Once more, here we are at the beginning of a new update, and I want to share with everyone our goals and ambitions for the upcoming 0.24 release of KSP.
We continue pushing forward with Career Mode, but this update has a few other neat things that should be very welcome additions, be you a Career-driven achiever or a Sandbox tinkerer, something in between, or even extrapolating the ends of that spectrum! We’ve got a lot to accomplish but we feel like this will be a great way to kick off a big 2014 for KSP.
These are our main goals for 0.24:
The first iteration of the contracts mechanic is coming up. At the Mission Control Facility, you'll be able to take on contracts from a list of offers. Each contract will give you a set of objectives to fulfill, possibly with added requirements, and a deadline. These contracts are going to be dynamically generated off a number of different basic mission templates, and filled out with detail based on how far you've advanced in your Career. A feature this large is most likely not going to be complete in a single update, but we feel like we’re off to a very good start with our initial plan.
New Mission Control Screen
It's been there for a while, but so far no Kerbal has dared enter that mysterious building at the space center. Oh, plus the fact it didn't have an inside also made it extra difficult. We're adding a new Mission Control Screen, accessible through the already-there Mission Control Facility, which will present you with a UI where you'll be able to pick out contracts and decide whether to accept them or pass them by.
Improved Part-to-Part Joints
There is one unassuming line in the Unity 4.3 changelog that made a world of difference to us. I'll quote it here in fact: "Physics." Joints can now have separate anchor points configured for both connected rigidbodies. What this means is that the era of rockets 'dancing' on top of their engines is coming (finally) to an end. We are completely re-doing the joints, to have much more control over how they link together, and not least, how much we want them to be bendy and wobbly. We're not eliminating the wobble altogether, as that would actually be removing a lot of what makes failures fun. We're aiming to have better control over it, so we can have wobbly bits where we want them to wobble, and more rigid connections where things are supposed to be firmly attached.
Multiplayer's First Steps
This isn't so much a feature at this point, but it's worth mentioning in any case. We're starting work on the core components of multiplayer now, so by the time we're about done with Career Mode, we'll already have a solid platform to start building multiplayer features on top of it. Right now, the primary goal is to write the server backend that will run things. There won't be much to show of this for a while, but we'll keep everyone posted about the progress being made.
It’s been a long time since we did the in-game tutorials now. They harken back to ye olden times of version 0.17, and when you consider that 0.18 was when we added maneuver nodes and docking, you start to get a sense of just how much has changed in the game since the tutorials were written. Needless to say then, they’re in dire need of a revision, and that’s what we plan to do on this update, and if time allows, also add a couple of new ones.
And as always, the usual batch of small tweaks and bug fixes that we do as we go along.
And we can't say this enough, this list isn't a preview of the changelog for the next update. These are our ambitions, not promises. Some of this might not make it in, while at the same time other things not on this list might be included as well, so the bottom line is, don't take this as if it was written in stone. (It was, in fact, written on my sweet new G19s keyboard, which the kind folks at Logitech sent to us. And no, they didn't make me say this).
Anyhow, that's all the news for now, stay tuned for more as it develops.