My dreams of space are crushed once more. I tried building a large spaceship, but I seriously underestimated the size it would need to be to hold all the reactors, storage tanks, and rockets necessary to get it off the ground. I wound up requiring huge amounts of materials just to get a janky-looking hulk of a half-built ship.
Then I had the bright idea of breaking down my wasted first effort and using the massive stockpile of materials to build a small ship, just to, you know, look around and stuff. So I built myself what I thought was a bare-bones ship. It had its own oxygen supply and a hydrogen fuel tank and a big-ass rocket on the back and four smaller rockets on the bottom and solar panel wings . . . and I couldn't get it off the ground. I could push it over the frozen lake where I built it, but I couldn't get the nose up. Then I accidentally got my landing gear caught in a mine shaft and I had to disassemble the whole thing.
I'm coming to the realization that Space Engineers is not a "friendly" game. I came into it with expectations shaped by another "Minecraft in space" game, StarMade, which made traveling from space to planets and back really easy. You could do it with a two-block ship. It was mostly about building fantastic ships and flying them around.
Space Engineers has a different set of priorities. You have to make sure the different moving parts are working together, and that you have a strong enough power-to-weight ratio, and that your rockets are pointed in the right way to steer your ship, but not damage it. It's a game of details and rigor.
I think what this means is that I'm going to find it incredibly satisfying to fly around the solar system in a fully functional space cruiser. . . in about 2 years after I'm done with blog. Because I'm absolutely certain that I'm not going to get anything more than the crudest possible spacecraft in the next four hours. They're just too complex.
My immediate goal is to try and beeline myself into space with the crudest rocket I can make. Just strap some serious horsepower on that thing and build it pointing up. I'll probably die in the attempt, but I desperately want to get out of the atmosphere, and I don't care about the cost.
I think victory will be all the sweeter for having suffered to achieve it (but let's not think about what failure will be like).