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About magimix

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    Bottle Rocketeer

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  1. My face-palm moments are relative small-fry, but red marks on the face they left nonetheless... Just yesterday, I'd finished building my largest and most ambitious launcher yet. The biggest vehicle I'd ever made. Crossed every 't'; dotted every 'i'. *Didn't* check the staging. With a palpable sense of excitement, I activate the engines and... Oh, wait, did I say engines? I meant the launch clamps, causing the vehicle to drop a metre to the ground and explode in spectacular fashion (and taking more of the launch facility *in general* with it than I'd ever have anticipated). In terms of things that actually *launched* okay... My first attempt at a crewed Duna mission was hairy. I decided to assemble the mission vehicle in low Kerbin orbit. I intricately, and *carefully* planned and built my lander, and the 'tug' stage that'd do the heavy lifting (as it were). The whole flight to Duna went really well, I entered low Duna orbit, and... Why is the vehicle delta-V 2500+ less than it should be?! Yep, I didn't properly account for the mass of the lander module when building the tug that'd be moving it. That said, it was also the first mission where I really had something go wrong deep into it (normally they fail fast), and so had to try and puzzle my way out of it. I *barely* had enough dV even to get back into the vicinity of Kerbin, let alone slow down at all. I had one shot only to do a burn; it had to be right the first time. In order to not just fly back out into the vasts of space, I had to go *deep* into the atmosphere. At 50km, I was pulling 5,200m/s, and 3,878m/s at 25km. The most intense aerobraking I've ever done. I then had a secondary facepalm. Realising my mistake, I reworked the 'tug', this time with the lander assembley on it, and wound up with a vehicle that could launch and do the whole mission as is. All that faffing around, building a vehcle in orbit, was entirely unnecessary!
  2. Thanks for the detailed reply, katateochi. I'll have to give this a try myself. Frankly, I'm slapping my forehead that it never occurred to me to try it before now! :-)
  3. That is super interesting. Have you been doing this with saves for a long while? Have you ever had any issues with this approach? (e.g. the game getting confused after 'reverting' a change, or what have you?)
  4. Reduce the amount of fuel, to get it under the weight limit. Edit: If tweaking parts isn't something you've done before, then to expand... Place the engine part, and then right-click on it. A little menu for the part will appear, allowing you to modify certain aspects of it. One of these is the amount of fuel in the part. Edit: Ack! I see stibbons has me beat. That's what I get for posting before morning coffee!
  5. There is a disconnect between the mechanics of the constraint, and the constraint as stated in the text. It says that there may not be enough budget to fully fuel the vessel, but mechanically the constraint is expressed as a mass limit. If there isn't budget to fully fuel the rocket, then don't allow the engine to be fully fueled in the first place. Assuming that there isn't support for a mechnanical expression of the constraint rooted in vessel cost, just say in the scenario text that due to some whacky reason, the vessel has to be light - at least then, the mechanics and the text would be in sync. And if it *is* possible in the mission builder to attach a vehicle-cost constraint, then it should have been used in the mission. If there is one take-away I have, with the missions I've completed thus far, it is that none of them have what I'd regard as acceptably clear text in all instances. Descriptive elements not being in sync with the mechanical expression of some constraint or requirement contributes to this issue.
  6. A while back I picked up a Steam Controller, and I get on very well with it for KSP. Squad did a great job with supporting it - the different 'modes' of the game (flight, editor, map, etc.) have tailored bindings that are well chosen, and the bindings automatically switch based on the mode you are in.
  7. I use a combination of Steam Controller, as well as keyboard and mouse. Essentially, SC for anything flight-related (including EVAs), with M/KB for VAB work, and manoeuvre nodes.
  8. I don't have any screenshots to share, alas, because I was so totally in the moment the whole time, but today I pulled off my first ever successful rescue of a Kerbalnaught from low-Kerbin-orbit. By far, it was the toughest thing I've done in the game so far. There is a reason I managed a manned Mun landing many hours before a rescue. The Kerbalnaught in question was "Madvie Kerbin", brave pilot of my first succesful orbital shot, and stranded in said orbit since then. I'd previously tried to rescue them, but a lack of thought in vehicle build, and skill at piloting, at the least, precluded success. But after some hours (quite literally) chipping away at the 'docking' tutorial (which, despite my subsequent rant, delivered great value to me in real terms, despite its faults), and reading about 'pushing the marble', and after getting in the headspace of caring more about the build of the vehicle (in this instance, ensuring it had enough 'slack' that I could spend decent time figuring out the orbital mechanics between reverts), it all came together. Also my first orbital maneuver of any kind where I went many orbits into advance, to get *just* the conditions I wanted. The target was on an orbit both inclined and eccentric, and the eccentricity was tough to deal with I felt. But I got within a few hundred meters, switched to the target, and EVA'd to the rescue craft. The EVA was hectic, as I'd not before done more than step outside, cling to the side, and climb back in. But after some back and forth, Madvie got into the rescue vehicle. The de-orbit was uneventful, and I guess that is all the news fit to print. Doesn't fairly reflect how *stoked* I am about the whole thing though. It was the culmination of many hours of learning effort (and saw my 'time played' pass the 50 hour mark), and is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done in a game.
  9. After bashing away at the docking tutorial for far too long, I found my way into this thread after Googling, "kerbal docking tutorial bad". Most of the tutorials aren't what I'd call great, but this one is egregiously awkward to follow at times. Doesn't help that the the manner in which next steps get triggered seems very fragile. I want to focus on the quoted post in particular, because it nailed the two things I was most getting bogged down by; the tutorial just plain getting stuck, and the tutorial seemingly mis-leading me on the 'close rendezvous' portion. Following the quoted advice, as opposed to doing what the tutorial text said, I could keep the tutorial unstuck, and I got a nice, close rendezvous on the first try. To be sure, things fell apart at the end when the tutorial saw fit to vomit confusing text all over me for the final 'actually dock' bit, but at least I'm able to *reach* that bit now.
  10. It certainly was great. I was also coming out of, as it were, a dark patch of missions not really panning out, because I'd not really progressed far enough in terms of building better vehicles. That said, with Jebediah on the Mun, that leaves me only a single remaining pilot! And bearing in mind I need (or feel I need) the prograde-assist that L1 Pilots have for my gravity turns, I think I should spend some time engaging with the rescue-kerbin contracts before sending Valentina up to rescue her colleague. Hopefully fill out my roster a bit.
  11. I did a manned Mun landing for the first time! Very stoked about that. After getting some good advice from people, I've been trying to pay more attention to how one builds the vehicle (actually thinking about what you want each stage to accomplish). I also recently learned that you can tweak the thrust of solid boosters, found a great series of GIFs that went over how gravity turns work, and found a delta-V map. Altogether, and with some additional flight practice (gravity turns; easy to read about, hard to pull off, initially), I built a manned Mun vehicle, and after only *two* build iterations, landed on the Mun on the second attempt. Ex! Ell! Ent! A second iteration of the vehicle was needed because initially a lack of struts meant the vehicle would flex and wobble during the initial tilt into the gravity turn, and once SAS was trying to follow prograde, you could get some very wasteful resonance. A second attempt at landing on the Mun was needed because on the first attempt, at 50m above touch-down, I clicked the wrong thing, SAS'ed into a tumble, and the lander landed on its side, blocking the hatch. Now, things didn't go *entirely* as I'd hoped, because the lander doesn't have enough fuel to return to Kerbin. But that aside it all came together really well. It was very heartening that for the most part every stage (lift of and turn, initial orbit, transfer burn, landing) was free of surprises. That said, there were some other wrinkles. My gravity turn was slightly off heading, so when sorting my initial orbit out, I also had to tweak its inclination. Following that (maybe related, maybe not), my initial liquid stage didn't have enough juice to do the *entire* transfer burn. Not something you'd see just from a screenshot, but the outer ring of the first solid-booster stage was set to 70% thrust, and the outer ring of the second solid-booster stage set to 50% thrust.
  12. I've not had nearly as much time to play KSP as I'd like. I'd also been stuck in a strange rut, where my progress into the tech-tree had ground to a halt. I'd done a number of unmanned Mun survey missions, and heaps (heaps!) of tourist missions, but it seemed like I wasn't progressing. Anyway, after remembering that the Admin building was a thing, set up some policy to turn that easy tourist-run rep into science (while kicking myself that I didn't do it ages ago), and also got round to doing an unmanned Minmus shot. That got me enough science to nab the "Fuel Systems" tech node, so *finally* I have access to fuel ducts. I then felt more confident about trying for a manned (Kerballed? ) Mun mission... Manned-Mun-Survey-1 was a rickety monster, but it got brave Jebediah to the Mun and back, with oodles of good science to boot. I'd like to send some probes to Minmus, but until I have a power option other than batteries, I don't think it is feasible (not ready to try it with a Kerbal-piloted vehicle just yet). Still, being able to get Kerbals to the Mun and back opens up some good options in the meantime.
  13. I'm brand new to the game, with 20 hours logged. I did the early tutorials for about three hours, then jumped into Career mode. Haven't touched Sandbox at all. I greatly enjoy the challenges presented by most of the contracts, even part-testing ones, which I find to be a fun distraction from more conventional flight activity. More crucially, Career mode gives me something that pure sandbox wouldn't to anywhere near the same degree - constraints and limitations I need to work within. Furthermore, many of the contracts involve doing things I'd otherwise not think of doing; these externally applied requirements mix up my plans in interesting ways. In fact, Career mode is what pushed me over the edge to buying the game.
  14. Still cannot hold a candle to basically everything else in this thread, but my adventures in space are nonetheless continuing nicely. As such, today I did my first successful Mun encounter, and first succesful Mun orbital insertion. Career mode continues to put interesting strictures in place. RCS/SAS (and other aids) continue to be some ways away in the tech tree, and I'm staying mod-free. But I did unlock the node that gave me the "Stayputnik", enabling me to try for the Mun without risking any Kerbals. (Hosting is my own) Funny story... I'm actually playing KSP using the Steam controller, and to take screenshots it is Steam-button + right-trigger. Right-trigger is also 'inc. thrust', so taking that second screenshot *completely* stuffed up my orbit. Fortunately, I had just enough fuel left to re-circularise it
  15. I'm brand spanking new to KSP, so what I've been doing very much comes under "little acorns". Nevertheless, chipping away in career mode as I am, today I did my first successful de-orbit. It felt real good.