• 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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    I haven't tried the pre-releases but reading the changelog, flattening the T1 was definitely the right choice in my opinion.

    I love building planes in KSP and I always prefer the career mode in games like this. While a crude and bumpy airstrip makes historical or "story" progression sense, the difficulty progression is reversed, which isn't that rewarding game design-wise. When you're a new player starting with the career, you have a limited set of parts to build with and a nightmarish rollercoaster of an airfield to test the feasibility of your creations. You won't know if the fault is in your design or the ground when your carefully crafted plane explodes for the twentieth time. It can be an awfully discouraging introduction to the game. (Made me ragequit a few times at least.) Then you realise all you have to do is upgrade to Level 2 immediately and it's all good. (Or use the grass, which is lame.) But then you also lose that particular challenge and testing ground for the rest of the career.

    I do wish there was another, more difficult runway apart from the island airfield somewhere on Kerbin. Would it be feasible for example to recycle the now obsolete version of the Level 1 as an anomaly somewhere? Trying to land the late game hypersonic SSTOs on that potato field would be interesting.

    Also, a big thank you for fixing the seam issues in particular! Getting rid of that kind of seemingly small but nagging bugs helps us keep playing and increases the longevity of the game even further.

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    I would give my first born child to have a playable KSC 2 with the T1 runway and an SPH that mirrors the island runways hangars.

    I miss KSC 2 so much. Whilst yes, I can place a flag on the launchpad and save-edit my crafts to launch from there, it's not the same.

    Sidenote: I'm betting all my stock on child #2, so the first born isn't an issue.

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    I`m still not sure whether I would prefer a flat runway or one which was the same distance from the centre of Kerbin along it's length.

    Normally it would not matter but Kerbin is so small...

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    I have a concern as to how this is being fixed. The problems with the runway also exist on general terrain also, so if you fix the runway only, and then fix the planets, the runway will break again because you fixed the planets.

    This is a new problem that began with 1.2. These cracks in terrain didn't exist prior to that. Someone mentioned this earlier in the thread, and it was explained as the 'kraken' but that is not the case. There are in fact little rover destroying brick walls in the terrain, and you can see them if you get close. On some planets, (I noticed this on Eve.) you can see the rectangular terrain patches that aren't lining up. These are just like the issues with the runway and likely have the same cause.

    I am guessing that there is a tiling issue with the vertex textures. Vertex textures need to overlap by one texel in order to line up, or else the edges need to be blended with each other. This is different than regular textures. Also, this behavior could change on different graphics cards.

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    What I honestly think is we should have multiple launching areas (KSC2, for instance as a secondary one). It'd be rather simple to just ask the developer of Kerbinside for the source code so it can be something proper.

    Edited by DirtyVenomSteam
    Just sent a W at first, weird, right?

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    On 25 April 2017 at 4:24 AM, cephalo said:

    I have a concern as to how this is being fixed. The problems with the runway also exist on general terrain also, so if you fix the runway only, and then fix the planets, the runway will break again because you fixed the planets.

    This is a new problem that began with 1.2. These cracks in terrain didn't exist prior to that. Someone mentioned this earlier in the thread, and it was explained as the 'kraken' but that is not the case. There are in fact little rover destroying brick walls in the terrain, and you can see them if you get close. On some planets, (I noticed this on Eve.) you can see the rectangular terrain patches that aren't lining up. These are just like the issues with the runway and likely have the same cause.

    I am guessing that there is a tiling issue with the vertex textures. Vertex textures need to overlap by one texel in order to line up, or else the edges need to be blended with each other. This is different than regular textures. Also, this behavior could change on different graphics cards.

    You would be pleased to know then that the terrain has been fixed in the pre release, and was explained in the KSP Weekly's as an issue related to floating point changes made in the game engine. vertex overlap had nothing to do with it.

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    11 minutes ago, JPLRepo said:

    You would be pleased to know then that the terrain has been fixed in the pre release, and was explained in the KSP Weekly's as an issue related to floating point changes made in the game engine. vertex overlap had nothing to do with it.

    Yay!

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    Now what about other planets?

    On Duna these seams are maybe 20cm tall. Death to tiny wheels, but a robust rover with rugged wheels will do just fine.

    On Gilly...

     

    SA0h7bd.png

    well, you CAN jump over them quite easily, but seriously, the gap is good two meters! And driving into it...

    Po5x6Nu.png

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    Hello, I got a few editing question about editing terrain. and how you would go about importing it into the Unity Game engine (version 5.,6) I mean, is there a way to do this or is the mTerrain mesh hardcoded into the game and can not be edited? I mean is there a way to edit terrain if you wanted to say edit in roads? I'm just curious as I've been fascinated by this game and have wanted to build some sort of infrastructure system. I mean iis it possible to do this and if so, how?

     

    Space_Coyote

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    I to am working on terran, The plan is to use Kerbal Konstructs to add it into game. Still learning but soon I hope to have a high speed sand dune area like this.  You got Pretzels baby? Just kidding all....

     

     

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    2 hours ago, Space_Coyote said:

    Hello, I got a few editing question about editing terrain. and how you would go about importing it into the Unity Game engine (version 5.,6) I mean, is there a way to do this or is the mTerrain mesh hardcoded into the game and can not be edited? I mean is there a way to edit terrain if you wanted to say edit in roads? I'm just curious as I've been fascinated by this game and have wanted to build some sort of infrastructure system. I mean iis it possible to do this and if so, how?

     

    Space_Coyote

    No you can't sorry.
    And terrain is procedurally generated.
    Also, KSP doesn't use Unity 5.6.

    11 hours ago, Sharpy said:

    Now what about other planets?

    On Duna these seams are maybe 20cm tall. Death to tiny wheels, but a robust rover with rugged wheels will do just fine.

    On Gilly...

    <snip pic>

    well, you CAN jump over them quite easily, but seriously, the gap is good two meters! And driving into it...

    <snip pic>

    Can you raise a specific bug report for where you see the terrain issues. Attaching a save to the bug report as well with a vessel right next to them would be extremely helpful as well.

    Thanks!

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    Heres OJB. Sand%20dunes%20Terrain%201_zpsrefjwtfm.p

    Unity 5.2.4  works well, all can be found at their site. Keep clicking away m8. Anything worth doing is never eazy lol MH%20selfe_zpseic8visq.png

    But He keeps teaching me and I keep screwing up :D but never give up.

     

     

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    I'm bit late for the party, but here's my 2 cents :)

    Tier 1 runway definitely needs to be changed. The situation when the runway is the most bumpy place on the planet is ridiculous. I would also say that the "gravel runway" is inappropriate for the space center, regardless of the tier. I would vote for the "abandoned concrete blocks runway". Something like this (google images "abandoned runway"):

    Shawangunk_Grasslands_NWR_runways_2.jpg

    pajuoscio-runway.jpg

    I would also agree that landing on the grass should be much harder than it is, and even impossible for the larger planes. I mean, that's the whole point of the runway, isn't it? It's totally unrealistic when you can land your giant plane on any surface on the planet.

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    How effective would it be to have a 45 degree ramp halfway through the runway?

    Edited by colfighter
    Missing information

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    Or better yet, at the end, nothing drastic, just a small ramp to help you get into the air so you can be extra sure your Kerbals are gonna die.

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    On 07. 05. 2017. at 4:16 PM, colfighter said:

    How effective would it be to have a 45 degree ramp halfway through the runway?

    For aircrafts with high TWR it can help, however it would also be pointless, because with high TWR craft you will reach takeoff speed much sooner.
    For aircrafts with low TWR (0.26 - 0.36), when you reach end of the runway you must not pitch up more than 10-15 degree, otherwise you will get lot of drag that engines would not counterpart and you will start to loose speed. In other words, 45 degree ramp would be overkill because you will get too much AoA that engines could not handle.

    5-10 degree would be more apropriate, but with level 3 runway is also too much effort for little gain, because you already have decent slope at the end of runway that can help you to accelerate slightly before hiting sea. Not much, but can help with overweighted aircraft to prevent crashing.

    Edited by kcs123
    typos everywhere

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    On 05/05/2017 at 9:48 AM, Morse said:

    Tier 1 runway definitely needs to be changed. The situation when the runway is the most bumpy place on the planet is ridiculous.

    I just drive onto the perfectly flat grass to the side and launch anything I like, you don't run out of runway that way either so you can launch lower TWR craft easier.

    As you say, that should not be the case.

    I think the difference should not be bumpiness, the change should be the length and the width, it is more appropriate. Tier 0, short and thin. Tier 3, fat and long.

    Of course it is not the absolute least amount of coding that can be done so even though it is a better solution, Squad will likely not do it.

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