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My Colony 2 v0.23.0 Released

Just in time for the weekend (if you are using the PWA at least), the My Colony 2 v0.23.0 update is now available, bringing a lot of goodies that I hope think you are going to love. So what's new in this release? Let's take a look!


To begin with, continuing work from the last two releases of My Colony 2, more structure voxel models have been separated from the data files, further reducing initial game load times, particularly on mobile devices. This should especially help on lower memory devices, as some were crashing from the sheer size of the overall MC2 data file during initial load.

Next up, as I mentioned in another thread, all My Colony 2 game statistics are now being automatically logged to the Coloniae service that @Sobeirannovaocc is maintaining. The My Colony 2 implementation of Coloniae is still in development, but you can find it at the following URL to track it's progression. Check it out, see if you can find your own world statistics, and be sure to give Sobe your feedback!

https://dev.coloniae.space/

In addition, all new colonies in MC2 are now being automatically added to the mc2global Universe, as outlined in this thread. This will be the default global universe for all new MC2 games, and if you want to join it with your existing colony, simply click on the thread I just posted for instructions.

Next up, commenters in the various app stores have long been requesting that MC2 contain some sort of hints or tutorials such as those found in the original My Colony. So I have started to add helpful dialogs to the game at various points.


More exciting than the tutorials though, are the manner in which they have been implemented. Some time ago, there was a request for some scripting capabilities to be added to MC2 that creators could use for different types of mods. I started implementing it by adding some flag properties to units, structures, worlds, and civs, but then forgot about it, until @Luker124 recently reminded me that they would be helpful for a mod he is planning. As a result, you will now see a new Scripting section in the Game Editor.


I will make a more detailed post on scripting at some point, but it basically works like this. Certain entities (units, structures mainly, but also civs and worlds) can set either a Player Flag or a Global Flag when they are built/come into the game. A Player Flag pertains to the player who triggered the event, and a Global Flag pertains to the entire server. When a flag is triggered, the engine looks through all of the available scripts, and then will run any script that is triggered by the trigger flag.

The engine remembers which players have used which flag, so they can only be triggered once, unless a script gives a "clear flag" command. You can see the currently available script actions in the screenshot above. A script may contain one or more actions, and can call subsequent scripts by setting flags itself.

I plan to use this new flag/script feature to implement something suggested by @GeneralWadaling some months ago, whereby you could discover interesting terrains which would then unlock things. My thinking is that you could discover alien artifacts/tech that would then unlock certain structures that were not available otherwise through the tech tree.

The possibilities are vast though, so it will be interesting to see what modders come up with. The scripting framework is still in its infancy, so try it out and let me know what additions or improvements you would like to see. I foresee eventually being able to make a wide variety of different types of mods with this feature, not even limited to colony builder games.

Next up we come to a new addition that everybody has been asking for since MC2 was first made public, and I am talking about the return of the Bulldozer!


There is now a new toolbar above the build options sidebar. Currently it only has a bulldozer, but that will probably be expanded at some point. As in MC1, the bulldozer mode will turn your interface red so that you do not forget you are in a destructive mode. Unlike MC1, bulldozing a structure will now actually sell it instead of just destroy, so that it is actually more like a quick-sell option than anything else.

Besides just structures, Roads can now finally be removed too, using the bulldozer. This has been one of the top requests for a long time, and now it is a reality. This actually required a pretty substantial rewrite to how roads work, which I outlined in another thread a few weeks ago. But the work is done and the feature is here now. In the coming updates, I plan on also allowing roads to be built pretty much anywhere, not just within the confines of your own settlement, allowing vast highways to be buily across your world!

Moving on, the engine will now enforce structures that have a Settlement Level requirement (currently, only a handful of structures do). You will see this when viewing structure costs on the sidebar. Settlements are leveled up using Civics, and you can level up your settlement by selecting it from the Statistics window.

Now on to new content, as three new Techs have been added in this update: Low Atmospheric Zoology, Advanced Security and Advanced Robotics! Along with the techs, we have two additional resources added to the mix, Cloth and Robots.

Of course, there are new structures here too. The Fish Hatchery is back from MC1, allowing you to breed fish for food. The Outhouse is here, which I think was something of a gag model that GeneralWadaling sent me, but I turned it into an early game sanitation (medical) facility that you can build early on, before you can afford an infirmary. Next we have the Synthetic Textile Lab for creating cloth, and the Robotics Factory for making robots. There is a decorative United Earth Flag that takes on the color of your settlement, and the Storage Yard is a new upgrade to the Raw Materials Depot, allowing you to store way more raw materials than you previously could. Finally, the new War Factory will allow you to build this updates' new military unit, the Main Battle Tank!


All in all, there is a lot here in this update, and I hope you guys like it! So check it out, as it should be hitting all platforms over the coming days, and if you don't want to wait, fire up the web app now at the following URL. Until then, thanks for playing, and have a good weekend!

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

#mycolony2

Colony Wars v0.8.0 Released

The My Colony Universe Real Time Strategy (RTS) game Colony Wars has just been updated to v0.8.0, which is live now at it's new web domain and should be hitting Android over the coming days. This is the first real update to Colony Wars in about two years, so the game was long overdue. v0.8.0 contains a lot of updates "under the hood" and some quality of life improvements throughout, so let's take a look what is new!


The biggest change "structurally" to the game is one I mentioned in a thread earlier this week, which is that Colony Wars has been migrated off of the Web App Core framework and is now a stand-alone web app hosted at https://wars.my-colony.com/. If you previously had the Colony Wars progressive web app (PWA) installed to your device from the old Ape Web Apps location, you should uninstall it and reinstall the new one from the new URL.

The next change is the revamped title screen, which you can see in the screenshot above. The old title screen was also a component of Web App Core, so after migrating off of the library, I had to re-write the title from scratch. I sort of tried to copy off of the Red Alert 2 title screen (at least in terms of layout), since many of the game concepts are borrowed from RA2 anyway. Eventually, the background image on the title is going to cross fade between different battle scenes.

You will notice on the title screen that there is a new Quick Match button. This was added in response to Play Store feedback that setting up a new game could sometimes be too complicated on mobile devices. Now if you just want to quickly play a match, hop in the game and click on Quick Match. You will instantly be taken to a random map in Skirmish mode against how ever many AI opponents the map supports.


Improvements have been made to the New Game Lobby. You can now finally assign different teams to AI players, and change the color of the AI opponents as well. You can even assign AI players to be on your own team, if you wish. You might also notice a new map available called Crossroads. This was created by @GeneralWadaling , so if you enjoy the map please let him know!

Since we are on the subject of new maps, the Map Editor has also been improved. Namely, all of the functions on the map editor now work. Before, the abilities to import a map or open a saved map were not functioning, but now everything should be working properly (at least on the web app, Android might still have some bugs, but that will be sorted out in 0.9.0).


There was a lot of feedback on both the Play Store and through my email that the game was too difficult to control with touch screen, so several changes have been made to hopefully improve the situation:
  • Tapping on a unit twice will now select all units of the same kind in a 6 tile radius
  • Units will now automatically attack all in-range defensive turret type structures (pillboxes, SAM sites, etc)
  • When units are selected, you can simply tap on an enemy structure to order an attack, instead of having to click on the "move units" button first
In addition, Colony Wars previously had an issue where you could not cancel an in-progress construction. On the desktop, you could hold/cancel a build with a right-click, but this did not work on mobile devices. Now, a small hold/cancel button has been added to the build item on the construction sidebar, that you can tap on to hold or cancel a building that is under construction.


This also works for units. If you have multiple units queued up, you can click on their number in the sidebar to cancel the build.

Another much-requested feature has been added. You can now see the health bar for a structure by clicking on it (or mouse-hovering it, if your device has a mouse). In addition, there is now an option to sell a building, or to quickly set a rally point for new units. You could previously do the rally point with a keyboard shortcut, but now you have access to the option on touch screen too.


Once in the game, you will notice a couple of additional changes. Firstly, all of the interface voice recordings ("construction complete," "low power," "harvester under attack," etc) have been re-recorded. My wife was kind enough to lend her voice for the recordings, so perhaps the sound will be more "soothing" now that it was before!

The AI's "brain" has been ratcheted up a bit in this release, especially as it relates to attacking your base. Previously, an AI would send some tanks into your base, destroy one building, and then just sit there like an idiot. Now the AI will actually go all-in and continue attacking your base until the job is done (or his attack force is destroyed).

Overall in-game performance should be better as well in this release, as the underlying Scroll2d engine has been updated to the latest iteration, which has about two years worth of improvements baked in over the previous release.

Finally, the multiplayer experience should be greatly improved in this release. As with Scroll2d, there are also two years of improvements brought over from my in-house multiplayer library, many of the code improvements coming thanks to the real-time multiplayer nature of My Colony 2. Multiplayer games now feature better performance, and much better handling of error states, such as player disconnects.

So the main focus of this release was to get Colony Wars migrated to its new home and bring about some of the most requested interface improvements. The next update is going to focus on adding new units and structures to the game. United Earth still needs a few things added before it's considered a complete faction, and if you have any suggestions on new structures and units for United Earth, now is the time.

Once the United Earth faction is done, I will focus on adding LIS to the game. Like in My Colony, LIS will have some similarities to United Earth, but with a few different specialized units and structures.

Once LIS is implemented, it will be time to add Zolarg into the game, and maybe the Alpha Draconians too for good measure, I haven't decided on that yet.

Finally, once all factions are done, the focus will switch to implementing the single player campaign, which will play through the story of the Human civil war, and the LIS's break-away from United Earth. I mentioned in a thread the other day that I want to have RA2 style cheesy cutscenes in the game. I might make them using Death 3D, but I also might get myself a greenscreen and an "Admiral Tots" costume. Haven't decided yet...

All the while adding the above mentioned items, I want to add other improvements as well. More options to the Multiplayer/Skirmish lobby, like setting your starting funds, game speed, AI difficulty, and tech level. The game needs Super Weapons too.

So that is it for this update. Expect more frequent Colony Wars updates, and let me know what you want to see added (as well as what issues you find with this release). Thanks for playing, and be sure to bookmark/install Colony Wars from it's new URL at my-colony.com:

https://wars.my-colony.com/

#colonywars

Colony Wars Update and Migration

A couple of months ago, I announced that I would begin phasing out Web App Core, the cross-platform app wrapper I have been developing and using since around 2012. I have been making this change due to the fact that Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have now become the primary development target for Ape Apps, and their capabilities have reached the point to where using a big, heavy and bloated app wrapper like Web App Core is no longer a necessity. In addition, many of the features of PWA's work better when each app is hosted on its own domain or subdomain, as opposed to having every single app hosted on the same address like Ape Web Apps currently does. So this migration away from Web App Core/Ape Web Apps and towards individual domains has been a slow one and has taken up a lot of my time over the last couple of months, but progress is being made, and the next title on the migration list is none other than the long-in development game Colony Wars!


As of today, Colony Wars can now be accessed from it's new URL on the main My Colony Universe website: https://wars.my-colony.com. I think it is now almost up to fully functional from its previous release on Ape Web Apps, minus the Map Editor which I am still converting off of Web App Core. Out of all of the titles I have already moved off of Web App Core, Colony Wars has been the most difficult, as it utilized nearly the entire suite of Web App Core provided functions. I hope to have the conversion fully completed by the end of the week.

This conversion will bring Colony Wars up to v0.8.0. The primary changes in this release will be (obviously) the migration off of Web App Core, but also some new features as well. I have added a new Skirmish option, which will allow you to more quickly launch an offline battle VS the AI players without first going through the online multiplayer lobby. I am also adding an even faster Quick Match option, which will immediately put you into an offline Skirmish match on a random map with AI players already set up. There are also some bugs/UI issues that will be cleaned up that have been on the to-do list for ages now.

Beyond v0.8.0, I am planning to bring Colony Wars back to life off of the back-burner. Spending some time playing old school Command and Conquer with my son as convinced me that Colony Wars needs to be completed. Beyond new units, buildings, and maps which are all needed, I also need to start working on the single player Campaign. I want to have cheesy cut scene videos like in old Command and Conquer games, although I am not going to be hiring actors and doing any filming. I think I am going to render all of the cutscenes using Death 3D, creating characters using My Tokens and scenes with the Death 3D map editor. I have begun scripting out the story, which takes place in the year 2083 and begins with the LIS declaring independence and ambushing the United Earth Space Marines detachment on Terra Nova. Chronologically, the Colony Wars story takes place about a year before the events of Death 3D, and about a decade or so after the events of the Deimos trilogy.

So anyway, that is a look at what is coming down the pike for Colony Wars. If you want to check it out at it's new domain while it is still being worked on, you can access the site using the beta URL parameter to prevent it from activating it's service worker and caching the in-development code: https://wars.my-colony.com/?beta=1

#colonywars

My Colony v1.19.0 Released

My Colony (the original) has just been updated to v1.19.0, and the latest patch should be hitting all platforms over the coming days. This release replaces the Import/Export slider dialog with a text entry dialog so that you can easily enter the exact amount of a resource that you can import or export. It also fixes an issue that was preventing the NetSchool from working properly.

There have been requests for new content/buildings to be added to My Colony 1 lately. Now that My Colony 2 is out, I am not actively working on new MC1 content anymore, but I am always open for community submissions. You can provide the graphics asset for the structure you would like to see added as well as a description of the building stats (what it does, what it converts, worker requirements, and so on) and if I think it is appropriate I will add it to the game. You can find information related to MC1 texture editing on the Texture Mods forum.

#mycolony

My Colony 2 v0.22.0 Released

I know that My Colony 2 v0.21.0 was just released yesterday, but I found a couple of bugs in the Dedicated Server code that I did not want to put off until I had time to do a full proper update, which is why this release is getting published so soon.

Besides from the quick bug fixes, this update also splits the .vvp model data out of the object definition data for the Cloning Facility, Plastic Factory, Landing Field, Canteen, Synthetic Oil Lab and Warehouse, which should further improve initial load times on mobile devices.

One last note, I have started working on a soundtrack for My Colony 2! I have three tracks composed already, and hope to have enough to include in the next release. I will start adding sound effects to the game in the next release as well.

That's all for today guys, thanks for playing and stay tuned for more!

#mycolony2

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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