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K^2

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  1. Betas can be good for shaking out problems with server load by increasing it incrementally rather than letting everyone in all at once for games where it's relevant. Doesn't always help, but it's one legitimate reason to crowd-source your testing with a beta release. Of course, I don't think that's at all relevant to anything Intercept is doing with KSP2. So yeah, there would be little to no value in beta test as far as getting player feedback goes.
  2. There's still a digital E3, which might have limited turnout itself, but a bunch of big studios are doing their events around the same time. It's an important time point even if mostly by convention at this point. I don't know if T2/PD will have something as part of digital E3, or have their own show, or simply use that time of increased media attention to push a lot of marketing. They'll certainly be doing E3-adjacent marketing of their other properties. So either way, it'd be a good time to kick off KSP2 marketing, whether actually at E3, or just around that time. Not the only option, mind, but it's a high probability one given the release schedule. Only starting marketing push at Gamescom feels a little late, and there isn't really anything else going on that would have sufficient media attention. You'd be wasting free publicity, basically, if you don't start marketing at E3. But yeah, Gamescom and maybe PAX Prime is where I expect it turned to 11 and where we'll see booths, possibly playable demos, certainly some sort of fresh gameplay videos, etc.
  3. Then counterweight is your reaction mass. That still has to be delivered to the centrifuge. If it makes sense to double the payload to centrifuge for this, then that's fine.
  4. This has merit, but there are several things to consider. First, the centripetal acceleration. At 1km/s, to keep it down to 1g of acceleration, the radius of the arm would have to be over 100km long. And if you plan to have this structure be reusable, it will have to be able to absorb the shock of releasing the cargo, which will propagate as a wave through the structure. So it's not trivial to build something like this. It's a major project. Second, conservation of momentum is still a thing. If this arm is orbiting a planet, the recoil from launch is going to alter its orbit. You need to compensate for this somehow. The most practical use case is if something like this both sends and receives cargo. You can also just use it to de-orbit random rocks to absorb that momentum, but basically, if something goes up, equal amounts of something must come down. Finally, corrections will still have to be made, and something with that size and artificial gravity at the tips won't be possible to mill with sunlight. A sail of that size will not be able to withstand the rotation. So you'll have to expend reaction mass for correction and to initially spin up the structure.
  5. It's hard for me to say if that's the correct call, since I don't do marketing, but it looks like PD isn't doing any marketing yet. Intercept is doing normal PR outreach, with a lot of what's being shared being prepared primarily for internal consumption. Clearly some editing work is done and promotion is happening, but just enough to keep us here. Real marketing from PD hasn't started yet. This is typical for a game not scheduled to release until late in the year. Marketing tends to ramp up quickly right before preorders open up, which you obviously can't do until the date is set. The only real conclusion is that we shouldn't expect a release in the summer, but that was everyone's assumption as is. E3 is probably where we'll see marketing kick off, and maybe a booth at Gamescom with a demo. This is assuming PD is marketing this like any other title with similar budget and sales expectations.
  6. I must have looked at an old article. Even better. This is 5M people already familiar with KSP, meaning PD won't have to spend nearly as much marketing KSP2 as it would for an obscure game, and it makes RoI even more reliable here. So the fact that KSP2 is on an expensive side for a brand new studio is entirely justified here. It also doesn't look like they're squandering resources based on the progress the game is making. So again, I don't see a problem.
  7. That's low for Seattle area. The cost of hiring someone also averages about 60% over salary. Something in the ballpark of 120k-150k per year on average is more likely. Though, team composition also changed over time, so taking low figure on this is probably reasonable for estate, giving us something like 20M in costs. There are othet costs too. Rent is going to be a significant one. We are likely talking 30-35M production costs - though, part of it went into Star Theory. Marketing is probably not going to be outrageous, though. So 50-60M total budget seems plausible. That is on the high end for mid size studio, but tiny by AAA standards. And it will make a good profit if it can manage to match 2M sales of KSP. The break-even is in 1.3M-1.5M sales, which seems low risk. Keep in mind that cost of making games has been climbing. So comparing to HL2 is entirely invalid and even Division is a stretch. This is all very reasonable. And dev progress is about what I expect from this.
  8. The limiting factor on NTR thrust is heat exchange and on ISP the operating temperature. Both are primarily material limitations. I don't think you can do drastically better than NERVA. But it's already not terrible for interplanetary, where TWR isn't as important, so getting a bit more TWR out of it would let you cut the transfer time more, but we're still talking multiple months in transfer. You might be able to do something creative like NTR with a chemical afterburner and magnetic nozzle. Theoretically you can get several times more thrust at comparable or even slightly higher ISP, but we're deep in theoretical science territory with that one. Primarily, I'm not aware of a single design for a magnetic nozzle that would have been tested, and making it work with combustion products is problematic.
  9. There are no tests of Bell's Theorem that I'm aware of that disagree with Many Worlds interpretation, and MWI is mathematically equivalent to Copenhagen. There are cases where Copenhagen can look contradictory (see EPR, Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser, etc,) but that's really just a side effect of us thinking with classical determinism mentality. Quantum Mechanics, in its standard interpretations, is deterministic, self-consistent, and agrees with experiments to precision matched only by tests of General Relativity. The ad-hoc fixes like hidden variable and superdeterminism only serve to make people feel better about their bad intuition on quantum phenomena. They don't fix any real faults in the theory.
  10. Nothing that I can say in a polite company. As for lower limits on energy for FTL, you need to have at least enough negative energy to compensate for the mass of the ship. The net mass of the ship + warp bubble has to be precisely zero. This is often overlooked, because most simulations simply take mass of the ship is negligible. But in order for a warp ship to go FTL, you have to have the space-time go to flat beyond the bubble, and that requires net energy to be zero within some boundary around the bubble. Even if you only want to use warp for sublight, if this doesn't happen, you'll be generating gravity waves that will be sapping a lot of energy on acceleration, and at that point, you're better off with a photon drive. So you have to have at least enough negative energy to compensate for the ship. The rest depends on how thin you can make the bubble, and there might be limits to that from quantum gravity which, needless to say... nervous laughter. And when you create the bubble, how much energy do you need to make a given quantity of negative energy? Well, we don't know what the mechanism for that would even be, but you're at least leaving the equivalent amount of positive energy behind, so more energy than the mass of the ship, that's for sure. And on arrival, when the bubble collapses, that negative energy has to be compensated with the positive energy, which will require every bit of positive energy you have, including all of your mass energy of the ship. So that is a problem. Unless you have some sacrificial matter at destination, you literally have to annihilate the ship and the crew on arrival. Point is, if you're making an FTL mod, you can basically just make up numbers that work for gameplay purposes. We don't have anything like remotely practical mathematical model that gives numbers you can possibly use in a game.
  11. Seems like a very haphazard attempt for a very questionable gain. [snip] I hope we get good flight recorder data at any rate, since that has been apparently recovered. That will tell us precisely where it was launched from.
  12. The energy ("volume") and frequency ("pitch") remain the same. The only things that change as light passes through medium is the propagation speed and the wavelength. The light still has all of its momentum, but you can think of it as if the medium is delaying the propagation.
  13. That's an interesting idea. The relevant magnetoplasmadynamics is way over my head, though. It is plausible that if the sail works as you describe, modulating the magnetic field in a clever way will allow you to get more impulse out of the same plasma at a cost of a higher energy drain, which is what you're looking for. But I don't have the background to even say if it's possible, let alone analyze the energy efficiency of such setup. If you are really interested, my recommendation would be to see who the main author on the original paper is, find their university e-mail address, and just e-mail them this question. If they don't reply, try one of their graduate research assistants instead. They might have already considered it and possibly even ran simulations of it.
  14. Unless you re-orient your magnetic sail as you orbit around the planet, the average effect is just drag, slowly de-orbiting the craft. But the situation is exactly the same with a light sail. If you don't re-orient it, the average light pressure is just drag. If you do adjust the sail orientation, you can use Van Allen belts for propulsion, but there is still more impulse in light pressure than charged particles, so you're still better off with a solar sail than a magnetic one.
  15. Yeah, there are certainly a lot of caveats here, but that's basically the main point. Calling that vehicle APC might be a stretch on my part. I certainly expect it to be well armed and have at least one turret with respectable caliber - I just expect that to be an autocannon rather than artillery.
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