Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Review of 2022 & Plans for 2023


  • Review of 2022 - Space Engineers - two major updates, VRAGE3, GoodAI Grants, Memetic Badger, Oranzerie garden
  • Plans for 2023 - Space Engineers on PlayStation, Focus on AI Game

It's a great practice to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and set goals for the coming year. It helps to track the progress, measure the achievements, and identify opportunities for improvement. In this way, you can ensure that your team is moving in the right direction and make necessary adjustments to achieve your objectives.

Review from last year (2021/2022) is here.

This year's review starts here. Enjoy!

Review of 2022

Keen Software House

2022 was a year of continued growth and adaptation. The team expanded its expertise and successfully navigated new challenges in various projects.
  • In 2021, we proved that our studio is compatible with remote work and have continued to hire new team members from around the world.
  • In 2022, we embraced remote work and proved its effectiveness for our studio. We continued to hire new team members from around the world, expanding both the size and diversity of our team. This allowed us to grow our skills and experience in various projects.
  • Space Engineers - we released two major updates:
    • Warfare 2 “Broadside”: Warfare series continued with new blocks, ship weapons and massive ship combat changes that reimagined combat in Space Engineers - read more

    • Most Wanted - completely free update containing the most wanted blocks from Space Engineers history: read more

  • In 2022, our cooperation with our community continued to flourish. This collaboration further enhanced the player experience and solidified our commitment to community and modder engagement. Space Engineers has currently more than 500,000 items on Steam Workshop and 90.000 items on Mod.io - where Space Engineers is one of the top subscribed games with 5.6 Million subscribers and more than 36 Million downloads!
  • In 2022, we continued to prioritize player choice by releasing updates and new content simultaneously across PC and Xbox platforms. This allowed our community to fully enjoy the game on the platform of their preference while also fostering a unified and engaged player base.
  • Keen Software House is joining forces with Sony to deliver Space Engineers to PlayStation in 2023.
    We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to share our “Need to Create” and cannot wait to see what new creations are realized with this release.

    Space Engineers is now available to preorder on PlayStation!

  • We are excited to announce that we were nearing the release of our highly-anticipated major update: Automatons. It will bring new features and gameplay elements to our game, including advanced grid AI capabilities. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing how it would enhance player experience by providing new ways to interact and control your in-game creations.
  • We are dedicated to the continued development of Space Engineers on PC, Xbox and PlayStation.


VRAGE™ is an in-house game engine developed by Keen Software House. VRAGE stands for “volumetric rage” and/or “voxel rage”. VRAGE’s core feature is volumetricity within the environment. Volumetric objects are structures composed from block-like modules interlocked in a grid. Volumetric objects behave like real physical objects with mass, inertia and velocity. Individual modules have real volume and storage capacity and can be assembled, disassembled, deformed and destroyed.

The works on our next generation of the VRAGE engine (VRAGE 3.0) have started! 

We are also developing the complete tool suite for the VRAGE engine!

We have also delved into the research of water and its simulation. Our expectation is that water will become a major part of available gameplay features in our future games. Our current research goal is to support the realistic behavior of volumetric water, while maintaining good performance and visual quality. You can check out our SWAM Conference presentation here.


Memetic Badger

2022 was dedicated to our ongoing work with Memetic Badger, a version of the Badger architecture that relies on memetics and cultural evolution. In new experimental simulations, agents were governed by a coordinated set of memes with the goal to survive by gathering food and optimizing their energy use. We experimented with several mechanisms and configurations to discover whether groups and collaboration within a society of agents could emerge, and whether grouping of agents/memes could lead to emergence of circuit like networks with unbounded growth of complexity.

This video depicts the simulations we ran. Both the environment and the agents run entirely on GPU, allowing 100,000 agents to run at more than 30 simulation steps per second. 5,000 agents (in white) try to survive by gathering food (green particles) and grouping up together (coloured lines show inter-agent links).
  • We are now introducing mechanisms to enable group-level competition possible with the goal of letting groups of agents set the bar themselves to ensure steady progress in complexity.
  • We have so far already observed large groups of agents arise, moving around in a coordinated manner and optimizing the use of energy with respect to single agents, among other interesting behaviors. 
  • From our experimental results, we are confident that scale plays a key role in cultural evolution and that it will be a key tool for adapting complexity to new problems to come.

AI Game & LLM-driven NPCs

We continued our work with AI Game, LLMs, and NPCs. 

We’re focused on emulating NPC’s behaviors (not limited to conversations) so that they interact and communicate with one another, the environment, as well as with the player. 

AI Game is a new kind of role-playing sandbox game with AI-powered agents (non-player characters) that have long-term memory and pursue goals autonomously. The unique property is that agents can observe and act within their environment, communicate, and interact with each other in order to generate emergent narratives. How it works: LLMs emulate agents’ personalities, behaviors, thoughts, actions, and dialogues.

We aim to release this game in early access soon (™).

Papers published
  1. A Simple Guard for Learned Optimizers
    by Isabeau Prémont-Schwarz, Jaroslav Vítků, Jan Feyereisl

  2. Grant-funded papers:

    Interpreting systems as solving POMDPs: a step towards a formal understanding of agency
    by Martin Biehl, Nathaniel Virgo

    Emergence of Novelty in Evolutionary Algorithms
    by David Herel, Dominika Zogatova, Matej Kripner, Tomas Mikolov

    Surrogate Infeasible Fitness Acquirement FI-2Pop for Procedural Content Generation
    by Roberto Gallotta, Kai Arulkumaran, L. B. Soros

GoodAI Grants 

Our Grants program made a contribution to the ESET Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to education, research, and science in Slovakia. The donation went towards the support of scientists Miroslav Baláž and Martin Venhart in their respective fields of biology and physics.
We also awarded three new grantees for their respective research on game-based testing of AI methods, scalable environments for multi-agent learning, and neural cellular automata.
A sum of $900,000 in grants has been awarded.

Results from a previous grant award resulted in an open-source spaceship generator released for Space Engineers. 

Workshops & other news:

We co-organized a workshop with Google Research and the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague for the 10th annual ICLR machine learning conference. The workshop, From Cells to Societies: Collective Learning Across Scales, brought together a panel of experts to explore the fundamental properties of collectives and how this knowledge might translate to artificial learning advances. 

Research team members, Isabeau Prémont-Schwarz, Jaroslav Vítků, and Jan Feyereisl presented their new paper, A Simple Guard for Learned Optimizers, at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).

A video of their talk at the conference can be viewed here: https://slideslive.com/38983756/a-simple-guard-for-learned-optimizers

AI Ethics & Safety

We participated in the UNESCO Global Forum on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, organized by the Czech Ministry of Affairs. We weighed in on the impact of the upcoming AI Act in an expert panel.

EU grant projects

Our efforts with applied AI techniques for game development were presented at industry events. The two use cases, carried out under the auspices of EU grant projects VeriDream and iv4XR, culminated with demonstrations of results at the European Innovation Council (EIC) in Brussels and VRday Europe’s Immersive Tech Week.


Oranžérie is the head-quarter of Keen and GoodAI.

The first stage of complete remodeling of the garden is done, more on the way - more chill-out and meeting areas are planned!

The remodeling started like this:

And ended like this:

Plans for 2023

Keen Software House

  • Space Engineers - New update - Automatons - will be released soon.
  • Release of Space Engineers on the PlayStation.
  • Few more major updates to Space Engineers are planned for this year.
  • Continuing to develop VRAGE3 and make it the best volumetric engine there is! 


  • AI Game - release the first alpha, and continue our push on revolutionizing game NPCs via LLM-driven behaviors.
  • Memetic Badger - continue the development, with a goal to observe emergence of groups that have higher complexity than other groups and that lead to open ended evolution.


  • The main part of my time is dedicated to LLM-driven behavioral NPCs materialized in AI Game. I believe that AI is the future of game development - not just fancy NPCs, but also as a tool to use natural language to define an interactive universe that works. 
  • The second big part of my time is aimed at the production of Space Engineers and VRAGE development - working on designs, technology, art, and overall direction of the game.
  • The third part is about the development of Memetic Badger. I have observed that the interest in this subgenre of AI (AI system as a collective of cells and societies) has been growing in the last 3 years.
On a personal level, I work very hard on how to balance all these activities.


If you’re interested in working on awesome games like Space Engineers or our in-house game engine VRAGE3, and love solving unique challenges, we’d love to hear from you! Check out the open positions at Keen Software House and GoodAI 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.

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!

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
VRAGE Engine: www.keenswh.com/vrage/
GoodAI: www.GoodAI.com

Personal bio:

Marek Rosa is the founder and CEO of GoodAI, a general artificial intelligence R&D company, and Keen Software House, an independent game development studio, started in 2010, and best known for its best-seller Space Engineers (nearing 5 million copies sold). Space Engineers has the 4th largest Workshop on Steam with over 500K mods, ships, stations, worlds, and more!

Marek has been interested in game development and artificial intelligence since childhood. He started his career as a programmer and later transitioned to a leadership role. After the success of Keen Software House titles, Marek was able to fund GoodAI in 2014 with a $10 Million personal investment.

Both companies now have over 100 engineers, researchers, artists, and game developers.

Marek's primary focus is the development of Space Engineers, VRAGE3 engine, AI Game, and Memetic Badger.

GoodAI's mission is to develop AGI - as fast as possible - to help humanity and understand the universe. One of the commercial stepping stones is the "AI game," which features LLM-driven NPCs grounded in the game world with developing personalities and long-term memory. GoodAI also works on autonomous agents that can self-improve and solve any task that a human can.

No comments:

Post a Comment