I have been playing Kerbal Space Program for a few days now and all my designs are created experimentally (build and fly a rocket - if it doesn't go far enough, add more fuel, etc.).
I get the feeling that I am supposed to design ships in a more design oriented approach, so I decided to go through the Advanced Construction tutorial again to see what the game recommends for an orbital craft. After completing the tutorial, I still don't understand why most of the design decisions were made.
In the tutorial, von Kerman starts off by recommending setting the parachute min pressure to .75. Why was that the recommendation? And then he recommends adding an RCS tank for fine maneuvers, but what fine maneuvers are needed to achieve orbit and why is an RCS tank the most efficient for these tasks (how can I tell that an RCS tank is the best for fine maneuvers by looking at the part selection screen?)? Then, von Kerman says that we only need 96 units in the tank. How was that number determined and how can I determine how much I need for a different ship? Then von Kerman says that we need to add another liquid tank to offset the weight of the RCS tank. How could I determine if I needed to add more liquid fuel for a different craft and then determine how much I need to add? He then says that the Terrier engine is highly efficient in space. Is there a way to see which engines are efficient in different conditions? These type of questions continue throughout the tutorial.
So, I'm wondering if there is either a good resource that explains how to make these types of design decisions for general ships, something that explains the reasoning behind the different steps in the tutorial (to the point where I could determine the correct steps and adjustments for a new craft), or if you have any advice to offer on making these design decisions.
I looked around for 20 minutes or so for a resource but couldn't find anything. If you could guide me to the answer, I'd appreciate the help.