- Leaving Early Access
- Ladders are back!
- New price
- Need to create
- What’s next?
- Xbox One
- The Team
February 28, 2019 is the day for all Space Engineers. Today, we are moving Space Engineers out of Early Access. As I mentioned in my last blog post, getting Space Engineers out of Early Access has been planned for a long time. We have worked on it basically since 2016/2017, when the game entered beta. It was our goal to release the game in the state we consider to fulfill our original vision, including all planned features and core game components. Moreover, the game includes a lot of things that were not planned at the beginning of development (solar panels, planets, rotors, pistons, wheels, and many more features).
Space Engineers was one of the first Early Access games on Steam and one of the few titles to be successfully released after several years of passionate development. We keep our promises.
The Survival overhaul has been one of our top priorities, so it was specifically planned to be released after we had other key things finished. Over the last 6 years, we have carefully executed our original vision, which hasn’t changed since. Moving step-by-step towards our vision, the Survival overhaul is one of those steps. In addition to survival, many new features have been designed to help new players to be introduced to the game and are not specifically focused on existing players.
Survival overhaul is one of the biggest overhauls because until now our main priority was making sure the sandbox elements work properly. We needed to make sure that the physics are stable, multiplayer is reliable, the destruction is working, and so on. With this update, we are evolving from a sandbox experience, towards a game with many unique single and multiplayer features.
We have touched almost every survival element. There are new blocks such as the Hydrogen Engine, Wind Turbine, Survival Kit, and Small Battery being introduced into the game, ragdoll mechanics are coming back, loading times of even very large wolds are now extremely reduced, and a new Progression system has been integrated into Space Engineers
There are many other game elements that were changed in this overhaul, which have a significant impact on Space Engineers. You can read about all the changes here.
Out of Early Access
Space Engineers has been in Early Access for 5+ years, and during this period we developed the game from a proof-of-concept to a feature complete space engineering sandbox. We sold more than 3 million copies and we have more than 200,000 monthly active players.
We went through more than 200 updates, which include major game changes such as:
- new HUD and game UI
- skins, parachutes, wheels
- more than 200 blocks
- reworked and updated the character animations several times
- improved the multithreaded physics, but also physics itself
- implemented super-large worlds
- a lot of game optimizations during this entire period
- went through the massive updates of the game’s visuals and audio
- we spent a significant amount of time on improving the multiplayer, air tightness and oxygen
- survival mode
- programmable blocks, modding support, antennas, landing gears, solar panels, cargo ships, meteorites, encounters, asteroid clusters, visual scripting, realistic mode audio, in-game help, and more.
You can view all the updates in chronological order here. However, I’d like to highlight the most significant updates for us:
- April 2013 – started full-time development on Space Engineers prototype
- October 23, 2013 – Space Engineers was released to Early Access
- November 2015 – we added planets
- November 2017 – Physics Overhaul was released
- July 2018 – Multiplayer Overhaul was released
- February 2019 – we are releasing the Survival Overhaul and the game is going out of Early Access
Because Space Engineers development was open, you were able to see what’s happening under the hood. Contrary to other products, where you see the final product, but don’t see how the project has been developed and changed over time, and what challenges the development team had to overcome.
I’d like to share our key videos that were released during the Early Access. The first one is the first ever video where we showed and teased Space Engineers.
The second one is our Alpha
and one of our latest videos from the Major Overhaul of Visuals, Audio, and Wheels.
All who want to play the first release of Space Engineers, from 2013, can buy the Space Engineers Deluxe edition. It’s game archeology.
We always listened to our community and used a lot of this feedback to improve the game where we could. It has been a rewarding and productive cooperation, which we really enjoyed! And something that we will continue to enjoy in the future. The Space Engineers community is strong, growing, and present.
During all these years, there were other things that Keen Software House has been working on. We increased the team from five to almost twenty five people, we established the team working on Medieval Engineers, we started GoodAI Research in order to build general AI, to help humanity and understand the universe, we started GoodAI Applied to better fund the research, stay closer to real-world application, and to prepare the infrastructure for general AI deployment once we have it. We accidentally started a new religion – Clang 🙂 and of course, we got many new colleagues who helped us to shape and fulfill my vision.
You can imagine that there were many funny moments along the road, here is just one example:
With this update, we are also setting a new price for Space Engineers == $19.99. According to our analysis and tests, this price better suits the majority of Space Engineers fans. This change also brings all regional prices on Steam to match countries specifications and regional differences.
This step will enable the Space Engineers community to grow even bigger, which is great news for everyone because Space Engineers always benefited from the huge pool of player creations, and this can only work if we have a large player-base.
It is quite an unusual move to decrease the price when the game leaves Early Access, but we believe it’s a good gift to the community and will better support the future of Space Engineers.
Ladders are a special thing for all Space Engineers. We had them in the early builds of the game, but then removed them due to the complexity involved in having them work properly (omni-directional gravity, colliding ships, animations, you name it).
However, we always knew we wanted to bring them back and the best moment to do this would be today – when the game leaves Early Access.
The ladders are back, with new visuals, new animations, and new features – you can jump off the ladder, you can jump from ladder to ladder, ladders work in multiplayer, multiple players can climb on the same ladder, and much more.
What Others Say
Need to Create
Our team’s motto is “Need to create” and it perfectly describes the fire that is burning inside of us.
We believe that one of the strongest forces in the universe is the “need to create”. Every time we build something out of nothing, every time we give shape and organization to something that had no structure – we are creating a miracle.
We need to create. We are made to create. We can’t stop creating.
We derive purpose from being creative. Creating is our destiny, it is why we were put into this universe. There’s nothing we can’t create!
What is even better is that we share this need with our community of Space Engineers who managed to create thousands of creations in the last 5 years, and pushed the boundaries what even we thought is possible beyond, and then more.
Space Engineers is not finished. We already have a lot of plans to expand the Space Engineers franchise with new features, blocks, and scenarios. We’re going to take Space Engineers to exciting places when it comes to gameplay, immersion, and challenges!
In the short term, these expansions will bring more decorative blocks, new in-game economy (trading, currency, but no MMO scale yet), new weapons, and we also plan to look at combat specific scenarios.
We will continue to monitor our support site for bug reports, questions, concerns and suggested features.
We are also working on an Xbox One port for Space Engineers.
We are moving into the new era of Space Engineers and I’m sure that we all have many reasons to look forward to it.
Thanks for reading this blog!
While Keen Software House developed Space Engineers, we also developed our team. I am grateful to everyone who has worked on the game throughout the years, and I’m also grateful for all of the hard work our current team has done on Space Engineers, as they were fully prepared to take Space Engineers to the next level!
This is something that is not as visible as shiny trailers and screenshots. The fact that we have solid, well-coordinated, intelligent and creative people at Keen Software House, helps our team to work like a well-oiled machine, and it enabled us to deliver Space Engineers. Having this team is invaluable.
We couldn’t have made it this far without the amazing support of our community! Special thanks to our dedicated CTG (Closed Testing Group), which provided us with fantastic feedback that helped us to shape the game the right way. Thank you all!
CEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software House
CEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAI
For more news:
Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.com
General AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.RoadmapInstitute.org
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.com
GoodAI Applied: https://www.goodai.com/goodai-applied
Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (3 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.
Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence.
GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.
At this time, Marek is developing both Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers, as well as daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture.