I'm very happy to announce that we've just released the 0.21 update for KSP!
As you all probably know, this update was our first to focus mainly in Career Mode. We've still got a long way to go with that, but I can't tell you how satisfying it is to finally see progress in this part of the game, after over two years of working on the sandbox.
Here are the main features for this update:
* Revised Flight-End scene flow.
In preparation for Career gameplay, we've redesigned the way flights are ended. Gone is the 'End Flight' button in the Pause Menu, cause of many a tale of accidental space station deletion. Now, you'll either get to return to the Space Center (as before), or when applicable, Revert to an earlier state (to launch or to the editors).
* New Space Center Scene.
The most underdeveloped part of the game finally gets its much deserved overhaul, featuring new models for nearly all the facilities, plus a couple of new ones as well. Keep on reading for more details on them.
* The Astronaut Complex Facility.
Another huge feature in the making, the Astronaut Complex is a new building at the Space Center, that gives you an overview of all your available victims brave explorers, and lets you recruit new ones from a list of applicants.
* Crew Management
Along with the Astronaut Complex, this adds the ability to select the crew for a vessel before launch (from the launch sites or from the editors). Pick from the list of available crewmembers, and assign them to any (yes, any) part on the vessel.
* New VAB and SPH Interiors.
The insides of the construction facilities are also completely re-done, the models are not only vastly better-looking than before, they're far more efficient as well, so there's no performance tradeoff here.
This was one of the biggest code overhauls we've ever pulled off. Now, instead of having everything duplicated in each of the game's scenes, all common elements like the scenery, game logic, ambience and the planetarium are created once and get reused. This means the world you see at the space center is now exactly the same as the one you see in flight, and in the tracking station. It also means much slicker transitions between scenes, as we don't have to respawn everything again.
* Overhauled SAS Flight Control Sytem.
Veteran players (and new ones alike) will be happy to know weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done away with the old Stability Augmentation System (or Sickness Avoidance Solution or whatever you want to call it) we had, which caused more flight stability problems than solutions sometimes, and re-built it completely from scratch. We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t overstate how much of an improvement over the previous system this is.
* Much Improved terrain on Kerbin, the Mun, and other places.
New procedurally generated craters on the Mun, low hills around Kerbin, and a lot of other tweaks and optimization make for a much more interesting landscape to fly around and <s>crash into</s> land at.
* A Completely Redesigned Website.
Alex's secret project is finally revealed! Check it out.
And of course, the usual battery of bug fixes and tweaks. Here's the changelog (there are actually more changes than this, these are only the most noteworthy):
* Space Center Scene:
- The Space Center scene now uses the same terrain as in flight.
- Time now passes in the Space Center scene, and day/night is consistent with in-flight.
- The game terrain persists across scene transitions, making loading scenes much faster.
- Completely overhauled the interior models for the VAB and SPH buildings, complete with animated trucks and cargo lifts.
- All-new exterior models for the VAB, SPH and Tracking Station.
- New Astronaut Complex building.
- Added a description field where you can write up a few lines to describe your space-faring contraptions.
* Crew Management:
- It is now possible to assign crew manually to missions before launch, both from the Construction Facilities and from Launch Sites.
- Added completely new Launch Dialogs on the Runway and Launchpad at the Space center.
- The new Astronaut Complex dialog allows you to hire crews from a list of Applicants, and view the status of all your crewmembers.
- Revised the crew handling game logic, for a much more reliable and robust system.
* SAS Modules:
- Rewrote the SAS control logic from the ground up.
- SAS is now enabled for the entire vessel, and requires actuators like winglets, RCS or others to actually have an effect.
- Repurposed the old SAS modules are now Reaction Wheel Modules, that apply torque while consuming electricity.
- The new SAS logic allows applying manual input while SAS is on, letting you set the ship's attitude without having to constantly toggle it.
* Procedural Terrain:
- Added a new module to generate craters procedurally on the Mun.
- Largely revised Kerbin's terrain to produce much more interesting mountains, hills, valleys and coastlines.
* Flight Re-Flow:
- Removed the physically-impossible "End Flight" button.
- Added new options to "Revert" a mission back to launch or to construction.
- Added new 'Recover' button on the Tracking Station, to allow recovering a vessel (as opposed to Terminating it) when possible.
- Recovering vessels makes its crew available again, while Terminating kills them.
- The 'Space Center' button now allows you to leave flight at any time, warning when necessary about saving restrictions.
* Progress Tracking:
- The game now tracks your progress as you play, providing essential data for the upcoming Career Mode features.
- Progress data is (optionally) uploaded to our servers,
- Improved the in-game shadowing to enable shadows at much larger distances.
- Added several new parts from the KSPX pack as stock content.
Bug Fixes and Tweaks:
- Scenario Modules now properly save and load when the rest of the game saves and loads.
- Scenario Modules can now have multiple target scenes set.
- Improved the internal logic for switching to nearby vessels, it shouldn't refuse to switch with valid vessels nearby anymore.
- Added a system to attempt upgrading incompatible save files if/when possible.
- Tweaked PQS on other planets and moons to not initialize until approached. Improved performance a bit.
- Added a new system on PQS to clamp terrain subdivision while moving very fast. Orbiting low near the surface is a lot smoother now.
- Many more small tweaks and improvements.
Important Upgrade Notes:
* Do mind that as on all new updates, you shouldn't expect mods to work properly.
* This new version is incompatible with SFS (savegame) files from previous versions. However, we now have a system that will allow you to upgrade these incompatible files if possible.
So, as usual, you can get the new version at the KSPStore, or be automatically updated if you have the game on Steam. You can also use the patcher to sync your install without having to do a full download.