• Developer Articles


    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
    We have big news to share with you today: as things stand Kerbal Space Program will be releasing on XBox One and Playstation 4 next month! After months of hard work we're finally ready to share the exciting adventures of our little green Kerbals with tens of millions more gamers around the world, hopefully inspiring them in the same way we've seen PC players affected by our game over the last four years.
     
    "Following the huge success Kerbal Space Program has had on PC with players and critics alike, we want to give console players the opportunity to play Kerbal Space Program in this redefined user experience. It has been a long road but finally we are confident of the quality of the game on consoles. An awesome control experience awaits you, as well as easier access to the wonderful world of space exploration, where even exploding is a lot of fun. We invite everyone to enjoy the excitement of flying rockets built by yourself, landing on planets and much more!"
    - Ezequiel Ayarza, CEO
     
    Of course, we'd like to thank the amazing people at Flying Tiger for going down this road with us, and getting the game ready for release. We're expecting to give you a definitive release date in the coming week(s). Until then, fly safe!

    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
     
    In celebration of tomorrow's Asteroid Day events we have updated the Asteroid Day mod to be compatible with Kerbal Space Program version 1.1.3!
     
    Last year we partnered with the B612 Foundation to bring you the Asteroid Day mod which will add a space telelscope, a new experiment, and a unique contract.
    The Sentinel Infrared Telescope mimics the real world Sentinel mission being planned by the B612 Foundation, which plans to map 90% of the larger asteroids threatening Earth's orbit sometime between 2018 and 2024. Due to sun glare it is difficult for telescopes on Earth to observe objects passing on the planet's day side. Deploying a telescope into a solar orbit near Venus and facing it away from the Sun, back towards Earth's orbit, would cover that blind spot.
    Your mission will be to recreate this mission profile in Kerbal Space Program, deploying a telescope around Eve’s orbit. When deployed with an antenna and a power source between Eve and Kerbin, aligned to face away from the Sun, and activated, the telescope will begin to map the orbit of the outer planet in a 200° vision cone for passing asteroids.
    This pack also includes a long-term contract to map asteroids around Kerbin as well as other planets that match various specifications. It differs from other contracts in that it encourages the use of existing infrastructure. It does not require a new vessel for each contract, and each scan is faster with more telescopes deployed.
    In addition to the Asteroid Day mod we've also updated the Kerbin Cup official mod to be compatible with KSP 1.1.3!
     
     
     
     
     

    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
     
    The 1.1.3 patch is now available! We’ve taken our time over the past couple of weeks to tackle as many issues as we could in this patch and the results speak for themselves: close to 100 fixes have been logged compared to the previous version of KSP, and we even found time to hide something small in the game that we’re sure a lot of long time fans will appreciate!
     
    Here's the complete changelog:
    =================================== v1.1.3 ============================================================ Editor: * Fixed game crashing during deletion of parts under certain conditions. * Fixed Gizmos buttons not properly highlighting after loading a craft. * Fixed Fuel tank Part Action Window sliders to dynamically update symmetry partners when adjusted in editor. * Fixed frozen parts showing up in front of the main vessel. * Fixed fairings being see-through when a part inside or behind is highlighted. * Fixed certain fairing configurations causing inputlocks. * Fixed interstage fairing panels not being properly deleted when an interstage is removed from the ship. * Fixed Abnormal lighting and contrast. * Fixed Re-rooting and attaching frozen parts causing improper part selection. * Fixed an exception in FXModuleAnimateThrottle when in the editor. * Fixed inputlock preventing pressing [Delete] key from deleting a part. * Subassemblies can now be used as the start of a craft (fixes editor being non-responsive). * CoM indicator now accounts for mass of physicsless parts added to parent. * "Ground Crew" option now toggles off all animated components of VAB/SPH. Fixes increased CPU Load and Temp. * "Place" gizmo now provides onscreen message in editor to be consistent with other gizmos. Orbit: * Fixed Circular Orbit Ap/Pe jump on exiting timewarp. * Fixed on-rails SoI transition message to properly report both SoIs. * Greatly reduce Apoapsis/Periapsis changing with no input, with thanks to ferram4 and eggrobin. option is toggleable in Settings->Gameplay and tunable in Physics.cfg. * Lower the thresholds for floating origin shift and krakensbane when above the inverse rotation threshold, and use doubles when recomputing velocity during change (and do so immediately rather than via PhysxX). * GetEccentricAnomaly now correctly returns negative eccentric (hyperbolic) anomaly values when the true anomaly is before the hyperbola's periapsis, and should be more numerically stable. * GetEccentricAnomaly no longer spams E is NaN. * Conic patch creation is a little more efficient. * Ignore G spike on the frame where SoIs switch. * Orbit reported position will no longer be a frame ahead of velocity. Misc. Fixes: * [KSPedia] Fixed Bug with KSPedia asset bundle Dependancies. * Fixed symmetric part stage icons not expanding in stage manager. * Fixed Quicksave filename accessibility. * Fixed Multiple core heat producers not being properly cooled by radiator panels. * Fixed NRE when trying to overwrite or cancel out of save folder overwrite dialog. * Fixed E is NaN! tA: (pi) spam with some generated contracts. * Fixed Flags no longer displaying properly in the Tracking Station Info Box.. * Fixed Flag transparency issues in editor. * Fixed Science lab spamming the log with "Updating" warnings whenever right-click menu is open. * Fixed funds penalties not being applied when Hiring Kerbals. * Fixed being unable to rename vessels via Knowledge Base. * Fixed NRE in ModuleGrappleNode.Release when parent is null. * Fixed UI_ChooseOption - onFieldChanged being called even when the field value hasn't changed. * Fixed Body lift missing when loading the Physics.cfg file. * Fixed Parts Tooltip window location being misplaced when changing UI scale. * Fixed issue with the sea level pressure display in the Knowledge Base. * Fixed an exception in PartModule OnLoad and OnStart causing vessel load failure. * Fixed a NaN in FlightIntegrator atmospheric thermo. * Fixed issue in Moment of Inertia calculations. * Fixed Rocket Exhaust FX not being moved by FloatingOrigin/Krakensbane when emitters are disabled. * Fixed missing parachute deployment sound. * Fixed VesselModules not being properly destroyed when a vessel object is destroyed. * Fixed unit tests from main menu causing every test to be run 4 times. * Fixed having an abstract UnitTest type causing TestManager to throw an exception. * Fixed regression that was causing global gravity to be non-zero, which should help with phantom drifting, especially with wheels. * Fixed a logical issue causing crew rotation objectives to be much rarer than intended on station and outpost contracts. * Fixed staging requiring two activation's when resuming in flight mode. * Fixed navigation waypoint getting stuck if a survey is killed in the middle of the flight scene. * Fixed Waypoint Markers not showing on Navball in IVA view. * Fixed potential error from generating if attempting to IVA an EVA kerbal that has just been loaded outside of a vessel. * Fixed RCS TorqueProvider implementation to take thrust limiting and alternate precision mode into account. * Fixed an issue where the NBS dialog was not resetting its coordinates properly. * Fixed reported typos and grammatical issues in various areas of the game. * Fixed ITargetable FlightCoMTracker.GetVessel always returning null. * Fixed Asteroids all spawning with a mass of 150t, regardless of class. * Fixed race condition with map filters causing asteroids to be invisible in new games until they were modified. * Fixed asteroids sometimes appearing to be pitch black while being seemingly immune to light when rotated at certain angles. * Adjusted science data collection range of Mk1 cabin to match other science options. * Kerbals can no longer "Take surface sample" while in command seat. * Fairing base purchase and entry costs adjusted to vary by size. * Part Action Window for symmetric parts no longer needs modkey to open when a sibling window is open. Misc. Tweaks: * [Modding] Additional access to fields in Mission Control. * [EVA, Gameplay] R&D upgrade text adjusted. * Added onVesselCrewWasModified, which consolidates many events in which crew changes on a specific vessel. Use this to fix a few issues with crew rotation objectives. * Added ITargetable.GetActiveTargetable, which allows us to specify if a target should be allowed on something that is part of the active vessel. * Added AeroFXIgnore layer so some parts (Gigantor e.g.) can have parts of their model ignored by AeroFX. Fixes an issue with odd Aero FX streamers. * Added "EVA" layer, added it to various cameras, physics casts, lights, and collision matrices to behave exactly like normal parts, except suspension raycasts ignore it entirely. Prevents violent interactions when kerbals touch wheels. * Added alwaysRecomputeLift to ModuleControlSurface so it can be set to not ignore slight actuation. * Added wheel weight stress and slip stress multipliers to game settings, allowing players that do not want these stresses to disable them globally. * Added onCommandSeatInteraction GameEvent, and deployableSeated to science experiments. Use these to disable scooping up surface samples when seated. * Added Felipe to crew name generation. * Satellite contract orbit generation made much more modular and maintainable, allowing us to validate generated orbits now. If an orbit parameter becomes corrupt through save manipulation or other means, that parameter can be regenerated without affecting the rest of the orbit. * Clarify R&D facility upgrade text to make it clear that Kerbin is still fair game for surface samples without the astronaut complex upgrades. * Crew Transfer more moddable. * Game is now paused going to MissionControl, AstronautComplex, Admin, R&D and unpaused when closing them. * Renamed Telus ladder to Kelus Ladder to avoid naming conflicts. * Improvements to flag rendering in KB. * Improvements in Tutorial input locks and Error checking * Adjustments to the Repair/Downgrade costs of the Facilities * Changed "Cancel warp" to use forward slash instead of Esc. * When repaired, wheels become temporarily immune to weight and slip stresses, slowly rising back to normal over a period of between 30 to 90 seconds. * Reduction in the creation of Garbage Objects in Flight scene. * Reduction in the creation of Garbage Objects in Space Center. * Optimize Part.GetConnectedResources and Vessel.GetActiveResources for speed and to not create garbage. * Dramatically improve resolution of asteroid textures, while simultaneously improving their shader performance by 400%. New shader can have very subtle desaturated brown/red hues sometimes.  

    danRosas
    It’s been more than 4 years since I embarked on the adventure of animating Kerbals. I got to work with amazingly talented people, and can’t measure the tons of experience I was able to gain from them. I’m really grateful to have been part of Squad, and most important of the trust they weighted on me while having creative control over the animated characters. I feel the love of the community for the Kerbals and it really makes me happy to see all the fan work in the forums: drawings, illustrations, animations, all of it.
    It’s time for me to take a step forward and take care of one personal project, which involves being a student once more in pursuit of a postgraduate degree, and I need to be 100% focused on that path to make it happen.
    I always tell the guys here at the office I don’t like watching the old animations I’ve done, but you don’t realize how much you’ve learned until you look back. The very first animation I did with the Kerbals looked something like this:
     
     
    And the latest one looked something like...
     
     
    I hope you were all entertained by the Kerbals I was handled to animate and their misfortunes adventures, as much I was making them suffer happy. I’m pretty sure Kerbals will be around for a long period of time, they are really amazing characters to work with from an artistic point of view. For me, it was an amazing experience being able to shape the foundations of the Kerbals as animated characters.
     
    All the best, and thank you for being such an amazing community
     

    Dan
    @danrpaulsen

    HarvesteR
    Hi,
    There's no good way to ease into news like this, so here it is: I'm stepping down as Lead Developer of KSP.
    For the last five and a half years, I put all my work, my thoughts and my time into KSP. I've watched it grow from this little unassuming idea for a 2D game in which you'd put together rocket parts to see how high you could get, into a complete spaceflight simulator, a space agency tycoon, a planetarium of truly astronomical scale, a home for little green men and their space program, a Kerbal space program.
    KSP has become far more than the game I imagined half a decade ago. When we first set out to take on this project, I could not have expected anything even remotely close to what it ended up becoming. To say KSP surpassed my every expectation would be, at best, a colossal understatement.
    There was a time, years ago, when any single design decision of mine had the power to drastically change the direction of the project. There was the danger that by even moving ahead on development of one area instead of another, the entire feel of the game, the intent it carried, could be morphed into something else. There was a fine line we needed to stay on, lest we let the project slip and become something other than what we intended. That is no longer the case, and that's a very good thing. It means that conceptually, the game is complete.
    This isn't to say KSP's development is complete, however. Far from it. Plans for KSP reach far into the future, and there are enough ideas to keep us all going for years. The console versions are coming up, there are new updates in development, the list goes on. For myself, however, I desperately need to have something new, to create more than one game in my life.
    I need to make one thing perfectly clear: development on KSP will continue as always. No features, upgrades, bugfixes or anything of the sort are being discontinued because of my leaving.
    This I say with absolute confidence, because I have complete trust in every member of the KSP team, and I know they are fully capable of handling anything that comes their way.
    The KSP team deserves more praise than I can give them. This is a band of outstanding people, all brilliant and excellent at what they do, never tiring, never doing anything less than their best. I'm very proud of what we have accomplished together. It's something I'll carry with me for ever. I also know beyond any question that KSP would not have become what it is without every single one of them. I am forever grateful and in awe of all the work they put in.
    And of course, I must give all my thanks to the founders at Squad, Ezequiel and Adrian, who took this wild leap of faith with me, putting their unconditional trust in me without ever requiring any failsafes or guarantees of success. We all know games are a notoriously risky proposition in the best of times, and they nonetheless extended their full support to me, at a time when none could tell what lay ahead.
    Lastly, but most certainly not least, I have to thank every single one of you, the community, our players, kerbalnauts, space enthusiasts, reckless rocket engineers, our friends. All of you, who like us, believed in our weird little game and supported us throughout the years with your ever-inspired ideas, your unparalleled willingness to help, your relentless honesty and your unfailing loyalty. I cannot thank you enough for all of it, and I can only hope I am so lucky to see you again in whatever comes next.
    This isn’t goodbye. It’s just farewell for now. In the meantime, however, I hope you all enjoy playing KSP as much as I enjoyed being part of its making.
     
    Signing off,
    Felipe Falanghe, aka HarvesteR
     
     
    Please post comments in this forum topic.

    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
      We noticed a number of issues persisted through the 1.1.1 patch earlier this week. We’re releasing patch 1.1.2 to address these issues before we head off to a long overdue vacation for the next couple of weeks. Patch 1.1.2 addresses issues with the user interface and landing legs, amongst others.
      Here's the complete changelog:
    =================================== v1.1.2 ============================================================ * Fixed an issue with triggers and convexity in loading models. * Fixed exception in the Stage Only mode of Vessel Resources panel. * Fixed for LT-1 and LT-2 landing legs causing a physics jerk when retracting. * Fixed an issue where some vessels might explode on go to pad (introduced in 1.1.1). * Fixed an issue with PQS shader accessibility. * Optimized moment of inertia calculations and some matrix operations. * Fixed an issue with an offset in the small landing gear part. * Optimized drag calculations. * Made wheel autostrutting more configurable. * Fixed some display issues in KSPedia. * Fixed an issue in FlightLogger regarding reverting / loading saves. * Increased brake torque tweakable's upper limit to 200%. * Added editor tweakables for spring and damper strength for suspension. * Removed non-working "disable suspension" tweakable. * Fixed issue with popup dialogs sharing the same title which broke game loading when loading multiple vessels all lacking parts. * Removed unneeded image effects on UI camera for increased performance. * Fixed issue where IVA field of view changes applied to flight camera on exiting IVA. * Remove some garbage creation in Part.Update. * Fixed an issue where Kerbals on EVA rescue contracts weren't fully destroyed if the contract was not done. Added a check to clear any 'empty' EVA'd Kerbal vessels in existing saves. * Fixed an issue where Kerbals were able to be renamed through KB.  
     

    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
     

    The 1.1.1 patch is now available! This patch will bring high priority fixes to the game. Although last week’s release of 1.1 went smoothly, there were still a few bugs left to fix. Considering we updated the game’s engine we’re all very pleased with the overall state of the game. Those of you who were around for the switch from Unity 3 to Unity 4 in version 0.18.4 will certainly remember how much impact changing the game engine can have on the game’s stability.
      Here's the complete changelog:
    =================================== v1.1.1 ============================================================ UI: * Added FlightUI Element Scaling and Navball Position Slider. Wheels: * Added auto-struts to every wheel, similar to fairing payload struts. They attach to the most massive part on the vessel. This prevents wheel suspensions from becoming unstable when the wheel is attached to a weaker part. (Attaching legs to pylons no longer causes vessels to bounce and/or break dance.) * Fix suspension distance and offset being inversely proportional to the rescaleFactor of a wheel. Fixes LT-1 and LT-2 leg suspensions actually getting smaller despite scale being larger, causing them to visually sink into the ground, and have shorter useful suspensions. * Some configuration tweaks suggested by GoSlash27 for the free and fixed landing gears have been integrated, which dramatically improve issues with instability on those gears. Thank you GoSlash27! * Fixed some model hierarchy issues with small and medium retractable landing gears, which fixes some odd suspension forces, an animation issue, and the inability to lock the suspension on these gears. * Raise the default integration substeps on wheels from 4 to 8, which should dramatically improve the accuracy of the wheel simulation without affecting performance too much. * Added separate settings for wheel integrator substep accuracy for active and inactive vessels, which can be tweaked in each wheel's part configuration, or globally from settings.cfg. Inactive vessels get slightly less accuracy to improve performance. * "No crash damage" cheat now prevents wheels from blowing up their parts due to gratuitously large impacts. It does not, however, prevent the wheel from entering the damaged state. * Halved the deflection magnitude of free and fixed gears, as they are technically much more rigid than other gears, but their lack of suspension travel makes them much more vulnerable to deflection stress, making them twice as tough. Editor: * Performed significant optimisation of performance intensive areas such as part attaching and dettaching. * Implemented general optimisation throughout editor. * Implemented automatic temporary symmetry when the logic expects the symmetry mode or method to be different. I.e when placing engines on tri-couplers in SPH using mirror mode. Fixes part initialization issues. Bug Fixes and Tweaks: * Made Kerbal Portrait and ScreenMessage lists public. * Show complete cost (base cost + module cost) in part tooltips in editor. * Add optional PQS shader using all mappings (for modders). * Tweak skin<->internal conduction, slightly increase internal max temps of Mk1 cockpits. * No longer spam the log when parsing plugin data. * Tweak default exhaust heating upwards slightly. * Change building impact damage to be based on kinetic energy by default, not momentum. Make damage configurable in Physics.cfg. Fixes an issue with building damage and wheels. * Improve orbit calculation when in 1x warp. Orbit info no longer flickers. * Show specified rather than calculated sea level temperature when viewing a planet's page in the knowledge base window in map view. * Add more checks (flameout or port disabled) to RCS's Torque Provider. * Optimizations to vessel stat-finding and orbital force calculations. * Add the missing extension method, uncomment the bits that needed it * Admin facility now with vertical scrolling. * Adjusted Career Widget Z Pos for higher scaling. * Restore part delete sound when deleting parts in editor. * Considerable tweaks to building damage to avoid wheels insta-popping them. * Renamed the editor filter for Surface Attach to Surface Attach Only to avoid confusion. * Optimized getGeeForceAtPosition to not recalculate things it shouldn't. * Increased stability in orbital calculation when off rails. * Added UI Element scaling for all in-flight UI elements. * Removed a fix for a 5.1.1 unity bug which had a unefficient complexity. * Check if the body has an ocean before checking if we're under water! * Removed text length on input device name. * Fixed NRE from Underwater Fog. * Fixed gigantor solar panel showing through the main craft. * Fixed a bug with science lab science/day display. * Fixed where the target could be unset in tutorials. * Fixed latitude not displaying in AeroGUI. * Fixed an issue where missing directories could break save/load. * Fixed an exception in Procedural Fairing interstages. * Fixed inability to timewarp near Jool. * Fixed some miscellaneous tutorial bugs. * Fixed an issue with RequestResource on EVA kerbals. * Fixed an issue with the underwater FX applying even if the body does not have an ocean. * Fixed issue with decouple action firing jettison in ModuleJettison. * Fixed lab display rate to count scientist multiplier. * Fixed memory leak in part highlighter and attach node icon destruction. * Fixed inability to target things by using map context menu. * Fixed targeting being improperly locked in map view. * Fixed typo in science tutorial. * Fixed an oversight when computing duration/deadline text. * Fixed for NRE in UIPartActionController * Fixed colour tint on some parts. * Fixed multiple docking port joint weakness. * Fixed KSPedia page corruption from switching scenes. * Fixed issue with decouple action on jettison. * Fixed Ap/Pe flickering. * Fixed an issue where scientist bonus was counted twice in labs.  
     

    KasperVld
    Hello everyone!
     
    Kerbal Space Program is “Turbo Charged” by the release of patch 1.1!
     
    After almost a year of hard work our major update is finally here! In the package you’ll find a large boost in performance due to the upgrade to the Unity 5 game engine, 64 bit binaries for Windows and OSX that will help you mod the game to ridiculous lengths, and the brand new KSPedia reference guide for all the information you need to play the game!
     

    That’s not all though, here are some of the highlights for this patch:
     
    All new user interface
    The user interface has been rewritten from the ground up to take full advantage of Unity 5’s new integrated systems. The ‘parallel’ UI systems have been removed and the game now uses only one system, adding to the performance bonus the update already brings. Almost all interface elements have been redesigned and tweaked but have retained the familiar feel for experienced players. The most notable tweaks can be found in the map view, staging, IVA portraits and the right-click part menus.
     
    Players can now search through parts by typing in text greatly reducing the time needed to find that one part needed to complete the rocket. The Tracking Station will inform the player of a craft’s next maneuver node time, helping players to maintain several active flights at any one time. The Space Center overview features buttons for all the buildings, making sure you don’t miss out on any part of the space program by overlooking mission control!
     
    KSPedia
    KSPedia will be the primary source for information on just about anything in the game. New players will find the basics of building and flying explained here, and more experienced players can take in information about more advanced concepts such as docking, in-situ resource utilisation and all the information they need to plan a successful mission to the next planet or moon.
     
    New tutorials and scenarios
    The tutorials have been extended and reworked from the ground up. The new tutorials will cover topics ranging from basic and advanced construction and flight, to docking and landing on Mun. Learn how to execute the perfect gravity turn, orbit Kerbin and land the Eagle.

    Not only tutorials have been reworked: we’ve extended the available pool of scenarios as well, increasing it by 150%! Use a spaceplane to re-enter the atmosphere and land it back on the runway at the Kerbal Space Center, return a craft without heat shield from Duna, or beat SpaceX at their own game by flying back the first stage of a rocket to the launch pad. These new scenarios will unlock these advanced topics for any player!
     
    A special thank you goes out to everyone involved in testing the QA, experimental and pre-release versions.
    Kerbal Space Program 1.1 is now available on the KSP Store and Steam, and will soon be available on other third party platforms.
     
     

    Ted

     
    Hi all,
     
    As I'm sure many of you read, 1.1 is to enter Experimentals this week! It's a significant update to KSP in terms of just how much has changed under the hood. We've done a complete overhaul of the user interface from a conglomerate of interface systems to Unity 5's native system. Aside from that, an entirely new system for the wheels had to be adopted due to the major changes Unity made to the native wheels system, and the list goes on!
     
    Quality Assurance is the most bare bone part of the entire testing process and is performed by around five to ten QA testers pretty much constantly. The focussed testing and efficiency mean that instead of going through the motions of the game as a normal player would, QA tends to identify areas of the new content that would usually be prone to issue and hunt for bugs there. This cuts down the time taken to find issues by a significant margin and means that the content is tested more evenly – playtesting can sometimes skip completely past some aspects of a feature. Furthermore, this method allows the testers to work closely with the developers and compare exactly what they intended to occur for specific cases, to what actually occurs – this is where QA becomes more about feedback.
     
    QA is a lot more than just finding bugs. It’s about having the knowledge of the game (especially how it works under-the-hood), the comprehension of the ideas behind the features in the game, the understanding of what a developer wants the feature to turn out like and how you can assist them in making it happen. Furthermore, it’s about condensing all of that into concise and objectively written issue reports.
     
    The QA process on 1.1 has been going for a long time, but it has been incredibly fruitful: crushing 516 issues in 107 builds! There is still more to do however, in Experimentals we hope to only increase the stability of the game, add polish to areas and carry out some bug fixing as always!
     
    The Experimental Team comprises about 100 testers. All of these testers are volunteers who contribute their spare time to playtest the game. They are normal players, sourced from the various communities via a simple application process. Often and understandably they don’t have as much spare time to devote to testing as the QA Testers and thus there are significantly more Experimental Testers ‘signed up’ than we need at any one time. This works in everyone’s favour as it keeps the activity level throughout an Experimental Phase and doesn’t put pressure on the testers while they also deal with their personal and professional lives.
     
    After we have an update go through QA, as detailed above, it is hopefully free from major issues and each feature has had any needed major improvements and refinements carried out; the update is in a feature-complete state. However, many components of a feature may still be unpolished, such as part balancing, or the performance of newer UI on different platforms. This is where Experimental Testing comes in and assists the developers in cleaning up the remaining feedback issues.
    An Experimental Testing phase typically lasts around a couple of weeks, though it is highly dependent on the number of issues that arise and how much further development is required to reach a release state. At the end of the Experimental phase, there are still a fair amount of issues on the tracker that are still open, but it’s important to note that these issues are typically minor ones, ones that aren’t in the scope of the update or simply issues that would take too much time and resources to resolve.
     
    This time around though, things will get even more interesting after Experimental testing! Given that update 1.1 will be unlike any update we’ve seen to date in terms of widespread changes to pretty much any significant and underlying system in the game we're planning to provide an optional pre-release branch of update 1.1. This opt-in branch will run for just under two full weeks before the targeted release date of the final update.
     
    The nature and extent of the changes in the update mean that many plugins and add-ons will require refactoring, updating and at the very least a recompile. Of course modders cannot do this overnight and on the flick of a switch, especially with an update of this scope. Typically a select group of particularly KSP-savvy modders would be given access to the new update to help us find bugs, but the extent of the changes this time around is such that we feel we should open it up to everyone.
     
    The pre-release branch will be opt-in via Steam only, and won't be available via the KSP Store. We really wanted to make the pre-release branch available on all distribution channels but given the frequency of builds, the size of those builds, and the necessity for everyone to be on the latest version for testing it proved to be impossible to facilitate this on the KSP store.
     
    To facilitate discussions of the pre-release branch we’ll be opening up a temporary forum for feedback. Additionally, a separate section will be made available on the bug tracker to report bugs on.
     
    Please feel free to ask any and all questions you have!
     
     

    KasperVld
    THE RESULTS
    Hello everyone!
    It's time to tally the results of our Christmas giveaway. It was a fun contest, and a lot of people entered for a chance to win that signed poster! In total we received 550 valid entries, 1 person was disqualified because they tried to enter the contest 10 times, while 11 others who had submitted two or three sets of answers had their later entries removed.
    So, what were the correct answers?
    Question 1 asked what the moons of Uranus were named after, the correct answer being Shakespearean characters1. This is a bit of a trap, as celestial bodies are usually named after Greek or Roman mythological characters. The second question asked which planet in the Solar system has the smallest amount of axial tilt. The top three is made up of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury, and the latter is definitely the correct answer here2: its axial tilt is just 0.01°! Question number three, arguably the toughest one: at what speed does the Solar system orbit the center of the Milky Way galaxy? The exact speed varies a little, but only one of the answer fits the data: the Solar system orbits the center of the Milky Way galaxy at an astonishing 230 km/s3. The second to last question asked how many missions Claude Nicollier (who signed the poster for the winner) had flown on the Space Shuttle: no less than four missions4! Finally, we asked what sport was famously played on the Moon during Apollo 14. Alan Shepard played golf, hitting two balls across the surface with a makeshift club5.
    Plenty of right (and wrong) answers for each question! Across all five questions a total of 265 wrong answers were given. Of course, some people answered multiple questions incorrectly and in total 377 entries remained after checking for errors. One of those entries was from a developer and was swiftly removed before the final draw!
     

    Number of wrong answers per question.
     
    The final draw was conducted quite easily. The chances of any individual winning the contest were 1 in 376, or roughly 0.27%. The chance to become a runner-up were 1 in 188, or roughly 0.53%. The Excel sheet containing all the answers was listed alphabetically and while KasperVld made sure no double entries or wrong answers had slipped through, Badie asked a website to generate three random numbers that would correspond to three row numbers in the Excel sheet.
    Drum roll please.
    The runners-up are: @Lukus and @marioluigi653! Congratulations, you'll be receiving a free copy of Kerbal Space Program! The overall winner of both a copy of KSP and the poster signed by Claude Nicollier is: @Tremzack! Congratulations!
     
    People who answered all questions correctly:
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