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Medieval Engineers: Developer Diaries - Episode 3

Discussion in 'Change Log' started by Drui, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. Drui Keen Update Guy KeenSWH Developer

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    Summary
    The 3rd episode in our new series of behind-the-scenes footage and developer diaries has been released! This week we're bringing players the promised Q&A with Medieval Engineers team lead Tim Toxopeus.
    Many thanks to the players who left their questions for Tim and the dev team on our forums last week! Unfortunately we don't have time to answer them all today, but we'll be sure to do more Q&A in the future.



    Developer's note: With the release of the stable branch, we have decided to temporarily pause weekly updates (though video updates will continue as usual). Without the pressure to release something new for players every week, we can direct all of our energy towards getting Medieval Engineers in a more intuitive state and fulfilling our original vision for the game. Read more about this decision on Marek's blog: http://blog.marekrosa.org/2016/05/keenswh-team-structure-new-medieval_24.html

     
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  2. Drui Keen Update Guy KeenSWH Developer

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    Disclaimer: Everything said here is subject to change!

    Q: Will you shave your beard?
    A: No :)

    Q: How long will the pause in updates last and how often will you update in the future?
    A: Right now, we are working on bringing planets to ME, along with all of the gameplay changes that it takes to realize this. In addition, we are bringing some much needed fixes to the existing game. After we release this update, we will start updating at regular intervals again. Our current plan is to do bugfixes every two weeks while we work towards the next big feature release, but this may change as our development progresses.

    Q: Will Medieval Engineers planets be the same size as Space Engineers planets?
    A: For Medieval Engineers, we want to have much more detailed planets than in Space Engineers. This means we have to reduce the planet's size in order to increase the resolution we can work at. This will allow us to create more interesting terrain features. Additionally, since you cannot fly, having a planet the size they are in SE would be meaningless.

    Q: Will Medieval Engineers planets contain different ores like iron, copper, etc.?
    A: We are definitely going to start adding new materials to the game - this is part of the appeal of planets, and will be an ongoing process as we continue adding new things to the game.

    Q: Will there be flora and fauna on the planets and what will they be used for in the game?
    A: In order to make the planets more interesting, we need to make the flora and the fauna more interesting. This means greater biodiversity than 1 type of tree and 1 type of animal. Of course, this is a process that may take a while to fully flesh out. Artists will have to model and animate plants and animals, and designers will have to implement these. Additionally, we are going to make this moddable, so that you guys can also add new plants and animals to the game.

    Q: When will modding and modding guides be available for planets in Medieval Engineers?
    A: Yes, our goal is to make as much of the game moddable as possible.

    Q: Do you have an ownership system planned, and how will it compare to the one in SE?

    A: For Medieval Engineers, we are working on a completely different ownership system than in Space Engineers. I'm not going to reveal it right now, but look forward to the update videos in the near future!

    Q: When will we we start to see a wider range of clothing, actions, etc.?
    A: Right now we are working hard on getting the planets to work, but we are also working on expanding character customization options in the near future. We have some interesting game mechanics in the works with regards to clothing, but they will be coming later.

    Q: Will there be changes to the GUI to make it fit the game better?
    A: We will be reworking the GUI, not just to make it fit the game better, but also to improve the new player experience and to make it more intuitive and easy to use.

    Q: Will there be additions to survival such as agriculture, working animals, and additional cooking options?
    A: Well, as I said previously, we are currently working on getting planets working properly. But we are definitely planning on improving the survival experience. We feel that it is a key element of the Medieval experience, but at the same time, it is less important than our core direction to make you an engineer in Medieval times. So, improvements to the survival will come after we feel satisfied with the engineering aspects of the game.

    Q: Are you planning to enlarge your team in the near future to accelerate developtment?
    A: We are always on the lookout for skilled team members, so if you or anyone you know is interested in joining us, feel free to apply. For more information, see www.keenswh.com/jobs

    Q: Deepflame, I once got directed to your steampage from Marek's blog... did my eyes deceive me, or did I read 'Leeuwarden, the Netherlands' there? If so, hi from very near your hometown ;)
    A: Oant sjen! ;)
     
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  3. OmEgA_StOrM

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    Thanks for answering the questions :)

    Would be nice to see this type of Q&A's more often because there are still loads of questions unanswered.
     
  4. KingdomBragg

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    Interesting, good questions. Thanks guys.
     
  5. entspeak

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    Awesome! I get the desire to have higher resolution terrain and think that's awesome. Having a 30km diameter planet would still mean over 2800 km of surface area... and 4x the resolution of current SE planets, if you retain the 2048 x 2048 tiles.
     
  6. CanOmer

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    I am a bit disappointed about lack of complete game design. If there will (or not) be an agriculture in the game it should have been decided already.
     
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  7. Ed Frost

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    i think its a must for survival, as a way of longterm food supply

    edit:
    also a must because without it wont be smart to stay in 1 spot since the resources that provide food would not be enough for longterm
     
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  8. Stori3D Past Productions

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    I hope that when the planets come, we have a lot more freedom in placing & locking our buildings. Space Engineers has a brilliant system where any new structure can be locked in at any angle or elevation. That kind of freedom can make any Medieval build SO much more realistic.

    But I'm liking a lot of what I'm hearing. I'm curious to see how the planets will look. I worry that small planets will have too obvious & pronounced a curve when you stand up high. But maybe I'll be wrong.
     
  9. Attila55

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    Not a question about the water? It seems weird with all the hype about making boats, mills etc. :)
     
  10. protokore

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    hello,
    planets will fix fps and bugs problems?and when could we merge several block together like before(Z-fighting)...

    for fix fps problem on a custom map(by world machine method),i set less tree density and it's ok.
    so on a planet,forgreat fps,how many distance between each trees? i'm french apologize me for my language
     
  11. beelzerob

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    I think planets are a wonderful idea that just makes sense, and it wouldn't bother me in the least if the curvature were noticeable from on top mountains. Would still be ridiculously long to walk.

    No one asked about horses?

    I also wonder somewhat if there is a comprehensive design plan in place, or is this "make it up as we go".
     
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  12. MorshuArtsInc

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    I hope they'll add (working) water one day.
     
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  13. Ed Frost

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    ........ if they do it they should make it toggleable... i dont want to see my pc burn while playing a video game....
     
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  14. waterlimon

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    I hope they dont treat survival and engineering as two separate aspects, because for the game to be enjoyable long term, they must be deeply intertwined.
    "agriculture, working animals, and additional cooking options"
    All of those are great opportunities for creating purpose for engineering, not just some "grindy survival stuff" that can be slapped on later when the "real engineering" is finished.

    I mean, what do I use engineering for, if not for food production? Thats the number one most important worry in a medieval world...

    (and no, building contraptions with many moving parts and sharing videos of those is not going to be interesting for long, except for the few really dedicated individuals that really go where nobody went before)
     
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  15. Merandix

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    Thanks for answering all questions, and fun to include my personal one as a bonus :D
    I think I might like these dev-diary video's even more than weekly updates :D

    Also: oant sjen!
     
  16. Ed Frost

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    plz tell me.... What does oant sjen mean... I live in leeuwarden for a while now.... (never heard any fries here to be honest, heard more from that weatherdude than from others)....
     
  17. SaturaxCZ

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    Yes, it was part of:
    Q: Will there be flora and fauna on the planets and what will they be used for in the game?

    A: In order to make the planets more interesting, we need to make the flora and the fauna more interesting. This means greater biodiversity than 1 type of tree and 1 type of animal. Of course, this is a process that may take a while to fully flesh out. Artists will have to model and animate plants and animals, and designers will have to implement these. Additionally, we are going to make this moddable, so that you guys can also add new plants and animals to the game.
     
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  18. Hakon102

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    Thanks for answering Questions. was very Interesting. :munch:I look forward to hear more!

    Some words to smaller Planet's. While i understand the reasons and I like the Idea of higher resolution, is there one Problem. The curvature of the earth. If the Planet is to small, it can destroy the whole imagination.

    While I agree , I must say that it is not uncommon in the Software development that not all Features are already planned in the beginning.
    Additionally, we get a new Dev Leader and with him a new concept/focus of the Game. He need time to get an Overview and to work out his overall picture of the finished Game.
    If the entire game concept continues to grow , how in the last two weeks , I am very happy .
     
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  19. Cetric

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    With a little fantasy, you may interpret this info as a possibility of water getting implemented:

    As water can be seen as "new material" just like the ores mentioned. Each of them allows a whole development tree of derivations.
     
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  20. Harrekin

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    A couple months ago I feared ME was going to die quietly in a hole somewhere.

    Those fears are gone, keep up the good work Deepflame.
     
  21. Merandix

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    It means something like 'see you later'... closest Dutch translation is literally 'tot ziens'. Both Dutch and Frisian are short for something like 'good bye until I see you again'. The weatherdude usually wishes you 'oant moarn' which means 'tot morgen' (see you tomorrow).

    Reason why you don't hear a lot of Frisian in Leeuwarden is because they have their own Frisian dialect, which is much closer to Dutch. Also, among students you'll hear mainly Dutch.

    Also, I fully agree with you there Harrekin!

    And I'm also hoping on water a lot. Shipbuilding would be so epic. They're literally the most complex machines of the time, so if we would ever be capable of shipbuilding, that would be awesome, as well as other forms of water engineering... as a Frisian and a Dutchie I -have- to hope on water engineering sometimes becoming a part of this game, despite the immense complexity. We once said planets would be impossible for Space Engineers.... maybe it'll be possible (with somewhat smaller planets) to include water. I'd gladly take that over an expansive horizon. Heres to hoping I'm not talking about dreams.
     
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  22. Ed Frost

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    water.... shipbuilding.... basicly recreating dutch culture in game :D canals everywhere....

    but really.... if they add water make it toggleable.... i dont like to see my pc on fire....
     
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  23. malimber

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  24. Stori3D Past Productions

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    To follow this ^^ up, there's another huge reason for letting us "lock" buildings at different angles. Right now, the only way to put a building at other than a 90-degree angle is to have it "floating" dynamically on top of the ground, instead of locked in. But when you do so, there is no way to attach any small blocks to it. The small blocks don't "see" the big blocks. So, for example, my Vindolanda build has a lot of town houses set at odd angles. There is no way to add doors or window shutters or shelves -- or any kind of small-block item to them because the game refuses to "see" the floating buildings. I really need to be able to lock them into the game world so things can be attached to them.
     
  25. beelzerob

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    Hmmm...Not exactly what I meant. I should have been more specific..by "horse" I meant an animal that could be ridden and used as a power source for various needs. That game mechanic doesn't exist yet, so far as I know.

    I didn't see implied in the response that some of the fauna to be added would allow for their use as beasts of burden...just more kinds of deer.
     
  26. SaturaxCZ

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    Yea, meybe it will be just wild boar, but meybe domescic animals like: horses, cows, goats, chickens, atc.. its just to early answert it and we have to wait.
    Im satisfy with answert and think about moding/making my castle surroundings + animals to fit pictures, then sepculate what kind of new animals we will get or not.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Enemy will run in fear, before they reach castle, or suffer from dehidration and burn to death under sun. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  27. Oxraider

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    This is probably the best answer I can hear for the Medieval Engineers project ! :D
    I'm so glad to know you guys have plans like this in mind once the core feature 'the engineering aspect' gets shaped better :D

    Keep up the good work and nice to have you on the team Tim Toxopeus, no matter wether you got a beard or not :D
    Because we really don't care lol :D
    The most important thing is seeing this game being leaded in the right direction so it gets indie rewards and awesome medieval gameplay features with awesome survival aspects ! :D

    Ow and btw: 'Netherlands' is very close to my doorstep :D
    Hi from Belgium ;-)

    Grtz Oxraider
     
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  28. Merandix

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    Let's first wait to see if it is possible or not. I recognise it's an insanely tall order... likely even more complicated than planets were to Space Engineers... but on the other hand... planets once were also an impossibility in SE. Water is a tall order, and SOME abstraction is likely needed to make it at all possible (like the gelatinous water in Minecraft, which also holds the advantage of being blocky). But to immediately assume it would set your PC on fire is a bit premature. It's not even about Dutch culture... it's more about water being a MASSIVE part in medieval engineering...

    I've been thinking about adding 'planets' to ME...

    I honestly think I'd rather play on a wrapping flat map than an actual round planet. The planet being round has zero function in Medieval Engineers, yet I suspect it is going to present significant immersion challenges because the planet will have to become so small two mountains will obviously point in conflicting directions. The smaller a planet becomes, the more curved it's surface becomes. And I fear a bit for planets half the diameter of SE-planets. That is positively tiny. Yet... in terms of surface... a 50 km diameter planet still has 7853 square kilometres of surface area available, which is insanely large.

    My minecraft server is RIDICULOUSLY large, it's by far the largest map I've ever played on. It takes 45 minutes to run from left to right on the map. It's only 200 square kilometres. That is large enough to get lost on even for people who've played on there for 1,5 years! Even most larger servers aren't that much bigger. The largest Minecraft server EVER has 5200 square kilometers available. And 50 km diameter is positively TINY. Yet it's still too big for this games purposes.

    At a 25 km diameter, we're still talking about 1963 square km of surface area. That's still ten times bigger than my largest Minecraft map ever, and that is on a server with 40-50 people whitelisted. So, lets try a more sensible 12,5 km diameter (smaller than the minimum size of moons in SE!) that's 490 square km, which is huge, but manageable. From a 100 metre tall structure, the horizon would be roughly 1,7 km away. From the ground, I suspect the horizon is less than 650 metres away from you (assuming a perfectly flat world, on earth, that distance is about 4,7 km at 1,7 metres high). The main problem is with mountains, because from the top of one mountain, all land between you and the top of the next mountain will look like flat land. That's because at a mere two km height, mountains will have significant angle deviations from one another (with realistic mountain shapes, probably in the order of 30 degrees angle differences with respect to the centre of the planet, aka, a mountain will be tilted at least 25-35 degrees with respect to its neighbour, so any slopes less than 20-30 degrees will pull weird optical tricks.

    Point being... round planets scale horribly. A square flat map that wraps around itself is far more logical in scaling for Medieval engineers. And one can set the map-size up front. So less powerful machines only have to deal with 100 sq km and the most powerful machines on huge servers simply churn out a 5000 sq km map. That's a 70,1 x 70,1 km map. I know there's tech available from SE. But I honestly think you'd be translating a technology which would be all but useless... Round planets don't make much sense if the highest altitude you can reach is the highest tower you can build on a mountain. We can't leave the surface of the planet... so what is the use in it being round? Also I suspect gravity calculation is far easier when you just define 'down' as opposed to having to calculate the gravity vector for every position on the planet always, 60 times per second.

    I'm no programmer, but the math just isn't very favourable for a game like Medieval engineers that has no practical uses for a round planet. We can only dwell on the surface, so we won't ever be able to appreciate any roundness, and to make the planet manageable in surface area, it needs to become RIDICULOUSLY small... At 12,5 km it's still a 39 km trek to get around the planet... that's 8-10 hours at walking speed. Likely 4 hours at the pace most game-characters run at. Still insanely huge, and bigger than most players will ever need.

    So yeah, round planets scale horribly. They essentially have a point where they can be too small and too large at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
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  29. CanOmer

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    I don't want ME eats memory like SE. 1km diameter planet would be enough IMO. Other games which has planets to compare:

     
  30. Merandix

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    For fixed structure buildings, that works, since you can keep the maximum building size down. Also, you keep the mountain-size down at maybe 40 metres, yes, then it'll work. Otherwise, 3,14 square km is just too small for any sort of exploration... that's a world 1,7 km by 1,7 km in size if it were a square map. For building and exploration, that's just inadequate. For multiplayer, its pitiful. It also cuts down on biome diversity. Because some biomes can't even be represented. No, that's just a horrible idea, and I honestly think that for immersion sake, and having mountains at least APPROACHING a somewhat nice scale, even 12,5 km diameter is too small.

    Tiny worlds may work for the games you named, but these were non-creative, non-survival, non-engineering games with no focus on creativity (with the possible exception of The Universim). The only reason the worlds were so small was technology or keeping the worlds small enough to guarantee an endless supply of them. Also, most of these planets are already a LOT bigger than 1 km in diameter (or have scaled down features). That's not the direction a semi-realistic (in terms of art) game like Medieval Engineers should go. And again, since you can't leave said planets; their roundness, even at 1 km will NOT serve a function.