TheFrizz

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About TheFrizz

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    Bottle Rocketeer
  1. I love this idea but I'd be curious how the game design works for this when docking is possible. Imagine going from easy to launch from planet to very very far away (delta-v wise) location. You build the tiniest SSTO possible that reaches orbit with ~0 delta-v docks with a fuel depot and refuels then goes on to the distant location. "look how efficiently I delivered X tons of cargo on this supply route?", well what about the tons of rocketry needed to refuel the fuel depot. Similarly you could even get your vacuum engines from "the depot" too. So perhaps the game rule doesn't care how efficiently you deliver cargo? Or maybe you don't demonstrate a supply route if your craft docks with a separate launch during the mission but that seems really arbitrary and frustrating.
  2. In my mind the microtransactions thing is fairly obvious. There will not be $0.99 to refuel magically. But they don't want to say "no microtransactions" because they are considering things like: having a built-in mod-manager including non-free community written mods. $5 - $10 DLC like making history or breaking ground Now, a sane person wouldn't consider these microtransactions. But it isn't a sane world out there folks. If they say no microtransactions and then offer DLC part packs with major new features people are going to go "but you lied!!!!" guaranteed. They don't want to agree not to do these things because they know KSP has a really long shelf life and users are going to expect continued development after release, and continued development will need to find some way to fund itself.
  3. I think the lolsokerbal thing has a bit of nuance to it. As an anecdote, I found out a friend played KSP and invited him over to fly a mission together. I basically found out that he only really blew things up and kind of had the attitude of "when do we crash this thing?" and he kind of assumed that all I did was blow stuff up as well. I kind of feel like he was robbing himself of so much of the game with this attitude. I definitely think the idea of KSP being about failure isn't quite correct. An important piece of KSP is taking the sting out of failure so that players don't get discouraged by it and are motivated to press on towards success. But ultimately the game is about success in space. Most games would guarantee success by balancing the game until the progression was easy and straightforward enough for all players to succeed. KSP doesn't do that because it wants to be bounded by physics. So the conundrum is, if the game isn't easy enough for players to readily succeed how does it still stay fun? And the answer is definitely in making the failures more entertaining and less painful. Which is an important aspect to the game. But that should not be confused with failure somehow being the point of the game. I think the trailer would have been better without the collapsing colony at the end. I think better would have been perhaps a botched landing where the rocket maybe tips off the landing legs and is saved by fast thinking opening of a large hatch door that swings down and acts as the 3rd leg for the rocket to come to rest sideways. Probably the devs wanted to show the colonies as being a part of the dynamic scene as opposed to a static construct because it shows off a large and difficult aspect of the game they have been building. But to me it was too repetitive of the previous gaff. I think there are many aspects to the lolsokerbal mindset that are not detrimental to the game (or the community): The kind of moar boosters, making large overbuilt rockets because $$$ isn't really limited in KSP like it is in the real world The unrealistically easy engineering aspects like fuel lines allowing asparagus staging. That kerbals live forever allowing some mistakes to result in unexpectedly fun rescue missions when disaster strikes (be it Kraken, glitch or human error) The wobbly rockets when players neglect fairings or make a rocket with too much fineness. This is much more fun way to receive feedback than a popup message letting the user know that they've exceeded the height limit of their fuel tank or whatever. The fun, cutesy, part names. SpaceX is building their next generation rocket prototypes out in the open in a field. I think, in a small way, this dovetails in. The risk level Kerbals are willing to take. It's important to realize that the number of failures encountered in KSP reflects the player and kerbals diving into a "learn while flying" mindset, which is something that is at odds with the classic adage of "Failure is not an option". The game being structured to allow for failure I think positions players well to appreciate the tradeoff of accepting some level of risk for increased rate of flight. But I think that there's this idea that KSP is more or less angry birds, a physics simulator for disasters that sets people up to miss out on most of the best parts of the game. Now, did the trailer make KSP seem like Angry Birds with rocket parts? No. Instead I feel like the "lolsokerbal" bits of the trailer were kind of an apology of sorts acknowledging that this is a super brainy game involving math and physics but don't worry people at games convention, there's explosions and lolsokerbal moments that any gamer can enjoy so please consider this a broad audience game. I kind of feel like there is a fine line between making the game accessible to people starting out who will eventually love the game and misrepresenting a game to an audience that will never really appreciate it.
  4. Sad that they aren't taking this opportunity to revamp the aerodynamics model. It's as good as a time as it is ever going to get to change things on players.
  5. Stock KSP 1 had all the technology needed for interstellar colonization. The period key combined with Kerbol never going supernova. No magic drives required.
  6. Reading "metallic hydrogen" in the dev interviews soured me somewhat as well. The whole metallic hydrogen saga reminds me too much of the constant flow of MSM articles about "new battery technology that promises 100x the capacity" or "carbon nanotubes demonstrated to have the most XYZ property of any material yet"! As far as I know (and I am not an expert), metallic hydrogen is presently in a similar situation to cold fusion, theoretically a possibility, and with some research outfits having claims to have recorded some result that is consistent with it, but nothing has yet stood up to significant scrutiny. It is not just a matter of doing the engineering to make it into a rocket engine. I have some faith that the game designers will come to the conclusion that MH is too much like speculative magic and won't end up in the released game.
  7. I assume you are proposing that the spacecraft's position is calculated using N-Body physics, but the planets themselves are not calculated using N-Body and use the traditional SOI simplification (with some exceptions). If the planets themselves also orbit with N-Body I think trajectory plotting on the map mode and time warp might be somewhat challenging. I agree that Rask and Rusk almost guarantee some amount of N-Body in the game. I have to imagine there will need to be some level of cheating though. Like the feature in KSP where as you mouse over your trajectory you see where your target body will be at the time you are at that point in your trajectory. This would be brutal on true N-Body because you can rapidly jump between massively different timestamps. Easier done if you can just cheat and lookup where the planet is at that time because it doesn't obey N-Body. On second thought, maybe not that bad. As you calculate your trajectory you could store the locations of all the planets at every point calculated in addition to your craft's location. Given that there won't be millions of planets the RAM requirements wouldn't be too intense.
  8. I am excited. It looks like they are advertising some improvements (better visuals, multiplayer) that are strictly improvements. Especially if they can improve terrain fidelity at higher draw distances. However beyond that, I think the developers have a distinct challenge ahead of them. Some of the obvious goals for KSP are in conflict with each other: scientific realism fun gaming an endgame experience with infinite options to explore ease of learning One of the hardest parts of delivering great software is figuring out what to take away and how to simplify. I think this is especially relevant for KSP because the end-game experience is so great, the biggest challenge is the early learning curve. Here's what I'd suggest: Players start with one "New game" option followed by a difficulty selection which adjusts things like re-entry heating comm-net, etc. From this new "career mode" game, players can switch to "creative mode" at any time, which unlocks all technology and gives unlimited funds, but the assumption is that new players get funneled down the career mode path. Eliminate separate tutorials. Instead offer them as paid contract missions that Gene Kerman offers guidance during the missions. Structure the first contract missions in a way that introduce the game slowly. Missions to reach certain altitudes at certain velocities force players to learn how to throttle engines, or add aerodynamic control surfaces. Other missions can cleverly introduce subsequent knowledge in bits and pieces. New technology should be purchased for $$$ and not with Science. As the player becomes more confident at solving the intro missions, they should be able to build a Scientific Research building that allows them to view academic requests for Science. Various scientific results can be sold in this marketplace. Like any marketplace, selling too much of one thing brings the price down. Sometimes, there are external events that cause some aspect of research to be more valuable, for example a hot movie about Duna has been released and the public is starving for great Duna Science. This causes players to plan their own missions (instead of just accepting pre-baked contract missions). Additionally, instead of scientific apparatus all being the same with different names. Each instrument needs to be carefully designed to force the player to achieve different challenges as opposed to just wacking on a thermometer, goo, whatever. For example the atmospheric sampler should only get a result if it remains non-landed, within the atmosphere, within a stable altitude range, and continuously powered for X seconds, forcing players to deliver space planes to remote bodies. Or seismometers that need to be deployed in pairs with a set distance between them with certain elevation requirements in order to record the deltas between them. But the real reason is to force the player to successfully rove (or perhaps twin lander with precise landing). However the mission to X planet that captures all science in one go should be an epic accomplishment as opposed to an obvious no-brainer by just adding all the sensors. The UI needs to be simplified for new players and be made more gamey without losing its scientific education. I think the philosophy should be that UI elements get added to the HUD as relevant technology parts are added to the vehicle. Altitude requires a radar altimeter, docking alignment needs a docking sensor. Fuel transfer between tanks needs a fuel pump. A new player won't see these UI elements and get overwhelmed because they haven't unlocked or added those parts to their craft yet and advanced players get the complexity and level of control that they want. I love the idea of space colonies. I think the new team is on the right track with these. Needing to deliver supplies and nurture these colonies and then eventually getting construction and launch facilities on them is a great way to transition into an end-game state for advanced players. But I think part of the challenge here is introducing some kind of thing that requires the player to do too many repetitive launches. I think the game can learn from MechJeb and others by eventually giving players access to a black box flight recorder that can record control and replay those controls on future launches to reduce tedium. I think this would work best with an improved atmospheric model that adds turbulence and other unpredictable elements to launches that reward well designed craft. I think some kind of simplified KOS scripting could be added later in the game to further enhance advanced player experience. I think the philosophy here should be, the player is expected to do it by hand and fail a lot. Eventually figure things out and start to succeed and prove they can do it reliably, then the game should naturally reward them with some convenience that takes the tedium out of the task. Perhaps some new technology nodes in the tree can only be initiated with $$$, but to complete them require some number of achievements. So for suicide burn altimeter computer, the player needs to "collect data" on three successful landings before the R&D completes. Anyways, I'm really excited. I wish the new team well. And even if it doesn't live up to expectations, I'll buy it anyways as my way of thanking everyone for taking the risks on a niche franchise.
  9. I think most mods aren't "good enough" to be included in stock as is, with the exception of improved visuals (that default to off). Usually because they provide too many options, too much complexity and don't integrate into the game as completely as they should. However I think a ton of the mods people suggest here could be added successfully after being tweaked significantly. Chatterer - Remove the Chatterer settings UI completely and replace it with a single on/off toggle in settings. Improve the quality of the beep audio file. Default to on for new players. KER - Remove all game UI. Offer a simplified deltaV calculator in the VAB after upgrading the VAB to level X, price the upgrade to X in career mode so that players are likely to be already completing contracts at the difficulty of round-trip manned missions to remote planet surfaces. For in flight UI that helps for various things, add more sensor parts that come with an electrical cost and mass cost that can be opened just like the gravity meter etc. So your Landing-assist Laser Range Computer can give you their guess as to when to suicide burn, etc. Put these somewhat high up in the tech tree. This kind of information is already present in the game and working well. Think about how parachutes tell you when it would be safe to deploy etc. Kerbal alarm clock - Remove the in-flight UI and add alarm management to the Tracking Station after tracking station is upgraded to level X. Where X is priced at a range where players are starting to fill a lot of contracts by executing them in parallel. I think it would be in keeping with the game to add optimal transit window finding as a capability of the scientist of high enough star level, although realism would dictate that the ground station could always do the calculations. Mechjeb - There are a few tedious tasks where I think automation doesn't kill the spirit of the game. For example holding an aircraft/rover on a certain heading. Restrict this capability to when the craft has a pilot on-board with a certain star level. RemoteTech - Add a new part to the highest levels of the tech tree that gives a programmable guidance unit. Add control latency based on the distance of the kerbnet signal to the nearest pilot on the game's hardest difficulty level. The programmable guidance unit is immune to the latency for local control. Add more career mode consequences to loss of crew events at the hardest difficulty level. CKAN - Either adopt steam's support on this or make a custom module management in the game instead of an external C# program that is a challenge on different platforms. Making it easier for players to install mods would take the sting out of choosing to not incorporate ideas from most mods. I think the above ideas work well for career mode. Because they don't burden new players or ruin the first time experience of learning about orbital mechanics. However I think it would create problems for new players starting in Sandbox mode. Users who don't want to fly lots of missions in parallel won't need alarm clocks, but they won't see the extra UI clutter too often since they probably won't spend a lot of time in the tracking station Users who don't want automation can avoid including pilots on their missions and instead enjoy the benefits of having engineers and scientists instead Users that don't want to program launch sequences can simply never use the remote tech part. Those that have mastered manual piloting can take the game to the next level by creating re-usable scripts to take the tedium out of building a remote base that might require 100 launches. I think the most contentious one would be KER and a delta-v readout. Certainly without it at the beginning of the game users will have to experiment to get a feel for "how much" is enough. However it will rob them of the challenge of creating extremely efficient, complicated missions on their own later on. But I think the number of people who would actually break out a calculator and benefit from that motivation is probably much smaller than the number of people who would start launching much more ambitious missions around the end game due to being able to calculate delta-v easily.
  10. Wow I pretty much agree with most of these things. Especially having the size adapters contain fuel. They are just so heavy. And really, it seems like just skipping them and having ugly rockets has no real downside. I think the only risk is in killing creativity and cleverness working around issues. Basically if the adapters are balanced to the point where they are a no-brainer then every rocket design includes them by default and it might reduce design diversity in the game. Maybe putting the adapters later down the tech tree, so that in the mid-game players have to get creative, but by the end game where larger, more complex missions are already providing enough interest, the player doesn't have to struggle with dumb choices like including adapter weight or not. Alternatively, maybe the aerodynamics of the adapters are worthwhile. But after playing hundreds of hours of the game, this hasn't been apparent to me. So maybe the game can do something to make drag forces more measurable so that players can see the value of adapters even though they seem an awful lot like dead weight. I am not so sure about making more things physicless. I think having to balance weight etc and needing gimbaling engines and SAS is kind of a good added challenge.