Thursday, September 14, 2017

Half Armor Blocks, Updated UI & Multiplayer Improvements



SUMMARY:




This week’s major update brings a huge amount of improvements to the game as well as a couple of new armour blocks!

The first thing you will notice when starting up the game is the changes to the main menu user interface. A lot of improvements were made as we focused on enhancing readability and usability of our interface, while removing several inconsistencies and making the screens more visually appealing. We have also added additional tooltips, reorganized the contents of several screens and added a screenshot preview to the “Load Game” menu, to help you find the right save more easily.



With this update, we are also adding 2 new armor block variations, the half block and the half sloped block. Because you wanted it! This will allow you to come up with new, interesting block combinations and give your creations some more style variety. It’s something that we know players have been wanting for some time.




These new armor blocks are great example of how our recently created feedback site is working for both us as developers and the community. I recommend you check it out here if you haven’t already. On this site, you are able to vote and comment on ideas that you would like to see implemented into the game. If there’s an idea that you feel is missing, go ahead a submit a new one. The progress state of each idea is clearly labelled as either considered, planned, started and completed.




So far, over 450 ideas have been submitted, 850 comments left and 5200 votes cast with those numbers growing every day! The half armor blocks were the 5th most voted for feature on the site and our guys did it in their free time because they wanted to make our players happy.




Next up, antennas have been reworked in this release. The window for remotely connecting to grids has been reworked. It now shows all broadcasting grids in range and the icons showing problems work correctly. You can now connect to friendly grids if they are unowned and we fixed exploits which allowed connecting to enemy grids. In multiplayer, antenna range is no longer limited by replication range (which allows antenna signals over 3 km). This affects both the normal and laser antenna and allows remote control over greater distances while at the same time having massively improved performance.




For multiplayer, we have some more general improvements. The positions of characters are now sent relative to the nearest grid. This significantly improves walking around on a grid which is moving and rotating. We also improved what is called island replication which translates in game as there being no more infinite loading wheels and less strain on servers. Character and controlled grid movement is now stopped when the server doesn't hear from the client in some time which should prevent certain deaths caused by lag spikes. Other issues fixed include most inventory desync problems (but we are aware of more) and invisible trees for some clients on servers.




Additionally, we resolved many issues related to grass and the rendering of grass.


In other news, we will be kicking off a screenshot competition today with a number of different categories. The prizes include complete skin sets of the winner’s choice and there’s a chance that some could be added to the official loading screens. If you're interested, you can find more details on this competition and how to enter by clicking here.


For the duration of this contest, which will end on the 1st of October, we will be doubling the drop rate of skins giving you a better chance of finding some of the rarer ones. The next couple of weeks will also be your last opportunity to receive the veteran skin set as part of our special promotion for supporters up to this point so make sure that you load up the game at least once to have that set added to your collection.


Another notable announcement is that both of our games will be on sale with significant discounts over the weekend. You’ll be able to buy Space Engineers as well as Medieval Engineers for 60% off! This is the perfect opportunity to pick up extra copies for friends and family or to get into any of our games for the first time.

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:
Space Engineers: www.spaceengineersgame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.medievalengineers.com
General AI Challenge: www.general-ai-challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.roadmapinstitute.org
GoodAI: www.goodai.com
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.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.

Screenshot & Loading Screen Competition



SUMMARY:
  • Screenshot competition starting today, 14/09/2017 and ending on 01/10/2017
  • Entries must follow Marek's style guide. Read more here.
  • 4 categories: Orginal Space Engineers Scenes, Skins, Container Capture and Epicness
  • Double skin drop rate for duration of competition
  • Last chance to recieve the "Veteran" skin set


Hello Engineers! We are launching a screenshot competition today with a number of different categories. The prizes include the winners’ choice of complete skin sets, and some screenshots may be added to the official loading screens or even printed on canvas and displayed in the KeenSWH offices!

For the duration of this contest, which will end on October 1st, we will be doubling the drop rate of skins giving you a better chance of finding some of the rarer ones. The next couple of weeks will also be your last opportunity to receive the veteran skin set as part of our special promotion for supporters up to this point so make sure that you load up the game at least once to have that set added to your collection.

Across all categories, we want you to capture the original visual styling and feeling of Space Engineers. Please see my latest blog post for more details and advice on how to achieve this original look that we are looking for. It's worth mentioning that we are working internally to get back to this visual style, both in-game and in marketing/public presentation.

General Info:


  • Each player can submit 1 screenshot per category
  • Deadline for submissions is 1st October 2017
  • Tasteful manipulation and enhancement of photos through editing software like Photoshop and gimp are allowed, as long as the source of the picture was an in-game screenshot.
  • Across all categories, we will be looking at the composition, colors, story and uniqueness of the shot.
  • Screenshots must have a minimum resolution of 1080p but the higher the better! Use the guide below to capture screenshots in a higher resolution than your monitor. 4K and above would be great!
  • Winners of each category will get to choose complete skin sets of their choice.
    • 1st Place: 3 Skin Sets
    • 2nd Place: 2 Skin Sets
    • 3rd Place: 1 Skin Set
  • Some winners may have their images added as official loading screen or printed onto canvas and used in the KeenSWH offices!
  • By entering the contest, you agree to follow all rules of the contest. If you don't submit according to the rules, you can be disqualified.
  • All entries of the contest become the property of Keen Software House. This means we have the right to use and modify your entries in our game, on social media, on our websites, etc.
  • We reserve the right to modify, cancel, or postpone the contest for any reason.

How to capture your screenshots in higher resolutions than your monitor:

Space Engineers can be setup so that it's possible to capture higher resolution screenshots than your monitor's supported resolution. Follow this guide:
  • Locate SpaceEngineers.cfg in your user Application Data folder.(C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\SpaceEngineers)
  • Modify ScreenshotSizeMultiplier. Result screenshot size is calculated as resolution in the game multiplied by ScreenshotSizeMultiplier.
  • Make a screenshot in the game (F4 by default).
  • If the screenshot is too big, it is cut into several fragments. These are to be combined in any image editing application.
<item>
<Key>ScreenshotSizeMultiplier</Key>
<Value>1</Value>
</item>

Keep in mind that this multiplies your current resolution and aspect ratio. If your monitor doesn’t support 16:9, you may see better results by changing to a lower resolution in windowed mode.

How to submit your screenshot:

  • After taking your screenshot(s), upload it to an image sharer (eg. imgur)
  • Send the link with your screenshot(s) to our email at press@keenswh.com with the subject line “Screenshot competition”. Please also clearly state which category the screenshots you submit belong in and include a link to your Steam profile.

The Categories:
Original Space Engineers Scenes

The first category is for people who think they can recreate the scenes from the initial release in the current build of Space Engineers. You can find most of the officially published screenshots from October 2013 here:

http://www.spaceengineersgame.com/pictures.html

They don’t necessarily have to look exactly the same as the originals but they must follow the same visual style rules or tell a similar story.

Old.png

Skins

The second category is focused on the use of the different skins and skin combinations. There must be at least one character clearly visible in the scene. We will be looking for images that tell some kind of story and/or have an interesting backdrop, so get your friends together and make something crazy and unique!


Container Capture

The third category is all about showing the exact moment of capturing a container. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate engineering prowess with various creations designed for the capture/storage/deconstruction of these containers. Custom containers can be created as long as they follow a similar design to vanilla ones e.g. they must have a parachute hatch, buttons and not be too big.

Remember, skin drop rates are doubled while this competition is running, so get out there and capture some crates!


Epicness

This final category is about creativity! The only rule is to follow the guidelines of my style guide, read more here. You could design a fleet, a planet base, or even just show some epic destruction! We’re always blown away by the creativity of our players, so show us what you can do with my vision!


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


Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing what you create!

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


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

My vision for the visual style of Space Engineers



SUMMARY:
  • Primary Colors
  • Skybox Background
  • Exterior Art Style for Ships and Constructions
  • Lights
  • Color Scheme


Old.png
Today’s blog post is based on an internal document which we are using to maintain the signature visual style of Space Engineers from October 2013. Currently, we are working towards making the game’s visuals and marketing closer to that of the original release. This post outlines the key elements of my vision for the visual style of Space Engineers, some of which are already present but there’s others that we still need to focus on.
You can use this information to help you create screenshots for our latest competition which should follow this signature styling. For more details on the competition, click here. This document could also prove useful when designing campaigns, scenarios and mods or even making videos.

Primary Colors

One of the main factors making Space Engineers universe unique, is its color palette. And while in-game world can consist of wide variety of all possible colors, major elements (be it ships/ buildings/structures etc) must stay true to this original color scheme. For original Space Engineers, these are the Primary colors:


       
       009.jpg

Skybox Background

There are also some general rules to maintain the unique look and feel of Space Engineers universe in outer space environment.

Color:

In terms of color, we want to have the surrounding skybox to be mostly of monochrome colors. Almost grayscale with a little bit of color tint.

Brightness:

We are trying to avoid super black areas. Even the darkest skybox parts must have some bright values. This is done to make all foreground elements really stand out and be prominent.
Note: this doesn’t mean there won’t be total dark when you enter an enclosed interior area.

Texture pattern:

Since Space Engineers is all about mining and engineering, surrounding texture pattern must be a kind of mixture of massive dust clusters and a bit of nebulas scattered all around. Also, all elements in the skybox texture must be shaded in rather diffuse, ambient manner without any hint of direct light source like sun or any other. This is done to avoid visual lighting/shadowing conflicts between moving in-game sun and static Skybox elements.
Check the image below:
              SpaceEngineers_2014-02-06-23-39-39-489_FinalScreen.png              
One of the rules for visuals of Space Engineers is to avoid placing elements like asteroids or any other objects in skybox texture which would require natural reaction to lighting from in-game sun.


                     

Exterior Art Style of Ships and Constructions
To maintain consistency and keep general art style of all main ships and structures, all of these elements must contain combination of one or two primary color stripes (doesn’t need to be white only) as shown in the images below.

         
Old.png          

There are some exceptional ships that don’t require the white-stripe pattern.

       Reference Videos
You can see some videos as a reference for the original visuals:

Space Engineers - "Survival Mode" Tutorial
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5PgmvtRHZU


Lights
The lights are also very important for our in-game experience. We’re trying to use only white colored light, but if there is some color needed, we try to do it very subtly.
We don’t want to have too many colors in Space Engineers footage - see the pics above, they usually have 3-5 colors maximum.



Color Scheme
We try to stick to only one color scheme per setting/environment mostly. It means no multiple, chaotic color combinations in one setting/environment/room. As a general rule of thumb: Use 80/20% or even 90/10% combination when creating lighting scenarios for settings. For example, when lighting a big interior - 80/90% of lights should be of the same color, while you can have some variations/combinations with other colors to portray needed visual in-game guides.

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:
Space Engineers: www.spaceengineersgame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.medievalengineers.com
General AI Challenge: www.general-ai-challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.roadmapinstitute.org
GoodAI: www.goodai.com
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.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.