It was only when Marsh prematurely evaluated all over Medieval Engineers [official site] that I realised its initial Steam Early Access launch lacked multiplayer. I'm inattentive, me. But developers Keen Software House (them lot also behind Space Engineers) had shown multiplayer in its trailers and screenshots and I'd blithely assumed... that doesn't matter now.
Multiplayer arrived in the castle-building/smashing sandbox yesterday for both its creative and survival modes. You can now smash your pal's castle to pieces.
However, this first crack at multiplayer is using the same iffy old netcode Keen used in Space Engineers. They're planning to replace it with RakNet tech in both games at some point. Keen explained their decision to launch with the old tech:
"We still need more time to work on this new version. However we thought that it is a good idea to add multiplayer to Medieval Engineers now since it’s more fun when you play with your friends and also because many of you have been asking for it for a long time! It supports all the features that are now in the game, in both Creative and Survival modes, building and destruction, structural integrity, mechanical parts, blueprints, mods, synchronized daytime and AI characters (barbarians, peasants and deer). In more simple words, you can do everything that is possible now in the single-player but with your friends."
Fair enough! Marsh had noted that he didn't think Medieval Engineers would hold its appeal for long without multiplayer.
Medieval Engineers is still on Steam Early Access, priced at £14.99.
You know, by now I'm pretty sure Keen have given up on their Miner Wars MMO. At the time when they added multiplayer to Space Engineers, Keen offered copies of that instead to folks who had slapped down $20 to pre-order the MMO. Back then in 2014, they said that the project "remains in the development plans, but still in an inactive state". Medieval Engineers makes three games running that Keen haven't officially launched, but a few chums have seemed to enjoy Space Engineers enough in Early Access. Besides, you don't need me to warn you about pre-ordering or Early Access, do you?