SQUAD

KSP Weekly: A short briefing

105 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Sirad said:

I Found out about the secret stuff.

we get one new Audio track.

Actually, there's surprisingly little music in this game, so I wouldn't mind seeing more. At least a leitmotif for every planet (played when entering their sphere of influence) would be awesome.

 

As for the new, super-secret feature... honestly, I think I'm just as excited for it (version 1.4) as I am for version 1.5 or for that matter 1.9. I'm not intending to complain, just to voice my observations.

We know there will be a new feature, but its exact details - heck, its general concept - remains unknown. It's really nice with new features, and I'll probably enjoy the heck out of it, but you could say the exact same thing about far-future versions. "New things will come and the fandom will rejoice". Provided that Squad keeps developing the game, I think it's a pretty fair bet that there will be more such enjoyable features in versions after the next one. Heck, the new feature for 1.8 might be the best thing ever. We know it's coming, in some form, at some point in time. And we don't know what it is.

The new, super-secret feature feels like, say, the iPhone 11 or FIFA 2023. It will probably come one day. It will probably receive a warm welcome. Lots of love, expertise and attention to detail may be put into it to make a really solid product. But apart from the facts that it does exist and that it will be released some day, we know very little. Far too many unknown variables to build any sort of excitement.

However, would I rather that Squad kept it under wraps until they were ready to show it to us? No, not at all. After 1.2, it might have felt like KSP was "finished", and development being scaled back to bugfixes only. Then they started localization, as if to spread their finished product to a wider audience. It was incredibly reassuring to hear that more is in store for the future, that the game is still being worked on, and that there is a plan beyond "making what we've already got, work properly". More is in store for KSP, and the promise of a new feature is the easiest and most solid way to convince us of that. Not "Yes, we're still working on the game but won't go into specifics", or "We'll tell you when we've got something, until then we'll stay completely quiet". Paranoia would quickly translate those into "This is it, folks, from now it's just localization and plushies". But they said "A new feature is on the way, and one of our coders is already tinkering with mods for it", which is a concrete promise of further development of the game.

So... yeah. The current strategy isn't making me hyped. There will be a 1.4 hype train, but where it's going and when is completely unknown. For the moment, that hype train has not rolled further than the 1.5 or 1.6 hype trains. But the strategy is making me reassured that there will be things to be hyped about in the future.

 

That being said, it would be really nice to get something concrete soon...

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1 hour ago, TheSaint said:

What it does is lead to inevitable disappointment. Because everyone fills in the blank with the new feature that they want to see, rather than the new feature that is being developed.

Indeed.  We've seen this multiple times, like with destructible buildings and the dust effect.

 

Of course, the other side is them teasing us with things like "rhymes with shmelta vee" feature that never appeared.

Edited by razark
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13 minutes ago, razark said:

Of course, the other side is them teasing us with things like "rhymes with shmelta vee" feature that never appeared.

I suspect they learned their lesson with that one, which is why they've mostly avoided telling us about new features in advance since. They figure it's better to say nothing at all than to promise a specific feature and fail to deliver, and they're probably right. So if the new project is a risky one that might never materialize, I can't really blame them for not giving us every detail.

Honestly, the main thing I'd like to know is--is it something in the game or something outside the game? Right now I'm actually kind of looking forward to a new feature in the game--even if it's something small-but-nice like liftoff smoke. As long as it doesn't introduce horrible new glitches, I probably won't be disappointed with whatever it is, even if it's nothing like whatever I'm expecting. I will be disappointed if it turns out to be something external to KSP--some new merchandise or a port to a new platform. If that's the case, I'd prefer to get started on my not-particularly-caring project now rather than wait till later.

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2 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

is it something in the game or something outside the game?

It has to be in the game, as the only real concrete words we have on it were that a dev/modder was excited to hook mods into it. Can't hook a mod into a Dres plushie.

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13 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

It has to be in the game, as the only real concrete words we have on it were that a dev/modder was excited to hook mods into it. Can't hook a mod into a Dres plushie.

You're right, I forgot about that. I just hope they've checked to make sure it's actually a good idea, whatever it is. I still haven't forgotten the contract weighting system.

On the other hand, a lot of their secret features that some people scoffed at I've actually liked (I continue to enjoy the liftoff smoke), so I will try to stay optimistic.

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23 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

I suspect they learned their lesson with that one, which is why they've mostly avoided telling us about new features in advance since. They figure it's better to say nothing at all than to promise a specific feature and fail to deliver, and they're probably right. So if the new project is a risky one that might never materialize, I can't really blame them for not giving us every detail.

I understand if that's their way of thinking, and can see how they could have reached it.  However, the community is not free of blame for the way they react when they don't get a feature that was mentioned as a possibility.  The community also has a history of demanding things from Squad that they shouldn't.  Notice every time they announce that someone has left the company, the number of posts demanding that Squad needs to make their private business public.

 

The way it has been:

Squad: We're working on <X>.
Community: YAY!
Squad: <Silence>
Community: What about <X>?
Squad: <Silence>
Community: What happened to <X>?
Squad: We decided to get of <X>.
Community: TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS!  BURN THEM DOWN!  SQUAD IS THE DEVIL, AND WE SHALL DENOUNCE THEM FOREVER!

 

The way it should be:

Squad: We're working on <X>, but we're not sure how well it will work out.
Community: YAY!
Squad: We tried, but we discovered that for <reasons>, we were unable to make <X> happen in a way that we felt would be enjoyable and productive.*
Community: Oh, ok.  Thanks for trying, but we understand that not everything you want to do is going to be possible.

 

 

*Actually, there has been some of this in regards to the lack of 'shmelta vee' and the original resource system.  The problem is that Squad tends to not be upfront about it, and will only speak up well after the community has started to corner the market on farming tools and illumination.

 

 

 

Edit:

2 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

On the other hand, a lot of their secret features that some people scoffed at I've actually liked (I continue to enjoy the liftoff smoke)

Note, I am not against "secret features" per se.  I just find the way they build a lot of hype off of them doesn't help when people find out that what seemed to be touted as a major feature turns out to be something rather minor.

Edited by razark
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1 minute ago, razark said:

demanding that Squad needs to make their private business public.

 

2 minutes ago, razark said:

we discovered that for <reasons>,

This is another example of that private business thing.

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1 minute ago, stibbons said:

This is another example of that private business thing.

I agree that in some cases, it can be.

However, in the case of the massive resource system, the reasoning they gave was "when we playtested it, it just wasn't fun", which is A) a perfectly valid reason that could have been mentioned earlier; and B) not really on the same level as pay rates, sales figures, and employer/employee relations.

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Just now, razark said:

not really on the same level as pay rates, sales figures, and employer/employee relations

That's not particularly important. We're not the ones who get to decide what's appropriate to share.

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Just now, stibbons said:

We're not the ones who get to decide what's appropriate to share.

And I never said we were.

What I did say was that more open communication might help to make the developer/company and community relationship smoother.  Perhaps my "The way it should be" was not the right way to phrase it.

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3 hours ago, razark said:

the reasoning they gave was "when we playtested it, it just wasn't fun"

I don't remember that being said... but that's probably something for another topic

Edited by NovaSilisko

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30 minutes ago, NovaSilisko said:

I don't remember that being said... but that's probably something for another topic

I'm paraphrasing from one of the disappeared devblogs.

Here's a quote that references it:

On 12/16/2013 at 5:34 PM, Spatzimaus said:

The thing is, I completely disagree with HarvesteR about the reason for shelving it; even if it wasn't "fun" to do the mining in its own right...

Many more can be found, but the original statement has disappeared.

Ah...

https://web.archive.org/web/20131220050707/http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/content/239-KerbalKon-Announce
 

Quote

2. Resource Mining: The old resource-mining plan is being shelved, which by all means, is a good thing. It wasn’t fun once we got down to it, so we’re not losing anything worth keeping here. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for more “end-game” activities. We aren’t ready to disclose any new ideas now because we’re focused on Career Mode and anything we bring up now could end up getting scrapped later and we’ll have the same issue we have now.

 

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6 hours ago, razark said:

The way it has been:

Squad: We're working on <X>.
Community: YAY!
Squad: <Silence>
Community: What about <X>?
Squad: <Silence>
Community: What happened to <X>?
Squad: We decided to get of <X>.
Community: TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS!  BURN THEM DOWN!  SQUAD IS THE DEVIL, AND WE SHALL DENOUNCE THEM FOREVER!

 

The way it should be:

Squad: We're working on <X>, but we're not sure how well it will work out.
Community: YAY!
Squad: We tried, but we discovered that for <reasons>, we were unable to make <X> happen in a way that we felt would be enjoyable and productive.*
Community: Oh, ok.  Thanks for trying, but we understand that not everything you want to do is going to be possible.

I don't know if this would be the final solution to your issue, but I kind of like it.

Edited by Acea
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12 hours ago, razark said:

The way it should be:
 

Squad: We're working on <X>, but we're not sure how well it will work out.
Community: YAY!
Squad: We tried, but we discovered that for <reasons>, we were unable to make <X> happen in a way that we felt would be enjoyable and productive.*
Community: Oh, ok.  Thanks for trying, but we understand that not everything you want to do is going to be possible.

How it would actually go:

Squad: We're working on <X>, but we're not sure how well it will work out.
Community: Why are you working on <X> I don't want <X> I want <Y> it would be so much better! You don't even know if you can do <X>. I await your failure, Squad.
Squad: We tried, but we discovered that for <reasons>, we were unable to make <X> happen in a way that we felt would be enjoyable and productive.
Half of Community: See! Failure! Should have worked on <Y> SQUAD IS THE DEVIL!
Other Half: What? Why aren't you? You promised us! FALSE ADVERTISING! SQUAD IS THE DEVIL!
Squad: Plushie.

 

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4 minutes ago, Frybert said:

How it would actually go: (...)

In addition to that, let’s not forget that “nothing is impossible for those who don’t have to do it themselves”

over the years there have been requests for major game features (we all know them, so no need to mention specifics) that were countered by “too expensive” (calculation-wise), “introducing serious game-play issues” or “we’re not doing that because the game will crash.”

when community projects were started to prove Squad wrong... well, things would work, but too slowly, the major game play issues “that were easy to solve” turned out to be unsolveable and “see, it does work?!” was eventually retracted because too many people complained about how crash-prone it was.

My expectation is that there will be continuous outrage over not implementing features that seem well but actually reduce enjoyment of the game, for “reasons.”

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16 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

In addition to that, let’s not forget that “nothing is impossible for those who don’t have to do it themselves”

Also, you have to remember there will be those who are all:

What!? I paid $15 for this game on Early Access and have put in 2500 hours on it so far, and I am SHOCKED that you would DARE to not do EVERYTHING I say to do. What a waste of time and money! I'm going to give this game negative 11 stars on whatever review site I can find that will go down to negative 11 stars! Also, while we're at it, could you add 5 meter parts?

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Yes.  Some people complain.  Let's not pretend that's everyone.  Some people are actually reasonable.

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My dream feature would be to have fully habitable interiors that you could move around in. The ships you can build are great, but they feel a little dead somehow.

Float around the cabin. Travel down a connecting tube to another section. Spin up a centrifuge and walk around. Go up and peek out the cupola at Jool. Grow some vegetables. Sleep in your rack. Grab a sandwich. Use the loo. Peek out the window and see the rings of Urine.

Edited by JonathanPerregaux
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Given that certain legal geniuses are insisting that code comments in private, unreleased, proprietary source code (comments that never venture beyond the four walls where they're written) are somehow "binding contracts," I can't say I'd blame Squad (or any dev) for never giving more than a vague "we're still working on stuff" comment.

 

4 hours ago, Frybert said:

Squad: Plushie.

If it works......

Perhaps for the NeoApollo program instead of Charlie Brown and Snoopy we can have a CSM/LM combo named Jeb and Val, two characters popularized by the wildly famous line of Kerbal children's plushies. 

Edited by Cydonian Monk

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3 hours ago, Frybert said:

Squad: Plushie.

Where's my "Shut up and take my money" meme when I need it?

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4 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

Also, you have to remember there will be those who are all:

What!? I paid $15 for this game on Early Access and have put in 2500 hours on it so far, and I am SHOCKED that you would DARE to not do EVERYTHING I say to do. What a waste of time and money! I'm going to give this game negative 11 stars on whatever review site I can find that will go down to negative 11 stars! Also, while we're at it, could you add 5 meter parts?

And outrage over any suggestion of monetizing future development (charging for expansion packs, etc), DEMANDING that everything should remain free because god forbid you'd spend more than those original $20 on the game. Because maintaining a team of developers for ongoing development doesn't cost anything, after all.

That is still my biggest fear. Without any doubt sales have peaked. If we want to see continued development, there needs to be an income source. The refusal to pay for that is, in my mind, quite ashtonishing. Because if Squad is getting squat for expanding the game, Squad is going to do squat to expand the game. Any extra mile we can expect from them in that respect would be "diddly squat."

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37 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

That is still my biggest fear. Without any doubt sales have peaked. If we want to see continued development, there needs to be an income source.

What market is there for it on the PC? In console land where you can't mod the game DLC (for instance) make sense, but on the PC DLC may be overshadowed by the myriad of mods out there. Not to mention a decent chunk of the userbase was promised free DLCs.

I don't really see a business plan for KSP itself beyond what we have now. Outside products using the IP make a lot of sense, though.

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3 minutes ago, regex said:

What market is there for it on the PC? In console land where you can't mod the game DLC (for instance) make sense, but on the PC DLC may be overshadowed by the myriad of mods out there. Not to mention a decent chunk of the userbase was promised free DLCs.

I don't really see a business plan for KSP itself beyond what we have now. Outside products using the IP make a lot of sense, though.

There's added value in Squad issued DLC beyond regular mods. Aside from people pirating it, but then again the game can just be as easily pirated and that never seemed an issue. Anyhow, Squad mods/DLC can hold promises that arguably have more value than a 3rd party mod provider can offer:

  • Guaranteed upgrades for the latest available version of KSP (whenever KSP upgrades, the mod will be upgraded as well)
  • For part mods, a visual style that is in line with KSP's styling guidelines (whatever they are)
  • Parts supported by 3rd party mods in the same way as stock parts are*

The main reason I fly mainly stock is not because I'm a purist, but because every upgrade is a surprise of what will continue to work, what I will have to wait for and what will never work again. Surely  there are outstanding mods available, but if for $5 or $10 I will have a guarantee (for what it's worth) that i don't have to worry about certain "mod parts" being availble in the future, I will happily pay for that. Anything Squad will offer is basically stock, even when it's not.

* There's no way you can enforce mod authors to provide support for Squad parts, but at the same time, if you're doing, say, a life support mod, it'd be pretty short sighted to not build in support for Squad's, say, Spinning Gravity Habs pack. It'd be a quite obvious choice, and for mod authors with limited resources (virtually all) it'd make more sense to dedicate energy to those mod packs than to other, arguably more obscure packs.

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29 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

There's added value in Squad issued DLC beyond regular mods. Aside from people pirating it, but then again the game can just be as easily pirated and that never seemed an issue. Anyhow, Squad mods/DLC can hold promises that arguably have more value than a 3rd party mod provider can offer:

That's a good point and I suppose one of the reasons I don't see value in Squad-provided DLCs is that I find very little value in Squad features (beyond science mode) and parts (mostly tanks and engines) once I start installing mods. Showing me an art pass with shiny new space-ready parts with a nod towards realism to replace the junkyard aesthetic might change my mind.

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DLCs aren't a good idea imho. Aside from the fact that they're often seen as exploitative, which is a moral question and nothing to do with economics, it doesn't really make much business sense.

  • KSP is already so good and so replayable that new players can go a looong time without ever augmenting it at all.
  • When you do want added features, mods are numerous, mostly excellent, and completely free.
  • SO DLCs would have to be substantial augments - i.e. more-than-mods - to the stock experience to make them worth the extra premium.
  • This carries a substantial investment in dev-hours to write new code, QA and bugfix, as much or more than any additional stock feature so far.
  • This means the price would have to be high to make a healthy return.
  • This depresses sales until the Sales, when margins are slashed anyway.
  • Ultimately, very little money is made.

It would make more sense for Squad to take their new-found acumen and invest the same dev time on a brand new project.

KSP is great, now show us something new.

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