• Whats in a Vessel Name?


    TriggerAu

    As we worked on some of the historically inspired missions for Making History we came back across one of our old favorite challenges - how to name portions of a vessel. So I thought I would share some information about what we looked at and where we ended up with respect to the new Vessel Naming additions in KSP 1.4.

    The Problem

    In KSP you build (and sometimes even save) a series of craft, which when launched become vessels in the game. So you build your magical Kerpollo 11 craft, send it to the launchpad, fire off the main engines, explode on the pad, revert to the VAB, adjust a bit more, launch again, lift off, flip due to misplaced aero parts, plummet to the ground, explode in a different place, revert to VAB... alright admittedly this is how my game usually goes and I should maybe skip to the actual naming stuff...

    So we launch our sufficiently tested Kerpollo 11 and as we stage off used sections they get automagically named Kerpollo 11 Debris, or Kerpollo 11 Probe, and we end up once we reach the Mun and land with our Lander on the Mun called Kerpollo 11 and a half dozen other Kerpollo xxxx variations around the solar system. And then there's the always fun, rover scenario, where when you deploy the rover it’s called Shipname pod of the wrong type. As we were implementing some of the Making History missions we really wanted to adjust this behavior so we could name sections of a vessel and the CSM could be Kerpollo 11, the Lander "The Beagle" (cause the beagle has landed made me chuckle), and so on...

    After a quick brainstorm we came up with following solution: we’d simply change the structure so that a vessel would be made up of component parts, let’s call em vehicles, and each vehicle would have its own name... After a quick run through in a few people’s heads we then went and gave ourselves a long talking to, because while that would be a great way to do vessel naming, it would also change one of the fundamental constructs in the game, and all the knock on effects that would have for us, for the players with their existing saves, the modders with other components. And even if that worked, to solve part vessel naming and some other challenges... we still have to handle the dock/undock process

    So using our alternate thinking strategy - aka Nestor telling us to try again - we worked through a few items and came up with the following:

    • Each part can have a name, and type assigned to it
    • Each naming preference can have a priority, so when more than one part in a vessel has a name assigned to it we can work out the vessel name
    • When the vessel changes - docking, undocking, staging, we can then reassess the assigned names to determine what each vessel should be called

    This idea turns out to be quite a simple solution, while also not affecting any existing systems or structures that would mean impacting players and modders.

    So what does this look like in the game?

    On any command module during construction you can open the Part Action Window and choose "Configure Vessel Naming"
    VesselNaming.png
     

    Here we can set a name, set the type that will be assigned and a priority - the higher the priority the more importance this name has over others of lower priority
    Dialog.png
     

    So if we look at an example of how this might work in a larger vessel, some photo manipulation magic lets me show you this
    Example.png

    In the example we can see
    A = Red Buggy and is a Rover (Priority 8)
    B = Yellow Buggy and is Debris (Priority 10)
    C = Blue Buggy and is a Rover (Priority 12)

    So when we save and Launch this vessel (A+B+C) it will be a Rover called Blue Buggy 
    If we then undock A we will have:

    • A = Rover called Red Buggy 
    • B+C = Rover called Blue Buggy

    Undock C from B and then dock it with A and we have 

    • A + C = Rover called Blue Buggy 
    • B  = Debris called Yellow (and cause its debris it will be uncontrollable - yes that caught me out too)

    Through this hopefully you can get the names you want on the vessels you want right from the Editor.
     

    Extra Credit...

    ...or at least I hope I get credit!

    By default this option only shows for Command Modules like the original rename vessel option and only in the editor (VAB/SPH), but if you want to extend that behavior then this info could be useful.

    If you add this to a parts cfg file then it too will have that option appear in editor

    showVesselNaming = True

    If you change this setting in settings.cfg to be true then the configure vessel naming option will show for parts configured when in flight mode

    SHOW_VESSEL_NAMING_IN_FLIGHT = True

    You can also configure the maximum number of priorities and the default priority from the settings.cfg
     

     

    Hope you've enjoyed this story on some of the development or 1.4.

     

     

    Edited by TriggerAu
    images and editing



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    How about an update on the EULA or the lack of an opt out of KSP sending information in 1.4?

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    Is it weird that this it's my single favorite thing in 1.4? It barely edges out the new decoupler models.

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    15 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

    Is it weird that this it's my single favorite thing in 1.4? It barely edges out the new decoupler models.

    On of my favorites too, but I'm a little biased

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    This will make dealing with landers, external satellites etc a lot easier. Always felt a bit janky that you needed to rename stuff after undocking.

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    Also one of my favorites from 1.4. This, and the fast switching between SPH/VAB :) Thanks for bringing that to the base game

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    All fine and well that the 'vehicle' naming scheme carries, but do the staging orders for each 'vehicle' carry as well?

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    Oh hey, that's great. I had thought I had figured out a way to sort of do this in stock, and it seemed to work at first, and then it didn't...

    If you could make those config tweaks be part of the regular option menu, that would be great!

    I'm still hoping you can convince the powers-that-be to let you shoehorn your KAC and TWR mods into stock.

    Thanks for the blog!

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    On 3/9/2018 at 11:09 AM, mostlydave said:

    How about an update on the EULA or the lack of an opt out of KSP sending information in 1.4?

    That's an issue regarding Take Two, not Squad, hence why Squad is likely keeping quiet about it.

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    9 hours ago, Clockwork13 said:

    That's an issue regarding Take Two, not Squad, hence why Squad is likely keeping quiet about it.

    Yeah, I'm sure there is no communication between Squad and Take Two, and Squad is just as in the dark as we are  :rolleyes:

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    On 3/10/2018 at 6:09 AM, mostlydave said:

    How about an update on the EULA or the lack of an opt out of KSP sending information in 1.4?

    Sorry mate, not something I feel qualified to comment on, but anything about the naming system and game stuff Ill have a crack at

    On 3/11/2018 at 8:22 AM, LordFerret said:

    All fine and well that the 'vehicle' naming scheme carries, but do the staging orders for each 'vehicle' carry as well?

    No just a system for the naming at this point. the staging stuff did actually come up in the earlier discussions I mentioned, but it was in that "substantial changes to the base structures" idea and we parked it at the time

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    It's nice to see you writing these again.

    Just so I'm completely clear:  priority number one is at the bottom of the list?  That's what I'm taking from this, though I confess to admit it will take a bit for me to adjust that in my mind.

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    8 hours ago, Zhetaan said:

    It's nice to see you writing these again.

    Just so I'm completely clear:  priority number one is at the bottom of the list?  That's what I'm taking from this, though I confess to admit it will take a bit for me to adjust that in my mind.

    Correct its like the fuel priority numbers - the higher the number the higher the priority

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    Somehow I missed this, until I was about to ask if anyone had more to say about the development process of the last year, in the latest weekly update. Then I happen to actually look, and... thank you! 

    Here's to hoping for some kind of "KAC lite" option in the stock game, over the next year :) 

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    It seems to be working the way PDPN works, which btw, Im not going  to continue since this totally replaced the functionality of it

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    On 3/24/2018 at 7:56 AM, linuxgurugamer said:

    It seems to be working the way PDPN works, which btw, Im not going  to continue since this totally replaced the functionality of it

    Oh my goodness! in all honesty I didn't know that was a mod already. Apologies mate or I would have at a minimum PMed you, or more likely asked questions about any good/bad things you've seen from that for incorporation. Didn't mean to replace a mod, as such, without speaking to anyone :faceinhands:

    6 hours ago, Catullus said:

    That's fantastic, but why no satellite category? 

    Its an extension to the existing types where there are 3 satellite categories - probe, relay and station - so we didn't add any new types

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    2 hours ago, TriggerAu said:

    Oh my goodness! in all honesty I didn't know that was a mod already. Apologies mate or I would have at a minimum PMed you, or more likely asked questions about any good/bad things you've seen from that for incorporation. Didn't mean to replace a mod, as such, without speaking to anyone :faceinhands:

    No worries, although it does mean that it seems that I figured  out on my own what it took you guys a while to :D

    Just one mod I don't have to support anymore :-)

     

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    Quote

    (and cause its debris it will be uncontrollable - yes that caught me out too)

    Is that a new thing? I swear I've controlled vehicles marked as debris but which had probe cores in the past

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    On 4/22/2018 at 3:38 AM, cineboxandrew said:

    Is that a new thing? I swear I've controlled vehicles marked as debris but which had probe cores in the past

    It wasnt when I looked at the code, but I had the same feeling too when I did it to myself - maybe it only when you start from debris - made for a few funny moments for me though

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