I know that many are anxiously waiting the next updates to My Colony 1 and 2, so since they are still a little ways off, I thought I would share with everyone what their current status is, and what my plans are going forward!
First, the reason for the lack of updates this month is that I have created a new Google Play account called My Colony Universe to house all of the games in (you guessed it) the My Colony Universe, so that everything is combined together and easy for players to find. Since the titles were spread out across three different accounts, it took me some time to get everything transferred over, as each transfer request takes several days and must (I assume) be done manually by employees at Google.
Going forward though, all My Colony related content on Android is available on the same Google Play account which you can view here:
While I was waiting for the transfers though, I started the process of going back and updating my entire catalogue of apps and games so that they all target the latest versions of Android/iOS/Windows and run the latest SDK's and so on. This has been a slow-ish process, and I expect it to take me most of the rest of the month, but it is important work to do, since the My Colony games themselves do not generate all that much revenue, and are largely subsidized by the rest of my catalogue of apps and games. For that reason, it is important to keep the other titles up to date and functioning properly on the latest mobile hardware, and since some of my apps I had not touched in several years, time was well overdue to go through and complete this process.
Next, let's look at the future plans for the original My Colony
. I do not know if it will be ready for the next update or not (really depends on GirlyGamerGazell's timeline), but the next big content update to the game will be the completion of the Dark Matter update. This will probably be the last really big content update that MC1 receives, other than a regular stream of weekly premium structures. I really want to focus my time for new content and features into My Colony 2 which has really begun to mature over the last few updates, so that is what I will be doing. Rest assured though, MC1 will continue to receive updates on a regular basis to fix things that need fixed and to stay current for the latest devices and whatnot.
I am also going to be making a change to the Challenges system, as it turns out that it is a lot of work for me to keep coming up with new challenges on a daily basis. Instead, every day the MC server is going to automatically generate a new daily challenge using a random resource, this way I do not have to keep coming up with challenges and logos manually. In addition, randomly throughout the day, the server may generate a 1-2 hour long "snap challenge," which I think should give more players a chance to gain trophies.
As the challenge system goes on, it may make sense to implement something like "seasons" where all trophies reset after a time. There can be a record of course of which players/federations won each season. But at some point it might get to where first place is so far ahead on trophies that nobody can even catch up.
Anyway, you guys can let me know what you think of the system. Remember that challenges are completely optional, and while some people have expressed disdain for the system, many others seem to really like it, so it will be staying around for sure, and might even come to MC2 as well.
Now on to My Colony 2
, which is going to have a big year in 2023. A lot of new features/fixes/and mechanics have come to MC2 over the last few updates, bringing it closer to being on par with the original. That is going to continue, and it will eventually far surpass MC1 in terms of "stuff to do."
First, I have done some work behind the scenes over the last couple of weeks on the server side of things, mostly aimed at improving MC2 dedicated servers. I noticed that when running an MC2 dedicated server for several days, what would happen is that the user's account token would expire, and then all game saves to Cloud Sync would fail due to an expired token. Thus the next time the server was rebooted, several days of game data would be lost. This issue should now be fixed on the web app version of My Colony 2, so it now should be
safe to run an MC2 dedicated server using the web browser for days on end with Cloud Sync enabled. I currently have three servers running at my house to put this theory to the test.
To further help with dedicated servers, I am going to be adding an automatic daily backup for all public dedicated server games directly to the My Colony 2 server (which is on different hardware than the Cloud Sync server) which server owners will be able to restore from in the event of a catastrophe. Perhaps I will retain the last several days worth of backups that an owner can restore from.
Since I noticed there has been a lot more MC2 dedicated server activity lately, I wanted to make sure that this system is as solid as I can make it, so more improvements will be coming to it as time goes on.
In terms of new content, the next MC2 update will be fairly large, as I am pleased to report there have been quite a few new model submissions on the Discord server and elsewhere, so there is a lot of exciting content coming soon to MC2.
I am also going to be making a way for people to submit the link to their custom News Feed servers, so that the game will come standard with several that players can choose from.
I would like to also finally release MC2 to Steam in 2023, which I know is something some people have been asking/waiting for. Before it gets there, I want the game to have sound effects and a music track. I have already compiled a few original tunes for the game using Garageband, but I am no musical expert, so if anyone out there wants to take a stab at creating some songs for MC2, please feel free to do so!
Big things are going to be coming to the Player mode in My Colony 2 (the mode where you become a little colonist and walk around). I sort of have a vision in my mind where MC2 is kind of two types of games in one, the city builder type game that it already is, and something of an adventure/role playing game using the Player mode, except that the universe you play in consists of the network of online dedicated servers built by other players. I am thinking that the Star Gate from MC1 needs to return, but this time it will act as a means for players to travel from planet to planet in player mode in order to adventure, complete quests/missions, find items, or just explore other worlds from that perspective. I have spent some time just walking around some MC2 worlds in the VR mode, and it is pretty cool, but would be far more so if there was actually something to do besides just look.
Basically, each player/account is going to have one player mode avatar on the entire universe server, instead of a different guy for each world. You will have a "home" planet that you can respawn on if you die or if the server you are currently on goes offline. You will have stats/inventory and be able to party up/communicate with other players. You will be able to visit other worlds via Star Gates, even if you do not have a settlement on that world. When you are in building mode, you will be able to see Player Mode people as they come through your star gate, and so really you can build some kind of special welcoming area/lobby in your world around your Star Gate. Maybe buildings will be added that you can build that have specific functions for player mode. The game will also generate some NPC type characters in each settlement that players can interact with or get quests from. You will be able to do some sort of prospecting/mining, and maybe each world will have unique materials that you can only obtain in player mode. There are a lot of options.
Player Mode characters will also be able to control vehicles, whether driving/air/water vehicles, as well as combat type vehicles. There are a lot of options. Players will also be able to fight each other if they choose to do so.
So that is sort of my idea for the "two games in one" approach to MC2. Although the classic My Colony style of play will always be the primary mode, I think realtime multiplayer and dedicated server model that MC2 has unlocks the ability to add the cool secondary mode that can potentially add replay value to the game for years to come, and also open the world up to players who maybe don't care about the building aspect of the game, but would have fun adventuring through worlds that others have built up.
So those are the 2023 plans for MC2. Content and feature wise, I want it to be close to on par with MC1 United Earth faction, with the added bonus of infinite world sizes, real time online multiplayer, and a network of worlds that are truly connected. On top of that, I want to start adding a secondary adventure game to the mix that players can interact and explore in, whether on a PC, touch screen, TV/gamepad, or in VR. Finally, I want the polish and presentation to get to a point where the game is ready for Steam. I think all of these updates will add up to some exciting times ahead for MC2!
Just as an aside, I also plan to keep updating Colony Wars throughout the year, I have not forgotten about that game. At some point also, Terra Nova 4X will become a thing, I just need to find the time to work on it!