Shadowmage

[WIP][1.2.2] SSTULabs - Low Part Count Solutions (Orbiters, Landers, Lifters) - Dev Thread [02-05-17]

5992 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, tater said:

I've certainly gotten far more than the $20 I paid worth of value from KSP...<snip>...I'll buy two---if buying you, @Shadowmage, a copy eases your annoyance, any :)  (and just because I've gotten more value out of SSTU than my addition to the coffee jar).

I'm also highly conflicted over this release since I feel it will end up being something I buy to avoid compatibility problems.  BUT, like @tater already mentioned I've gotten way more than my original $20 out of this game and I'll support Squad to keep 'em going at this point.  Likewise, I'd willingly contribute to that effort to get you a copy to help ease your annoyance since this has got to feel like a bit of a slap to you with as much as you know about the stock code and its associated problems now...

Even if I understood it 100% seeing you retire due to a poor Squad decision would be a real bummer...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There would be an entire, busy thread about how Squad could have been far more organized, and goal-driven with the entire KSP project, I think. Setting reasonable goals for their 1.0 set of features, then allowing that anything past that scope would be add-ons. They could have said at some point that the game was feature complete at sandbox, and that career and science modes were "beta" for a future add-on that would use lessons learned, but would not fear to "break saves" and completely alter as needed. This is a digression for this thread, however, suffice it to say, they are less than organized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tater said:

While I agree that many of those features should have been in the game from the "1.0" version, I've certainly gotten far more than the $20 I paid worth of value from KSP, and I'm happy to buy the DLC (because as you say, they have to make a living). heck, I'll buy two---if buying you, @Shadowmage, a copy eases your annoyance, any :)  (and just because I've gotten more value out of SSTU than my addition to the coffee jar).

[...]

 

2 hours ago, rasta013 said:

I'm also highly conflicted over this release since I feel it will end up being something I buy to avoid compatibility problems.  BUT, like @tater already mentioned I've gotten way more than my original $20 out of this game and I'll support Squad to keep 'em going at this point.  Likewise, I'd willingly contribute to that effort to get you a copy to help ease your annoyance since this has got to feel like a bit of a slap to you with as much as you know about the stock code and its associated problems now...

Even if I understood it 100% seeing you retire due to a poor Squad decision would be a real bummer...

 

Thanks for the offers guys, is appreciated but not necessary.  This isn't/won't be a financially motivated decision, but will/would based more on ethical(?) grounds, and how they handle the modding / API end of things.

 

2 hours ago, tater said:

[...]

I have to say, I'm sort of torn. Chances are that the new career paradigm will in fact not really be any better than what we have if they just tag it on without really, really thinking about it. A good career system is honestly at least as hard to do as the whole physics aspect of the game itself. I'd happily pay money for a DLC that fixes career mode if it's outside the scope of what should have been in 1.0---a space race, for example, since I think that has always been a "Bridge too far" for the stock KSP.

Looks like the "mission builder" is really maybe just a drag and drop way of making what are "scenarios/tutorial" type things now? That's not much of a leap, you can cheat ships to places now, and share a save game.

Yeah, I'll have to wait and see if they reveal more details on what is actually included.  It does sound a bit like whatever the new 'feature' is will be (mostly/completely?) separate from career mode, and likely just a scenario creator.  I'm absolutely fine with that.  Still irked that they are leaving career mode such a tacked-together mess, but that is a separate discussion.

Including new parts?  Not so cool after the cancelled 'rocket parts revamp' from 1.2.  Dangerously close to pulling an EA-esque 'day-1-DLC release' scenario.  I haven't touched an EA product in nearly a decade because of that garbage.  I'm not about to compare Squad to EA, as Squad has proven they can at least listen to their customer base a bit (whereas EA just abuses their customers without remorse).  About the only way I would be okay with the 'new parts-in-DLC' is if they are merely new textures for the existing stock models in US/Russian paint schemes, or a config-level rebalance of the existing parts to allow for proper mass ratios/dV for replica craft use.  The parts themselves don't offend me (I'll probably just patch them out/delete them anyway), its the fact that they cancelled the rocket part rework, and then within months of it being cancelled, suddenly decide that they do have time/assets to develop new parts.  I highly doubt that whatever is going to be included in the DLC would be those same parts that PorkJet worked on, and either way, makes no difference -what- they new models/parts are; its the flakiness of the situation.

 

In the end what I think it will really come down to is how they intend to handle the modding/API end of things, and if there is any invasive DRM that I would have to put up with (or not put up with, as it were).  If they fracture the install base and require mods be compiled for base game -or- expansion-enabled game... I simply don't have time for that level of development (or motivation, or patience, or desire).  I've already asked in the announcement thread, and can only wait and see what the response is.  Either way I'm not just going to 'poof-vanish'; even if I do end up stepping down, I'll stick around long enough to clean up/finish up a few more things and find someone else who could at least do maintenance releases for the mods' plugin code.

 

 

On a more positive note, this weekends SSTU release should contain the RD-180 engine, model by @blowfish (with some finishing work and all textures done by me).  Textures not quite finished yet, but getting there.  Work on the -19x and -17x derivatives should hopefully start in a couple of weeks.

XDvw6jd.png

 

 

 

13 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

On a more positive note, this weekends SSTU release should contain the RD-180 engine, model by @blowfish (with some finishing work and all textures done by me).  Textures not quite finished yet, but getting there.  Work on the -19x and -17x derivatives should hopefully start in a couple of weeks.

XDvw6jd.png

 

 

 

Wow! Those look GREAT!

On a separate note (this is going to sound silly, I know), but is SSTU designed to be compatible with stock game size/perf or RSS size/perf?

Cheers mate! Honestly one of the best (if not THE best) parts mod out there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

Thanks for the offers guys, is appreciated but not necessary.  This isn't/won't be a financially motivated decision, but will/would based more on ethical(?) grounds, and how they handle the modding / API end of things.

Still, SSTU is something that keep me playing, so I might need to contribute to the coffee/beer fund again, anyway :D

If you were (or ever visited) NM, I'd certainly do the same in person.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

with some finishing work and all textures done by me

AKA the hard part :wink:

31 minutes ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

On a separate note (this is going to sound silly, I know), but is SSTU designed to be compatible with stock game size/perf or RSS size/perf?

Everything is balanced (roughly) against stock.  Personally I don't think stock is very well balanced for the stock solar system but that's just me.

Other mods that change the balance may or may not support SSTU.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

Wow! Those look GREAT!

On a separate note (this is going to sound silly, I know), but is SSTU designed to be compatible with stock game size/perf or RSS size/perf?

Cheers mate! Honestly one of the best (if not THE best) parts mod out there. 

 

49 minutes ago, blowfish said:

AKA the hard part :wink:

Everything is balanced (roughly) against stock.  Personally I don't think stock is very well balanced for the stock solar system but that's just me.

Other mods that change the balance may or may not support SSTU.

:)  I dunno.... modeling Russian engines is pretty hard for me.


Yes, SSTU is generally balanced in a 'stock-ish' fashion, or at least aimed at being stock compatible for the most part.  Engines should all have the same range of TWR as stock engines (lifters at least), tanks should have roughly the same mass-fraction and performance (wet/dry ratio, drag, volume).  Some of the spacecraft parts are a bit on the light side compared to their stock equivalents (SC-A/B/C; SC-E is actually very close to stock mass/cost), but that is because I personally feel that the stock pods need the lead-sheeting removed...

However, if building replica rockets, you will find that while the TWR should be about appropriate when built to-scale, the dV will be insanely more than is needed for the stock system (even if the SC-A/B/C had higher mass, this problem would still exist, merely be reduced in severity).  A scaled-replica Saturn-V usually ends up with ~12km/s of dV, a scaled-replica SLS at >9km/s, haven't tested many others, but the trend is probably about the same.

One other point of note is that I use real-world density for LH2 tanks, whereas many other mods fudge the density a bit (NearFuture at least, unsure how USI handles it anymore, and have no experience with KSPI).  This can cause a large difference in the -size- of the craft when comparing SSTU tanks to other mods' tanks, but the performance should be roughly equivalent (depending on what those mods are using for mass ratio in the tanks).

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Few more glamour shots of the RD-180, on an Atlas-V semi-replica.

Bgrw1Zd.png

The bulges on the side are some extra fuel tanks added to hide the fuel input line; on scaled-replica style craft (~2.5m 1st stage core), the fuel input line sticks out of the shroud slightly.

R4yLSKG.png

(emissive texture is WIP, will be made a bit prettier before release)

The first stage had enough fuel to take the entire thing to orbit (with a 6t payload...), but did include a Centaur-ish upper stage :)

Jc4t76B.png

Edit:

Updated emissive/glow texture:

3axoNRd.png

Edited by Shadowmage
9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2017 at 5:20 PM, Shadowmage said:

 

However, if building replica rockets, you will find that while the TWR should be about appropriate when built to-scale, the dV will be insanely more than is needed for the stock system (even if the SC-A/B/C had higher mass, this problem would still exist, merely be reduced in severity).  A scaled-replica Saturn-V usually ends up with ~12km/s of dV, a scaled-replica SLS at >9km/s, haven't tested many others, but the trend is probably about the same.

I play with a rescale where the planets are 3.2x as large and the distances are 6.4x, and I like having the overpowered rockets, as they're not so overpowered anymore.....

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as i had predicted, my imagination got the best of me, so i went off and completely redesigned my RNS system again. I -really- hope this is the last time, because its getting tiring having to redesign not only the shuttles, but also all of the mining, refining, storage, and refueling infrastructure around them.

T-5 seconds until liftoff

xm0RnYB.png

-

Make sure to check your staging, folks... And also make sure that your procedural fairings will not detonate what they are enclosing because the ejection force is bumped up by 0.01 -.- 

LPoVSnC.png

-

Test mission, seeing how stable it is with a crapton of stuff docked to the front. It's got the wobbles because of how week docking connections are in KSP :/

yfx5o9H.png

-

Lander variant, landed on the Mun. Very unstable and slidey here, because there's no &*($^@# FLAT areas to land on the Mun >:I

RA6si7X.png

-

And the lander variant, parked on Minmus. Large fuel tank in tow, the lander variants will eventually be able to land and refuel (via mining rovers or otherwise), they will then either:

-Take that fuel to LKO to supply a large refueling station, of which other RNS's will dock at. Then, they will return to Minmus and repeat.

-Take that fuel to LMO, and have whatever RNS needs to be fueled up fly out to Minmus, refuel, and fly back to LKO.

Both options will cut out the RNS's current reliability on Kerbin-launched Marduk fueling missions, of which currently cost upwards of 152,000 Krubles per launch.

tWuXYEa.png

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, quick (hopefully) question here. I'm a bit confused after searching thru the thread, does SSTU play nice with SMURFF and/or KR&D? Running a 6.4-scale game here, and despite the tremendous utility of the SSTU setup I'm starting to regret not going with Real Fuels like my last game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Hi, quick (hopefully) question here. I'm a bit confused after searching thru the thread, does SSTU play nice with SMURFF and/or KR&D? Running a 6.4-scale game here, and despite the tremendous utility of the SSTU setup I'm starting to regret not going with Real Fuels like my last game. 

I can't speak to SMURFF (although I'd have my doubts) but I know that KR&D does not work.  With SMURFF you might be able to get it working with MM patches but KR&D changes stats of engines and tanks and that will definitely not play nice with SSTU.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Goes to start working on SSTU for KSP1.2.9+, and realizes that SSTU depends on ModuleManager, which is not yet available for pre-releases*

*sigh* ... well, I tried to do something productive today...

On the bright side there were only two compile-time errors from the upgrade to the 1.2.9 libraries, neither of which should cause any sort of functional problems (both related to display localization).  The downside is that I won't be able to test anything until MM is available (as SSTU relies on MM to manipulate a ton of the configs for shaders and model setups; could recreate those configs by hand, but it would be an extremely long and error-prone process).

Hard to do pre-release testing when you can't actually do it.  Can only pray that there aren't any modding-api related bugs that need to be found/reported/fixed in the pre-releases, as it certainly won't be me finding them.  Can't hold it against Sarbian though, I understand why he holds back releases during the ksp-pre-release period.  Understanding sadly still doesn't allow me to test anything though.

Oh-well, back to playing with engine geometry I guess (working on -170 and -190 derivatives), and contemplating custom mount options.  Perhaps I'll try again next week.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note of gratitude for the latest addition to the engine line up...that RD-180 is amazing.  I've rebuilt my Soyuz 3.125m heavy lift core where I had been running the RD-170s from Real Engines but it was massive overkill and I always ran the engines with a thrust nerf down to 75%.  Your latest additions made for a 1-to-1 swap and now I don't have to finagle it to make it feel right.  Thank you so much for this as it will see a stupendous level of use.  Now for a tiny amount of eye candy...

Spoiler

sSdV67D.png

4zyc2NK.png

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/17/2017 at 0:23 PM, Shadowmage said:

In the end what I think it will really come down to is how they intend to handle the modding/API end of things, and if there is any invasive DRM that I would have to put up with (or not put up with, as it were).  If they fracture the install base and require mods be compiled for base game -or- expansion-enabled game... I simply don't have time for that level of development (or motivation, or patience, or desire).  I've already asked in the announcement thread, and can only wait and see what the response is.  Either way I'm not just going to 'poof-vanish'; even if I do end up stepping down, I'll stick around long enough to clean up/finish up a few more things and find someone else who could at least do maintenance releases for the mods' plugin code.

I really hope they are not that stupid. The modders that have joined the team would have informed them of what a horrible idea that is. That would absolutely destroy the modding community for just a few extra sales of the expansion. NOT worth it.

However, as far as expansions in general. We can't delude ourselves into thinking that KSP can be developed forever without them. KSP is not THAT popular. And even if it was most people who have heard about it likely already own it. There are things in the core code that modders simply can't change. So once development stops those issues will be around forever. Or even worse another company could purchase the IP and decide to go full on paid mod like Train Simulator.

I hope you will be understanding of them as long as they do not start acting like EA. Especially if this gets them back on the path towards multiplayer.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Shadowmage are the Space X engines supposed to have emissives? Because they don't have any in my install currently (at least the first two booster engines don't) and the RL-10 engines don't seem to have them either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 3/21/2017 at 4:16 PM, Akira_R said:

@Shadowmage are the Space X engines supposed to have emissives? Because they don't have any in my install currently (at least the first two booster engines don't) and the RL-10 engines don't seem to have them either.

Define 'supposed to'? :) (And I'm guessing you are talking about the Merlin line of engines?)

In a perfect world (where I have infinite time), yes, they should have emissives.  However it is already known that they don't.  A few others as well, LR-87 LR-81 and Superdraco are also lacking emissives, and I think one more that I can't remember off the top of my head (one of the more recent engine additions).

RL-10 does have an emissive texture (all but the RL-10-A-5; it technically has as well, but is mostly on the lower portion of the bell that was cutoff).  If they are not working then something has broken on the config level.

Feel free to open up an issue ticket on the repo regarding this; likely the only way I'll remember about them, which is they only way they'll get done.

Edited by Shadowmage
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going to do any new emissives, I'd recommend waiting until KSP 1.3.  There will be a new, much easier method of doing emissives (in Unity, all you have to do is set up the emissive material, the rest can be done in the part config)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, blowfish said:

If you're going to do any new emissives, I'd recommend waiting until KSP 1.3.  There will be a new, much easier method of doing emissives (in Unity, all you have to do is set up the emissive material, the rest can be done in the part config)

My method is already similar to that (only I did it first :), and have been using this method for at least a year already).  I don't have to mess with any 'animations' for my emissives on engines.  Merely set them to the proper shader/material in Unity for the initial .mu export, and add the SSTU engine-heat emissive module to the config, and it uses config defined curves to adjust the emissive output.

The engines listed above -- already have placeholder glow textures setup on them / were exported with placeholder textures -- literally all they need is for the texture to be created/finished, and they'll start to glow (config is already setup as well).

Looking through the asset files it looks like the LR-81, Merlins, SRBs and SuperDraco engines are all currently using placeholder emissive textures (128x black images).

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work on the RD-171 engine is nearly complete.  Model geometry is finished anyhow.  Need to clean up some of the rigging transform naming and create the configs for it.

clL0hYC.png

Managed to re-use the existing diffuse+AO map with quite a bit of 'fudging' in the model.  Its not 100% correct (the AO), but is close enough for this use (you would be hard pressed to spot the 'errors'), and allows for re-use of the existing texture.  Hoping to pull off similar for the -190 variant as well, so that all three derivatives can use the same single set of textures.

10 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely done!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

Work on the RD-171 engine is nearly complete.  Model geometry is finished anyhow.  Need to clean up some of the rigging transform naming and create the configs for it.

clL0hYC.png

So on the real thing, that bit in the middle is the single combustion chamber feeding four separate nozzles, right?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So on the real thing, that bit in the middle is the single combustion chamber feeding four separate nozzles, right?

Close.  It's a single pump feeding four combustion chambers

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, blowfish said:

Close.  It's a single pump feeding four combustion chambers

Historical and Technical description of the above to follow.   Read at your own risk :P   A lot of you probably know this but it is fitting to share.

Technically that long cylinder is two pumps (Oxygen and Hydrocarbonfuel) But yes, almost all the "Modern" Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian Large thrust rocket engines have a pump arranged like this.  The NK-9 IIRC was the first (abet much smaller pump assembly along the side of the engine bell,) and that was 1963ish?

http://www.b14643.de/Spacerockets_1/East_Europe_2/N-1/NK/index.htm

The above URL has a lot of pictures of various Kuznetsov engines (vs Energomash like the RD-180/RD-170 families) all of which have the pump "in the middle" along the side of a single bell rocket engine.    In manned space flight the closest engine setup similar to these fine Russian/Ukrainian engines is the US Aerojet LR-87 of Titan and Gemini fame. Like the RD-180 and the RD-170 engines, the LR-87 has it's pumps between the engine bells.  Often, like the RD-170 and RD-180, the LR-87 is said to be two (or 4 for the RD-170) engines.  This is not because it is two engines combined but rather the Engine bell is basically the same for the LR-91 engine (a single bell engine) on the Upper stage. This lead to a lot of reporters calling it two engines.   

Plumbing and Fuel pumps are the true determination of how many engines a rocket has.  

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now