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My Colony 2 v0.37.0 Released

Today I am releasing v0.37.0 of My Colony 2, and from a technical perspective, this is the largest release since the game first came out in late 2020. My Colony 2 has now been moved off of the antiquated Web App Core framework that I first developed back in 2012, and is now being hosted at it's own domain at https://mycolony2.com/. There are some important implications associated with this change, so let's get into it!


The most obvious change is that the game is now hosted at a new URL. Since the majority of My Colony 2 players access the game through the web client, everyone is going to need to update their bookmarks to the new location. If you have the game installed to your device as a Progressive Web App, you need to know that the PWA will not automatically change to the new URL, so you need to first uninstall the old PWA and then install the new one. I realize that it is a bit of a pain, but the change will be worth it in the long run.

The biggest impact this will have is related to save data. Users who sync their save file to the Cloud or who have exported their save data to the filesystem (which I highly recommend) will not be impacted at all, but if your save game is stored in the internal app cache (the riskiest solution with a browser-based game), data will not carry over to the new domain. I hope that most players took heed of this change when I announced it about a month ago! If it ends up being an issue, I might be able to cook up some sort of migration solution, but I think most players will be fine. I think (hope) that the mobile versions of the game are not impacted by this.

Beyond what was stated above, the migration off of the Web App Core framework resulted in considerable changes to the game engine "under the hood." The Web App Core functions touched almost everything, so in many ways this update constitutes a serious rewrite of major portions of the game. Because of this, I would sort of expect there to be some issues here and there. Surprisingly, I have not run into many of them during testing, so maybe things went more smoothly then I had planned, but please be on the lookout for things I may have missed, and please post about what issues you find here in the forums.

Since so much of the code was being changed in this release, I did take the time to work on a few issues that had been plaguing the engine for a while now. First of all, the issue with faded/muted colors I think is pretty well fixed. There may be a few models left that still have color balancing issues, and if you notice any of them please post a list in the forum here so I can get them re-color balanced for the next update.

There had been an issue where Spice deposits were not spreading properly on the Spice World, and this has now been corrected.

Additionally, there was an issue where players who were connected to a remote dedicated server were unable to access the Galactic Board of Trade or other MC2 Online features. This should now be fixed as well.

Game loading and startup should be a lot faster now than it used to be, especially after the first load. I decided to stop compressing the main game data bundle, and even though this added 4mb to the initial game data download, I figured it was not a big deal, since after the first load, the browser stores the bundle data anyway. This means that the data no longer needs to be decompressed when the game is starting up, which on some devices (especially mobile) this could take quite a long time. The start up time improvement can actually be pretty significant, especially if the app is installed to the system as a PWA. I have noticed start up times on the new release of just a few seconds.

Big improvements have been made to flying units. They were sort of borked before - drones randomly disappearing or flying up into the stratosphere, landers not moving, etc. They should just work now.

Don't you hate it when you join a world, then you scroll around the map trying to find a good landing spot, only to never be able to find your lander again? Fear not, if you have not yet deployed your lander, it will not be automatically placed in the Bookmarks tab, so you can always go and find where your lander is sitting.


A major rebalancing has been done in this release, thanks in large part to a document put together by @SPARKY0303 (which you can find here). There were a ton of changes implemented from this, so here is just a rough readout of everything I did:
  • Increased firing range and reduced money cost of the Brick Wall Turret
  • Increased the gift capacity of the Galactic Board of Trade to 25k
  • Fixed the borked stats on the Museum
  • Increased the ore cost and output of the Medium Software Studio
  • Increased the uranium cost and the artifact storage of the Giorgio Institute
  • Increase the build cost and money/civics output of the Investment Bank
  • Increased the output and worker requirement of the Bank
  • Increased the cost and research output for the Center for Artificial Learning
  • Increased the build and input cost of the Robotics Factory while also increasing the robot output
  • Increased the cost and doubled the production rate of the Plastic Factory
  • Increased the cost and production output of the Advanced Microchip Factory
  • Increased the cost and production rate of the Advanced Plastic Factory
  • Increased the build cost and production output of the Synthetic Wood Lab
  • Increased the worker requirement of the Synthetic Oil Lab while doubling production input and tripling output
  • Increased the rum cost and consumption for the Galactic Stock Exchange while also increasing the money output
  • Increased the food cost and money output of the Canteen
  • Increased the cost and attack power of the Pillbox while decreasing the attack range
  • Added worker requirement and increased salt water consumption for Fish R Us
  • Increased the worker requirement and food output of the Hydroponic Farm
  • Increased cost and production output of the Vertical Warehouse Farm
  • Increased cost and software cosumption of the Research Facility while increasing research output
  • Decreased Rum consumption and increased Money output for The Rum
  • Increased money output for the Trading Depot
  • Decreased build cost and aluminum output of the Advanced Drilling Platform
  • Increased the cost and artifact output of the Ultra Deep Drilling Facility while decreasing the aluminum production
  • Increased the cost, money output and rum consumption of the Galactic Trade Authority Office while decreasing the worker requirement
  • The Spice Den can no longer be built on Spice Worlds
  • Increased the worker requirement and production rates of the Aluminum Generator
There may be more rebalancing work to do in the future, so let me know what your thoughts are on the changes.

Some other things have been changed as well. The Blue Dorms have been renamed to the Painted Dorms, which you can now specify your own color for. The Ancient Alien Ore Refinery has been re-skinned with a new model provided by @SPARKY0303 .

Also fulfilling a big request from MC1 players, there are now Building Counts available on the construction sidebar.


I have also added a new option to the Performance Tweaks section of the Engine Settings menu, allowing users to customize the number of chunks that the game renders around the camera.


We also have two new models in this update from @spamdude , including the new Fish Bin Complex (for storing lots of fish), and the giant new Large Brickworks, for bumping out lots of bricks!


Next up, as hinted to in the previous update's release notes, Diamonds have been added to this update, along with the Diamond Miner and the Diamond Solar Tower.


Diamonds are a Lunar World exclusive, and can only be discovered through digging. Once you uncover a diamond deposit, the Diamond Mining tech is automatically unlocked, allowing you to construct the Diamond Miner. Diamond utility will be expanded in the coming updates. At some point once every world has it's own unique resource, there will be some late game super structure that requires a ton of the unique resources from all of the different worlds.

Ok so last but not least, probably the biggest and most common request I get for the game via the in-game feedback is to bring back the Ore Mine from MC1. I never considered the Ore Mine to be necessary, since the world sizes are infinite and you can always just go and find more Ore, and later on you can just generate Ore on all worlds. That said, people have always wanted it, so today I am introducing MC2's version of the Ore Mine, which is the new Ore Drill.


The Ore Drill works sort of like the Spice Vane that occurs naturally on the Spice World. You build it, and then every once and a while it will plop out a small Ore Deposit. Once you build your settlement up to the point where you can make your own ore, you can simply bulldoze the drill. I think this is a reasonable solution for early game Ore, and I might make a Gold version of it in the next update as well. The Ore Drill is only available on maps that have surface ore.

So that is v0.37.0 in a nutshell. The update is available right now on the Web at it's new location (https://mycolony2.com/) and will probably hit the various mobile platforms throughout the weekend or early next week. Please let me know your thoughts on the changes (good or bad), spread the word that the URL for MC2 has changed, and stay tuned for more MC2 goodness to come in the months ahead!

#mycolony2

My Colony 2 v0.36.0 Released

I hope everyone is having a good week! Today I am releasing My Colony 2 v0.36.0 and the update should be hitting all platforms within the coming days. This update cleans up a couple of things, adds a couple of things, and fixed some things. So let's take a look at all of the things...


The My Colony 2 engine now supports a second level of user color customization on buildings, besides the random splashes of settlement color found in some places. Voxel models can now specify a second replace color, allowing the user to fully customize the color of their structures. This is currently enabled on the Bunkbed Shelter, Large Living Quarters and Extra Large Living Quarters, and also the brand new Decorative Tile. The "paint job" can be done by clicking on a structure, and you will see a new color wheel option if the structure supports user defined coloring.


Custom colored structures could be a great way to give your settlement character, define districts, or just liven things up a bit. This release is sort of a test of the feature, and it will be certainly expanded to more buildings in the future. If you are a voxel model creator, you can specify areas of a building that can be custom-colored by using the cyan hex code #00ffff.

More statistics have been added to the building mini-stats popup window, which now shows capacity and utilization graphs for medical, education, entertainment and security, similar to what was available in MC1.


Moving along, the My Colony 2 Online stats window has been updated with a new listing for Settlement rankings, now showing the top 30 online settlements listed by population. I plan on adding more to this soon. You will also (at some point) be able to click on both worlds and settlements to get a detailed breakdown screen of each, and I may end up using this screen for future diplomacy related options.


Ok, now for the potentially controversial update, I have added the ability to instant-purchase any structure using Ape Coins instead of paying with resources. I realize that this is somewhat of a pay-to-win, but the truth is that since MC2 lacks the advertising found in most games, I need a way to generate more revenue for the game, that is just the sad truth of it. Let me explain more about it though.

I think I have set the Ape Coin prices high enough that it should deter just rushing through the game, unless someone really wants to pay a lot. I suspect it only to be used in one-off scenarios when someone really does not want to wait to build something, or at the very beginning of the game when prices are low anyway.

The way it works is that the Ape Coin price is calculated at run time based on the GBT value of all of the resources needed to construct the building, with a minimum price of 10 Ape Coins. Since resource prices scale up a lot on the higher end, a player would have to pay serious money in order to build the later game structures, which is why I do not think this system will be abused much later game, which I believe cuts down on the "pay-to-win" aspect of it.

The reality is that nobody is going to pay $15 to purchase an investment bank, or if they do, they sure aren't going to be using this function to spam a bunch of investment banks. So this price calculation being what it is, I think it will safely protect online stats from pay to win abuse. It also cannot be used to purchase buildings that are above your settlement level.

To build a structure using Ape Coins, you just click on the Ape Coin button instead of the green checkmark button on the new construction bottom bar. There is a confirmation dialog, so you are not going to accidentally spend coins.


One more thing to note, if you purchase a building with Ape Coins and then accidentally place it somewhere where it cannot built, like a blocked space, the building goes into a queue on the server, and you can then build it again without clicking on the Ape Coins option. There is no UI to tell you this yet, but the game will actually let you place the building, even though it says you do not have enough resources.

Finally before moving on to new content, I added structure defensive stats to the Encyclopedia window, which now shows Attack Power, Range and Rate of Fire.


I have not forgotten about the poor encyclopedia, it just has not been on the top of the priorities list.

Ok, let's go to new content now. There are three new techs added this time, Mass Data Management, Colonial Bureaucracy and Extremely Deep Excavation!

Mass Data Management is used for the new Alien Uplink Station upgrade (model by @SPARKY0303 ), while Colonial Bureaucracy gives us the new Department of Advanced Fish Mating Studies (model by @spamdude ), which is basically just a big worthless (but pretty) government jobs farm. The new Museum ( @spamdude ) is a nice entertainment/education combo structure, and the new Decorative Tile is basically a blank slate that you can choose your own color for. Could be used to do pixel art on the grounds of your settlement.

Next up, @therealchromedino provides us with the new Bunker of Last Resort. This is a good structure to place somewhere in the center of your settlement, as it can be used to rebuild in the event that you are on a sever and your settlement gets raided by an enemy army.


The Bunker provides storage for basic building materials, minor housing, utility generation, can construct Builder Bots, has an attack rating slightly better than a pillbox, and an extreme amount of hit points. It is not indestructible, and a tank army would still be able to take it down, but it is a good insurance policy, and every major settlement should have at least one or two of these in the event of an emergency.

The big new structure in this update is the Ultra Deep Drilling Facility by @spamdude and to be honest, I could not afford to build it on the colony I was doing my game testing with, so it is possible that it will need to be tweaked a bit in the next update, just let me know in the comments what you all thing. It is an across the board stat improvement over the current Advanced Drilling Platform, and also provides Crystalline which the original one did not.

Ok so I think that is all of the major stuff in this update. For the next update (v0.37.0) I plan on adding Diamonds as a Lunar World exclusive resource, that will be obtained by excavating. There will also be new units/structures associated with the diamond trade. I think I am also going to have the "Online" version of the Player Mode at least somewhat functional for next update, possibly including the star gate travel between worlds (right now there are only 9 active Star Gates in the MC2 universe). So let me know what issues you find or suggestions you have, thank you to all who contributed artwork for this update, and stay tuned for more to come!

https://www.apewebapps.com/my-colony-2/

#mycolony2

My Colony 2 v0.35.0 Released

Hello all! Today I am releasing v0.35.0 of My Colony 2, which should be hitting all platforms very soon.

I don't have a lot of time to write a long detailed changelog today, so I might make some more detailed posts later in the week. Here is a quick rundown of what is new.

You can now export your game saves to your filesystem (if your device supports it) and run your games straight from the file, thus bypassing cloud sync and My Colony 2's internal app storage altogether. Before moving your save to your filesystem, I would suggest first opening it the traditional way and then save/closing it, so the game will write some extra meta data fields to your save file. This isn't 100% necessary, but it will make the transition smoother.

There is new content too:

New Units
Transcendent Builder (model by therealchromedino)

New Structures
Advanced Hospital (model by SPARKY0303)
Brick Wall (model by SPARKY0303)
Brick Wall Turret (model by SPARKY0303)
Fish Statue (model by SPARKY0303)
Quantum Rum Cellar (model by SPARKY0303)
The Rum (model by SPARKY0303)
Advanced Rum Distillery (model by SPARKY0303)
Municipal Ether Spigot (model by spamdude)
Transcendent Indoctrination Center

Sorry I did not have time for a fancy new post, really busy this week! Thanks for playing the game though and stay tuned for more!

#mycolony2

My Colony 2 v0.34.0 Released

If anybody was looking for a massive My Colony 2 update this month, I've got you covered! v0.34.0 is dropping now on the Web and the Ape Apps Launcher and is packed with goodies that you will not want to miss, so let's take a look at what is new!


The first change you might notice is that the title screen has been reworked, matching the layout from the title screen of Terra Nova 4X. This is a fairly minor change at the moment, but as MC2 had been using the generic Web App Core title screen, I was limited on what I could potentially add to it in the future, so now I will be able to make some changes and improvements going forward.

I also did quite a bit of work on Player Mode in this update, which had been completely borked until now. There is now a new HUD/UI for the mode, complete with health bar, radar, current location stats and more!


There remains a ton of work to be done on Player Mode. Right now there are still glitches and the controls are a bit wonky, but it is functional if you want to give it a test. My Colony 2 is eventually going to contain an entire sub-game based on Player Mode, but for now it's still fun to just walk around your colony and check things out.

There are new options on the Statistics screen for server operators in this release, and the first one is actually quite important.


You can now toggle your server's Private/Public status on the World statistics, which was a long requested feature. You can also toggle on/off the My Colony Online feature (which gives access to online trading through the GBT, among other things). However, and this is important, worlds created before MC2 v0.29.0 will all be in offline mode until activated on the World screen! This is because the MC Online flag in the save file was ignored until this update, and it defaulted to Offline before v0.29.0. Now that the flag is no longer ignored, worlds with the old default will be set to offline.

So the first time you load up your world in v0.34.0 (or higher), you must go into the Statistics screen and turn My Colony Online back on, if you want to use the GBT. You do not have to worry about losing resources or anything like switching between online/offline in the original My Colony. MC2 takes care of this by blocking all connections from modded games.

In addition to the above, server managers can now set the maximum number of online connections allowed in their game. You could previously set this using a chat text command, but now it's just a lot easier to do it from the UI.


Moving on, I have tried to make some interface changes to make My Colony 2 easier to play on mobile devices. The 3D nature of the game makes placing structures more difficult than it was on the original version of My Colony, but I think some changes in this update will help.


Firstly (as seen above), the ground grid lines are now turned on by default on touchscreen devices, allowing you to more easily see where you are placing structures. If you do not like this setting, it can be turned on/off in the Engine Settings menu under the Interface section, but on touch I think it makes a significant different in making the game more playable.

Next, I have tried to make it so that, no matter what orientation you have the camera rotated, placing a new structure will always originate from the top-left tile corner of the tiles to be occupied. On a touch screen there is no "hover" like with mouse input, so it's hard to tell where the building is going to be placed, and a lot of times with the camera rotated, you would have no idea where the building was going to show up once you tapped the screen, so now it should be fairly consistent no matter how you are rotated or zoomed. This was actually more difficult to implement then it might seem, since what tile constitutes the top-left corner is sort of subjective, especially depending on how far the camera is rotated in one way or another. At what angle is the cutoff where top-left becomes top-right, etc? Anyway, after hours of fiddling with the angle cutoffs, I think I have it to where it "feels" good, but you can play with it on mobile and let me know.

Moving right along, I have expanded the building stats that appear when you click on a structure's stats icon. You can now view the production/consumption ratings of Money, Civics and Research. There is still more expansion to be done on building stats, but this change alone makes a pretty big difference, IMO.


Now let's move on to new content, as there is a lot in this update. This release includes 22 new structures, two new techs to unlock, and one new unit. Among the new content in this release are 3D model contributions from @rahtdrgn @therealchromedino @GeneralWadaling and @spamdude so please be sure to show them appreciation for their great works!

Since there are so many new structures, I am just going to list them all out, and then comment on a few of them afterwards. A lot of the structures in this release are of the "Advanced" variety, needed upgrades to existing buildings.
  • Advanced Robotics Factory
  • Ether Reactor (art by rahtdrgn)
  • Ancient Alien Gold Synthesis Lab (art by therealchromedino)
  • Star Gate
  • Advanced Microchip Factory (art by GeneralWadaling)
  • Advanced Plastic Factory
  • Underground Drop Room (art by spamdude)
  • Spice Drilling Operation (art by therealchromedino)
  • Advanced Spice Silo (art by therealchromedino)
  • Quantum Spice Silo (art by therealchromedino)
  • Quantum Oil Tank (art by therealchromedino)
  • Advanced Regolith Synthesis Lab (art by spamdude)
  • Quantum Offshore Drill
  • Advanced Vocational Training Center
  • Spice Den
  • Galactic Trade Authority Office
  • Ether Crystal Reactor
  • Plaza Mosaic Tile
  • Investment Bank
  • Advanced Helium 3 Extractor
  • Black and White Checkered Pavement
  • Street Sign
First I want to discuss the new Interdimensional Transportation tech which unlocks the new Star Gate, because this is going to tie in big with a Player Mode feature in the future.


Basically, the Star Gates are going to allow characters in Player Mode to seamlessly travel between worlds/servers. Ultimately, the area around your Star Gate will be the first thing a player sees when they enter your world from that perspective, so you may want to include things like informational signs about your world, and you may want to leave some space to build specific Player Mode related structures that will be available in the future. You may also wish to have at least one security turret nearby, as you never know what is going to be coming through the Star Gate. The Star Gates will also allow fast travel of players/colonists/units between distant settlements both on and off world.

The Star Gates are going to be a critical component of the Player Mode. I wanted to get them in the game sooner rather than later, because the My Colony Online database is keeping track of every star gate in the "universe," and I need to get that database built up before I can enable the fast travel and other features.

Moving along, an old favorite from the original My Colony has returned, as the Bank can now be upgraded to the Investment Bank!


You can start bringing in some pretty good money for your settlement with the Investment Bank, but it's not actually the best money maker in this release. That honor goes to the new Spice Den!


The Spice Den is a brick structure repurposed from an old food production model that GeneralWadaling had made a couple of years ago, and as long as you are able to keep it running with Spice, you will make some nice profits, as the rich and famous in your settlement will pay top dollar to get their Spice fix in a safe and discrete way. Obviously if you are not on the Spice World you will need to procure your Spice from the GBT, so you might want to stock up whenever it becomes available, as I suspect this is not the only Spice related structure we will be seeing added to non-Spice worlds.

Note that the Spice Den is the first structure in the game that actually has a negative Security rating, so you may need to offset that with an extra security headquarters.

Now, you have heard of the noble Extraterrestrial Builder, but what about his equally noble cousin, the Extraterrestrial Sea Rover?


The old offshore drill got a Quantum Offshore Drill upgrade in this release, so it needed a new boat to build it. Not only is this new version of the offshore drill faster, but it also brings up Alien Artifacts! This was badly needed I think, since artifacts are fairly rare on the desert world, and you just can't dig much at all on the water world, so these new Quantum Offshore Drills will come in handy.

Speaking of badly needed, you can now easily generate Helium 3 on any world with the new Advanced Helium 3 Extractor. You will need Regolith to operate it, but that shouldn't be a problem once you construct the new Advanced Regolith Synthesis Lab.

So what happens when you want to conduct big trades on the GBT but you don't want to build hundreds of Trading Depots? That's where the new Galactic Trade Authority Office comes into play!


This is another decent money making structure, but it also greatly increases your gift/trade capacity (I forgot the number, but it's big).

A lot of the buildings that needed upgrades got them in this release. We now have the Advanced Robotics Factory, the Advanced Microchip Factory, the Advanced Plastic Factory, Advanced Vocational Training Center, and the Underground Drop Room (upgrade to the Storage Yard), just to name a few.


In addition, the Spice World now has the new Spice Drilling Operation, which is basically an Ore Fracking Operation for Spice. There are also the new Advanced and Quantum Spice Silos for superior Spice storage.

There is also the Quantum Oil Tank upgrade, for storing larger amounts of Oil.

Finally, all of these new structures will require a great deal of power. That is where the brand new Ether Crystal Reactor comes into play!


You will need a continuous source of both Ether and Crystalline to run this thing, so you may need to watch the GBT for deals. If you can afford it though, the Ether Crystal Reactor will provide you with a 55,000 power rating, far eclipsing the current Integrated Nuclear Reactor.

At the end of the day, there was a ton of work put into this update, so I hope you all enjoy it! There is a lot more excitement for My Colony 2 on the horizon. My goal is to have, by the end of this year, full gamepad/tv support, full VR support, music, sounds, a Steam release, and to have enough content and features to overtake the playability of the original My Colony. So stay tuned for more large updates like this one, because this size of release is going to be the norm, not the exception!

Thank you again for playing My Colony 2 and remember, build up your parameter defenses, because @poumm is out there, lol!


Just kidding, poumm. You're ok!

#mycolony2

My Colony v1.27.0 Released

Today I am publishing a minor patch for My Colony 1 which should be hitting all platforms over the coming day. This is just a minor bug fix release!

Linkback References

My Colony





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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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