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Dev Blog Release and Q&A Stream on Tuesday, March 13th

Discussion in 'General' started by Commander Rotal, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

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    I just read the blog post.
    Maybe I'm wrong but I read it as confirming shields, lasers, ladders, dynamic water, and public servers on quantum computers.
     
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  2. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Commander Rotal Master Engineer

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    I just remembered something...

    "Marek and the team".
    Is Django officially working at Keen now? 'cause other than Captain Xoc and Marek he was the only one really there...
     
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  4. Syncaidius Junior Engineer

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    This should have happened months ago (in my opinion), or at the very least the weekly updates should have been batched into a bigger, monthly update. As a software developer myself looking in from the outside, it started to seem like Keen were spending more time on releasing weekly updates than actually developing them, because the updates had become so small and focus had moved to longer-term plans/features.

    The overhead of releasing a weekly update seemed greater than the work spent on them. Keen hopefully knew this, which I guess is the reason for the changes. :)

    Congrats to Keen for making it this far!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  5. zopzodeman Trainee Engineer

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    Quote from Markes Blog : " As Space Engineers is nearing its final release date our focus is on polishing, bug fixing and overall game quality rather than adding new game features."

    Nearing its final release? :eek:????
    You call this a nearly finished GAME ? Its nothing more but a glorified tech demo/building sandbox... if you call that short and empty survival mode or that demo-campaign a Game then im sorry i invested so early (feb. 2014) and waited patiently for it to become a GAME . Should have let it unfold before i bought.
    Im really dissapointed by that answers in the stream and the general tone of Mareks blog post.
     
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  6. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    I'd definitely be disappointed if they considered SE feature complete at this point (which MAYBE they do, kinda, I dunno), but only because of what I consider the potential to be. But there's no way I can complain I haven't gotten my money's worth from it.

    I WANT to want to play again. But the core of every open world survival game is...how easily is survival achieved? And it's just too easy right now. The post-struggle disappointment comes too quickly in SE.

    Give me CHALLENGES that I have to design ships to solve in order to overcome/survive. Right now there's... Mining. That's about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  7. Tenzo Apprentice Engineer

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    Things started going downhill for the actual games at Keen when Marek became obsessed with that cursed GoodAI project.

    Now he doesn't even remember that for the launch of ME, he himself said that it would benefit SE because by working in parallel the two games could complement each other during development. For example, SE could benefit from the compound blocks in ME. It was logical to assume that meant they would try to port over compound blocks to SE.

    Now the question is asked on stream, are compound blocks coming to SE, and Marek has this clueless look on his face like it is the first time he has ever heard the very idea. Like it was someone else's idea.

    It was YOUR idea, Marek. You wrote a blog about it. You know, years back, when you released a game called Medieval Engineers. But that was when Good AI hadn't yet taken over your higher brain functions.
     
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  8. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    I will just leave this here.

     
  9. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

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    In case anyone says TLDR, the Coles notes version of the Q&A stream is....

    "NO."
     
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  10. Arcturus Senior Engineer

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    The stream started at 7 pm CET, which is the time zone Prague is located in. Everyone else probably went home by then.
    --- Automerge ---
    [​IMG]

    They ought to add a ballistic/riot shield tool just for lulz.
     
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  11. Xanyk Trainee Engineer

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    Okay, so Marek says that it is a sandbox and to him that is a game. But here is the problem with that statement. Sure, I have a sandbox and some tools to create things in it. But then what? Once I've built my sandcastle, what am I supposed to do with it? Just sit there in astonishment at my creation? Show it to some friends? Wait for some bully to come by and kick it over (in regards to multiplayer)?

    Beyond that, all I have left is to crush it and make it over again myself. Sandboxes are fun, true, but only when I have something to do with it other than create my sandcastle over and over again. Now keep in mind when I say "sandcastle" that could mean a base, a ship or anything else that you can create in the game. Without any content in said sandbox all I have is a bucket and a shovel. This is limiting what can be done and, in turn, the fun that can be had with it. Unless there is some POINT to the game, some goal, some objective, some... thing... all Survival turns into is a more tedious version of Creative. The drone and "enemy" AI is abysmal and nothing more than a mild nuisance to progression. There is no threat. In a game about building and defending (what I have built), what am I defending against? Or is that even the point?

    I have spent over 1500+ hours into the game, and I know there are people who have spent more time on the game than I. Yet, all I have done is made blueprint after blueprint in creative. Making ships and stations for what? To what end? To maybe use in a sandbox against other players? Impossible, as multiplayer is an absolute train wreck. The few people I follow on YouTube who still play this game struggle to make their streams and videos work as the game keeps crashing or massive desync issues cause them to restart the server anyways (a couple of good examples are W4stedspace and Captain Shack, who still only have a max of maybe four players at a time). Besides that, most of these folks mod the absolute daylights out of the game to make it an interesting experience. The game has no focus, no vision... no future. I loved the idea of this game, but now I feel it is time to bury it. This will never be a "game" and more a glorified ship-crashing-simulator. For now, I am done with the simulator. It brings me no joy anymore as any and all of my creations will be for nothing. Just my (disappointed) opinion.
     
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  12. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

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    It is looking more and more like the game part of Space Engineers is going to be left to the modders and scenario makers... Except from what I hear the scenario tools are so poorly documented as to make figuring out how to use them akin to wading through a vat of mud in search of a selection of small raisins. I guess that is why Escape From Mars diddn't (pretty sure this ran on its own mod rather than use anything scenario related) use them.

    I hope so much that they actually finish this properly. There are so many things that just aren't fleshed out enough to be worth having at this stage it is looking like it'll be a tragic end.
     
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  13. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    Perhaps some of us no longer remember what it was like to play in a sandbox. It's literally a box of sand, yet when we were little kids it was the best thing ever. Why? because there were no preconceived notions about what was going to occur when we entered the box, and whatever happened was fueled by boundless imagination and creativity. The only instructions you give to a kid in a sandbox is, "play."

    I struggle with the term "sandbox game". There's no such thing. A sandbox is where you play games. It is not, in itself, a game. Basketball is a game. The basketball court is not a game. The court is the visual representation of the rules. It helps decide who wins, who loses, and who's playing fair. You can do a lot of things on a basketball court, but only one of those activities can be called Basketball.

    SE is called a game because they can't call it a spreadsheet or a word processor or any of the other types of programs you might run on your pc. Any program that serves no practical purpose is called a game, cause no one knows any other word to use. So, therefore, SE is a game. Personally, I'd call it a matrix. A matrix is something in which something else is created. That's pretty much what happens with SE. We use what's there to make what we want. We argue about what kind of game SE is because we all play it differently. The amazing thing about SE that some of us seem to forget is that we can play it any way we want. The biggest arguments come from one group or another trying to steer SE development in a more favorable direction contrary to the wishes of other groups or even Keen itself. Or both.

    I believe Keen want's their game to be flexible enough to accommodate everyone that sees some potential in the available blocks and features. They seem to want "what happens now" to be your idea and not theirs. Therefore, the game supports mods and has a Scenario Editor. It's not Keen's fault if you don't know what to do with your finished ship or base.

    And seriously, if there was an actual campaign that Keen worked really hard on, most people would just play to beat it and it would all be about who completed the campaign the fastest and once they beat the game they're done with it and where's your next game, Keen? The fact that Marek supports the idea of continuing to upgrade the game post-release indicates, at least to me, that they are committed to a Space Engineers Experience as opposed to something you can beat.

    It is clear, though, that some of the people working at Keen only see a shipbuilding tool. They compare SE to Lego. They forget that after we made stuff with Legos, we played with those things. SE is pretty darn good for making stuff, but playing with the stuff we made is the hard part. That's when you hear about female characters and linked servers and needing to eat and being able to sit at a table. We didn't ask for multiplayer so that we could have a better ship building experience. Now that Keen is getting a better idea of how the game will work in a multiplayer environment, they might want to have someone try to figure out why someone would want to have someone else in their sandbox. That might lead to a better game experience ;)
     
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  14. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

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    The response I keep hearing is : YOU decide what to do with your ship. It isn't Keen's task. That's one of the definitions of a sandbox game.
     
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  15. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    Right. No one is saying we don't want to a sandbox game. What I believe people are saying is that they want a sandbox that's more than 1" deep.
     
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  16. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

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    Oh, don't misunderstand..... I DO agree with you. There is definitely a need for more depth.

    I was just quoting the response I frequently hear from Keen.
     
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  17. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

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    I get that is the definition of a sandbox, or in the case of SE a box of Lego but the way SE works without mods is you can create your lego spaceship but your parent tells you to put it on the shelf and look at it because there are no other toys to use to play with it unless you want to make another lego spaceship and crash them together. Hell, all the background videos show are the same spaceships crashing together that have been crashing together for the last few years.

    Now, you add mods and the toybox suddenly gets full of other toys to play with and in my experience a story soon starts to form itself. That is until Keen decide to shake up the toybox with another patch adding something no one asked for that breaks a load of the toys so many times the toy makers go off to play in other sandboxes.
     
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  18. TenshouYoku Apprentice Engineer

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    What exactly do we want if they really do a rehaul of SE's "sandbox" gameplay, anyway?
    This game is very similar to Minecraft in many ways, and of all honesty, what is the exact goal of Minecraft except killing the Ender Dragon? After killing it and probably claiming the egg prize, there is also practically nothing to do other than just goofing around. You can also build massive houses and or Redstone machinery that is pure dope and insanely complex, but in the end you will still have to put it onto a shelf or something because either a bully came over to kick it down or it's too impractical to build in Survival (which is also the same situation as SE except MC is more stable).
    In the end most dudes on Youtube is still playing with modded stuff or gamemode (I remember hot potato the most).

    The problem in SE is it's very easy to set up a base that does everything or build huge ships and have exactly nothing to do afterwards other than a brawl that will soon become a ramming game, but well I mean almost most blueprint ships on Steam are battleship-related stuff anyway....
    Yes you probably can do the same like "After day (put a number here) a huge wave of alien/alien ships will come and claim Earth and you will have to engineer a fleet to fight them to the death" (actually could be a fun idea for MP unless it couldn't be stabilized for that), I guess, but not sure how it will play out.
     
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  19. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    Well sure, that's the problem with any survival game...what happens after you "win"? For me, that happens when surviving is basically a solved problem. In Minecraft, that means a steady food supply and diamond armour/weapons. That still takes a fairly significant effort, and all the while, you're risking yourself by going out to solve those problems. You choose a house location because of strategic importance (location, proximity to resources) or just simply the beauty of the area. But still, it takes a fair amount of time to feel confident enough in your efforts to voluntarily go out in search of adventure. And in Minecraft, even without mods, there is a lot to go find and see.

    In 7 days to die, the threat from zombies is constant. Nighttime is to be feared because they become even harder, and every 7 days you have to plan your base defense. The threat is real and constant. Added on top of that is constant hunger and thirst, so those resources have to be cultivated. It takes a lot of play time to finally feel "secure" in that game, and when you finally do, there is quite a good feeling of accomplishment.

    In Space Engineers, survival is basically assured once your lander hits the planet. I mean, what is there to do... get oxygen? Fine, then land on a "lake". Done.

    I know of the vicious debate on adding a hunger/thirst mechanic to the game, but one of the reasons it is so ubiquitous in survival games is simply because you'll die if you just sit around. It *forces* you to go out and expose yourself to danger, and because of that, you do what you can to fortify yourself so you have the best chance possible to succeed. And there's this wonderful snowball effect of always needing one thing that leads to another thing that leads to another thing that solves one of your problems.

    I thought Space Engineers was supposed to be about solving problems (it's in all the loading screen quotes). Once my lander hits dirt...I've won.

    I could list a lot of potential solutions to this lack of any tension in the game...but why?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  20. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    That's not Keen's fault. If you build things for a specific purpose you can't complain if that purpose doesn't present itself. If you build a fleet of combat ships don't be surprised that there is no one to attack with it. Most of the ships I build can perform several roles, and with nearly 7000 hrs in the game, NONE of them are finished. There's always something that can be improved. It also helps to think beyond when the ship or other structure is completed. It's one thing to build a ship or whatever purely for the sake of building it. If you didn't have any plans for afterwards, Keen can't help you. The whole game is about imagination and creativity. There won't be much of that if the game is configured to spoon-feed you ideas.

    I will say this, though. So far there is no program or AI that is as unpredictable as a human. If you are playing SE by yourself there is a limit to what you can do. If you add one other person to the mix "what happens next" becomes a lot more random. Add twelve people and you will probably never have to wonder if something will happen. If your lander hits a planet with people on it already your survival is definitely NOT assured.

    In other words, if building ships is not enough, you can fill the void with other people.

    I'd also like to mention that SE is becoming a pretty good platform for making machinemas, and I plan to 3D print my ships when I believe they are ready. It's not all about playing.
     
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  21. TenshouYoku Apprentice Engineer

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    Ya actually are proving my point. SE has a lot of things to do but people are more often than not gravitate to building supermassive lag-inducing simspeed-dragging mega battleships and thought that nothing can be done with it like terrorizing a planet (although admittedly the lack of an enemy and a sizable fleet to fight against makes them kinda.....a view toy instead, as well as applicable to other mining machines).
    This game really can make very good use of a stable MP.
     
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  22. Tom7i Trainee Engineer

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    I logged in after ages just to agree with your post; very well written. Couldn't hit agree though becouse my acount isn't approved yet.
     
  23. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    The whole "just use your imagination" argument kind of rankles. I'm not quibbling with the idea that SE is a fantastic "game" for creating ships for all kinds of purposes, and there is significant satisfaction in completing a design that looks cool and appears like it could do what you designed it to do (I say that because there is often not anything to actually test your design against...except your imagination). But I would call that CREATIVE mode...not the "whole game". If that is indeed the whole game, then there should only be a creative mode, not survival. If there *is* a survival mode, then I would argue strongly that there is very very little to survive against. I honestly can't think of any other game with a survival mode that is as threat-free as SE.
     
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  24. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

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    I think a lot of the problem is that all the recources can be obtained in exactly the same way. Once you have a mining ship and a refinery setup you have access to all the building possibilities the game has to offer, and the ability to obtain uranium and ice to survive indefinatly.

    In other survival games (minecraft comparision incoming) the items you want are obtained in a number of different ways, perhaps you need a new tool to obtain this item, or you need to kill a monster which will drop it. In minecraft you have way more recource diversity that SE obtained using methods such as mining, farming animals, farming crops, chopping trees, raiding structures, finding a rare biome with the stuff in, fighting a boss, modifying a structure into a super auto farm thing and so on. This encourages you to build lots and lots of different stuff that can help you farm these various recources. Space Engineers falls down flat here as everything is obtained by mining, or alternativly capturing cargo ships.

    Agreed here, although I do remember the survival mode was added at community demand and origionally called manual mode which does more accuratly describe what it currently is. But at the end of the day, it is there and it is so very shallow. I don't really like the 'use your imagination' argument either. I can use my imagination, but can just go use it in another game where it is used to solve some kind of actual problem.
     
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  25. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

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    510
    I was playing Minecraft long before the Ender Dragon was added. At the time, I thought it was a bizarre idea that Notch thought a sandbox game needed an endgame, to be complete. And, I don't know anyone who actually bothered to go after the Ender Dragon.

    However, in retrospect, it fit the Minecraft model better than I realized. One of the things Minecraft had going for it was a continuous gradient of challenge. At the very start, you're safe in daylight in the open, usually. You can fairly quickly create a secure home and set up reliable food production in a short time. Zombies and skeletons become manageable threats for a well-prepared character, and you can elude creepers as long as you stay alert. At that point, you can just stay in one place and build a nice home out of stone and wood, or you can seek out more challenges: explore caves, find structures, explore strongholds, all the way up to confronting the Ender Dragon. And that's before we consider the extensive options of mods.

    Contrast that with SE, in which there is not a continuous gradient of challenge. The wolves and sabiroids are just annoying, the NPC ships are easily outmaneuvered, and easily defeated once you know their weaknesses, and that's all there is.

    Another advantage Minecraft has, is its relatively simple graphic models. The wooden steps are often used to represent shingled roofs or chairs; the graphics are simple enough that this is harmonious. By contrast, in Space Engineers, except for armor blocks, most blocks look like something quite specific. And, on top of that, Minecraft has a lot of blocks that are simply decorative. To match Minecraft in terms of free sandbox creativity, SE needs more decorative blocks; I'd also like more blocks that look like something-or-other functional, that could be assigned functions through scripting.

    Which brings me to the big advantage SE does have over Minecraft: the SE scripting interface goes *far* beyond anything you could do with redstone circuitry in Minecraft.
     
  26. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    True, but it's kind of cheating. You're basically adding code to the game, and because of that, it has a pretty high barrier of entry. In Minecraft, even my 8 year old knows how to use redstone to make complex things.

    SE would benefit greatly from a visual programming interface instead of having to import C#.

    Great sandbox games give you simple parts that work reliably, and then you can build much more complex things from those parts. Minecraft's parts are pretty basic, which makes some of the things that have been made with them (a working hard drive, an LCD screen, etc) even more astounding. Space Engineers has the beginnings of that with the sensor, piston and the rotor.....simple parts that can be used to create much more complex machines. It would be great if more such simple parts (a hinge? a rail? a passive piston?) were added AND had the reliability to go along with them.
     
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  27. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

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    510
    There's also the timer block, which is a much simpler form of programming. Not Turing complete, just simple execution of a sequence of commands, but still, a form of programming. The programming block interface has been of great use to modders, and I like the fact that, for once, in a science fiction-themed game which represents you as surrounded by computers, you can actually walk to a computer and write a real program that's useful within the game. C# may not be as easy to learn as Python or Lua, but it's still one of the better documented, easier to learn practical programming languages.

    I also tend to bring up the programming block as an example of something Keen did right, in contrast to what Mojang and Notch did wrong: Keen's treated modders pretty well, especially with regard to the programming API.
     
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  28. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    I COMPLETELY agree with that.
     
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  29. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    So, we all agree SE is good for shipbuilding and such, but it... lacks... in every department that would make it a game.

    Not surprising, since the original goal was to make a shipbuilding game. There should be no surprise that the game struggles to be anything else than a game where you just make stuff.

    My point is that if you want the rest you have to make that as well, and the tools to do that are also in the... matrix ;)

    Sabroids, wolves, Space Pirates, even meteors are just Survival Challenge placeholders. They are hard coded as entities, but they can be modified. They are easy to defeat because their code is rudimentary. We always thought GoodAI was meant to control NPCs, but we now know that GoodAI is supposed to write games, not be part of them. Still, even with ordinary programming all of the environmental hazards can be made more interesting and more convincing. There are already all sorts of space pirate mods and ore distribution mods. Scenario Editors can be used to create "quests" and even "side" quests. A server admin can already create a really challenging "world". Keen could do more in this area but we all know what happens if the fans even think resources are being pulled away from multiplayer optimization. So in the meantime, "use your imagination" is the only option you have, because the game is not finished, and Keen might not be taking the game in that direction. Keen might not be doing these things themselves, but it appears they don't mind if you do. Might sound lazy but giving you the ability to do something is just as much work as doing it for you, and there's more satisfaction in making something than having it handed to you.
     
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  30. Arcturus Senior Engineer

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    I saw Marek's blog post used this image:
    [​IMG]

    I thought to generate some data related to the game myself. First a stop at Steam:
    [​IMG]

    The bulk of the positive reviews was in the early new-feature-every-week phase. The salt wave starting at end of 2015/early 2016 was performance complaints (graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, etc.). You can read reviews from specific time periods on Steam.

    I jumped every 5 pages in the massive thread https://forums.keenswh.com/threads/show-off-your-creations.6577447/page-166 and recorded the date.
    [​IMG]
    In the golden age, the thread ranged from 4-7 pages per month. I am not sure what key events occurred in early-mid 2014, perhaps the contests that led to community ships found in exploration?
    In the salt age, it has been on a decline from 2-1 pages per month. People can come to their own conclusions about causes.
    I figure the creations thread is a metric of community health/engagement.
     
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