Thursday, August 6, 2020

Space Engineers: Server Optimizations

SUMMARY
  • New Server Optimization Features: 
    • Tiered Update System
    • Selective Physics Updates
  • Faster and more responsive DS GUI
  • New localizations


Intro


We are pleased to present you with a very special update that focuses on server performance. 

Multiplayer enthusiasts, and especially Server Host/Administrators, will want to read on in order to learn about the new systems we are implementing. These changes are focused on improving the overall player experience of servers and will have a bigger impact on larger, more populace servers.

What can you expect from this multiplayer update? Better performance translates directly to bigger servers! With these new server-side optimizations, players should now experience less slowdown on larger, more populous, servers. PCU limitations can now be pushed farther as the server can better handle more active grids! 

Along with server performance, we are proud to offer better localization! Expanding the languages you can play Space Engineers in has been a goal for some time and we are excited to finally be able to offer a better experience to players across the globe!


New Features


Tiered Update System


We have added a new grid system, which we call the “Tiered update”. This system has two states:
  • Grid presence
  • Player presence 
Grid presence: This is the grid state when another grid is nearby. 

Player presence: This is the grid state when any player is nearby. 

Tiered Update: This new grid system assigns these states to the grid/blocks and can change behavior based on that information.


Replicated and Not Replicated


We added new Replicated and Not replicated filters to the admin Entity list section to provide information for the server admin. There is also general information about states in the provided tooltip.

Modders can also use this system. We have added new properties and events on IMyCubeGrid and IMyFunctionalBlock interfaces.


Selective Physics Updates


The Selective Physics Updates is a new optional system. This system is only for dedicated servers and can be enabled in the session settings (Enable Selective Physics Updates). 

This system observes all of the existing worlds (Havok physics engine has more than one in SE) and, based on player presence, detects which worlds need to be simulated. 

The net result is that only worlds around the players on the server are simulated (physics). This optimization makes a notable difference, especially for a really big server with a lot of grids.


Blocks


With Tiered Update we added a new update timer to several blocks. This update timer is changed based on player presence and grid presence. This timer determines how often a given block needs to be updated.

There were changes to the following blocks:
  • Reactor
  • Gas Generator
  • Gas Tank
  • Turrets and Barrels
  • Thruster
  • Parachute
  • Ship Controller
  • Connector
  • Battery
  • Landing Gear
  • Drill
  • Production - Refinery and Assembler
  • Sorter
Some of the above blocks will update less often, even for normal states (player presence, grid presence). Changes have a minimal impact on the gameplay.


Changes and fixes

  • We refactored and disabled some features(code), which do not need to be run on the server. Especially for the character, hud, toolbar, parachute and ship controller.
  • Trash cleaner is not only cleaning asteroids (to the point of removing entities from the game) but also stones now. We have added a new option for this.
  • Trash cleaner (identity cleaning) is now more thorough and cleans data which is no longer needed such as reputation, bank account etc..
  • We refactored and cleaned up the process of the player joining the server and, overall, this process is much faster. 
    • The joining process now sends less data.
    • The process is no longer on the main thread (parallel).
    • For big servers, there is no longer a spike on the main thread (for other players).
  • Fixed a “drop container” network issue. Server was sending too much information in some cases.

Other Changes and Features


You can customize the color of any player made GPS.

There is a new Family Sharing option for dedicated servers to allow/disallow family shared accounts on the server.

There is a new PCU Trading option for dedicated servers to allow/disallow pcu trading on the server.

As part of our continued development, we are currently in the process of updating the collision models of every block in-game! We believe these changes will offer a boost to how old creations perform as well as providing a whole new set of creative possibilities!


Performance Comparison - 1.195 vs 1.196

We are very excited to share the results of a number of internal tests we have conducted on some of our own Official Keen Software House servers! Below are a series of performance tests run on both 1.195 and 1.196 worlds. 

As you can see, the main thread shows a significant decrease in load, from around 90% to 60% on UK#5, and an even greater decrease in overall load when Selective Physics Updates is active!

Red: 1.195
Blue: 1.196
Yellow: 1.196 with “Selective Physics Updates”


New localized versions

Space Engineers had three official language localizations up until this moment. It is English, Russian and Chinese - simplified. We are glad that with this release we are bringing the game closer to all our fans who speak Spanish and French.


       
We also updated community translations for German, Italian and Brazilian-Portuguese. Enjoy the game!


FAQ

Q: How is this different from other performance solutions for dedicated servers?
A: There are 3rd party solutions offering performance boosts. Our solution is an additional way to make your server faster, not a replacement. If you are using a 3rd party tool for your dedicated server, you will see better performance overall with Major Update 196.

Q: Are the server optimizations going to positively contribute to the future of Xbox multiplayer?
A: Many of the changes that were made for Space Engineers, on Xbox, became improvements on the PC platform, and vice versa. As we continue development of Space Engineers, on both PC and Xbox, we will see improvements on both platforms. Xbox dedicated servers (once implemented), for instance, will benefit directly from these improvements.

Q: Why now?
A: Multiplayer performance is always a high priority. Optimization is an incremental open-ended process. As we continue development we are always striving to find new ways to improve your Space Engineers experience.

Q: Will these changes affect multiplayer lobbies or single player?
A: No, these changes have been created specifically for dedicated servers. Larger population servers and higher traffic servers will have the most to gain from this.

Q: I don't see my language on the list. Are you still planning to add (more) new languages?
A: We are always considering new localization options and better ways to cater to our community. While your language may not be supported now, as ever, we will continue to deliver new, official, translations. We think everyone should have a chance to be a Space Engineer!

Follow our social media to get the latest news!


Hiring

If you’re interested in working on awesome games like Space Engineers, we’d love to hear from you!
Check out the open positions at Keen Software House and don’t forget to send us your English CV/resume and cover letter. Remote collaboration is possible!




If you want to let me know your feedback, please get in touch via my personal email address marek.rosa@keenswh.com, or use our Keen Software House support site. I welcome all of the feedback we receive and we will use it to learn and provide better services to our players.



Thank you for reading this blog!

Best,
Marek Rosa
CEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software House
CEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAI

For more news:
Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.com 
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.com
Medieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.com 
General AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.org 


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 its best-seller Space Engineers (4 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He 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.

GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers, and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.

At this time, Marek is developing Space Engineers, as well as leading daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture - Badger.






Monday, July 27, 2020

Oranžérie Opening

My long-term dream has always been to have a headquarters for our team. A place where we can come together, collaborate, and achieve great things!


A place that we can fit to our needs and wishes, a place that has cozy interiors and a comfortable garden. A place where our people feel good. Also, the very name "Keen Software House" suggests that we should have a "house"!

I believe that what surrounds us has an impact on what we create. If there are ugly things around you, you are more likely to produce low-quality products. If you are instead surrounded by inspiration, you are more likely to produce beautiful things. We should be raising our standards, not stagnating or declining.

Last year we were finally able to achieve this goal. We finally found a property in Prague that has all the attributes we need, the beautiful 18th Century villa, Oranžérie.



Since then, together with architects and a construction company, we were able to fit it to our dreams. We were very fortunate that the project went according to plan, despite having to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to give a big thanks to Olga Afanasjeva (COO at GoodAI), who led the entire renovation project from both a design and project management perspective. Olga made sure that every detail was thought through and created a beautiful and practical environment that will encourage our teams to flourish.

Oranžérie has 1000 square meters, with a 2000 square meter garden, a garage, and a large conference room. We have our own gym, a fully fitted kitchen, a fireplace, and a garden hang-out spot complete with grills for summer barbeques!

This month we finally moved in. The teams at Keen Software House and GoodAI are getting used to this new place.

Oranžérie has quite an interesting history - you can read more on its website: www.Oranzerie.cz

Both GoodAI and Keen Software House are hiring and we look forward to welcoming new team members to the office! Check out some photos below.

Photos 



























Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Space Engineers: Sparks of the Future


SUMMARY:
  • New blocks
    • Hinge Block
    • Small Grid Door
    • 3D Letters
  • Automatic Weather system
  • Sparks of the Future Station
  • Premium content
  • FAQ


Hello, Engineers!

Sparks of the Future explores our fascination with science and science fiction and delivers on that with a vision of hi-tech visuals in the Space Engineers universe.

We are really excited about exploring all of the possibilities this genre opens to us. Sparks of the Future takes us to completely new horizons in block design and stylization. Our goal is to unleash your creative potential, and inspire you to take your creations to a completely new level!

Whether it's a vibrant high-tech space station located among an asteroid cluster, a classic sci-fi themed space cafe, or just a cool looking spaceship bristling with Ion thrusters and neon armor - we hope all of this will add to your story in a world of high technology.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnPlscfSS_Q



Free Content


Hinge Block
Ready? Set. Go! Approach complex constructs from a new direction!


Small Grid Door
The small grid door perfectly fits your modest constructions.


3D Letters
Name your spaceships and space stations and nobody will doubt who's the creator.


Automatic Weather System
All Planets with an atmosphere will experience weather in various degrees. The weather depends on the biomes on the planet, so get ready for unexpected showers! Certain types will also affect survival elements like the efficiency of solar panels and wind turbines.
You can find more info on the Automatic Weather here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2139821766


LCD Rotate Image Function


5 LCD Posters
Cool posters to decorate your Sci-Fi interiors and exteriors! Each of the new posters comes in three variations: Square, Horizontal and Vertical orientation which allows using them in the correct aspect ratio on all types of LCD panels regardless of their placement orientation in the world.


Sparks of the Future Station
“Good news engineer! We have the perfect weekend getaway just for you!”
Explore the Sparks of the Future Station! Sure to impress even the most discerning eye, Sparks of the Future station has everything you need to make the most of your deep space down time.


Enjoy the game with this new scenario. The Sparks of the Future Station showcases new Sci-Fi blocks as premium content. You’ll be able to build with these new blocks only if you are the owner of the DLC. You may play on a server which includes the DLC package. 

Sparks of the Future Station: Extended Edition World is available here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2140265076


Sparks of the Future Pack


Similar to our previous major releases, we decided to give you an opportunity to support the further development of Space Engineers. We have created a pack which consists of cosmetic items to enrich your game visually. You can experience them in the free Sparks of the Future scenario. None of the things in the package brings any advantage to players who purchase this DLC. The price of the Sparks of the Future Pack is $3.99 USD, or your regional Steam equivalent, so if you wish to support us, check out the Sparks of the Future Pack.

The package includes the following items:

Sci-Fi LCD Panels: A truly massive LCD panels for the biggest visual impact.


Neon Tubes: Completely customizable neon tubes.


Sci-Fi Ion Thrusters: Upgraded Sci-Fi Ion thruster and thruster flame.


Sci-Fi Atmospheric Thrusters: Upgraded Sci-Fi atmospheric thrusters.


Sci-Fi Interior Wall: Give your builds an all new, Sci-Fi feel.


Bar Counter: Relax with faction mates at a custom Bar Counter.


Sci-Fi Control Panel: A new, custom, control panel.


Sci-Fi 1-Button Panel: One button panel with customizable LCD.


Sci-Fi 4-Button Panel: Four button panel with customizable LCD’s.


Sci-Fi Sliding Door: Small grid sliding door variation.


Sci-Fi Armor Skin: Update your builds with a new Sci-Fi skin!


2 Neon Armor Skins: The grid has never looked so good! There are two versions of this armor skin: 1 with colorable armor and 1 with colorable neon stripes.



8 new character emotes: “Whatever”, “Yelling”,  “Charge”, “Dance Disco 1”,
“Dance Disco 2”, “Looking around”, “Stretching”, “Come here baby!”


All the items in the pack are cosmetic only. We’ll be more than happy if you will send us the screenshots of how you used the items from the pack in the game. We will post the most creative ones on our social media.


What’s next?


We plan to continue with the development of Space Engineers for both PC and Xbox versions. We plan to align the content between PC and Xbox, so all players on Xbox will have the same content available. Our focus is also on further performance improvements and optimizations on both platforms. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why are you releasing another DLC?
A: Releasing another DLC gives us the opportunity to explore new ideas and provide more unique content the community wants. All players will be able to interact with the blocks, but only those who own the pack will be able to build them.

Q: Should we now expect that we will get a new DLC every three months?
A: Free and paid content releases support the continued development of Space Engineers, as well as bringing new things to the game. All paid DLCs are not pay-to-win, but rather cosmetic. We think this is the right way to bring interesting content to the game and keep the game improving. We bring a lot of free content to all players. This content is usually highly requested by our community.

Q: Can we expect some special promotions in the future?
A: We are always looking at new ways to bring Space Engineers to a wider audience. Special promotions are good opportunities for this. We have a number of exciting promotions planned for the future, which includes both game and DLC content!


Many Thanks to the Modding Community!


We are always impressed by the innovation of our modding community! We would like to thank these members of the Space Engineers community for continuing to inspire us through their ideas, suggestions, and hard work.

Hiring

If you’re interested in working on awesome games like Space Engineers, we’d love to hear from you!
Check out the open positions at Keen Software House and don’t forget to send us your English CV/resume and cover letter.

Remote collaboration is possible!

 

Follow our social media to get the latest news!


If you want to let me know your feedback, please get in touch via my personal email address marek.rosa@keenswh.com, or use our Keen Software House support site. I welcome all of the feedback we receive and we will use it to learn and provide better services to our players.

Thank you for reading this blog!

Best,
Marek Rosa
CEO, Creative Director, Founder at Keen Software House
CEO, CTO, Founder at GoodAI

For more news:
Space Engineers: www.SpaceEngineersGame.com
Keen Software House: www.keenswh.com
Medieval Engineers: www.MedievalEngineers.com
GoodAI: www.GoodAI.com
General AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.org


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 its best-seller Space Engineers (4 million copies sold). Both companies are based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Marek has been interested in artificial intelligence since childhood. He 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.

GoodAI started in January 2014 and has over 30 research scientists, engineers, and consultants working across its Research and Applied teams.

At this time, Marek is developing Space Engineers, as well as leading daily research and development on recursive self-improvement based general AI architecture - Badger.