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RoverDude

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Posts posted by RoverDude

  1. Hey Roverdude, I just wanted to say how cool this project is. I've always wanted to see a proper colonization mod for KSP. Keep up the great work!

    In regards to you plans for more permanent colonies, would static buildings be a possibility?

    Thanks - and sorry for the lack of super recent updates, been heads down testing the new version.

    I have a few ideas for large structures, will post details once I get some POCs done. But yeah, I did give thought to doing procedural statiuc structures ;)

  2. I was never actually down ;) and yeah, given the (fairly) strict Kethane restrictions it's all done with MM, though I will do a sideways version with Open Resources after the main launch. Also adding in support for the Bahumut drills (which are darn pretty) and may just, on principle, make my own set of drills and such under a CC license because sharing is good.

  3. The latter numbers concern just food, since that's the only thing the greenhouse is supposed to supply and you can get the other resources replenished already by other means. (I literally just stacked food containers until I got 5t and then divided the days of supply by 365 and that result by 4 (Kerbals)).

    Also, how do you get at 7300? TAC-LS "units" are in days, and 5 years = 1825 days.

    4 * 365 * 5 = 7300. 1825 would be one Kerbal. And I would assume using the greenhouse for oxygen, etc (which is why it got added in). Another consideration (going for realism) is just how much SPACE it takes to make that food - you have to work in soil weight, non-edible plant mass, equipment, etc. - there are some really good articles from NASA about all of the issues RE food generation for astronauts (including fun stuff like living off of algae and growing fish in the algae pond as a treat, etc.)

    Again, it's just my take that the weight seems light, but that's the beauty of a moddable game - to each their own ;)

  4. 5 Years of TAC life support weigh in at about 5.33t per Kerbal, Food is actually the lightest part of that, clocking in at only 0.76t. Going by that measure my greenhouse should have a weight of about 4 tons (it weights 5 now). The greenhouse supports 4 Kerbals, 5t of food would supply 4 Kerbals for ~10 (Earth) years, so that would be the break-even point for a greenhouse right now if we go by weight alone.

    I think your numbers are off. To support 4 Kerbals for 5 years, you would need 7300 of Food/Water/Oxygen for a total of 18.5 tons (Just over 21 tons with containers). To support 4 kerbals for 10 years, you're looking at almost 40 tons of supplies.

  5. The main problem with ORS will be that it doesn't use autogenerated resources, someone would have to create resource maps (png grayscale) for the bodies.

    Also I don't see any converters in ORS, that'd have to be done externally. (Or use TACGenericConverter maybe?)

    I'm not sure that all requirements can be met by just plugging in an alternate config, there may be some coding involved.

    That's pretty much the barrier to using ORS with MKS... I just do not, at this stage, have time to make resource maps (so yeah, if someone made some, I'd happily use them). The resource harvesting bit is fairly trivial to add into a new part that handles the minerals, ore, substrate, and water. I may do it down the road, but don't want it as a barrier to launch.

  6. The complete inability to create self-sustaining colonies defeats the play part of gameplay in my opinion. Running supplies to your colony is only fun so many times until it becomes a chore.

    Agreed ;) That's why MKS ends at a closed system (and at the extreme end-game, one that doesn't even require drilling up more stuff due to recycling). I think I spent more time in Excel than I did in Visual Studio and Blender.... I think the question is how you get to that point. MKS is at one extreme end, a 2-ton part is at the other. I think the 'game balance' size would be something where a five year journey of supplies weighs as much as the corresponding part, so anything under five years, just send stuff. Over that, add the part and deal with launching it. Although usually the issue is less launching a part that big, and more of landing it ;)

  7. @RoverDude: My main gripe with MKS at the moment is that it will introduce yet another resource tree into my game next to extraplanetary launchpads/Kethane and KSPI. I'm just a single person managing a whole space program, NASA clearly has an advantage here. There are only so many requirements I can juggle at once and MKS seems to be pushing that beyond it's limit.

    What are your thoughts on using ORS instead of Kethane as the backend for your resource management? Does it make sense? Is it workable?

    I'm not a big fan of Kethane's system. Given the size of a typical off-world operation it seems counterintuitive one would be able to exhaust a resource in just a few months. (I've seen lots of Kethane deposits that fit completely into 3-4 large tanks.) ORS deals with extraction rates as limiting factor which seem more sensible to me. Just think about our use of fossil fuels, we've extracted about half the available supply and we've been drilling for it since 1700 years (ok, 150 years in earnest, but the first oil well according to wikipedia was in 347 CE). So we needed a huge infrastructure and hundreds of years to make a serious dent in the Earth's oil supply, but I can bleed a moon dry of Kethane in a few years?

    Thus end my ramblings. :P Thoughts?

    Not opposed at all really. From my standpoint it's just an alternate set of configs. And once I have the core stuff wrapped up, I would not mind having a couple of alternate resource generation packs (I have no ties directly to Kethane the resource, just use it for resource distribution). And yeah, MKS is (intentionally) meant to be making an actual self-sustaining lights-off colony hard. That being said, you can pretty much stop at three modules (Kerbitat, Greenhouse, and Terraformer [for it's purify function]) and still be able to greatly extend your time between supply runs (supplies are about half the cost). And with a config change, even turn that dependency off (tho I think it kinda defeats the whole 'This is a HARD problem' angle).

    It's a fine line... if you OP a greenhouse too much, LS becomes meaningless. For me, it's the fun of managing what ends up being a 10-15 in-game year project in addition to my other launches, etc. so MKS is definitely angled at a more end-game crowd.

  8. Probably a relatively newb question, but how do I create an animation that toggles interior lights on (specifically, the windows in a part like I see in numerous part mods)? Normally I see a second texture associated with these where I see everything is black other than the lighted area themselves? Any pointers on how this works?

    Thanks!

  9. You'd have to start with a solid convex asteroid with a procedural exterior and interior cavern. You'd have to have something that cracks it open and that would procedurally split the mesh so as to open the rock up, like tapping a geode with a hammer and wedge. I'm pretty sure Unity would melt if you tried to do procedural mesh splitting like that (can you even do that on ANY game engine?). But I digress.

    Not going to go into the details (has as much to do with the design at hand as ham does with hamsters), but something that gave the net effect of taking a solid asteroid model and from the player's standpoint transformed it into two halves, or pieces, or a torus or hollow egg , or made it sprout chia hair and glow green, would not really be a big deal. I think you're focusing on the 'how' vs. presenting to the player the net effect. PM me if you want to chat further on this topic, since it's OT from what's being developed.

  10. No, I was meaning in the sense of the probes flying around inside. it. That would probably require doing things that wouldn't just break KSP, but break Unity as a whole (It's a fragile engine, not as awesome as say Unreal 3).

    Not really, it's just a collision mesh, so something technically doable, just not sure as to the why ;) And not what the mod had in mind.

  11. Good luck to yall! This will be really interesting to see.

    An idea I heard a long time ago was that steam can be used as propellant in nuclear engines. Perhaps yall could do a steam powered NTR that is powered by sucking the core out of an asteroid. Perfect way to move it!

    As for making actual hollow asteroids, it won't happen. You'd have to beyond overwrite the stock system to spawn hollow asteroids that could be cracked open, the latter being one of the hardest parts because I'm pretty sure KSP won't like procedural mesh splitting.

    Depends on how you define actually hollow. If it's asteroid shaped, has capacity, IVAs, etc... it's 'hollow' - you won't be able to fly a probe inside of it, but it's almost trivial to have 20 Kerbals board one and fill it with Kethane (or Kittens, assuming Kittens were a resource...). There will be no need to modify the mesh files ;)

  12. So I am helping WaRi out with this - just got a model working that incorporates the same functionality as the claw from the ARM pack :) Will provide some updates shortly once I get some coding done, WaRi gets updated models done, and we finish hashing out details on functionality.

    Some very rough initial thoughts: Extensible resource storage, with a longer range option to include habitable caverns with IVA, and a scanner probe to let you scan asteroids for resources and harvest these as part of the hollowing out process.

    Stay tuned

  13. And more a question for Taranis - is there a current plan to revise TAC numbers / mass / etc. (I know there are some community patches, etc. out there) as part of the official package? Reason I am asking is that I want to make sure all of the MKS numbers make sense given the next version of TAC before I move it over to an official release.

    TIA

  14. A couple of considerations when adding to a LS mod (based on my time building MKS as well as some mods before that for my own use)

    On the one hand, you want to make sure you do not have an instant 'I Win' button. If the mod is too overpowered (and making food by adding a single part that only weighs a few tons qualifies) then it kinda negates why folks install TAC-LS - i.e. to add in both realism and the real logistical challenges of keeping Kerbals alive for long journeys (I've been reading tons of papers on food generation for NASA mars missions, and it's an interesting problem space). As an example, a part I had modded to do the Waste/CO2 to Food/Oxygen conversion came in at about 10 tons per Kerbal - so it was pretty non-trivial and you had a high breakeven point vs. just sending food.

    The other, for those making bases, is (in my opinion) to have some kind of path to a closed system, so that there's an end game where you can just set it and forget it. this is what MKS does, it just makes it REALLY expensive to do so, so in a lot of cases, it makes more sense to just send in the supplies unless you're making a permanent base.

    Just my $0.02

  15. Another bug report:

    It looks like setting the colony modules to "debris" by default is not a good idea. I lost two kerbals before I figured it out. It looks like when you leave a ship marked as debris around KSC (to test colony there) and switch to space center, the ship is removed silently and all kerbals aboard are lost.

    I wish KSP had "unimportant" category for ships that is off by default like debris.

    Sorry about that - was a case sensitivity thing in the config, all MKS parts should now properly be set to show up as bases (this is fixed in GitHub but not in the ZIP yet).

  16. To add onto the previous question about Chemicals... one of the deeper ideas is that for a settlement to truly be self sufficient they need a lot more than food - you need replacement parts for broken equipment, and for this you need manufacturing, components, and raw materials. This is why the path to construction is easy, even life support is relatively simple, but to finally break all ties from Kerbin and be 100% self sufficient, Kerbals will have to build a manufacturing base from scratch.

    Raw materials are refined (minerals to chemicals for example).

    Refined materials become components (like electronic or mechanical parts)

    Components are assembled into consumables (robotics, computers, or modular parts for patching up things)

    All of these components combined are packaged as Colony Supplies which represent the stuff you need for daily wear and tear on a settlement.

    It's still twice as efficient to haul in colony supplies vs. hauling in food, but the intent is for there to be a long, hard path towards actual self sufficiency. Also, you could easily set up a full settlement on, say, Laythe and have ColonySupplies to spare to feed your resource gathering satellite bases elsewhere in the Jool system.

    The VERY long term vision is to have MKS as a whole be the 'pioneer' part of the system, then have the capability to build truly huge and expansive structures that can only realistically be built from scratch in-situ, consisting of hundreds of tons of resources. But that's a future phase once I get the first batch out the door :)

  17. I've been having an issue with the four-way hub in the newest zip (but I have not tried the newest experimental code from GitHub). I can't add it to a vehicle in the VAB unless I either start with it as the root part, or I'm connecting it using the forward or backward node. If I attach with the top, bottom, left or right nodes, it snaps into place but remains a ghost. Has anyone else experienced this?

    I am using KSP x86_64 0.23.5 under Ubuntu Linux 14.04, but I have seen a similar issue with another mod (Kerbin Shuttle Orbiter System v1.06? I don't have it installed anymore) under KSP 0.23 in Windows 7.

    I will try the new GitHub code tonight, since you specifically mention you've made some updates to that part.

    Thank you for a SPECTACULAR mod, RoverDude!

    Yeah I had that same problem, so I just replaced it (this is now on Github not in the ZIP yet) with a fully symmetrical part kinda like the stock station hub, that way you can rotate it however and get it to fit the way you want (with the same peculiarities you see in the station hub). You can grab just this part if you'd like from Github.

    And glad folks are enjoying it, makes it worth all of the long nights :)

  18. This looks great! Two questions though, couldn't you add your own lifesupport? And also, what can you do with chemicals?

    Sure, but IMO TAC has done a very good job, so might as well take the dependency (same as Kethane has an excellent resource extraction system that I leverage).

    Chemicals are used as part of the manufacturing chain, which at the end, makes the consumable Colony Supplies.

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