OtherBarry

[1.1.3] Procedural Parts - Parts the way you want 'em - v1.2.5 July 3

1119 posts in this topic

Radar, Barry, Nathan- whoever is maintaining this mod now, and notices what I have to say- I have another suggestion.

In keeping with the concept of Big Dumb Boosters, I suggest that Procedural Parts mod allow players to tweak the mass of a part *upwards* (but now down) from the normal specifications, in exchange for greatly-reduced cost.

This does *NOT* represent the lower cost of weaker/heavier materials, which would not really be that significant in itself, but rather, the use of wider engineering margins in the rocket design. I.e. maybe the part varies +/- 10% in mass and strength, but is simply made 20% heavier for otherwise identical performance, to reflect that you have to design around the full range of possible strengths/masses when allowing greater variability (your part has to be designed at least 10% stronger with a 10% variance to prevent ending up with a part that is too weak- but the entire rocket also has to be powerful enough to still make orbit if the part is as much as 10% heavier/stronger than designed...)

With lower precision, you can make use of much lower-tech factories and cheaper machining, and costs come DRAMATICALLY down (my recent experience working to help renovate a precision-manufacturing factory only made me more acutely aware of the cost of high precision). You also get more competition, as more companies have the capabilities to make the desired equipment...

All in all, precision is a VERY important economic factor in real life, and the concept behind Big Dumb Boosters really does work..

(The Catch-22 is that because you need a larger rocket to launch the same payload, and multi-part assembly/tugs and/or refueling still aren't widely-practiced in real life- although they have been successfully demonstrated- you need a much better Launchpad to accommodate a larger rocket, which is expensive. Thus was born the sea-launch for Big Dumb Boosters, to get around this problem. But the facilities-cost of building larger rockets is already simulated in KSP's Career Mode, so I don't think we need to do anything more to account for this if we add mass-variability in Procedural Parts...)

Regards,

Northstar

P.S. The Wikipedia article on Big Dumb Boosters pays too much attention to the benefits of mass-production. It assumes that because Big Dumb Boosters would have lower payload-fractions, you would simply build more of them. This is one approach, that was taken by some Big Dumb Booster proponents. But the "true" Big Dumb Booster is, by its very name, simply much larger than a "smart" rocket to obtain the same payload-capacity. For an example of this, see the Sea Dragon- which was meant as a cheaper alternative Mars rocket- but could actually launch more than 4 times the payload of the Saturn V for anywhere from a quarter to twice the cost...

Edited by Northstar1989

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It's been a while since i last gave this a try - does it support mk2 part shapes at this point? I didn't find an unambigious answer to that in the description or changelog.

Nope. All of our parts have circular cross sections. It's quite a jump in complexity to go to new shapes, and you'll have to ask RadarManFromTheMoon if that's the direction he has in mind for the mod.

- - - Updated - - -

...

I like this idea, but I feel like it's a bit unlike stock Procedural Parts. It'd be a great addition to Real Fuels or RO/RSS sides of the mod though. Maybe have ask NathanKell or Felger about it?

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Just came here to suggest something about having bases shaped like Mk2, Mk3, or traditional Mk3, or S2... or HX.... or... then realized there are problems with how one would do that... then realized that the post directly above me is about that...

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I hereby request permission to release a mod as an extension on procedural parts, I've been using these for a long time. These are NOT meant for regular gameplay since all values regarding mass, volume and price would be wrong. But they're useful for other things, like making hull plating, weird designs and producing art. I've even used them for mechanical stuff like teeth on gears. These are simple edits of the part.cfg and anyone can make them. Structural only, no tanks.

screenshot1

screenshot2

screenshot3

screenshot4

Edited by Azimech

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I hereby request permission to release a mod as an extension on procedural parts, I've been using these for a long time.

Your welcome to, though I'd warn your users that any bugs appearing with this mod installed won't be supported on this thread. They look great. Are any of your mechanical contraptions actually capable of working to their intended use in a KSP phsyic'd world?

On a side note, would you mind putting the pictures in spoiler tags? Helps the thread 'keep clean' and is helpful for people with low data caps.

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I haven't had any bugs using them.

Gears are a hit or miss, the drag is usually too high and often the colliders are not respected. I need physics ÃŽâ€t on a minimum. Designing good gears is a tough job. I use procedural parts for everything and I have another mod for the construction of internal combustion engines (or steam engines). This is possible thanks to Ferram4 with his "Colliders Strike Back" mod.

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Radar, Barry, Nathan- whoever is maintaining this mod now, and notices what I have to say- I have another suggestion.

In keeping with the concept of Big Dumb Boosters, I suggest that Procedural Parts mod allow players to tweak the mass of a part *upwards* (but now down) from the normal specifications, in exchange for greatly-reduced cost.

This does *NOT* represent the lower cost of weaker/heavier materials, which would not really be that significant in itself, but rather, the use of wider engineering margins in the rocket design. I.e. maybe the part varies +/- 10% in mass and strength, but is simply made 20% heavier for otherwise identical performance, to reflect that you have to design around the full range of possible strengths/masses when allowing greater variability (your part has to be designed at least 10% stronger with a 10% variance to prevent ending up with a part that is too weak- but the entire rocket also has to be powerful enough to still make orbit if the part is as much as 10% heavier/stronger than designed...)

With lower precision, you can make use of much lower-tech factories and cheaper machining, and costs come DRAMATICALLY down (my recent experience working to help renovate a precision-manufacturing factory only made me more acutely aware of the cost of high precision). You also get more competition, as more companies have the capabilities to make the desired equipment...

All in all, precision is a VERY important economic factor in real life, and the concept behind Big Dumb Boosters really does work..

(The Catch-22 is that because you need a larger rocket to launch the same payload, and multi-part assembly/tugs and/or refueling still aren't widely-practiced in real life- although they have been successfully demonstrated- you need a much better Launchpad to accommodate a larger rocket, which is expensive. Thus was born the sea-launch for Big Dumb Boosters, to get around this problem. But the facilities-cost of building larger rockets is already simulated in KSP's Career Mode, so I don't think we need to do anything more to account for this if we add mass-variability in Procedural Parts...)

Regards,

Northstar

P.S. The Wikipedia article on Big Dumb Boosters pays too much attention to the benefits of mass-production. It assumes that because Big Dumb Boosters would have lower payload-fractions, you would simply build more of them. This is one approach, that was taken by some Big Dumb Booster proponents. But the "true" Big Dumb Booster is, by its very name, simply much larger than a "smart" rocket to obtain the same payload-capacity. For an example of this, see the Sea Dragon- which was meant as a cheaper alternative Mars rocket- but could actually launch more than 4 times the payload of the Saturn V for anywhere from a quarter to twice the cost...

I agree with OtherBarry.The idea is interesting, but out of scope of PP. If someone wants to develop such a mod, I will happily help integrating it with PP.

edit:

I just released Version 1.0.1

it is a hotfix release mainly aimed to resolve a bug that appeared when placing the root part below a procedural SRB.

Also: Procedural Parts now use much less polygons which should increase performance especially when bigger parts are used but may look awkward on smaller ones. Feedback on this is highly appreciated.

Changelog:

  • Fixed a bug that appeared when the stack below a procedural SRB contained the root part.
  • Added procedural liquid fuel tank cone
  • Tweaked nose cone cost and mass
  • Cost display now shows dry and actual cost
  • Shapes now use much less polygons

Edited by RadarManFromTheMoon
1.0.1 release

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Feedback regarding lower polygon use:

I know your heart's in the right place but this substantially alters how smaller tanks look, and not for the better. Is it an easy thing to allow users to choose whether we want the old # of polygons or the new reduced number?

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Feedback regarding lower polygon use:

I know your heart's in the right place but this substantially alters how smaller tanks look, and not for the better. Is it an easy thing to allow users to choose whether we want the old # of polygons or the new reduced number?

After releasing, I had this rising worry that I might have overdone it a bit on the triangle count. :/ Well, easiest way would be to replace the dll with the one from the previous release. But that will of course revert the SRB bugfix. I will release a less agressively reduced version shortly. Maybe I can even make it configurable.

edit:

I released version 1.0.2 wich is exactly like 1.0.1 but without the poly reduction. I think I might can reduce polygons in a less visible way in a future release.

Edited by RadarManFromTheMoon
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I've had an issue with the strength of joins between 2 large procedural tanks. I had a 5m to 10m conic tank ontop of a 10m cylindrical tank, then in the stage below I had a 10m to 15m cone on a 15m cylindrical tank.

Even with KJR and 24 struts between each pair of tanks, the joins broke on physics load. When I replaced each pair of tanks with a single cone or cylinder of the larger size the rocket held solid.

Any ideas on what's causing the issue and any possible fixes?

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Any ideas on what's causing the issue and any possible fixes?

No clue. I suspect it's related to joint connection size, which only has 3-4 values, 1.25, 2.5, 3.75 and maybe 0.625. I imagine the issue is something along the lines of "Cone tank diameter B (10m in your case) is a whole third less than cone tank diameter A (15m in your case), therefore it must have a smaller joint connection size". While this makes sense for stock-sized rockets, it screws up once both ends are above 3.75m. Hence the reason your getting wobbles using conic tanks, is because your getting 2.5m joint sizes instead of 3.75m ones.

I have no idea if that's actually in the code, or if theres anything even remotely similar in there, but it's the only logical reason I can think of for such a bug to occur.

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So I wanted my SRBs more powerful for a top secret project of doom! So I changed the max thrust for 1m, because it says in the cfg file to make that higher for more powerful per diameter (makes sense, since it is diameter^2 times maxthrust at 1meter or something like that). I changed it, but the thrust remains the same. I do have RO, realfuels. Any help?

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Is there a texturepack that fits nicely with the typical cockpits? None of the supplied ones (incl. "stockalike" which oddly looks out of place with stock parts), or those linked in the OP do. Any other alternatives?

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So I wanted my SRBs more powerful for a top secret project of doom! So I changed the max thrust for 1m, because it says in the cfg file to make that higher for more powerful per diameter (makes sense, since it is diameter^2 times maxthrust at 1meter or something like that). I changed it, but the thrust remains the same. I do have RO, realfuels. Any help?

RealFuels has a completely different system for working out thrust. It's designed such that you should be able to get a just higher thrust to diameter ratio than the best thrust to diameter ratio of any SRB ever made. Which IIRC is the shuttle boosters. Not entirely sure how to change that, will look into it. I suggest you ask NathanKell on the RF thread.

- - - Updated - - -

Is there a texturepack that fits nicely with the typical cockpits? None of the supplied ones (incl. "stockalike" which oddly looks out of place with stock parts), or those linked in the OP do. Any other alternatives?

Not that I know of. Have a look at NathanKell's RFTS thread. He has some great looking planes up there made with procedural parts, so that might tell you where to find them.

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Is there a texturepack that fits nicely with the typical cockpits? None of the supplied ones (incl. "stockalike" which oddly looks out of place with stock parts), or those linked in the OP do. Any other alternatives?

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/94606-JebediahKerman42-s-Procedural-Part-Textures! <--- is the pack I use in my game, I think it'll work for you

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@CP: Thanks, there are some nice ones among those - though, the tiled surfaces do not really fit stock or B9, and as you can see with "shuttle", which is very similiar to what i came up with today (minus the tiles, and the dark underbody is aligned to fit B9), most texture overestimate the brightness of the grey that stock and B9 use.

There are three main aspects, which tend to make most of the available PP textures look out of place for stock and B9:

- Tiles and small patterns

- Lack of "ends" on the sides. I think this might be a limitation of the plugin - haven't seen any config options to map ends to the side textures.

- Too bright

At the risk of stepping on someone's toe, my overall impression is that most available PP textures were made by programmers, while the textures made by custom part makers seem to mostly be made by designers.

EDIT: This is what i hacked together in 30mins (most of which were spent on reloading KSP over and over). To be used without tiling. It of course isn't on par with the nice B9 textures, but it fits the dark underbody, and the brightness of the upper body and lower body matches B9. Sorry for the size - i tried to make it smaller - this seems really wasteful - but if you size it down further, interpolation artefacts become excessive. Size could probably be lowered, if PP has just the right tiling options, which i couldn't find, so i disabled tiling alltogether - hence the large tex:

B9_Simple.png

Now to make up for the above, here's the most simple thing missing from the supplied textures that come with PP - a grey that matches stock, at sane texture size:

stockgrey.png

EDIT2: A remark about the reverted poly reduction. I think there is room for poly reduction - it's just that with the previous version, the reduction went too far. Try something in-between the current and previous version.

Edited by rynak

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Actually, I need a way to make burn time less. Im going from 600 seconds to 500 (biiiiiiig rocket) which isnt enough for 1st stage. Any way to make the minimum burn time lower? Thanks

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long time that I dint play ksp for lack of time so there are things that I dont remember.

Question: Engines from different mods does not get the aerodynamic cylinder (as a faring) when we use the procedural decoupler under them?

I dint test it with normal decouplers because I remove them. So I am not sure if the lack of the aerodynamic cylinder is due engines mods or by the procedure decoupler...

In any case, how can be solve?

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Actually, I need a way to make burn time less. Im going from 600 seconds to 500 (biiiiiiig rocket) which isnt enough for 1st stage. Any way to make the minimum burn time lower? Thanks

I personally found the capacity to be excessive... for SRB's as well as other tanks.

For SRBs, you could edit the file gameplay/proceduralparts/parts/tanks/4srb.cfg

Scroll about 2/3 down and find the line that starts with "unitsPerT = "

That's the amount of fuel relative to size, if i understand correctly. Keep in mind this will affect ALL procedural SRBs - so, their maximum fuel will in general be lower.

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Question: Engines from different mods does not get the aerodynamic cylinder (as a faring) when we use the procedural decoupler under them?

Many modded engines do not have built in fairings. I'd suggest reinstalling one stock decoupler and testing to see if they have engine fairings with that.

- - - Updated - - -

Actually, I need a way to make burn time less. Im going from 600 seconds to 500 (biiiiiiig rocket) which isnt enough for 1st stage. Any way to make the minimum burn time lower? Thanks

Are you using RealFuels?

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srb_bug.png

Possible SRB code issue:

Are some parts of the code that calculates burntime perhaps hardcoded?

I modified the stats of the SRB partfile: unitsPerT down, thrust down, ISP up. As visible in the above pic, the estimated burntime is about 100secs. But if i activate the SRB in flight, the burtime is at about 15-20secs. Notice that those SRBs are very thin 0.625m. Also notice the low thrust setting.

EDIT: In the partfile, the ISP for the engine is set to 10/20 by default (didn't change this). I thought this was a mock, and overridden by the plugin when choosing the type of SRB. Perhaps its not actually overridden? The ratio would be perfectly in line with my observation (~15-20sec burntime, instead of 100).

EDIT2: Raised the var mentioned in the above vid, and replaced the SRB on my vessel. No change, so the ISP set in the engine module indeed is ignored and just a mock.

Edited by rynak

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long time that I dint play ksp for lack of time so there are things that I dont remember.

Question: Engines from different mods does not get the aerodynamic cylinder (as a faring) when we use the procedural decoupler under them?

I dint test it with normal decouplers because I remove them. So I am not sure if the lack of the aerodynamic cylinder is due engines mods or by the procedure decoupler...

In any case, how can be solve?

The aerodynamic cylinder should appear around engines regardless of what you put underneath it; it'll even work with a fuel tank. It's definitely not PParts causing the issue.

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Possible SRB code issue:

Are some parts of the code that calculates burntime perhaps hardcoded?

It would seem so. I'll post an issue on github.

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It would seem so. I'll post an issue on github.

Thank you - an additional infobit: On the issuetracker, i saw another thrust-related bug which supposedly happens when KIDS is installed and the option "thrust varies with ISP" is checked. This is the case for me, so perhaps this is related. Unlike what that issue states however, the thrust remains constant in the editor at the SPH.

Here's a wild guess: When i tested those SRBs, i was actually surprised by the sheer amount of thrust they generated - despite them only being two with 40 thrust. Perhaps as soon as i enter flight, the thrust DOES reset to the default (much higher), so that might be why the burntime no longer matches and is much shorter?

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