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herbal space program

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    Test Chimpanzee Cage Leader
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    San Francisco Bay Area, USA
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    Thinking about other types of science as a dilletante to avoid thinking about molecular biology as a professional.

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  1. Interesting for me to learn that they are trying to preserve so much of the way different parts performed in KSP1. I was not really expecting to be able to build the same ship I built in KSP1 and have it work the same in the new game. That seems to constrain a lot of the parameters of the new Kerbalverse significantly.
  2. Works for me if it means I won't have to deal with all kinds of pain-in-the-butt life support!
  3. I guess I kind of overstated what I meant there. It's really just stuff like clipping together 15 fuel tanks under a 1.25m fairing to nullify all their drag that I think should be disallowed somehow, at least in normal career/campaign modes. Extreme part-clipping and offsetting can can of course also abuse the aero model by allowing you to build ridiculously long and thin ships that are far more aerodynamically stable than they ought to be, and I'm not a big fan of that either. OTOH I totally get the aesthetic problems of not allowing any clipping at all. I mean, with the sorry assortment of wing parts we have, it's more or less impossible to build a decent-looking or even ideally functional plane without it. Perhaps this could be addressed by having a limit of 10%-15% of the volume of any non-hollow part that can be occupied by any other non-hollow parts. Hollow parts OTOH could have up to 90% of their volume occupied by other parts, and for design purposes these would include dry wings. Wet wings could also have a higher clipping limit, but at some point you'd have to pay a penalty in terms of their fuel capacity. I think something like that would represent a reasonable compromise between aesthetics and realism, especially since we seem to be getting at least procedural wings/control surfaces, and I hope maybe some other procedural airplane parts as well. And of course I really don't care if it's included in some kind of cheat menu or as an option in sandbox mode. It only really matters to me wrt vanilla career modes, because I don't think it's good game design for a physics simulator to have these exploits available by default. In the context of sandbox challenges, as you say it can be policed by the participants just fine.
  4. I thought I made it pretty plain already, but here goes again: Just try to walk yourself mentally through what a KSP2 campaign-mode game is going to be like, with the goal being not to explore just one, but rather multiple star systems in the end. They are apparently keeping pretty much all the old parts, so that sure makes it seem like they mean to have you start where you started in KSP1 in terms of tech, if not at an even more primitive level. So you play up through all those KSP1 exercises and build all this infrastructure in the Kerbolar system, the main point of which is going to be to enable you to travel to the stars. What happens to all of that after you launch your first interstellar mission if the time it will take to get there is 50 or more times longer than the time it takes to do a Jool return mission at home? Are you just going to put all that on hold while you timewarp at 1,000,000X for 150 years? What if you first need to learn something about the remote system with a probe before it makes any sense to send a larger mission there? How long in terms of the time scale of in-system play are you willing to have that turnaround take? If there are multiple systems to explore, how are you going to manage the development of your resources in the first exoplanetary system you reach while other missions are in flight? If the timescales aren't too far apart, it's a manageable issue, but at some point it will become truly onerous. That is the gameplay problem I am talking about, and it already kind of exists along the lines of "what do I do in the Kerbin SOI to fill up the three or more years it takes for all my interplanetary missions get where they are going there and back?". Except this would represent that issue writ much larger. The only way to mitigate against that massive discontinuity in time scales if you are going to stick to interstellar distances typical of the Solar neighborhood is to make your interstellar ships go more than half the speed of light, which will require pure fantasy propulsion technologies representing a stark four-orders-of-magnitude discontinuity with everything that came before them. OTOH, every order of magnitude you bring your neighboring star systems closer represents an order of magnitude less ridiculously OP your interstellar propulsion tech needs to be to keep the relative time scales in some reasonable balance. That is, if you bring the other stars 100 times closer than that, then you are talking about only a 100-fold power-up, translating to ISPs on the order of 100,000 to build usable ships rather than some absurd number like 10,000,000 so that there can be some kind of plausible 2-way aspect to interstellar travel. I don't think I can make it any plainer than that.
  5. I believe that's only true so long as you don't then enclose all those clipped-together parts in a fairing or cargo bay. I seem to recall some craft that did otherwise totally impossible things that way, so for that reason I hope that KSP2 cracks down on part-clipping in general Obviously this is just silly, so they need to totally rethink that. They totally need to rethink this too. Lifting bodies ought to generate lift, not disproportionate amounts of drag! I generally find this much more annoying than helpful. Between that and the soft stall behavior, when I do what seems like a proper flare, I often end up sailing right back into the air and then gliding along on what feels like some kind of exaggerated ground effect.
  6. Yes, I understand that, and it does not address the point I was trying to make, which I have tried to explain now at such tiresome length that I am not gonna try again. I guess we will just have to see what they do, but if they really end up putting different star systems 2-5 ly apart I will be quite surprised and not particularly happy, because of the other things that will necessarily imply.
  7. It would be different in the sense that if you have some kind of super-fast drive, whatever else you may have been doing in your home system doesn't have to stop completely for you to timewarp ahead a whole bunch of years, which seems to me like it would be really bad for gameplay overall. But as I said above, introducing such OP technology will create its own set of problems, which is why I feel like the best solution is to have the Kerbolar system be in a Kerbal-scaled region of much higher stellar density than the fairly sparse neighborhood our Sun inhabits, so that you can get to the next star system in something like 10 years of game time in a large colony ship that is going only around 100 times faster than the ships in KSP1 do, i.e. at no more than 1-2% of light speed. Perhaps smaller probes that can go a few times faster than this could also be possible, to collect information about other star systems before launching the actual colony ship.
  8. A valid point, although just scaling down by 3.5-fold only gets you a short way towards addressing the multiple-orders-of-magnitude disparity between distance scales within and between systems in the real universe. At 10km/sec, which is going quite fast in KSP1, it takes about 3 Kerbal years to cross the ~250 million km Kerbolar System. Even the shorter Kerbal light year is 2.8 trillion km by comparison. For a distance of 5 Kerbal light years, that represents a 56,000-fold difference in the distances within systems and between them. From a gameplay standpoint, I think that having interstellar travel times be more than around 5-fold greater than intra-system times is going to be really unwieldy unless the whole game is just about taking that first trip to another system, i.e. you stop doing anything else back home once you have launched. That seems like it would limit the scope of the game way too much to me, so what I think you're left with is striking some balance between making KSP2 interstellar ships go 10,000 times faster than their fastest KSP1 counterparts and having the next star system be 10,000 times closer than that. My instinct is that roughly splitting the difference, i.e. putting the other stars 100 times closer and making the ships go 100 times faster, will be close to ideal in terms of both keeping the timescales in balance and not having to invoke Star Trek-type pure fantasy technology. Maybe some folks aren't so concerned about the latter because it is after all just a game, but I would say that it is for that very reason that introducing such radically OP elements relative to the prior continuum of technologies is such a problem. Anyway, I'll buy the game no matter what they do, but I do hope they think some of this stuff through.
  9. Well it's not like I'm not going to to buy the game if that's what they end up doing! But I do think it would be fundamentally different from the examples you cited. No light delay, instant build times, and no life support are things that exist in the game because not having them would make playing it way too much of a pain in the end that should not point towards space, IOW they were necessary compromises with realism in order to make the game playable. I think you could also say that rather than those things representing a total disregard for what is physically possible, they more represent just subsuming their implementation, e.g. the fact that in-game you can control your probe in real time at whatever distance just sort of assumes that your mission control Kerbals at home knew how to issue the relevant commands in advance. Ditto for build times. Life support is obviously less like that, especially for really long missions, but again I think that was a question of it just becoming too much for the player to manage in that context. And FWIW you could also explain that away with some kind of implied Kerbal hibernation. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how they deal with that in KSP2. Magical propulsion systems that could never exist within physics as we understand it OTOH seem to me like the game crossing a key line between trying to adhere to some level of physical realism and entering into the realm of pure fantasy. YMMV, but for me scaling interstellar distances down hugely, which is not completely implausible IMO, solves both the problem of needing to create an Infinite Improbability Drive and the problem in terms of gameplay of inter- and intra-system travel timescales being 3 or more orders of magnitude apart.
  10. I'll bet they will be closer than that. Everything else is at roughly 0.1X scale, so I think that 0.2-0.5ly will be the maximum distance they would actually consider, unless they are going to introduce some ridiculously OP engines into the game. And even that is still an immense distance when you consider the game timescale of intra-system travel. If the gulf between those two time scales is too large, it will create all kinds of difficulties for gameplay. My guess is that the Kerbolar system will turn out to be inside a scaled-down globular cluster, with adjacent stellar systems separated by maybe 10-50 times their own diameter. Even so, it would still take a decades to reach nearby star systems using somewhat plausible propulsion systems that can deliver perhaps 100 times the ISP/dV of what we currently have in KSP1. Either that or they just make up some kind of Doubletalk Drive that lets you do it Star Wars-style, but I would personally be against that, and even so the vast disparity in intra-system/interstellar time scales would be a problem for gameplay.
  11. I guess that would explain why they're all green!
  12. This sounds like it could make a great core for a SLS-type combined lifter and transfer stage. the LFO mode will provide good TWR earlier in the ride to orbit, as well as perhaps that extra little kick at PE during ejection, without having to make a separate stage. Nice idea!
  13. Having the ability to make wind turbines and sailing ships would be awesome! It would be fairly easy to model a global prevailing wind pattern that includes equatorial doldrums, low-latitude trade winds, and mid-latitude westerlies. To make it more interesting, within a given physics bubble the speed and direction of these could perhaps change fairly slowly and within certain constraints that depend on the location. In such a scheme the equatorial KSC launch site would also naturally have very little or no wind, although for rocket launches and the typical wind speeds that I would envisage, I don't think they'd represent much of a problem anyway.
  14. I think actual, dynamical storms would be just too difficult to model reasonably, let alone navigate through, so they're probably out. Clouds however should be comparatively easy, as should static and locally flat wind fields. I do think the latter would definitely add something to gameplay at least for me, and could be integrated into the standard career difficulty scale or toggleable/nerfable in other modes. Moreover, I think of at least visually modeling clouds and rain on planets with atmospheres as kind of an essential aesthetic upgrade for the game as it transitions from indiehood to a major studio release.
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