Thursday, November 12, 2015

Planets! Because you wanted them

Today is an important day in Space Engineers history. I am very happy to present the biggest and most challenging addition we have ever made: Planets!

Space Engineers now has the largest, fully destructible, volumetric and persistent planets in the universe!

Since day one planets occupied the top spot among the most requested features by community, but we didn’t have them in our initial roadmap. The decision to add planets came almost a year ago and back then, I knew it was going to be a very complex and difficult task that would test the limits of how far we could go and how hard we could push.

The vision for Space Engineers was always to provide a realistic and almost infinite environment where everything you see is real, can be touched, used, shaped or recreated. Sacrificing the volumetricity of our game world wasn't an option.

We knew we were explorers and we wanted this fight at the highest volume! The extreme scale of planets not only tested our abilities but also pushed us further,  to a point where no other game developer has ever wandered.

During the development we had our ups and downs, we sacrificed our free time, pulled long hours, reached our programming and artistic limits and then pushed them further. And then again and then some more. The task wasn’t easy, but the team boldly took the challenge and put blood, tears and sweat into accomplishing it.

We never forgot that if we don’t give up, if we keep pushing in spite of all the difficulties  and unpredictability that lies in front of us, eventually, one day, we would give you the Planets and everything that will come.

Today I am proud to introduce you to our Planet Creators: (in a random order) Tomas Psenicka, Tomas Rampas, Petr Minarik, Ondrej Petrzilka, Jan Nekvapil, Čestmír Houska, Marko Korhonen, Daniel Ilha, Greg Zadroga, Lukas Jandik, Adam Williams, Dusan Repík, Jan Veberšík, George Mamakos, Pavol Buday, Joel Wilcox, Marketa Jarosova, Ales Kozak, Simon Leška, Michal Zavadák, Marek Obršal, Dušan Andráš, Charles Winters, Michal Wrobel, Anton Bauer, Natiq Aghayev, Rene Roder, Jan Golmic, Nikita Suharicevs, Dušan Ragančik, Lukáš Tvrdoň, Karel Antonín, Adam Sadlon, Vaclav Novotny and myself.

These are the folks who can one day say to their grandchildren: I was there when Planets were added to Space Engineers. I am a Planet Creator!









Planets are fully destructible, volumetric and persistent. You can drill a hole from one pole to the other, but you will have to put a lot hours into it. Planets have up to 120 km in diameter, which is a surface of 45 238,93421 km2! Even with planets this huge we had to apply smart visual tricks so they appear nice and round from afar. That’s why mountain ranges goes flat once you hit a critical distance from the planet.

Every object on a planet surface is affected by its gravity, which is why we added a new option for station grids - the Station voxel. By enabling this option a station will be static only when touching the voxel (one block build “inside of it”). When you cut some parts of the station away it will become a dynamic object and could break apart. And since you will be building stations on a spherical surface from now on, buildings can't be axis-aligned, but you can orientate the block so that it’s aligned with the landscape surface.

In the Planetary release you can find three planets (up to 120 km in diameter inspired by Earth, Mars and an alien world), three moons (up to 19 km in diameter, inspired by the earth’s moon, Europa and Titan), each one with its unique flora and fauna.

Planets and moons can have either Earth-like, hostile or no atmosphere (the engineer need to keep his helmet on). And if you are looking for more, with modding tools you can create your own planets (we are preparing a detailed modding guide from planets that will be released within the next days).

The surface area for all the planets spans about 140,000 km2 and that is more than any other game (e.g. Skyrim). In the case of Space Engineers, this landscape is also fully volumetric and destructible.

I want to share also two fun facts: planets don’t orbit around the sun, but the sun orbits around the solar system instead, and planets and moons have natural gravity as in real life.

To support Planets as you know them now, we had to optimize many parts of our game engine. This includes physics (collision detection between ships and planets), rendering large scale planetary environments with various materials, flora zones that support fast and seamless movement without any preloading, atmosphere and gravity, etc... We will keep optimizing and supporting the game and planetary features with future updates and additional content to make the experience better and better.

Lastly, to bring the best possible experience without compromises we had to change the hardware requirements, therefore Planets are possible only on hardware supporting DirectX 11. You can find the updated hardware requirements at http://store.steampowered.com/app/244850

Have fun building on planets!

#ThisIsPlanets!
#NowWithPlanets

Marek Rosa
CEO, CTO, Founder
Keen Software House

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For further updates, keep reading my blog: http://blog.marekrosa.org/ or find me on Twitter: @marek_rosa

Or  follow Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers on Facebook and Twitter:
Space Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers
Space Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpaceEngineersG
Medieval Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MedievalEngineers
Medieval Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MedievalEng

93 comments:

  1. Awesome! keep up this amazing work!

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  2. oh my god oh my god my life is complete kill me now

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    Replies
    1. Why would you wanna die? You want to play with PLANETS!!!!!!

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  3. You done it champs.
    Now go sleep.

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  4. woow finally thanks for all your hard work!

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  5. *Takes his hat off* I can't thank you enough for this huge effort of you and your team.
    THANK YOU!

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  6. Awesome job, Marek, really - this is exceptional.

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  7. Thx KSH^^

    Now go to a restaurant and take a rest. Pivo is never bad;-)

    MfG, Joker (GER)

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  8. Hats off to you, Marek. To you and your team!

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  9. holy freaking crap you just made a amazing game into the best game ever! XD thanks devs for blowing my mind one more time cant wait to see what elese your up two!

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  10. Marek you are THE BEST MAN IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, real or SE one XD.
    No, realy, you AND YOUR TEAM (i didn`t forget about them) are my idols. For making the game, for making THIS, my all-time favorite app for all platforms (PC, PS,PSP,Xbox, tablets, Ipads, phones). There is nothing that i enjoy using/playing as much as i do enjoy your game.
    Also, a fun fact of mine: I just came from Prague, 2 days ago, and as much you have a beautiful game, you also have a very beautiful city. And that i hope that all of you will enjoy it as much as i did, both the city and your game.
    Best of wishes and have fun,
    Alexa (steam/iname Windrider)

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  11. ok, thanks for planets blah blah, but what about something to exterminate the spiders???!!!?!?!?!?! thank you so much for these planets just kill me, im so happy!!!!

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  12. Yeaaaaaaa planets !!!! I'm very very happy to that, I bought the game at the begining, and it's a amazing evolve, you've got a great fan ! I hope in the future another update like this, like space anomaly (black hole,...) or maby a planets optimisation and more ! :D

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  13. You guys have been testing this for months and months, and yet when I go to finally play planets, you guys take my dreams and dash them. DX11 SHOULD NOT BE REQUIRED TO PLAY PLANETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DO NOT PLAY ON DX11, GRAPHICS ARE NOT WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR A GAME, CONTENT, GAMEPLAY AND MECHANICS IS ALL YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON!!!!!!!!!! IM VERY UPSET IF YOU HAVENT NOTICED!!! OH AND I CANT SPAWN A PLANET INTO THE GAME< THE SPAWNING SYSTEM IS BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. DX11 is important to plantets. A game (Any game) must have at least DX11 to render a Planet, do you even know What they gave to you? How much effort they put into this project? Do NOT cry like a little baby, because your computer does not handle to render Milions of little Triangles that shape a Planet with 120km in Diameter.

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    2. everytime i try to load up any of my old worlds the game makes my pc crash. this has never happened before so i hope that it will be sorted in the patch soon!

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    3. Do your research and try to understand what DX even is before you go on shouting about it. DX11 is necessary because in basic terms it is a way to divide tasks between the GPU and other systems, as well as present the information in a way that such systems are used to seeing the information. DX9 and 10 are not designed to handle the loading that planets present, especially due to lack of extensive tessellation support. It's not about making the game pretty, it's about making it possible to run. Also, the spawning system isn't broken. They clearly state in the blog post above that planets are DISABLED for anyone not running DX11, and you have stated that you do not play on DX11.

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    4. Try turning the settings down, especially the grass density graphics setting, this caused it to crash on mine

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    5. Anonymous - please contact support@keenswh.com
      They will try to help you

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  14. so now that we have planets when will medieval engineers finally get procedural terrain?

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  15. I cant play on planets FUCK #ForRealImGonnaCry

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  16. Keen - you glorious sexy beautiful crazy bastards!

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  17. You did what no one thought could be done. Planets in a multiplayer, fully destructabel and without reload? Even the star citizen - crew hasn't solved it yet =) You guys are amazing!!

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    Replies
    1. Star Citizen´s engine (cry engine 3) is not even capeable of voxel blocks. SC will have planets, with a beautifully detailed surface, BUT you can not fly in and out with no loading screen...

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  18. Its finally here!!! ;___;

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  19. That's one small step for SE, one giant leap for artificial reality engineering. Sure it will take years before real-time fully simulated environments, but now we at least have a reason to believe that it's possible.

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  20. Incredibly exciting! Looking forward to experiencing this new content. Well done, Keen. Here's hoping you find time to celebrate and get some rest as a team before bringing your next big dream for the game to life.

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  21. Please tell us you will be developing for DirectX 12. My GPU is not x11 supportive, however weirdly is DirectX 12 supported.

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    Replies
    1. That literally is not possible. There is no DX12 GPU that doesn't support DX11 as DX12 entirely backwards compatible., What's your GPU?

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  22. I really hope you will be planing to bring the game up to DirectX 12. I am disappointed that m GPU does not support DX11 however does support DX12, and I was really looking forward to the planets. Maybe this can be a future update. Thank you

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    1. direct x 12 isnt even out yet if they do update it will be in a year or two

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    2. This makes no sense. Something must be wrong with your driver or DX installation. I've never heard of a video card that isn't backwards compatible with previous versions of DX. In fact it's inconceivable.

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    3. What's your GPU? If it supports DX12 it should work fine with DX11.

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    4. So have a gaming computer that has 1,000 ram, and it doesn't have the capability to run space engineers now that theirs planets. It would be fantastic if you could fix this issue. Good luck guys, and keep up the good work.

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    5. DX12 is out (it comes build in with windows 10) and you can allready get the first DX12 compatible game in Steam early access (ashes of the singularity)

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  23. I don't want to be a broken cd but when I play on the plane it lag the hell out of my laptop

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  24. I don't want to be a broken cd player but when I loader a plant up it lag the hell out of my laptop and I don't know why?

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    Replies
    1. Because you are playing on a laptop. Laptops generally have only graphics chips, not large graphics cards that normally way outperform them. Also, the CPU and RAM can have a big impact on performance if they are not up to par.

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  25. i KEEP SPINING IN THE GAME ANY MODE OR SERVER. How CAN i FIX PLEASE NOONE HAS GIVEN ME AN ANSWER.! my chat text comes out backwards and the game is unplayable for me. I REPEAT I NEED A FIX FOR THIS PLEASE AND INFO

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    Replies
    1. I'm guessing you have a controller or something that is connected and the controller is laying upside down on something causing it to move your cursor in chat and to rotate in flight.

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  26. Technical question: how do you manage all that data? I'm guessing you only store changes to the procedurally generated volume but even then it must add up pretty quickly.

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  27. I am just hope it can be optimized for some GPU that is not good enough to play planet in 60 frame rate, such as my NVIDIA GTX 870M :)

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  28. Congratulations!!!

    Milestone achieved: PLANETS!

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    1. Yes

      Now the question is, how can we top planets? Is there something that could be considered 10x larger accomplishment?

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    2. Artificial Intelligence. NPCs or bots both friendly and not. Then you let them populate them on planets. I'd love to see a goodAI from you guys.

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    3. we can top planets by making FOOD. the food could be only available on the planets which each have different types of food based on the planet. the food could also poison the player and make the player loose health for a certain amount of time. this could add to the engineering by forcing the player to making custom farms that have certain technical features that all change the way the plants grow for example, the food could not grow, or even die if it doesn't have enough water, or sunlight.
      another recommendation is HOLOGRAMS which show a ship or planet from a broad perspective.
      another recommendation is WATER, water could be generated by keeping ice, just letting the player go through it and making the payer need there helmet on, or they would suffocate. the Water DOES NOT HAVE TO MOVE, but you people put yourselves at such a high standard that its probably gonna have tsunamis like in interstellar lol ;). but there should also be a NEW BLOCK that can turn water into both hydrogen and oxygen which has to be put in water or it wouldn't work.
      another recommendation is NO GAS GIANTS!!! they would make my computer explode into a million little bits XD
      another recommendation is to MAKE THE PLANETS EASIER TO PROCESS
      please add more types of planets and please make PROCEDURALLY GENERATED PLANETS that would follow certain sets of program that would make them look natural
      another request is to please IMPROVE MULTIPLAYER, a lot of people besides me really want this because we want to experience a life like-immersive experience. and yes, i know that you guys are focus on making the game more engineering based and very technical, i appreciate this and respect that but even though ones game might have AI that are so advanced that i mistake them for real people, i don't FEEL the presence of another human, this might be because humans want power, ad AI feel so casual, we want something that has life and depth, something that can walk out of a cockpit and greet us demanding that we give up our resources instead of automatically looking at us and going 1001100101010100 translation "exterminate!"
      another recommendation is o please make A MAP that could work by generating on a hologram that would add more and more to the map the more a player explores
      my final request is DON'T DO ANY OF THIS UNTIL AFTER YOU AND YOUR TEAM SLEEP FOR A TON OF TIME!!!!! I want you guys to know tat you are appreciated by your community and we want you to take a break PLEASE, oh and by the way, all of these recommendations add to th engineering side of the game, which is what you guys and gals are all working on improving the engineering side of this game which is my #1 game ever!, i love this work of art!!!!!! THANK YOU :)

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    4. @Marek
      [ quote:
      Yes

      Now the question is, how can we top planets? Is there something that could be considered 10x larger accomplishment?
      :/quote]

      Procedural Planets in a procedural Game Map with procedural Asteroids.
      And of course an AI that will develop its own Structures... uhm.. Human Like... with the same rules that apply for Players... using the (or an) Astronaut Model.

      Cheers and really, really, really... many times... awsome Milestone.. keep up with that.

      Regards from MynoCorp Technologies Faction

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  29. Congratulations Marek and to all the team who work on space engineers!. I have one inquiry though about what we can expect in the future regarding planets. As with asteroids we saw that initially generation was limited to several pre placed asteroids within a world, this eventually graduated to an infinite number of randomly generated asteroids, can we expect the same random and infinite placement of planets in the future or does your team intend to leave the placement of planets as a manual kind of deal?

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  30. The update has exceeded even my inflated expectations. So many small details have been considered. The hard work of you and your team is evident. I am humbled and awed with how far you have brought this title. I had no idea this small sand box would become my obsession. Your first AI investment announcement left me questioning your sanity. Now; however, reeling in the wake of your stunning accomplishments I am ready to take that Red Pill.

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  31. A resounding cheer echoes around the world. Today is a great day. Congratulations to the team for an incredible accomplishment.

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  32. This is a major achievement in gaming. Never thought SE would be this brilliant when i first bought it and played around with the one rock we had.

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  33. Its so rare these days to have a game surpass your expectations... SE actually blew away all my expectations and replaced them with constant awe, update after update. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless this game and its developers!

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  34. Thank you everyone that worked on planets!

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  35. YAAAAAYY!!!! Kudos on such an achievement

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  36. Had one of the most fun nights in gaming last night! Sure there was bugs and many failed ship builds but the possibilitys and hilarious ways of doing things? Also. This update pulled me away from fallout 4 why did they have to be released at the same time? There are not enough hours in a day.

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  37. You guys did the impossible... you stopped me from playing Fallout 4. Thanks for the awesomes!

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  38. When will the github be updated to 1.108?

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  39. Thanks for all Space Engineers team!

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  40. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG

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  41. Just a little message to say thank's to you ! :)

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  42. Since I was a child, I dreamed of being a space engineer. And since this game came out, it has been my favorite game. You guys have done amazing, ground-breaking work and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This was one Steam Early Access game that I have never regretted paying for. I feel like the investment I made was well worth it. Thank you again, and please keep up the great work. You guys are really setting the bar in the gaming industry in so many ways. Keep up the great work.

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  43. i've played a lot of space sandbox and procedural planetary games. but this is very well done. seamless transition between space and planet, scaling and distances, gravity and atmospheric flight; that's a real challenge and you've made it. you have not another pair in procedural sandbox gaming now; you re at the top simply. im proud of having your game from first day. i'll advertise this piece of art to my friends and network. well done again brogrammers.

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  44. Stunning work guys, truly!
    For 20 years I've been wondering why game experiences like Elite II, Freelancer, Doom and Morrowind (to name but a few) weren't being combined into something much bigger that did everything. After all that time I never actually thought I'd see the day... until now! I've been on-board with SE from the start but now with planets I'm thinking it's time to get a new computer!
    You've achieved things here that no-one has ever even thought of before, let alone attempted! I'll say it again; best £15 I ever spent!
    If 20 more years from now SE isn't mentioned among the all-time cult favourites then I'll eat my own @ss! <>
    The whole team deserves lots of beer right now!
    Thankyou for the incredible work & do keep it up!
    I'm off to blow some spiders out of the goddamn airlock... I'd nuke them from orbit but well... you know!

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  45. I don't know how to thank you and your team. This is just a matchless job.

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  46. Hi. Me, again. Just a quick note. Can u optimize planets for just a liiiiitle bit? Because i can play on them, but on the bare minimum for graphics and the lowest flora/fauna settings, without getting weird 'cuts' in my fps count. I looove them at that graphics, but i would very much enjoy to see them at a little better detail. Awesome work guys, just optimize graphics usage a lil'. Not all of us have gaming PCs, but all of us like planets in SE.
    Best wishes,
    Windrider2

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  47. I love you Space Engineer Devs!

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  48. Amazing work, Guys! Just... Since I have a computer with decent (I say that with an upset stomach) computer, a Pavilion 20, it isn't built to handle so much. I remember when I loaded into the world, it turned the meaning Frames per Second into Frames per Minute. I remember it was so slow that it took my two minutes to turn in a circle.
    I wish I could fix this, so all I can hope for would be more options to turn down the graphics. I can enjoy this pixilated if it comes to that.
    Until then, farewell SE. And also for the computer after I have cremated it.

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  49. Will I be able to find planets on my current playthrough or do I need to start a New World?

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  50. How do i make my own custom planets? ....

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  51. I demand planets that are randomly generated throughout the world even if it's just the same ones copied and pasted

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  52. I want you guys to know that the addition of planets means that Space Engineers has now replaced several games on my wishlist. Amazing work!

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  53. Hello, by username is BLIXE 9, and I heard that you need to have DirectX11 to run the planets properly, I do have that but my game constantly crashes, it would make me SSSOOOOOOUUUUU HAPPY, if this issue would be fixed as SOON, yes soon, as possible.

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  54. 120km max diameter? that's not a planet that's an asteroid!

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  55. Excellent job!. We've been playing on planet "earth" in survival mode for the past week. We absolutely love every mess up and success that we've had. The game is running beautifully for all of us. Our only problem is the "stub your toe - instant death" bug - but that's ok. Once again, excellent release. Something to (hopefully) entertain you. Rocket League, another game we frequent, added something known as mutators early last week. It adds random things like square balls, low gravity, infinite boost, etc. Mind you, we've been waiting for that update for a while. I said to myself "now wouldn't it just make my week if KSH added planets this week" - and of course, it came out on Thursday. This was a long awaited update, and when it came out, I put down the new SC2 and Fallout 4 just to play my long awaited dream feature. Some of the other guys did the same.

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  56. thank you for this excellent game! It's been a pure joy to fly around ever since planets came in - the gameplay experience is imroved by a 1000 %.. AND I have never before seen a game with so much potential and an incredible modding and blogging community at the same time. Full of hope!
    Cheers from Denmark

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  57. Yes, Marek, I want to thank you on such quantum leap with planets! But now, this brings up another question, How do we construct our own planets towards using them in our own scenarios? I just recognized that most of the PlanetDataFiles have pngs, are they basically heightmaps at 2048x2048? I need to find a tool to mold planets then export them as six heightmaps one for each face. Also what are face_add.pngs used for, as well as face_mat.pngs?

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  58. First off: YEEEAY PLANETS
    I really love them, they open up so much more possibilities for the player to build new ships, stations, sattelites, orbital stations, cars etc etc... I just spent a full week playing and building stuff basically non stop and i love it!
    But(!): (and i hope you are still reading comments on a 10 day old blog post)
    Pleeeease do another feature freeze period and focus on performance improvements. My pc plays anything i throw at it with no problem at 60fps and more, except space engineers. I get ~35ish fps on earth with max settings, and i should get much more than that, comparing the visuals to those of other games. Lowering the settings to minimum rises that to 45-50 but still. My cpu (4690k) is sometimes (mainly when flying/driving around on a planet) pinned at 100% sometimes, while my gpu (970) is just sitting at 40% usage.
    Another thing:
    The visuals. In february you had a blog post regarding LOD and had this AWESOME gravity generator model, i would really appreciate a visual rework of all the old blocks in SE. Most of them are still low poly models. Sure, visuals are not everything, but a ship looks way better when it doesn't consist of low poly blocks but has some detail to it.
    So yes i am asking you to make the game prettier while being easier to run... But i know you and your team can do this because you gave us PLANEEEETS

    tl;dr: planets are great, now please make the game pretty and make it run well k thx

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  59. Hezke, blahopreji, planety jsou orisek pro kazdeho gamedev-a :) ... Jak to bude s exploration slozkou? bude mozne letat do jinych soustav s dalsimi planetami nebo neplanujete rozsirovat vesmir za hranice soustavy? :)

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  60. #ThisIsBetterThanCatsInAHotDogSuit

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  61. Thanks very much for writing this informative article.

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