Space Engineers - From an idea to Early Access in 7 months_Marek Rosa_GDS_2013

Software

marek-rosa
of 37
Description
Marek Rosa, CEO of Keen Software House and developer of the sandbox videogame Space Engineers, showcases in his presentation in the GDS 2013, the story behind the development of Space Engineers and how it became from an idea to Early Access in 7 months.
Text
  • 1. Development of Space Engineers From an idea to Early Access in 7 months Marek Rosa Keen Software House
  • 2. Introduction • April to October • How we designed, developed and launched the game • Why we did it this way • Dig into the details
  • 3. What is Space Engineers • Sandbox game • Construction • Realistic volumetric-based physics
  • 4. Plan • New game in 2013 -> 10/2013 • Sub-milestones: announcement, feature freeze, testing • Early Access & MVP – validate with the community and then continue • Playable game at any moment
  • 5. Initial idea • Sequel to Miner Wars • Traveling, missions, economy, • Winner: construction & physics • Added astronaut (no more “ships only”)
  • 6. VRAGE 2.0 • C# • Havok • Flexible • We understand it • We can optimize it
  • 7. Design phase • 1.5 months • Design documents, lists, GUI, HUD • LEGO • NASA • Generic sandbox – no story • Engineering game – no man-to-man combat
  • 8. Design rules • Object oriented game design – new features can be integrated easily (hacking, landing gears) • Strong sandbox and physics foundation • Everything must make sense
  • 9. Design rules 2 • No decorative elements (e.g. doors on cockpit, astronaut computer) • New features – only if required • Realism leads the design – don’t hack the reality (e.g. max object speed, resources, …)
  • 10. Schematic colors (number 7)
  • 11. Texture patterns
  • 12. Avoid voxel-look & Object scales
  • 13. Astronaut / Engineer • Functional • NASA look • Iterations
  • 14. First-person vs. third-person • Acceleration & Animations
  • 15. Deformations & Destructions • We didn’t plan it • Risks • Vertexes, Splitting • Physics • Advantages of flexible sandbox design
  • 16. Gravity • One directional • Only astronauts • When enabled on small & large ships… • Future plans
  • 17. Limits • No size or count limits • Only memory limits • 64-bit version • Impact on performance (lights and shadows)
  • 18. Creative mode • Unlimited resources • Instant building • Available now
  • 19. Manual mode • Drilling and harvesting • Refinery • Assembler • Inventory (backpack, cargo containers) • Welder & Grinder
  • 20. Name of the game • Multiple options • Winner: generic name • Decided one month before the announcement
  • 21. Logo • Multiple options • No retro • No space-agency look
  • 22. Testing • Different HW, OS • Testing lab • Play-testers (first 3 minutes were critical) • Test scenarios • Automatic testing • If you don’t test => there will be bugs
  • 23. Community • Players got the game (workshop, modding, controls) • Simple interface (GUI, HUD, game mechanics) • Works as expected • Minimize steps required to accomplish a goal
  • 24. History - April
  • 25. History - May 2013
  • 26. History - May 2013
  • 27. History - May 2013
  • 28. History – June 2013
  • 29. History – July 2013
  • 30. History – July 2013
  • 31. Public Relations • Focusing on players only • No superb words • Not revealing future plans • Imperfections and work in progress • Everything is subject to change
  • 32. Milestones • April – Plan – Design phase – Dates and Steam • August 15 - announcement video • Sep 9 - Announcement • Oct 1 - Feature freeze & Testing – 3-hour & 24-hour window -> community exploded • Oct 23 - Launch • Post-launch – Localization – Workshop – Landing gears – Community feedback and response • What’s next – Multi-player and manual mode is the priority – Small updates every 1-2 weeks – Bigger updates – when possible
  • 33. Effective development • Deadlines & Features & Quality • Estimations – not important, but if you need them: multiply by 3 • Prioritization – sort by importance (and risk factor, dependencies, etc.) • Expect the unexpected • Deciding what doesn’t get implemented is important too (e.g. character customization, animated GUI, post-processing, more weapons…)
  • 34. Effective development • Be careful on what you decide to implement (you will have less time for other things) • Minimize risks (too complex, hard to maintain) • Detail planning - prepare in advance • Pessimistic approach (e.g. low poly, risky features in advance) • Team – balanced, aligned
  • 35. Effective development • Deadlines – are your friends • Focus on your strong points • Don’t do things that you can’t deliver on 100% • Follow the vision, ignore random ideas (e.g. things already done in other games) • Space Engineers is designed by programmers (optimizations, low-hanging fruits)
  • 36. Summary • Balanced team • Prioritization • Planning • Discipline • Goal oriented • MVP • Focus on the player • You can do it!
  • 37. Questions? www.keenswh.com
  • Comments
    Top