Friday, August 4, 2017

Statement on Space Engineers GitHub



SUMMARY:
  • Transitioning from public Space Engineers git to internal SVN.
  • Direct access to our internal SVN (source code repository) for select modders.
  • Better documentation for ModAPI


Almost two years ago, we announced that we were sharing the full source code of Space Engineers on GitHub. More info here.

This was done with our modding community in mind, and it has been a huge advantage to them overall. With the source code in hand, the community has created many amazing mods that might not have been possible otherwise.
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After deliberating over it internally for months, we have decided to change the way we distribute our source code. The source on GitHub will receive no more updates, though it will remain online as a reference.

As an alternative to GitHub, we are giving a few modders direct access to our internal SVN. By doing this, we give modders much more up to date code that can be built natively in x64 mode. Pull requests from SVN modders are also much higher quality, and are much easier to merge. Many of the ModAPI and programmable block improvements over the last year have come from this group, along with many other smaller features and fixes.

As much as we would like to give everyone access to this system, it requires much closer oversight, so we have to be careful about how many people we take onboard. We have already begun recruiting modders into this new system; if a modder does good work and shows dedication to the game, we give them source access as a way to support them and their work.

“The SVN group allows me to develop Torch (SESE2) using source code that's buildable right out of the box and exactly the code the current game version is using without Keen having to work out licensing problems. It also lets me talk to other experienced developers familiar with the source to work out bugs together.” - Jimmacle

“Being part of the SVN Group is great opportunity for those who feel the same passion about the game as developers do to contribute to this awesome project to make it even better.” - Inflex

“The SVN group allows community members to create higher quality submissions that are much easier to merge. The group has become its own small community, with members collaborating with each other and KSH developers, reviewing work, making corrections and suggestions. These people have been responsible for many ModAPI improvements and several notable features over the past two years.” - Rexxar

One of the best things about the git repo was that it was an easy place for new modders to go to just poke around and learn how the game works. This was a major consideration in the decision to end git support, so in order to help these new modders, we’ve started work on better documentation. Many of the ModAPI classes now have XML documentation in the source. These XML files are included in the release files, and you can find them in the Bin64 directory, although Visual Studio should find and load these files for you if your references are set up correctly. We plan to have more formal and thorough documentation in the future.

We know that this change will impact many of you, but we are confident that this is ultimately a better system moving forward. Bringing modders into the SVN group means their work is more likely to be merged, and can be merged much faster than before.

Space Engineers is still in development. Everything in the game is subject to change.

Thank you for reading!

Marek Rosa
CEO and Founder of Keen Software House
CEO, CTO of GoodAI


For more news:
General AI Challenge: www.general-ai-challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.roadmapinstitute.org
GoodAI: www.goodai.com
Space Engineers: www.spaceengineersgame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.medievalengineers.com


Personal bio:

Marek Rosa is the CEO and CTO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and the CEO and founder of Keen Software House, an independent game development studio best known for their best-seller Space Engineers (2mil+ copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. Marek started his career as a programmer but later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of the Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to personally fund GoodAI, his new general AI research company building human-level artificial intelligence, with $10mil. 

GoodAI started in January 2014 and has grown to an international team of 20 researchers.

25 comments:

  1. So, closing the source code seems to be the real reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The source was never "open", just available to see.

      Delete
    2. +1 to what Geneticus said ^^^

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. What are you sad about? This is good news for the community. It means higher quality code submissions which are more likely to be merged. Also, you are able to mod the game in many ways via the ModAPI which will be getting better support.

      Delete
  3. How do people apply for access? I would really love to be able to finish my Microcontroller project: https://twitter.com/Geneticus0/status/674872467060461569

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    Replies
    1. Try contacting Rexxar, he is probably sorting the applications or at least knows who is.

      Delete
  4. Poor decision, that will just limit the possible growth of the modding scene in the future as new modders are less likely to get access, as they have to prove their worthiness first if i understood that right.

    Considering the modding scene in this game seems to be already shrinking lately thats some poor timing.

    Why don't you guys go with a dual-approach there, keep the public repository around and just update it casually (as you did before) while at the same time do your svn group setup for the selected few modders. That way you could keep those happy as well as giving new people some valuable insights that help to get started on making mods.

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  5. Space Engineers was never open source. Source was provided at their discretion.

    It takes a lot of time to constantly migrate between SVN and GIT. Time better spent on developing and fixing the game.
    Working more closely with modders will allow better oversight over the code the community contributes, and frees up developer time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes all of just 5 minutes to make a diff between 2 versions and commit a patch.

      And since all they ever did on git was to casually update it to the version they released, this didn't really require any real work sorting through patches.

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    2. They have to filter out the features they don't want the public to see yet, and the whole thing just takes more time and more work.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  6. I think there should still be periodic dumps, after major versions or breaking API changes, that are pushed to public and the smaller, minor changes kept internally. This would give the best of both worlds.

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  7. Terrible and bad decision. This will slow things down. Ok, we have a selected group with access, cool. But that will no longer be renewed. In fact that group of people appeared and contributed so much thanks to having access to the sources. New people will not be able to access the sources, and really marek access to the sources helps us a lot to understand the modapi and the game to modders like me, that we are not professional developers and that "do not give "the size" to fit in the select group.. " . And let's face it, what can be documentation of the mod api is practically non-existent, and until there is something decent can be a lot of time, as we are accustomed to the things of the game.
    Is obvious that the problem is not the ease of updating, etc, etc. Is simply wanting to close the code so that third parties do not steal it. Please reconsider it. Keep git up to date every few months, but do not completely close the source.

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  8. Can we at least have a zip file download of the latest source or something? I would really love to get into some modding...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need the source to get into modding. New modders have plenty of opportunities via the ModAPI which will be getting better support and documentation in the future. There’s also lots of modders on the forums and Discord who are always happy to help newcomers.

      Delete
  9. How about getting rid of the internal SVN instead, and having the developers work directly with Github? Wouldn't that provide even better support for merging third party patches?

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  10. I'm pro letting select people get direct access to help develop, but very much against closing the github page.

    Your game is unique in the way it provides source code access for the bigger public, while also being the scale of a triple A game. Lots of students and developers are learning from the code, and it would be very sad if it would disappear. It's also something to be proud of, something you can sell, even for the non code-savy people it's interesting to see and know the game they're playing inside out.

    Giving select people access to your internal SVN is brave, but also in your own favour, as you essentially get free labour from the community. I'd say you should simply leave the github page as it is, you don't necessarily have to update it anymore, but leave it as an easy reference.

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  11. I'd rather see the current github updated every once in a while while also having the SVN group. Give new modders a chance too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New modders have plenty of opportunities via the ModAPI which will be getting better support and documentation in the future. There’s also lots of modders on the forums and Discord who are always happy to help newcomers.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. What are you sad about? This is good news for the community. It means higher quality code submissions which are more likely to be merged. Also, you are able to mod the game in many ways via the ModAPI which will be getting better support.

      Delete
  13. stop spamming god -.-

    ReplyDelete