I'm happy to announce we've just released the 0.19 Update for KSP.
This update was a bit of a turning point in our usual way of doing things. We decided to not do a massive release with a huge amount of features, but release a smaller update sooner, with the features we had nearest completion.
In any case, we did manage to include more features than even ourselves expected this time. Here are the highlights:
* Linux Support: There is now a native Linux version of KSP! Official support for Ubuntu 12.04, but it should work on most distributions.
* Atmospheric Effects: Watch your spacecraft flare up as they re-enter the atmosphere, and produce vapor trails during high-speed flight.
* New Kerbal Animations: The Kerbals got a massive overhaul on their facial expressions! The new Expressions system uses the new Mecanim animation engine from Unity, giving Kerbals a lot more expressiveness. Watch their faces distort in total panic or gleeful joy, now also when you're out on EVA.
* Rover Wheels: Drive across the surface of other worlds with the new rover wheel parts, which are steerable and self-powered. Construct anything from tiny unmanned rovers, to exploration buggies, to huge mobile contraptions.
* Graphical and Scenery Improvements We've got a New Launchpad model at KSC, with 100% less launch tower, a new Runway, and much improved night-time lighting, making for greatly improved visuals, especially at night.
* More New Parts We've added several new parts for general construction. Featuring panels, girders, and a lot more!
And here's the complete changelog:
* A Native Linux version! * Added visual (and sound) effects for re-entry and supersonic flight. * Overhauled the Kerbal Face Expression System with new animations, which are also visible on EVA. * Added wheel parts and modules for the construction of rovers. * Added several new general purpose structural parts. * New mesh for the launch pad area, now with 100% less launch tower. * New mesh for the Runway, with sloping edges to drive on and off it.
Bug Fixes and Tweaks:
* The sun no longer shines from below on ships and scenery objects at night, or while in orbit over the dark side of a planet. * Fixed the airspeed sound not looping properly, and adjusted the pitch range for it. * Various minor balance tweaks. * More texture variety added to probe cores, to better determine their positioning. * Fixed a few objects that were on the wrong layer. * Fixed an issue when comparing versions, which could result in false 'incompatible' warnings. * Fixed an issue with velocity changes when resuming 1x time while on a hyperbolic orbit inside a rotating reference frame.
* Changed the debug toolbar key combo to ModifierKey+F12 (RShift+F12 by default) * Changed the quick scenario loader key combo to ModifierKey+F10 (was Ctrl+F10 before) * Removed an unused shader that caused the game to crash on Linux systems with AMD video drivers.
* The Alt modifier key is now remappable, and defaults to RightShift on Linux. * Remapped all ocurrences of the Alt key to RightShift on Linux (as Alt is OS-reserved on most distros). * Fixed double-clicks not working properly.
* Added a setting to tweak the mouse wheel axis scaling. * Input Axes now support linear scaling. * The Debug console can now also be toggled using the Grave and AltGr keys
As always, you can get the 0.19 update as a full download on our Store.
C7 Continues to work hard on developing the Kerbal animation system, and the new launch pad. All these features are expected to see a debut in KSP version 0.19.0
Rovers are still seeing constant development, we'll keep you posted!
Harvesters work on Re-Entry continues and makes even more headway, so far the system is only visual but plans for future development are going well!
Nova continues work on parts and content, bringing us more and more "Construction" oriented parts, as well as beginning designs for Space Station oriented gear. Stay tuned for more!
Dan continues to amaze the team with awesome kerbal animations and other goodness that we can't wait to show off!
We've added Romfarer and Claira to the team! Creators of the Lazor and KSPX Parts Expansion packs! Stay tuned to see their contribution to KSP!
Damion and Skunky have finished building and pulling together a dedicated QA team to help with nightly build testing and so far this team has been a resounding success!
Dev Stream Missed yesterdays Live Stream? No worries, we've got it for you here! <object bgcolor='#000000' data='http://www.twitch.tv/widgets/archive_embed_player.swf' height='378' id='clip_embed_player_flash' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='620'><param name='movie' value='http://www.twitch.tv/widgets/archive_embed_player.swf' /><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='allowNetworking' value='all' /><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='flashvars' value='auto_play=false&channel=kerbalsp&title=Kerbal%2BSpace%2BProgram%2BOfficial%2BTwitch&start_volume=25&archive_id=376545243' /></object><br /><a href="http://www.twitch.tv/kerbalsp" class="trk" style="padding:2px 0px 4px; display:block; width: 320px; font-weight:normal; font-size:10px; text-decoration:underline; text-align:center;">Watch live video from kerbalsp on TwitchTV</a>
KSP Media Group Spotlight: Ryan "The Solar Gamer" Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/rslayer9?feature=watch
Twitch Group Spotlight: EJ_SA Not followed EJ yet? You should! EJ's Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/ej_sa
Images from the CM's Personal Library Curious to see some in-game footage regarding development? Damion's started to share images from his testing, take a look below! Forum Post: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/showthread.php/45343-0-19-Test-Screenshots-Damion-Shares-part-Deux
Nova Joined in the fun and shared some pics as well! Take a look!
What is KSP Weekly? Glad you asked! KSP Weekly is our means of making sure you get all the KSP Related weekly content you can handle from all kinds of sources. KSP Weekly will be an on-going article series written by Damion Rayne and Capt_Skunky, your Community Mangers, with a focus on giving you a single one-stop-shop location to find all of the following,
KSP Related News and updates
Dev Blog overviews
Community Contests and Challenges (In Connection with our friends at Reddit!)
Updates on Development Progress
Where can I read KSP Weekly? Right here on the forums of course! What better place than the true home of the KSP Community on the internet than the place it all started? KSP Weekly will be an article, just like this one, right here on the forums.
Will you post links to KSP Weekly on other sites? You betcha! We'll make sure to have links posted on all our Social Media including Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter to the weeks current article, as well as the articles appearing in the main forum sidebar! You'll always have a way to find out what's been going on with KSP during the week, pretty cool eh? We think so, Oh and we'll even post a link to it on Reddit.
Why start this now? Ah, good question yet again. Well, to be honest, we're not doing the best job we can at making sure that our loyal fans and customers are updated on all the goings on with the team. While we do post something new almost daily from screenshots of the test builds, to live streams, to dev blogs (when the guys have things to talk about of course) we've not been great at making sure you've got access to all this information. We understand for example some of you don't have the time to sit through our live streams, or work and other RL issues get in the way. So we thought it was best to sit down each week, write something of a news post up and make sure it's always in the same location at the same time, and has all the news from all the sources.
When will you post KSP Weekly? Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Well, if Tuesday's good enough for Starfleet...
No but seriously, it's right after the Weekly Dev Stream so we thought that'd be the best time to post it up. As for what time? Well, sometime Tuesday but always on Tuesday!
So there you have it folks, our commitment to you, our awesome fans to make sure you've got all the news you could ever want from us from now till Tuesday. Wait, still thinking about Star Trek! Anyway you get my point, so stay tuned! -Damion "Anthony" Rayne Kerbal Space Program Community Manager
I want to let everyone know about a decision we've made here, that changes the plans for the 0.19 update a bit, and what you should expect from that.
What we want to do is this: Instead of doing a massive update every couple of months or so, we want to try releasing a smaller update on a quicker timeframe this time.
There were many reasons behind this decision, not least among which were these:
We've been noticing that the time between updates has been growing ever longer. This is not just because on each update we seem to set ourselves an even more ambitious goal than before, but also because of the ever higher standard for quality we have to live up to, as the game nears completion.
Also, the sheer magnitude of the last updates we've done has made release periods incredibly stressful on us, because we are releasing these huge updates, with tons of room for bugs and problems.
A smaller update means less things that can go wrong, and a lot less stress on all of us.
So, what does this mean for 0.19 then? Basically, it means two things: One, 0.19 will have less features than originally planned, and two, it will come sooner as well.
The features we want to get out early are the ones we have nearest to completion at the moment: The Reentry Effects, the new Patcher, and the new Kerbal Expression animations.
About all the other features we had planned, this doesn't change them much. They're still being actively developed, and in all likelihood they'll be done in the same amount of time as before.
The only difference is that we're getting the features we have ready out before the others that are still pending, instead of waiting for all of them to be ready before releasing it all in one go.
We have not changed our internal deadlines for any of the features currently being developed, we've essentially split the one big update into two smaller ones.
This was made possible after our switch to Git, in place of SVN. Before, we had to make sure all the features were ready to go before releasing the update, because there was no way to exclude an unfinished feature from the game without doing destructive changes. So everything we started absolutely had to be 100% complete before release. There was just no way around it.
Now, each feature is developed on its own separate branch, and it only gets integrated into the actual game when it's ready to go. That means we can very easily select a few features that are nearer completion to have them tested and released, while work on the other features continues.
So, to put this in as clear a way as I can, we are not postponing anything, we are going to release a few features out early.
This isn't a definitive change though. We want to try it out, to see how we feel with this new way of doing things. If it works out, it could mean faster-paced updates, which is always a good thing. If it doesn't, we'll just go back to our old ways. We'll see how it goes.
Please also keep in mind, this does not mean 0.19 is coming now. It's coming sooner than initially planned, but as always, there are no release dates.
That's about it for now.
I've answered this on a comment, but it got buried somewhere down in there. A lot of people have voiced concerns about more frequent saves implying more frequent compatiblity breaks. Here's an answer:
You don't have to worry about that. On most updates, there are only one or two features among the lot that require us to break backward-compatibility. With smaller, more frequent updates, we'd always make sure to group together potentially save-breaking features, to minimize the frequency of save wipes as much as possible.
The features we're implementing for 0.19 are all backwards-compatible with 0.18 saves.
This article is in no way affiliated with the TV show Mythbusters.
Over the past few months, I've noticed there is a large amount of misinformation and generally incorrect statements being passed off as fact around the KSP community, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to set some of those things straight, and have these 'myths' about KSP properly explained.
I don't mean to point any fingers about how these things got started... These tales have a way of growing in the telling, so it's likely no one's fault actually... Just things that never got properly explained, and grew more and more inaccurate over time.
So, let's get started here. Time to debunk some myths about KSP:
Myth #1: Unity and Multiple Cores.
The Myth: People have been tossing around the 'fact' that Unity (and KSP) is stuck on a single CPU core. I've heard several variations of this, with varying degrees of inaccuracy. I've also heard claims that the performance improvements from the port to Unity 4 are because it's added multi-threading, or something like that.
The Truth: Unity has always used multiple threads (and therefore multiple cores) as far as we've been developing KSP. However, what Unity doesn't allow us to do, is write game code outside the main game thread. That is, we can spawn threads by code if we want, but Unity won't let you call any of its own methods or use its classes on those other threads.
This means game scripts are all running on one thread (and a single core, yes), but it does not mean Unity is using a single core. Unity, as of version 3.5, has all of the CPU-side of the rendering work (the processes that happen before the frame is sent to be drawn on the GPU) happening on another thread. Other systems, such as particle FX, mesh skinning, sounds and some other stuff, are also handled on other threads.
As for Unity 4, it didn't implement any new features regarding multi-threading. It did bring a number of performance optimizations to the engine itself, which in turn make KSP run faster and smoother. More specifically, on Windows, it implemented SSE2 instructions for some Physics operations (OSX already had that).
The Myth: Legend goes that the reason KSP has no multiple-body gravity simulation is because of some technical limitation on our or Unity's end. That limitation prevents us from being able to simulate perturbations from other gravity sources and Lagrangian points.
The Truth: This is false. KSP only supporting a single gravity source at any time is a decision we made deliberately here. Yep, it's not a bug, it's not an incomplete feature, it's meant to be like this by design.
This "limitation" is what makes many of the things you see in the game possible, or at least usable... Let me try and explain it:
The usual way games simulate physics is by a process called Integration. This process works basically like this: To know the position and velocity of an object, you take the position and velocity that object had on the previous frame, add in all the forces currently acting on it (using the object's mass to calculate the acceleration from those forces), add that to the current velocity, and move the object by however much it would move going at that speed in the time that elapses between each frame.
That means the state of an object at any point in time is only known if you know its state at the previous point in time, and the same goes for that point in time, and for the one before it, and so on....
So, to figure out the state of the solar system at any point in time, you need to start at a known starting point, and run the simulation forward until you get to that point.
Sounds ok, until you have to warp time.
If you start making time run faster, you can do one of two things: One, start simulating faster, so we keep up with the clock, or assume each frame spans a longer amount of time, and just move objects forward by the new amount of time.
With the first method, it obviously becomes apparent that the computer will have to start working overtime if you want to catch up. If you warp time to 5x, that's 5 times more calculations it would have to do in the same amount of time... not good. Now, imagine warping time at a hundred thousand times the normal rate. Quite impractical.
The second method won't melt your CPU down as much, but it's also problematic. Imagine you're orbiting Kerbin. At 1x, integration is perfectly ok. But what happens when time is running so fast, you cover half your orbit in a split-second? What happens then is that you never really calculated all that way you went around the planet, and now all of a sudden you're meant to be moving completely the other way around... That's not doable if all you know is that one frame earlier, you were at a particular position with a particular velocity, and a gravity was pulling towards some general direction.... You just don't have enough precision to simulate the physics at that rate, and then weird things start happening, like orbits shooting out of the solar system, of things mysteriously smashing into other things... It's not pretty.
So, what we do here is something completely different. If your physics system consists of a single gravity source and objects orbiting it, then there are equations you can use that will tell you your position, at any given time. This is called the 2-body problem, and it basically means we can just ask the game "where will I be on Year 1, Day 42, at 2:42pm", and it will tell us the answer with absolute precision.
This is what's known as a 'deterministic system'. At any point, the state of the system is known, or rather, can be calculated.
We decided to use this method in KSP, because it adds more things than the restrictions it imposes take away. Sure, we lose the ability to simulate Lagrange points, or orbital decay due to perturbations from a moon or something, but we gain a lot. We gain being able to save the game and advance time without having to run the simulation. We gain being able to predict (and get it right) where your current trajectory will take you, and we also get to do fun stuff like turn off normal physics entirely, and let ships coast "on-rails", indefinitely, and with total stability.
Long story short, this system is what makes things like Patched Conics, Time Warp, Flight Planning and multiple vessels possible.
And to be perfectly honest, orbital perturbations really aren't a lot of fun... most of the time they just push you away from the predicted path, and just make things generally more frustrating.
Some time ago, I sat down and decided to start contacting those YouTuber's of sufficient quality who were producing great KSP Videos. The idea was to bring them all together, in to one place and to have them work together, learn from one another, help one another and grow together. The other side to this coin was also a group of people whose sole task it was, to help us promote KSP. Over the last few weeks, I sat down and asked these guys to make trailers and gameplay videos to show the internet that KSP is amazing. Well, they did not disappoint and one person in particular got his video used by us as an Official Trailer.
That First Video is here:
Now, we had to make cuts for our own uses and Ryan gladly helped us by shortning and re-building his long from trailer into a quicker one for us located below,
Now, the rest of the group also strove to achieve their best work for us and those videos are below,
Below is Streetlamps work,
This one is by our good friend Scott Manley,
Below is PLeb's Trailer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zGIfLPTgvK0
This one was done by PD,
We're missing a few, but stay tuned as we'll get them out soon. -DR KSP CM
Now that the demo is out, it wouldn't do to have a demo that's actually a later version than the full game, would it? So we're now releasing the 0.18.4 patch.
This patch is a small revision to the game, mainly focusing on porting KSP to the much more awesome Unity4 engine. It also has several bug fixes, and a new stock spaceplane, the Ravenspear Mk4.
Here's the complete Changelog:
==================================== v0.18.4 RC3Bug Fixes and Tweaks:* Fixed the latest version checking.* Fixed some places that were using an old and inaccurate value for the vessel's G-force, preventing entering warp sometimes.* Fixed an issue which caused DAE model loading to fail.==================================== v0.18.4 RC2Bug Fixes and Tweaks:* Fixed an issue where controls could become locked when switching focus out of a dead uncontrollable vessel.* Fixed a collision issue with the large RCS Tank.* Fixed a transparency issue with smoke FX and explosions.* Boarding a vessel from EVA no longer toggles the SAS on the vessel.* The VAB and SPH now show decoupler ejection forces on the part stats.* Fixed a few typos on part descriptions and tutorials.* Increased Jool's rotating frame threshold altitude to prevent entering its atmosphere with the rotating frame disabled.* Fixed an issue with the UI background not scaling correctly on the SPH.* Fixed winglet colliders.* Fixed EVA light orientations.* Updated Copyright dates.* Fixed vab transparency issue.* Fixed Explosion Shader Transparency issues.* Fixed Part Actions being clickable if Time Warp was engaged while the Action UI was already up.==================================== v0.18.4 RC1New:* Ported the game over to Unity 4. Expect improved performance.* Added a new stock spaceplane: The Ravenspear Mk4.Bug Fixes and Tweaks:* Fixed some buttons not being locked out properly on the Tracking Station and possibly other scenes.* The Staging Stack now automatically scrolls back into view if a staging operation sends it off screen.* Stage groups and icons now accurately follow the mouse when dragging.* Fixed some UI controls and keys being responsive during pause.* Fixed some sounds (mainly voices) being affected by 3D effects when they shouldn't.* Fixed an issue when going in and out of Map View after crashing the ship.* Fixed the EVA map icons not showing.* Fixed the planetary terrain not starting up properly sometimes.* Fixed the error messages when exiting the game from the flight scene.* Added a bad name filter for the Kerbal name generator.* Fixed issues with the popup dialogs that allowed them to spawn a massive number of duplicates.* Parts on the parts list no longer show the author on their tooltips (that broke immersion).* Flight basics tutorial now requires player to set throttle to max before finishing the tutorial (and launching).* fixed the non-persistent StateName field on MunFlight Tutorial.
Since our new patcher isn't ready yet, we're releasing this one as a full download from our Store.
We're not using the old patcher anymore, so don't try to get this patch using it (not a challenge. you'd probably just get an error, or worse, break your install).
This patch shouldn't break compatiblity. Saves and vessels from 0.18.2 should all be compatible with this build (No guarantee on saves from earlier versions than that though).
It's been a little over a year since we released the last of the free-version updates, and made that our demo.
However, a lot has happened in that year, and I think everyone will agree that KSP isn't the same game as it was back then. And version 0.13.3 isn't a good sample anymore of what KSP is today.
So, with that in mind, we decided it was about time we got out a new demo, so new players can get a better sense of what KSP is all about, and hopefully buy the full version afterwards.
This new demo is based on KSP 0.18.2, so it has all the newer systems, with several restrictions, of course. Here are the main differences:
* Saves are limited to a single demo profile, plus a few scenarios and tutorials. * Part Loading is limited to the 25 Stock ones included. * Plugin loading is disabled. * Kerbin, the Mun and the Sun are the only celestial bodies. * The Spaceplane Hangar and Runway facilities are inaccessible. * You can only launch three simultaneous missions before being required to end flights to launch another.
We've revised the tutorials and scenarios so they work with the demo parts set. We've also included two demo-compatible stock rockets.
The new demo is also compiled in Unity 4, so it should have much smoother performance. We will soon release the 18.4 patch (18.3 is the demo), which brings the full version over to unity 4 as well.