Lets Talk Keen

Jouster500 shared this feedback 15 months ago
Submitted

So... Keen. Whats going on? Where have you been?


I am writing this on remark of your lack of presence within the community after this bombshell of an update dropped among other things. I do not need to recite what has already been covered in the discord and forums across the web, but to be particular your handling of the community, the source of your inputs for fueling future game development, and along with the priorities of the managing and maintaining space engineers has been paltry and undisclosed as of late.


On topics of community, I am referring to jim who has worked countless hours into bugfixing and implementing changes into the game. Yet according to him, Jim made note of the problems within a separate post, but we have yet to hear from you your side of the issue. Moreso, this is not the first case that this has happened where a prominent community member and all contributing works were simply swept under the rug. The name "Rexxar" should ring a bell who on his word said he left keen due to shoddy practice. These are community members who I have had the privilege to work with and who have helped guide me to become a better programmer, even if their view of me is not very high. For this reason, I hold them with utmost respect and to see them dismissed like garbage leaves nothing but scorn and disgust in this case.


Where are you with regards to future development? Who is fueling the ideas for your future development? You claim to listen to your community, but when key bugs and issues are not being resolved and fixed, and valued suggestions go to the waste-bin in favor of designs that would be of interest to you, how can we have faith you are listening to us? In example, a questionaire was posted a while back asking what the community wanted the dev team to focus on. As you can see with the questionnaire results, dlc was of the lowest scored. At what point did it seem like a good idea to go against the wishes of the greater community to appease a small fraction who wanted dlc in the first place? Never mind the fact that the dlc itself as explained by prominent modders that the designs go uncredited, net players with unfair advantage, and lock functional blocks behind a paywall on top of the aforementioned sloppy handling of dlc protection. Where are you on this topic?


And to the big question, where are you during all of this? Not once have you come to us to explain this questionable behavior with complete honesty. I may not speak for the community as a whole, but I am growing antsy, unsure of what move you do next, and the lack of transparency is not helping. There needs to be a come-to-jesus meeting with the development team (potentially executives as well) and prominent community members of scripters, modders, advocates, server owners, and all those with a degree of passion for the game and/or a technical knowledge of it. No, this shouldn't be a strict QA as the aim should be to address the mistakes and see what steps can be taken to rectify them. As of right now, all of us are in the dark and the path you lead is dark indeed.


Reach out, for the love of all, to your community who has put time, effort and love into the game.

Comments (8)

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9

I abstained from any comments/criticism about the most recent update until now, but what you wrote is really well formed and I agree. It really shows the full picture of how things stand as of now. I really love SE and I do not want that to change.

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9

There's stuff I want to say, but can't.

What I can say though is that I agree, your post is well written, and should warrant a response from Keen.

As far as the survey and DLC. I was also surprised by what they choose to implement.

However in Marek's blog post, he does say that this DLC pack satisfies community requests for more blocks and is low hanging fruit (meaning easy to do).

I am concerned at the timeline of events though. It was only a month after release we got this, imo that means this DLC pack was planned even before the game left EA. I don't speak with any secret knowledge, but the facts of game development, and how long things take to schedule.

I understand the need to maintain income, and DLC is a great way to do that, but it feels rushed.

They gave us a bare bones game and now want us to pay for stuff we've been asking for years. I suppose the upside is that they reduced the price of the game itself. It seems to me it would have been better in this case to keep the higher price, and add these block for free. Then work on something new.

However, I think they are probably waiting for more feedback before they say anything. They have a habit of sitting, waiting, then responding.

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16

Well, it looks like they forgot to ban me from here so I'll throw in my two cents. Keep in mind this is all from the top of my head since I can no longer access the Discord where these things were originally discussed.

It has been this way since they banned/censored users from the Miner Wars discussion forum over their criticism of added DRM that stopped players from being able to play offline. It seems like if it will still make them money, they'll do it. Selling skins after saying they won't, moving to "beta" and "release" while still overhauling systems and fixing known bugs, and most recently releasing "cosmetic" DLC that not only has a whole collection of visual issues, the blocks aren't actually cosmetics and impact players' ability to interact with otherwise vanilla game systems like sitting. Now, I'm not at all against developers making money but I am definitely against sacrificing quality and the community to do so.

As most people probably know, I'm pretty critical of Keen when they make these short-sighted changes and announcements along with a number of prolific contributors to the SE community. It goes the same way every time. We bring concerns to Keen's attention, we're blown off, then they rarely get fixed. Now, I'm not blaming the dev team itself here because I've spoken to some of them and it's really not their fault. The issue is that the few people in charge of actually managing the game's development are out of touch with the community and aren't interested in fixing that. Exhibit A would be the big PR incident starting with Rexxar's Reddit post discussing incidents like what we're seeing now: https://redd.it/9osdm5

Keen's official response was unprofessional to say the very least. It was filled with personal attacks against Rexxar who worked for Keen in the past and along with Xocliw did some of the best community interaction to come out of the company. This warranted a response from Marek who apologized for the post but said... "I am standing behind [the PR guy], not going to punish him or anything" and "shield [the developers], protect them" from criticism. Despite those strange quotes I thought we were getting somewhere and offered to discuss solutions further in private. Guess what happened? No contact whatsoever. It was ignored just like any other blunder Keen has made in hopes that it would be forgotten and my offer to help Keen improve public relations was disregarded entirely.

Now we're here, where Keen's mismanagement led to another wave of censorship. Along with myself, a large number of users were banned from the Keen Discord server after exploits regarding DLC DRM evasion were discovered, exploits myself and others had brought to Keen's attention privately when they still had time to fix them before the update. You might say "but Jim, you said they ignore you all the time so why'd they ban you for this one?" Well, my best guess is because it could cost them money but instead of doing the right thing and fixing the exploits (which would not be particularly difficult) they chose to release them and ban those who discovered and talked about them.

At this point, I can only wonder if trying to fix this is a total waste of time. This has been Keen's pattern of behavior ever since Miner Wars and Rexxar and I aren't the only ones who have had run-ins with them about this. The question is, what is left to do about it? If we keep rolling over and accepting this (thinking of the "it's only $4, what are you poor?" crowd) then nothing will get better. Keen has so far shown themselves to be unwilling to work with the community to solve these issues so unless we collectively show them that we won't support this behavior, it will never improve. Again, I am not placing blame on individual developers but on Keen management. If you made it to the end of my rant before it was nuked from this page, have a cookie on me:

🍪

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3

Bump, this needs to be addressed.

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4

Now I wish I had waited with my decision as to whether to buy the DLC until at least having read this.

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8

First off, big thanks to all those who have shown their support to this effort. A few housekeeping matters...


Jim; I appreciate it for you being able to contribute your two cents, and I have archived your response as a measure should keen finally decide to look and remove your account from here. For those of you didn't get to see it, Jim wrote a reply once again elaborating on the behavior of keen. He was also kind enough to link to rexxars orginal post which for sake of preservation can be found here, and jims reply here will be attached as file.


Second, as some of you are aware, keen recently released an announcement saying they would allow some of the aforementioned blocks of the dlc to be interacted with if you are not a dlc owner. Please keep in mind that this is a minute fraction of the issues at hand and on no grounds should keen use this as leverage to dismiss the entire topic, which is to request an intervention into keens behavior, not a demand to change an aspect of the downloadable content.


Thanks again all.

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5

As many of you are aware, keen released a second dlc today with exactly the same flaws as the first one. Functional blocks once again locked behind a paywall, designs the likes which were taken by some prominent modders, and everyone is none the wiser. History has repeated itself, and no response has been generated in the 6 months of time this was originally posted, further cementing the idea that they are being picky about who they choose to listen to.


This is simply unethical behavior that we have yet to hear a response on, or feedback of. We simply request an intervention into these bad practices and a way of moving forward agreeably for all parties involved.

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Same actions as before with the same repercussions as before... with slightly diminishing returns, ofcourse.

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3

This is a fine comment Jouster, and I totally agree with you. This appears to be pure greed.

For comparison, I like to compare with Frontier with Planet Coaster. That game has several DLC packs. Yet, none of them are in your face - if you don't want to buy that DLC, you can happily play the game while almost not being aware of it at all. And there's so much good content in the base game already.

With Space Engineers, it's unavoidable. It's in the G menu. It's on multiplayer worlds (okay, hard to avoid that one). It's used in pre-generated buildings when you're on a single player world and don't have the DLC.

To me, blocks are the very fabric of gameplay for SE, and making them DLC is like Planet Coaster making all but one roller coaster DLC.

I am struggling to stay positive about this game any more.

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7

Glad to see someone actually gets it. Yknow Keen is getting pretty close to being comparable to Corrupt Giants like EA, Bethesda, and the oh so heinous Activision/Blizzard (Yes I'm drawing the comparison now). The red flag needs to be raised, and spread around.


We're in a day and age where game developers/publishers are being corrupted by unethical decisions based on one key motivator: money. And that has led to some very poor responses from the global community.


Take for example the lootbox debacle with NBA 2K(insert number here) games or with Battlefront 2 from EA, or the same exact issue with Activision's Call of Duty franchis, or the paywall issues with Bethesda's increasingly controversial Fallout 76. Issues like these are actually starting to get government attention in the UK, the US, Netherlands, Belgium, ETC (A couple of these nations have already straight up banned lootboxes.) The governments of these nations have heard the voices of the game community consumers, and regulations are now in the works for, guess what, paywalled core content, lootboxes, and other unethical micro-transaction behaviors. Because the game development industry has FAILED MISERABLY to self regulate, governments are poised to step in and ENFORCE ethical development practice. That spells big trouble for companies behaving the way Keen Software House is now, and bigger trouble for the really corrupt giants.


Even more attention has recently been drawn to the gaming industry by Blizzard's ATROCIOUS response to a call for freedom and basic human rights in Hong Kong. WE, THE GAME INDUSTRY, ARE NOW UNDER INTENSE GLOBAL SCRUTINY! If companies big and small continue this trend of putting money first, consumers second, there is going to be a revolutionary change in global regulation, there is no way around that.


Keen, the time to fix your behavior is NOW. Do so before it is too late, before the law decides enough is enough, and before you take heat when that change comes.

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Quick addition to this, guess what's going on with Bethesda that's brought even MORE negative attention to the industry: FALLOUT 1ST, a 100 dollar a year/13 dollar a month subscription in Fallout 76 that puts critical content behind a paywall, LAUNCHED ABSOLUTELY BROKEN!


Keen, putting functional blocks behind a paywall low key MIMICS part of Bethesda's mistake here. Sure, it didn't exactly launch broken, but I'm honestly wondering "How long before you get there?" Guys, PR and Government attention in the game dev industry is getting WORSE.


PLEASE! Take a page from CD Projekt Red's playbook and LEAVE THE GREED TO OTHERS!

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Seems Keen finally started to listen. Let's hope it continues yeah?

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I decided to take a refreshing read here, and looks like something got deleted from the reddit post. I'm assuming it was Jim describing the bug that got him kicked.

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and in one year absolutely nothing has changed, Wait, I'm wrong on that one. It's the same. ME was released as 'finished' and yet still only a .7. Anger throughout the ME community is palpable. KSH is refusing to improve either communication or to improve it's own games. Miner Wars, Miner Wars 2081 and now Medieval Engineers, that's 3 out of 4 games released totally bugged.


I linked my post at this site to restart ME development onto any discussion in the ME forum on STEAM and a KSH employee/moderator banned me for a week for apparent 'bumping' instead of looking at the facts.

I've stated it before and I'll state it again, KSH management is unethical, immoral and dishonest in it's business dealings.

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Looks like they deleted all your comments in atleast that thread... A bit much for bumping a thread IMO.

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I thought it was uncalled for. I only added to thread on the one theme and so the comments were on topic and pointing people to this forum. So yeah, a very, very harsh reaction.But I could look at it this way, I got their attention and they are reading my comments. They also banned me till next wednesday for the criminal act of 'bumping old threads'. (this was in the ME forum)

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Haha, can you believe this Lystent? They deleted every comment I have ever made in the ME discussion forum. And I mean every one of them from the first time I purchased ME in 2015.


I must have really ticked someone off. I hit a sore spot that's for sure.

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Sounds like you're getting the Miner Wars treatment. Keen's method of dealing with negative feedback is to ignore it or delete it, has been that way since their first game.

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That's the impression I'm getting Jim.... Nothing learnt, nothing gained.

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They have a very shady business strategy.... Farm positive reviews and sell DLCs for new customers based on that. Once you reach 20+ hours into the game you start to see the TONS of issues...... KSH is a really terrible dev, I can't believe SE still has very positive reviews on Steam. I have to commend the beautifully structured con game though.

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Unfortunately this is true. I love SE as a platform for all of the things you can do with it not to mention the mods, but I have absolutely no idea what the devs are doing. Some DLC, Skins and another Campaign I'll never play in a space sandbox game anyway; why should I even care? What about optimizing the game and crushing bugs like the broken NPC AI for spiders/wolves since, what, 2018? I asked about this on the steam forums and was told to "upvote the suggestion on this forum" ; no response to whether or not anything is actually being done, no follow up, nothing. Add a number to a thread that'll be ignored anyways.

I chose to buy the first decoration pack DLC because I liked the couch and desk models more vs the mod alternatives and if they followed a similar line of adding more "decorative" blocks it wouldn't be so bad. The inclusion of industrial cockpits, holographic mini projectors and transparent LCDs as more DLCs however I don't approve of because they are functional blocks; now the 2x3 gate in Frostbite. There is no vanilla / nonpay alternative to these.

I don't want SE to die or get abandoned, but the path Keen is on is releasing the game and then DLC after DLC, cashing in with minimal effort until people stop buying them, at which point SE will get tossed out like all of Keen's other projects.

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Dev's won't even moderate these posts, won't comment at all in the issue tracker but hey, in a few months we'll have one more paid DLC containing 2~3 doors, maybe some windows and some plants in addition to worse performance and new bugs which will never get fixed!! SE is trashware.

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