Biggen

When did you "get it" with KSP?

90 posts in this topic

I really don't know for sure, but I suspect it was 3-5 hours after installing KER.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I'm over 1200 hours and have still never sent a kerbaled mission to land on another planet (outside of the Mun and Minmus of course). One of these days I'll do it, dangit.

That said, I 'got' the game after about a day or two of marathon playing. Everything since then has been mostly playing around with mods and starting careers over alot.

Edited by drhay53

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't really say how many hours I've spent on this game (non-steam copy). I am sure I've crossed the 1000 threshold, possibly 2000 or even more. I've been playing since 0.9. This was before we even had a Mun to go to, let alone other planets.

I feel like the moment I got it was when, through trial and error, I managed to get a semi-stable orbit. Back then, we didn't have a map. I couldn't see the actual periapsis or apoapsis. However, based on the altitudes achieved at each point where the vertical speed indicator went back in the other direction, I knew I was at an eccentricity of <0.1. It was very satisfying to finally achieve orbit. Please also keep in mind that we didn't have a time warp. I actually sat there for 15 minutes while my craft orbited Kearth (which is what we called Kerbin before we knew its name).

Sadly, I still haven't even gone to Jool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2017 at 4:57 PM, Just Jim said:

I think this... the very first time I landed on the VAB. I still had a lot to learn, but this is when I started to think I was actually getting the hang of playing KSP...

Ivpk1wq.jpg

Nice! Elon Musk might have a job opening for you :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The manouver node system was an eye opener. I was for the longest time oblivious to its existence.

What really expanded my horizon was when I started designing rocket stages for what they were actually meant to do in a deltaV-budget-like way. Early on, I was just trying to always have at least a TWR of 2 and I would just pile on tanks and stages as needed. It made for some gigantic rockets which very often ran out of fuel before completing their missions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly there are milestones to reach, rendezvous and docking probably being one of the most salient. When prepping for my first voyage out of Kerbin space, to Duna, I knew I'd need an orbiter/lander method and that was the impetus for me to learn that. 

however the real moment for me came in finally grokking how to get a circular orbit from launch. For the longest time I'd wind up with these bulging elliptical orbits because I didn't know to keep the insertion burn close to the Ap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thing I did to figure out what to do was, you guessed it, watch loads of YouTube. I just looked up tutorials hours on end, and then I got it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learned that getting to orbit requires going sideways as well as going up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometime before my second Guinness was done I think (Mun landing and return).

 

Though in all honestly, doing an orbital rendezvous took longer to "get," for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/28/2017 at 4:03 PM, Biggen said:

I've been playing KSP for about two months now.  I think I bought it on a Steam sale during Christmas.  I've got a bit over 200 hours in now and I finally feel like I "get" what it is I'm supposed to be doing.  I can finally dock, build rockets, build stations, go interplanetary, etc...  I'm no expert by any sense but I finally feel comfortable doing most things and no longer abuse the search tool on this forum for every minor detail like I once did.

I've never put this many hours into a single game.  It is an amazing piece of software that really is limitless in what you can accomplish.  Look forward to the next 200 hours and beyond!  Just curious on how long it took others to finally feel like they were accomplishing their goals and not just floundering about.  

Took me only 60 hours to dock...

But a year had passed in real time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when I first docked, I was like OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, I JUST DOCKED, THAT'S SO FREAKIN' COOL!

HAPPYFACE.png~c200

 

There were many moments like this: first Mun landing, first Shuttle landing, first successful SSTO etc. I wish I could forget everything and repeat that experience.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, so many responses. Thanks for sharing guys. Really cool to see how we all learn something like this at different paces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 - 25 hours of game play accompanied by 50 - 60 hours of Scott Manley, and various other YouTube videos. That was when i started to feel like i had found a game i would be playing for years to come. Here I am are 3 years later and I always return to KSP. Had my stints with FO4, XCOM 2, ARMA 3, ect. but KSP is the only one still installed on my games drive. Honestly it is my go to when the manic creativity strikes. I can sit in the VAB for hours designing the perfect ___________. <-- insert craft type of your choice. That is of course when I have the time to do such things. DAMNIT! I've finally grown up, but it only took me 41 years. 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when I figured out that I had the staging backwards

and also how to build a plane

and the only time I've ever docked

when I got to orbit for the first time in career mode

when I sent a probe to Duna in career mode

when I landed on the Mun,but crashed

when I figured out that moar fuel doesn't equal moar delta V

when I found out the magic of asparagus

when I got Dmagic OS installed, I COULD RULE THE GALAXY, or really, DOWNLOAD MODS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 I'm playing since last September for 600h+.

I "got it" real quick, even went interplanetary on my first day of playing (super inefficient: left Kerbins SOI straight upwards and then hohmann-transfered to duna. Didn't have the delta-v to capture.)

I really got it when i developed my own method for performing a rendezvous with a craft that is on an entirely different orbit (a method i didn't find in a tutorial and i will write one on)

Edited by Physics Student
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After about 250 hours of game time and a couple of Manley most everything was second nature. Except gravity asists to slow down.

 

On 3/1/2017 at 6:35 PM, 5thHorseman said:

I really don't know for sure, but I suspect it was 3-5 hours after installing KER.

And/Or MechJeb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This game keeps calling me back for 2 years now, did some space stuff, but designing jets,cars,boats and submarines kept me on this mighty planet called Kerbin. ^_^

Edited by Triop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1 March 2017 at 0:20 AM, Ten Key said:

I felt like I "got it" when I finally grasped the navball and everything it was trying to tell me.

:prograde: :retrograde: :antinormal: :normal: :antiradial: :radial: :targetpro: :targetretro: :maneuver: 

:confused: :huh: :o :D

This, more than anything else. Pretty much every time I was getting stuck with some aspect of KSP, the answer was to stop worrying and learn to love the navball. 

I don't recall one single 'a-ha' moment though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there are multiple "got it" moments

off the pad

navigation

docking

airplanes

airships

etc. etc. (I'm still working on the airships and spaceplanes)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I bought the game in October, coincidentally just after 1.2 came out. I've spent 700 hours since then and in most respects I still don't feel like I "get it", and I expect a lot of people here would say I don't either.

Oh sure, I was able to do things in the game without too much trouble.  The bulk of it took maybe just a few dozen hours to pin down.  I dunno if that's quick or not but it seems maybe average to me.  Honestly, my "secret" was just following the in-game tutorials.  (If you haven't seen them, try them, even if the material is old hat by now.  They really are great.  Not perfect, certainly, but great.)  Those and KSPedia.

Gravity turn?  Getting to orbit?  That was what I most struggled with, and I had to repeat that tutorial several times, but eventually got a method down that would get me up there... usually.  Aero stability?  Having enough power?  Reentry?  Not as bad.  It wasn't always pretty, and many good Kerbals were lost in the early days, but I never ran into something I couldn't solve after a few tries.  Getting to the Mun or Minmus?  Sure, just patiently fiddle with the manoeuvre node 'til it works like the tutorial shows.  Building the landers was the trickier part for me.  Rendezvous?  Docking?  Okay actually if there's one thing I did "get" fairly quickly, it's the docking stuff.  I'm actually a bit surprised that so many others seem to have so much trouble because, again, all I did to learn was follow the in-game tutorial.  Anyhow, we all have our strengths, and that seems to be mine.

But do I get the bigger picture?  Do I truly understand what I'm doing?  Heck no.  That's only just started to come, and I'm a long way off.  I flew by the seat of my pants for pratically everything I did.  It was all trial-and-error.  I think even by Kerbal standards the way I did things would make people cringe because not only was my planning almost always totally wrong, but I rarely ever planned ahead in the first place.

Transfer windows?  Oberth?  Insertions?  Cripes, still no real sense of those.  I mean I know they exist and that I was using them without realising how, but that's about it.  If I try to read forum conversations about them I get glassy-headed.  To get anywhere in the game I just twiddled and repositioned the node enough times until I got an encounter, and then if I was up to it I'd try to tweak it to get a bit lower dv until it got tedious.  But if it took 22 days to get to Minmus, so be it.  (OK I did eventually figure out why that happened, but again not until relatively late.)

TWR?  Didn't use it for at least half the playtime.  It was actually the first real application of the science that I learned, because I got tired of doing larger launches that would almost-but-not-quite get to orbit, and one can only add so many SRBs without a time-consuming full redesign, so eventually I got motivated to figure it out.  Delta-v?  That came waaaay later.  I always had a vague sense of what it meant, but never bothered to understand and apply for a long time.  I calculated dv for the first time at probably close to the 600-hour mark, to be sure I'd be able to rescue an asteroid and its original retrieval ship (out-of-fuel, naturally) for a contract.  Then again to work out whether I'd have enough fuel to return from from my coup-de-grace mission to Duna.  Not to get there or anything sane like that of course.  Nah, to get there I just kept lobbing bigger ships until I had one that didn't fall short.  Same with that damned Sun-orbit part retrieval contract that I took very early on before I had any idea what it actually entailed.  (Thank goodness for uncrewed vessels.  Still was expensive though.)  And yeah I did even use the rocket equation for my last couple of missions to work out fuel requirements.  Felt proud of that, like it was all finally starting to coalesce properly in my head, but I'm still pretty dodgy at it.

Precision landings?  Spaceplanes?  Don't even ask.

So in that sense I still hardly "get it" at all. And since I don't have the time now that I did for those few months, I probably never will.  But luckily I don't care because a) it's rocket science - it's supposed to be hard, and b) playing without "getting it" was still a heck of a lot of fun.

 

Spoiler

By now anyone who's read this far and still cares (unlikely I know) might well be screaming "but you could have used mods to make that stuff easier!!!"  Well yes I could have, but I didn't want to.  That's all I'll say about it here though because I don't want to derail this thread.

 

Edited by paulprogart
word transposition
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say when you're able to do a mission with instruments only is when you've officially "got it".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have stated, the game is a long string of mastering concepts, and the thing that keeps the game interesting is when you "get" a new facet. That being said, if there is a single point where I felt that the Kerbal system was at my feet, it would be when I docked two vehicles in orbit. The act of docking without mods takes a huge amount of precision work, and achieving rendezvous is a good test of one's ability to understand orbital mechanics. And once you can dock, you can assemble motherships in low orbit with a far greater mass and thus payload than you ever would be able to lift from the surface of Kerbin.

My approach to the game has been reaching for my undergraduate physics texts and then whatever extra material I needed from day 1, and @OhioBob's webpage on the "hows" of orbital maneuvers is the first thing that pops up when i type "br" in my address bar. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first "Got it!" would have been figuring out what the Space Bar does. My last major "Got It" moment was figuring out how to fly the navball, i.e, make the different symbols and markers move where I want them to, especially for docking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/3/2017 at 10:31 PM, tater said:

Sometime before my second Guinness was done I think (Mun landing and return).

 

Though in all honestly, doing an orbital rendezvous took longer to "get," for sure.

A six-pack? :wink:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like 3 years after i got the game.

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