News for Colony Survival Edit
Colony Survival 0.2 is live now! (22/06/2017) Edit
- We’ve had an amazing launch last Friday. Majors thanks to everybody who purchased the game! It was amazing to join random servers and see people enjoy the game, to read all the reviews and to watch all the videos you’ve put online.
We’ve released version 0.1.14 Friday. By Tuesday we had already reached version 0.1.18. We’ve tried to fix or improve the most common bugs and problems.
Version 0.2 is the first time since release that we add new jobs and significantly impact the production chain of existing colonies. We’ve added berry farmers, who are a source of quick and easy food in the first phase of your colony. No more two days of waiting, no more bakers, just instant food.
Bread production has become more complicated, but is ultimately more efficient than berry farming. You’ll need to place a grindstone now to recruit a colonist who converts wheat into flour. Bakers can only use flour to bake bread. This update will hopefully help to make the first phase of the game better!
Last but not least, we want to thank the people who've already started translating and modding the game. We never expected that to happen so quickly! We've already received Japanese, French, Chinese, Italian and plenty of other translations. We've also seen people mod the blocks, the monsters and the terrain generations. Thanks translators and modders!
Update 0.2.3: new blocks, new tree, new fixes! (30/06/2017) Edit
- The first translation of Colony Survival was Japanese. Currently, the most watched video of Colony Survival on YouTube is Japanese. Now we add some Japan themed content to the game: red planks (berry + planks), black planks (coal + planks) and cherry blossom trees (craft a shop and buy the saplings)!
There are also some important fixes in the update: - Wheat lag reduced by 99% (highly necessary for large colonies) - A penalty is applied when a monster reaches the banner - Saving problems solved - Jumping issues caused by low frames per second fixed
Update 0.2.3 is now live!
Friday Blog: Progress in July (07/07/2017) Edit
- Our work last week has been focused under the hood. We’ve released two new updates last week: 2.4 and 2.5. Visually, nothing has changed, but some much needed fixes and performance enhancements have been added.
Last Monday, the biggest problem in Colony Survival history occurred. Some players figured out how they could get water blocks in their inventory in multiplayer, without any special permissions. Placing these blocks high up flooded entire worlds. Earlier, one other player called ‘That Quiet Bear’ found a way to do this days after the release. He edited the crafting recipes and noticed that these changes carried over to multiplayer. Instead of using this to destroy other worlds, he told us about it immediately. We’re still grateful for that! We fixed the issue immediately.
But on Monday, players figured out that you could also edit the results of destroying blocks. They could edit grass blocks so they would put water blocks in your inventory on destruction. This edit still carried over to multiplayer. Suddenly we heard lots of reports of worlds being flooded until they crashed!
Again, we started working on a fix as soon as possible. We also ended compatibility between different versions of clients and servers. If a server is updated, all players have to update as well or they cannot join again. Updated servers will be protected from players that want to exploit problems in older versions of the game.
Besides that, we’ve focused on improving the performance of the game. Performance has been pretty good for small colonies in singleplayer since release day. But we’ve never tested the game with more than 200 colonists or more than 4 players online. Now we’re seeing colonies with over 1000 colonists, and servers with dozens of players! We’re working hard to fix the causes of lag in mega colonies and servers with lots of players. The performance has gotten better in 2.4 and 2.5, and 2.6 will contain more fixes once it’s released. One example: the server reported the position of every guards six times per second, while they’re mostly standing still. Fixing issues like this will dramatically reduce network traffic and significantly improve the online experience.
We received quite a lot of complaints about broken savegames. The new updates also contain a fix to prevent some of the old problems, and we’ll keep working until all savegame issues have been solved!
TL;DR: More frames per second. Less network traffic for better online experience. Flooding issue in multiplayer solved. Some of the savegame issues fixed. Multiple improvements for big colonies and big servers, not a lot of noticeable changes for small singleplayer colonies.
Friday Blog - slightly late - 0.2.6 (15/07/2017) Edit
Part of this week one of us is unexpectedly away (family reasons) - the PR guy behind pipliznl. So here comes a programmer blog post!
This week was almost entirely spend on optimizing various parts of the game. There were some obvious parts of the game that were woefully inefficient (monster AI, network use, some client parts), and the more obvious ones have now been fixed. All in all this improvement leads to a >80%-ish improvement in network traffic, a up to 60%-ish boost in client fps depending on the world, and (depending on the colony as always) +50% up to ~+300% (!) server performance.
These improvements won't add new content, just like the previous patches, but help build a foundation for the game which will hopefully be worth it for the long term.
Think of it like building a sky scraper. This is the first game I've programmed. Some of the first floors of the sky scrapers have glaring issues - like 1 of them blocks the elevator and only has stairs, then 1 has only an elevator. For the early access release we hastily build 10 dodgy floors on top of our sky scraper. Before adding another 10 floors with dodgy foundation, we're fixing the skyscraper to be of decent quality, so it won't be a hazard to build on top of.
TL;DR: Fixed some of the deeper issues, causing significant performance improvements all over.
This week, we were either working on Science Packs or assembling furniture from a certain Swedish store. We discovered that the crafting times in Colony Survival are very unrealistic!
Last week we started refactoring the jobs code and made it easier to add new jobs for both us and modders. This week, we fully completed that task. One of the noticeable changes affects crafting. In the past, crafting recipes were shared by you and the artisan. The list was identical. After the newest update (not released on main branch yet), this has changed. Cosmetic blocks like red planks and coated planks cannot be crafted by the player anymore, to unclutter the crafting menu.
There is a new block that players can make though: the tailor’s shop. It can be used to craft flax into linen, and linen into clothing and carpet blocks. Clothing will become useful in the future as part of the recipe for Science Packs but hasn’t got any use yet. Carpet blocks come in three colors: blue, yellow and red. The tailor is available on the 0.3.0 branch right now! Another change in 0.3.0 is the increase of certain stack sizes. You can now store 200 dirt, 200 grass or 100 stone bricks in one stack! Select the 0.3.0 branch by right-clicking Colony Survival in your Steam Library, left-clicking “properties” and browsing to the “Betas” tab. WARNING: Switching back from 0.3.0 to a previous branch may destroy the savegames you've loaded with 0.3.0!
In other news, Colony PlusPlus has added more than hundred new blocks, including sloped blocks, (non-functional) stairs, round blocks and new food items! We’re very grateful to the developers of the mod, and the developers of all the other mods. During the refactoring of the jobs code, we’ve added a couple of “mod callbacks”. These are spots where modders can easily inject code to change how the game functions.
You can install the mod by downloading it from their own official website: http://colonyplusplus.com/ Make sure you’re on the main branch of the game. It doesn’t work on 0.3.0 yet!
The preparation stage has now been completed. In the coming week, we’ll focus our full attention on adding the new science-gameplay! It certainly will not be completed next Friday, but we hope to have made significant progress.
Thanks for reading this!