After a couple of weeks that saw paid mods emerge and vanish just as quickly on Steam Workshop, it is refreshing to see some good news coming that might wash the bitter taste out of PC gamers’ mouths. Keen Software House, the developer behind sci-fi building and survival game Space Engineers, has announced that it is giving 100% complete access to the game’s source code to the game’s modders and community.
As Marek Rosa points out on his blog though, this shouldn’t be confused with making the game open source or free. In this instance, all that is being granted is access to the code in the hope that it will enable mod creators to release a larger range of more complex mods for the game. Anyone that wants to do this must meet various terms, such as owning a legitimate version of the game, agreeing not to distribute assets and marking your alterations properly etc. The full list of terms can be read at the bottom of Marek’s blog post here.
So what does this kind of access give? Well, modders can examine the code and see the way Keen Software House has developed Space Engineers. The insights this gives could lead to a number of benefits, such as the fact that total conversion mods should now be possible, along with the general quality of the smaller mods increasing. Keen Software House is also making a fund of $100,000 available to fund modders who want to create total conversions, although the manner of this is yet to be decided.
I would like to end by saying again that there is no need to fear that we are abandoning Space Engineers’ development. We are very concentrated on the game’s development and on the players’ suggestions. We assure you that we will continue at the same pace as we have done for 2 years and deliver a game that all our players will love playing! – Marek Rosa – Keen Software House
Read Marek Rosa’s full post here for more info. He also revealed a few tasty sneak peek images of the planets that may be appearing in Space Engineers soon: