The original vision for Medieval Engineers was solid (medieval technology, sandbox, physical interaction, realism, survival, intuitive and easy manipulation of volumetric environment, etc.) but during the past year we diverged from these core principles. I’m not satisfied with the current state of the game, and it’s time for us to refocus and consolidate.
It’s time to make Medieval Engineers more exciting, fun, and streamlined. Medieval Engineers is challenging to play in its current state (especially for new players) and we need to streamline it before major features can be added.
We need to find the most intuitive design for the original vision for Medieval Engineers, one that extends to building, construction, deconstruction, crafting, harvesting, fighting mechanics (sword and crossbow), and so on. These elements are and will be the focus of the game.
So how will Medieval Engineers look after these big changes? Imagine your character spawning in the world. You will harvest, cut trees, build houses and castles, design protection against barbarians or other players, hunt and get food to sustain yourself, etc. It will be easier to build with blueprints, so you will be able to bring resources to a blueprint (for example, for a catapult) and the catapult will simply pop up. Hardcore players will always have the option to do it themselves, but the game will be more accessible for those who aren’t interested in spending a lot of time building something in particular.
However, these changes will take time. We know that weekly updates can frustrate players, because what happens behind the scenes in our studio is not always obvious to the public. It can seem like we focus on non-essential things (i.e. working on sounds rather than multiplayer), but the reality is that certain features and fixes take much, much longer than others. We always have multiple programmers, sound designers, and artists working on many things in parallel, and when a feature is complete we release it. Other projects take more time, but we definitely keep working on them.
Moreover, in the last 1-2 years we have transitioned from an indie studio of 5 people to one of 50+. We’re growing fast and the growth continues. We’ve experienced some growing pains (like any expanding business does). The way we’re solving this is to make our management processes better and by finding strong leaders for each project. I assure you that we are working to find the right person to lead Medieval Engineers and help us scale up so we can continue to bring you quality, awesome, fun, streamlined games with big features.
New approach to SE/ME updates
Streamlining our games also means optimizing our development, management, and update process. For this reason, in the coming weeks we will start updating both Medieval Engineers and Space Engineers on two branches – one stable branch, and a second development branch.
The development branch will continue to be updated weekly. However, these updates might not make sense every week, and there may be a number of bugs or problems with playing on the dev branch. Rest assured, though, that all updates to this branch are part of a long term plan.
We will also have a stable branch that will be well-tested and run smoothly for players. It will receive very important hot fixes, and will provide players with a more comfortable game play experience. Every month or two, we will update the stable branch with new stuff from the dev branch.
Having two branches will allow us to finish these major and radical changes without breaking the game every week or releasing features in their prototype phase before I can personally review them. Both games are in a very different stage of development than they were a year or two ago. They are more complex, and we simply need longer periods to make significant updates.
***EDIT / CLARIFICATION***
1) The stable branch will be the default branch. In other words, if players do nothing, they will be playing on the stable branch. If you would like to access the development branch, you’ll need to change to it on Steam (instructions for how to do this will be posted when the change is made).
2) Weekly update videos will continue! 🙂
3) Remember that we still need to test this idea to make sure it benefits everyone – players, modders, and us as developers
4) The development branch will go through the same testing process as today’s main branch (internal testing at Keen Software House, testing by our Closed Testing Group, then releases on Tuesday + Thursday)
In general, Medieval Engineers will be much more fun, coherent, exciting, and definitely more streamlined. Put simply, Medieval Engineers will become the awesome game that we all know it can be 🙂
Thank you for reading! And many thanks to the Medieval Engineers players out there – we’re grateful for your patience and especially for your feedback. We definitely can’t make this game without you.
CEO and Founder
Keen Software House
For more game news, follow us on social media:
Medieval Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MedievalEngineers
Medieval Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MedievalEng
Space Engineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceEngineers
Space Engineers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpaceEngineersG