  4. My Colony 2: the first project to be based on the new engine.
Why My Colony 2? Just like Scroll2d, I have learned a lot since I started writing My Colony, and that engine is full of legacy code and strangeness and concepts that I would never even think about today. My Colony 2 is a great opportunity to take all of the best parts of the original, leave out the things that don't work, and bring in new ideas from the suggestions forum that can't be implemented in the current game without overhauling everything anyway.

My Colony 2 is only a concept right now, so all suggestions are on the table. Think of all of the things you wish were in the current My Colony. Ideas that would require a total rewrite of the game are now on the table, because I am literally doing a total rewrite of the game, which will also include a new server. I can make multiplayer that actually works properly if I design the game with multiplayer in mind from the beginning. All units and buildings will be 3d modeled using blender. I don't have a lot of the concepts worked out, but I am thinking that My Colony 2 will only feature United Earth instead of 4 different civs, so I can keep my focus this time.

So anyway, that is what's happening. I plan to finish Colony Wars sometime this month and My Empire next month, and I will then begin work on MC2, which will be built in complete open beta and all feedback and suggestions will be taken into account. So stay tuned for more!
Owner of Ape Apps
Posted by
2020-06-05 04:05:30
#2 2020-06-05 15:26:53
With the move away from MC to MC2, will we have to purchase a new premium upgrade or will the upgrade for MC be able to be moved over?
#3 2020-06-05 16:22:44
@Sonnyzane My Colony 2 will be a completely new game separate from MC1. I don't know what the premium/business model for MC2 will look like yet, but the My Colony 1 purchase will not carry over. So for a real world example, this would be like if you bought Halo 1, it does not then mean that you just automatically get Halo 2 when it comes out.

So just to be clear, I am not talking about My Colony v2.0, I am talking about a whole new game. This will not be an update to the existing My Colony, and the existing My Colony will still be around and will still be supported, and the server will not be shut down or anything. There will be two completely different games. Buying MC2 will not give you an advantage over MC1 players because they are two separate games on two separate servers.

Hope that clears it up!
Owner of Ape Apps
#4 2020-06-05 17:02:03
Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification!
#5 2020-06-05 18:56:56
Hey Bast, I am hella excited about this new engine and basically everything on that list, can't wait to see what you and the community come up with. But there is one question I have, does this mean that My Colony 1 is complete/final.
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#6 2020-06-05 19:03:37
@Conco2 I will probably still add some new buildings here and there, but nothing major. No big engine changes or new features/concepts. But My Colony 2 is still a long ways away, so MC1 is still the main game for now.
Owner of Ape Apps
#7 2020-06-05 19:09:44
@bastecklein That sounds great bast! My Colony has been one of my favorite indie games for a while now i can wait to play the sequel. :-)
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#8 2020-06-05 19:15:40
Wow yeah! Warning : hype

Please please please, make online games saved online, on the server. No corrupted data, no cheating and the ability to start on a device and continue on another one! But I already told you that :p You have to do it from the get go!!

The business model could be offline games for free and pay for multiplayer, social features and creative mode.

You can also use this opportunity to merge your space station game idea that you had with My Colony 2 here is my (old) post https://www.ape-apps.com/viewpage.php?p=19889&pg=2
Creator of Coloniae

#9 2020-06-06 22:55:07
I will plan on getting mc2 when its out and even the premium if there is one(please keep the premium 1 dollar if you do have a premium)
#10 2020-06-10 21:06:51
Will colony .mcz files from My Colony be compatible with MC2 or do we have to start over?
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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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