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SciMan

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  1. I mean, I wouldn't object to having an RL-10 CECE or RL-10 LUNEX replica in KSP2. Basically, I just like the RL-10 in general, whatever the variant. But if we could also have the RL-60 that would be great too. For reference, those two specific types of RL-10 were purpose-designed to be lander engines, but they're still hydrolox so they're still very good upper stage engines too. And you can easily cluster them (the Centaur upper stage, which was the first application for any RL-10, initially used 2 of them). In fact, there are probably enough hydrolox engines out there that we could have the entire KSP 2 hydrolox engine family be replicas of IRL engines (with stats chosen for game balance and not realism of course), and probably end up spoiled for choice when designing a hydrolox spacecraft.
  2. That's another thing. What about antimatter? No it doesn't decay, but guess where the best place to make it is (no, not harvest it, we need far too much of it to be harvesting it)? Nope! It's not Jool. That's where you'd go if you wanted to harvest it tho, the Jool radiation belts are chock full of antimatter. Might be enough for early antimatter drives that just use the antimatter to get a fusion reaction started tho. No, you need to go deeper into a much larger gravity well than Jool's. That's right, I'm talking about low orbit around a star. Why? Power. You need SO MUCH POWER to make antimatter. It makes making metallic hydrogen look like child's play, cause you're literally running E=MC2 in reverse, and C2 is a terrifically large number to have as the denominator of your fraction. So, you go to low orbit around a star (like Kerbol) to get power. What kind of power? Solar power, of course. Now, I suppose in an indirect fashion it's really fusion power, but that's just me being pedantic. Anyways, what do you do with all this power? You use it to run a very large particle collider. And by large, I mean "20 thousand kilometers might be on the small side". We're in orbit remember? There's very little need for structure when you don't have to worry about gravity, so your structures can become truly massive in scale. If in KSP 2, the structures would be each counted as their own orbital "colony", operating automatically and unmanned, dedicated solely to the purpose of creating antimatter. No crew needed, nor would any sane person want to visit such a place, not only is the solar particle radiation flux far too high to allow crew to live there long-term, there is the constant (small) danger of high-energy particles escaping the beam-line, and the far more present danger of an antimatter containment failure. And no, you don't stop at just one of those. In fact, you make many such antimatter factory stations in low orbit around the star. Where do you get the material to do this? Probably the nearest possible place. That means Moho. By volume, the excavation needed would make the Mohole look like a pinhole in the earth. We're not worried about any life existing on Moho except ourselves, so strip mining and large-scale solar-powered smelting is the order of the day, with refined metals (in the form of powders or wire suitable for use in a 3d printer) being sent to orbit, where they are manufactured into finished parts before being sent onward to the site of the newest particle accelerator construction site (which is being run remotely from a control center located under the surface of Moho, placed there for radiation protection purposes). So what do you do with antimatter once you have it safely contained? Well, it's basically pure energy that has taken the form of matter, so you handle it carefully, but what you do is you react it with regular hydrogen and use the resulting energy to push vessels around both the solar system and onward to other stars. Antimatter would be useful for both interstellar and interplanetary propulsion, as well as being the fuel of choice for lightweight, high power output reactors for ship-board and orbital colony power generation needs. It would be the last word in both propulsion and power generation, tho in actuality antimatter is not power GENERATION per se, it is a particularly dense means of storing energy.
  3. OK yes, you're pretty much right that "you don't have LS anymore" that was my intention. I don't like the current version of LS mods that are available for KSP 1. Too much micromanagement, and from what I've seen, LS is one of those "only stick, no carrot" types of things. What's the reward for having a functional life support system? Your crew doesn't die. Last I checked, there's a whole lot more than "not dying" needed before you start experiencing the feeling known as "Fun". Also, You'll note I did mention "if the recyclers aren't procedural" in there. My main complaint about "it's gonna take too many parts" goes away entirely if you're able to make the recycler just one part that's the right size and mass and power draw for the capabilities you need. Perhaps you add some safety margin on top of that, but that's something "you" the vessel designer have to do when designing the craft, rather than the safety margin being incorporated by the mechanics of the game when you punch in how many crew you want it to support indefinitely. And no matter how else the life support works, there SHOULD be a single-part solution for "indefinite duration life support just add power", independent of the other considerations you may have about life support and its various converters and recyclers. Because I want life support to be a problem that I can make go away, with enough technology. Let me close the loop, aside from electricity and waste heat. Now that I mentioned it, there's another factor I'd like to talk about. Waste heat. Waste heat from life support is very different from waste heat from something like a reactor or nuclear engine of some sort Yes, it's still "heat energy", but the difference is that the output temperature of the life support waste heat is much much much lower than that of a nuclear reactor or nuclear engine. This means something when you're placing the radiators for the craft. It means you're going to need either one or more heat pumps in a chain (to pump that heat energy up the heat gradient to the higher temperature of the main reactor radiators), or you're going to need a separate radiator array that only deals with waste heat from the life support and any other low-grade waste heat sources, in addition to the radiator array you need to handle the heat from the main reactor(s) and/or nuclear engine(s). EDIT: Another thing, since I've seen a few posts claiming that greenhouses should only be a colony part, and not a vessel part. I respectfully disagree with that idea, as well as the idea that crew would go "space crazy". Neither idea is viable when the travel time to another star could be on the order of 10 years. You're not going to go interstellar by building a series of stops along the way. No, you're going to go from "home system" to "destination system" with no stops in between. So your crew must be able to stay sane and supplied for likely DOUBLE that time at the minimum, because you're going to need more time at the destination to find a planetary body where it's both possible and worth it to set up a colony. And if that takes 10 years, there is no substitute for a completely closed cycle life support system and some way to mitigate the crew going insane or becoming bored. Now on to the greenhouse thing. Greenhouses don't have to be big. Humans aren't herbivores, and genetically-engineered vat-grown steak (pretty much the only option for a morale-boosting protein source on a long duration mission since "cows" would be far too heavy) doesn't eat grass. Oh and greenhouses don't even need sunlight to work. Well, not "real" sunlight anyways. Light is indeed needed, of a similar spectrum and intensity to that of the home star, but the photons do NOT have to come from a gravitationally contained fusion reactor using the triple-alpha process. What I'm saying is that the right kinds of electrically-powered lights can do the job just fine. Usually they're called "grow lights". And with grow lights, water, and the right mix of fertilizer chemicals (nearly always able to be derived from crew waste), you can make a hydroponic garden, which doesn't even need dirt! Combine this with genetic engineering and you can get high-yield crops that provide an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. But I suppose if you want to provide protein as well (and don't like the idea of vat-grown steaks), you could have a garden growing a crop of something like peanuts as well (crew screening would include instant and non-negotiable disqualification for anyone allergic to peanuts in that case, naturally). If it needs gravity, that's fine too, you can still do it on a vessel. We have centrifuge parts, remember? All that is needed is to take the guts out of a centrifuge and dedicate the space to hydroponic gardens instead of crew habitation spaces. It probably doesn't even need as much gravity as crew does, so you could even have it be in another ring inside the crew habitation ring, with them either connected or counter-rotating. My point is that engineering is extremely flexible. It's the coding of the game that is (potentially) not (well without mods at least). I do like the idea of life support on vessels, but it should VERY MUCH be a problem that can be made to "disappear with the proper planning". If that means putting the right sized recycler and maybe a greenhouse centrifuge on the vessel, then so be it. But it shouldn't require dozens of single-resource tanks or single-function converters. If you have a bunch of different resources and always need all of them, COMBINE their storage tanks and/or converters and recylcers into ONE unit that stores some amount of all of them, in the right proportions needed for use, otherwise you're just wasting my time and CPU resources with all these extra parts that wouldn't mean anything if the life support "just took electricity and nothing more". It should be a "one part solves all your problems" solution. I can't stress how easy you have to make the life support problem for me to be on-board with having it in my game. If it requires any more interaction than me remembering to turn on the recycler when in the VAB, I'm not gonna play with it.
  4. I do like the idea that whenever you launch something from the Sandbox VAB, you'd be able to dictate where exactly you're launching it FROM. And by "where", I mean "what coordinates on the surface of which planetary (EDIT: planetary body)", or "what specific orbit of which planetary body", or "which existing launch site" (such as launch pads on Kerbin, or any colonies you have set up). The idea here is to make it easy to use Sandbox as an "R&D simulation" for designing craft for your main adventure mode save. That's most of what I'm looking for out of sandbox, because as much as I hated KSP 1's progression system, the problem was the specific way it was implemented, not the general intent. I liked the idea that you would have restrictions upon what you could build that could be improved, I liked the idea that building rockets had a cost, I liked the idea that you would have a technological progression. The problem is that there wasn't any "glue" holding the whole thing together into one integrated system, so if you broke one part of it the rest of it broke too. Figure out how to make a kraken drive in KSP 1 (Aka break the physics engine)? Congratulations, since you unlocked all the landing gear you now have the best rocket engine in the game (made of landing gear). Not only best in terms of nearly infinite thrust, but best in terms of it being pretty dang cheap, and not even needing fuel (just electricity, the idea is that you use a motor to rotate it and a piston to apply force to a radially-symmetric array of landing gear that are bottomed-out on their travel limits). And that breaks the economy, because now you don't have to pay for rocket fuel or even for a gigantic pile of rocket fuel tanks (which are way too expensive when empty in KSP 1) or rocket engines. ... And now I'm starting to wonder if I could make a ROTARY kraken engine (as in it provides torque not thrust) and connect that to an electric motor to also get free electricity with no need of sun or even an RTG, but that's not on topic. Point is, I want a way to test my craft in KSP 2 with no consequences to my adventure mode save. Structural issues can take a while to figure out on some craft types (mostly the extremely large ones), and I'd like to be able to do so without having to spend the resources to launch 20 versions of such a gigantic craft that aren't quite right, and only the 21'st one is something I'm willing to actually use. I'd prefer to be able to launch those 20 "not quite right" versions of that craft in the Sandbox (aka testing) mode. Additionally and relatedly, I'd like it if in adventure mode we could recycle old ships and get 100% of the resources back from it (maybe only 90% of the propellants in it, it's hard to truly evacuate a fuel tank even in the vacuum of space cause usually you need "something" to push the propellants out). Of course, if and when I do tire of the Adventure mode, I'd ALSO like a sandbox mode to come back to, in order to "play the game my way" so to speak, as others have said. Who knows, maybe I want to place MORE severe restrictions on myself, maybe less, maybe I just want to play the game "Starting in one of the other solar systems", who knows but I want to be able to do it.
  5. Well, one thing I'd like to see since it will inevitably become an issue is a mod that helps reduce the part count on a vessel. Basically, a KSP 2 version of UbioZor Part welding mod, but hopefully it won't require the game to be restarted to see the new parts. This would help consolidate large numbers of smaller parts, which some players might want to use to show greater detail in their vessel, or they're trying to build around some odd-shaped payload that they want to keep separate, or who knows what but they'll have their reasons.
  6. Doesn't matter if you call it "sandbox" or "creative" or what-have-you, but some sort of easily-accessible game mode that allows you to build things "for looks" rather than "for function" should be possible. Like if someone wants to build a 10 kilometer long interstellar ship but can't do that in the "normal" game mode, they should be able to do it in Creative. And if they want to launch said ship from Kerbin's surface (EDIT: or at least attempt to), they should be able to do that in Sandbox or whatever it's called as well. That's just another limitation that should be able to be broken. Even if we do get the "difficulty toggles and cheats" way to "emulate" a sandbox experience, I think we should still get a "dedicated Sandbox" game mode, if only to make such a thing easier for the average player to understand what it is they are setting up. That is still the case even if "under the hood" all it does is toggle those same cheats and difficulty options. Sometimes the names matter for some people. In any case, we should probably also get a photo mode, which should be able to be entered from any game mode included in the game.
  7. I think we can combine Food, Water, Recycling, and Electricity into just Electricity (since closed cycle life support shouldn't require any parts outside the habitat modules or else how are you going to fix them cause working in a space suit is in fact super difficult because of the lack of dexterity and the problems with needing high strength because the suit's fighting your every move). Additionally, we further shouldn't need separate recycling parts because hey guess what more parts means more lag, and if they're not procedural then you'll eventually be needing more than one recycler on your ship or colony. We can intentionally ignore the fact that things break down over time, just like we can ignore the fact that sometimes rocket engines randomly fail, because "don't play dice with my design decisions", your ship or colony shouldn't fail for a reason outside your control, literally ever. If it does, someone was building a mobile game and trying to find a way to monetize it, not building KSP 2. Radiation, Gravity, Temperature, Hazardous gas, those are all things that you can't solve by "adding some new part to your ship", instead you might need to combine "adding things" with "changing how the ship is constructed" (don't put monoprop tanks or nuclear reactors next to habitat modules, and make sure you use centrifuges or some other way of creating artificial gravity such as "tumbling pigeon" design). Oxygen aka "breathable gas" might need to be its own thing, if only because EVA suits might only be capable of holding a very small quantity of it (still enough for an EVA of a few hours duration, but that's about it), and the idea of needing greenhouses to keep the life support going makes a lot of sense. Also I can't really answer the "lethal/non-lethal" question the way I want in the check-boxes provided. What i want is some combination of the two. Gross negligence should still be lethal. Say, you designed a vessel with a nuclear-powered rocket motor right next to a habitat module, that should (in short order) kill anyone in that habitat module if that engine is activated, unless a suitably thick (and heavy) layer of radiation shielding is put between the two. Of course the less massive solution is to simply put the "glowy bits" on the other end of the ship from the "squishy bits". Additionally, anything that would normally kill a kerbal should still do so, such as subjecting them to the exhaust of a rocket engine, especially if it's nuclear powered. Yes, I'm looking at those of you that want to use that new Mammoth-II as a Kerbal cannon, nobody should be able to survive that because JUST the sound of the rocket engine firing would liquefy your brain (there IS such a thing as "a sound that's so loud it just kills you"). However, a small oversight shouldn't be quite so deadly. Say you forgot to calculate the radiation environment with nearly empty fuel tanks (and you were relying on the fuel in those tanks to provide some of the radiation shielding), This should impair crew function, but it shouldn't be immediately lethal. The crew won't be happy for the duration of the trip spent at this higher radiation environment, and you might only be able to have the "glowy bits" active for short periods at a time to avoid outright (semi-permanently) disabling the crew, but it shouldn't outright kill them. If that crew does become "semi-permanently disabled" as I was describing, the function of "Medical care" would be solely available at colonies with gravity in a certain range (more than Mun but less than Eve). There would be no "dedicated doctor-type crew", the fact that the crew becomes part of the population of a colony would be enough to say that you "saved" them. EDIT: I guess what I'm saying is that if I'm going to have to deal with a Life Support mechanic, it should punish me if I mess up the DESIGN of the craft or colony, but if I don't mess up then I shouldn't have to pay any attention to it while I'm FLYING the craft or doing things with the colony that aren't specifically about the life support.
  8. I think that if you DO get automated launch and landing capabilities, it should be something you earn. Not by a colony milestone. But instead it should be something that a colony can invest in to enable the functionality for all vessels within that SOI. Such as a "local traffic coordination center" sort of thing to act as a "Space ATC" for incoming and outgoing craft. And then the automated launch and landing functions would further only work with craft that have compatible equipment fitted, as well as a compatible landing site. So you'd need the specialized building, the landing pad would have to be built with the idea that you're going to want to land automatically (which could, as you said for manual landing, introduce design constraints regarding what you can build around the landing pad), and the vessel to be landed or launched would also have to have a compatible control element of some sort. You know the more I talk about it the more it sounds like just MechJeb, but that's not a bad thing. I like how MechJeb unlocks different capabilities as you progress thru the tech tree. It doesn't let you do all the autopilot things right from the start unless you edit the config files to tell it to do so, which I don't think is the intended way to use that mod.
  9. I was also operating under the assumption that torch engines (EDIT: And not necessarily only the small ones, it could be the case that you can get even the biggest and best torch drives long before you get truly interstellar capable drives, but the largest and best torch drives might be useful to send a few "prospecting" type probes to other stars to see which ones have the stuff you want to build your colonies near) would usually become available to the player before true interstellar engines. That's why I was using the example of traveling between the most distant planets in the Kerbol solar system (a cargo of Oxygen or Oxidizer from Laythe to Eeloo, but with Jool and Eeloo at opposition with respect to Kerbol). After all, "going fast from planet to planet quickly" type torch engines have specific impulse that is terrifically high, but still a few orders of magnitude below what is required to truly go interstellar. Now, yes, you could go interstellar with a torch drive, if you don't mind waiting a really long time for the transit to happen. However, that's not realistic. Even spending 10y on a ship with a crew large enough to start a colony around another star requires solving other problems (such as how to adapt humans to microgravity and the higher radiation environment of deep space, and how to create a truly closed-loop life support system that not only regenerates oxygen to breathe but also provides food for as long as it has its power needs and waste heat removal needs satisfied), but the alternative to going "Fast" using "proper" interstellar-capable drives, is using torch drives and going slower. Like, a lot slower. As in, "takes over 100 years to get there" kind of slower. This would require the construction of truly incomprehensibly large vessels called "Generation Ships" that are so large that they can support a whole civilization inside them. They're called Generation ships because the trip takes so long that multiple generations of crew will live and die on the ship in-transit. This causes severe social problems, like how do you keep the crew dedicated to the primary tasks critical to the success of the mission, namely keeping the ship running, keeping in constant communication with the home planet, and building a colony (either in space or on the surface of a suitable planet, depending on circumstances) once they reach the destination. As we know, over the course of just 100 years human civilization has changed DRAMATICALLY (mostly for the better). But the problem is that that's exactly what you DON'T want to happen inside a generation ship, because it leads to the extremely highly likelihood that the population inside decides that they don't want to do what the mission was intended to do, for some reason or another that I don't have the knowledge of societal progression to understand. Personally, I think the propulsion problem is the much more approachable problem to solve. At least with rocket science, for at least 50 years things have been able to be reduced to a bunch of (possibly complex) math equations with precise, repeatable results. We can't do that with our own society yet, largely because you can't rely on everyone to be a "reasonable person" 100% of the time. Sometimes we make our decisions with our feelings instead of our logic, and that makes our actions unpredictable on large time scales (at least so far). However, building a torch drive is something humanity has at least one design for that could have work started on building it TOMORROW, given enough societal will to do so. I'm talking about the Orion Drive of course, and while you might not call it a "Torch drive" per se, the versions that run mostly on fusion energy (with only a really tiny fission explosion used to start each shaped-charge pulse unit (and yes those are a thing, you can in fact bias the direction that a thermonuclear explosion will exert the most force)) are of rather high specific impulse and you can even add a magnetic field to be used as a pusher plate or nozzle for even greater efficiency. The thing that makes it a torch drive is that at no point is the thrust in any way able to be considered "low". Orion drives actually work best IN atmosphere, because that increases the amount of reaction mass hitting the pusher plate. But that aside, other types of Torch drive are available at least in theory. Such as the nuclear salt water rocket. Which is basically what happens when someone crazy says "What happens if the explosion of an Orion drive was continuous instead of intermittent?". Yes, it's a continuously-detonating nuclear fireball propelling your ship. Materials science is not yet advanced enough to contain such a thing, and the currently going estimates are that we'll never get to that point. But there's nothing in the laws of physics that expressly forbids such a drive from existing, and they offer say 500k seconds ISP and meganewtons of thrust at the same time, using only water with a bit of dissolved (enriched) uranium-235 in it. So technically it's the final evolution of the "steam rocket", in the same way that a pressurized water fission reactor or boiling water fission reactor is the final evolution of the steam boiler. So in closing, I'd much rather solve the propulsion problem to reduce travel time, because the alternative is to somehow create a utopian society, and if I know anything about those, it's that there's no such thing as a universal utopian society, they're all every one of them only a utopia for some, for the rest they're very much a dystopia.
  10. I can't answer the "why not just time warp" question in a way that is satisfactory to me. However, while I can't explain it well, something about that question seems... wrong. Wrong like you're asking the wrong question, or expecting me to answer a certain way. The baseline answer I can think of is "because that's not realistic". Perhaps the developers would put a maximum constraint on how long it takes to build a ship, and if you exceed that maximum, you can't build the ship because it would take too long. However that only works to be a specific "don't do that" mechanic for that specific play style, and I don't like that. That's why I say I can't answer the question satisfactorily.
  11. If you want to increase the size of your colony and it's not self-sufficient, it's gonna need resources from somewhere, at a given rate. EDIT 2: That need is not going to go away just because you go into max time warp. See, it's an IN-GAME need for a rate of resources, since it's "what you need to keep the lights on in the colony", not the "extra" you need to start building ships from that colony. : END EDIT 2 Time warp doesn't matter if both things that care about resources are locked to the same time clock, which is the case when both things are in-game EDIT: I suppose if it were TRULY "without consequence", it wouldn't matter. But they're not going to compensate you with free resources to offset your bad decisions, so in fact there ARE consequences. : END EDIT I've taken the player out of the equation. Generally, a bigger colony needs a bigger rate of resources, especially when considering life support resources. So to support a larger (not self-sufficient) colony, you need either more ships, or faster ships. Torch drives give you faster ships. I believe that to encourage use of torch drives, the game will make "add more ships to the supply line" expensive (as in each ship will cost a lot of resources to build no matter what propulsion technology they use), and "build faster ships with torch drives" not so expensive (the torch drives won't be fantastically expensive in terms of resources, because that would make them so heavy that they're no longer good drives).
  12. Yes but the time isn't what matters in my example, it's the RATE. Rate of resources transported decreases as travel time increases, if you hold the number of ships and the maximum velocity of those ships constant. I didn't want to get into the math on this, but you've forced my hand. So, allow me to explain why speed matters: Say you have a colony that needs.... let's say 50 units of Oxygen per (in-game) day to keep it's life support systems running (just an example, I have no idea how life support works, but it's the first example that came to mind where there's an obvious "bad things happen" if you don't meet the minimum threshold). OK, you think, no problem, I'll send a lot of oxygen at once so I don't have to send so many small supply ships. 10k sounds like a lot since we're only using 50 per day, you think. So you set up a colony supply route from one of my other colonies (say on Laythe) that supplies 50 units of oxygen per day, in batches of 10k units at a time. Now we have a time constraint. A new shipment of Oxygen must arrive at least every 200 in-game days, in order to maintain the !RATE! of 50 Oxygen supplied per day. Let's say you created this supply route when A and B were on the same side of Kerbol, and enough time has passed that the two planets are now on the opposite side of Kerbol from each other. Well, let's say that when you set up the supply route you built 3 ships to use that route, and were sending one every 190 days (to give some safety margin). Now that the planets are on the other side of the star from each other, the journey is taking much, much longer than 190 days. Let's say it's now taking 600 days for any one ship to cross that distance. Guess what? You don't have enough ships to keep that supply chain's !RATE OF TRANSPORTED REOSURCES! above the minimum anymore. So your colony runs out of life support. OK, now let's turn the clock back some. Say you catch the problem in time. What would you rather do? Spend the resources to build say 20 more ships to put on that route, and not change anything? Or would you rather design a new supply vessel that can still transport 10k Oxygen, but now thanks to the torch drive even when A and B are the furthest apart they will ever be, it only takes FIFTY days for the vessel to make a round-trip, instead of 190. Oh and it uses less fuel to do that, even if it is a harder fuel to manufacture or it needs a more rare resource. Now if you keep the same number of ships (3), and they each take 50 days to make a round trip, I'm sure you can see how that's a much higher rate of resources transported, right? Time only matters as a variable, it's not a PRIMARY constraint. The PRIMARY constraint is the rate you want to transport resources at. But because the rate has time as a factor, time is a (secondary) factor, you see?
  13. I have an excellent idea about what makes torch drives so attractive. And it's not some overly-convoluted resource that has wacky handling restrictions or needs to be processed somewhere other than where it was mined. None of that. That's a good thing, because that kind of stuff tends to be counterintuitive to the point that most people will just look it up rather than learn it themselves. OK, on to the PERFECTLY NATURAL CONSEQUENCE OF INTERPLANETARY LOGISTICS that makes torch drives worth using. Here's the conditions you find that need solving: You want a given rate (aka throughput) of a certain resource to move from say Eeloo to Jool. OK, that's fine, build a ship using any old propulsion system and send it on it's way, problem solved because we can just time-warp, right? WRONG! Sometimes they're on the opposite sides of Kerbol. Sometimes they're practically right next to each other, in a celestial sense. That's a pretty wide variability of journey times, isn't it? Yes it is. And that's a problem that needs solving. OK, but why does that mean going faster is better? Well. think of it like this: You have "a few" ships on the supply route. You can think of that like making a "conveyor belt" stretched between A and B, but the problem is that it's also basically a bungee cord. It's "stretchy" because the time it takes to get from A to B varies, yet the cargo capacity does not. Just like a bungee cord, when you stretch it, it gets thinner. In this case, that means that the further the supply route has to travel, the lower the throughput becomes, because you have different amounts of time taken to transport the same amount of "stuff". On to the solutions. There are at least two good options to combat this throughput reduction with range: 1. You can put more ships on the supply route. 2. You can re-design the ships you already have on the supply route, with new propulsion systems, so that they can sustain a higher average speed over the distance involved. And this right here is what the torch drives do. Since they're also quite efficient, they do so without using ALL the fuel. Putting more ships on the supply route is the obvious solution, and while it's effective, it's also wasteful in a way. The problem is that if you have enough ships in transit to meet the throughput demand when A and B are furthest apart, you have FAR TOO MANY plying the space lanes when they're close together. That's why the ideal solution is to keep the number of ships constant (at a lower number probably determined by some calculation that I don't have figured out or in front of me right now), and instead replace the slow ships with faster ships whenever the opportunity arises. Making the ships go faster does one of two things. Either it allows you to use less ships to transport the same amount of resources, or it lets you use the same amount of ships to transport resources at a faster rate. Or I suppose you could strike a balance, if you want, but the idea is that it always increases capability. And I did all that without even considering what kind of special handling requirements any potential type of cargo could have. See? You don't need a "special" reason to go faster. Just going faster is reason enough itself, when you consider it alongside the other factors of interplanetary logistics.
  14. There's also such a thing as a landing being TOO precise. You know, when you set your colony as your landing target, and then instead of killing off your last bit of horizontal velocity right above the landing area for your colony, you do that, but right above all your carefully-constructed colony instead. EDIT: On further consideration, that's another point in favor of a "designated landing pad" colony part (or just a "landing pad bulls-eye" that you use other normal colony road/runway/launchpad building tools to build your own pad from, or we could get both several sizes of "pre-set pads" as well as the bulls-eye marker for custom and/or very large pads). This type of colony/base part would force the target indicator of any vessel that targets the colony to be placed on the coordinates of that landing pad (or center marker) instead of the "root building" of the colony itself (or however else you'd be able to target a colony that as-yet has no landing pads). If a single surface colony has multiple pads placed, it gets a little more complicated, but from the point of the user it's not that much more to deal with. Instead of the pad being selected instantly, you will be prompted to pick one from a list of empty pads (out of those that the colony has), with that list also giving you information such as the landing pad's name (which you can set as part of placing or editing the landing pad colony part), and the dimensions of the pad as well as (potentially) its shape (if it's not a "pre-set pad", the game will show "Custom" or when placing the pad down you will be able to set a word or short phrase to indicate the shape of the pad). I don't see a reason that this system wouldn't be able to do runways as well, now that I think about it. You'd just need a different type of "bulls-eye" indicator (instead being the touchdown markings of a runway), and the addition of various kinds of lights to make it act like a real runway (PAPI, Glide-slope indicators, you know, the things you think of when you think of an aircraft runway that's illuminated at night). They could even potentially include ILS and glide-slope antennas if cockpit instruments are sophisticated enough to let you fly on instruments in cockpit view.
  15. No, I don't think development of war mods should be banned for KSP 2. However, I think that a more productive avenue of approaching that kind of gameplay experience is to "add KSP stuff to another game", rather than to "Add war stuff to KSP". I think the best phrase I can come up with for what I think of KSP 2 having war mods is this. War mods are a very square peg. And KSP is a very round hole to plug mods into. Can you fit the right sized square peg in a round hole? Yes. But you're leaving a bunch of gaps around the edges, which in my mind are systems in KSP that aren't needed for war mods but are critical to the standard gameplay experience. Do I want to stop people from trying to fit square pegs in round holes? No. I just want to stop people from using hammers to do so. By that I mean "Don't expect KSP 2's dev team to make allowances for war mods in the way the modding API is coded".
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