It’s time to talk about our goals for the next update. As you all know, we’re on a major push to develop Career Mode, but after a release as large as 0.22 was, we needed to have an update to catch up on all the stuff we’ve added, fix bugs and revisit some of the features in the last update. This is all so we can start off the next big thing on Career Mode with a game that’s as stable and polished as we can make it.
So these are our main goals for 0.23:
* All-Around Optimizations
We’re going through each line of game code and making sure things are getting done as efficiently as possible. We’re also optimizing the asset loaders to reduce loading times, and upgrading to the latest version of Unity, to take advantage of all its new tweaks and fixes.
* The Science Archives
Collecting scientific data isn’t just about advancing the tech tree. The Science Archives will be a new section on the R&D Facility, which lets you review all the data you’ve accumulated to date. This is your library to view all the knowledge you’ve gathered for Kerbalkind. Also, this overview should help plan future missions.
This long-awaited feature is finally coming with this update. Tweakables will allow you to open a context menu for each part during construction. This allows for unprecedented freedom in design and setup of a spacecraft. Want your wingtip control surfaces to act only as ailerons? Or your landing gear to start deployed or retracted, or to make some of them steerable? Tweakables will allow for all that, plus many other adjustments.
* Science Revisited
We too have been playing the newly-implemented Career Mode, and taking in all the feedback from the community. We are changing a few things to make Science much more interesting:
* The Transmission logic is being redone, so no matter how many batteries you’ve got, you won’t be able to max out a subject by just using antennas.
* We’re also changing the way experiments allow being reset, so don’t get too attached to those endlessly-repeatable experiments.
* Science Lab Module
If getting the data back to the labs is not an option, you’ll now be able to get the lab itself to the data instead. With antennas not able to max out a subject anymore, the Lab Module will allow you to increase the max amount of science you get from transmitting, by giving your crews a way to run tests and analyze the experiment results ‘in the field’, before beaming it back home. Don’t expect this to be a compact piece of equipment though. In fact, not many parts are larger than the Lab at the moment.
* EVA Data Transport
With new ways to process experiment data, we’re also going to need new ways to move it around. EVAs will now be able to collect and store not only their own experiments, but also collect data from other modules and data containers, including other Kerbals on EVA.
* Quite a lot of other stuff
Overhauled UIs, 3D Mouse Support, Monopropellant-powered EVAs, Steerable landing gear, Secondary propellants for engines, more Biomes, and of course, hunting down some of the most critical long-standing bugs… The list goes on.
So these are our highlights. As always, these topics are our goals for the next release, and do not imply a commitment on our part to deliver them. If something doesn’t make it in time, we’ll push it back, and conversely, we could even end up adding stuff that’s not on this list, so the bottom line is, we aren’t writing this in stone. ;)
Stay tuned for more news as we develop them.