• Who needs a level runway anyway?


    JPLRepo

    Do these look familiar:

    PoFhk8C.jpgarh5M8l.jpg

     

    Runways are indeed not flat. And KSP’s runways are no different.

    In fact one might argue that KSP’s runways are too flat! But that’s not what you the fans (or the planes in KSP) wanted. So I was given the task of looking into the Runways.

     

    Well hey I thought.. Can’t be that bad. They don’t look like this do they? Or maybe they do…

     

    gfRmYzT.jpgTQAFxHK.png

     

    Let's Begin!

    First impressions were this should be a simple job. Just align the models in Unity. Why hasn’t anyone done this? Well, I can tell you, it’s not that easy at all. The issue begins when you look at the size of the runway models and small inconsistencies that seem to creep in when you import the models into the Unity engine.


    Unity has some tools that support object positioning. But the best tool for the job is the vertex snapping tool and this works best when your mesh (the actual triangles that make up the model) has a physics collider attached to it and these have straight, square edges. This is where the fun begins because the Runways in KSP are made up of separate sections which do not have square edges or lend themselves very well to having physics colliders added to them easily because of their shape.The ends and bases of them are rounded and extend into the ground and Unity changed the way physics colliders act from when these models were first created for KSP and the current versions of Unity KSP is running under now.

     

    Level 3 Runway

    Recreating the models was just not an option given the time that would take. So the process I came up with was to take the existing model, create cut down duplicates of the model meshes that were square so they could be used as colliders (but also had edges that matched the existing seams), line it all up in the modelling software and export.

     

    Next we import to Unity. Using the new meshes I began adding unity physics colliders and then vertex snapping the sections together. Once this was done the Unity objects were put together into a new Runway prefab (a term in unity which creates a prefabricated object which can then be instantiated when the game is running).

     

    Finally all the references to the new prefab must be re-generated to hook up all the code that supports destructible and upgradable facilities.

     

    What could go wrong? Well there are a lot of these references scattered throughout the game setup. You can easily miss one or two and then wonder, “Where'd my shiny runway I spent so many hours recreating go?”

    KpHIiJY.png

    Once the runway was in the right position there were still some small gaps, and while not letting my OCD get in the way too much, I began painstakingly doing fine tuning adjustments to the positioning of the runway sections.

     

    A bit later and finally everything is right and you get the new and improved runway ready for testing.

     

    KOOPZMe.png

     

    Rinse and Repeat

    … And so the process then gets repeated with the Level 2 runway.

    nnWfb9j.png

     

    Luckily I've now got a workflow happening and the Level 2 runway is done in half the time.

    With that done… Now what should we do with that lumpy bumpy Level 1 runway?

     

    But that's a story for another day.

    Edited by JPLRepo



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    Thanks for the article. An interesting read. Will the fixed runway be merged into the big localization update or will it be a seperate hotfix?

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    Will be great to get this one fixed and thanks very much for taking the time to explain a little about what the process is.  Now you've got me thinking though - Any chance you can hide one of these somewhere in the mountains on Kerbin?

    PoFhk8C.jpg

    SM

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    12 minutes ago, Speeding Mullet said:

    Will be great to get this one fixed and thanks very much for taking the time to explain a little about what the process is.  Now you've got me thinking though - Any chance you can hide one of these somewhere in the mountains on Kerbin?

    PoFhk8C.jpg

    SM

    That would be awesome!

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    I would compare the level 1 runway to the runway in Baikerbanur which is not nearly as flat.

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    But if we did have a flat "runway"...

    333368main_EC01-0264-14_full.jpg

    Of course, Kerbin's north and south poles are essentially this, but Dryden FRS / Rogers Dry Lake and dry lakes in general have such a mystique...

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    A level runway is needed for the air craft not to roll off when taking off but the end can be pointed up to help the plane take off.

    A level runway is needed for the air craft not to roll off when taking off but the end can be pointed up to help the plane take off.

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    26 minutes ago, Sgt Doomball said:

    A level runway is needed for the air craft not to roll off when taking off but the end can be pointed up to help the plane take off.

    A level runway is needed for the air craft not to roll off when taking off but the end can be pointed up to help the plane take off.

    If the end points up, the wheels will slam into the ramp causing them to break under either:

    • Impact damage (sudden change in the runway)
    • G-Force damage from the sudden change in the runway

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    3 minutes ago, Gamel0rd1 said:

    If the end points up, the wheels will slam into the ramp causing them to break under either:

    • Impact damage (sudden change in the runway)
    • G-Force damage from the sudden change in the runway

    It would not be at a full 90 degree angle. It would be at a small 10 to 30 degree angle.

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    While at it, can you guys add some random bases over kerbin with ability to refuel? it'd be just nice..

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    3 hours ago, qromodynmc said:

    While at it, can you guys add some random bases over kerbin with ability to refuel? it'd be just nice..

    You mean - just bring Kerbal Konstructs into stock game? It'd be nice, but seems unrealistic.

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    3 hours ago, qromodynmc said:

    While at it, can you guys add some random bases over kerbin with ability to refuel? it'd be just nice..

    Why not make your own from drills and an ISRU?

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    The problems are not that they aren't level, it's that the game doesn't emulate behavior on those un-level runways. (Well the models being detached is a problem of course)  The T1 runway wouldn't be an issue if the planes didn't behave so unrealistically on them.  But they do and it is unlikely the planes will be fixed, so the runway must be changed.

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    Does the curvature of Kerbin's surface affect how you have to handle placing the runway pieces? Or is that actually made easier since it's now split into sections for the destructible feature?

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    34 minutes ago, Drew Kerman said:

    Does the curvature of Kerbin's surface affect how you have to handle placing the runway pieces? Or is that actually made easier since it's now split into sections for the destructible feature?

    No it does not. The Prefabricated runways are one model/object placed in the game world.

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    15 hours ago, NorthAmericanAviation said:

    But if we did have a flat "runway"...

    333368main_EC01-0264-14_full.jpg

    Of course, Kerbin's north and south poles are essentially this, but Dryden FRS / Rogers Dry Lake and dry lakes in general have such a mystique...

    And if you look there in the lower right...  you can see the Shuttle Mate/Demate facility.

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    PoFhk8C.jpg

    Very dangerous. But looks very FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! ( The Kerbal Way.) Also, i would like a download to your runway (Sorry Squad) as it looks much better then the stock one.

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    6 hours ago, Jeb-head-mug kerman said:

    Very dangerous. But looks very FUN!!!!!!!!!!!! ( The Kerbal Way.) Also, i would like a download to your runway (Sorry Squad) as it looks much better then the stock one.

    If I understand this post correctly, this will be the stock one SoonTM.

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    I don't think the bumpy Level 1 runway would be getting as much grief if the KSC wasn't surrounded by a city-sized putter's green :D, but I don't expect a KSC redo.  I just find it humorous, and actually pretty appropriate for Kerbal engineering.

    Kerbal hipsters...they build runways ironically...:sticktongue:

    Edited by Raptor9

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    It was an excellent idea doing these more detailed development articles.  

    It frees up the 'KSP weekly' for the also very welcome and worthwhile general overview and progress reports, but gives the opportunity for more in depth details that would be too much and out of scope for the weekly 'newsletter'. 

    Keep up the good work. 

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    With the pictures above the people only had limited resources for the left one and they couldn't level out the entire ground because of limitations.

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    On 2/21/2017 at 5:59 PM, Rybikson said:

    The stock wheels inventor ofc.

    lol i second this.   stock wheels are death on the bumpy run ways lol i used to get off the lvl 1 runway and take off from grass because it was impossible to take off from the dirt one.

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