Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2015 Year in Review – Keen Software House & GoodAI

Until you look back you don’t know how far you've come. Today I’m happy to sum up the major highlights for me of 2015.

Even though it's hard work and it has its drawbacks, I am able to actively work as CEO/CTO for both of my companies: Keen Software House (KSH) and GoodAI. This means a lot of reading, studying, designing, prototyping, planning, discussing with colleagues and other experts, traveling, and making day-to-day decisions about the most important thing to work on at any moment.

Just look at what my teams accomplished together in 2015. We…

  • released Medieval Engineers
  • launched GoodAI and gained international recognition
  • open sourced GoodAI’s Brain Simulator and associated AI modules
  • released Planets in Space Engineers
  • won several awards for Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers
  • ensured Space Engineers remained a top-selling title
  • moved to new offices (twice :))
  • opened offices in Brno, Czech Republic
  • grew the team from 20 to 70 people (40 in KSH, 30 in GoodAI)
    (BTW, GoodAI is a completely new team. No one from KSH has transferred to GoodAI… I guess everyone loves making our games too much)
  • finished the KSH roadmap for 2016 (SE & ME – to be published this Thursday)
  • finished the GoodAI R&D roadmap with a new unified brain architecture and School for AI (soon to be published)

Keen Software House

2015 started out strong at Keen Software House with the Medieval Engineers announcement. Since the release our team has grown significantly to meet our rising development needs, and in one year we moved to new and bigger offices – twice! The Medieval Engineers release also led us to create the Engineers sales pack (Space Engineers + Medieval Engineers).

We’re still growing, so if you’d like to be an Engineer and have that Need to create, check out our jobs page! www.keenswh.com/jobs

Not long after the Medieval Engineers release, we learned that we were awarded Czech Game of the Year in the technical contribution category. Presented by Czech Games, Medieval Engineers’ realistic physics, structural integrity, and the options it provides to players for building realistic-looking medieval castles and catapults really impressed the jury.

You’ve probably heard a lot about our biggest feature yet in Space Engineers – Planets – released in November. It was our most-anticipated feature ever, and even though it wasn’t in our original development plans, we were so glad to take on the challenge and deliver what the community wanted! Equally important is the fact that there’s no game in this universe that offers the range of gigantic features we’ve implemented in ours - large planets, a dynamic and destructible environment, seamless traveling, structural integrity, and engineering complex structures (from ships to planetary bases, medieval fortifications), and more. It feels good to be first!

We closed out 2015 with some more great news that confirmed we have the best community of any game studio. We won the Indie of the Year award for 2015! The award is based on community votes, and we couldn’t have done it without your support. Thank you!


During 2015, GoodAI grew from a team of 10 to 30 researchers – and we’re still hiring! Alongside announcing GoodAI as a company in July, we also released Brain Simulator – our in-house platform for designing AI architectures – for free to the public under an open source, non-commercial license.

We also reached our first milestones in 2015, including Pong/Breakout, Maze Game, and a subpart of our attention module. However, these milestones are just warm-up tasks for us – they’re not related to our new unified brain architecture, which we’re starting completely from scratch.

We put together a clear R&D roadmap for GoodAI and developed a simple framework for studying AGI abilities and requirements. We reorganized the team to be more efficient and defined clearer roles so everyone can contribute to our shared goal.

Speaking of reorganizing the team, in 2015 I became GoodAI CTO – the lead role in making decisions about designing and inventing our technology from the ground up, working shoulder to shoulder with my dedicated and talented team. This is in addition to my duties as CEO, where I direct the company vision and lead the business side of GoodAI.

I also took on a greater role of AI advocate + AI safety advocate. I’ve learned it's possible to be invested in both fast AI development and safety, and made it a goal to become a spokesperson for it.

Some GoodAI 2015 media coverage:

MIT Tech Review: http://bit.ly/1NbiPJI
The Next Web: http://bit.ly/1mghiZm
Center for Data Innovation: http://bit.ly/1SkHFJN
Tyinternety.cz: http://bit.ly/1PuKsPU
HN Slovakia: http://bit.ly/1QUPF4U
HN Czech Republic: http://bit.ly/1JdHvBU
DVTV: http://bit.ly/1DJm2sx
CzechCrunch: http://bit.ly/1METTG3


I traveled to the U.S. (twice!), Canada, Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea), Finland, the UK, Austria, Germany, and more! The primary reason I took these trips was to educate myself further and to learn from other experts in gaming and AI.  It was also a good opportunity to do some business development and networking, but these are secondary priorities for me.

In case you missed them, take a look at a few of the presentations I gave over the year, both in Prague and abroad:

At Czech Technical University: http://bit.ly/1SkJwyk
With the Japanese Society for AI: http://bit.ly/1PuVQco
RE.WORK Future Technology Summit in London: http://bit.ly/1kpW6OI

2015 Conclusions

We accomplished all of our achievements through dedication and working to overcome challenges together. At the end of the day we were recognized (at home and internationally) and gained the respect of others in games and AI. We stuck to our mission, focused, and responded to the need to create.

2015 was a good year!

Plan for 2016

This year is going to be the most challenging year of my life

I need to ensure that KSH transitions from a one-hit indie studio to a reputable gaming house, not dependent on luck or few people to succeed, but able to consistently deliver creative, successful, high-quality titles.

I need to make sure that Space Engineers gets polished, bug-fixed, and finished in the way it deserves, while my original vision for the game stays constant. Along with all my other duties, I need to get my hands dirty with play testing and designing game elements.

I need to ensure that Medieval Engineers gets the attention it needs (and deserves), and that all planned and important features get implemented - I am getting back to game design.

I also need to design a few new games…stay tuned!

I need to keep designing and programming our new unified brain architecture and School for AI, making the critical decisions and working hard in tandem with my team. I’m so proud of how much we’ve accomplished in the first two weeks of 2016 and can’t wait to see where we go together over the next year. While I can’t promise what abilities our AGI will be able to demonstrate by the end of 2016, I believe it will be as many as possible. We may also launch an AGI contest as part of our School for AI. Keep an eye out for more info on this!

This year will prove if my vision and architecture ideas for developing AGI are right or wrong :-)

Thanks for following us this last year, and stay tuned for much, much more in 2016!

The KSH roadmap for 2016 will be published this Thursday!

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

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

Follow Space Engineers and Medieval Engineers on social media:
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

Follow GoodAI on social media:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GoodArtificialIntelligence
Twitter: @GoodAIdev
Forum: forum.goodai.com


  1. Hey Marek!

    Space Engineers fan here (+1000 hours, one of the best games ever.)

    Maybe you wanna take a look a the response thread to your recent twitch stream on reddit


    It's reddit, so raise your shields before reading ;) but I thought there is some stuff you would maybe interested in.

    1. He already did, MinerWars is their account.

    2. Marek has already visited and responded - look for posts by /u/MinerWars

  2. Forget that, stupid me, did not realize you are /u/MinerWars :O

    Cool you are checking there :)

  3. Marek, it's very much a pleasure to follow your endeavours. SE remains my favourite game of 2015, and I'm excited for its further evolution.

    Just a simple word of caution: please don't stretch yourself too thin. Focus is the key to success!

  4. Marek has just redeemed himself !!!

  5. 2015 was a good roadmap, bring compound building into SE.

  6. There are only three things i want for space engineers..

    Solid/flawless netcode.
    Multicore Support.
    Proper Animations and sounds for the game.

    Content is more or less provided by Modders.

    The game is an amazing concept. I love it to bits.. just wish i could enjoy it with friends too

  7. I like your plans for KSH to grow more solid, but I hope you guys can keep the bravery to risk idealism over sales, even after becoming a more monolithic company :)
    I whish you guys very much luck with that in this year!
    I think some changes are good when growing big, some are difficult, but I am pretty sure you guys will manage the winds of fate.
    Hope you liked it over here in Austria and got some Schnitzel.

  8. You deserve it. Space Engineers is supercool and Medieval Engineers is supercool can't wait to see future updates of both games with adding more stuff that makes it even cooler (and maybe more In-Game Programming? For a real custom experience) and of course future games. Can't wait to see more games of KSH.

    And GoodAI is something what I thought is never coming. Such a great projects. The first thing I thought was: Super cool, now we can build a machine like in Person of Interest.

  9. Marek you should visit Israel every time I check the Internet they have had another technological breakthrough also love the game but no longer able to play because my awful dell laptop couldn't handle it and it is the only pc I have access to :( keep up the good work and happy new year

  10. Thank you for sharing with us your adventures, your endeavors, and your dreams. It has been a pleasure being along for the ride in both space engineers and medieval engineers. Good luck in 2016

  11. Would be cool if Marek actually played multiplayer on a popular server...