Thursday, December 15, 2016

Space Engineers Entering the Beta Development Stage


Today, we are pushing all the features from last week’s enormous update to the stable branch. Just in case you missed the news, this includes the total block redesign, new multiplayer netcode, a tutorial campaign and much more! We wanted to make this great update available to all players, as you’ve been asking for it all week! 

This update marks the transition of Space Engineers entering into the Beta phase.

Throughout its time in Early Access, Space Engineers has become the first space sandbox game of its kind and size; as a result, we have successfully established ourselves as one of the leaders in the engineering genre. Very few games allow you to build such a huge variety of ships, stations, voxel based planets, and mods. It has one of the biggest workshops on Steam thanks to its amazing modding community, with more than 240,000 items and counting!

At the moment, a great multiplayer experience is our primary goal. We are proud of the strides we’ve made with our newly implemented multiplayer and are planning to improve it even further in the future.  


So what do you need to know about the Space Engineers Beta?

The most important thing to remember with this announcement is that there are still more improvements, optimizations, and contents to come. As an example, I can confirm that one of the things being worked on currently is a new HUD which should significantly increase immersion in game. Beta simply means that we feel the game now has a solid foundation. Some of the new models will be receiving adjustments because of feedback from the community. Thanks to feedback from the Space Engineers community, we were able to clean up many, many bugs and crashes that our players were experiencing regarding multiplayer and online play.

If you are a current player and fan, you can look forward to fewer bugs, more optimizations, an updated user interface (new HUD), and constant improvements in all aspects of the game.
If you would like to help, please leave your reports and log files in the bug section of our forums here: http://forum.keenswh.com/forums/bug-reports.326950/

What if I’m new to Space Engineers?

In case you are a potential new player, there is now a tutorial campaign to help familiarize you with basic gameplay once you purchase the game. Sandbox games can be overwhelming in the beginning because of their sheer scope of possibilities. The campaign experience can now introduce you to the world of Space Engineers comfortably, without the need to read guides or go through clunky tutorial missions. It also serves as a showcase for what all you can achieve with our visual scripting tool. We cannot wait for what will be the golden age for modders in Space Engineers history!

What about us modders?!

If you are a modder, we really want to thank you for sticking with us during this crazy ride. At the beginning of the development we wanted to make our game as mod-friendly as possible. We even published the source code on GitHub for our modders to poke around in and the Space Engineers workshop ended up blowing our minds as a result. There is constant contact between us and our modders. Some of their creations were even implemented into the core game, such as the fighter cockpit, corner lights, and corner LCDs. There may be time for additional mods after we polish and optimize the game during the Beta stage.

We know modding an early access game can be frustrating from time to time, because things are constantly changing and we want to make you happy. From now on you can look forward to a more stable environment for modding as well as official, updated modding guides. We also have plans for cleaning up and polishing the MODApi interface during the Beta stage.

You guys aren’t looking so small these days…

It’s true! Keen Software House has now grown into a company of 50+ employees! However, we still consider ourselves an indie company. Testers can talk to the leads, artists can walk over and discuss something with programmers, designers can call out to producers, etc. We maintain an atmosphere of openness and communication at all times, and enjoy the aspects of being an independent company. The plan is to continue this way now and for the foreseeable future.

The bottom line:

Our goal from the beginning has been to deliver the vision from the minds of our highly talented team to the people. More than anything else, the Beta period will focus on stabilizing and optimizing in order to realize that goal. Keep in mind that this is still a period of development. Over the next few months, we plan to make Space Engineers the best it can be so that we are fully prepared to launch the full version of the game. We have been humbled by the support of our awesome community, and we can’t thank you enough for all the ways you’ve helped make this game a reality. Whether you’re a modder, a user on our forums, someone who’s uploaded content to the workshop, or a fan playing to exercise their creativity- you are the reason we are able to exist. Thank you for allowing us to pave the way for a game like no other. We’re excited for what the future of Space Engineers holds!
---
Marek Rosa
CEO and Founder of Keen Software House
CEO, CTO of GoodAI
:-)

For more game news, follow us on social media:

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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

GoodAI Releases School for AI - A New Update to Brain Simulator



In Brief:
  • We are releasing School for AI, a training and testing environment designed to teach your AI architectures new skills and to measure their performance.
  • Download School for AI, the new update to Brain Simulator.


Today I’m happy to announce a new update to Brain Simulator - School for AI. This is both a training and testing environment that allows you to teach your brain architectures new skills and at the same time measure their performance.

School for AI (or School for short) is a world within Brain Simulator, coupled with an intuitive graphical interface. The training provided by School is separated into learning tasks. A single learning task teaches or tests preferably a single new skill or ability. A collection of learning tasks forms a curriculum. An agent is expected to gradually acquire knowledge as it is progressing through the curriculum. It should acquire knowledge from one learning task and then leverage that knowledge to acquire knowledge from the next learning task faster and with greater ease. We call this accumulation of skills “gradual learning” and we talk about it in more detail in our Framework document.



The training can occur in a range of environments. We've prepared a basic 2D environment (RoguelikeWorld), an advanced 2D environment (ToyWorld), and a basic 3D environment (3D version of ToyWorld). A single curriculum can train the same architecture on multiple different environments.

School for AI does not explicitly separate the training and testing phases. It prefers life-long learning - the agent is learning continuously, without any interruption. The testing is performed during training. This of course poses certain requirements on the datasets - the environments that are used in school are generated rather than fixed. This allows a fast learning agent to progress through the curriculum in shorter time than a slow learning agent. We’re planning to include existing datasets (both fixed and interactive) in School to provide a single interface and make using different datasets a breeze.

The learning tasks that appear in the current version of School are based on our Agent Development Roadmap. They teach the agent basic skills like object detection, color classification, or path finding. We took care to ensure that it is easy to add new learning tasks to the environment. We’ll be happy if you go on, get Brain Simulator code from GitHub and create a learning task of your own!

The school communicates with the agent through a fixed interface. The interface allows the agent to move around the environment, move its focus around the scene and interact with the objects found within the environment (when applicable).

For more information, have a look at the Brain Simulator documentation page for School for AI or just download Brain Simulator and try out School for yourself!

We look forward to receiving your input! please don't hesitate to get in touch at info@goodai.com
Read all about GoodAI's latest achievements, technology, and initiatives on our About page.
---
Marek Rosa
CEO, CTO of GoodAI
CEO of Keen Software House
:-)

Friday, November 25, 2016

December 5 - 10: GoodAI team at NIPS 2016 in Barcelona

Today I’m writing to let you know that my colleagues and I will be attending the Neural Information Processing Systems conference (NIPS 2016) in Barcelona,  December 5 - 10.

This year we will be participating in two workshops:
  • Neural Abstract Machines & Program Induction (NAMPI), Saturday, December 10th
    • My colleagues Sungmin Aum, Joseph Davidson, and Josef Strunc will present a poster about their work on Gradual Program Induction.
  • Machine Intelligence workshop (MAIN@NIPS), Friday, December 9th
    • My colleague Jan Feyereisl will be part of a panel on basic requirements for machine intelligence with Angeliki Lazaridou, Katja Hofmann, Brenden Lake, J├╝rgen Schmidhuber, Arthur Szlam, Rudolf Kadlec, and Armand Joulin.
    • Jan will also present our thoughts on consolidating the search for general AI, and briefly introduce:

    After the MAIN@NIPS Workshop, I would like to invite everyone interested in discussing the General AI Challenge and the AI Roadmap Institute to a party in one of the restaurants near the conference venue at 7pm, Friday, December 9th. The exact location will be confirmed several days ahead - stay tuned to our social media channels.


    We are looking forward to meeting our friends and fellow researchers at NIPS! Feel free to reach out in case you would like to catch up with us there in person.

    Bye,
    Marek

    ---
    Read all about GoodAI’s latest achievements, technology, and initiatives on our website www.goodai.com/about

    Marek Rosa
    CEO, CTO of GoodAI
    CEO of Keen Software House
    :-)

    Thursday, November 24, 2016

    Space Engineers: Public Multiplayer Evaluations Started!

    You may know about our internal competition to rework the Space Engineers multiplayer as mentioned in my previous blog post. Our progress is now at a state where players can directly help us evaluate the new multiplayer prototypes. Today we have for you not one, not two - but three multiplayer prototypes!

    These multiple versions have been created by three different teams (two internal teams and one external team) with each one trying to solve the multiplayer from alternate perspectives, employing different methodologies.

    We need your help to work out which one of these three will provide the best multiplayer foundation moving forward... In the following weeks, we will publish a survey for you to give feedback and comments based on your experience with the different versions.

    The team that wins this competition will receive 1 million CZK (~40,000 USD) from me.

    The multiplayer prototypes are code-named “Rock”, “Paper” and “Scissors” and can be accessed via the Betas tab in Steam. (for detailed guide go here)
    You can switch from one build to another at any time - which will allow you to compare them. Saves are not compatible between the different prototype builds, but you can use saves from our live builds in any of them.

    We know that our Space Engineers community is passionate, you guys care about the game a lot and have been calling for new multiplayer code for a long time. We heard you loud and clear – so now rally your fellow engineers together, get testing and help us make Space Engineers the best multiplayer game out there! ;)

    ---
    Marek Rosa
    CEO of Keen Software House
    CEO, CTO of GoodAI
    :-)

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    GoodAI Releases Arnold Simulator Alpha

    __________________________________________________________________________________

    In Brief

    • GoodAI is releasing an alpha version of its prototyping and simulation software called Arnold Simulator on GitHub
    • Arnold Simulator focuses on dynamic neural network topologies and provides transparent scalability to large computer clusters.
    __________________________________________________________________________________
    Today we are releasing an alpha version of Arnold Simulator. The purpose of this release is to let the community know what we are working on, get feedback and allow others to start experimenting with our platform. Note that while we intend Arnold Simulator to be used for rapid prototyping, the current version implements mostly only the core simulation concepts. It is very much work in progress, and we haven’t started using it in our research team yet.

    What is Arnold Simulator?

    Arnold Simulator is a software platform designed for development of AI systems with highly dynamic neural network topologies. The software will provide tools for our research and development, but it is also designed for high performance and is transparently scalable to large computer clusters.

    Arnold Simulator is the next generation of GoodAI in-house prototyping software. It follows in the steps of GoodAI's Brain Simulator, which focuses more on the standard machine learning algorithms. We’re designing it for large, highly dynamic, heterogeneous and heterarchical networks of lightweight actors, and with a focus on concurrency, parallelism and low-latency messaging.


    A note on Brain Simulator: we are planning to release an update next month. Stay tuned. But let’s focus on Arnold Simulator release for now.

    What is in this release?


    We’re releasing the source code on GitHub, no binaries are being released. The readme file in the GitHub repository explains the programming model, and there are two example projects included in the sources. For quick introduction into how the UI works and how it is linked to the core, we’ve prepared a short demo video:

    Technical Parameters

    Arnold Simulator consists of a simulation core and a user interface (UI) client. The core is targeted to run on a network of computers with GNU/Linux or MS Windows operating systems. For now, the UI is for MS Windows only. Both the core and the optional UI need to be compiled from the sources using the how-to instructions provided with the sources.

    For concurrency, we're using the actor model, where independent actors communicate via messages. The simulation runs in discrete time-steps, during which the individual actors are processed in parallel. In between simulation steps, the system can interact with any virtual or real environment via sensors and actuators. The design of Arnold Simulator will allow us to effectively implement the growing general AI architectures that we are focusing on.

    Arnold Simulator is designed with the following assumptions in mind: the network is composed of heterogeneous elements, it can be manipulated to the granularity of individual elements, it can be growing or shrinking all the time on the granularity of individual elements, and it can be so large that it will not fit the memory of a single machine. This set of assumptions naturally leads to dynamic load balancing of migratable actors communicating via asynchronous messages.

    Arnold Simulator is based on Charm++, a parallel computation library which implements the actor model and has built-in load balancing that migrates actors across processing units. We intend to try coupling this technology with the latest manycore processors which we hope will allow us to scale the simulation up to millions of actors and billions of connections per machine. A preliminary check of a distributed simulation was successfully done on a cluster of 10 computers with a total of 40 CPU cores.

    The design allows for a large number of synapses per neuron, so we’ve designed the synapses to be as small as possible. Instances of neurons in our testing models take over 3 kB of memory, while synapses fit into just under 200 bytes. That means we can fit a simulation of 1 million neurons and 5 million synapses into 4 GB of memory.

    Licence

    Arnold Simulator source code is licensed under Apache License version 2.0; however, it depends on the Charm++ library which has more restrictive license than Arnold Simulator itself. You are allowed to use Charm++ for research and for internal business purposes for free, but you need a special agreement with Charm++ authors for commercial distribution and use. The library is not distributed with Arnold Simulator, however you need to obtain it to build Arnold. Therefore, Charm++ license terms apply to Arnold Simulator binaries. See Charm++/Converse license or contact Charmworks for details.

    We look forward to receiving your input! please don't hesitate to get in touch at info@goodai.com
    Read all about GoodAI's latest achievements, technology, and initiatives on our About page: www.goodai.com/about
    ---
    Marek Rosa
    CEO, CTO of GoodAI
    CEO of Keen Software House
    :-)

    Thursday, November 3, 2016

    GoodAI Framework + R&D Roadmap Now Available for Public Review

    Today I’m writing with good news from GoodAI – we have published the first iteration of our Framework and Roadmap, and are looking forward to feedback from the scientific community and public as a whole.

    In this post, learn more about
    1. Framework: describes how we understand intelligence, and provides tools for studying, measuring, and testing various skills/abilities
    2. Roadmap: an ordered list of skills/abilities (some are intrinsic, other are learned) our general AI needs to accumulate in order to achieve human level intelligence
    3. Where to download these documents and how to send us your feedback

    GoodAI has several areas of concentration in addition to the Framework and Roadmap, including the School for AI, Growing Topology Architecture, Arnold Simulator, AI Roadmap Institute, GoodAI Consulting, and more. Read about them here.
    Our work takes inspiration from a number of sources across a variety of disciplines, from AI Safety to Machine Learning and more. Read more about our research inspirations here.

    Our main building principles include the gradual acquisition of skills, recursive self-improvement, and curriculum learning - teaching an agent the right skills in a gradual and guided manner.

    Framework

    We view intelligence as a tool for searching for solutions to problems. The guiding principles of our AI research revolve around an AI which can accumulate skills gradually and in a self-improving manner (where each new skill can be reused and improved in the accumulation of further skills). Each new skill works like a heuristic that helps to guide and narrow the search for problem solutions. Some heuristics even increase the efficiency of the search for additional heuristics.

    These principles have inspired our framework document, which describes how we understand intelligence and which provides tools for studying, measuring, and testing various skills and abilities. The framework itself aims to be as implementation agnostic as possible, without regard to particular learning methods or environments. It provides an analytic, systematic, and scalable way to generate hypotheses that are possibly relevant in the search for general AI. 

    Roadmap

    The research roadmap is an ordered list of skills and abilities (some are intrinsic, other are learned) which our AI will need to be able to acquire in order to achieve human level intelligence. Each skill or ability represents an open research problem and these problems can be distributed among different research groups either internally at GoodAI, or among external researchers and hobbyists.
    New skills very often depend (build on) previously acquired skills, and so the research milestones exhibit some intrinsic dependencies. We cannot simply skip to an ability in the middle of the roadmap and start implementing it. Instead, each skill is like a stepping stone to the following skill.

    The roadmap has two parts – architecture and curricula. You can find more information in the roadmap diagram.

    The roadmap is a living document which will be updated as we work towards the milestones and evaluate them within the framework document. The current version of the documents is early-stage and a work in progress. We anticipate that more milestones and research directions will be added to the roadmap as our understanding matures.
    Download the first iteration of our Roadmap

    Goals of Public Release

    We're reaching out today to AI researchers, scientists, and the public as a whole in the hopes of opening conversation about general AI and persuading others of the importance of big picture thinking in the AI research field. In the past year, the GoodAI team has focused on a wider scope of AGI research, and publishing our Framework and Roadmap is one way we aim to increase transparency and cooperation in the AI and general AI community.

    We look forward to receiving your input! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@goodai.com

    ---

    Read all about GoodAI’s latest achievements, technology, and initiatives on our About page: www.goodai.com/about 
     
    Marek Rosa
    CEO, CTO of GoodAI
    CEO of Keen Software House
    :-)

    Sunday, October 23, 2016

    Space Engineers 3rd Anniversary



    Dear Engineers,

    Today is the 3rd anniversary of Space Engineers. Three years ago, on this very day, the game was released with it’s popularity exploding almost immediately. From the beginning, it’s been defining the genre with over 2 million copies sold worldwide (I stopped counting). Other numbers include 158 weekly game updates and over on the Steam Workshop, we’re approaching 200,000 unique creations and mods. The quality and the ingenuity of these creations continue to blow us away week on week! I’m incredibly proud that we have one of the most vibrant and active communities out there.

    In recent months, our focus has been optimising and polishing the game, getting it to a more playable state and making it more accessible for players with lower end PCs. We still have many improvements to make with major render optimisations and improved multiplayer netcode prototypes in the works. You can expect to see these changes coming to the development branch in the following weeks and months.

    Beyond these improvements, the newly redesigned blocks featuring PBR are nearing completion as well as some yet to be announced features.





    I also want to assure you that the Xbox One port is still in development but because the game engine is written in C#/NET, the process takes a long time especially as the PC variant is still evolving.

    It’s been busy at Keen Software House recently, especially with the relaunch of Medieval Engineers last week. The update which contained features such as planets, land ownership, world map, banner customization, female engineers and much more was met by the community and wider audiences with a great reception.


    Facebook Banner-Planets.jpg


    Join us this coming Friday, October 28th on the Keen Community Network for a celebration of Space Engineers and it’s community. We’ll be looking at where it’s been, where it is now and where it’s going. There will also be giveaways and a variety of guests answering your questions.




    Take a look at some of the many features we’ve added since the game’s launch:

    • Multiplayer
    • Survival Mode
    • Planets
    • Almost Infinite Worlds
    • 64-bit Version
    • DX11 Support
    • Dedicated Server Support
    • Steam Workshop Support
    • ModAPI
    • Heavy Armour
    • Faction System
    • Block Ownership
    • Custom Block Colours
    • In-Game Programming
    • Procedural Asteroids
    • Voxel Hands
    • Landing Gears
    • Antenna Communication
    • Oxygen System with Pressurization
    • Upgrade Modules
    • Hydrogen and Atmo Thrusters
    • Space Master
    • Glass Blocks
    • Environmental Hazard - Meteors
    • GPU Particles
    • In-Game Player and Faction Chat
    • Mining, Refining and Assembling
    • Gravity Modification
    • Large Ship Welder and Grinder
    • Remote Control Block
    • GPS and Waypoints
    • Cryo Chamber
    • Realistic Sound Mode
    • Visual Scripting Tool
    • Weapons - Automated and Manual
    • Auto-Pilot
    • Advanced World Management
    • Wheels and Suspension
    • Jump Drive
    • Conveyor Network and Connectors
    • Merge Blocks
    • Cargo Ships, Pirates, Encounters
    • Rotors and Pistons
    • LCD and Text Panels
    • Camera Block and Turret Cameras
    • Blueprints and Projectors
    • Batteries
    • Solar Panels
    • Backup Save System
    • Many engine improvements!
    • Many render improvements!
    • Many more sounds!
    • Many more blocks!
    • Many more features!

    We plan to make an original October 2013 version of the game available to all in the future so everyone can experience first hand the difference in feature set to the current build.


    Everyone here at Keen Software House would like to thank the whole community for the support and passion shown to us over the years. We wouldn’t be where we are now without you! :-)


    Marek Rosa
    CEO, Keen Software House
    CEO, CTO, GoodAI
    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