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About KSK

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  1. Making a Dollar or Two- BOOK TWO

    Ahhh - that's a good way to end the night. Catching up on two* of my favourite KSP stories. Thanks! *Making a Dollar or Two, natch, plus Life at the Top.
  2. I can't tell a lie - this made me laugh. It didn't make up for Phil's news though. : "The setting sun bathed the city in a stunning orange glow that made the hard and unforgiving walls look soft and kind. Probably why so many crashes happened on the first few laps." Another great chapter. I do have one minor comment on readability if you want it, or to take it to private messages?
  3. I've probably mentioned this before but I follow a writing blog called 'Writing about Writing'. I like it - the author is pretty opinionated but I find that a lot of what he writes resonates with me. Anyhow, one of his recent posts is on fan-fiction and I thought some folks would be interested in reading it. A word of caution - this chap is most certainly not forum-friendly. As mentioned, he's opinionated and his language has a tendency to be robust. You have been duly warned. On the other hand, I have to admit that I enjoyed this paragraph (lightly edited for forum sensibilities). So there you have it. We're all pure artists on this thread.
  4. Eeep. Looks like the mulch has hit the turbopumps. And, if I recall correctly, turbopumps don't do well after ingesting a heap of mulch...
  5. I'm not going to post it all again but - what Pthigrivi said. Trial-and-error within the Kerbin system is fine. The Map screen does a wonderful job of presenting everything you need to get to the Mun or Minmus in a visually intuitive, exploreable format. Flight plans are relatively straightforward and flight times are short. Going interplanetary in a stock game feels like a big hurdle to clear - your planning tools become less effective and at the same time the missions become longer and more complex. End result - for many players a potentially huge chunk of the game gets locked away behind an artificially high difficulty barrier. Also, I think that shackling the game to a trial-and-error approach makes it a lot harder to expand in future and much harder to balance now. Pthigirivi style games - which I have to confess is how I like to try and play and how I imagined a game about running a space program would work - become an exercise in frustration without a bit more in the way of planning tools. Going forward, you're limited in what new gameplay mechanics you can introduce and reasonably expect players to deal with on a trial-and-error basis. Even simple Contracts become a lot harder to balance since you need to account for players needing multiple attempts to complete a Contract. But how many attempts is it sensible to allow for? Or do you just assume people are going to Revert their way out of any problems? To use HarvesteRs example, having a delta-V readout won't affect my ability to enjoy building a rocket powered surfboard (or, in my case, a hideously uncontrollable VTOL craft ) and, as a bonus, it will also make my Jool-5 attempt much more fun. And yes - any delta-V readout is better than none. It might not be able to cope with my 24 stage, asparagused monstrosity of a launch vehicle but provided it can handle my four-NERVS-and-a-boat-load-of-fuel interplanetary stage, then we're good. Edit. For consistency with posts on other threads, this should really have been written in the past tense, as I'm not currently playing any version of KSP for reasons. Just in case anyone decided to dig around in my posting history and get picky with me.
  6. Well, according to the article, they're testing the harpoons (of different sizes depending what they're intended to snag) against aluminium/composite panels which are apparently representative of satellite construction materials. So yeah, sounds like it. The harpoons are powered by compressed air, cut through the test panels with ease and are intended to be used from about 25m. They also have deployable barbs to stop them punching right through their target. So it sounds as though they have thought about this (amazingly enough). In particular punching a hole into their target but not out of it, so containing any debris inside. I appreciate that's just an example but wrangling a satellite using a relatively large, fragile and unwieldy component such as a solar panel doesn't sound like a great idea, especially if the satellite is tumbling. Also - a personal request. Ion drives are quiet, gentle devices. ION drives sound so shouty, don't you think? Especially as ion isn't an acronym.
  7. I love this idea. "Out-gassing satellite at 3km and closing, Flight." "Arrrr - there she blows! Avast there ye scurvy hunk 'o space junk!" White vests and tricorn hats become the new mandatory dress code for all flight controllers overseeing Operation Poke-it-with-a-Pointy-Thing.
  8. I'm thinking the important words there are 'and manned missions later on'. Not that unmanned missions to Mars aren't impressive in their own right but they're not quite as attention-grabbing as a manned mission would be. To answer the question - nope I don't have any more information on this!
  9. It's definitely an interesting setup. Hard to say much more than that after one chapter but I'm intrigued, so that's probably a good start. Your protagonist came across (to me, and possibly deliberately) as a fairly unlikeable fellow, so I'm curious to see where that goes too! One small suggestion - depending how long it is, it might be an idea to spin the story out into its own thread.
  10. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    I think there was a comment in response to the original tweet that suggested the telemetry fix should be straightforward as an appropriate protocol was available off-the-shelf. Although I have absolutely no idea how reliable that source is. As for the strut - that makes sense to me. There may well have been a defect in the strut (as per SpaceX's claim) but that wouldn't have been a problem in itself, if SpaceX had gone with the recommended (possibly slightly overkill but yeah - tens of millions of dollars at stake) 4:1 safety factor. So both sides are correct - from a certain point of view (</obiwan>) As usual, it's never just one thing that gets you. Or, as @DerekL1963 pointed out - everything can look fine, right up to the point when it isn't.
  11. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    Agreed, @Green Baron but it's also water under the bridge now. Spaceflight is very good at exposing organisational weaknesses and is littered with incidents caused by intelligent people (this is rocket science after all )having a bad day. That bad day might be caused (for example) by inadequate regard for a manufacturer's recommendations, placing a little too much faith in your Russian sourced engines, messing up a 64 bit to 16 bit data conversion, installing sensors upside down, not fully appreciating the fire hazards involved with 100% oxygen atmospheres or mixing up imperial and metric units. Unfortunately, rockets don't much care about the human factor - they just go boom anyway. Speaking as a SpaceX fan, it's obviously disappointing when they do make mistakes (which CRS-7 clearly was) but, on the other hand, there's no reason why they should be immune from mistakes either. They have good people but so do Orbital, ESA, Roscosmos and NASA. No doubt Blue Origin, Rocketlab and the rest will have their share of bad days in future. Virgin Galactic have already had their share. Not an excuse - just an observation.
  12. Stephen Hawking has passed away

    RIP Professor Hawking. There's no good time to go - but even so, I think he would have settled for this back in 1963.
  13. SpaceX Discussion Thread

    According to NasaSpaceflight.com, the changes were made in time for the Jason-3 mission. Except possibly for the telemetry, although they speculate that that has probably been addressed too, given that SpaceX has now received Category 2 certification from NASA. Edit: The article is worth reading and paints a rather less scathing picture of SpaceX than the response to that tweet. Yes they screwed up, but their post-flight investigation was quick, seemed to be robust (in that NASA independently came to the same conclusions) and, as mentioned above, the key findings in the NASA report were addressed promptly and with little to no fanfare that I remember.
  14. Updated Terms Notice & Privacy Policy

    Good post @Starman4308 - thanks. If I could offer a slight correction to your first point, that depends on the license and what you've said only applies to non-exclusive licenses. An exclusive license for any purpose in all territories (for example) would prevent you from entering into another license agreement with another party. Also, about the moustache twirling ( ) in Part 4 - as I understand it, that also applies to Missions created through the Mission Builder, and is a bit more worrying for those, since the EULA is attempting to have you explicitly waive your right of attribution. Not sure whether that would stand up in court but it's rather more moustache-twirling than the terms for fanfic etc. which simply give TT the option to ignore attribution if they wish.
  15. Updated Terms Notice & Privacy Policy

    This. Setting aside most of the legal technicalities (apart from one specific one - more on that in a minute), the problem I have with this whole mess is the attitude that's gone with it. We've heard nothing from Take Two since they bought the rights to KSP and then suddenly they're marching in with size 10 Lawyer Boots. New EULA. New terms and conditions that we have to agree to before getting access to the forum, or the wiki. Opt-in dialogue boxes confirming that you want to send information back to Squad, disappearing. These may indeed be standard terms and procedures - but standard to a big name AAA title. They don't sit as well with a game like KSP which owes a lot to player created content of various kinds. Think of the mods that have either been incorporated directly into KSP or inspired Squad to incorporate their own version of them. Think of the number of modders that have worked for Squad at one time or another. It's kind of fallen by the wayside recently but think about The Daily Kerbal and it's showcasing of various videos, fan-art and other player generated content. So, whilst I can't speak for anyone else, I didn't like Take Two's 'we own everything' style of EULA. Whether they intend to enforce, or can enforce, most of it is largely irrelevant. It's the fact they thought it was a good idea in the first place that grates. It smacks of disregard for and disrespect of, the KSP community. On to that specific point I mentioned. I have a long-running fan-fiction thread on these forums, so I was naturally curious to see what the new forum T&C's say about such things. Turns out that they say this: No obligation to make any payment. Meh - OK. Opinion can reasonably differ on that and it wasn't something I was seriously expecting anyway. No obligation to credit me for my work - that I don't like at all. No reservation of rights - lemme get back to you on that. I'm not especially happy about this but not having an obligation to do something isn't quite the same as saying that you're not going to do it. On the other hand, it is typical of the whole bad attitude thing I mentioned above. I don't see why TT need to include this or what it gains them. And again, whether or not they intend to enforce it is irrelevant - it's the fact they thought it was a good idea. Moving on to the EULA Umm. Let me get this straight. We're talking about any content created through the software. Doesn't matter where you host it - if it was created through the software it falls under this EULA. For example, any Missions created through the new expansion (which is pretty much the signature feature of the expansion) are caught. Also - this is an explicit waiver of rights. It's not a case of Take Two choosing whether or not to enforce this - it just happens. So - if you create a Mission, under this EULA you waive your rights to be acknowledged as the creator of that Mission. You also waive the right to object to derogatory treatment of it, or to object to anyone doing anything with it that would reflect badly on your own reputation. And, in a final rotten touch, that waiver survives termination of the Agreement. Well that fills me with warm fuzzies. To be clear, 'moral rights' are completely separate to so-called economic rights conferred by copyright law. Pick up any book you choose and take a look at the copyright page. Chances are excellent that you'll see a line to the effect of: "NamedPerson asserts her right to be identified as the author of this work." NamedPerson may not hold the copyright to her own work. She may not legally own her work (probably not if she has a publishing contract) and she may not earn much money from it. However, she sure as heck retains her right to be identified as author. Personally, I think that's a big deal and I'm seriously unhappy about Take Two's attempt to have you sign those rights away. That's why I've got my pitchfork out.