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  • 1.12 Wheel Devblog, and Special Note


    Welcome to another KSP devblog!  This time we’re going to talk about wheels.

    In KSP 1.12 Final Approach, we’ve made some improvements to our wheels to address many pesky bugs.  Another issue we’ve looked at is making it easier to drive your rovers without flipping them.

    To that end, we’ve added a new control to wheels:  Steering Adjust, which can either be in Auto or in Override.  When set to Auto, Steering Adjust will reduce the maximum angle your wheels can turn as your vehicle goes faster.   Because most players use keyboard controls, it’s been too easy to overcrank your wheels by holding a key down too long and flipping your vehicle over - keeping Steering Adjust in Auto will help you deal with that.


    Setting Steering Adjust to Override will preserve the old steering behavior - but also expose some new controls to help you manually tune your wheel controls.  

    • Steering Angle will let you manually reduce the maximum deflection your wheels can go through. 
    • Steering Response will change how quickly the wheels respond to inputs - how quickly they’ll turn.  

    Those of you who use an analogue controller will likely want to set your steering adjust to override if you like using your analogue controls to control the full range of motion of the wheel, though you can still turn down the Steering Angle to have better fine control.

    Bug Fixes
    We’ve also addressed some of the bugs that have been plaguing wheels for a while.  Check the build notes for the exact list, but notable improvements include:

    • Wheels and landing legs bouncing less when docking/undocking.
    • Wheels and landing legs bouncing less on load.
    • Landing legs being more stable generally and especially when deployed at wide angles.
    • Wheels and landing legs suspension now handles different gravity changes much better than before.
    • Fixed the wheel speed on the M1 and M1-F wheels.
    • Wheel load balancing now across all grounded wheels on a vessel.
    • Wheel Tuning Tips
    • Finally, I’d like to share some simple tips to make a more drivable rover.

    Wheel Tuning Tips
    Finally, I’d like to share some simple tips to make a more drivable rover.

    Rolling over during a turn too often?
    If you’re still rolling your rover often over too often, here’s a few things to try:

    1. Lower your center of mass or widen your wheel track - the horizontal distance between your wheels.  That’s always going to make your vehicle more stable.
    2. Use the Steering Adjust in Override mode, and manually lower the amount your wheels will turn.  
    3. Set Friction Control to manual and lower the friction on all your wheels - this will make your vehicle tend to skid, rather than flip.
    4. Of course, you can get crazy with reaction wheels and RCS to keep your rover pinned to the ground - it’s the Kerbal way, after all.

    Flipping over when you brake or accelerate,  particularly on low gravity worlds?
    If your rover flips forward or backward while braking or accelerating, try these tips:

    1. Make sure you have any reaction wheels turned off!  Those can easily torque your vehicle over.
    2. Adjust your Brakes% to increase it on the back wheels, reducing it on the front wheels, and your motor power to the front wheels.  .
    3. Set Friction Control to Override and lower your friction - low gravity worlds can be hard to drive on and it’s tempting to set this higher, but the low weight holding  your vehicle down has to be accounted for.

    Oversteering is when your vehicle tends to turn too much, and possibly go into a spin, rather than following the direction it’s driving in.  You can address this in a few ways.  

    1. Set your back wheels to not steer - all-wheel-steering can be great for maneuverability, but it seems you’ve got too much of that!  
    2. Either adjust the center of mass of your vehicle to put more mass on those back tires, or you can adjust friction to increase the friction of your back wheels and/or decrease the friction on your front wheels.  Setting your Friction Control to give 50% more grip in the back - while not overdoing to cause problems with flipping - can help a lot.

    Understeering is the opposite of the above problem, where your vehicle just doesn’t want to turn.  And it can be solved by doing the opposite steps - moving mass forward, increasing the grip of the front wheels, etc.   Do note that just turning the wheels more won’t typically help - understeer occurs because the steering tires are not exerting enough torque to turn your vehicle, turning them more will just cause them to slip more.

    A Fond Farewell
    I’ve been working on KSP since version 1.6, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work on a game with so much love and creative investment from its fans.

    However, shipping 1.12 will mark the end of my time designing for Kerbal.  It’s not a decision I came to lightly, I’ll definitely miss my teammates and the project. I know they’ll keep doing fantastic work expanding the franchise, but I’m off to do other things. I wanted to take a moment to say what an honor it has been working on something that is so much more than a game for many people, that inspires people about space exploration and educates them about the challenges and wonderful discoveries we have in reaching out into the Solar System.

    I will continue to be a fan of the franchise and you’ll likely see me kicking around in a more civilian role, feel free to say hi.

    Thank you for being amazing fans, I’m back to being one of you.

    Paul Boyle, KSP lead designer for versions 1.6 to 1.12, and the Breaking Ground DLC



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    Just now, UomoCapra said:

    Great devblog, as usual! It's been an honor having you on the team @Maxsimal. We certainly had some of our best releases with you. Good luck with you're future endeavors! :grin:

    Thank you so much, it's been a pleasure working with you ! 

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    Thank you for all the amazing work you’ve done Maxsimal!

    Good luck, and I’m sure whatever you do next will be as great as KSP!


    Edited by Spaceman.Spiff
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    Thanks so much. There are very many here who will miss you... and wish you every success in your new ventures.

    Fly (and rove :D ) safe!

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    1 hour ago, panarchist said:

    Thanks for some AMAZING work, and herding all the cats to get it there. Best of luck to you in your next adventure!

    Thank you, I'm just glad I got to help move forward Kerbal for a while.

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    Thanks for the amazing work and deign ethic that you have brought to the game, and hence, so many lives.

    Go well on your next great adventure!


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    So long, and thanks for all the fish fixes!

    Definitely the most interesting updates were on your watch, Max. Sorry to see you go, but then you're not, not really. Not that there was much left to do here with major updates wrapping up...

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    Nice! I can have speed dependent rear axle steering on my kranes now!

    It would be really nice if crab steering could be added, but that will need to be left to add-ons because 1.12 is the last content update, or I could figure out something with wheels attached to rotation servos controlled by a KAL-1000.


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    Oh yeah, I almost forgot! Yes, I am aware. 

    So, lets say I have a 4 axle crane. I am driving normally, but +if I want to go to crab steering, I just hook an invert steering action group up to the first 2 axles so they are steering the same way as the rear 2?

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    On 6/28/2021 at 6:45 PM, StrandedonEarth said:

    So long, and thanks for all the fish fixes!

    Definitely the most interesting updates were on your watch, Max. Sorry to see you go, but then you're not, not really. Not that there was much left to do here with major updates wrapping up...

    Thank you!  I'm very proud of the updates we did, but it was a team effort, both from the people who worked on these versions, and from the people who built Kerbal up into the awesome game we could add on top of.

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    Thanks Maxsimal! And the rest of the devs too! It's been great. :) I started playing in 1.8. I'm glad I didn't start playing before the advanced burn time indicator was present, I don't think I could have coped without it. There was something in 1.8 I was glad of too. Can't remember what it was now, but I think some of the "moar boosters" launched my first successful orbiting craft. They definitely launched the insane rockets by which I discovered what a big difference it makes to launch with or against Kerbin's orbital direction when leaving its SOI. My first ion probe was sent on an interstellar trajectory without even using any of its own propellant! :D As for 1.12, I've wanted steering adjust ever since I first played. I'm sure it'll be a big help. :)

    It's also great to have a rover stability guide to refer people to, except for one point which is rather backwards, if you'll excuse me saying so. Under braking, there's this:


    1. Make sure you have any reaction wheels turned off!  Those can easily torque your vehicle over.

    Uh... I guess this could happen with EXTREME REACTION WHEEL! but my experience is reaction wheels help tremendously when accelerating or decelerating. When accelerating, the natural tendency of a wheeled vehicle is to throw its weight onto its rear wheels, pitching up.1 Reaction wheels or RCS respond to the same key with pitch down torque. Thus, under acceleration, reaction wheels fight the rover's tendency to wheelie and flip onto its back. They also increase traction by keeping the front wheels pressed to the ground. When engine braking (for want of a more appropriate term), the ground wheels are trying to pitch forward while the reaction wheels are trying to pitch back. Just the same as when accelerating, the chance of flipping is reduced and traction is improved. Since driving on Minmus, I never use the actual brakes of a rover except for parking or to supplement engine braking.

    1. Cars mitigate this with careful design of suspension geometry; not easily done in KSP and not as effective as reaction wheels anyway.

    I'm also experimenting with applying roll with yaw for stability in steering; A+Q and D+E keys. It "should help", but I haven't properly tested it because I'm not focusing on rovers right now. I'm too busy with spaceplanes. Negative camber is another thing I want to test. 15o (one snap) of negative camber greatly improved steering stability of my "speed rovers", (my 2nd project in KSP, :)) but I'm not sure why.

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    Hey guys thank you so much for keeping the community super helpful and fun! You guys are the best!!

    Anyways, I'm having a problem myself I'm not sure if it's because of the new update and anything that has to do with the wheel mechanics. But driving rovers were night and day compared to the 1.11.2 version. It feels like you're driving on ice and the rovers were mental and acting as if they were in a vacuum. 

    Here's the full information of the issue I am experiencing. Hope you guys could me. Thank you so much in advance!! Have a good one!

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    On 6/29/2021 at 5:16 AM, jimmymcgoochie said:

    You are aware of the “invert steering” option? Toggle that on the wheels that turn the “wrong” way and you’ll get crab steering without any need for mods; maybe even bind it to an action group?

    I can't set an action group to invert the steering direction. Besides that, invert steering works for crab steering.

    Thank you for the great update, great game, and keeping it alive all these years (I have been playing since around 2018, but I am as thankful as people who had it from the very beginning!)


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    Too bad this is the last update, cause the same steering functionality would be EXTREMELY helpful for actual aircraft control surfaces. All aircraft capable of supersonic flight suffer from exact same issue, as you accelerate the control range becomes to large. It's so bad that beyond a certain speed SAS tuning is so off it causes catastrophic oscillations and needs to be turned off.

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