Monday, March 7, 2022

Space Engineers Ecosystem

 SUMMARY:

  • The Space Engineers Ecosystem 
  • Closed Testing Group
  • Source code access
  • Modding API
  • Community Collaboration
  • The “Need to Create”

Hello, Engineers! 

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
  • Physics
  • Networking
  • 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.


Looking Ahead

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.


Community Spotlight

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.


What’s next?

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

Hiring

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 marek.rosa@keenswh.com, 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!

 

Best,
Marek Rosa
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
GoodAI: www.GoodAI.com
General AI Challenge: www.General-AI-Challenge.org

 

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 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.

24 comments:

  1. Great news. May Space Engineers continue to evolve and grow and fulfil it's full potential.

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  2. I hope the update will include a large grid variant of the small grid single button. ;) Can't wait to see all the new blocks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You always keep mentioning https://support.keenswh.com
    Discord admins always keep mentioning it.
    When people actualy take the time to report a bug. nothingh happens.
    So what the point in having https://support.keenswh.com?

    Fix clang, fix falling thru planets.
    Than play with round windows and other decorative stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Developing/Fixing a game is not easy

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    2. Hi,

      Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts!

      Support tickets are reviewed in the order they are received. You should receive a status change, as well as a response from a member of our support team.

      Major changes, fixes, and even content for our upcoming Community Update, are all a direct result of community feedback through https://support.keenswh.com

      Delete
    3. We have resolved a wide range of issues and implemented a number of community requests.

      Here are just a few items that you may find familiar!

      https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/pc/topic/please-give-us-smaller-hydrogen-tanks
      https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/pc/topic/vanilla-mechanical-hinges
      https://support.keenswh.com/spaceengineers/pc/topic/smaller-merge-blocks-for-small-grid

      Delete
    4. None of those are fixes, they are just fluff

      Delete
  4. This is ABSOLUTELY the right direction, MUCH respect Marek!

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  5. The major wish that I have for years is a smooth way of connecting large and small blocks into one single clang-free physical object without rotor , hinge or other "dirty" tricks.
    I'm sure this would unleash a huge wave of creativity in the community.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, absolutely! I'm still not comfortable using small block subgrids, but it would be such a relief to finally be able to use each block size where it fits the best, not just where it is easy and safe. Great suggestion =)

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  6. As a player that has relied upon mods to build my dreams from day one, I truly appreciate Keen's willingness to facilitate modding, and the extent to which they are doing it now means I will have to accept the fact that I will never be able to finish anything in this game. Ever. I'll need months just to switch out the new vanilla blocks for the mods they once were, and there's more coming. Free.


    I don't know why you're doing this to me, Keen, but it can't be legal.

    ;



































    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for this overview of how you interact, exchange and collaborate with this community =) I'm following SE since 2014, actively, and are absolutely amazed how many hours of pure, unadultered creativity this game STILL provides! I, for my part, have ZERO issues with those very friendly priced DLCs in the past. It's probably just my opinion - however, I've always bought those packs when they were available and revisited SE then. Can't wait for the community pack tho, looks awesome =)

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  8. consider adding a Toggle to turn ON/OFF Lightning in the Advanced Settings menu while a larger redesign of Lightning Physics is worked on.
    we build Grids made of Metal yet Lightning blows them up, where Lightning IRL just passes through harmlessly unless you are a computer.
    large structures are built to withstand Lightning easily and channel it safely to the ground.
    Lightning will also generally aim for tall things like a Tower or Tree and not the Player's Suit Beacon.
    getting hit 6-8 times in a single storm is not very fun and many people have turned the Weather OFF so as not to have to deal with unrealistic Lightning

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    Replies
    1. Lightning is attracted to decoy blocks. use them as lightning rods

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    2. I gotta say, the lightning does feel like it needs to be improved. Having it strike the tallest metallic object would be a big improvement. The idea of using the decoys doesnt appeal to me as they just dont look nice enough to use. Maybe if they got a retexture in a dlc or a new lightning block model is created (maybe using aspects of the large antenna model) it wouldnt be as bad

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  9. All work Keen has been doing is great! The only issue is, SE is a great building game, but outside of building and pvp, there is very little to do in the game. I'd really love more of a focused initiative on revamping the game mechanics to give us more purpose to build our creations and go out and explore. Maybe a tech tree, a mission/ quest system or more advanced a.i.

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    Replies
    1. There is a minor questing system in the game already if you go to the outposts of the AI however i do agree, it would be nice to have more variety in quests and also more life in general in the universe (even if it is just more drones and scattered stations).

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  10. This is the way!

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  11. Absolutely love SE, I started a new game with one of my mates 5 days ago and already have 80hrs in that save alone, I can play it for hours at a time. The new improvements to the fighting mechanics were certainly one of the best improvements to the game yet. The already existing friendliness to modding the game is wonderful, however there are still many aspects that I would LOVE to see improved. Right now SE is a game with tonnes of potential much of it being either unexplored or dabbled into. The Quest type system at outposts is cool but there isn't that much to it. It would be nice if i have a reason to create my mining industry rather than either it looks cool or i need it for the ship i am building for no reason. It would be nice to have more unique rewards for trading and completing quests for the factions, (maybe unlocking an elite variation of a tool, block, or weapon as your reputation with them gets higher). The weather mechanics such as with the lightning can be improved making lightning rod towers useful rather than astetic (the decoy block doesn't look good for this purpose saddly). The worlds and space around them could be more populated, either more faction bases, more drones or more animals such as the spiders and wolves already in the game. The inclusion of ruined villages would add some story and ambiance to different areas of the game (however adding something like this, whilst improving the storytelling of a plannet, would distact devs from more exciting prospects im sure, still wouldn't be a bad thing if it was added). The building options with merging small and large grids would be grand (that doesn't use unexpected "features" to implement), a middle ground between the large and medium grids would be nice too. The large grids are difficult to detail with (though it can and has been done) and the small grids are time consuming to create larger ships. With the current grid sizes, you can build a fighter/cargo ship in a small grid or a destroyer/battleship with the large, meaning the corvette (one of the most apt classifications of ship for this game, is almost impossible to build due to either being too limited in block choice (small grid) or detailing (large grid). Beyond these there are many more things that could be added to make SE a Brilliant game, however I believe making the solar system more 'lived in' would be best. I do love SE, it is a wonderfully creative game, but it is currently still feeling a sandbox with no goal, no reward beyond "this looks cool." Thanks for the constant updates, love it, love the good priced dlc, love how all dlc is cosmetic and all non retextured blocks are added for free. Keep it up, but please consider improving the reasons we builed the ships and bases, not just how good we can make them look.

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  12. There is a mod for curved windows, I don't think that any of them are this radius though.

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  13. PLEASE add full-block air vents (see the Conveyor Air Vents mod). Also, please make sure you add the new conveyor sections for the Wasteland conveyors, as well, as people now are using these almost exclusively due to their superior aesthetics. Don't abandoned your DLC add-ons by not improving them. Literally the only thing people now use classic conveyors for is their airtight junctions and sorters, similar to how everybody has all but abandoned the legacy catwalks. The Wasteland conveyors are so much better that nobody really cares about the legacy ones anymore, so please keep it that way.

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    Replies
    1. Hehe, the age old full-block vent. But yeah, I would agree - this block is severely needed. Like so many other special edge cases, but yeah - this one's a must have.
      The other points - IDK. I frequently use normal conveyers (even tho they look "bad" in comparison, the new industrial ones alway give me the feeling that they convey only liquid or gases, so I would - personally - pay for a updated look on the original ones =) Have a gr8 day, Warden

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  14. I greatly hope that one day, Space Engineers is made entirely open-source, and development of the game is passed down to the community. This will take a great burden off of Keen, and allow fresh minds to conquer problems the game has experienced, much like how weather was previously believed to be unfeasible.

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  15. Here's the thing: Keen originally DID say they would release source code to the public, and you could get to copies of it for a while; just before the big planet update! They've been mostly silent since then and back-peddled on a few forum posts IIRC.

    I do hope that, once they're finally finished milking the community for DLC updates, they re-release the source code for some epic modding (and possibly better bug fixes).

    ReplyDelete