Top 5… Things We Want in Space Engineers
So, for those who don’t know, Space Engineers is a space based resource collection and building game developed by Keen Software House that’s in Early Access. It arrived on Steam in a creative-only state in October 23rd 2013 with survival mode following in March 2014. Those of us who know me and have joined me playing games like Minecraft will know that I don’t do well in creative mode only games. I have very little artistic talent and as such tend to use creative mode purely for testing ideas, making something hideous, and then just copying something off the internet. Once the survival mode was added I really started to get interested in the game. I have played it most weeks since that update and every Thursday I sit and wait for the wondrous moment that Steam begins to download all the new shinies that KSWH have decided to bring to us this week. Every single week there’s new things to play with or new optimizations and bug fixes for the funky toys they gave us last week. On this vein I asked the guys at Calm Down Tom what they’d like to see in the game next. And between us we came up with the following list:
1: A complete air system with proper airlocks and sealable rooms/areas.
This is something that a lot of people want to see. There are even mods out on the workshop for cosmetic airlocks and hydroponics labs but I don’t foresee this one happening any time soon. Bearing in mind that I am in no way a programmer, I reckon this would be one hell of a lot of work for the guys over at KSWH.
So our first entry goes into the ‘God I hope so but I’m not holding my breath’ category.
This leads on from the above wish in that it may be a way to still keep you having to work for something while inside a station without a suit. Hydroponics systems for oxygen, food and water creation? Due to the fact that it would involve a ‘suitless’ engineer I feel that it may be way down the road, however with one, comes the other I reckon.
3: AI Pirates
Again this one comes in two parts. The combat in SE is absolutely amazing. Flinging your little fighter around that you built yourself, from scratch mind, and firing off rockets before flying back to your giant carrier or space station to rearm and refuel is a wonderful experience. The flight mechanics are fluid and smoothe and it reminds me of playing games like Descent when I was a little nipper. However, at the moment the randomly spawned cargo ships, floating aimlessly through space on a straight trajectory, are your only target. Even though their turrets usually pack one hell of a punch for the unwary, they only ever continue on their merry way. Never deviating from their course and this makes them easy targets for a well aimed rocket or two. The idea of an AI faction of pirates that can raid and destroy your space station and dodge through incoming fire would add a whole new level of gameplay. Again however, the amount of work needed to create decent AI and have it work in the SE environment means that this one also goes into the ‘dreaming for’ category.
4: Different suits for different jobs/suit upgrades
You can customise the colour of your suit in game and even download entirely new skins from the Steam Workshop, but your suit’s stats essentially remain the same. One of the things I thought would be interesting would be the ability to switch out suits for different roles. A high armour but low maneuverability version for combat, and the inverse for building. Perhaps an upgrade system. Crafting new parts for your suit and fitting them to increase power levels or armour. Forcing you to come up with a nice balance or have a spare suit, tucked away with your rifle and some ammo for when you’re under attack.
And that ends the list… well it does now. I am writing this on the 14th of August 2014. Which, if you check your calenders, is a Thursday. What does this mean? That Space Engineers has had an update. The last item on my top 5 was going to be remote access to systems on a station from your ship. For example, I don’t want to have to get out of my ship and fly over to a control panel in the wall to open the hangar doors. Guess what, KSWH just added that feature! Along with many others that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Why mention it if it’s already in the game and this is supposed to be a wishlist article? I wanted to mention it because it shows that Space engineers is a little gem in the mountain of Early Access available. A new update. Every. Week….
And so I leave you with these wishes upon the many stars around your little engineer, as he floats over to his ship to begin welding on a new part that just appeared in his inbox.