Hi Reddit! We're two youngs guys living in the Netherlands. We started working on Colony Survival three years ago. We were obviously inspired by Minecraft, but we wanted to add gameplay from real-time strategy games like Age of Empires and Banished.

We put a very basic, ugly version on Greenlight in September 2014. We received permission to release the game on Steam, and kept working on the game to make it better. Last Friday the game was ready to be released in Early Access! We received a lot of attention, got a spot high in the top sellers list, and people wrote positive reviews for the game. We could not have hoped for more!

Ask us anything!

My Proof

Our subreddit: /r/colonysurvival

Our roadmap

Colony Survival on Steam

Edit: It's past 1AM in the Netherlands. I'm going to sleep - I'll answer new questions in the morning! Thanks, it has been a lot of fun until now!

Comments: 93 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Vikentiy20 karma

How young are the engineers?

Is it true that in the game industry young engineers are heavily exploited, their aspirations abused?

Pipliz16 karma

24 and 22. We've got our own company, so we're certainly not exploited or abused.

We've read bad stories about other companies though. Game developer is a way more popular job than database architect, so big companies can be very strict with their employees.

We personally don't know any 'abused engineers' though!

Vikentiy14 karma

Okay :)

Don't abuse each other then :D

Pipliz6 karma

We'll do our best! ;)

AwesomeDavid8 karma

Hi! As an aspiring developer, how would one gain traction for a following? How did you gain a fan base for the game? Thanks in advance.

Pipliz18 karma

Hello! Great question. It took a very long time, and then it went very quick very suddenly. We asked people to test the alpha, and that request was retweeted by Alpha Beta Gamer.

A few hours later, I received a request from GrayStillPlays, a YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers. We worked hard to fix the most prominent issues, and I guess a week later we send him a key.

Then he messaged us that his friend Draegast also liked the game. Draegast has over 1,3 million subscribers... With so many viewers, the fan base grew quickly!

AwesomeDavid5 karma

Wow! Thanks for the advice.

Pipliz3 karma

No problem!

paper_rocketship1 karma

Can you think of anything special you did to get noticed by alpha beta gamer? I have a few twitter followers that retweet my updates, but none nearly that large.

Pipliz1 karma

I seriously do not have a clue. It happened out of nowhere!

MeltedTwix2 karma

I just imagine you staring at your ceiling at night thinking "but why?", rolling your success around in your brain trying to find its source, your brow forever furrowed :D

Pipliz2 karma

Haha. We received the message at midnight, so that kind of was what happened ;)

coryrenton7 karma

what feature or environment would make a competitor for steam a more attractive release platform?

Pipliz9 karma

We really, really like Steam. It works very well and has an unbelievable amount of features and functionality. We liked Steam before we started developing games, but our opinion of them has only grown more favorable.

That said, the internal browser is pretty slow. I think Steam would look pretty different if it had been developed in 2017. But its age also makes it more reliable, and that's pretty important for your game library!

OrangeLimeZest5 karma

Which part of the game took the longest to create?

Pipliz3 karma

I think it was either rewriting the game to support multiplayer, or rewriting the game to work with near infinite worlds!

solo967894 karma

You guys are awesome! What, in your opinion, was the most difficult part in creating a game? Keep up the amazing work!

Pipliz5 karma

Thank you very much!! :D

the most difficult part in creating a game?

In general: making the basics of a game isn't that hard. Making sure that new players can enjoy it too, that they don't break the game, that it works on a lot of different PCs, that's a lot harder. We talk about it in detail here.

If we have to choose one specific part of the game: AI pathfinding in a dynamic 3D world. In a lot of games, the pathfinding happens in either a 2D world (it might have 3D objects, but NPCs can only go north/west/south/east, not up/down. For example, Banished) or a static world (for example, Call of Duty).

In Colony Survival, people can build tunnels, bridges, towers, stairs, etc., and colonists and monsters still have to find their way. We weren't even sure if it was possible for us to create something like that, in the beginning!

L3tum2 karma

How did you do it in the end? When I worked with 5.1 dynamic pathfinding was still not supported in Unity and paths for their pathfinding library could only be pre-baked.

Pipliz2 karma

We've developed our own fully custom solution!

Agent_Rasputin3 karma

Do you plan on porting it over to mac? I play most of my games on a MacBook Pro and was hoping for once that a good looking game might be ported over for once.

Pipliz2 karma

Certainly!

Brevlada-001 karma

Do you have any estimates on when that will happen?

Pipliz1 karma

It's very hard to make accurate predictions! Unknown difficulties, shifting priorities...

AmeriPolak2 karma

I've seen many letsplays of your game on youtube, and although I haven't played your game since I can't afford a gaming computer, I relish the thought of having other colonies to compete against, possibly even multiplayer pvp. So my question would be; did you guys consider AUA (rather than Ask Me Anything) when you guys put together this post?

Pipliz3 karma

We certainly want to add PvP in multiplayer!! You could perhaps consider this an ask us anything, we have a little discussion before answering questions :)

Sgt__Schultz2 karma

Because of Draegast's videos on Youtube, I am hooked! So far, great job on the concept. It looks really solid and I look forward to future developments!

Question 1: Is there any promise to add VR functionality into the game? I own an Oculus Rift and would really enjoy playing this game through VR.

Question 2: MOD Development... Will you be implementing any type of mod development?

Pipliz3 karma

Thank you very much!

1: We won't promise anything regarding VR. We don't have VR hardware and have no experience with it. But maybe eventually!

2: Certainly. We want to start with texturepacks on the Steam Workshop, and eventually expand that!

Sparksman912 karma

As an indie developer, what would you say are the hardest challenges a beginner game developer would face?

Pipliz4 karma

It always takes longer than you expect. Creating basic gameplay is wildly different from making a game that is ready for release.

Secondly, getting attention. We struggled to get noticed for three years. Then this happened!

Marmalade__2 karma

Allow me to preface this by saying I wish you success and hope the game is fantastic.

I have never heard of your game and I don't typically like games of this nature. You mentioned Minecraft as an inspiration which I enjoyed quite a bit for several years, but I didn't like Rimworld or Banished very much.

Why should I buy your game? What separates it from the rest?

Thank You!

Pipliz2 karma

Thanks! I actually don't like RTS's that much either. Love Banished though, but the last triple AAA RTS I bought and enjoyed was probably Total War Shogun 2 in 2011.

But Colony Survival is a very unique RTS. You play from a first person perspective and walk among your colonists. You can design and build structures block by block: bridges, tunnels, walls, towers, etc. Hope that appeals to you!

Marmalade__2 karma

That does sound quite interesting, I'll give it a try! This seems to fix the feeling of being disconnected from you colony.

Thank you!

Pipliz2 karma

Thank you! :)

Zomg_A_Chicken1 karma

Any chance on having different types of guards?

Pipliz4 karma

Definitely! We've now got "bow-guards", we want "crossbow-guards" and "musket-guards" :)

Vikentiy1 karma

is it a game? is it a good game?

Pipliz2 karma

It's a game. I think it's a good game, but I might be biased!

sumfacilispuella1 karma

can you add an actual save button? i left and came back to my colony and the beds and buildings are the same but lots of the people are missing and even tho i have 14 beds and 6 people, when i try to add more people, it says out of beds.

Pipliz1 karma

That is a good idea!

Fish-Knight1 karma

This is a complicated game that took a great deal of time and effort to create. How did you stay motivated throughout the tedious parts of the game's development process?

Pipliz2 karma

Playing the game ourselves. We've had fun with the game since year 1, we just always noticed something new to improve. Later on, adding testers and seeing their reactions was always nice :)

kevinman81 karma

Bought the game and waiting to download it when I get home, my question is if their will be more expansion on the military aspect of the game, maybe enemy bases to raid?

Pipliz4 karma

We'll certainly improve the military aspect and add more weapons, monsters and Colony vs Colony combat. I can't promise AI colonies though!

kevinman81 karma

More reasons to be excited about this game thanks!

Pipliz3 karma

No problem, glad you're excited!

MrArko1 karma

Will there be the opportunity to attack the Villages and Fortress of other Players with Soliders? Is there a Discord-Server? If no will you do one?

Pipliz2 karma

Will there be the opportunity to attack the Villages and Fortress of other Players with Soliders?

In the future, yes! It's on our roadmap.

Is there a Discord-Server?

Not yet, but if there is a lot of demand we will start one!

Skyrane1 karma

How did you guys start learning game development? How much training did it take you before you felt comfortable making the initial features of the game?

Pipliz3 karma

We've always been technically inclined. Messing around with HTML and PHP and such. Then we started doing small projects with Python and the PyLibrary. Eventually, we moved on to making a basic voxel game in Unity. That project has become Colony Survival :D

Gilthoniell1 karma

Hi! Have you used a game engine and if yes which one? Also, would you recommend to make a steam game wıth java?

Pipliz2 karma

Hi! We've used Unity. We'd recommend C# over Java!

Gilthoniell1 karma

Why do you prefer C# and Unity but not C++ and UE4?

Pipliz2 karma

Unity does not demand royalties, and it has lower barrier of entry for new developers :)

paper_rocketship1 karma

Keep in mind that while unity does not charge royalties, they do expect you to upgrade to the pro version of unity once you hit some threshold of revenue.

https://unity3d.com/legal/terms-of-service/software

Pipliz1 karma

We purchased it in 2014 :)

blackhawksaber1 karma

How did you get a spot on the Top Seller list before people knew about you? Did you pay Steam?

Pipliz1 karma

We received over 2 million views on YouTube in the week before release. We didn't pay Steam, we actually had a lot of sales :)

blackhawksaber2 karma

Wow, that's some well timed publicity! Congrats on the success :)

Do you have plans to offer DLC (free or otherwise) or continued updates, or are you thinking of moving to another project?

Pipliz2 karma

Thank you! :)

We're in Early Access, so we've got a roadmap of free updates to complete before we release the definitive version!

GeT_NoT1 karma

What is your view on torrents? For example if someone torrents your game than buys if he likes it is that ok for you?

Pipliz3 karma

Every popular game gets pirated. We knew there was only one option to avoid piracy when we started developing our game: fail, and make an unpopular and boring game. We're glad our game is popular!

loxagos_snake1 karma

Hi there, fellow solo developer here. I just found out about Colony Survival yesterday and am hoping to get it after exams and if money allows. Here are my questions:

  1. What was your budget for the game, if you'd like to say - not counting man hours? As a solo dev with the help of a newbie friend, I can allocate no money at the moment and I was wondering if it is possible.

  2. When did you guys first begin learning how to make games? What were your roles/interests?

  3. Did you carefully organize the whole idea before beginning to make the game, or was it done organically, through prototypes, seeing what worked and what didn't?

  4. Where there moments when you felt you lost your way/out of hope, and how did you deal with it?

I hope you guys exceed your expectations and do great in the coming days!

Pipliz2 karma

Hello!

1.) Assuming you've already got a proper PC, you don't need a lot of money. You'll need to buy some software (Unity, Photoshop, video editor), pay some fees (Steam, starting a company) but no big amounts are needed!

2.) 2013/2014. My partner was programming, I was working on models and textures.

3.) The basic idea was clear from the beginning: voxels with colonists. While adding features, ideas for new features became clearer.

4.) There were some disruptions in our personal lives, but we were always pretty certain about Colony Survival. Steam gave us access to their platform pretty early on, that helped immensely!

Thanks!!

loxagos_snake1 karma

Thanks a lot! Well, one-time fees for software aren't that worrisome (although we're mostly working with totally free packages, like Blender and GIMP, we are thinking of saving money for Photoshop because...it's Photoshop!). Starting a company in Greece is a whole different beast though.

2013/2014. My partner was programming, I was working on models and textures.

So, you guys basically just jumped straight in and delivered an acclaimed game? Wow. Much respect.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. It's kind of an honor, actually :)

Pipliz1 karma

Thanks for the kind words! :)

Starting a company in Greece is a whole different beast though

I just read that all EU citizens are allowed to start companies in all other EU countries, and that Macedonia is the best European country to do just that. I'm not a lawyer, zero experience with starting non-Dutch companies, but perhaps that's an option you could look at!

Apallon1 karma

Is your team potentially looking to recruit people?

Pipliz1 karma

Not yet, but perhaps later on!

MrArko1 karma

Are you working fulltime on the game? How fast will you release updates/new content?

Pipliz1 karma

We're working fulltime on the game now. We're now at version 0.1.18, Friday we were at version 0.1.14. Here's our changelog!

eatgluegetstrong1 karma

Which game reviewer, assuming you knew they were going to review your game, would make you the most nervous?

Pipliz2 karma

TotalBiscuit. Lots of respect for him, watched a lot of his videos, and we generally agree with him. We'd be pretty sad if he disliked Colony Survival.

p1Nkyyy1 karma

Your game looks really awesome, had to watch Draegast series on it and it looks absolutely great. I've moved away from competetive gaming and therefore am rarely on my gaming computer anymore. So I was wondering if making it available on Mac is a distant future or if you're planning on supporting it at all?

Pipliz1 karma

Thanks!! We definitely want to add Mac support in the future!

report-zyther641 karma

What is your favourite dinosaur?

Pipliz1 karma

Triceratops.

MyNameIsntRusty1 karma

What are your favorite toppings on pizza?

Pipliz1 karma

Pepperoni?

Nitrucks1 karma

I have unfortunetly never heard of this game, which I'm somewhat upset about as it looks great, and apparently is from it's reviews.

My question is what is your favorite part of the game personally? What about the other member?

Pipliz2 karma

Thanks! I like building pretty realistic things. A city with a wall, individual houses for colonists, wheat fields with farm houses.

The other developer likes building efficient structures. A "farm tower", a maze surrounded by guards, things like that!

Nitrucks2 karma

I imagine a combination of realism and efficiency makes the towns seem alive! I'm excited to check it out when I get home.

Best of luck!

Pipliz1 karma

Thank you!

Pheonix7331 karma

Sorry I realize this is late but how does multiplayer look? I feel the world would get filled with tiny, always offline settlements of you took the large server route (which could pay off in game lifespan if done well). If you are going small, 4 people non dedicated servers than that would be easier, but would get boring after a while.

Pipliz3 karma

Good question! We don't have large servers, it's all just gamers hosting their own servers. Currently, MP is mostly meant to let friends work together, not for grand scale MMORPG PvP :)

Pheonix7332 karma

Great, will definitely pick this game up soon

Pipliz1 karma

Thank you! :D It's on sale now until Thursday :)