SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: QA focus

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Hello everyone!

 We’re very near the end of our QA testing period for update 1.2, and all developers have switched to polish and bugfixing tasks so that we can enter the next phase of testing soon™. We’ll be making a more expanded announcement when we get there, because there will be some important information to share!

 As said we’re nearing the end of the QA tests, this is in no small part thanks to Dave’s (TriggerAu) efforts to manage the test case run for both our own QA team and the people at VMC. With his help Steve (Squelch) has jumped back into testing duties after some short leave. He’s currently focused on making sure the Steam controller profiles and functionality are in working order. Meanwhile, Mathew (sal_vager) has been switching back and forth between testing on the Xbox, PS4, and PC platforms. Aside from those tasks the QA team has given the new SAS system a couple more passes which allowed Nathan (Claw) to refine the new system just a little bit more. All in all the rate of newly reported bugs is going down quickly, and the number of solved issues shows an equal but opposite reaction.

 Jeremie (Nightingale) has tackled a large number of long-standing issues with the user interface, and also added some quality-of-life improvements there as well. Part highlighting in the VAB and SPH was fixed so that it no longer highlights extra parts when you load in a new craft, and the screen message system no longer tries to fit every message on the screen into one unreadable lump when there’s a lot of messages, it will scroll through them instead. Meanwhile Sébastien (Sarbian) taught map labels to stay away from each other when the player zooms out, keeping everything nice and readable, and also tweaked the ‘set orbit’ cheat menu so that it won’t set you on a collision course. Bill (taniwha) then worked his magic to allow this menu to set you to rendezvous with a different vessel.

 Nathanael (NathanKell) fixed two more orbit drift and jump issues: the first was caused by our orbital math being too accurate now, therefore not tripping a guard clause, the other was krakensbane not engaging until the end of the frame, leading to a jump coming off rails.

 Jim (Romfarer) continued tweaking the fuel flow overlay that was featured on Squadcast not too long ago. The overlay now shows green lines on connections which carry fuel, and grey lines on all other connections. He was kind enough to share an image of the end result: http://i.imgur.com/cfi7TRZ.jpg

 A few elusive bugs surrounding wheels remained until this week, but Brian (Arsonide) has been a trooper in hunting these down. Most notably he found the phantom force that was causing wheeled (and legged) vessels to slowly drift up hills. As it turned out the force that normally sticks you to the hill was pushing a bit too hard. He also patched up an issue that was causing some legs to blow up on vessel load, and removed a now unnecessary workaround for our legs that was causing them to skip a good deal of their animations. And people (other than Danny2462) will also be pleased to know that Kerbals on EVA no longer interact violently with wheel colliders.

 On to the CommNet feature then: Mike (Mu) finally got round to digging into CommNet, reshaping it to expand modding possibilities and streamlining the API. It has an abstracted network/pathfinding layer which people can mould to fit many applications. Bob (RoverDude) spent this week taking a final look at the science part of CommNet, one of its major features designed to give probes a purpose that is distinct from that of manned craft.  One example of this is the upcoming buff to transmitted science, which will reward players who not only use appropriate antennas, but also use relays to increase the signal strength of the entire communications path back to Kerbin.  The result is a buff (but never a penalty) to the maximum allowable transmission amount based on signal strength.  The bonus will land the science return somewhere between where transmission caps are now, but still below the science cap for returns  Bob provided a screenshot of what the restyled science dialog looks like when CommNet is enabled: http://i.imgur.com/U7bwR80.png

Pursuant to Bob’s designs for improving probes Nathanael (NathanKell) implemented the ability for some probe cores to have science containers included with them, and for science experiments to transfer data to them when on the same vessel without the need for a Kerbal to do the job.

 We’re also working on new plans for our community management, with Daniele (uomocapra) coming on to support Andrea’s (Badie) and Kasper’s (KasperVld) efforts we’ll be able to have great engagement. Some of the possibilities will be to attend more events, and have community contests more often.

 That’s it for this week, keep an especially close eye on our forums and social media, as well as the KSP Subreddit for the upcoming news and developments!

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Good news.

First :-)

 

Edit: Roger, keeping eye close(d).

Edited by Green Baron
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Woohoo first time posting here and second :) which is new first in my book.....

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Wow, really looking forward to this upgrade......

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I wonder what those "important announcements" will be about :) Moar cool stuff please! :D

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I would actually like to see probes nerfed rather than buffed. They are already lighter and way cheaper than the crewed pods. If you play with a life support mod (as I assume many hardcore players do), there is little sense actually taking your kerbonauts anywhere far.

But good to hear about the progress. Looks like we can expect the patch in 2 or 3 weeks.

Edited by garwel

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No mention of the console patch (if there is one). Considering its been six weeks since release I find this really poor. No love in this community for the console players.

 

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Looking at that screenshot... I see that PorkJet's new model for the Terrier. Finally representing rocket nozzles properly, then?

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1 minute ago, garwel said:

I would actually like to see probes nerfed rather than buffed. They are already lighter and way cheaper than the crewed pods. If you play with a life support mod (as I assume many hardcore players do), there is little sense actually taking your kerbonauts anywhere far.

I could make some comment about realism....oh I guess I kind of did:sticktongue:

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4 minutes ago, garwel said:

I would actually like to see probes nerfed rather than buffed. They are already lighter and way cheaper than the crewed pods. If you play with a life support mod (as I assume many hardcore players do), there is little sense actually taking your kerbonauts anywhere far.

The requirement of a communications network for full probe operation covers that :wink:

2 minutes ago, SingABrightSong said:

Looking at that screenshot... I see that PorkJet's new model for the Terrier. Finally representing rocket nozzles properly, then?

Nope - that's the same ol' terrier model

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Nice work on the CommNet, can't wait to play with it :wink:

Again, nothing for the GNU/Linux random bugs?

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6 minutes ago, garwel said:

I would actually like to see probes nerfed rather than buffed. They are already lighter and way cheaper than the crewed pods. If you play with a life support mod (as I assume many hardcore players do), there is little sense actually taking your kerbonauts anywhere far.

But good to hear about the progress. Looks like we can expect the patch in 2 or 3 weeks.

Well, in addition to the reply from @RoverDude, there's a bunch of stuff that you need crew for even in the current game. Crew reports, EVA reports, science lab researchers, repairing things with engineers to name a few.

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There is still a lot you cannot do without kerbals on board(reset science, surface samples, crew reports, EVA reports, wheel repairs, ISRU, Control without signal from kerbin)

I'm looking forward to the probe science containers.  An extra place for my kerbals to stow science data without bringing a lab on board(plus the option to actually bring back more than one copy of each experiment per science part on actual probes of course).

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Sounds like things are coming together nicely! Can't wait for the new telemetry system :)

Now, I see work being done to landing legs and wheels about those mystery forces, which is nice to see. But out of curiosity, is the unity update being included in 1.2? Can't wait for the "wheel blocked: yes" bug to be fixed.

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Personal high points:

  1. Probe automated science containers. Like, really. About time :D 
  2. CommNet sounds waaay better than KerbNet

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20 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

The requirement of a communications network for full probe operation covers that :wink:

Well, I know it's a different thing, but even with RemoteTech, I find it much more efficient to launch lots of cheap probes than manned missions, other than for specific contracts or roleplaying purposes. After all, you only need to build the CommNet once and then use it forever, saving on launch mass of every vessel.

17 minutes ago, Terwin said:

There is still a lot you cannot do without kerbals on board(reset science, surface samples, crew reports, EVA reports, wheel repairs, ISRU, Control without signal from kerbin)

Sure. But in terms of cost or mass efficiency, sending several probes is still preferential to manned ships in 90% cases.

Anyway, it's just my thoughts about my own playthrough that may be wrong for many others. I guess this change may be ok for balance in the stock version where you don't have LS. 

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What happened to the new rocket parts by Porkjet and Porkjet himself? Does he even work at Squad? I am asking because we haven't heard anything from him for a while, and the last time the developer went missing on the forum C7 left the team.

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2 minutes ago, WhereAmI said:

What happened to the new rocket parts by Porkjet and Porkjet himself? Does he even work at Squad? I am asking because we haven't heard anything from him for a while, and the last time the developer went missing on the forum C7 left the team.

Porkjet is still here :)

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3 minutes ago, KasperVld said:

Porkjet is still here :)

Although I am not really anticipating new models as much as others, it's been kind of interesting how he has been omitted from several DevNotes in a row.

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1 minute ago, Cornholio said:

Although I am not really anticipating new models as much as others, it's been kind of interesting how he has been omitted from several DevNotes in a row.

That's down to bad timing regarding when the devnotes are written :)

 

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2 hours ago, SQUAD said:

The overlay now shows green lines on connections which carry fuel, and grey lines on all other connections. He was kind enough to share an image of the end result: http://i.imgur.com/cfi7TRZ.jpg

Cannot begin to express how happy this makes me!!!!  :D :D :D

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Hype.

 

Seriously though I'm still super-hyped about all the unnecessary garbage creation being culled. Can't wait to see not see that in action.

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Sounds like some good things will be available in the near future. Thanks for all the hard work. :)

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2 hours ago, garwel said:

I would actually like to see probes nerfed rather than buffed. They are already lighter and way cheaper than the crewed pods. If you play with a life support mod (as I assume many hardcore players do), there is little sense actually taking your kerbonauts anywhere far.

But good to hear about the progress. Looks like we can expect the patch in 2 or 3 weeks.

Ummm, because they are?   No life support needed, no space needed for crew, etc.  

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