Huge changes are coming to My Colony 2
and this update lays the groundwork for a bunch of them. So let's just dive right in and see what is new with My Colony 2 v0.39.0, available now!
Right off the bat, there is a glitch where if you have sky textures enabled, it's always "night time." So no need to report that one, lol.
Moving on, the first thing you are certain to notice is that the games title screen has been completely revamped
So first off, thank you to @GeneralWadaling
for all of the game world models. This change to the title screen goes pretty far beyond a mere fresh coat of paint though, and actually required pretty far reaching changes under the hood. In fact, I had to end up completely rewriting most of the games' networking/multiplayer code from scratch, which ended up consuming a majority of the time I had planned to spend working on this release. Let's get into why.
I mentioned at the beginning that big changes are coming soon to My Colony 2, and these changes center around a far tighter integration to the My Colony 2 online server. Starting with v0.39.0, players are now immediately signed into and communicating with the MC2 online servers as soon as the initial loading screen clears, and in effect you are actually behind-the-scenes in-game even when you are only on the title screen.
Why is this necessary? You have maybe seen the Player Mode icon in My Colony 2 in the past, but this feature is about to be expanded in a huge way. I have mentioned before adding the ability for Player Mode characters to travel between worlds via Star Gates, but I have decided to "dream bigger" and instead go all out on this feature.
Traveling between worlds I quickly realized was going to require a tighter integration with the MC2 servers. The way MC2 worked before was that your game reconnected to the global lobby every time you loaded or joined a server. Unfortunately, this model does not work too well if you need to instantly jump from one world to another. So, I started trying to tweak the current code in order to permit the things I wanted to do, and eventually one thing led to another, and I basically ended up rewriting most of the games networking code from scratch.
Moving back into the cloud and onto the MC2 server, we are now going to be assigning global coordinates to every world, sort of how is done in the original My Colony, and soon instead of building individual My Colony 2 worlds, we are going to be building out the entire My Colony Universe! Virtually, of course.
For anyone who has played My Starship
, this is where things will soon be getting interesting. The title screen is going to be morphing basically into sort of a mix between the game My Starship, and the old Galaxy Map from MC1. Since the title screen is now rendered using another Scroll3d engine instance, you will eventually be seeing all of the MC2 online worlds in their actual global coordinates, right from the title screen. When you click on the next/previous buttons, it is going to "fly" the camera between your different worlds. Note that this does not happen right now, because nothing has coordinates yet. But it is coming soon
How is that like My Starship? Well, when you click on the (+) button on the title screen, you will see an option to create a new Player Mode Character (not yet functional
Unlike creating a local/offline character, this is going to let you choose one of your skins from My Tokens
, and then choose your initial star ship! Luckily General Wadaling had previously provided a ton of star ship models so there should be several to choose from. You will then be able to fly your star ship around the online galaxy map, right from the title screen, and choose which world you want your player to land at.
There are a lot of possibilities here, and I will leave that open for another discussion. But who knows what kinds of things you can discover out in space, beyond just other players' planets.
This new online galactic map + player mode + star ships is the primary focus of the next update
, so that is the next thing I am working on. Suggestions for that implementation are very welcome. Some plans off the top of my head involve allowing players to eventually build star ships that can be controlled on the global map and used to run trade routes, or even blockades of other planets. I think the space realm will need to be more a turn based nature VS realtime (for performance reasons) but we will see. I think of it as a giant global chess board.
Next let's take a look in-game. In the Statistics window, the Nations tab that has been sitting there doing nothing from the beginning of time has been renamed to just Nation
, and now it does something.
Here you will see an overview of all of your colonies and settlements in the entire MC2 universe. The title of the page will read The Colonies of your username
however there is also logic in the game to make it read The Nation of your username
, however that is a discussion for another day. For now I will simply say that on the MC2 server, all colonies are now labeled as being sub-colonies of United Earth.
For MC2 online, I am considering all of a players' settlements to be "united" under a single governing structure, owned by you, the player. Eventually, diplomacy (alliances, trade agreements, and even war) is going to be handled on a global basis. So for example, if a user, we will use Poumm as an example, decides to declare war on you, they are then automatically declaring war on all of your settlements as well as any other players you have formed an alliance with. And this situation will carry over into the global "space" realm as well.
Let's talk a bit about Player Mode next, because it has had a total physics rewrite
, in preparation for next update's online player mode overhaul. You can now walk across bridges and onto tiles occupied by structures, and even onto structures themselves if the change in elevation is not too high. In theory a structure could be designed with a stairway all the way to the top to allow players to climb up onto roofs. I plan to add jumping and mounting vehicles in the next update as well.
Next, if you look in the Game Editor
, the discerning eye may notice four new properties for Structures related to Goods
Goods are another new feature coming soon that will have a huge impact on gameplay. There is a new item on the title screen called the Goods Editor
(which does not function yet). Basically, the concept here is that players will be able to build generic factories and stores to produce and sell goods of their choosing. Factories will have production "slots" determining how many different goods they can produce, and a rate, determining how fast they make said goods. Likewise, stores will be able to sell X number of different goods at a rate of X.
So what are these Goods and where do they come from? Well that is the cool part, that Goods editor will allow players to design the Goods themselves. Basically, players can provide a model (a 3d one using Voxel Paint, or a 2d one using Pixel Paint which will be auto-converted into 3d). You can choose what materials are needed to build the Good, and you will be able to assign different properties to the good (based on the input materials). These goods will be auto-sold in stores for profit, and player mode characters will also be able to visit stores on different planets and purchase these goods directly, equipping them and using them in-game.
If the whole thing sounds complicated, that's because it is, and that is why it doesn't work yet. But it is the next thing I am implementing after the Player Mode revamp.
Moving on to some minor changes, the Wooden Bridge
has had the texture update to fill in the gaps in the wooden slats, because the new Player Mode physics were allowing the player to fall to his death otherwise. Also, @GeneralWadaling
has provided updated models for the Outpost and Mobile Outpost.
The general theme for all of these changes is to make the entire universe around MC2 feel more connected and alive. The goal is to transform the game into something of a city building MMO with strategy, business management, and RPG elements all baked in. Seems pretty ambitious, but it's actually not very far off from being available. Small pieces of groundwork have been laid down for months now, and we are getting close to the point where it's going to happen. Once it's all done, then I think the game will be ready for the big Steam release.
So how can you help? One thing that will be need soon are generic shops and generic factories for the new Goods system. I know there are already a couple out there, but it would be nice to have different "tiers," small cheap ones that have limited production, and mass factories for later in the game. Mom and pop shops and mega marts. We will need it all.
Ideas on how to implement the player mode stuff would be good too. I am thinking maybe having a base no-frills shuttle craft that everyone starts with and gets for free, and then if players want better ships, they will have to be constructed by Ship Yards built in the colonies. Which means we will need a ship yard. I think in MC2, Star Ships should be vastly more expensive VS MC1, and instead of being a resource that you stockpile, it should be an actual unit that can be piloted, sold to players, and positioned on the galactic map in strategic formations.
So there is a lot to be excited about, and this fall is definitely going to the season of MC2 glory. So thanks to everyone who played, keep the suggestions coming, and stay tuned for more!
And yeah, I seriously changed a ton of code in this update, so please let me know everything I borked.