SQUAD

KSP Weekly: Fixing projects and making contact

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Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Tomorrow, May 20, is the 511th anniversary of the death of one of the most important figures in human history; the genovese, Christopher Columbus. Even though he never knew he had arrived at an uncharted continent and most likely wasn’t the first European to reach American shores (vikings), it is undeniable that his arrival to the island of Guanahani, called San Salvador by Columbus and located in what is now part of the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, would change the world forever. Credited for opening up the Americas to European colonization, Columbus’ voyages reminds us of the consequences that the clash between alien civilizations and pathogens can have. If we ever encounter life beyond earth, we will have to ask ourselves the ethical implications of making contact could have. Let’s hope that we will be able to deal with such dilemma in the best way possible if that day ever comes. Maybe that is also why we haven’t been contacted so far… But we’re here to talk about everything Kerbal, so let’s begin!

This week has seen more fine detail tweaks to Update 1.3 along with a few more fixes that need to be checked over by QA. We’ve started looking at optimizing some things and early results are looking good. For example, we have made several improvements on performance and optimization for the Localization Format calls & KSP clocks. Similarly, we have been able to reduce and some cases eliminate several GC (Garbage Collection) spikes reported in the Unity profiler; Whether caused by string concatenation, implicit numeric casting, misusage of StringBuilders, or other variations of string manipulation within the Update and FixedUpdate critical methods. But the devs haven’t finished yet and more optimizations are still being found and applied.

There has also been a lot of in-game testing on the pre-release, while trying to catch up with the bug reports that have been filed on the tracker. Consequently, devs fixed icon shaders for part icons to fix unlit (lights) and flags, as well as some localization texts and UI bugs. Additionally, the sun glare jittering around in Mapview/Tracking station, which was caused by last week’s sun shadows fix, was fixed, coupled with a refactor of units of measurement in the game. These and other fixes can be seen in this week’s Pre-Release build.

And hopefully pleasing the modding community, we have completed the Modders Notes regarding KSPedia and static files replacement processes for modders.

And to wrap up the Update 1.3 section of this week’s issue, we were able to finish some trailers and promotional images we’ll use for the official release and some KSPedia corrections for the Spanish version of the game.

In other news, progress on KSP for Consoles continues. Blitworks keeps sending us new builds and consequently keeping our QA team busy. We even had to get new test-kits to help share the load in that regard. All in all, the builds are looking good and, slowly but surely, we’re getting close to our objective of delivering solid KSP versions to console players.

Moving on to the Making History expansion, where steady progress has not been a stranger, we have been working on creating a basic node structure using the config node format and handling the loading thereof, so that everyone and anyone can create new nodes to add to the Mission Builder. Likewise, some devs are working on a window to visualize and manipulate PQS celestial bodies in the MB.

Furthermore, the work on new IVA and the UI design continues, here’s a sneak peak (it is blurred since it is still a prototype). Not to mention new parts for the expansion, too! This week was spent working on decouplers and stack separators to support the new stack sizes, as well as some more Russian parts.  Here’s an image of the new 5m decoupler and separator.  The interior color differences should make it easier to tell these apart in the VAB tool box while keeping the exterior colors clean and consistent with the new rocket parts they support.  As an added bonus for those players that enjoy more ‘creative’ uses for our parts - all of the new separators and decouplers will be set up with hollow collider configurations (in this case, four mesh colliders).

Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Taking the scenic route! This time around the challenge consists of launching a craft to orbit with turned off overlays (Press ‘F2’ before launching) and then land safely. Are you up to the challenge? Check it out and share your creations!

That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates!

Happy launchings!

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Cool! Keep up the good work. (and First!)

Edited by WildBill

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I must say, those new stack decouplers and separators are really really good! Bravo! :)

Edited by CobaltWolf
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I agree, they're beautiful.

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Good to hear about optimization work as always, thanks!

Quote

it is blurred since it is still a prototype

That makes it pretty much worse than useless but, uh ... thanks?

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4 minutes ago, CobaltWolf said:

I must say, those new stack decouplers and separators are really really good! Bravo! :)

Maybe we'll get the old parts redone in Roverdude's style. God, those 2.5m decouplers are AWFUL.

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I am hoping that Squad will revisit some of the older parts and clean them up. It would be a shame to have all these new shiny parts and distract from their beauty with the old clunky parts...

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Hey!!!

It's already May 20th over in Australia here!!!!

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31 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

 Here’s an image of the new 5m decoupler and separator.

Hm...
Dithered paint detailing... Check
Dithered edgewear applied consistently to the corners... Check
A gradual darkening near the sides of a color stripe or panel with lighter softening in the center... Check
Appreciable and consistent ambient occlusion... Check
A normal map... Check

Blink...

Recheck...

Blink again...

:)

I dare say I approve of this direction. If this trend can be maintained (and maybe retroactively applied) you may just pull this out of the fire yet. :D

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6 minutes ago, Shadow Wolf56 said:

Hey!!!

It's already May 20th over in Australia here!!!!

Quite right! Outrageous! :sticktongue::wink: but you just get used to living in the future.

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1 hour ago, SQUAD said:

implicit numeric casting

I... would not have picked this as a source of extra memory. Thanks for the heads up! :) 

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Great! Less time for 1.3! EDIT: Also... Is very cool the UI of Mission Builder

Edited by SpaceOdissey

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3 minutes ago, stibbons said:

I... would not have picked this as a source of extra memory. Thanks for the heads up! :) 

depends how much of it you're doing, and the type of implicit conversion.
temporary widening conversions of primitive ints and such pretty much just cost a register. Longer term conversion do cost memory however, and auto boxing/unboxing of primitives into object wrappers requires an object creation per time. If it's done all the time it's a big source of garbage.

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1 hour ago, SQUAD said:

Likewise, some devs are working on a window to visualize and manipulate PQS celestial bodies in the MB.

@regex @tater @PocketBrotector Not much reason to add this unless the missions include manipulated celestial bodies. :wink: 5-meter parts don't have to be complete overkill after all?

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2 minutes ago, danfarnsy said:

Not much reason to add this unless the missions include manipulated celestial bodies. :wink: 5-meter parts don't have to be complete overkill after all?

You need a custom window to visualize an increase in scale? I just need a slider...

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1 hour ago, SQUAD said:

here’s a sneak peak (it is blurred since it is still a prototype).

I shall reserve judgment on the UI until I see it for myself. I'm still undecided as to whether I like the break from the traditional (light blue and rounded corners) style. We'll see.

 

1 minute ago, danfarnsy said:

@regex @tater @PocketBrotector Not much reason to add this unless the missions include manipulated celestial bodies. :wink:

The plot thickens...

 

With these even-more-massive parts, will we be getting a 3.5 meter capsule? Because I feel there is a need for it now, and there will definitely be a need for it once the rocket gets 5 meters wide.

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5 minutes ago, CoreI said:

I shall reserve judgment on the UI until I see it for myself. I'm still undecided as to whether I like the break from the traditional (light blue and rounded corners) style. We'll see.

 

 

That is a Prototype or Wireframe. It is not the final visual art graphics at all.
Here's how it works. A design is done. The design is iterated between Design, devs and Art to build a wireframe prototype (the picture).
This is implemented including the code/functionality and placeholder art. etc.
Once that is done the Art objects are designed and built and finally they are fitted into the wireframe. Followed by final reviews, changes, polishing and of course last but not least QA.
And that's how UI development is done - roughly... and very briefly.

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Just now, regex said:

You need a custom window to visualize an increase in scale? I just need a slider...

And manipulate the bodies? I'll admit I may not have understood correctly, but I took this to mean changing the underlying object and scales, not just visualizing them.

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6 minutes ago, danfarnsy said:

And manipulate the bodies? I'll admit I may not have understood correctly, but I took this to mean changing the underlying object and scales, not just visualizing them.

It's probably for something like adding waypoints, wrecks, or even static features. While that does sound pretty neat, I still can't imagine Squad adding a scaling mechanism.

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The information this week is definitely exciting. I'm really keen to the release!

:cool::D

P.s. It's also May20 here on the west Pacific Fire Ring!!!!

Edited by EwingKang

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52 minutes ago, danfarnsy said:

@regex @tater @PocketBrotector Not much reason to add this unless the missions include manipulated celestial bodies. :wink: 5-meter parts don't have to be complete overkill after all?

It made me hopeful for a second, but then I figured it probably meant something else entirely.

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52 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

It made me hopeful for a second, but then I figured it probably meant something else entirely.

Ah, the saga of KSP dev notes. Without a public

R O A D M A P

O A D M A P R

A D M A P R O

D M A P R O A

M A P R O A D

A P R O A D M

P R O A D M A

we're just spitballing every day.

Edited by regex
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Seeing the mission builder interface (through the blur) sort of reinforces my belief that it's going to be most useful in creating challenges. You'll really be able to set specific parameters that others will have to stay within to complete the challenge. I definitely see it as being a plus, although I'm still not sure how it'll translate to my career game. I'll be interested to see it and give it a shot, at any rate.

As for the decoupler and separator, I think they look fantastic. I don't have the vocabulary to describe the artistic detail, but I know when something looks good and these definitely look good. Keep it comin' Roverdude.

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The new Missions can't translate anything into the career game... but the parts should be fun to play with, if properly added into the tech tree. New toys to unlock!

All I can read in the blurred tea leaves is "progress is being made" and "some complexity here." Without some text to go along with it, players can't contribute any meaningful feedback along the lines of "why are you considering only these aspects of planning, what about these other aspects."   "Wouldn't it be more clear, if this step was moved before this other step?"

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