ZooNamedGames

KSC Building Mechanics Overhaul Concept

24 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

There's been discussion around the function of some KSC buildings and I want to take my own turn tossing my thoughts into the ring. Noting that we're discussing only the Mission Control building, Research and Development Complex and the Administration Building.

Mission Control-

Before: Selection and viewing of contracts

Changes: It would instead take on the advanced function of providing players access to advanced data information from various mission controllers that the player can select from the 'Flight Directors' desk. Each specific mission controller will provide different details relevant to their role. 'Booster' would provide information on ascent data such as orbital speed, distance from Launchpad, etc.; or 'Retro' which sees the total DV of all stages and so on. The idea being that it's a place for players to get access to all the advanced data they want without it providing all the data in one place. Not to mention it isn't needed for novice players so putting it to the side would help players from being overwhelmed by using it in the beginning.

Note: this is intended to be a secondary IVA mode where you can hit a key and flip to it and view the monitors and back to the main ship view (a same method as viewing map mode and back to standard ship view).

Tier Changes: With newer tiers comes more mission controllers and more data. At level 1 you would only have 3-5 mission controllers and each would have limited information as compared to later upgrades. The eras I'm having in mind are (and this ultimately borders on an artistic spin so it's possible Squad won't go for it) level 1 would look like a NASA Mercury Mission Control. Level 2 would like Apollo era and Level 3 would look modern like any launch by SpaceX or the ULA today with multiple monitors.

 

Research and Development Complex-

Before: Place to spend science points and check on collected science biomes and experiments

Changes: The Research and Development Complex would become the place where you would perform and gather actual science as well as possibly accept and perform set tasks set by the scientists. Contracts to test parts on the surface of Kerbin would take place there instead of on the launch pad so that the RnD team can see it first hand. The RnD would also provide a wind tunnel and a aerodynamic model simulator (2D physics simulations). Players could also receive tasks to perform set tasks for research such as boilerplate tests of new vehicles or testing of parts. The RnD facilities could also include a rover testing range and actually put the observatory in the southwestern corner of the facility to use and track and observe the details of asteroids in detail providing static one sided views of whatever body their looking at (planets, moons, asteroids, crafts, etc).

Tier Changes: With new upgrades comes more functionality and more resources for players to use. Wind tunnel could become available at level 2 with the aerodynamic simulator becoming available at level 3 along with the observatory at level 3 as well. The rover testing range could become available at level 2.

 

Administration Building-

Before: Place to select strategies that alter how the player gains funds, reputation or science per gain.

Changes: The Administration Building would inherit the task of selecting and viewing missions that the Mission Control used to have, with the strategies being a secondary function (like how the RnD can view science and the tech tree). Noting that strategies should remain locked until level 2 at least seeing as it's a struggle to use most strategies until you'd reach Mission Control level 2 anyway.

Tier Changes: As said, make the strategies portion locked until level 2 and include the contract number limitations or swap that mechanic with the amount of reward players can gain from each mission.

 

Just some thoughts. Feel agree, disagree or be indifferent to them.

 

Edited by ZooNamedGames
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These are actually fairly good ideas...

The new mission control sounds a bit like the current tracking station.

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5 hours ago, qzgy said:

These are actually fairly good ideas...

The new mission control sounds a bit like the current tracking station.

It's intended to provide more data more inline with what KER provides.

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If delta-v calculation and other data is added to the stock game but I have to go to a specific building to see it, I would be extremely disappointed. Either put it in the editor and in flight or just don't bother. 

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4 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

If delta-v calculation and other data is added to the stock game but I have to go to a specific building to see it, I would be extremely disappointed. Either put it in the editor and in flight or just don't bother. 

 

I think the idea is that you get that once you upgrade the Mission Control #stockKER

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1 hour ago, Red Iron Crown said:

If delta-v calculation and other data is added to the stock game but I have to go to a specific building to see it, I would be extremely disappointed. Either put it in the editor and in flight or just don't bother. 

I'd like to see my orbit while seeing my ship or see my fuels in the map menu.

Catch is they don't want you to have all the information in one place. It's why the stage fuel info doesn't show in map mode (the resource counter doesn't count), or why you don't see radar altitude outside of IVA. 

Ofc it's more convenient to have it in flight. But they want you to change your POV for what info you want and honestly they might as well keep going with what they've got or overhaul the game so you can see everything from one screen. 

**discounting mods

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21 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I'd like to see my orbit while seeing my ship or see my fuels in the map menu.

Catch is they don't want you to have all the information in one place. It's why the stage fuel info doesn't show in map mode (the resource counter doesn't count), or why you don't see radar altitude outside of IVA. 

Ofc it's more convenient to have it in flight. But they want you to change your POV for what info you want and honestly they might as well keep going with what they've got or overhaul the game so you can see everything from one screen. 

**discounting mods

"That's how it is" is a poor way to determine how it should be. Ever play the launch to orbit tutorial? It give you Ap info in flight view, without switching to map view. Then when the player wants to do a launch for real, it's "Surprise, no Ap info!"

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I'm with @Red Iron Crown on this one.  Why add something that people will just install a mod to avoid using?  They might as well not waste their time.

 

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Quite frankly, having to enter a building to see information about a craft in flight is ill-though-out. That adds additional clicks and scene changes with which to burden the player instead of presenting the information better. In fact, it is a demonstrably worse method of presenting data than even what we have now.

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30 minutes ago, regex said:

Quite frankly, having to enter a building to see information about a craft in flight is ill-though-out. That adds additional clicks and scene changes with which to burden the player instead of presenting the information better. In fact, it is a demonstrably worse method of presenting data than even what we have now.

You have no problem going to map view for data.

43 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

"That's how it is" is a poor way to determine how it should be. Ever play the launch to orbit tutorial? It give you Ap info in flight view, without switching to map view. Then when the player wants to do a launch for real, it's "Surprise, no Ap info!"

I haven't played the tutorials as I haven't needed to so if anything I find that a handicap as players will think they're provided that info when they're not. Remove it from the tutorial.

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32 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

You have no problem going to map view for data.

That's not a scene change, I remain focused on the craft in question, and the transition is incredibly quick.

I also have many problems with going to map view for data.

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Posted (edited)

Couldn't the mission control staff have crew portraits on either main screen or map screen?

Clicking on them could bring up a status report on what they assigned to watch. The same could be applied to skilled kerbals on board. 

 

Edit:

Although that would mean we'd need to hire Kerbals and train them up and keep them hanging around the space centre in order to fill seats.  I'm not adverse to this but would think it might get a strong reaction.

Edited by mattinoz
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I really like the idea for the RnD, it seems like a great alternative to testing and crashing the rocket and killing the probe and or kerbals!

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1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I haven't played the tutorials as I haven't needed to so if anything I find that a handicap as players will think they're provided that info when they're not. Remove it from the tutorial.

Or, alternately, adding a similar thing to the regular flight screen. Because it's a useful feature that can improve the enjoyment of the game, and help new players get into it.

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44 minutes ago, regex said:

That's not a scene change, I remain focused on the craft in question, and the transition is incredibly quick.

I also have many problems with going to map view for data.

Think the issue your seeing is your imagining it more like a switch between buildings like entering the VAB when it would be more like an alternative IVA.

Granted it already appears you have problems for that but at least I've cleared that up.

 

43 minutes ago, mattinoz said:

Couldn't the mission control staff have crew portraits on either main screen or map screen?

Clicking on them could bring up a status report on what they assigned to watch. The same could be applied to skilled kerbals on board. 

 

Edit:

Although that would mean we'd need to hire Kerbals and train them up and keep them hanging around the space centre in order to fill seats.  I'm not adverse to this but would think it might get a strong reaction.

It's intended to be an alternative form of IVA but hiring and managing a MC crew might be a pain or fun. For me it'd be the latter but others might want to just hit auto and go.

But I like it.

 

25 minutes ago, StupidAndy said:

I really like the idea for the RnD, it seems like a great alternative to testing and crashing the rocket and killing the probe and or kerbals!

So I think too :) . Why blow stuff up on your expensive Launchpad when you've got a nice RnD to do that in?

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9 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Think the issue your seeing is your imagining it more like a switch between buildings like entering the VAB when it would be more like an alternative IVA.

Nice of you to mention that because it wasn't in your OP. I applaud you for addressing and coming up with a solution to criticism. It's still bad design because it obfuscates the data from when you need it the most, but at least you've addressed the scene change lag.

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Just now, regex said:

Nice of you to mention that because it wasn't in your OP. I applaud you for addressing and coming up with a solution to criticism. It's still bad design because it obfuscates the data from when you need it the most, but at least you've addressed the scene change lag.

I sometimes overlook issues like that.

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I think the mission control thing would only work if there were an autopilot flying the ship for you.  Maybe the mission control could be an additional (unlockable?) game mode where you only make high level executive decisions.  Kind of like the franchise manager thing or whatever in Madden.  (Although I hear any form of autopilot is off the table as far as the developers are concerned.)

I'd also imagine it would be much more fun if parts could fail and you had to come up with a solution with limited information a la the Apollo 13 mission.

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8 hours ago, captainb said:

I'd also imagine it would be much more fun if parts could fail and you had to come up with a solution with limited information a la the Apollo 13 mission.

part failures are apart of the DLC from what i read...

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11 hours ago, captainb said:

I think the mission control thing would only work if there were an autopilot flying the ship for you.  Maybe the mission control could be an additional (unlockable?) game mode where you only make high level executive decisions.  Kind of like the franchise manager thing or whatever in Madden.  (Although I hear any form of autopilot is off the table as far as the developers are concerned.)

I'd also imagine it would be much more fun if parts could fail and you had to come up with a solution with limited information a la the Apollo 13 mission.

It's intended to be another form of IVA so you wouldn't need another autopilot as all the data you need immediately can still be viewed (speed, alt, nav-ball) and if you have to bug out of the MC quickly you just hit the hotkey (let's say r-ctrl) and it hops you back out to the standard ship view.

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For the mission control data; why not have something like KER's hud readouts, except with a background so it can be seen instead of blending into the ground a lot, and have all the data available in a map mode/IVA style view? 

 

Everything else seems great to me!

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1 hour ago, 53miner53 said:

For the mission control data; why not have something like KER's hud readouts, except with a background so it can be seen instead of blending into the ground a lot, and have all the data available in a map mode/IVA style view? 

 

Everything else seems great to me!

That's the idea just in a new IVA mode. So you'd hit a key and it'd take you to this room view with all your data with everything grouped by mission controller.

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15 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

That's the idea just in a new IVA mode. So you'd hit a key and it'd take you to this room view with all your data with everything grouped by mission controller.

You might want to add that to the OP so that those of us confused by all the apparent scene switching understand your idea better.

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7 hours ago, regex said:

You might want to add that to the OP so that those of us confused by all the apparent scene switching understand your idea better.

Believe I did actually.

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