October 23
2013
A quick summary of the development during the last two months: September and October 2013.

“Early access” to the Early Access

A week ago we realized that Space Engineers is in a good shape and so we decided to make it available for purchase during two 3-hour and 24-hour windows. This allowed us to make some people happy and to perform a large scale testing.
We were very surprised and pleased by the response of the players. Not only the interest was 10x bigger than what we hoped for, but also the community “got the game” surprisingly quick and started to create amazing works and post screenshots and videos. The response was really great. You can’t see this from the outside but I can assure you that the already good morale of our team has increased 10 times.

The other positive outcome was the feedback that we started to receive. It appears that 95% of the community suggestions are already in some form in our project plan. This is a good sign because it means that our taste is very similar to what our community wants.

What’s next

We are preparing the integration of Steam Workshop. I hope it will be available within a few days after Oct 23.
Then we want to look on the max speed of the jet-packs (probably just a temporary hack since we want to do it properly later and with regard to “realism”). We also did some tricks to increase memory limits (also, just a temporary solution).
There are tens of other features that are in progress – the most important is multi-player. We have an internal deadline when we want to release it, unfortunately this is a big and hard-to-estimate feature, so I don’t want to disappoint you if something gets in our way.
Of course, then there’s the manual building, inventory, drilling and harvesting – all is done, we just have to un-disable it, test it, polish it and give it to you.

Localization

We have set up a crowd-localization project and during the weekend the community managed to translate 8 languages, while 10 more are in good progress.  It’s very likely that we will add most of them to the release on October 23. Thank you very much!

Optimizations

We didn’t have a “full game” optimization phase but we already performed tens of intermediary and very specific optimizations. Mostly during implementing a new feature – we knew that some algorithm will be performance or memory demanding and so we didn’t waste time naively with a brute-force approach. Instead we implemented it with optimization in mind. Sometimes it’s better to implement a new feature already optimized than to postpone it and do it later (when you have forgotten most of the details already).
The players say that they were expecting the game to run poorly but instead it runs very well. This makes us programmers very happy.
Anyway, there are many opportunities for more optimizations in the future.

Testing

October 1 was the “feature freeze day” (we stopped adding new features and worked only on the important polishing and bug fixing tasks). From that moment on, we focused entirely on making sure that the game is stable and bug free and that Oct 23 won’t be a fiasco.
Testers created a list of testing scenarios: various HW and OS configurations (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 32-bit/64-bit, different language packs), alt-tab, sleep or hibernate computer while game is running, CPU from Intel and AMD, GPU from NVIDIA, ATI, Intel, multi-monitor settings, load tests, game-play tests, etc.
We also ordered some testing at a HW lab – www.quanticlab.com – where they performed tests on even more HW configurations. I can only praise these guys, great professionals.
During this phase, we caught many HW incompatibilities and so I am glad we did it. If we were testing this on the players, it would be a shame.
BTW, we have an “automatic testing tool” for Space Engineers – we capture mouse and keyboard events while doing something in the game and then we can replay it automatically. This allows us to automate “boring” moments of testing.

Thanks


I want to thank each and every one of my colleagues, without them we couldn’t get Space Engineers to the stage it is now. Together, we were able to meet all milestones on time and with the expected quality.
I also want to thank our growing community which provides great feedback and gives us more reasons to continue making Space Engineers what it deserves to be.

Conclusion

Please keep posting your feedback and suggestions to our FB page www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers or our forum at forums.keenswh.com/?forum=313735
We can’t reply to every comment, but I can assure you that we read all of them and they will influence how Space Engineers develops. Corrections: actually, after the explosion of interest it’s very hard to keep track of all comments 🙂

Thanks for reading this!

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

  1. What I'd really like to hear is if you plan to fix the thruster placement at some point. Because right now it doesn't matter at all where you place thrusters, only in which direction they point.
    I also read something about a hardcoded 800MB memory limit? I have 16GB RAM so I'd love to make full use of that.

    I don't really care how long it's going to take, I would just really appreciate it if you gave us some inside into your plans concerning these two points (and maybe your entire plans? :D)

  2. I'd like to say Congrats and I look forward to the very positive future of this game 🙂
    Currently counting down the hours with a couple of work colleagues.

  3. As to optimizations, I'm no programmer, but I can agree with the rest of the community that I'm amazed how smooth it runs.

    I push games to the limits, but know to town it down for actual gameplay. So to see the engine can cope with multiple craft, complex designs and collisions, and keep a reasonable FPS is great.

  4. Great hindsight on the HW testing, all star move on your part Mr. Rosa. Congratulations on your alpha release success. The pre-alpha was also a brilliant move and enable so much fan created content to be made. One note: There is no such thing as too much publicity.

  5. I love this game, between this and KSP, I've had absolutely Zero free time lately, Keep up the awesome work!

  6. Fantastic job so far. My only point of frustration is that small ships are not subject to the gravity fields of larger ships. Makes docking bays a bit of a issue.

    1. I would also love to see gravity effect small ships too great for hiding on asteroids for an ambush with all power down and also good for piggybacking on another players huge ship too not to mention the obvious advantages for docking etc and also a ships giro could sustain damage making carrier landings both dramatic tense and sometimes funny

  7. this game has soo much potential just waiting for working weapons and removal of ghost blocks after collisions

  8. In my opinion, the thrusters are fine the way they are, if you have engines like they do in Kerbal space program, some people would never be able to build ships like the U.S.S. Enterprise, or Battle Star Galactica, and ships that are uneven like a imperial star destroyer. So I hope you don't change the engines, their fine like they are.

    1. or at least make an option to turn off and on thruster placement realism .

    2. Yes I agree the thruster placement is good how it is at the moment for the sake of designing awesome looking ships that also function reasonably well, I find myself spamming reaction wheels and thrusters in the free space inside a ship design just to improve speed and turning…

  9. Hello,

    I'm really interested in buying the early access on Steam but i'm not sure to understand what the game will be like once ready?

    Exploring and gathering in a MP environment?
    Dedicated servers?
    Advanced stations construction? (refineries, defense towers, power shield, etc..)
    Team based MP? (So that if stations have defensive abilities they won't shoot friendlies)
    NPC stations (for refueling on long journeys / buying resources)
    Enemy NPCs?

    Just asking things i'd love to see 😀
    If that's the direction for this game i'll grab my copy right away!

  10. Congrats on your launch!

    I beg thee…. please oh please release MP soon with some weapons. That'll keep us busy and pleasently distracted until the other features are released.

  11. This game is totally awsome..
    Love it and I am really looking forward to all updates..

    You have really made something special here.

    Congrats 😉

  12. Congrats Marek Rosa and the rest of the Team!

    I was surprised at how smooth the game is, I have i5 3.10ghz, 8gb of ram, radeon hd 7750, and on normal I get a nice 60fps or so, in high, i still get decent fps (around 40-45) But with a game like this, its hard to get a solid performance because you are always changing the "world" around you. Like in Minecraft, no matter how good your computer is, at some point it will choke up a little until it settled (rendering chunks). But this game never choked up on me.

  13. This game is awsome..
    I just want mining working 🙂 and multiplayer or split screen option.

  14. Can the game controls be rebound? I haven't bought the game yet and the only video I have seen mentioning controls didn't say. I need to know because I can't play the right handed set up and won't get the game if it means I can't play it.

    1. Hey Marek testing testing i'm quite happy from what i see so far, SE have great potential, how about Yaw and Pitch? right now i saw it is bound to mouse, for some people its good solution, but as for me and i guess many others it would be nice to have possibility to reassign it to keyboard . Also adding possibility to disable inertial damping from ships console may be good idea for those who like to feel control big ships by them selfs or just traversing sectors without constant holding fwd control , have a great day.

    2. I am glad you like SE.

      You can rotate via arrow keys on keyboard, it's the same thing as mouse but feels better for heavy ships.

      Dampeners – we may want to add an option to switch them off, as we had it in Miner Wars

    3. aaaaah yes the controls its all there, i should pay more attention thank you for your patience 😀

    4. while you're holding "w" just hit "y" to turn off your generators. you'll keep your forward momentum you had when you turned them off. and just turn them back on when you need to adjust

  15. I just tested this beautiful game… Thanks sooooooo much for this, seriously this game is what a me and my friends are waiting for too long!
    There is so much potencial in it, I cant believe that this is real 😀 thank you guys so much and go on with this amazing work! I feel like this could end up as popular as minecraft shortly… Dont know what to say, im so impressed 😀 greetings from germany

  16. When I saw the videos about this game on YouTube, I couldn't to believe to my eyes… and after the 3 hours I bought it. This alpha is already made me love this game very much. Good luck and waiting your new updates. I hope very much that the new update will give us available to stand small ships in docks of large ships and fly with them inside.

  17. IMPROVEMENT!!!

    When in small spaceships clicking 'm' should magnetize the feet so it doesn't float around when you doc in a moving big ship.

    1. i fully agree i would like to carry my small ships inside my large ships with out them floating around and busting into a million pieces.

  18. Im just concern about requirements now, hopefuly there is way to improve something on that field.
    My pc on win 7 64bit, core 2 quad 2.33GHz 8 GB ram with GF 9800 GT 1GB dedicated plus 3GB shared, not really daemon but not that bad at all, and when i started custom world 2 it was already chopping a bit, no problems on custom world 1 or survival

    1. "custom world 2" is really complex. Good news is that there are many 3D models that were not optimized yet, so once we do that, it will run faster.

  19. the second scenario called "easy start 2" i believe has a large green station and it lags like a mofo. can you please identity the issue? i think it might be due to the amount of blocks and a too high lod switch range.

  20. I think the next update should be multiplayer. at least just private matches to play with your friend.

  21. i want to be able to save my ships, big and small, and bring them into other worlds like in Gary's Mod. This is because if i make the death star in one map, i don't want to have to make such a large ship all over again if i want it in a different world.

  22. You guys have no idea how much I love you. I have been waiting for this game since the beginning of space ship games. For a first version I am very impressed. The potential is just mind boggling. Did I mention that I love you guys?

  23. This is amazing!
    So many gaming dreams coming true within one game!

    Please, pretty please, keep making this even more awesome!

  24. I have a few notices.
    1. When you build some device or some ship and you waste for that a few hours and later you destroy this during testing – it's very annoying thing that you have to start from nothing. It would be very nice when you could save your station,ships, etc. and load it after crash. (in single player)
    2. You scratch a few blocks in figure then you want repeair them so you remove destroyed blocks and insert in this place a new blocks. After add last block which is a joint of old and new – all new blocks are destroy again. (Maybe if you share welder this way of repair will not be necessary). But this can be against with a game line.
    3. Do some cool stuff, like rotating/folding/closing elements – it will improve our creativity 😉 (I guess that you are planned add stuff like this but i want to write this ;))
    4. Maybe add some blocks of different hardness, weight and materials need to create.

    1. "But this can be against with a game line." – it shoul refer to first sentence, not second 😛

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