Aven Colony - DKShadow_Team17

Greetings governors!

While we’re hard at work on the next content drop bringing even more free content to Aven Colony, we’ll be running our very first competition over the next week. To enter, head on over to Twitter and tweet a screenshot of your best, prettiest, coolest, largest, most well governed colony using #MyAvenColony for a chance to win a set of very limited Governor/Expedition President pin badges!



The competition is open worldwide, and you can enter as often as you want. We’ll pick and announce five (5) winners on Friday, 20th Oct. 2017 at 3 PM BST.
Aven Colony - Paul T
We just posted a quick sneak peek at the upgrades to the camera system that will be coming to the game as part of content drop 2 later this year.

Here's an animated GIF showing the system in action:
https://twitter.com/AvenColony/status/916679555989032961

Soon, you'll be able to see a top-down view of the entire map, in addition to many other improvements.



We'll be posting more animated GIFs of this system for #ScreenshotSaturday and #EpicFriday over the next few weeks, along with teasers of some of the new buildings coming to Aven Colony ... such as the mysterious new structure we posted last week:



Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for further updates!

Paul
Aven Colony - Paul T
Hi everyone!

We took a new build live with a few minor tweaks and improvements.

Changes in this version:
  • Improved the algorithm for buildings finding workers to help ensure that this works more consistently
  • Fixed an extremely rare issue where individual tunnel pieces could have the wrong shapes
  • Increased the camera bounds on Cerulean Vale to let the camera move more freely

In other news, we expect a new update to both the PlayStation and Xbox versions soon! We expect to submit an update by the end of next week. Although Content Drops 1 and 2 will take a bit longer, we wanted thank you for your patience. All of this WILL get to console; it will just take a bit longer.

Thank you for being part of the Aven Colony community, and we're looking forward to getting Content Drop 2 into your hands ASAP!

-Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment team
Aven Colony - Paul T
Hi everyone!

We've been hard at work this week on some big optimizations to Aven Colony, especially with large colonies. We've been focusing on improving frame rates and reducing load times.



Although we're mostly focused on the huge new features we're planning for Content Drop 2, these changes improve performance significantly and we felt we should get them into your hands ASAP.

Changes in this version:
  • Significantly improved performance, especially for large colonies
  • Improved load times; loading may be up to 30-40% faster for very large colonies
  • Greatly improved temporal anti-aliasing; now sharper and with less flickering
  • Changing worker priority or housing priority while holding Ctrl now changes it for ALL highlighted buildings
  • The campaign versions of Kelori Strand and Valley of Death now have one attacking guardian each, with each guarding an artifact
  • Surveillance cameras can now pick the corners of tunnels instead of always looking orthogonally
  • Eden Crater is now less foggy
  • Fixed an issue with "atrium" decoration structures causing a morale penalty and not always being handled properly in colonist pathfinding
  • Fixed a bug where immigrants would not be able to migrate to residential structures in a different power zone (detached part of the colony) on arrival
  • Fixed a very rare issue with repairing the starting intake fan in campaign Tenari Glacier not giving credit for the corresponding mission objective
  • Fixed issues where it was possible to build through a few of the rocks and hills in Cerulean Vale
  • Fixed a case where scrubber drones could, in very rare cases, circle endlessly around a Hovercar Station even after it had been cleansed

Please note that we do expect some further performance improvements in the future.

Thank you for being part of the Aven Colony community, and we're looking forward to getting Content Drop 2 into your hands ASAP!

-Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment team
Aven Colony - Paul T
Hi everyone!



We've just added a neat new feature: while you are using the Ctrl key to highlight all buildings of the same type as the selected building, changing the operational mode will change it for all buildings of that type simultaneously!

This means you can set ALL Wind Turbines in your colony to Fan Mode simultaneously just by selecting a Wind Turbine and holding Ctrl while you set it to Fan Mode -- or change the modes of all your Water Pumps, Bar & Grills, Zorium Generators, Atmospheric Condensers, etc, or toggle potash usage at all your Farms or Greenhouses, and so on.

You can also use this to set the construction priority of all buildings of the same type as they're being built (Low, Medium, or High).

This also works with repairing and upgrading buildings, and with the associated key shortcuts, too -- simply hold Ctrl to issue the "repair" or "upgrade" command to all buildings of that type in your colony! If you can't afford to repair or upgrade all highlighted buildings, it will repair or upgrade as many as you can afford, starting with the building you selected.

We're hard at work on some huge new features for Content Drop 2, but we wanted to get that new feature and a few other tweaks into your hands ASAP.

Changes in this version:
  • The Hovercar Garage force field now has a sound effect
  • Tweaks to Hovercar movement so they move at a more consistent velocity
  • Building a Space Elevator will now properly grant progress toward the "Megalopolis" achievement
  • The water in Serpent Isle now pauses properly when the game is paused; also added more fish
  • Increased the Nanite cost of a Space Elevator to 810 (from 740) to better balance out its benefits
  • Fixed an issue where in some cases, the Space Elevator would not be properly disabled (red) when you could not afford to build it
  • New feature: while you are using the Ctrl key to highlight all buildings of the same type as the selected building, changing the operational mode or issuing a "repair" or "upgrade" command will be applied to all buildings of that type simultaneously (or as many as you can afford).

Thank you for being part of the Aven Colony community, and we're looking forward to getting Content Drop 2 into your hands ASAP!

-Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment team
Aven Colony - Paul T
Hi all -- just a quick note to say we've uploaded 1.0.21607 to Steam.

This fixes some issues with interactions between the "atrium" decoration buildings and the air quality system, some issues with expedition combat being harder than it should have, and a stability issue reported by one user.

-Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment
Aven Colony - Paul T
Great news: Content Drop 1 is here!

And with it, Aven Colony is getting 11 new buildings, a new sandbox map ... and a whole new transportation system!



We're thrilled to introduce the newest addition to Aven Colony hovercars!

The new Hovercar Station building automatically links to any other Hovercar Stations you build nearby. Now, you can not only solve your colonists' commute problems, but you can do it in style, by giving them swanky levitating hovercar vehicles to fly all around the colony!





(See our Twitter announcement and follow-up for full-size screenshots)

Content Drop 1 also brings a massive new Space Elevator.

While quite expensive, this elevator provides a literal stairway to heaven, connecting your colony all the way to outer space using a massive carbon nanotube cable. The elevator that rides it massively increases your colony's storage capacity while also docking directly with the orbiting Colony Ship to allow you to bring in large numbers of new colonists.



There's also a new tool to help your colony deal with plague spores: the Decontamination Unit! Just place one of these next to one or more tunnel tiles, and it will serve as a firewall, spraying a decontamination liquid that kills plague spore microbes and disinfects any infected colonists.



On top of all that, there are 8 new decoration buildings that help you make your colony even more beautiful while also improving morale.



Finally, this update also brings a brand new sandbox map: Serpent Isle! This is a beautiful desert island in the middle of Aven Prime's great northern sea, and is a uniquely challenging colony location due to its relatively low levels of geothermal vents and farmable cropland. Look closely and you can spot a number of creatures unique to this remote part of Aven Prime.



We also have a number of tuning tweaks and optimizations in this update.

As a quick note: please bear in mind that we have much more in store for Aven Colony.

As we go forward, we want to make sure that we focus our development on new maps, new buildings, and new gameplay modes that add as much value as possible. It should be clear from the new features listed above that everything we've added fills a gameplay hole or otherwise addresses key gameplay issues while also giving you tools to make your colonies look even cooler.

We have a BIG long-term vision for what Aven Colony can be, and we need your help to get it there. We are laser-focused on making sure that every new feature we add makes the game more fun, makes your colonies more beautiful, gives you more tools as a colony governor, and gets Aven Colony that much closer to where we see it in the future.

Here are the detailed descriptions for each new building and the full list of new features:

Hovercar Stations

Hovercar Stations allow rapid transit around the colony using levitating 1-passenger vehicles. A small number of Hovercar Stations can quickly integrate a large colony and allow you to safely place residential and work sites a good distance away from one another.

Each Hovercar Station can connect to up to 5 other Hovercar Stations around the colony, and colonists will use them to dramatically shorten their commute. Hovercar Stations also allow service buildings such as Retail Centers, VR Centers, and Hospitals to dramatically extend their range around the colony. Hovercars prefer to move over tunnels but can also move over empty areas, and can even support transporting colonists between completely disconnected parts of the colony. They can even travel over rivers and crater lakes.

Hovercar stations not only help you address Commute morale and keep residential structures separate from work sites, they also give a Commute morale bonus to the surrounding area.



Space Elevator

A Space Elevator is an enormous support structure for a carbon-nanotube-based wire that extends all the way up into orbit, close to the orbiting colony ship. Its massive size dwarfs all other colony structures, and it features an elevator that will gradually climb the giant cable all the way into space. Although a Space Elevator is very expensive and time-consuming to construct, it dramatically increases a colony's storage capacity and also supports immigration and emigration with higher capacity per trip than an Immigration Center.



Decontamination Unit

The Decontamination Unit is very useful for preventing the spread of the plague and plague spore microbes around the colony. It will automatically detect plague spore microbes and plague-infected colonists, and will quickly lower arms into up to 4 adjacent tunnels, spraying a special disinfectant spray that can cure colonists and destroy plague spore microbes that move past. This allows it to act as a very effective "firewall" if placed at key locations around the colony.

Decorations

A new set of 8 "Decorations" is available, including 4 enclosed "atrium" buildings that connect like tunnels, and 4 freestanding outdoor buildings that do not connect to the colony and do not consume power or allow colonists to walk through. These include fountains, obelisks, crystals, mini-parks, and more.



Serpent Isle

Serpent Isle is a brand new sandbox map. It is a desert island in the middle of Aven Prime's great northern sea. Its strategic location and its abundant metal and Zorium deposits make it worth colonizing; however, geothermal vents are scarce, and due to its sandy soil, the island has relatively few areas that are amenable to crop cultivation.

Additional Changes

  • Significantly modified temporal antialiasing to cause much less blurring, especially when close to buildings
  • Lots of optimizations that should significantly reduce the amount of hitching with large colonies and improve large-colony performance overall
  • Added a new "Decorations" submenu and moved the Park into this submenu (from "Services")
  • The "Spaceports" menu has been renamed to "Ships & Vehicles," and includes the new Hovercar Station
  • Made Vanaar and Sandy Gulch in the campaign slightly more difficult (this does not affect saved games, only new games on those maps)
  • Improved the look of the Employment overlay: now shows green arrows in most cases, or red if a worker's commute is causing a morale penalty. Also dramatically improved the look of this overlay. It also shows connections between hovercar garages in purple if any colonists use them in a commute.
  • Improved the Commute overlay: this now also shows the red lines from the Employment overlay
  • Improved the effect when you recycle a Prometheus Lander
  • Sending an expedition out to investigate a distress signal which later turns out to be rebels no longer leaves you with "{0}" and "{1}" in the next
  • Crowding morale should now be a slightly more serious problem at most difficulty settings -- but MUCH easier to addresss using hovercars!
  • The Morale graphs in the Statistics panel were 50% too small; they are now the proper size
  • The Bar & Grill now has a smaller morale effect in general and properly reduces the morale effect further at tier 1
  • The Earth History Center is now more expensive and has a reduced morale effect
  • The Park is now slightly more expensive to build
  • The VR Center's morale effect has been reduced slightly
  • Habitats and Skyscrapers now use slightly less power and a Tier-2 Skyscraper is slightly more expensive
  • Laser mines now use less power and no longer reduce air quality as much as they did previously
  • Fixed an issue where holding Ctrl to highlight buildings while dragging a building for placement could cause buildings to temporarily disappear when you released Ctrl
  • Creeps & tentacles now vanish properly the moment a building begins its destruction sequence
  • Added more specialized POI marker types for expeditions: rebels, splinter groups, creep nests, and plague nests
  • Fixed a rare stability issue

We hope you enjoy all the new features.

Finally, THANK YOU once again for being part of the Aven Colony community. Let us know your thoughts on all the new features in the forums!

Also, a final note for those of you playing on console. We're in regular contact with the console team at Team17 to make sure these changes do make it over to Xbox One and PlayStation 4. No specific ETA at this time but it will happen.

Thank you, and we're looking forward to getting you even more big improvements in Content Drop 2!

Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment team
Aven Colony - Paul T
Hi everyone!

We're putting together an announcement about all the BIG new features coming soon in Content Drop 1 (... and the little ones, too!)



Stay tuned! The announcement should drop in the middle of the week, followed by Content Drop 1 not too long after that.

I think you'll be very happy with what we're adding to Aven Colony. Thank you for being part of the Aven Colony community and continuously helping us make Aven Colony even better.

-Paul
Aven Colony - Paul T
There are two car dealerships in your town. One sells a Ferrari with 660 horsepower for $400,000. The other is a Toyota dealership, which sells a 200-horsepower Camry for $25,000. Which is the better car?

This question has more than one answer.

If you don’t have $400,000 to buy a Ferrari, there’s no decision. The Camry is your only option.

If you’re a billionaire, the cost probably doesn’t matter to you, and the Ferrari is better.

But if you can afford both, then chances are you look at both and realize that the Camry asks you to pay $125 per horsepower, while the Ferrari is asking you to pay $606 per unit of horsepower.

Unless you’re very rich, the Camry is a better deal.

Not a better car, but a better deal.

So it is with the Farm and the Greenhouse.



In the past, there’s been some discussion comparing Farms and Greenhouses, and some have questioned whether Farms are worth building at all.

But just as with the Camry and the Ferrari, it all depends on context, as we explain below.

It’s true that a Tier 2 Greenhouse has higher overall output than a Tier 3 Farm in most cases. However, this comparison ignores its costs, and the costs usually matter.

Let’s take a look at a sample map. We have four positions, A, B, C, and D, where we're considering placing food-producing buildings:



If you take a look at placing a Tier-3 Farm versus a Tier-2 Greenhouse at each of those positions (in the Greenhouse’s case, the upper-left corner of the GH would go at that tile), you get the following:



The Tier 2 Greenhouse costs 31 Nanites; the Farm costs only 18.

On a per-Nanite basis, the Farm is a much better way to spend your precious Nanites.

Of course, each building also has a power cost to keep it running:



The Greenhouse uses 8 power (at all tiers), and the Farm only uses 5 power (at all tiers). Here, too, a Tier-3 Farm easily beats a Tier-2 Greenhouse in terms of Barley produced per power cost.

The same applies across all crop types.

“Now wait,” you may be saying. “You’re not correcting for the fact that Farms produce nothing in Winter!”

And that’s true. But the same results hold even when you correct for seasonal productivity.

A Farm is productive 111 hours (3 seasons of 37 hours each) of the 167 hours in each Sol – or 66.5% of the sol. The Greenhouse is productive for those same 111 hours and has an additional 50% productivity during Winter, so it’s effectively active for 83.2% of the sol (111 hours + (56 / 2) hours, since Winter lasts 56 hours).

So, if you multiply the numbers in the right-side column for the Farm above by 0.665, and multiply the numbers for the Greenhouse by 0.832 … the same result still holds!

The Tier-3 Farm is STILL a more efficient use of Nanites and Power for any crop than a Tier-2 Greenhouse (I won't post the math here, but it's easy enough to do the math yourself if you don't believe me).

You can also look at it from the perspective of productivity for workers as well. In this case, the Greenhouse is slightly more efficient (in terms of food per worker) after correcting for seasonal productivity than a farm – but the difference is very slight, and arguaby not nearly as relevant as the power and nanite costs.

That's not to say the Farm is "better" in any absolute sense.

Just as with the car example, it’s usually the better deal, despite being less powerful in absolute terms.

Now, some people prefer the Greenhouse since it causes less inventory thrashing.

And that’s fine, and it can be a valid reason for choosing the Greenhouse in your case.

You might also feel that your colony is big and stable and you have plenty of power and Nanites, and it’s just simpler to place Greenhouses than Farms.

And that may be valid too – just as with the wealthy person buying the Ferrari.

But this should make it clear that the Farm is absolutely a good choice in many cases, and is often a better one. In most cases, a Farm at its higher tier is more efficient in terms of both Nanite and power costs than a max-tier Greenhouse.

(As a side note, the Farm has other advantages besides its higher efficiency: it has two smaller upgrade tiers rather than the one large upgrade tier of the Greenhouse, which gives you more flexibility in making decisions about when to upgrade. Also, it can move its farmed tiles, which means you can pave over some of the Farm's farmed tiles later on without having to recycle the Farm. Both of these give you additional flexibility in making decisions, and that flexibility absolutely adds some small amount of additional value to the Farm.)

Aven Colony is a city-builder that asks you to make careful decisions as you scale up your colony. In most cases, a building should be viewed not just in terms of its total output but in terms of its output relative to its cost to purchase it (Nanites) and the cost to maintain it (power usage) ... in the context of all the options it provides and your colony's current situation.

Also, in the long term, we're absolutely considering ading more types of food-producing buildings. We'd love to get your input as to what those should be! Please post your thoughts below.
Aven Colony - Paul T

Cerulean Vale colony courtesy of user Annothek

Hi everyone!

I'm happy to say that we've made huge progress toward Content Drop 1 over the last week, and we expect to deliver it sometime in the next 2-4 weeks for sure.

While working on all of those exciting as-yet-unannounced new features, we saw a few opportunities to improve performance and address some player feedback, and we felt we should put this update in your hands ASAP.

Changes in this update:
  • There should now be much less 'lag' when placing or recycling buildings in very large colonies
  • Optimized loading; some saved games with extremely large colonies (such as the one shown above) now load anywhere from 2x to 8x faster
  • Fixed an issue with the Farm / Greenhouse productivity values not being shown properly if you dragged it outside the colony
  • Added a read-only key binding to the key bindings list: "Hide Interface" (Ctrl-Alt-X) -- this is useful for taking screenshots. It's always been there but not all users were aware of it
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the "Not All Citizens Relocated" notification to pop up twice in a row for the same residential structure
  • Fixed a very rare stability issue related to Expedition Centers
  • Fixed a issue that would sometimes show a medal in the main menu for levels that had been lost; these should only show up for missions that have been won

Thank you for being a part of the Aven Colony community! Your infectious enthusiasm keeps us going.

Hang tight; we've got some really exciting new content on the way, including Content Drop 1 and further updates after that.

We're also working closely with our partners at Team17 to finalize our development roadmap and we'll be sharing it with you as soon as we can.

-Paul Tozour and the Mothership Entertainment Team
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