Space Engineers Are The Best Engineers

By Adam Smith on September 9th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

I reckon I’d be happy to do most things in space. Things that I’d normally consider to be chores or hard labour would become pleasurable, at least for a while, which is probably why Space Engineers makes welding, joining and glazing seem like the best jobs in the world. It looks superb, as you’ll see in the video below, but don’t just rely on images. Here are some words:

Space Engineers utilizes a realistic volumetric-based physics engine: all objects can be assembled, disassembled, damaged and destroyed. [It] is inspired by reality and by how things work. Think about modern-day NASA technology extrapolated 60 years into the future. Space Engineers strives to follow the laws of physics and doesn’t use technologies that wouldn’t be feasible in the near future.

Oh yes. I kept waiting for the press release to mention crowd-funding but it doesn’t. Watch.

If you are impatient, go back and watch again. Wait for the colliding spaceships to happen. The game is currently in alpha and should be hitting Steam Early Access soon.

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94 Comments »

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  1. TheBlackBandit says:

    Maybe it’s just my coldy state, but I find the words “inspired by REALITY” very funny.

  2. gunny1993 says:

    … An interesting new IP that isn’t crowd funded … MADNESS

    • Max Planck says:

      It’s funded with the profits from their last game (the less than stellar Miner Wars 2081), as well as money from preorders for an MMO that they promised, then dropped like a stolen purse.

      • frightlever says:

        Yeah… I am definitely not rushing into this one.

      • Bull0 says:

        That second bit is crying out for citation. Given the amount of attention RPS are prepared to pay to certain topics du jour you wouldn’t think developers stealing money from punters and staying in business would escape their attention!?

      • paleone says:

        This is the statement of Keen software house: “After finishing Miner Wars 2081, we could have proceeded with a sequel or an MMO, but we felt that first we need to focus on construction and sandbox mechanics, integrate them into our VRAGE engine, build a game that represents them in a best possible way – “Space Engineers” and then reuse them in our future games: a sequel to Miner Wars 2081, an MMO or something else.” So I definitely wouldn’t say that they abandoned concept of MMO for good. Whatever this game may be, I am quite excited. I think judging without even playing it does not seem like a good idea.

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      DeVadder says:

      At least it will ask for my money while in alpha! Buying a finished game? Crazytalk!

  3. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Oh my gosh those ship collisions are outstanding.

    • communisthamster says:

      They really are. I hope there’s a game behind this amazing tech. It would be a shame if it was wasted on a voxely clickfest.

      • dagudman says:

        That seems like the only thing he was doing while building the space station. I can only imagine how repetitive it must feel to repair stuff…

        • communisthamster says:

          It would be alright in context, like trying to repair your ship to return home after a fight, but plain old building a big cruiser ought to be a lot easier.

        • Bfox says:

          wouldn’t be bad with a few players together… I hope

    • Didden says:

      I hope CCP are watching – *bumps into station*

  4. Premium User Badge

    All is Well says:

    I may not be an engineer, in space or otherwise, but does making things appear and/or turn blue with a blowtorch really constitute feasible near-future technology?

    EDIT: Not that I’m complaining though. I can put up with a lot of things if I’m allowed to crash spaceships like that.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Well I am an engineer in both space and otherwise and i can tell you; that tech is like a month away, 6 weeks tops.

      • Viroso says:

        What about red spacesuits?

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          Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          Science says that is an impossible pipe-dream.

          • InnerPartisan says:

            Indeed. As we all know, the Reds didn’t have Spacesuits, they had Kosmo-Suits.

          • Kollega says:

            As a resident Dirty Communist, i can’t resist the urge to mention that the proper Russian word for a spacesuit (and also a diving suit) is “skafandr”. Yeah, it’s borrowed from Greek, but what are they gonna do about that?

          • Syra says:

            Invade and conquer.

        • Bostec says:

          You will be known as a Syndicate and be dispatched accordingly.

        • Geen says:

          SECURITY THERE’S A TRAITOR SYNDIE SCUM INOHGODTHECLOWNISKILLINGMEHOOOOOOOOOOOOONK

    • mouton says:

      I instantly thought “Wow, magical welder!”

      Not that I mind in a thousand other games, but still funny.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    This looks incredible.

    • Max Planck says:

      Yep. Keen Software House is great on promises, but sadly, lacking in the delivery department.
      Their last game, Miner Wars, shipped with half of its promised features missing and their promised mmo (for which they have already recieved preorder money) is missing altogether, features and all.

      • Arkanos says:

        And that is the exactly why I’m not actually looking forward to think. The CEO claims that he learned his lesson from trying to make Miner Wars work and hey, that may be true. But oh god did it fall so short that I expect nothing from this.

        • Caiman says:

          That’s certainly stopped me from considering buying into Early Access. At this point Keen need to prove that they can deliver a decent game. Miner Wars had potential but the final result was a pale imitation of what could have been, and their disdain for the community’s frustration at broken promises really puts me off ever buying their stuff again. I’ll wait and see though, second chance and all that.

          • Arkanos says:

            My thoughts exactly. They won’t get my money ahead of time like they did with Miner Wars, but if Space Engineers pans out I’ll go after it.

          • nitehawk says:

            It is stuff like this that had made me decide to skip on all future Early Access, Greenlight, and Kickstarter hype altogether.

            I guess developers realized that games tend to get a lot of buzz on tech demos, but historically games tend to underdeliver. Gaming publications tend to stick with the new buzz and forget when an underdelivering title launches. Why not try to make as much money as you can at the height of the buzz, instead of actually caring about releasing a good title and getting good reviews.

            Summary: Greedy/Lazy/Shady developers ruined early money for everyone else.

    • Arkanos says:

      Looking incredible and under delivering are two things Keen Software House is incredibly good at. Their YouTube videos have comment moderation going and they are blocking comments that mention the failed promises from Miner Wars.

      This isn’t a good sign as far as their intent to actually deliver goes.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      There is a moral to this preview, build a Borg ship! Extraneous spaceship bits are futile

  6. -SD- says:

    More development info and also more gameplay clips on Marek Rosa’s blog:

    blog (dot) marekrosa (dot) org/2013/09/space-engineers-announced-development.html

  7. Dana says:

    Can I mod in Clowns? Tell me it’s open for modding.

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      Gap Gen says:

      Well for artificial gravity you’ll need some kind of large, spinning object, so I’m sure that one of the viable ways to achieve this is to construct a big top.

  8. Wurstwaffel says:

    This looks pretty damn awesome.

    What’s with the unnecessarily suspenseful music?

  9. InternetBatman says:

    That looks truly awesome. It looks like there might be a bit of downward gravity that doesn’t belong at 43 seconds in, but I’m having a hard time telling.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Looks like a top down thruster. (If you wanted a game with no gravity, why would you program any?)

      • nitehawk says:

        Obviously the footage is faked and was actually filmed in a hollywood studio. You can tell by the angle of the shadow.

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    Gap Gen says:

    I’m still going to wait to see what the game is around this (unless it’s literally just about building structures and crashing them into each other) but it looks pretty good.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Then in it’s current state it provides endless fun. ;)

  11. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    New rule! Any space game trailer which doesn’t show a collision at least as impressive as the one in this trailer will be pointed and stared at until it feels awkward and goes away.

    • DarkFarmer says:

      indeed, this is a new benchmark for space sandbox games: the spaceship collision bench. I cant wait until we have a space-captain sitting in his captains cabin with a glass of wine, and that glass of wine shakes, then explodes into zero g like blood- then we cut to a large, player made ship crashing into his large player made ship, and dozens of players being scattered into space like chaff in the wind.

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        Gap Gen says:

        This is why manned spaceflight is such a bad idea. Still, I like the idea of kinetic weapons doing actual hull damage rather than counting down a health bar until the thing explodes.

        • LionsPhil says:

          While you and your friends run around inside trying to patch up the holes to keep all the precious air in.

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            Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            I’d also like an FPS in which all the players run around inside a human who is also playing an FPS, patching organs and keeping all the precious blood in.

          • The Random One says:

            If you end up bleeding when you play FPS’s, you must be doing it either very wrong or very right!

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            Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            It involves wearing a vest covered with electronically-detonated pinhead explosive charges. A bit like this except with tissue damage instead of sound.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Wasn’t there some 16-bit era game about having to heal a body from the inside against time pressure?

            Anyway, Inner Space: Modern Field Medic could totally work. Or you could even be JC Denton’s nanites.

          • nitehawk says:

            Lets combine FTL, Atermis, and a 3D FP view.

            I never thought running around a game world with a wrench could be so exciting.

  12. Viroso says:

    We all know we’ll be playing this as space destruction derby.

  13. GamesInquirer says:

    It’s by the developers of Miner Wars mind (not sure where that puts the MMO version of that which was promised to many early adopters as a freebie). This is apparently phase two of their concept. I wonder if there’s a phase three that merges both into one that some should wait for…

  14. jonahcutter says:

    If they can inject Maia’s sim management, roguelike-survival into this engine…

    Dreamy. Just dreamy.

    The two teams should hook up and create an incredible build-and-survive in zero-g space game. Plus I wouldn’t have to try (and fail) to find time to play both.

  15. nimzy says:

    Next thing you’ll know they’ll be setting up a singularity and dooming us all!

  16. Angryinternetman says:

    aeiou aeiou. brbrbrbrbrbr.

  17. Grey Ganado says:

    This is what Dead Space should have been.

    • Iskariot says:

      Why?
      One could also state that this is what Mass Effect should have been. It would not make sense either.

  18. JohnnyPanzer says:

    Well that’s just great! Between Kerbal Space Program and this, I fear my family has seen the last of me for a few years.

  19. Tei says:

    I really like the collisions. Not a fan of the third person.. this is the type of game that is played best on first person. I looks like a minecraft in space, in my book that is a plus, but I would happily be surprised with something else.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Currently first person works too. As far as building and management goes, it’s nice to have both options. :)

      • marek_rosa says:

        Space Engineers is first-person and third-person, you can switch at any time. It’s not visible in this video, perhaps only for a short period when it switches to cockpit view and then back to third-person view.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Thank you. Saw the details and response on the companies/games Twitter account. :)

        • frightlever says:

          Does it have the rose-tinted view that you used for Miner Wars?

  20. GoTo2k says:

    This look like the beautiful sister of StarMade! Can’t wait to get my hands on it :)

  21. LionsPhil says:

    Corneroids with better physics. Or that other one that was on RPS some time back (not Starmade, with its repulsive Javaness). (Edit: Blockade Runner, thassit.)

    If it gives a reason to build big ships, ideally other than “to shoot other players” (since other players are dicks and will shoot me first), awesome. Unfortunately “inspired by reality” kind of implies “big, empty, boring, vast expanse of nothingness”, not “around every corner is a Star Trek episode waiting to me made”.

    (Also, depressurization please? I know, I’m a demanding sod, but there have been many stabs at this and they all keep falling short of the ideal.)

    • Tei says:

      I think is hilarious that you dislike StarMade for his Javaness, and you like Blockade Runner, that has .NET-ness written all around it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        You’ve got .NET whether you like it or not. And there’s less reason to “not” since it’s less of a nest of security holes and Sunacle horribleness.

  22. Muzman says:

    Tho there is no facial expressions (or faces for that matter) Little Red Guy just looks so sad, rotating away in half of his formerly nice space station.

  23. Tuhalu says:

    Crafting in space? Well, at least they didn’t call it SpaceCraft.

    • Prime says:

      …aaaand now I’m gonna be unable to call it anything else. Damn you.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    As an Earth engineer, I heartily approve of Space engineering.

    This looks brilliant.

  25. Daxattax says:

    Want. Just. Want. Need to build ships…then ram them into friend’s ship…..I NEED TO FOR MY SOUL

  26. PatrickSwayze says:

    This looks awesome.

    More than makes up for that miner wars game.

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    chabuhi says:

    Wonder whatever happene to “Astronaut: Earth, Moon & Beyond” (or whatever it was called). Seemed to disappear after a successful KS campaign.

  28. PitfireX says:

    Has anyone noticed that they have 3 videos on their website and each one flashes a part of a date for a split second… the last one is complete saying “9/9/2013″ THAT’S TODAY!!!! oooOOooooOoo

  29. Megakoresh says:

    Won’t buy without Text2Speech.

  30. Shadowcat says:

    Minecraft appears to be infecting things. Not surprising I guess. I’d be annoyed about it if I didn’t already have more games than I knew what to do with; but I do, and this kind of gameplay must scratch an itch for some people, so it’s all good.

    Still, I can’t help wondering how long it’ll be before someone creates a RTS where, instead of telling a worker unit to build a factory having it all happen automatically, you have to put it together yourself, piece by f***ing piece?