8 December 2016
Hello Engineers! We are very happy to announce that today, we have a massive update for you, the one that’s been months in making. There’s the total block redesign, new multiplayer netcode, a tutorial campaign and much, much more!
Total Block Redesign Nearly every art asset in the game has been redone together with the first iteration of render optimizations. This includes new block models, new weapon and tool models, new component models and new voxel textures. All of these assets now use physically-based rendering. There’s an incredible amount of models in the game so you can expect various bugs to be fixed over the coming weeks, and as always, if you find any sort of bugs, please report them on our Forums - http://forum.keenswh.com/forums/bug-reports.326950/
It’s worth mentioning that there will now be time to listen to community feedback on the new models so we can modify, adjust and improve them if required. Aside from the redesigned blocks, we also have a couple of completely new ones to add. These are of course the corner lights and corner LCDs (available for small and large grid) and created by Arindel so many many thanks to him! They really did help the level designers with creating the desired atmosphere of the missions.
Multiplayer It was decided that we would take the best features and technologies from all of the MP contestants and combine them into one ultimate multiplayer experience. This means that as well as the netcode and performance based features, it’s also bringing gameplay features like magboots and voice communication. Magboots allow you to walk all around grids in zero g, but only works if there is no natural or artificial gravity. Voice communication works within antenna range, and you can chain together antenna networks to increase your range. Thanks to Rexxar, there are more advanced admin tools in the Space Master menu. This is just the first iteration, and more tools may be added in the future. We’ve also redesigned permissions ingame, adding new Scripter and Moderator roles. For more details on these features, check this thread. There are some important and exciting modding changes this week, including a new way for mods to store custom data inside entities, please see the link below for more details if you are modder or a scripter.
Campaign Next up, we’ve got the tutorial campaign. This is a short campaign mainly designed to help new players get into the game - but should be a lot of fun for existing players too, as it’s a great showcase of the storytelling potential in Space Engineers. We hope you will enjoy it and that it will inspire content creators out there to design their own missions and campaigns. They have all the same tools that our in-house designers have at their disposal like triggers, cut scenes, drone AI and more.
Drone AI Thanks to the tutorial campaign, we spent some time improving drone AI. They can now strafe, attempt to ram when out of ammo, use static weaponry, have more specific targeting and be assigned waypoints. Currently these features can only be utilized in your own drones via the visual scripting tool.
Drive-by Turret Shooting One of favorite features that we’re also adding this week is the ability to control a single automated turret while still driving or flying a vehicle. The only requirement is that you set one cockpit on a grid as the main cockpit. Once controlling a turret, you can aim it with the mouse while using the WASD keys to steer the vehicle. By holding ALT, you can switch back to controlling gyroscopes with your mouse. We’ve also cleaned up camera overlays and added a zoom function to all automated turrets to help you make that crucial shot.
...And More! We’ve added the ability for bullet decals to be seen from the inside of cockpits so now you will really know when you’re getting hit. We improved building by making the block size get automatically selected by the grid that you are pointing at; you can change the size manually by pressing the block button on your toolbar again so you are still able to create a new grid from any block. Lastly, you can now interact with highlighted blocks by pressing LMB and interact with control panels by pressing RMB.
- New Multiplayer netcode; best features were merged from all the MP contestants
- Total Block Redesign; every block has been completely reworked (textures/LODs/etc.)
- New and redesigned Tools and Weapons look
- New and redesigned look for Components, Voxels
- Physics improvements
- Render improvements
- Added Campaign containing 5 missions
- Added Voice Chat (dependent on antenna network, it can be enabled by pressing U)
- Added Magnetic Boots
- Drone AI Improvements (strafing, ramming when without ammo, can use static weapons, targeting, waypoints)
- Drive-by Turret shooting (shooting from turrets while moving with vehicles/ships)
- Improved building (block size is automatically picked by the grid that you are pointing to; you can change the size manually by pressing the block button on your toolbar again)
- Interacting with highlighted stuff by pressing LMB and interacting with control panel RMB (only with empty hands)
- Added Corner Lights, Corner LCDs (thanks Arindel!)
- Enabled interior lights for small ships
- Added Advanced Admin Tools in the Space Master menu (thanks Rexxar!)
- Redesigned permissions ingame, added new Scripter and Moderator roles
- Created a new way for mods to store custom data inside entities: http://forums.keenswh.com/threads/modapi-changes-12-8.7389842/
- Added Zoom function to all turrets
- Decals are now visible from inside the Cockpits
- Voxel hand can be used by Space Master
- fixed issue where welding with multiple welders cause major sound and performance issues
- fixed desync for warheads on dedicated server
- fixed crash at ParallelTasks.TaskException when pasting blueprint
- fixed crash at System.Array.Clear
- fixed aiming issues for drones
- fixed crash when two merge blocks that were part of the same grid merged
- fixed crash at Sandbox.Game.Entities.Character.MyCharacter.EndShoot
- fixed crash at Sandbox.Game.GameSystems.MyGridCameraSystem.ResetCamera
- fixed crash at Crash at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary
- fixed minor issue with cameras and chat function
- fixed issue with LCD panel crashing the game when removed or grinded down
- fixed issue with being able to produce infinite hydrogen with the stockpile option