Space Engineers is a space-themed sandbox building and simulation game for the PC available on the early access section of Steam. It is currently in alpha and is expected to be updated regularly.
Even at this early alpha stage, the game is already incredibly popular and has sold more than 100,000 copies in less than a month. It has also ignited a small army of YouTube publishers who regularly share their creations.
The alpha version of the game is currently limited to an open-ended creative mode and allows the player to construct 3 object types; small ships, large ships and space stations. The initial environments are limited in scope to a few nearby asteroids.
Small ships can be piloted from a cockpit or chase view, while large ships are limited to an external camera.
While its certainly apt to compare the title to something like Minecraft in space, a better comparison of the actual ship construction mechanic might be something like the creative mode in Banjoo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts. In an interview with a local gaming channel, IndianTV, one of the developers said part of the inspiration for the game was Lego.
As the game development continues new mechanics like mining asteroids, ship-to-ship and on-foot combat and crafting (assembling) objects will begin to be enabled.
In March of 2014 Space Engineers introduced a survival mode game play type. Presented to the players as the most significant update to the game, this game mode requires players to gather and refine resources and construct ships and bases using a welding tool.
Items will appear in various levels of completion as the construction commences.
In order to increase the sense of conflict and danger in this mode, meteor showers can appear, damage structures and kill the player.
Released in early 2014, Multiplayer was one of the features that was initially confirmed and the game's small development team has indicated that it will be one of the games major features. Currently Multiplayer is available in the game and will be continued to be improved over time. The game's developers have committed to continued improvement to the multiplayer including working on dedicated server support, factions and communications.
Current Alpha Features And Changelog
October 2013 - First alpha released includes creative mode building with basic ship blocks and non- functional placeholders for items like doors, refineries and medical bays. Subsequent updates in October added the following;
November 2013 - Several updates to the alpha are made and the game now supports the following new features;
- Inertia dampener control (ships can now essentially coast through space)
- Working 'magnetic' landing gears (allows ships to be attached to each other)
- Symmetrical Building (allows for faster ship building)
- Inventory and Items (non-functional placeholder items)
- Beacons to allow for easier navigation throughout space
- Functional handheld drill as well as small ship attachment
December 2013 - The game remains in alpha with the following changes added;
- 64-bit - allows more objects and items to be in the scene
- Motorized blocks - simple motors enable configurable rotation of blocks for use in basic mechanisms
- Machine Gun - a basic handheld machine gun which deals damage and deformation to blocks
- Warheads - explosive blocks which can be used for either anti-ship weapons or mining purposes
- Gatling guns and rocket launchers for ships
January 2014 - Development progresses with weekly updates including;
- Refineries and assemblers - these machines were enabled and allow refinement of ore and creation of ingots which will be useful for future creation.
- Working doors - doors can now slide open and closed
- Paramaters for lights - color customization and intensity parameters are now present
- An updated world generator allows for larger worlds in 64-bit
- Adjustments to the drills and gatling guns which allow for more functionality
- Multiplayer mode allowing players to join creative sessions
- Heavy armor block - building block which can withstand more damage
February 2014 - As the alpha begins to wind down the following features were added;
- Custom colors for blocks
- Multiplayer messaging
- Refined controls for gravity generators
March 2014 - Many more features added in March - here are the major additions;
- Survival mode added with manual, resource-constrained building
- New sounds and music added
- Refinery and assembler can be connected
- Solar panel blocks added
- Randomly-spawning cargo ships
- Meteor showers which can damage blocks and kill players
April 2014 - continued refinement including;
- Glass windows
- New cockpit blocks for large ships
- Working conveyors added which can transport mass from point to point
- New artificial mass block - used to add large amounts of mass to a ship.
- Conveyor tubes and object collectors
- Wheels - allow creation of cars and wheeled machinery
- Working rockets and turrets as well as decoy blocks which will draw fire
- Dedicated multiplayer servers
- grinders and assembly tools for large and small ship designs
- missile turrets and fire control options
- curved conveyor tubes
|CPU: Intel Core2 Duo 2.0 GHz (or AMD equivalent)||CPU: Intel Quad Core i5 @ 2.5 GHz (or AMD equivalent)|
|RAM: 2 GB||RAM: 3 GB|
|OS: Windows XP||OS: Windows 7|
|GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 3870 / Intel HD Graphics 4000||GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / AMD Radeon HD 7800 series|
|Free Disk Space: 2 GB||Free Disk Space: 5 GB|