NermNermNerm

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Everything posted by NermNermNerm

  1. Progressive Colonization System v0.1.0 @ 2019/3/16 This mod provides a simple life support system and a production model that doesn't require mad slide-rule skills to understand. But core to the whole idea is the "tiered" model for production. When you first go to space, you can get by on stored snacks. When you want to stay out there a while, you'll want to look into producing food in space, and that's going to take a while. New "Tiers" of production are unlocked by actually producing and consuming stuff produced in space. This mod is designed to encourage you to build a variety of ships. To research agroponics, you'll need orbital space stations. To research off-world agriculture, you'll need to land a farm and no, all that stuff you learned about agroponics isn't going to do you a bit of good on the surface. To get an idea of how "Tiers" work, just look at the life support consumable, "Snacks". If you fill a container with snacks on Kerban, it's "Kerban Snacks". A kerban will eat one "Kerban Snacks" every day. Let's say you have a "Tier 0" Agroponics module on this ship. Given a little fertilizer, it can produce "Tier 0" "Agroponics Snacks". Tier 0 snacks are far from haute cuisine, but nevertheless Jeb is willing to take one for the team. But he's got limits; Jeb will be willing to consume only up to 20% of his daily snack quota on Tier-0 quality snacks. "Tier 1 Agroponic Snacks" are tastier, and Jeb would be willing to take that as 40% of his diet. But to be able to get out of the tier 0 kit, Jeb's going to have to choke down quite a few of those tier 1 snacks and Bill's going to have to spend some time trying to make them better. Tier-1 is unlocked by kerbals consuming Tier-0 snacks and lab research on ships equipped with Tier-0 kit. Once Tier-1 is unlocked, nothing changes on board Jeb's vessel - it still has the "Tier 0" equipment. A new vessel has to be designed that includes the new tier of agroponics modules. How Do You Start? Well first you have to download and install the mod (CKAN or the links below). Also, this mod is incompatible with any other life support mod. You can use it with USI mods (as long as you disable USI Life Support), but this mod is really meant to be an alternative to that mod. This mod doesn't come with a rich supply of parts, so it depends on a couple of mods with great varieties of parts for building orbital stations and planetary bases, Stockalike Station Parts Expansion Redux and Kerbal Planetary Base Systems. Get those too. Early gameplay is not impacted much by the life support modifications - your kerbals won't get mad about not having any snacks for 7 days, so you can get your basic science unlocked in career mode by the usual routine of trips to Mun. Minmus is a bit of a problem since the round-trip times there are longer. Once you're ready for that voyage to Minmus, find a container and select "Snacks-Tier4" as the content. Then mash the Cupcake button on your toolbar - that will bring up the life support calculator and you can see if you're going to have enough food on board for the trip. After you launch, the cupcake button will still be there for you to keep track of how the supplies are holding out. How about a Space Station! Get the Hydroponic Lab part unlocked in your science tree and head to the VAB. For this vessel, put in the Hydroponic lab, and add storage for Fertilizer (again, go with Tier4) and Snacks(again, Tier4). And of course, check that cupcake button to see where you stand. Strap some boosters onto that crate and git it up to LKO! As we said above, the more of those snacks you pack down, the faster the research progresses, so make sure Jeb has plenty of friends. Once you get it up there, you can see from the Cupcake button how long you've got until you will need to resupply the base and how long it'll take until you break into the next tier. How about a Mun Base! Right, this is trickier because you'll not only want the farm part (look in the Life Support category) but also a resource gatherer and a fertilizer factory. These parts look identical to the stock parts (because the author failed art class) but have different innards. Be sure to look hard at the parts in the VAB - there are more details there about how the parts work, but at a minimum, you'll need Farms, drills, a fertilizer factory and, if you feel it, a factory to make Shinies, which will help defray the cost of the whole trip if you can haul them back to Kerban. Again, the Cupcake button will help you understand what the requirements are. Note that you can't build body-specific things (like farms & factories) until you've actually returned a ship from there. Also, researching farming on the Mun doesn't do anything for Minmus - that's a completely separate problem. Get Your Wheels Rolling! In the early, hardscrabble days of Tier0 and Tier1, you can get by with just one base, plopped anywhere... Well, what we're doing here is presuming that Jeb's uncanny piloting skills will land your base somewhere with minimal nearby supplies to support your early efforts at self-sufficiency. And early they are, at those early tiers, you're still dependent upon trucked-in supplies. But at Tier2, things start to get more interesting: you'll have to go out and mine resources from elsewhere on the planet. You'll need that orbital scanning part that's so far been whizzing around uselessly in space to spot some, and it'll do a whole lot better at spotting them if there are scanner satellites in polar orbits. That will point you to where the resources are, and you'll want another craft, like a rover, to fly out to where the resources are, pick some up, and bring them back to the base. Once you've proven you can do that a couple times, you can just leave the rover at the base and the kerbals will automatically take care of that job going forward as long as there's a pilot there to drive it. (And yes, you need to make sure your rover has at least 2 seats on it.) So this Mod's pretty New Eh? Indeed. So please post your feedback on the mod in this forum. I play the mod myself and I have already chafed up against a few things that I don't like. If you'd like to see something done differently, post it here and maybe it can happen. Download: GitHub Source: GitHub
  2. Sorry about that, as I said above, I boogered up the deployment. No, the mod includes no parts of its own at all, and uses storage containers from B9. I feel like, in a perfect world, there would be mods that supply parts, and mods that supply functionality. Why should we be unable to use a beautiful part just because we don't like the gameplay mechanics that come with it? I'm not perfectly happy with the B9 containers either - they look good on orbital stuff, but things like USI Freight Transport Technologies look better on bases. The UI is toggled by the Cupcake button in the toolbar.
  3. My bad - I somehow failed to drag the zip file over to the GitHub release when I created it ><. That's why I have this task on my TODO list - automate the deployment. At this point I just need to write some code to interact with the GitHub API to make it happen. Seems simple enough from the examples, but I have a dread of being hassled by authentication issues.
  4. CKAN will help with installing & keeping your mods up-to-date.
  5. I just posted a new version which includes the feature for requiring you to build rovers to collect resources at Tier2+. I've been testing it in my own play-through this week and it looks good. There's one other change you're likely to notice: I've equipped all the command modules in the game with a small stash for Tier4 supplies. I needed to do that because the mechanics of the game make it so that Kerbals that are unfed don't work. I only made the change now simply because in the early days I didn't understand ModuleManager at all. I can't claim to be pro at it now, but good enough to do that anyway. The only bugs I'm aware of now all have to do with the colonization dialog. It has an annoying habit of reverting to the middle of the screen. After some doing, I figured out that it happens when the dialog resizes (say, because the amount of text to display grew). You can't use an uncrewed ship to transfer resources. I think #1 is really more an indicator that the colonization dialog is getting too busy and needs to be converted to some kind of tabbed dialog. #2 is simple enough to fix, but also seems a harbinger of other problems. The goal of the resource-transfer dialog is to just do the right thing, all the time. Those two items are high on the list, but another item is adding the ability to manufacture Extra-Planetary Launchpad's Rocket Parts. I've been pondering how to do it, and here's what I'm thinking. There'll be a new tiered resource, "SimpleParts" and another resource, "ComplexParts" which only can come from Kerbin. There'll be a tiered manufactory that converts "Stuff" (from the drills) into "SimpleParts". There'll be another component that will combine the "Simple" and "Complex" parts into plain "RocketParts". My desire is that these parts are going to be very labor-intensive. I'll probably draft the KSP "mechanic" Kerbal Trait to be a specialist for these parts. One thing I definitely don't like about EPL is that just a few Kerbals can build massive ships in a brief while. I definitely want to make it so that a big ship is a multi-kerbal-year thing. As I mentioned in my last update-post a couple weeks ago, I'm just not sure I like the idea of completely granular research - that is, for each body, there's farming, mining, shinies. In pondering it, I've decided scrapping it or combining it too much isn't my favorite idea either. I'm still kicking ideas around - some that have stuck with me as not-bad are: Making scanning just start at tier 2. Making it so that if you've unlocked Tier3 on some research anywhere, then future bases anywhere will start at Tier1 and if you've unlocked Tier4 anywhere, they'd start at Tier2. Creating a way to accelerate research through contracts or something like it. But I'm not rushing into that. Fixing the dialog and getting RocketPart production going are definitely more important.
  6. I made building self-sufficiency into the centerpiece of the mod, and pretty much all decisions are built around that consideration. That's true of all of the "colonization" mods, I'd say. The life support model is dirt simple (I think), and has only the vaguest hint at realism. But if you really don't want to do self-sufficiency and the incumbent life-support, and you're keen to have your bases be able to do something, then you should perhaps have a look at Extraplanetary Launchpads. It's got a production chain built into it and gives you a really solid incentive to have productive bases (not having to do 57-year timewarps!) I'm a big fan of that mod, and making my mod interact with that one nicely is very high on my priority list.
  7. What sort of gameplay experience are you thinking of?
  8. No. The mod just wouldn't be much fun without it. If you're looking for fun with production chains without life support, there are a lot of mods that will serve your needs there. MKS/USI Kolonization is probably the most detailed one of these.
  9. NermNermNerm

    [1.6.x+] Waypoint Manager [v2.7.5] [2019-01-31]

    I'm new to this mod; really like it so far. When I first started using it, I got a target marker where my landing point was projected to be. I don't know what I did, but it's gone now. I don't see a setting for it and would love to know how to get it back. Also, I don't see a UI-scaling setting anywhere. It's a bit of a pain for those blessed with 4k.
  10. Can somebody point me to documentations about the wheres and hows of the layout of folders within the GameData folder? I've got these questions: Having just discovered the wonders of ModuleManager, I've found I can inject my stuff into other mods. This is great stuff. But I see lots of examples of mods that actually place files in the other mods' GameData subfolder. What's up with that? (In my case, I don't need to, I don't think. I'm tweaking .cfg files, that's all). In other cases, I see a complete sub-image of the other mod, up to & including DLL's. Really? Shouldn't I just declare a dependency to CKAN and let ModuleManager figure it out? Is packaging ModuleManager.DLL still a thing? Finally, does anybody have automated tools for releasing to GitHub, SpaceDock, CKAN? Seems like they ought to exist...
  11. I'm trying to create an experience where the player needs to go to a particular spot on a body in order to gather a certain resource. Two ways to do that present themselves: Create waypoints, then create a special gathering module that will only work if it's near one of my waypoints. Can anybody point me at good examples of how to create waypoints? Do what MKS does and create an actual asteroid-like craft. #1 was my first thought - but I'd love to find a recent example of code doing a waypoint - both how to create them and how to sense that the ship is near one. I stumbled on #2 while looking for a way to do #1. It actually seems like it might be a lot of fun, but I'm worried that the resources will turn up on hillsides and start rolling away from the player as soon as they get near.
  12. I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to the mod in the past few weeks, but I just pushed an update that includes bugfixes for the issues I've found so far in my own playthrough. The highlights are some performance problems with bigger bases, particularly noticeable in the editor. I also worked out some kinks with the crew requirement module. At present, my career playthrough is progressing along. I've just finally managed to unlock T3 hydroponics and T3 production &c. on Minmus, T1 on Gilly and Mun, and most of the way through T2 on Duna. I'm happy with the fact that my base on Minmus is blocked for lack of T4 Kerbals or specialists. I've looked at adding specialists, and I think I'll do that next. It looks like a trivial problem to solve with ModuleManager, but maybe hard to do right. I'll have to study it a bit before putting it into a release. The next thing to do is to start in on requiring rovers to fetch stuff to support T2+ production. This feels like several weeks of work at my current pace. In my playthrough so far, I'm starting to feel like the research areas are too granular. In terms of my own personal play, I stay at the body until all the various kinds of body-specific research are done, then I send the next-generation base. That being the case, why not just lump them all into one research category? That'd be the practical thing. In terms of fun, I don't know. I kinda like checking in on my base from time to time and see some kind of progress being made. It all makes me think there should be a different model for research -- maybe it could be lumped together, and maybe there could be milestones on the way to the next tier. Perhaps there could be mini-missions that could be performed at the body to help advance things along? Please post your feedback on using the mod. Unlike a lot of other mods, this mod has nothing to do with practicality, it's about fun, and that's a hard thing to pin down.
  13. I'm a new modder too, so I think I can give you the answer: No. KSP can be extended in so many wildly different ways that any one small mod would very probably not be relevant for anything you'd ever want to do. KSP has poop for documentation, and the API's are all over the place. You live and die by examples. As an illustration of this point, I found people using 3 different API's for getting all the parts of a ship in the VAB. The most obvious thing (if you just look at the API docs) actually returns not only the parts that are in the ship, but those that are just dragged off to the side. You just gotta know. And the means of getting parts in the editor are completely different than what you do in the Flight scene, and what you do in the flight scene varies depending on whether you're talking about loaded or unloaded ships. There's no end of stuff like that. There are things that make some sense after you've been at it for a while, but you never know where the next land mine will be. What you need to do is get good at finding other mods that do similar things to what you want to do and reverse engineering them. Get good at searching for API's on github. And then come back here when you get totally stumped. I never would have guessed that 'KerbalInstructor' was any kind of way to get a talking kerbal in my dialogs, but once Nightingale pointed the way, I was set to go. I bet there's another way (something similar to how the Kerbals in the lower right of the screen are drawn), but if there's no example of that, I've got absolutely no shot at discovering it myself. I would say that the tutorials I found in the sticky posts here are the forums have been helpful in getting a basic grounding. I've not yet found one that was uselessly out of date, either. If you haven't done it already, you should follow the post on how to set up the Unity debugger. That's an immense help in mod development.
  14. I've been giving some thought to creating a new mod for KSP. KSP already has a great assortment of great mods, so it's tough to come up with a novel idea, but here's mine, and I'd love to hear what people think. Maybe what I'm thinking of has already been done or maybe there are other folks who've just started down a similar track. Or maybe it's been done and found not to work. I'm listening. I've played KSP for more hours than is reasonable, and a good portion of those hours have been with Modular Kolonization System and Extra-Planetary Launchpads installed. I enjoy building big, and I like for there to be some point to it. MKS seems to me unique among the life support mods in that it doesn't just add a new mechanical challenge to space-flight -- it tries to extend the career game itself beyond just collecting all the science. Having a goal like creating a self-sustaining extraplanetary colony really increases my enjoyment of the game. Although I think that KSP+MKS is much better than KSP alone, there's quite a few things that I think could be better. Alas, many of those things seem to me like they are just fundamental to the "system" part of MKS so I see little hope of tweaking it to be what I'd like. I think we need to learn from MKS and forge something new. I'd like to take a crack at it, but before I do, I'd like to share what I'm thinking to see if others have better ideas or can show me how this has been done in the past. First off, let me list out the key things I've struggled with as a player using late-game KSP and MKS. Admittedly, some of these are going to be subjective, but I think you have to take a look at the fact that although some of the let's-play presenters have tried creating playthroughs with MKS & friends, none of those few attempts did anything but peter out due to a combination of lack of viewer interest and some rather obvious struggles on the part of the content creators to actually get things working. I take that as evidence that I'm not just blowing smoke here: All the math to figure out production rates is no fun. I shouldn't have to use a spreadsheet to play KSP. All the math to figure out if Kerbals are going to get homesick or not is no fun either. It's especially annoying if a kerbal becomes homesick just because he came into the sphere of influence of another ship. The science grind in stock KSP is really not much fun after you've played a while. You can unlock the whole tree just by bouncing to Mun and back or by plopping down a research lab and doing the whole thing over and over and over. It's a good model for early-game, but for late game, not so much. Agroponics (in MKS) is just better than farming in every way and that makes farming pointless. I don't know why that grates on me as hard as it does... But it does. Mining is unrealistic, frustrating, math-intensive and generally no fun. MKS' Resource Lodes seem aimed at addressing this, but the mechanics of the mod system don't really give me a reason to do it. Fully self-sufficient MKS colonies are generally easier to build in one shot than it is to build up to them over time. It's trivial to get a colony that keeps itself in supplies, but both machinery and colony supplies require a vast diversity of stuff to make happen. If you can make one, you can generally make the other, so you go right from an initial exploratory base to the full thing. No stopping in the middle. There's no encouragement to build spiffy orbital bases. I'm thinking of a number of changes to attack that list: Dramatically reduce the number of resource types and simplify the calculations of how they're produced and consumed. There should be an activity performed by kerbals, akin to research, that unlocks more advantageous life support and off-world fabrication abilities. This will need to be performed by Kerbals at the body they are researching and will usually only affect future activities at that body. The "research" described above unlocks "tiers" of equipment. Ships need to be built with that unlocked tier of equipment in order to see its advantages. (And perhaps: Ships can't be built with that new tier until a kerbal actually returns to kerban from the planetary body.) The supplies and such produced by early-tier equipment are immediately useful, but less effective than what you can get from Kerban. Except for fuel, there is no more mining. Instead, when manufacturing is undertaken at a body, there will be occasional requests from the kerbals to gather raw materials. To accomplish these missions, you need to send a ship with storage and a special gathering module (which might be skinned to look a whole lot like a drill). You'll need to get the prospector ship reasonably close to the target coordinates to be able to gather the stuff. Once a vessel has proven its ability to carry out a prospecting mission, future missions can be automated ala Routine Mission Manager. Drop the MKS notion of "Habitation" and "Colony Supplies". In their stead, there'll be "Goodies", which are consumed by Kerbals like supplies. "Goodies" require substantially less mass-per-day than "Supplies" and Kerbals don't start requiring them until they've been off Kerban more than 6 months. The key mechanic that enforces graduated progression is the idea of tiered equipment and tiered qualities of materials. To explain what I'm thinking, let's just look at one consumable and its supply chain and then work on applying the same mechanic to other stuff. Let's start with snacks - the basic food & air idea that I'm happy to camp on. If you fill a container with snacks on Kerban, it's "Kerban Snacks". A kerban will eat one "Kerban Snacks" every day. Let's say you have a "Tier 1" Agroponics module on this ship. Given a little fertilizer, it can produce "Tier 1" "Agroponics Snacks". Tier 1 snacks are far from haute cuisine, but nevertheless Jeb is willing to take one for the team. But he's got limits; Jeb will be willing to consume only up to 20% of his daily snack quota on Tier-1 quality snacks. "Tier 2 Agroponic Snacks" are tastier, and Jeb would be willing to take that as 40% of his diet - similarly "tier 3" would be up to 60%, "Tier 4" 80% and finally "tier 5" might be just as good as kerban snacks... Or maybe they should peak at 90% or so - you can't, as far as I know, make agroponic bacon. But to be able to get out of the tier 1 kit, Jeb's going to have to choke down quite a few of those tier 1 snacks and Bill's going to have to spend some time trying to make them better. Tier-2 is unlocked by kerbals consuming Tier-1 snacks and lab research on ships equipped with Tier-1 kit. Once Tier-2 is unlocked, nothing changes on board Jeb's vessel - it still has the "Tier 1" equipment. A new vessel has to be designed that includes the new "Tier 2" agroponics module. (Well, it could be exactly the same vessel design, with a tweakable (only settable in the VAB/SPH) set to "Tier 2" rather than "Tier 1". "Agriculture" works along similar lines only it's a whole lot more effective out of the gate - Tier 1 Duna farmed snacks might start at, say, 80% of a kerban snack. The practical upshot of that is that if you've managed to unlock tier-3 agroponics at your Mun base and want to plan a first mission to Duna with tier-1 agriculture, you'd have to plan for your kerbals eating .6 units of agroponic snacks and .4 units of kerbal snacks per day on the way over, .8 units of farmed snacks per day and .2 kerbal snacks per day while there, and then .6 agroponic snacks, .2 farmed snacks and .2 kerbal snacks on the way back. (Assuming you've farmed up enough snacks while at Duna to fill your ship's stores). Both Agriculture and Agroponics rely on fertilizer. But the fertilizer has to be at least the same tier as the agroponics/agriculture part. So you'd need a module like the MKS "Agriculture Support Module" to make that fertilizer. There too you'll need a kerbal working on making the fertilizer and researching how to make it better. At Tier-1 you can make do with a raw material collector attached right to the base and you'll need storage for "Tier 1 Raw Materials" and your finished resources. Tier 2+ raw materials show up like "Resource Lodes" from MKS do - your planetary scanners spot them and vector you to them. The better your scanning network is (and the lower your tier is), the more likely the lodes will turn up close to your base. You can either move your whole base (equipped with a resource collector of the appropriate tier) to the resource lode or you can move a rover or something to it. At first, you'd have to actually move the craft to the resource lode, activate the resource collector on the forager craft, and rumble back to the base. After a few successful gathering missions with that craft, you'd be able to mark it as the dedicated craft for doing these missions. When future requirements come up, and the ship is near the base, the requirement will just be automatically fulfilled without requiring anything from the player. The same "Tier" thing applies to the mining ship and the scanners used to find the lodes. A planet where the scanning satellites are Tier-1 won't be able to find Tier-2 resources and a Tier-1 miner won't be able to gather tier-2 raw materials. The concepts of "habitation" and "colony supplies" will be amalgamated into "goodies". When a Kerbal leaves Kerban, they're good for snacks for 14 days and can go without goodies for 6 months. They'll consume both snacks and goodies every day because who can resist ice cream? If a Kerbal has been off kerban for more than 14 days and they haven't had a (full) snack in 7, they'll be tough to be around and turn into Tourists. Similarly, if they've been off Kerban for more than 6 months and haven't had their quota of goodies in 7 days, they go tourist. Kerbans find it hard to hold a grudge, so they'll come back to their duties once they get their needs met again. Hopefully, it'll be possible to not have a recycling concept for "goodies" like agroponics is for "snacks" in order to take one more complexity away from long-duration mission planning. But there's a good chance that it will cause really long duration trips to require unpleasantly large ships to tote all the goodies. If it comes to that, perhaps a way to fix it would be to make a holodeck part that generates tiered goodies. I'd also like to have an excuse to send ships home to sell off things from the colony. Honestly, I don't think this really has any kind of real-life analog, but I think it'd make the game fun. So we'll do it anyway and call these things "shinies". Kerbals don't consume them, they just have monetary and prestige value back on Kerban. Hoped-for playthrough Let's review what we've got so far with a description of how the game will play with this system. After that, we'll return to game mechanics. The opening game would be unchanged - we keep the same 14-day grace period as is in MKS because it's great. The player unlocks the lower tiers of the tech-tree in the usual way with voyages to Mun. Technologies that unlock things like hydroponics and off-world agriculture are easy to get, but without having done any long-duration flights, they are fantastically inefficient -- a trip to Eve or Duna would require a vast ship. So the player creates a station around Kerban or Mun so they can start the research necessary to start improving resource utilization and hydroponic efficiency. Those first off-world bases will require several resupply missions before any of those breakthroughs are hit. Unmanned missions are possible, of course, and the wise player will send unmanned probes and satellites to worlds they're looking to create outposts on. So we'll create a couple probes for Duna - one with a scanner on it in a nice polar orbit and a lander. Once the player has a scanner in orbit, they can set the boys at the Mun base the task of figuring out scanners for Duna. Once the landers have visited three biomes on Duna, they can research Tier-1 fertilizer, Tier-1 farming, Tier-1 goodies and Tier-1 shinies production. But that's as much as the Mun base can contribute to the future Duna base. The Mun base and another base in Low Kerban Orbit have also been busy researching hydroponics. They've pushed that up to Tier-3, which is as far as you can go with hydroponic research within the kerban system. At this point, the player will be in a position where they can launch a medium-sized ship with a few Kerbals to Duna. It will need to pack a substantial (but no-longer overwhelming) quantity of stowed snacks and goodies. Upon arrival, the Kerbals will be able to do research that will improve their ability to exploit local resources and extend their ability to survive at that body... But the effect will not improve the current mission - the research will unlock upgraded versions of the modules, but their ship is still equipped with the old stuff. While they're at Duna, they'll need to farm snacks. While they were en-route, they sustained themselves partly on agroponically grown stuff, and partly from supplies form Kerban. On Duna, they can farm a wider variety of foods that are both tastier and more nutritious than what they can get out of the agroponics dome on the ship. They'll need their farm to not only keep them from chewing through too many of the original kerban stores while on kerban, but also to resupply the ship for the return home. The glorious return of the Kerbals from their adventures on Duna triggers the ability to create ships that take advantage of what was learned. The combined effect of having been able to deploy Tier-2 devices for all the Duna abilities and unlocking Tier-4 hydroponics because of all that time spent studying the kerbals mixed reactions to the Tier-3 stuff in interplanetary space means that the next mission to Duna can be quite a bit grander. On this trip, you can afford specialists, like miners to collect the more advanced raw materials, geologists to speed research on the next tier of scanning, quartermasters to reduce the frequency of supply missions. While the first mission was able to scrounge up enough raw materials for their needs with just a materials gathering pod attached to the base, on this next mission with its more advanced processing technology, we're going to need a supply rover. It will be asked to voyage away from the main settlement to collect needed supplies from points identified by the scanners on the station. On this mission, more research can be done and some of the kerbals will be able to stay on at Duna while the rest will return to lead the construction of the next phase. Over the course of the third and fourth missions, a self-sustaining colony can be built up. The player will need to upgrade the scanning network to keep up with the growing sophistication of the base's requirements and create bigger resource collecting rovers. An orbital station in Duna's Sphere of Influence is helpful - research conducted there contributes to increasing the efficiency of scanners around Duna. A trip to Jool is now feasible - but a large ship with just a handful of kerbals will be required, and a probe with a resource scanner is almost a necessity if any local resources are to be used at Jool. The lessons learned from Duna are not useless on the Joolean moons, but the player is again in a position where they'll need to have a short stay, return to Kerban, and set forth again with vastly improved hardware. More Thoughts on Mechanics Specialists You shouldn't be able to staff a colony with one 5* scientist one 5* engineer and have it be slamming good. I want to steal all the kerbal professions that have been developed for MKS because that's a fun idea. My thought is that each converter part will need to be staffed by a specialist in order to get it to work at all. Engineers and Scientists can fill the seat too, but only if they have as many stars as the part's tier. Specialists don't have any experience requirement to operate the gear. My feeling is that alone will encourage players to have colonies that are populated with a bunch of kerbals. Maintenance There's a lot of charm to the MKS idea that machines break down and need replacement parts. However, the "Machinery" resource is awfully fiddly in MKS; I don't like them enough to want to reproduce something like it. We'll see how we get on down the road, but I don't think we need them. Under the "tiered" approach, you'd probably want to just plain abandon and replace your colony until you reach tier 5, and once you reach tier 5 on a planet, you're really pretty much done with it and the player will want to focus elsewhere anyway. Extraplanetary Launchpads I love Extraplanetary Launchpads. I also really like MKS' integration with EPL, with the Material Kits representing the low-tech bits of stamped aluminum, rivets and such that make up most of the rocket and the Specialized Parts representing the higher-tech stuff. The only thing I don't like is that one engineer can plop down on Gilly, deploy a few drills and pop out with Romulan Battlecruiser in a couple months. Given the tiered parts system that we've got here, there's no need to have two different production chains - the fancy parts and simple parts thing is effectively represented by the idea of "Tier-1 Local Rocket Parts" taking up at most, say, 60% of the mass of the final ship. MKS Logistics MKS' planetary logistics is an idea that's pretty much necessary for that mod to work, but for what I'm thinking of here, it isn't. That's good, because planetary logistics are (in my estimation) an obvious plot device. However, as long as it's true that docking landed ships is fiddly at best, MKS' Local Logistics concept seems seriously desirable. Under the system as I've laid out there's going to be at least 20 sub-missions on the road to full independence for a colony. These would be hauling fuel, snacks, fertilizer, goodies and shinies between ships on the surface and in orbit. In the short-term, we could punt this requirement and lean on Kerbal Attachment System (KAS) to take care of this, but in any longer term, local logistics seems the way to go. Fuel Mining Fuel mining with stock KSP is a drag: it's unpredictable, math-intensive and unrealistic. But people know how to deal with it by the time they hit late-game. I'd love for some mod to take the suck out of ISRU, but I don't think it has to be this mod. Nuclear Power I just hate it that any base that does mining has to have nuclear power. I'd like to tune the facilities so that at least on some bodies it's reasonable to run with solar and batteries. Replayability Simple has its charms, but you can't help but notice that in the system as I've described it, there's no particular difference between one biome and another or for that matter one planet to the other. Once you've got Duna at Tier-5, getting Bop to Tier-5 is the same grind. I see this as a 2.0 kind of problem, but there should at least by a handwavy idea of how to fix it given it's a pretty crushing problem. First off, I don't think MKS' answer is something I'd want to repeat. MKS has the notion that some biomes have some resources but not others - but to adapt to that you generally just need to sprinkle mining bases in different parts of the planet or maybe just re-adjust the drill heads. Generally, you meet the challenge of each new world by plugging fresh numbers into your spreadsheet... Yuk. This being KSP, what I'd really like to see is each world requiring different ship and base designs. I don't think production & consumption ratios for different locales get you there. My thought at the moment is that there should be a few different parts that all produce the same kind of things. These parts should sorta look like they'd be better suited for one kind of planetary body or another and they'd have different masses and form-factors, and indeed they would be more applicable to one kind of world than another. I'm imagining that the part might have some property, e.g. "Gravity Suitability" - if you hauled a low-grav farming module to Eve, it wouldn't work. You could make this idea tweakable by having a massive resource "Gravity Compensation" that you could load onto the part in the VAB - kind of like ablators on heat shields. You might, say, have to use some amount of this "Gravity Suitability" material in order to make the low-grav farming module work on a body like Gilly - which maybe is below the bound of what the low-grav module can do without help. Atmosphere density could be done this way too. Maybe there could be one for solar radiation. Who knows. Actually Making This Happening What I'm going for here is a simple life-support system and a simple off-world manufacturing mod that encourages a play-through that feels like an organic progression from the basics to the extravagant. Making a mod is hard, and I don't have a huge amount of time to do the work, and I've never made a KSP mod before, and the stuff I mentioned above is already a big body of work. This needs to be kept scoped if it's going to ever turn into anything. So I'm not really interested in adding any new elements to the ideas presented here that don't have a crucial contribution to the mission statement. I'd also like to make the new part count as low as possible. One of my biggest concerns is that KSP doesn't have a real good analog to the notion of 'Tiers' built into it. It's a mod, so it should be possible to add it, but this is a concept that doesn't seem to slot into anything already in the game. If you've got ideas on that, I'd love to hear it.
  15. Does anybody have examples of how to create a non-modal dialog that stays more or less where you put it? (That is, if you swap from one vessel to another, it should stay put.) I've hacked something up, here: https://github.com/SteveBenz/ColonizationByNerm/blob/30b389db8fa8bac559f2bdb3bebddcf088ed54cf/src/LifeSupportStatusMonitor.cs#L146 Which sorta does it. If you know a thing or two about this stuff, I'd love it if you'd pop over to that code and leave comments to all the "I've got no idea what this does" and "shenanigans" comments... If anybody can point me to non-stub documentation for PopupDialog.SpawnPopupDialog's arguments, that'd be great too.
  16. Took me a while, but I managed to figure out how to use the KerbalInstructor technique in the new dialog framework: https://github.com/SteveBenz/ColonizationByNerm/blob/master/src/PopupMessageWithKerbal.cs That's a class that will display a quick modal dialog with a message in it.
  17. I'm not sure where to go to report this, but as I'm developing a mod I noticed something that's almost certainly a smallish bug in KSP itself. PartModule.OnInitialize() gets called every time you create a part in the editor... Except for the first part in the vessel. (So if you have a modded part that relies on OnInitialize, that part won't work right if it's the first part on a vessel.)
  18. NermNermNerm

    Thinking about a new Colonization mod

    I spent much of the holidays grinching it up at my computer building the mod. There were several "you should start here" kind of posts, but the trouble with that is that the "tier" thing is absolutely central to the idea, and there's nothing remotely like it out there. But I have implemented the hydroponic/farming scheme and the tiered-consumption code - the code is here https://github.com/SteveBenz/ColonizationByNerm/blob/master/src/TieredProduction.cs - it's somewhat ferocious, but also decently unit tested. The mod is playable at this point! I'm also pretty confident that I won't need to make any save-file-breaking changes to the thing to implement the remainder. I , which means that you can with the mod as it is, build orbital bases and progress through the tiers. At this point, I'd make a release, but I'm waiting on an "OK" from @RoverDude to use the art from several of his modules. The project is here: https://github.com/SteveBenz/ColonizationByNerm I haven't created a compiled release yet, but a highly motivated person could try it out. I'll try to keep 'master' clean until I can get a release out. I specifically have it coded at this point to not rely on anything external - installing it is just copying the stuff into GameData, and uninstalling it is removing it. Integration with other mods will be towards the end-game. (The ReadMe.md has my development plan and the completed/not-completed stuff). The big-ticket remaining items are: Having to rove to collect resources (I'm edging towards the idea of making this a Tier-3+ requirement - just in the playing, your grip on the land is pretty tenuous at Tier1 and you don't need the extra challenge) The Shinies chain (which seems pretty simple, compared to #1) A calculator in the editor If you play it now, you'll notice these tedious but non-blocking things: The status panel is fantastically fugly (but the data on it is pretty good). (I learned how to make a dialog and then learned that there's a better way) All the parts are lumped under the "Science" category and the models are dead copies of MKS or Stock things (but I hope you'll find the descriptions accurate, informative and amusing). This is just until I can get my own art or at least skins and can find out how to make a custom category or something. I made it so that you have to have a ship return from a body to be able to build a surface base there. That's true even in Sandbox - so if you wanted to test it out that way, you should just cheat yourself up a landing there. It is incredibly painful to set the target body for each part and way, way too easy to launch a ship without one part set correctly. (If you make that mistake, you can save-file-edit a fix for yourself quite easily, but it's super-frustrating, I know) Some changes have come from the time spent developing and time spent playing around with it: I've decided to hold off indefinitely on the "Goodies" thing. I've come to agree with the idea that one life-support chain is enough. I liked the "You can't do Tier3 & Tier4 near Kerbin" idea so much that I decided to apply it to Shinies too - you can only get "Tier2" shinies at Mun & Minmus - "Tier3" is the limit at Duna, Ike and Gilly, Tier4 is the limit at any of the Julian moons. (So you gotta go to Eloo, Mojo or Dres for Tier5 shinies and the mighty style points you will earn from that) One thing that I don't like is the feeling "Why should I build a surface base on Mun?" And really there isn't one right now other than there's nothing much else to do while waiting for your first landers to return. One idea I had was to make it so that if you're unlocked Tier2 anywhere that it makes it so that researching T2 elsewhere is easier.
  19. I know that ScreenMessages.PostScreenMessage is a thing - but I'd like something fancier, like the tutorial messages - where it's a full-on dialog with a picture of Wernher Von Kerman in the corner. Anybody know how to do that?
  20. I'm starting to get the hang of these PartModules - is there a stock part module that handles the notion that it takes a power-load to do its thing, and that the thing can be toggled on and off? I could go with a Resource Converter, with just "Electric Charge" as an input and no outputs. That seems like a good way to go, but it seems like this is probably a common need and there's something else out there like it.
  21. This probably isn't "the" way, but it's "a" way: you could look for a shift backwards in system time - Planetarium.GetUniversalTime() -- I suspect that might also pick up on loading quicksaves, however... But maybe that's a good thing for your scenario.
  22. I'm not sure I understand what you mean here - [KSPAddOn]class foo does indeed control the lifetime of 'foo' - but what I'm asking for is how, if I'm in 'bar', can I get the correct instance of 'foo'.
  23. I'm new to KSP modding, and am trying to figure out what is the best way for one component to talk to another. Mainly I've been following the example from @RoverDude's mods, which look to be the most polished of the code I've seen (and as a result, easiest to follow). But even within his mods there's variance. Maybe there's a rhythm to it? Maybe it's just some is older/comes from different sources? Anyway, one method is this: public class LifeSupportScenario : ScenarioModule { public LifeSupportScenario() { Instance = this; } public static LifeSupportScenario Instance { get; private set; } And the other is public class LifeSupportManager : MonoBehaviour { // Static singleton instance private static LifeSupportManager instance; // Static singleton property public static LifeSupportManager Instance { get { return instance ?? (instance = new GameObject("LifeSupportManager").AddComponent<LifeSupportManager>()); } } (And if anybody cares, that implementation could be made a little nicer with .net's 'Lazy' class). Unity does a lot of reflecto-magic with classes, and I, at one point, thought that the static instance object got some of this love. I'm not finding any clear evidence of it in the Unity docs, but that could be because my search-fu on Unity stuff is not all it could be.
  24. Just did - doesn't work. WTH. These are grownups making Unity right? Stick with your version.
  25. I'm sure that there's a FM somewhere that I haven't R'ed, but... I have a simple dialog and a toolbar button that I'm trying to get right. The dialog pops up and works correctly when I initially load the game. I get my little dialog showing up, and I get the toolbar button. If I enter the VAB, the dialog goes away - but the toolbar button remains. If I back out back to KSC, the toolbar button disappears and the dialog is gone too. There doesn't appear to be anything in the output log to suggest any reason why. My log messages just quit turning up. Could somebody gimme a clue? https://github.com/SteveBenz/ColonizationByNerm/blob/master/src/DebugControls.cs