Space Engineers – development update 1/27/2014

Summary of multi-player update and what are we working on right now.
The multi-player release was the biggest event since the launch of Space Engineers. It was the most successful and yet the roughest update we had. Most successful – because it tripled the sales of Space Engineers and increased player numbers as well – http://steamcharts.com/app/244850#3m. Roughest – because there were bugs and connections issues (the worst should be fixed in the following update). The good thing is that we did this update only within the community and we didn’t announce it publicly. We will announce it but only when the multi-player is stable and more feature-finished.

The interesting lesson from multi-player release is that it was the first update that had visible impact on sales. All previous updates haven’t doubled nor tripled the sales. Multi-player did it. Not all features are born equal and this applies especially to multi-player. The question is: which future change or feature will have a comparable effect. Any ideas?
The next couple of weeks will mostly be about consolidating and polishing what’s already in the game (work in progress or disabled). Our weekly updates may be less frequent and not on Thursdays.
Our programmers are working on finishing the “realistic mode” (this is what some of you call “survival”) – real inventory size, death, re-spawn and manual building.
The manual building is the exact opposite of the creative mode building which is present in the game. In manual building you use a welder to construct blocks from components and grinder for disassembling.
We are working on an algorithm that will allow proper deformation of non-armor blocks. Now if you have noticed, only armor gets deformed and other types of blocks just disappear. This will change soon.
Our artists are finishing the textures for the heavy armor – it has a camouflage pattern on it and is heavier, stronger and can sustain higher damage (collisions, impacts and missile explosions). Heavy armor comes in two sizes – large and small.
They are also finishing the 3D models for multiple phases of block construction (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) – see the below screenshot.
We have some new guys in the team – two programmers, two artists on internship (Artem and Adam) and a sound designer who already worked with us on Miner Wars 2081, so we are setting up the audio development procedure and already experimenting with sounds.
Our testers are focusing on multi-player testing – they do this on the public Steam branch of the game (this is the branch that’s available to everyone).
Please keep posting your feedback and suggestions to our FB page https://www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers or our forum at http://forums.keenswh.com/?forum=313735
We can’t reply to every comment, but I can assure you that we try read as much as possible and they will influence how Space Engineers develops.
Thanks!
Marek Rosa


Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers or follow us on
Twitter https://twitter.com/SpaceEngineersG and you will be notified on all updates.

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

Space Engineers – sound design

We are planning to start adding sound effects in Space Engineers so I thought that this is a good time to share with you our preliminary sound design.
This document doesn’t represent the final work and there are things that may change in the future.
World/server in Space Engineers can be configured in one of two possible modes (it’s configured in world settings – therefore in multi-player all clients have the same settings):
  • Realistic (no sound in space)
  • Arcade (player can hear sounds even if he shouldn’t really hear them)

Implementation rules:

  • Realistic mode: player can hear only sounds that are generated somewhere on his or in his body or cockpit/ship
  • First-person mode and third-person mode are equal. “Audio listener” is always positioned in the controlled object (astronaut, space ship cockpit). In other words, when the player is in third person mode, “audio listener” is in the head of the astronaut (not where the third-person-camera is located)
  • The game should distinguish between sounds generated by the player and by sounds generated by other players. E.g. in realistic mode, the player can hear his own steps, but he can’t hear other players walking. In arcade mode, he can hear them walking, but it may be a different sound (wave file). For these reasons, I am using “player” and “other objects” terminology in the list of sounds.
  • These rules must be encapsulated in some audio class, so the code that just wants to play some sound doesn’t need to know about these rules.
  • These rules must work in single-player, multi-player, when switching between first and third person, when entering and leaving a cockpit (small or large), when dying and re-spawning, when switching between character through dev keys, etc.
  • Material type: rock, metal and human. When two objects collide, we get their material types and play the right sound for this pair of objects (e.g. rock vs metal, metal vs metal, metal vs human, etc.). Voxel asteroids and ore-items are always rock. Small and large ship blocks and other items (components, weapon, etc) are metal. Player character is human.
  • I have not decided yet whether sounds in “realistic” and “arcade” modes should be the same or different. E.g. the player shooting a hand weapon in realistic mode will hear a muffled shot whereas in arcade mode he can hear a real shot sound. We can decide and change this later.
  • HUD/GUI sounds – these sounds are played only for the player who activates them (e.g. if some other player turns on/off his lights, I won’t hear it).
  • Game sounds – We have 2D and 3D sounds. 2D sounds are played if the sound is generated by the player/listener and there’s no distance-volume-curve-attenuation. 3D sounds are played for sounds not generated by the player/listener (other players or objects). 2D sounds are stereo WAV files; 3D sounds are mono WAV files.

Inspiration:

Game sounds:

2D / 3D Listener is in suit or in cockpit Player / Other objects Description Realistic Arcade
2D SUIT PLAYER Player running on metal surface (forward, backward, strafe) YES YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player running on rocky surface (forward, backward, strafe) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player running on metal surface (forward, backward, strafe) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player running on rocky surface (forward, backward, strafe) NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player sprinting on metal surface YES YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player sprinting on rocky surface YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player sprinting on metal surface NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player sprinting on rocky surface NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player jumps up (before he falls down) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player jumps up (before he falls down) NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player collision after jump down / fall down, metal surface (this sound may get replaced with collision sound) YES YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player collision after jump down / fall down, rocky surface (this sound may get replaced with collision sound) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player collision after jump down / fall down, metal surface (this sound may get replaced with collision sound) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player collision after jump down / fall down, rocky surface (this sound may get replaced with collision sound) NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Missile explosion on player (he was hit) YES YES
3D COCKPIT PLAYER Missile explosion on player’s ship (his ship was hit) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Missile explosion NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Collision between metal and human – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Collision between metal and other player – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects NO YES
3D COCKPIT PLAYER Collision between metal and player ship – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects. We may decide to make a longer continuous collision sound (5-10 secs), as can been seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbnwQB9DlYY#t=108 YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Collision between metal and other player ship – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Collision between rock and human – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Collision between rock and other player – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects NO YES
3D COCKPIT PLAYER Collision between rock and player ship – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Collision between rock and other player ship – we may decide to make multiple versions of the sound to account for size and velocity of colliding objects NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player shooting a hand weapon YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player shooting a hand weapon NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player in space suit (may depend or not on recent activities such as running, jumping, doing things) – breathing, hearth beat YES YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Player in a cockpit – sound of breathing and heartbeat (similar to space suit sound) YES YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Player in a cockpit – sounds of nuclear reactors – turn on YES YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Player in a cockpit – sounds of nuclear reactors – turn off YES YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Player in a cockpit – sounds of nuclear reactors – running. I think that reactor output depends on consumers, so if e.g. thrusters start consuming more energy, reactors should generate higher-pitch sound. YES YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Small auto cannon shooting – muffled sound of rotating cannon and shots – start/loop/end YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other ship auto cannon shooting – normal shooting sounds (but then it may look weird if theplayer hears his own shot muffled) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Small missile launcher shooting – muffled sound of launcher ejecting a missile YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other ship missile launcher shooting – normal launch sound (but then it may look weird if the player hears his own shot muffled) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Missile flying (burning fuel, etc.) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Nuclear reactor – turn on (this sound is played when the player doesn’t sit in a ship belonging to this reactor, he is just passing by) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Nuclear reactor – looping (this sound is played when the player doesn’t sit in a ship belonging to this reactor, he is just passing by) NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Nuclear reactor – turn off (this sound is played when the player doesn’t sit in a ship belonging to this reactor, he is just passing by) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Landing gear activation (snap) – muffled YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Landing gear activation (snap) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Landing gear deactivation (un-snap) – muffled YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Landing gear deactivation (un-snap) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Ship drill – muffled, sound of rotation, not crushing (start, loop, end) YES YES
2D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Ship drill – sound of rotation, not crushing (start, loop, end) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Hand drill – muffled, sound of rotation, not crushing (start, loop, end) YES YES
2D / 3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand drill – sound of rotation, not crushing (start, loop, end) NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Hand welder YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand welder NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Hand grinder YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand grinder NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Ship drill crushing metal YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Ship drill crushing metal NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Ship drill crushing rocks YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Ship drill crushing rocks NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Hand drill crushing metal YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand drill crushing metal NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Hand drill crushing rocks YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand drill crushing rocks NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Jetpack – start / loop / off YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player jetpack – start / loop / off NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Jetpack – thruster firing (moving in some direction) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other player jetpack – thruster firing (moving in some direction) NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Small ship small-thruster firing (we may decide to make this a 3D sound and use the thruster’s position on ship) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other small ship small-thruster firing NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Small ship large-thruster firing (we may decide to make this a 3D sound and use the thruster’s position on ship) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other small ship large-thruster firing NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Large ship small-thruster firing (we may decide to make this a 3D sound and use the thruster’s position on ship) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other large ship small-thruster firing NO YES
2D COCKPIT PLAYER Large ship large-thruster firing (we may decide to make this a 3D sound and use the thruster’s position on ship) YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Other large ship large-thruster firing NO YES
3D COCKPIT PLAYER Small auto cannon bullet impact on metal – player ship YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Small auto cannon bullet impact on metal – other ship NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Small auto cannon bullet impact on rock NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Small auto cannon bullet impact on player body YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Small auto cannon bullet impact on other player body NO YES
3D COCKPIT PLAYER Hand weapon bullet impact on metal – player ship YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand weapon bullet impact on metal – other ship NO YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand weapon bullet impact on rock NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Hand weapon bullet impact on player body YES YES
3D SUIT / COCKPIT OTHER Hand weapon bullet impact on other player body NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player switching iron-sight on (this will sound like moving an arm in textile suit) YES YES
3D SUIT OTHER Other player switching iron-sight on (this will sound like moving an arm in textile suit) NO YES
2D SUIT PLAYER Player switching iron-sight off (this will sound like moving an arm in textile suit) YES YES
3D SUIT OTHER Other player switching iron-sight off (this will sound like moving an arm in textile suit) NO YES
TODO – add more sounds later, once sound design rules are tested and everyone likes them

HUD and GUI sounds:

Thanks for reading this!

Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers, follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/SpaceEngineersG and you will be notified on all updates.



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