‘Space Engineers’ Finally Hits Beta After A Three Year Alpha

The space-based survival building game Space Engineers has finally hit Beta. It has been a long three years in Alpha, but the developers, Keen, finally believe they have a stable base game.

The latest update to Space Engineers brought in massive numbers of bugfixes and optimizations, including some long awaited work on the coding for the multiplayer side of things.

Included among the list of features for one of the biggest updates in Space Engineers history includes a rework for every single block in the game. Even the player held tools and the components used for building items have been upgraded.

And it looks good. The basic models for engines, armor, etc. have pretty much remained the same since the Space Engineers release in 2013, with a few minor changes to windows and additions of new block types.

Some other changes to Space Engineers include adding zoom to turrets. This will make multi-person vessels more viable than ever before. Powerful turrets which can’t be distracted by decoy blocks will make short shrift of vessels without manned guns.

Voice chat is another feature added to Space Engineers, with distance being limited by the range of antennae to broadcast your radio channel.

Space Engineers’ drone AI has been given a boost as well, with advanced behaviors now supported. The official release states drones can now support “strafing, ramming when without ammo, can use static weapons, targeting, waypoints”. This should add another interesting element to Space Engineers for those who enjoy a more automated form of attack.

Support for campaign features in Space Engineers has been added too. The new Space Engineers update also features a Keene designed campaign to help new players get acclimated. And that’s been needed for a long time. Many veteran players, while happy to help with nuances, get a bit tired of new players who know nothing and need help with the most basic stuff, something the campaign should help.

Space engineer in a cockpit

Probably the most important part of the update to Space Engineers is the new multiplayer netcode. While there are still bugs to exterminate, including some latency issues due to debris from battles, hopefully the new netcode will allow more players to be on a server at a time, as several experiments with various servers have shown a significant loss of quality once the number reaches into the twenties.

And the Space Engineers team has no intention of stopping here. Marek Rosa, the hologram on the Space Engineers update videos, explained on his blog that “The most important thing to remember with this announcement is that there are still more improvements, optimizations, and contents to come. As an example, I can confirm that one of the things being worked on currently is a new HUD which should significantly increase immersion in game. Beta simply means that we feel the game now has a solid foundation.”

Space engineers inside a space object

Mark continued with “More than anything else, the Beta period will focus on stabilizing and optimizing in order to realize that goal.”

The recent update video also promoted Space Engineers for the IndieDB Indie game of the year awards. Space Engineers is currently in the top 100 games for consideration, and the team is requesting players vote for them in the finals. If you like Space Engineers or have other games you want to see win, visit the IndieDB site for more info.

[Featured Image by Keen SWH LTD|Wikimedia Commons| Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 3.0 ]