Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Space Engineers: Planets, oxygen, DirectX 11, optimizations and multi-player

People keep asking us "what is the next big feature to be added to Space Engineers".  As at the moment the major part of our plan focuses on long-term goals (which will take months to finish), and we don’t want to keep people in the dark, we’ve decided to reveal some of them.

Before I continue, let me emphasize that everything I say in this blog post is subject to change. The process of game development at our studio goes through multiple stages (idea, concept, development, testing, feedback, more development…) and during the later stages it’s likely that some of the earlier stages get changed due to feedback and the experience that we gain later.

Planets and oxygen

When we started working on Space Engineers we were not sure whether we wanted to add oxygen and planets. We didn’t know if people wanted us to go this direction and we also didn’t know how challenging it would be to develop. But now we see that it’s one of the most requested features and we are also confident that we can deliver it.

First we will focus on oxygen in space ships (grids). The algorithm will traverse through the volumetric grid, check if there’s a closed or open area, and if the oxygen can expand or stay contained. We may use solutions already developed for conveyors (it’s an obvious graph traversal / flood-fill algorithm).

The next stage will be planets, which will basically be asteroids ranging in sizes from tens to hundreds of kilometers across. We need to be careful with the expensive procedural generator here and the simplest optimization is to avoid generating terrain for volumes that are too far from the planetary surface (because they are almost always full or almost always empty and there’s no need to run the generator there).

Then we will need to add some sort of terraforming: oxygen generator, trees, grass, etc.

One of the open questions we haven’t decided yet is how to place station blocks on planets. If we keep our axis-aligned approach and the player starts building a station at some place on the planet and then keep adding blocks to it, soon the blocks will deviate from planet’s spherical surface. One idea is to allow rotation of the base block and so the player could align the station with the spherical planetary surface. The other idea is to add a new type of block grid: one based on spherical coordinates.

Also, we still don’t know if oxygen will just be an aesthetical function. We need to come up with the advantages that players without helmets or suits would have - something that can only be done if the character has no space suit. Otherwise nobody will take off their helmet and the whole point of air in spaceships will be lost. On the other hand, we can’t penalize players in suits because that’s how almost everyone plays the game now.

A natural landscape generator, trees, grass and sky are already finished - thanks to Medieval Engineers.

DirectX 11 and optimizations

During the development of Medieval Engineers we created a brand new DirectX 11 renderer. Its main feature is PBR (physically based rendering) that allows us to define surface textures with very realistic appearances.

EDIT: Older DX9 renderer will stay in place (for those who don't have DX11 hardware)

Additional benefits:
  • multi-threaded rendering
  • more efficient processing of generated geometry (e.g. grass)
  • smooth LOD (level of detail) transitions based on screen-space object dithering (no popping)

This new renderer will soon come to Space Engineers. Our artists have already started work on finishing our 3D models up to their final quality (you may have noticed that most of the models in Space Engineers are just temporary concepts, low-poly, no textures).

We are keeping the original art style and just making the models prettier. During this change we will also reduce unnecessary polygons and add multiple models for LOD optimizations (LOD means that objects in the distance are rendered in a lower quality). The positive thing is that we can keep working on this iteratively, block after block.




Multi-core physics and optimizations

Havok is a physics engine developed by Intel and we use it in Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers.

Havok is able to utilize multiple CPU cores for its physics calculations. At present our games don’t support this and some work on our side is required to rectify this.

We will need to handle callbacks from Havok to our game, so that when they are triggered from different threads they will not cause any problems. For example, when Havok detects any contact between two physical bodies, it sends a message to our game so that it can play a sound or render a particle effect.

The other big piece of work will be extending thread safety in voxel polygonization and procedural generation. Right now this runs asynchronously (so the game doesn’t lag when large terrains are requested), which can be a problem in situations where Havok needs real geometry to calculate potential collisions between objects that suddenly approach each other.

Benefits of multi-core physics:
  • faster calculations = less lag in critical situations
  • ability to compute more objects in a world, e.g. massive count of debris during structural integrity collapse in Medieval Engineers

Multi-player

The bottom layer of our networking engine relies heavily on Steam networking and we can’t use this on the Xbox One port of Space Engineers.

The new networking library we chose allows us to better control message and channel priorities and reduce multiplayer lag and waiting periods.

This upgrade comes thanks to our decision to port Space Engineers to Xbox One and in future will lead to increased platform independency of our game engine.

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Thank you for reading this!

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244 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Meh. First comment didn't post. This sounds like a solid plan for adding some complexity, optimizations, and good ol' spit and polish to an already awesome game!

      I do think there needs to be some additional systems implemented. In my mind, it makes no sense that low-thrust, energy-hungry ion thrusters would be used for primary propulsion. We need another set of high-thrust, fuel-based chemical rocket engines (connected by a modified conveyor network perhaps?) for primary propulsion. Couple that with producing oxygen to breathe (out of ice I assume), and you have a much more realistic and interesting space ship!

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    2. Marek do you want to merry me? ^^ (no im not serious but... you know what i mean)
      :D

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    3. Sounds like he merried you already ;)

      (sorry, had to be that guy :p merry = happy)

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    4. Fuel engines? realistic? that's just dumb...

      We know that if humanity isn't dumb enough to blow its own planet up or kill each other before reaching space travel, engines won't be made for using CaveMan Fuel/petrol prehistoric engines to travel, sure u can use it to move an old wheeled car of course...

      Anyway, Great Update! i don't know wtf xbox has to do with netrowking upgrades (wich are really necesary in my opinion) but if you say you are improving our Game Latency and experience its good 2 know.

      Great Job keen software team! Keep the updating energy moving forward!

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    5. Well, right now they're just using steam network code - i.e. when valve screws up, the multiplayer lags or crashes. The steam network obviously isn't available on xbox, so they have to write their own network code if they want to port the game.

      If they have a custom written network code, they can also use that code on pc. That makes them independent from steams network and means they can fix any issues themselves instead of hoping valve gets around to it someday.

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    6. Because Valve's Multiplayer System is complete crap and not used by anyone else ever, right? There is totally not a crapload of AAA Games that use Valve/Steam Multiplayer Code without issue, especially not as bad as here.

      I call complete Bullshit on blaming Steam/Valve for their Multiplayer Screwups.

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    7. @Gontar

      Oh I guess you're right, it's not like rocket engines can run on water...

      Oh wait. Yes they do. They run on water. Super-cooled liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen producing H2O. The textures for ice have been in the game since the beginning, so it isn't as far fetched or idiotic as you so eloquently make it seem.

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    8. I think Space Engineers should be independent of any 3rd party crap, we haven't forgot what MPlayer.com did to us, or Gamespy, and relying on Steam, which is just going to add another dependency. Games need to go back to being independent of 3rd party social media outlets.

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    9. how about making it for the PS4 also - technically better machine and far more machines sold so potentially more money. Unless ofc Microsoft has done a usual trick and handed you pots of cash to make it exclusive for the Xbone 720p :)

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    10. xbox one is easier to write pc to console & plus the game itself has been supported by microsoft ;P and the money helps of course.

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  2. Awesome, awesome to the max.

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    1. To the max, extreme!

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    2. http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/en.futurama/images/8/8b/ThatGuy.jpg

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  3. Very nice! The next few months are going to be exciting.

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  4. Will the planets have natural gravity and attract ships to the surface?.....that would be pretty cool to have to break free of planetary gravity.....I seen this game where you had to take off the suit to eat and use the bathroom. And if you wanted to leave the station you needed a suit

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    1. Yes planets will have spherical gravity

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    2. Ye, that's coo, but...
      The model of surviving you have already created is very good. So we don't need food to eat or water to drink (maybe just like esthetic thing on planets). You gonna say you are creating some animals on planets? :D

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    3. This is just a suggestion what you could do is make another set of 4 building blocks that use silicone as the main ingredient and use these as a heat shield like NASA shuttle. Once the ship breaks the plane of the sphere gravity generator the ship would be pulled onto the planet using a ghost artificial mass block which would would determined by the mass of the ship. The ship would then have to be place a position depending on the heat shield for reentry and you could use the flame particle effect. But if you didn't have the ship in the right position or didn't have a silicone shield your ship would take damage.

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    4. I hope more blocks get affected by gravity tho.

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    5. I hope more blocks than just the gravity blocks get affected by gavity tho.

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    6. Yes Ramses, we should have to have proper reentry vehicles to land back on the planet without damage/death.

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    7. In the workshop is allready a mod that ads gravity to asteroids it affects all blocks
      (--> not just artifical mass) and also players with jetpack turned on. Depending of how strong and what range you set the gravity you can strand on the asteroid with to weak thrust

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    8. Ramses ... this... and one time use "planet to space" thrusters, which burns out some of its material after you used it, or completely destroys itself. And ignition based and fuel consuming thrusters for moving your ship inside the gravity field of a planet (unusable in space). Space thrusters couldn't beat gravity, they can't handle the weight. It would be awesome for some ship to even be unable to go close to planets, and they can only orbit them in a range depending their thrust power, otherwise they crash into the planet (F=fxm1m2/r^2)

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  5. Jesus... Gotta catch my breath! This got me super-excited!

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    1. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight? I saw the bit out a the Oxygen, and I was like, Yay!!!! Finally pressurized cabins and a use for building airlocks into your designs!

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  7. this is pant 'shat'tering news and now i look forward to great things on the horizon

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  8. Do you want kill me? How can I wait for this T.T

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  9. This. Is. Fantastic. - you guys are really the best developers i know, by far! Keep up your good work :D

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    1. what about #TIF
      (this is fantastic :D)
      [dont forget it ^^]

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  10. I'm speechless, really amazing the work that you are developing, amazing, simply amazing.

    Greetings from Brazil!

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    1. Nice to see an other Brazilian guy here!!!! Just talking in inglish to be clear for everyone!!!
      I realy hope that the multipart thing come to this game just like the Medieval Enginners. (but to make multifunctional blocks)
      Don´t you?

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  11. These features sound amazing. I have a suggestion about planets. To save or resources, you could do space and the planet surfaces as separate instances with the upper atmosphere/reentry being the threshold.

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    1. Yes please do this!. This will enable bigger planets, better performance and less lag I think. Also you wont have to change the axis-aligned approach you mentioned (at least in the space dimension/instance)

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    2. Yes TamsynRRD, planet surfaces being different from outer space seems good. Orbit could be similar... something that is just achieved when you're in the right place. That would save the whole inertial dampening problem from occurring.

      You just have three differently defined areas: planet surface, orbit and outer space. Just an idea.

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    3. As long it is not restricting the gameplay im would be okay with that...

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  13. This is great news!!! Can we get a timeline for all these updates or is it too soon to predict right now?

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  14. About oxygen.
    Space suits are big and heavy, so it would be hard to jump and run (depends on gravity), and almost impossible to aim with weapon. You can almost implement prone (crawl) which will be impossible in a spacesuit.

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    1. With regards to Oxygen,

      Perhaps adding Oxygen-specific features, such as Plants / Animals; I know I would love to have an Arboretum in my space station, and you need oxygen to do it! Oxygen is a necessary component to life / living things, so perhaps Keen could implement organic features in order to give a 'reason' to include Oxygen.

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  15. Will the planets have orbit, like KSP, and structural integrity, like Medieval Engineers?

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  16. I wonder, when oxygen will be implemented, how the algoritm would react to the hole in the wall, that patched with block that have visual holes in it? Like this gravity generator for instance.

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    1. I believe that this not-perfect-cube type of blocks will leak oxygen

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    2. How will you handle windows, doors(open/close) and non-cube armor blocks (including interior blocks, that would seal on only 2 sides)?

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    3. so its will be possible only for armor and interior block to keep room in pressure? its will be some sort of flag at block that defines that? but then, how about glass, because glass can be placed at block, but not covering full of it, only with another glass block (1x1 angled)

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    6. How about doors? They are not-perfect-cube blocks but shouldn't leak oxygen (if they are closed) since they are usually in the outer walls of your ship. How else are you going to get in and out. But then again, if it is rotated wrongly, it does create gaps in your ship.
      Similar thing could be said for glass. They shouldn't leak oxygen, but can still create gaps.
      And then there are blocks larger than one cube. Like engines. They shouldn't leak oxygen depending on how they are placed.
      I'm guessing your just going to make those blocks not leak oxygen and ignore any gaps they could make. Which would be fine in my opinion. Could be difficult to program otherwise for such blocks.

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    7. Hopefully they will get lighting to work properly with blocks. If they do they could maybe adapt that to detect for leaks. If light can shine through, It'll leak...

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    8. ignoring the door problem, as it is more complex sealing block such as windows could be checked for alignment, so for instance a window would have one sealing side, if air had a path out it could pass through unsealed sides, but not sealed sides.and on armor like slopes would have 2 sealing sides where they cross the whole block etc, the triangles and large slope would all vent.

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  17. Have you considered keeping the not-so-realistic theme and creating square planets? solves a lot of issues but I suppose besides atmosphere it wouldn't provide much of a different playstyle

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  18. I mean, will such blocks be detected automatically (based on phys primitives?), or it will be like a property in cubeblocks definition of block itself, like true?

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  19. Looking forward with it!

    But I wounder, can I destroy planets? Or when I harvest on planet with ship and drill, can I destruction planet and gravity field.
    And second when I will try to land on planet, ship will be attract to planets?

    And last, what with orbits? Can we build space station on orbit and will rotate about planets?

    Secon you want to add planets, what about stars and black holls?

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  20. I thought you guys were getting lazy!
    Just kidding, I guess I should read this blog more often. This is really exciting stuff.

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  22. One possible oxygen mechanic you could use is to tie it directly into energy: in an oxygen enriched environment you could go off suit power and not have to recharge. The suits could have pressure vents around the helmet, and the pressure/depressurisation cycle could be indicated by a simple steam animation. You wont die if you lose pressure, but you'll need to start thinking about power right away.

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    1. Yeah. Right now power and air are kind of linked to one stat. With oxygen in the environment, they would have to be separate to have any kind of benefit. Energy would be only for tools and thrusters where as oxygen would be for breathing.

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  23. Looking good. There are some things that need to be addressed for this to work, though...

    1. Blocks need to obey gravity (all blocks affected by gravity)
    2. Replacing the artificial mass block with an anti-grav or gravity-compensation block (power hungry, possibly adjustable mass-compensation/power requirement
    3. Artificial gravity must ignore the ship grid they're part of (except for mass-blocks, so not to break existing gravity drives)
    4. Inertial dampening must be aware of gravity pull and compensate (adjustable/toggle) for gravity pull, so you can leave a ship in orbit, without it crasing down

    An unrelated request: moddable animated blocks (without having to resort to multi-block assemblies, using different parts (as rotors). Since they would still be function-restricted, the animated parts would have no function, except for looks. I'd like to see a gravity generator or a power generator with moving parts that would not fly apart when the ship started moving.

    Lastly, beware the agrarian experts... they can be scary when dealing with food... look at minecraft agriculture mods for ref. (wherever there is land and air, they will want to put up a farm).

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    1. I agree, Grav generation needs to be flipped to anti-grav or just make all blocks have a small gravity field and allow the ship control panel to set which Axis of the ship is "down"

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    2. The orbit problem could be solved by having "orbit" be a separate area. Having three "zones" could solve it: planet surface, orbit and outer space. When you get into the orbit area, you just go into orbit at a constant speed (you shouldn't need thrusters to maintain orbit, simply because of how orbit works IRL). To go to the planet surface, you need an appropriate reentry vehicle (think heat shield) to avoid damage/death.

      I'm not going for total realism, just offering potential solutions to problems. :)

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    3. two zones are enough i think..

      planet and space...

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  24. If you had an oxygen filled ship and you were to open a door will there be a suction effect that may suck you out into space as the oxygen leaves?

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    1. :D Cool!
      Sound blocks should only work in pressurized environments...

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  25. love seeing that xbox one development is helping pc development. I am definitely looking forward to playing it on consoles as my computer wont be able to handle it. as for planets and oxygen, it will be interesting to see what you guys come up with. oh and as an after thought, the mods in the game all look cool, so maybe there could be some way that you could work with the modders to get them as down loadable content for console gamers in the event that modding wont work on the xbox,

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    1. I agree with the DLC idea you could ask for permission from the mod maker and charge a small amount for the DLC like £1 (depending on how much work it takes to program/ resources used) and give some money to the mod maker.

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  26. if you planning planets, how about star systems, stars itself, different places, and galaxy map?

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    1. If all of this things has gravity to make some trouble to the players? And the only way to stop this is using something like a Mass Nullifier?

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  27. Will Oxygen become part of the survival mechanic, so as well as recharging you suit you have to top-up it's Oxygen tanks? OR maybe just have it so in oxygen environments your suit only uses power when using the thrusters or tools.

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    1. It would be cool to have oxygen be part of the survival mechanic. They could have clouds in space (think asteroids made of gas) or have to descend to/start on a planet to recharge oxygen. Could also make gatherers in the atmosphere of gas giant/regular planets. Bespin Cloud City!!!

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  28. Something I thought to make oxygen useful, is if you built your ships in big hangars (better heat dissipation, oxygen for welder everywhere, no space radiation to mess delicate components, faster working because no heavy suit...). Maybe build components for big ships in hangars and drag them to ship and weld them (without merge blocks) to the big ship as well as an alternative to in-place building...

    Does this mean we get volumetric smoke simulation (fire) or other gases (in mines?) for ME as well? :DDD

    Will you make ME worlds round, if you manage to make SE planets round such that building works?

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  29. that is amazing! when i first saw the alpha footage video for this game i knew it was going to be amazing, i knew it wont be like a lot of thease new half finished survival games with no real future, cause of lack of updates and ideas.

    anyway if you would be interested i could tell you my ideas for this game, wich honestly i have a lot, for example about planets, my idea was that planets could be like another world/dimension like in minecraft, and in space world the planet is just a sphere with texture (maby something more) and when you get near it you get loading screen (of course better if fast one, but honestly i dont think that matters too much, i dont think this semless transitions that most new games want, is kind of overcomplication, i think it is fine being a new world and with loading screen) planets would be flat there so you wouldnt have problem with making a new hex system. that is just one of my many ideas others are: more suits and no suit and their differences, more tools and weapons (both for players and ships) biomes in space and on planets if you realy will make planets, and a lot more.

    so if you are interested in my ideas you can just contact me on steam,
    my name is: greenscorpeon3
    and i might have made this comment twice, but i dont realy see the first one so im not sure :P

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  30. Will Planets be static like asteroids or will they rotate to give a day night cycle and maybe orbit about too?

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  31. How about mobs? Will there at least be some creatures to discover, fight, ect?

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    1. they are working on AI

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  32. Terraforming?! Hell Yeah. Planetary Engineers!

    Reasons to remove helmet:
    Way slower drain on energy
    No health loss on 0% energy in atmosphere
    Faster walk/run speed.
    Also able to equip special character items without helmet:
    Night Vision gear
    Better weapon aim/zoom

    For Curvature issues: Allow ships stations to lock to any orientation(i.e. convert to station)
    We can already flag a non-aligned grid as static in the save file, it just won't let us build new blocks on it.

    We DEFINITELY will need better modding tutorials on how the DX11 texture maps work. I think we could use them in ME as it is...

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  33. DX11 ruined ME for me.. dont ruin SE now too..

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    1. DX11 is Space Engineers will be optional.

      The current DX9 renderer will stay there.

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    2. Why it ruined ME? What do you mean here? As for me it looks quit well. Render works good. DirectX is very famous and leading graphics engines.

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    3. Sounds to me you should upgrade instead of holding game back. Lucky keen used their head and kept DX9 and added DX11

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  34. "Also, we still don’t know if oxygen will just be an aesthetical function. We need to come up with the advantages that players without helmets or suits would have - something that can only be done if the character has no space suit. Otherwise nobody will take off their helmet and the whole point of air in spaceships will be lost. On the other hand, we can’t penalize players in suits because that’s how almost everyone plays the game now."

    Let's face it, the spacesuit is OP as it is, but it should be good only at flying... at walking or taking bullets however, it should be the worst.

    If you take one bullet you should start to lose oxygen for a few seconds (they're engineers after all, I guess they can patch up a tiny hole in their suit in that time)... but with one hole there's also explosive decompression, so I'm not sure about this, someone with more knowledge in how space and spacesuits work should give more info.

    Anyway, walking ! it should not be as fast as it is now and you should either have no sprint or a sprint that allows you to run at the current "walk" speed and use more oxygen in that time (and a bit more time after you stop running), it's tiring to run in such a suit.

    When you do take off your helmet you'll also need to change your suit since it would still be hard to walk in that, preferably in a customizable outfit... backpack, armor, tool belt, weapon holsters, ammo packs, etc.

    Hopefully you'll also reconsider the magnetic boots for some jetpackless space walks on the ship hulls... maybe you can swap out jetpack for an armored space suit that can't fly ?

    Anyway, there are LOTS of ideas on the suggestions forums. expecially in the atmosphere/pressurization/planet topics.

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  35. and weapons what kind will be added in the future?

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  36. And weapons what kind will be added in the future?

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  37. Yes!!! Awesome news, and thanks for listening to the comunity!!! This game is going to be the fantastic!! (it is already!! but after this news.... just wow).

    Oooooohhhhhhh feeeeeeel the Hype!!!!!

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  38. This is awesome news!

    Here's some feedback about some features:

    You could limit things like eating, or sleeping (provided such features come) to when you take your helmet off. Also could you make it only possible if to heal if you have your helmet off, or make it faster.

    I'm not sure about the planet however. Not that you're doing them (which is actually great), but how. If you make them one big grid you'll only have 6 places where the flat ground will align with the grid.
    A different approach (I'd prefer) would be to split the planet into several plates (think low-poly UV sphere) and warp the mesh slightly to form a sphere. You'd have to limit how high you can build and how deep one can dig (bedrock, molten core/lave) however, because of how big/small cubes would get as further you get from the surface.
    Alternative you could also build it like above, but in layers (like an onion). Where each layer has it's own resolution. Though then you'd also have to deal with the gaps where resolutions change.

    You probably already have thought about it, but have you also plans from atmospheric-drag, or better orbital physics? I think it would be ok to make the gravity stop at GEO and have then gravitational less space where one can park a ship. Alternative if you want to have a smaller sphere of influence you could make it small enough that air-drag prevents orbits, which may be easier on the performance.
    Else I'd also would like you to implement orbital physics. Not because the physics aren't already there, but that you would give players informations like apoapsis and periapsis. Even if you don't plot paths like Kerbal Space Program, and just give the numbers it should be useful.
    This would allow the player the challenge to get a ship into orbit and beyond, not to mention to get back again without shattering on the ground (air-drag would also help here to reduce speeds close to the ground, making it easier to prevent clipping). Imagine building cargo ships that faire materials from ground, and back, because some materials may only spawn on a planet, and others only in space.

    What ever you do, I love it. You and your team are amazing. Space Engineers is one of the best games I've bought in years. :)

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    1. Really good post.

      I've commented on it above already but I had an idea (as others have) to have planets be multiple zones like surface, orbit and outer space. The surface comes with all the problems you outlined, but we might just be able to do without the air drag. It just seems like it would make the game really complicated and get away from the original idea of it all (unless we want airplanes or something.. might be cool).

      Orbit could be another zone around the planet... a place you just end up when you go into the bounding area. You could just accelerate or decelerate and be in "orbit" at a constant speed with some kind of speed limitations. Too slow and you fall to the surface zone, too fast and you fly into outer space. Just some thoughts. :)

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  39. A reason to take off your helmet:

    IMO it should be:
    1. Non-intrusive: The system should enable players to maintain their current gameplay, while in the same time making oxygen supply into the path of less resistance.
    2. Late-gameplay: New players struggling to set up a basic uranium supply should not have the added pressure of getting an oxygen supply as well before the character dies.
    2. Flexible: To maximize the utility of the advantage, it should not be geared towards one specific gameplay style or another, but something that players can use towards any style utilizing the player character.

    So I propose:
    1. Implement suit-modules: http://forums.keenswh.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1285953652&postcount=6
    2. Implement an oxygen-recycler suit module that every default suit comes with. It will take a lot of space and account for much of the default energy-expenditure. In conjunction with the post I linked, this would mean modders can set specific player models to count as "helmet off" suits - and have more room in them for other modules, whichever advantage they might choose to incorporate, whether its more battery packs, a longer ranged radio, more inventory space..
    3. Implement an oxygen tank that uses no energy, takes a lot less space and will automatically refill when you are in an oxygen-filled environment.

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    1. Players could start on planet surfaces to eliminate the problem of new players running out of oxygen. Space travel could be something players attain in playing the game and make play more linear (make launch pad, launch vehicle and suit. then achieve orbit and make a station which gives you a port to make ships. This allows you to mine asteroids to make more ships and get the resources from space, which is easier than going to and from the planet's sruface) though this is getting away from the game's namesake.

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    2. I love the idea of there being a research tree of some fashion. Instead of everything being immediately available (if you have the resources), needing to spend time earning new technologies.

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    3. Will we see new resources as a part of the addition of planets? Say diamonds for lasers?

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    4. Players could also start with a large oxygen reserve (in tanks for refills) like when you start with the rescue ship or platform (it comes with everything you need to get started). This could allow you to start on planets with no atmosphere and harvest ice to get oxygen (someone above thought of the ice thing). The game is not currently set up to start with nothing (you need a refinery to process raw materials, but you need an assembler to make parts for the refinery... chicken or the egg?)

      I guess you could start with the materials for a small refinery/reactor/assembler or something just to get started, or just be able to place a refinery/reactor/assembler (kind of like the first station block) to start. You could start with a supply craft, like you're a galactic colonist on a planet all alone (or in a group in mp). Starting on a planet (galactic colonist) could also just be another option in the game type menu.

      My idea for more linear play, maybe with research, would be cool but would ignore the fact that you had to have the technology to get to the planet in the first place. Research could be useful for late game things (better weapons, larger/faster engines, faster mining, etc...) but the basics should be available right away... you are part of a civilization that has accomplished space travel!

      I guess the linear play would make the game more fulfilling to me (maybe not to others) as pure sandbox games with no discovery become boring and static quickly. I have made a station, mining ship and fighters and now the only thing left to do is make bigger versions of the same thing... :( Cooler stuff should require effort, other than building time, and should be a reflection of the technological progress you've made. There is creative mode for those who don't want to hunt for materials or discover/explore and just want to get straight to making huge ships for battles.

      As for the food/eating thing mentioned in posts far above, I think this is making the game more complex for little practical reason. We're not trying to make "Second Life" in space, just make the existing space game more interesting. :P Terraforming would be cool, but a more realistic idea would be building enclosed biospheres. These would be another way to get oxygen, kind of the same way we already have both reactors and solar panels for energy. Building them in space would provide another use for gravel (growing medium) other than reactors. Terraforming would take an extremely long time to accomplish or would involve a hefty dose of "yeah, right". I'm not going for total realism, but I will draw the line somewhere.

      I am wandering away from my original point so I'll stop writing now. :)

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  40. This game will look stunning eventually, not that it isn't awesome already. I do look forward to better graphics & physics without the lag associated with collisions and explosions.

    I also look forward to more ( energy ) weapons and armoured slopes in the vanilla build.. *hint hint* :D

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  41. Will static voxel clusters like planets and asteroids start having gravitational fields proportional to their mass?

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  42. Really excited by this! As for the reason for running around without your suit: No energy depletion running around your station/ship. Honestly, the suit should require BOTH oxygen AND energy (With the energy usage going down, and oxygen being at the rate of energy decay now: Not so fast that it's annoying, but not so slow that it's irrelevant). Maybe you could move faster! Either increase base movement speed, or decrease movement speed for those in suits. And make movement in the suits be like little ships. Not the immediate, instant turn rate. Save that for when you're suitless. Also: Better weapon handling outside of a suit, maybe?


    There are a few options/reasons out there. I'm sure you'll make it all work out. Really pumped for what the future has in store!
    Keep it up!

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  43. Nice please focus, on servers optimalization, becose servers now can handle maximum 20 players, with 12 hours restarts. And that is for unlimited world uselessly. Try from my experience. Hosted in CZ, and hosted in UK on big RACK servers.

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  44. Not sure why this didn't get posted earlier: A reason to take off your helmet:

    IMO it should be:
    1. Non-intrusive: The system should enable players to maintain their current gameplay, while in the same time making oxygen supply into the path of less resistance.
    2. Late-gameplay: New players struggling to set up a basic uranium supply should not have the added pressure of getting an oxygen supply as well before the character dies.
    2. Flexible: To maximize the utility of the advantage, it should not be geared towards one specific gameplay style or another, but something that players can use towards any style utilizing the player character.

    So I propose:
    1. Implement suit-modules: http://forums.keenswh.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1285953652&postcount=6
    2. Implement an oxygen-recycler suit module that every default suit comes with. It will take a lot of space and account for much of the default energy-expenditure. In conjunction with the post I linked, this would mean modders can set specific player models to count as "helmet off" suits - and have more room in them for other modules, whichever advantage they might choose to incorporate, whether its more battery packs, a longer ranged radio, more inventory space..
    3. Implement an oxygen tank that uses no energy, takes a lot less space and will automatically refill when you are in an oxygen-filled environment.

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  45. For the whole "how to place station blocks on a planet" thing, there is a game in development similar to Space Engineers but more focused on planets (Seed of Andromeda). They have solved this problem very well, you should take a look. Website: https://www.seedofandromeda.com/

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  46. For the whole "how to place station blocks on a planet" thing, there is a game in development similar to Space Engineers but more focused on planets (Seed of Andromeda). They have solved this problem very well, you should take a look. Website: https://www.seedofandromeda.com/

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  47. Almost forgot... If O2 gens are to be added, there should be the ability to have more atmospheric options like having the right gas mix. N2, CO2, H2, etc.

    How much damage is taken by low pressure environs. or poisonous ones.

    Maybe competing with Volcanoes for C02 and Sulphur Dioxide to terraform would be cool.

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  48. Or just... make the space suit a craftable item, and not a "spawn" equipment. Place 2 spare in respawn ship cargohold, after that, every spacesuit should be an expensive stuff to craft, and non-reclaimable. If you lost all of your clothes and you are in the ship, then you want another starter ship :)

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  49. I'm really glad I bought this game. Great job Dev Team! Looking at the videos for Medieval Engineers, are ropes/cables going to be implemented sometime soon, if at all, in SE as well?

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  50. Amazing! I can't wait for all of this! Planets and oxygen both officially implemented is going to be genius for immersion in the roleplaying side of this game.

    As for the oxygen advantage; One obvious advantage of not wearing a helmet would be to have no suit drain; i.e walk around without requiring to recharge. It would be strange if you'd walk around in a vacuum proof suit in a pressurized environment ;)
    Another perhaps would be hearing, maybe in realistic sound mode you could say you can't hear speakers in a ship until you have air pressure.

    Although I don't mean to be greedy after all these great features, there's still one thing I hope to see, and that is live screens with actual information on them. Right now consoles are all static, you can't augment your hud with any extra information or have information panels anywhere, cockpits are basically as useful as remote control. I know you guys get flooded with seas of requests for features, but this really seems a logical but missing features to have in a game like this. Will this be possibly added with the new renderer? I'd really really love you! More than I already really really do! :P Keep up the amazing work!

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    1. YOU BASTARDS NOW I'M GOING TO BE STUCK INSIDE PLAYING THIS GAME FOR WEEKS TO COME <3

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    2. ..How do I write to LCD screens from Ingame Scripts? D:

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  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. Love this post.
    I personally do not need oxygen, nor planets, rather I just love'd to run a world and build with friends - therefore i am happy to hear there has been some development in the multiplayer section.
    especially, since that probably allows to create a more independent multiplayer stack and a better headless mode for a server software, or even server software on a unix box.
    i know it is not modern, to think of a mp server as a sovereign entity, and probably it will never be needed to implement a server that way for you, just dont make the mistake to completely dismiss every aspect of it; modern isn't always wise.
    For bigger server environments, you could simply think about some cool kind of instancing; running a sun system with some planets in unusal big sizes would then only be a question of instances, and maybe nice instance transitions.
    I think that copycat game made in unity plans to go the following way: you see the planet in space, and as you come close to it, you swap instances, and after some transition effect, like breaking the clouds, you are over a flat landscape (but actually in another instance); i am pretty sure, they are going to choose that route, by observing their released material.
    You can consider that way too, since I think, you have better focus in such matters.
    The new generator looks nice, I really hope the new renderer also takes a bit of the power hungryness of SE, but its also wise to already be prepared for tomorrows computers with those pretty detailed lod0's.
    You got my attention, mister marek! :)

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    1. Check out some games that have a dx9 and a dx10/11 mode (many games from around 2008-2012 feature both newer games often only support the later api). Dx11 mode usually means a big performance increase.

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  54. I am very impressed Marek.... very very impressed.

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  55. I think the best way to make the planets realistic is to design them as a whole new area/world/instance which you have to "beam" to, to keep the Scifi part in. That way, building a base with maybe an oxygen generator and suitable houses would be worth while, otherwise one could just use the ship, land it and use it as a base. Also, to make the planets even necessary, there could be rare natural ressources scattered around the surface which could be used for several things. Also things like animals or NPCs would be, even if one of the least important points, really awesome, on planets just aswell as in space. (Space Pirates, pure awesomeness, or stuff like trading, it would make the game a whole lot deeper and wouldn't need too much in terms of algorythms i think, as you already have randomly created ship/stations. Just add stationary npc's with inventorys and bam, the foundation is layed. Things like currency would be at the far end of the list. Also, oxygen would be really nice, maybe aswell as food. It would add a survival aspect to the game, because just now I think, there is just not much reason to build a ship, by gathering ressources and all that stuff, and after a while, for most people that will get boring. with those little things the game would have new awesome gameplay elements such as randomness, fighting, trading, surviving, worth-while exploring, as you will see more than just asteroids, and a lot more. I really love this game, but theres just not enough content yet, to use it as more than a building box, but it is so promising, just as Medieval Engineers and I really really want to see that long-term gameplay, this could be better than EVE or Elite, Med. Eng. better than Minecraft and co. I hope you keep on doing a great job!

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    1. The idea of NPC's is already in the game in the form of ships flying about, but to me they have little purpose other than target practice. I don't have any kind of massive mining rigs but I can easily acquire all the resources I need. The NPC aspect would have to have some kind of incentive for the player to interact (e.g. items only NPC's have, therefore you have to either trade or destroy them to get it) I don't know what these items could be, but the payoff would have to increase with the difficulty of assaulting the ship. They could have NPC stations as well as ships.

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    2. Yea, I think you summarized my own thoughts quite well.
      For me, the next most important feature to be added would be the NPCs (pirates, traders, mercenaries, etc...). Fighting AI would really add much depth, and would allow people to have real fun, because current factions vs factions fights are rare and people aren't online during the same amount of time nor simultaneously, therefore, they won't expand their base at the same pace which leads to unfair fights. The frustration could be reduced a bit with a somewhat beatable AI.
      Also, thinking about griefing, it could be quite nice if the blocks of a faction whose members are currently offline would be undestructible. Because, actually, most of the players are waiting for others to leave the server before assaulting an enemy base.

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  56. I think the best way to make the planets realistic is to design them as a whole new area/world/instance which you have to "beam" to, to keep the Scifi part in. That way, building a base with maybe an oxygen generator and suitable houses would be worth while, otherwise one could just use the ship, land it and use it as a base. Also, to make the planets even necessary, there could be rare natural ressources scattered around the surface which could be used for several things. Also things like animals or NPCs would be, even if one of the least important points, really awesome, on planets just aswell as in space. (Space Pirates, pure awesomeness, or stuff like trading, it would make the game a whole lot deeper and wouldn't need too much in terms of algorythms i think, as you already have randomly created ship/stations. Just add stationary npc's with inventorys and bam, the foundation is layed. Things like currency would be at the far end of the list. Also, oxygen would be really nice, maybe aswell as food. It would add a survival aspect to the game, because just now I think, there is just not much reason to build a ship, by gathering ressources and all that stuff, and after a while, for most people that will get boring. with those little things the game would have new awesome gameplay elements such as randomness, fighting, trading, surviving, worth-while exploring, as you will see more than just asteroids, and a lot more. I really love this game, but theres just not enough content yet, to use it as more than a building box, but it is so promising, just as Medieval Engineers and I really really want to see that long-term gameplay, this could be better than EVE or Elite, Med. Eng. better than Minecraft and co. I hope you keep on doing a great job!

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  57. Thanks guys. I've been feeling very out of the loop lately. It was obvious that you guys were working on bigger things behind the scenes, and I was (maybe selfishly) feeling left out and disappointed with each update that came and was small with no info on the bigger projects. This is great. I expect you guys have put the AI on the back burner? This is honestly a huge set of updates, and it's really nice to be informed again. Keep doing what you're doing, and I'd love it if you'd keep us informed like this.

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  58. A few things I'd like to see added besides what is mentioned is atmospheric effects (i.e. ship heating up upon entering the atmosphere. Taking more damage or even break up if the ship is weak and/or is already damaged.).

    The other idea is stress points. Damaged done to parts of the ship where there is more a lot stress made so that if you made a turn to fast you'd risk breaking of parts of the ship.

    Some sort of FTL in order to visit other procedurally generated solar systems. Heck, if one is crazy enough, build a large ship with FTL drives, or add FTL engines to a large asteroid and destroy a planet this way. Imagine the possibilities of it being used in multiplayer! :)

    Lastly, I would love to see some added game play such as using your station to repair and or refuel any ships in the area be it NPC ships or other player's. You start out repairing\refueling small ships and as you enlarge your station, you can repair and refuel even larger ships. You could even answer a distress call from stranded ships!

    Payments from repairs and refueling can go towards purchasing raw or refined materials, blue prints to build robotic refuelers, repair bots and even mining robots, etc...

    Something to do other than simple station\shipmaking.

    Just my two pesos. lol

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    1. There's a 'FTL drive' mod, which basically allows you to teleport specified offsets forwards/backwards/up/down/sideways/etc, as well as GPS coordinates.
      If you just want to go fast, you can go up to about 1000M/s in the game if you use a speed changing mod (or make a simple one yourself), although the engine doesn't really like this (and you can almost fly through entire asteroids without damage).

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  59. Medieval Engineers + Modern Engineers + Space Engineers = Seamless transition through the ages

    Start off on a planet with everyone else and research and craft to newer and better technologies until you create a space ship and leave... then land in the courtyard of a castle on some other planet!

    I know it will never happen but one can dream! =D

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    1. As I read through these threads I was thinking: why not just combine these games into one big game? They seem to be parts of a whole.

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  60. Just a small question will Med engineers SI system be applied to Space engineers.in regard to planets? Also got to say star citizen better watch their butts XD

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  61. KSH is worth 2 billion dollars, not Mojang, dammit.

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  62. I think most comment would probably be about idea to make the oxygenation of the ship something interesting..

    One of the few thing i can think would be for shipboard operation. Have a locker were you can trade your space suite for an armor thus increasing you overall chance to repelle boarding party.

    other point is that you could regenerate energy and health when in an O2 zone.

    and last suggestion, Food. Can only grow and eat food in O2 zone and have switching suite take some time.

    Make building in an O2 zone be faster or have an rebate on material when doing so

    dont forget add an option for the door to automatically close/seal when exposed to vacuum.

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  63. I really would like it if you tried to port to Linux sometime soon, I know that you are working hard but I wish that you finished porting to as many PC systems as possible first.

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  64. Stop reading my mind!! No seriously great concepts and ideas :D Things I really hope to see in the future development of SE.

    Btw. I think it was the right decision to reveal some of your major goals as many people started spamming under the weekly patchnotes for ETAs of this and that. This gives everyone an idea what willl probably make it into the game.

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  65. I think all those ideas are super cool! Except one: the DirectX11 route, which means that people on Linux & Mac are left behind coz Wine doesn't support DX11.

    Instead of working hard on a DX11 renderer, couldn't you have worked on a OpenGL 4.4 renderer that is truly cross-platform? That way, you would have been able to get users of Windows + Linux + Mac + Android + iOS to buy your game. Now you just have the MS & Xbox One crowd.

    Or is cross-platform-ness still an option that you're planning?

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    1. The DX9 renderer will remain available

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  66. Some possible rewards for taking a suit off:
    1. Obviously, no energy requirement
    2. Slightly faster movement/building
    3. Passive healing
    4. Larger carrying capacity.

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  67. I really dont think station blocks on a small 10-100 km planet is that big of an issue.. honestly large architecture in the real world has to adapt to changing conditions in the real world. Though the stress of gravity and weather on station cubes should be considered not just the square block on a sphere peg issue (building off the curve of the planet). Perhaps building planetary structures should be more akin the what you've been working on in midevil.. with stresses and proper foundation? this would ensure structures on the planet are smaller and more planned out.. though as station building is right now i dont think it would be too clunky or unrealistic since most build are utilitarian and functional in nature. The benefits of having a mining operation on a planet vs in space would offer unique challenges with gravity and air. Fires from damaged utilities and other hazards. there just a plethora of what could happen in these new environments.

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  68. Awesome!!!! Cant wait. Theres planets on the radar, set course twards the terrain. :P Really excited, now exploration will be evwn greater, and rovers can be of actual use (Ive had several great rovers that I couldnt have used without this). Also on the subject of suit v.s. No suit in combat. I think that players not suited up should have advantages in mobility and ability to move stealthily, Players in suits will be able to take more bullets, and survive explosions/decompressions. Disadvantages:
    Players without suits will have less of a resistance to bullets, and will die (almost) instantly in a decompression(same for explosion except with a slight chance of survival). Players in suits will be larger obvious targets and will move slower.

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  69. Awesome!!!! Cant wait. Theres planets on the radar, set course twards the terrain. :P Really excited, now exploration will be evwn greater, and rovers can be of actual use (Ive had several great rovers that I couldnt have used without this). Also on the subject of suit v.s. No suit in combat. I think that players not suited up should have advantages in mobility and ability to move stealthily, Players in suits will be able to take more bullets, and survive explosions/decompressions. Disadvantages:
    Players without suits will have less of a resistance to bullets, and will die (almost) instantly in a decompression(same for explosion except with a slight chance of survival). Players in suits will be larger obvious targets and will move slower.

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  70. I really don't care one bit about planets, oxygen. The part that excites me is the Havok and MP changes. MP and Havok need a lot of love.

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  71. It's nice to see that you still have feature plans for Space Engineers. I like that you switch to PBR.
    But I don't know how I feel about planets. There are many different types of planets in the universe (and a lot of hypothetical ones), like ice, gas, ocean, terrestrial planets. I guess you are aiming for terrestrial. Will the planets be part of a solar system (static as far as Im concerned) or will they be rogue planets? Will there be moons? How will this not look ugly? And then all the problems you already mentioned. From my own experience in professional game development I know that not all user wishes are worth fulfilling. Or these concepts need much more time to mature and should stay on the drawing board until then.

    I, personally had wished for an update on user interface, like managing which objects' and structures' labels I want to be displayed on the HUD. At the moment a lot of beacons and antennas are flooding the screen. I'd like to be able to easily turn display of beacons/antennas/playernames/GPS seperately on and off. Or making groups of GPS coordinates to be turned on and off and copying multiple coordinates to clipboard as a list. Or being able to collapse cargos in the inventory or filter them by ship that is connected. Display text of a text panel on 3D screen and scroll it.
    Having a 3D map to access and view all explored and bookmarked places would be a plus.
    Considering those suggestions individually may not seem like the big update and the next big thing, but many pennies make a dollar.

    I really hope for those performance improvements because new content does nothing if the game is unplayable due to multiplayer performance issues (as it is now).

    You guys do outstanding word for a small team size like that. I read that you wished people learned something from these games and get interested in science. I don't yet see much of that. Keep your vision. :)

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  72. Planets are very good idea. Keep work. Good luck!

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  73. The reason to take off your suit:
    the control station on large ships and stations (above a certain size limit) can ONLY be manned without the suit (with oxygen)

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  74. The reason to take off your suit:
    the control station on large ships and stations (above a certain size limit) can ONLY be manned without the suit (with oxygen)

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  75. I wanted to give some ideas for benefits that could be offered by not wearing space suits inside ships since it can be hard to create an incentive to not wear a suit without taking away features from existing suits so here goes:


    • Walk faster without a suit
    • Certain devices can only be used and manipulate without a suit (for example perhaps a special cockpit chair
    • Suits will not lose power when they are not being worn. Therefore, if you have a way to not use your suit, but can stay in an airtight space, you can survive much longer. Perhaps implementing sleeping on survival mode would be beneficial. It would put a lot more emphasis on having a well built ship to survive meteor strikes during your sleep cycle.
    • Custom character models: even with a basic degree of customizable characters people would have a large incentive to take off their suits. People like to be unique and when your wearing a suit your the same as everyone else. If the non-suit human could be customized people would want to see that custom model
    •Suits can be damaged: Give suits a health/shield rating. If they are hit by too much enemy fire they can lose functionality (maybe vision becomes impaired, motion slower, inertial dampening worse, jetpack thruster become disabled, limited oxygen, etc. Suits would have to be brought back to the ship to be repaired and thus taken off. Making suits very resource intensive to build would ensure that players would want to avoid leaving their suits damaged. Make it take a while for a suit to be repaired in survival.
    •Make suits customizable/improvable: You dont have to change any models per say, but make suit strength, color, speed, jump height, oxygen storage, power storage, etc--improvable. However making an improvement takes a long time so while the suit is being improved players cant wear it. If they take the suit out the improvement is stalled.
    •Create better POV. Space Engineers makes great use of POV for things like small ships. However when your in a suit everything is perfectly clear. This should change. From now on when your in a suit it should look like your looking through a helmet. This will significantly increase immersion but will also add incentive to at least take your helmet off when your inside a ship because you want the clarity that an unencumbered face will grant you.
    •Charging suits has variety: You can charge your suit while wearing it (this will supply a limited charge when at max charge. Having a visible countdown of suit power remaining will add urgency and thrill to the game). Or your can charge your suit without someone inside of it (suit is toggled off, and placed in a suit charger machine) (suit will be given a longer lasting charge when at full charge, however it also takes longer to reach that point).

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  76. i think the introduction of planets will be a great thing for this game however the distances you may have to travel to locate one may be "too far" so perhaps a planetary spawning option will be available, and for people who want a more constant open space you should definitely make the generation of planets optional as it may effect the way people play and perceive the game now. this would be unfortunate as it might take away from the space engineers experience all the older players have grown to know and love. i hope you have taken what i have said in to consideration and i thank you for everything you have done for the gaming community and thank you personally for the days of entertainment you have provided.

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    1. I like your idea of making planets optional and planetary spawn. It could be another option in the starting menu (asteroids, platform, crashed ship.... "galactic colonist"?) I made a comment about this last option in a post above.

      As far as finding planets, you could have to build a detector of some kind to find them. Travel to them could initially take a while, but you could have something like warp engines or jump points that you build to connect them. They would have to be expensive to build as they would be an attractive option to traditional space travel (ships are cheaper but slow where as warp/jump would be fast but expensive/power hungry).

      As far as preserving the game as it is now for "older" players, I think customization is a great feature the game already has and could be expanded to keep it a "one size fits all" game. SE could turn into a real monster and be "the greatest sandbox of all time" as another poster put it, drawing players for small engagements, ship to ship combat, or for survival/discovery games. It could literally cater to every kind of player.

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  77. i think the introduction of planets will be a great thing for this game however the distances you may have to travel to locate one may be "too far" so perhaps a planetary spawning option will be available, and for people who want a more constant open space you should definitely make the generation of planets optional as it may effect the way people play and perceive the game now. this would be unfortunate as it might take away from the space engineers experience all the older players have grown to know and love. i hope you have taken what i have said in to consideration and i thank you for everything you have done for the gaming community and thank you personally for the days of entertainment you have provided.

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  78. What about structural integrity? Is that still being considered for SE?

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  79. Not sure if it has already been mentioned, but I had a thought about how you could do planets.

    Essentially, break up the planet is multiple asteroids (as in chunks, similar to Minecraft) which are forming a planet together. To avoid performance issues, make them procedural and stuff, so that it only takes up memory when you're close and deformed it.

    This way it should be possible to have enormous planets and still enjoy good performance.

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  81. And as for oxygen, removing your helm could remove the need for energy, so that you wouldn't need to recharge your suit.

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  82. this is all great, but how about AI and objectives?

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  83. if you do such an update, you will the most powerful sandbox of all time. people still will play in your game in 20 years

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  84. Looking forward for oxygen pressure tanks and stuff. :)
    For the base blocks on a planet: Well, why not do it like it's on our earth?
    We use fundations to level out an area where a structure will be built on.
    So the structure will be vertically aligned in a thought line between the center of the planet and the point where the line crosses the planet surface.
    Yes, this will lead to a situation where one grid (= base structure) will not be in line with another structure on a separate foundation, because SE planets may be signifficantly smaller than our earth. So it will become obvious even with smaller structures aside of each other.
    This could be solved with "bridge blocks" that can adapt to the differently angled base grids.

    I don't think connecting two different structures (on two different foundations) would be a common thing. Because you can just build everything on one foundation.
    To avoid gaps underneath of the fundament, they could be designed to be built into the ground 1 or more blocks deep with at least a bit sticking out of the ground as fundament to build on.
    Just like a real foundation today.

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  85. I'm very happy to hear about the oxygen system. For me, it was the most important thing detracting from immersion, and is a must for a game that wants to consider itself realistic (that's why we like it in the end).
    About the gameplay advantages of having your ship pressurized, my answer is, again, realism. Make spacesuits (realistically) bulky, so if you want to wear one under the effects of gravity, you will move slowly, have trouble passing through small doors, etc. If you want to live under the comfortable conditions of gravity, pressurize your ship and get rid of the spacesuit. If you have to perform EVA for whatever reason, or are afraid of de-pressurization (due to combat, for example), put your spacesuit on, but you better turn artificial gravity off (or adjust their range) or move around as little as possible.

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    1. If you're worried about depressurization for any reason, build bulkheads with doors that automatically close or force fields that activate when exposed to vacuum. It would give you a reason to build larger ships. They would be safer in this way.

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  86. Thank you for releasing this post about the current direction of Space Engineers. I know from reading through comments on the most recent updates that a lot of the SE community was getting a bit antsy about the future of the game's development with the release of Medieval Engineers and the seemingly more minor SE updates that came after. Its nice to know that current development is geared toward adding these major features and performance updates, and I think it will help to quiet the restlessness of those worried about the game.

    And let me just say YAY PRESSURIZED INTERIORS!!! I personally have been hoping for this feature ever since I start playing SE. Also, with the inclusion of planets (presumably some of which will have atmospheres), I can finally see a reason for the inclusion of concrete blocks and a way to use all of that stone that gets built up in our inventories. People have suggested the use of concrete blocks in the past, and really in the void of space concrete is a material that doesn't make much sense to use. But inside the pressurized atmosphere of a planet? Now that is an excellent place for the use of concrete. Would adding concrete blocks for planetary surfaces be something you would consider?

    You guys are doing an excellent job on these games, and I look forward to all that is yet to come. Keep up the good work KSH!

    -Rusty

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  87. "Also, we still don’t know if oxygen will just be an aesthetical function. We need to come up with the advantages that players without helmets or suits would have - something that can only be done if the character has no space suit. Otherwise nobody will take off their helmet and the whole point of air in spaceships will be lost. On the other hand, we can’t penalize players in suits because that’s how almost everyone plays the game now."

    Well Marek, just mimick real life... why doesn't the crew of the ISS wear space suits all the time inside?

    Perhaps having the pressurized oxygen filled ship will be more stable and longer lasting than the suit... perhaps nerf the suit a bit more, right now honestly the suit is overpowered, it's like the rocketeer. Suits can go faster than any ship... I understand initially you wanted people to catch a ship that's moving, but if I can fly 120,000m in my suit and faster.... than what's the point of having a ship.

    I think if you cleverly reduce the duration/ability of the suit then spacecraft systems become increasingly more feasible.

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  88. This is Great, i do have to wonder how you intend to implement oxygen.
    I would hope that you include carbon dioxide also as then we would need an "environment processor" to convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen and also could use a hydroponic set up for this also.
    I think you should do deploy oxygen as a multistage aspect of the game, i think that first you should need to produce it as a processed material say for example liquid oxygen.

    The liquid oxygen should then be used by assemblers to produce oxygen tanks/canisters which should function like ammo, this is for the purpose of transporting the oxygen.

    The oxygen tanks/canisters can then be transported by conveyor or by hand to the "environment processor" to be pumped into the ship or station, this allows you to transport oxygen to ships and stations that do not have the facility to produce oxygen themselves.

    To produce the oxygen i believe you do not need to add any additional resources or specific refiners, oxygen can be a by product of the refinement process of the other raw materials in game thus using the existing refineries and Arc furnaces to generate oxygen.

    Producing oxygen as a refining by-product is an existing fact of an existing process called "Silicate Melt Electrolysis" which is being explored and experimented with due to it's ideal use in future space operations allowing for the production of Air, Fuel and raw materials in space from Lunar material. ref (http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/ResourcesNearEarthSpace/resources05.pdf)

    You could also make it so that the "environment processor" has a function to collect oxygen or carbon dioxide and produce canisters of the related gas, this would allow you to collect gasses on a planet with an atmosphere to be transported to a ship or station to be released into it.

    If any of the above gives you any ideas that's great.

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  89. This is Great, i do have to wonder how you intend to implement oxygen.
    I would hope that you include carbon dioxide also as then we would need an "environment processor" to convert carbon dioxide back into oxygen and also could use a hydroponic set up for this also.
    I think you should do deploy oxygen as a multistage aspect of the game, i think that first you should need to produce it as a processed material say for example liquid oxygen.

    The liquid oxygen should then be used by assemblers to produce oxygen tanks/canisters which should function like ammo, this is for the purpose of transporting the oxygen.

    The oxygen tanks/canisters can then be transported by conveyor or by hand to the "environment processor" to be pumped into the ship or station, this allows you to transport oxygen to ships and stations that do not have the facility to produce oxygen themselves.

    To produce the oxygen i believe you do not need to add any additional resources or specific refiners, oxygen can be a by product of the refinement process of the other raw materials in game thus using the existing refineries and Arc furnaces to generate oxygen.

    Producing oxygen as a refining by-product is an existing fact of an existing process called "Silicate Melt Electrolysis" which is being explored and experimented with due to it's ideal use in future space operations allowing for the production of Air, Fuel and raw materials in space from Lunar material. ref (http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/ResourcesNearEarthSpace/resources05.pdf)

    You could also make it so that the "environment processor" has a function to collect oxygen or carbon dioxide and produce canisters of the related gas, this would allow you to collect gasses on a planet with an atmosphere to be transported to a ship or station to be released into it.

    If any of the above gives you any ideas that's great.

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  90. I've got a reason for taking off the suit you might want to think about!

    One thing people have been talking about for months is an upgrade system, maybe the only way you can make upgrades to the suit (and yourself?) is by taking it off and putting it in the medical bay for a power upgrade, or some other feature that you guys haven't thought of yet? It would also be a nice way to increase things like innate grind speed, health, (you could include and allow upgrades for a stamina system), and adding some kind of suit upgrade larger carrying capacity, or maybe military-style upgrades like armor or a cloaking device, would be really cool!

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  91. How do you plan to add oxygen to a sealed room when ships fall apart because of desync?

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  92. I think the way the suit is now powered up is to fast. Think of like to power your suit up it will take atleast 5 minutes, but the energy in the suit will last for longer tho. So when you enter your station or spaceship you put the suit in a locker to recharge it.

    Also resting in a suit is not always confortable i guess. So if you add some kind of stamina to the character, which makes him perform better when its 100% and the performance decrase with the stamina. So if you have the suit on, you will never be able to rest up to 100% just because it is unconfortable. If you keep the suit on, you will only be able to rest to 60%. But by removing the suit your stamina will regain to 100% over time.

    And please, now when you add atmospehere. Add a alchemist system! Make us hunt the planet for chemicals which we will need to use to create things. Fuels, oxygen, food, medical supplies and so on. This would be awesome. Adding a whole new science/lab part to your ship and station.

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  93. Well, oxygen is perfect for eating (hello to dining halls), resting on beds (hello to crew quarters) and healing at medical rooms. While spacesuit, could be let for faster recharge it's batteries and air tanks, maybe even repairs. Medicine and food supplies can be bound to some naturally grown plants. Well, that just opens a whole universe of farming stuff with harvesting/recycling and so on :D

    Also I'm wondering about more complicated crafting, with various compounds, alloys, and complex components made from simpler ones.
    Or about a block like a ships display console, to show an interface with a simple semi-transparent 3d-model of a ship, which can indicate damage, air, power and status of ship's blocks. Or use it to visualise a 3d map also, with help of long range scanners, for triangulation.

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    1. I think hunger/stamina would just take away from game play and not make the game more interesting. While it would make it more realistic, realism is not always the best way to go. Ask: What is the point of the game? Does this change enhance this point or detract from it? What does hunger/stamina do to further game play?

      IMO, these stats would hinder game play rather than help it. It would add more things to do besides build/explore and would add more obstacles to construction/exploration, which are the game's principal points. In short, it would slow the game down massively while adding nothing but realism. I don't need to eat in a game... I will eat in real life.

      I like the planet idea and the idea of working with plants. Plants are useful for the oxygen mechanic and could be used to produce this resource. To link it to food however would slow the game down at times to the point of annoyance: Imagine you've charged and gotten into your space suit. You're working and still have lots of air and energy left, but you're tired/hungry. You now have to get out to sleep/eat then get back in and go back to work. All it did was make you have to stop working. We could make hunger/stamina last the same as air, but then whats the point of the stat? If we just go back for more air, and assume that recharging the suit counts as a break, then we have eliminated the stats and improved the flow of game play through taking fewer actions. This still provides a level of realism but compromises for the sake of game play.

      Hunger/stamina do nothing to promote better game play or further the point of the game. A compromise could be reached with plants for oxygen, but not for food.

      Sorry to rain on your parade, but total realism is not always the best. :)

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    2. To a point I agree with you but have you seen a game by the name of minecraft? In that you need food but by balancing the game properly you hardly ever need to worry about food but at the same time it is something you need to keep in mind before leaving home to go on a long adventure or an extended build. This is just my opinion.

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    3. I thought of Minecraft as I was writing my previous reply, but Minecraft has something going for it on the food front that Space Engineers doesn't: you're not in a suit in Minecraft. All the above posts have getting out of the suit as part of the eating mechanic but Minecraft doesn't have this obstacle.

      I have logged many (too many) hours playing Minecraft and the food thing eventually becomes a null point... you have plenty of food and it's easy to get so you end up just having to carry it around everywhere for ritual eating. It has become annoying to a point sometimes, but only sometimes. Personally, I wish in that game they made the food much harder to get, then survival mode would really be real "survival".

      I am not entirely opposed to the eating/food thing, I just don't see how to make it work without taking away from the game's main points and slowing it down for little reason... maybe you could eat intravenously. :)

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    4. I think you disagree with RATES of hunger/stamina, but not the hunger/stamina by themselves.
      Well, If we are talking about realism, most of ppl eating three times a day - once per 8 hours, so I don't think it will slow down the game massively. I think most players do some breaks, after playing hour or two, so need for eating once/twice per gaming session won't look so catastrophic to me. :)

      Sleeping is not an option, it won't fit without a timeskip at all.
      Stamina is more tricky, by logic you spend it on running/working with tools. If stamina is low, what should happen ? Slower grinding/welding speed and only walking mode? Well, maybe, but in current state of game (even without stamina) I always tend to hop in a constructor ship, for welding/grinding anyway. It is easy to work around it, but could motivate you for building a ship or transport. And of course rates should be balanced.

      I made my first post with one thing in mind - "What can astronaut do, without his spacesuit ?" So the resting was obvious, and it gives a sense for making a crew quarters, because most of the ships don't have any at all! Like there is no life, only a robots who sitting on their chairs forever.

      And the last thing: If we play survival mode, don't we need to SURVIVE, nor just dig a pile of uranium and be happy with that ? ;)

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  94. Hmmm, I'm not excited about planets at all... seems like too much would be added to the and take aways much of the 'space' focus of the game. Also, if planets are added, the performance patches will not only have to solve àll the current performance issue,s which can be abysmal, but also handle all the stuff of oxygen, and the planet's surface.


    This may sound a bit harsh but please first fix the problems you have before adding a truckload more...


    I absoltely love the game, but the multiplayer performance makes me want to cry/rage...

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    1. In a games development there are 3 main stages: Alpha where they add the features of the game. Beta where they look at optimization and fixing bugs with said features. And release where they have finished their game with all its features and has been polished out to get rid of bugs to give the full game.

      Space engineers is currently in Alpha, So this negates your point, although I do agree that these future concept seems mighty complex and will introduce a hella-lot of bugs.

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  95. Oxygen in ships is something I wanted for quite a bit now, SS13 in Space Engineers here we fucking go.

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  96. Can different players independently log in and do work on the same project and it be synced so that they can then also log in and continue the work together?

    if not then the game is useless and this is why we stopped playing it.

    cheers.

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    1. I don't believe so but their is a way around by simply making worlds and sending them to each other with the progress of the project so the other user may continue on the work on the sent build.

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  97. Great ideas and work on what you have done so far and your plans for the future! I don't have much to say on regards to solutions as what I would have said has already been suggested.
    What I would like to suggest is that you post these blogs on the space engineers news page so that everyone knows where to find this as I see many people on YouTube and such suggesting ideas that you may have already taken into consideration and are building upon. I myself knew about this blog (through the YouTuber Sage) but only recently found it for myself to see.
    1. This would allow more people to see were the development is going.
    2. It would allow myself and others to follow the blogs as I don't know when the next one will be and do not use any kind of social media and only talk to my friends in person, Skype, steam or game chat.
    As I said before I am loving all the work you have done and will continue to do and I hope it continues! :)

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  98. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  99. After you done the planet part you might be able to work on some sort of block the releases asteriods from being physical entity's to moveable ones so you could use them against planets i had this idea from PA a game from uber and ever since SE came out i hoped that some day asteriods could be moved but to no avail just yet. Might be cool once planets are in that you could use them as weapons.

    Greet work Marek and team keep it up !!

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  100. Medieval Engineers terrain and physics + SE = VGG (VeryGoodGame)

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  101. havok + AMD = lags

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  102. I already have a pretty good idea on how you could handle this. Take Space Build from Garry's Mod as an example. I loved the way that played out.

    Basically, you started on an Earth like mini-planet that had air and water and proper temperatures. You had to build generators to power machines and harvest water/air/other gasses and store them on tanks. You can then hook other machines up to these tanks and convert them into other resources as well. If you have H2O for instance, you could split it into oxygen at the cost of the water.

    You then had machines and generators to power them that would run in your ship and feed off the resource tanks to provide you with a perfect climate in your ship.


    There were other planets you could go to, freezing planets, hot planets, airless gas planets, etc.



    This is where the suit idea comes in. Instead of making it so you take your helmet on and off, just do what Space Build does?

    You're always wearing a suit, and you have a little hud displaying Air, Energy, and Coolant.

    Air is obvious. When you're not in a space with air (underwater, or in a vacuum), the air depletes.

    Energy is used when you go to cold planets or are in a vacuum/freezing water. It heats your suit at the expense of energy.

    Coolant is used when you go to hot planets. Cools your suit.

    Now, when you need to refill your suit, you have a little machine at every exit/door of your ship/station that you press the use key on. It takes a set amount of resources from the storage tanks on your ship to refill your suit. It takes Water, Air, and Energy out of your ship.

    Maybe make it so the suit ONLY refills if you are sitting in a seat like the current system, or you use this little refilling machine.


    I was hoping from day one that the game would turn out something like this. It's really entertaining in Garry's Mod, but the problem is Source just can't handle that properly, I would love to see a standalone game similar to it in this aspect. You start on a planet, gather resources, and then build your way out to space, having to make stops on planets every now and again to refill your ships resource supply.

    Please take some of these into regard. I think the formula works, but maybe you guys could tweak it.

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  103. Oxygen and taking off helmets:

    In my mind it would make the survival part of the game more realistic and fun.

    There should be a block (like gravity generator) that generates O2 but only inside the ship and not through walls, doors. It should be relative small size so if needed you can put it on the wall in a sealed compartment (i for one like to keep the doors separating the hangar compartment from the rest of the ship closed :) but would like to have O2 in the hangar when the hangar doors are closed)

    Taking off helmets. We are many and pleasing everyone is hard (impossible), so we need to make a compromise. In order to make O2 an integrated part of the ship mechanic and not an aesthetic i think it should be made obligatory on some point to take your helmet or suite off. But this should be done by not limiting movement.

    To resolve this issue i have the following suggestions:
    1. Suite`s should keep there current mobility, speed.
    2. Ad O2 to suite`s that drain if helmet is on, even in O2 rich environment (lets be honest NASA astronauts entering the space station don`t get there O2 tank field up like magic). But we are in the future where anything is possible so there should be an O2 generator in the suite that regenerates the O2 to 15-20%. Lets be realistic a small gadget on your suite wont be able to compress the O2 to fill your tank 100%. To fill it to 100% use O2 dispensers (like health restoration stations). This way if you don`t want to take off your helmet in O2 rich environment you don`t have to, but you need to refill your suite if you want to exit it.

    The second part will be to implement another type of suite. Combat suite :). Here is why: so to please the most people as possible you should have 2 types of suite. One for combat/exploration and one for building, drilling, repairs.
    1. Combat suite: more agile thinner, and equipped with regenerating armor. Same energy storing capabilities as the engineer suite that the game uses at this time. Of course movement should drain more power, and armor regeneration as well.

    2. Engineering suite: less agile compared to the one whee have now. No regenerative armor, if hit by bullets should leek O2. Bigger energy and O2 storing capability so you can drill, repair ships without making constant trips to a cockpit.

    For O2 replenishment: small ship cockpits should replenish the O2 but large ship cockpits not.

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  104. personally. I like the idea I've seen in previous comments. I come from the garry's mod. the idea of being on a planet. pick up resources such as oxygen and stored in special storage tanks is a very attractive idea. The resource of water can also be an interesting addition. On the other hand. If you are working in the functions of pressurization and integrity of the structure. It would be ideal to think about space submerged in water. where much more deeper pressure. you would open a new dimension where certain minerals may be found at huge depths. that forces the player to think resistant and supply boats to arrive and get out again. So I'm sure that more than one you'd like to create your own base as if it were the Atlantis with its supply of air etc.
    Before I go, I don't want to miss the opportunity to recognize the great work you are doing. so almost everyone who has played knows that they strive every week to update by adding new options. Follow as well and I am sure that almost the entire community of pc ended by playing it

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  105. Wow great!
    I don't know if this has been posted by my suggestion would be:
    Spacesuits wear out.
    There could three tiers of space suits:
    Tier 1: wears out after being used for 24h, poor battery capacity
    Tier 2: wears out after being used for 48h, good battery capacity
    Tier 3: wears out after 96h, increddible battery capacity
    Tier 4: wears out after 192h, incredible battery, built-in nuclear reactor, can power a small ship.
    Each next tiered suit would be twice as expensive as the previous tier. The suits would be quite expensive so you wouldn't want to waste the resources forcing you to take off your suit inside big ships.

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    1. hey that seems to be a nice idea... also it reflects the fact that space suit gets worn out by the harsh environment... e.g. through work at a mine or sparks from the welder etc. ... in real life as a mechanic, you have to renew your workingsuit after several month and replace damaged shoe etc....

      so it sounds like an good idea

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    2. Thanks!
      I wish that this will be featured in Space Engineers.

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  106. Also, we still don’t know if oxygen will just be an aesthetical function. We need to come up with the advantages that players without helmets or suits would have - something that can only be done if the character has no space suit. Otherwise nobody will take off their helmet and the whole point of air in spaceships will be lost. On the other hand, we can’t penalize players in suits because that’s how almost everyone plays the game now.
    one of answers is food. you need to remove helmet to drink/eat.

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  107. Here is a suggestion for the purpose of oxygen in ships/stations: bonuses, which add to the game without changing its current mechanic. Let me explain my idea: when you have oxygen in large ship/station you can 'request' employees come to you. they would work like a block, you can select them, give a task and they do it; build this, pilot that, protect this, etc. You could determine the number of employees you can request by the number of beds you have built. Requesting could be done with a specialized docking block, which is used to summon the transport ship which carries the employees. they have no space suit, but could put one on for EVA, perhaps? They could use a system where they need 30 min for sleep and 5 min for eating every 24 hour period.

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  108. Something I would like to see would be a PS4/Linux port, making use of an OpenGL renderer. Unrelated, I would also like to see options to use different languages for programmable blocks, like Python.

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  109. If these ideas are implemented, it will be the best game of this genre! I am very pleased by this news!

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  110. Hi Mark,

    If you want an excuse to use oxygen without giving a penalty to players then don't change anything about the curent system. If you want to introduce oxygen, use food. By using food, get the players to remove their helmet, use food and their energy supply should increase by 100% or some number that is better than not using food. But in order to use food, you need to be in a closed space so you can remove your helmet and use food.

    Even if you don't use food or oxygen, you still can play the game its just with the current system without any change at all. That way no one is forced to use the oxygen system and the "new" food system (food would be an excuse to use oxygen). Thats my 2 cents on the oxygen thing.

    For the planet, let the grid work around a round planet in a certain range. Go far away enough, and it goes with the current system the game uses...simple enough

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  111. Can you tell as a approximately date when we'll have planets, oxygen, DX11 renderer?

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  112. Mr. Marek,

    If you want a mechanic that will encourage the use of O2 compartments, but will also encourage building, I suggest adding a SANITY mechanic that is an integrated value reflecting happiness vs deppression, ennui, general psychological makeup.

    Space is beautiful, but it is also boring as hell if you're living in it day in, day out, especially if you're stuck in a suit the astronaut would quickly go insane.

    For a great fictional treatment of this please check out Allen Steele's short story "The Days Between" at http://www.asimovs.com/Nebulas03/Daysbetween.shtml

    Sanity could be affected by time out of suit, hygiene (space shower!), access to music, books, artwork, and plants.

    Similar to fan provided content for ships and stations, users could submit stories, art, and music that could be found in-game in derelicts, stations, or randomly picked up using a space radio, or created in game. This would allow further personalization of your player quarters, providing greater sanity benefit.

    Low sanity could result in depression, slowing work speed, or even random suicide for very low sanity.

    This approach would serve the dual goals of encouraging building to address player needs and increasing the simulation value of the game, all while populating the work with a rich array of fan created content.

    Of course you'd be able to toggle this on and off in the options, but I think it would represent a very interesting addition to the game, more so than basic needs like food/water.

    Thanks for an already great game and I can't wait to see what you folks do next!

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  113. i think it will be amazing for u to add planets because it gives space engineers more places to mine and explore

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  114. I played with Space Engineers a few months ago but eventually lost interest... I couldn't quite put my finger on what was missing until a few weeks later. For whatever reason I wanted the ability to go out and find planets, land on those planets, explore, build on those planets, and start "civilizations" with my friends on those planets. All while being able to continue to expand in space.
    Don't be intimidated by the word "civilization"... I'd be happy at first with just having a place where I can explore and maybe build a home or a planet side base. Oh, and dig deep into it (tunnels, etc) and mine.
    If planets come to fruition then I will become a dedicated Space Engineers fan and evangelist.

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  115. i had an idea:
    since it looks uncomfortable to sit with a spacesuit on some ship control seats, waht if we can only control big ships without spacesuits? maybe this could be a simple way to "force" people to use oxygen.
    also you could be able to plant some flowers/potato plants inside a spaceship/station

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  116. The whole survival scenario comes to mind. start on a planet no helmet get to space and travel planet to planet, being able to make space suits would be awesome. the no jet pack mod comes to mind.

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