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About KSK

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    Capsule Communicator

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  1. Oh man - I remember playing that on my ZX Spectrum in glorious monochrome! Are you playing that on an old computer or via an emulator? If you could point me to a legal place to acquire that, I'd be much obliged. Also Castle Master (another Freescape game).
  2. You need to have gumption to make dem assumptions?
  3. To be honest, after moving my crew around their spacecraft once, maybe twice, I would most likely ignore this feature in favour of quick and easy right-click moving. And I say that as somebody who really likes the current cutaway views. It would also be a ton of work to implement and (much as I hate to use this argument) that developer time could be better spent elsewhere. Basically, the interiors of some existing parts would need to be completely re-modeled to provide access routes for the crew and to make sure those access routes seamlessly match up to openings in the other parts. Taking this to its extreme, any inline part would need to be made hollow. Otherwise you'd face the somewhat immersion breaking prospect of opening the nose hatch on your Mk1-2 pod and having the exit blocked by the battery pack that you installed between the capsule and that nose-mounted shielded docking port. Also, Unity does not handle hollow parts well due to the way colliders are implemented. If I recall correctly, the structural fuselage section (only example of a hollow part that springs to mind) needs a patchwork of separate colliders to make it work, which has a noticeable effect on performance. That's only going to get worse with more hollow parts.
  4. I'm nitpicking here but I disagree with your last point slightly. It's absolutely the author who gets to decide when a product is finished - but it's absolutely the public who get to decide whether that finished product is worth buying. I guess it amounts to much the same thing in the end. I completely agree with your comments about 'there's a mod for that'. Speaking personally, I dislike KSPs over-reliance on mods. I know that a lot of folks on this forum would disagree with me and that's fair enough. However, where some players love mods as a route to customizing their game to the nth degree, I dislike the notion that I'm expected to start with a framework (and in some places frankly bare bones) stock game and then build my own game on top of that. I also think it's cheeky for a company to push that much responsibility for creating game content onto the playerbase but again, that's my own opinion - there's certainly no shortage of generous and talented KSP modders who self-evidently disagree with me. Unfortunately (from my perspective), it seems that player generated content is the future of KSP at least for the coming expansion. Whether I'll buy into that depends entirely on how deep and engaging a toolbox Squad can provide for creating that content. Looking at the current stock Career game, that toolbox isn't particularly well stocked at the moment but that may well change.
  5. For me, the one glaring omission in KSP at the moment is the lack of planning tools. Forget any arguments about realism (or lack of), this is basic quality of life stuff that would encourage players to make the most of the game we have now and make it much more forgiving to design future content for, whether those designers are from Squad or the larger community. By planning tools I mean: 1. A stock delta-V calculator. Kerbal-edu has one, so there's really no excuse. No it won't be perfect. No it won't cope with the myriad of crazy contraptions that the playerbase can dream up. It would still be better than nothing. I'd also argue that most of that craziness is seen with the launch vehicles. The actual 'flying around in space' vehicles that players come up with tend to be a lot simpler (and therefore tractable for a delta-V calculator) than the multistage, asparagused, 'boosters and struts' lashups used to get those vehicles to space in the first place. 2. An orrery, planetarium or whatever for exploring interplanetary trajectories. A Map Screen with timewarp (and reverse timewarp) that is decoupled from the rest of the game. 3. A simulator room that lets players test their spacecraft designs before launching them and lets them test those spacecraft around or on different planets. Actually, if we have 2 and 3, then the delta-V calculator becomes sort of optional. Nice to have but optional. Why is this important? 1. Primarily it makes interplanetary flight much easier and more importantly more fun. If I want to design an Eve lander for example, using the above tools I can check whether my craft is actually capable of landing on Eve, without endless, tedious rounds of design, build, launch and timewarp (followed by the inevitable 'hilarious' crashes into Eve or failure to get back from Eve). It's not making that Eve landing any less challenging, it's not taking out the 'learning by doing' aspects of KSP, it's just taking out a lot of the tedium involved. Easier interplanetary flight = maximal use of existing content and greater scope for designing Missions. 2. It encourages players to try a greater range of Contracts and to make use of more Contracts in their games. Learning by failing is fine in Sandbox but it's frustrating and tedious in Career and encourages players to simply Revert their way out of trouble. Which in turn makes a mockery of almost any restrictions imposed by Career mode. Far better to provide a decent set of planning tools, so that Reverting never becomes necessary in the first place. Having the players be able to pre-plan vehicles to meet particular Contracts also means that the rewards for those contracts are much easier to balance. The contract designer doesn't have to balance the contract reward for three sets of players: the ones that are good enough to do any contract first time out, the ones that will need more than one attempt to meet the contract (and are therefore less likely to take the contract unless it pays out enough) and the ones that will just brute force their way through the thing with Reverts. All of the above also applies to Missions when they become available.
  6. The Kerb in Black fled across the desert - and the Lightsbane followed.
  7. I'm curious to see how the historical missions are going to work, since most of the 'golden era' space flights (Vostok and Mercury through to Apollo and the early Soyuz missions) were essentially step by step test flights to validate procedures and equipment that are either hugely simplified in KSP (e.g. communications, navigation) or, at present, entirely absent (e.g. life support). Also, with a few obvious exceptions, the vast majority of space missions haven't gone beyond LEO. A KSP player who has a) launched a crewed spacecraft to orbit, b) docked two craft together in orbit and c) constructed any kind of space station has basically recapitulated the sum total of human spaceflight, less the Apollo programme. Sure, it's going to be fun to launch Jeb to orbit in a Vostok-alike capsule atop an official R7 replica (or the kerbalised equivalent at any rate) and I can see the historical missions in general being a lot of fun for new players, but I'm not seeing a lot there for established players. Of course, we've only seen the headline features of a work in progress, so it's far too early to come to any conclusions yet. I'll be reading any news about Making History with great interest and if it looks good, I'll have no issues with plunking down my money for it. At the moment though, I'm undecided.
  8. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up!
  9. That... we do not speak of.
  10. OK folks, I've got a confession to make. First Flight hasn't had my undivided writing attention this last week. Yep, I've been moonlighting. Moonlighting as a cub reporter for that most august of publications - the Kerbal Chronicles. In case anyone missed this, the Kerbal Chronicles are a writing competition, launched by Squad, to celebrate the next, localised, release of KSP. Turned out that writing about KSP was a pretty popular activity (who knew?) but the 90 odd entries have now been whittled down to a shortlist of 30. I'm delighted to say that a pair of entries by yours truly made the cut! Moon Cheese discovery 'discredited by facts' which was inspired by a conversation on this thread, and Taking the Cake: Business contracts in the Space Age, which was probably 'inspired' by eating too much moon cheese at bedtime. The four winners will be decided by forum poll. So go take a look and - if the mood takes you - vote! There's plenty of good stuff in there from some familiar authors and some first time (on this forum at least) authors. Something for everyone!
  11. Hey folks, In case anyone hasn't been following along, Squad held a writing contest to celebrate the release of KSP: Localised. It turned out to be rather popular, so much so that the Squad staff needed to shortlist the 90 odd entries to a poll of thirty. Go take a look if you haven't already! The articles are around 300 words each, so they're pretty light on the eyes and they're all worth a read. Some of the authors are long time denizens of this thread, some are relative newbies to the forum. So give em a look and click through to the poll. As the saying goes, it don't matter who you vote for, the important thing is to get out and vote!
  12. Yup - good luck to everyone with entries in the competition! I think Kuzzter Kerman would make a mighty fine addition to the name generator and Just-Jim Kerman has a certain kerbal feel to it too.
  13. First of all, best of luck finding consensus about what is 'a definitive, stable and good enough version of the game'. Secondly, game version updates are definitely a good thing. I'm glad you're having fun with your modded game but not all players have the time, the inclination or the ability (hello console players) to mod their games.