Keen Software, the group behind Space Engineers, has announced a new engineering and sandbox base-building game, Medieval Engineers. The game could be considered the spiritual successor to the still-in-development Space Engineers, which released onto Steam Early Access back in 2013 and has sold over on million copies since.
Similar to Space Engineers and other sandbox building games, Medieval Engineers will gave players near complete freedom over what they build and how they build it. This time of course, instead of being in space, the building takes place in a medieval landscape. A short announcement video showing the game’s progress (currently in alpha) previews just how expansive your medieval castle can get, including intricate passage ways, detailed interior layouts, sprawling underground caverns, and sky scraping towers. Players will also have the ability to set up entire cities and mining operations underground.
For those of us that can’t build worth anything, the biggest draw of Space Engineers has been building giant ships and crashing them into asteroids while the physics engine takes over and litters the dark void of space with bits of our broken spacecrafts. While you obviously can’t pilot your castle into an asteroid (sadly) the demo video also shows the ability to build catapults which can launch projectiles into your structures. Even the catapults themselves seem to be customizable, with different lengths of wood and string making for different types of launchers.
Also as shown in the video, the amount of damage that can be done to the buildings looks to be pretty detailed. As developer Marek Rosa detailed in his blog post announcing the alpha release of Medieval Engineers, this level of detailed destruction is thanks to major upgrades to the VRAGE engine which now gives developers tools such as structural integrity, natural landscape, and Physically Based Rendering.
The concern that Keen Software hasn’t even finished their last game, Space Engineers, before starting this one is a valid one, but a concern that Rosa realizes and addresses in the blog post.
Developing two early access games with the same theme (Engineering) at the same time will be beneficial for both of them. As happened with Space Engineers, many of the features that were released later on were inspired and suggested by our players. Now we are expecting that player’s suggestions for one game might give us new ideas for other games – ideas that we might have missed due to the limitations of the environment of each title. Now everyone will have more options and possibilities!
Medieval Engineers and Space Engineers share much of the same codebase and in-game engine so, as Rosa explained, the fact that both games are being development simultaneously will help each of them grow. Among the things that may be coming to Space Engineers thanks to this medieval off-shoot include compound blocks, mechanical blocks, auto-generated details, voxel hand (a tool that could let you modify asteroids), structural integrity, natural landscapes and more. In turn, Medieval Engineers inherited, or will get in the near future, multiplayer, physics, Steam Workshop, and a Modding SDK and API thanks to the studio’s previous work on Space Engineers.
Rosa also assures explains that the team at Keen Software House has expanded its workforce to accommodate for the new game, instead of pulling developers off of Space Engineers. This means, in theory, the work on Medieval Engineers should not slow down their goal of completing the space building game.