All of these facts lead to the conclusion that we still need to update and improve our approaches for both development and management. We need to keep backward compatibility for thousands of mods out there as well as continue to push development forward. Even one small innocent change can lead to broken gameplay and enormous negative feedback. The requirements for game testing are exponentially higher than ever before and also, due to the increasing number of competing products, players demands are increasing too.
All of us here at Keen Software House love Space Engineers. In the beginning, there was only four people in the team (Petr Minarik, Ondrej Petrzilka, Tomas Rampas and me) and because all of us have a lot of passion for space, technology and freedom, it was the main design for the game. We still try to keep our game on top by supporting the community and fighting with Clang, performance issues, hardware configurations, negative feedback and many technical problems. Even though some issues can be very frustrating, we still enjoy playing the game and creating new possibilities. When compared to many other early access games, we still continue doing our best and we never give up trying to create the best space sandbox game on market.
To be able to continue with development and game quality of the highest standards, we have decided to change the release system to be simpler and involve the community more. We expect more stable builds, fewer bugs and more polished features. The main change is that we are removing Develop branch from the game. There will be only one branch and updates will be tagged as Minor or Major. We will still patch the game every week with Minor updates, but Major updates will not be scheduled with strict dates in advance but rather will be released only when everything is completely tested, fixed and approved by a closed testing group to ensure the build is ok.
Please note the difference between Minor and Major updates. Minor updates will contain critical fixes, crash fixes and content polish, which will allow us to focus more on creating new, stable features for Major releases. To give an example from our recent update history, lens flares and properly mirrored wheels should be considered Minor updates.
What kind of Major releases can you expect in near future? Many of you already know that we are working on new HUD and polished GUI. This is something we’ve really focused on and we expect the new HUD to greatly increase gameplay immersion. Additionally, a nice addition to the new HUD is that it is fully moddable and can be customized per cockpit or helmet. We are also working hard on improving the survival experience, making things easier for new players, having objective driven scenarios and also multiplayer dedicated scenarios. There is also a large amount of work going into game optimizations. We are aware of bad performance in certain areas of the game and plan to focus on these situations, as well as loading times, peaks, lag, etc.
I’m personally looking forward to all changes we are preparing. We already proved that we’re able to create unique features never seen in games before, defining new boundaries. We certainly don’t plan to stop! 🙂
Thank you for reading!
CEO and Founder of Keen Software House
CEO, CTO of GoodAI
For more news:
General AI Challenge: www.general-ai-challenge.org
AI Roadmap Institute: www.roadmapinstitute.org
Space Engineers: www.spaceengineersgame.com
Medieval Engineers: www.medievalengineers.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.