- The Space Engineers Ecosystem
- Closed Testing Group
- Source code access
- Modding API
- Community Collaboration
- The “Need to Create”
Over the years Space Engineers has become a hub for creative pursuits that often reach far beyond my expectations. Today, I would like to cover a specific part of this extended family of creators; Our incredible modding community and our ongoing partnership with them.
If you have spent more than a few hours in Space Engineers you have likely loaded a mod, blueprint, script, or other creation. Browsing through the massive library of content on the Steam Workshop and Mod.io gives only a glimpse into the depth of community curated content available there.
As Space Engineers has grown, so too has the modding community. Our intent has always been to foster a strong modding community and we could not be prouder of how far we have come!
Several members of our incredible modding community joined us, live, to present exciting new updates to the ModAPI!
Space Engineers: Ecosystem
I have always considered Space Engineers to be an ecosystem (some may use the term ‘platform’), and not just a product.
The value of this ecosystem is made from the interactions and contributions of all its participants.
- Mod makers / Programmers
- Script writers
- Blueprint makers
- Content creators
- Server owners
- Server admins
- Youtubers and Streamers
- Community Members, who provide feedback and insight
- Our team (Keen Software House), the developers and publishers of Space Engineers
We are all part of this ecosystem. It’s ours, I am just a small part of it.
Bill Gates once said “A platform is when the economic value of everybody that uses it, exceeds the value of the company that creates it. Then it’s a platform.”
He was clearly referring to how much profit everybody in the ecosystem/platform is able to extract, and this number has to be higher than the profit the company that created it is extracting.
Space Engineers is not that far yet. However, it is my long-term vision to have other participants who are also profiting from our shared ecosystem. Let me know what you think about this!
The Closed Testing Group (CTG)
The modding community has changed and evolved over the years, as has our relationship with them.
In the earliest years we had the privilege of working closely with a number of community creators including the modder Darth Biomech, one of the original and prolific workshop creators. This collaboration eventually matured into the release of an entirely new block, the “Fighter Cockpit”.
Contributions from the community include direct changes to the functionality of the programmable block, the weather system, and many other systems that are core to what Space Engineers is.
We hope to continue to develop in concert with our modding community and take additional steps to ensure that our modding community is able to benefit from this close relationship.
As we address community collaboration we would be remiss if we did not discuss our incredible Closed Testing Group. The CTG, as it is commonly referred to, is a gathering of community contributors, modders, content creators, community leaders, and server administrators.
The CTG provides advanced access to upcoming builds and is a platform for exploring and sharing ideas. Members of the CTG are able to contribute directly to development through feedback, including direct discussion with the development team.
The CTG is also the starting point for “source” access. A limited number CTG members are provided with access to the source code of Space Engineers. While this level of access may seem unusual, we believe the advantages of this close relationship with our community far outweighs any possible risk.
- Source access means complete transparency when discussing solutions.
- These members are better able to consider and appreciate the ramifications of possible changes.
- They have the ability to directly contribute to possible solutions. This includes writing code that goes directly into the base game!
- Knowledge of the source means they have fewer barriers to innovation when creating mods, or considering solutions.
Interested in participating in the CTG? Please reach out to our Community Manager Kienata for an interview here: Community@Keenswh.com
The Modding API
The recent Modding API updates introduced a plethora of community-requested Mod API changes. These changes have been aimed at performance improvements, enabling desired or missing functionality, and improving the modding process itself with quality of life changes.
This round of ModAPI changes provides the modding community with improved, extended, and in some cases novel, functionality.
Mod API Improvements
- Visual Effects
- Draw System
- Missile, Projectile & Explosions
- Gas System
- Planet & Asteroid Spawning
- Terminal Panel
- Admin Settings
Of course, backward compatibility with older mods is always a priority. While rolling out these improvements to the modding API we also ensured that old mods stayed functional and retained compatibility even after a Major update or release.
We are always looking for new ways to improve!
If you have suggestions or ideas on how we can better serve our community, let us know! We would be happy to see your feedback on our support portal.
Feedback from our community has shaped Space Engineers into what it is today. We value your time and appreciate you taking a moment from your day to share your ideas with us. We have changed how we process the Feedback section of our support portal. You can read more about our changes to Feedback here.
The Community Spotlight is coming! We will be highlighting some of our favorite mods, blueprints, scripts and more from each month in our monthly newsletter, on Steam, and in our Social Media channels. We love what you do, and we want everyone to have a chance to experience your creations.
Upcoming update: Community Update
Finally, today we will break with tradition and talk about our next goal. The Community Update. This update will be composed of feedback items and some of the most requested blocks over the years.
What will the update include?
- A wide range of blocks including some of the classics like the T-section conveyor, Round Windows, and a complement of new block variants.
How much will it cost?
- This update will be free.
We have a roadmap for the continued development of Space Engineers for both PC and Xbox platforms, so I’m sure there is a lot you can look forward to.
Our “Major” releases for PC & Xbox are aligned so that all Engineers get all content, on the same day, regardless of platform. We will also continue our focus on further performance improvements and optimizations on both platforms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I provide feedback?
A: Please contact us with your bugs, and feedback here: https://support.keenswh.com
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!
Our team is global.
Finding the best candidates to join Keen Software House means exploring every possible solution, including remote work. While we strive to provide team members with the best possible work-life balance here in Prague at our incredible Oranzerie offices, we understand that it is not always possible to transition, therefore we are very remote friendly. Here’s a map of where our teammates live.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!
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
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 was founded in January 2014, with a $10 Million investment from Marek, it now has over 30 research scientists, engineers, and consultants working across its divisions.
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.