Cydonian Monk

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About Cydonian Monk

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    Space Monk

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  • Location Houston, TX, USA
  • Interests Model Railroading (Operations), Languages, Space Stuff, Engineering

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  1. Forgotten Space Program

    It wasn’t a complete abomination, just mostly one. It was the super-lazy zero-cost production that hurt it - even spending an extra $10 would’ve made the horrible campiness ok-ish. I remember one of the crew saying by the time G:80 started they didn’t have any Cylon suits left that weren’t full of squib holes, and had no money to make more. That same episode kinda-sorta made its way into the first season of BSG where Kara also nicked the Cylon ship. No deliberate parallels here, but if Thomlock starts tapping randomly on a piano you should become worried.
  2. Forgotten Space Program

    The one where Starbuck repairs the Cylon and then jokes around with it for an hour before stealing its ship and flying to Disneyland?
  3. What have you been playing recently? (Other than KSP)

    Yeah, I noticed that too. I have no idea if such is in the works, but it might be nice to drop the dev a note to let them know you’re interested. I haven’t made it very far in the game yet myself, but I liked what I had time for.
  4. Forgotten Space Program

    Out In The Cold How long had they been on Vall? The Sun had risen twice since Thomlock disappeared, and they landed in the dark. Three days? Three Vall days at least. How many days was that on Kerbin? Macfred considered doing the math, but decided it wasn't worth it. He was too cold for math. Vall is a very cold place, that much they'd discovered. Especially in such extreme latitudes where the sunlight was thin and never far above the horizon. The low angles cast all manner of strange shadows. More than once he'd found Thomlock's body, slumped on the ice, only to walk over and discover just another boulder, another set of misleading shadows. Agake was convinced the old space kerb had been vaporized. More than once she suggested continuing to search was pointless. Gletrix seemed to be of a similar mind, but was more supporting of Macfred's continued efforts. Besides, in absence of communication with Kerbin he was still the top ranking kerbal. If he wanted to stay here until their food ran out, that was his choice. And so he kept looking. Yet all he found was the cold. Cold was everywhere. His feet were cold. His hands were cold. Everything everywhere was cold, but he continued his search. "Everything will be ok," Thomlock had said. Is cold ok? Did he mean everything will be cold? Maybe, maybe not. At least now they knew with certainty that Kerbin still existed. A message from The Boss had arrived shortly after Thomlock's disappearance. Things were not going well back home, with wild stories of power struggles and mass discontent, strange governments and bizarre conspiracies. The descriptions all pointed back to the cycles Bob and the other Forgotten had described, and perhaps to a bit of space madness. They had only briefly exchanged information before the link was severed again. Macfred had relayed their science data and crew reports and explained the situation with Thomlock, and of course everything they knew about The Forgotten. The Boss had confirmed the orders to visit the other moons yet keep looking for Thomlock. And then... nothing. No further contact since two Vall days ago. There was no good reason to keep the others at the anomaly, every square meter of ice around it had been searched. They'd not have another chance to collect samples from the surface, so Macfred had sent them off to do other things. Gletrix was working as a radio relay in the Sulphur while Agake was out in the field doing science. There were a couple of "biomes" near to their valley (or was it a crater?), one within close hiking distance. It was eight kilometers out, a distance they would normally cover with a hop in the shuttle. Except the fuel levels were still questionable. Thomlock had assured them they could make it back to orbit, Gletrix had run the numbers again and came up with a different result. There would be no hops to other biomes unless they wanted to spend the rest of their lives here, and even making it back to orbit was suspect. So hiking it was. Agake had ventured out early that morning, and was returning with a fresh set of samples from Vall's Midlands. She had stopped at an odd boulder on her way back, and was now describing it while taking a new sample. He was half listening to her, half meandering around the perimeter of the anomaly. It was a strangely welcome distraction. "It's a shame we can't take this entire rock back with us. Very out of place, with a blend of dark and light crystals. Resembles a huge lump of dirty quartz, though I think it's some form of water ice." Macfred could hear her chipping away over the radio, the dull ringing of the hammer echoing through her suit. For a moment he imagined he felt each hammer strike as it happened. Thump. Thump. Thump. "I guess this tiny sample will have to suffice. Very pretty little rock." The link went silent momentarily, a faint rustling sound on the other end. "Tagged and bagged. Headed to base once again." "Copy that, Ag. The lights are still on." Gletrix sounded bored. She was repeating the same canned phrases, this now the third time in the last hour she'd commented on the lights being on. "You find anything Commander?" And she was still asking the same questions, even though she knew the answers. "Negative. Just more ice and...." The shaking from earlier returned, yet the noises from Agake's radio were long gone. A low, deep rumble. Exactly as before. Long before. "Wait a sec...." How long had it been going? Blue orbs appeared over the spires of the anomaly, and with them returned the ebb and flow of its energy. Static filled his radio. The VallHenge was active once more. He tapped at the side of his helmet. Static. "Agake?" "I see it." "Get back to the ship." "Already moving, still a few kilometers out." Yet more static filled the connection, though faint enough for him to make sense of what he was hearing. "You should do the same. Back off from the anomaly, no sense in losing you too." The ground was now pulsating, its rhythm increasing in frequency as the energy built. Just like before. He watched as pebbles and small lumps of ice bounced with each thump, something missed the first time. They had been more interested in the lights, not what was happening to the rest of the moon. He wondered if these pulses could fracture the thick ice, or if the energy could melt it. No doubt this anomaly was contributing to the smooth surface nearby. Bolts arced out from the orbs, the characteristic ring of plasma formed, and the same beam that had taken Thomlock shot upwards into the endless black. The blast of energy from its activation knocked Macfred backwards, off his feet and onto the cold ice. His back was cold. The radio crackled. He heard voices, both loud and hurried and softly whispered. They weaved in and out of the background static, dancing against the interference. Was this what Sieta heard, all those years ago? Was this the sound that had inspired her music? One of the voices sounded like Gletrix, going on and on about... something. Another was unmistakable as Agake. He could hear both, but understand neither. Other voices were unfamiliar. The light grew ever more blinding, beams of pure energy pulsating in their alien way. He pushed himself back onto his feet, brushed the ice and dust off of his cold suit. Checked to make sure nothing had broken. An arc reached out from the spire and grounded near him, his instincts made him back off. A shape formed in the dancing light. A dark shape, some shadowy thing, heading straight towards him. A demon from the stories of old? Perhaps, and a vaguely kerbal shaped one at that. A kraken having taken the appearance of one of their own? A voice deep inside told him to run, but he was frozen with a strange fear as the dark mass approached. It stopped a few paces away, a dark hand reaching to its dark head. Eyes of a blinding fire pierced through Macfred, their fires burning brighter than the light from the anomaly. A scream belted forth, a banshee's wail. Loud as though inside his own head, distant as though at infinity. His hands instinctively shielded the sides of his helmet, reaching for his ears. The demon lowered its arm. And then it stopped. The anomaly went dark, the whispers and screams faded, the universe rebalanced itself, his mind calmed. The dark shape took a familiar form. "Hey kid, how's it going?" He blinked. This was no demon, no dark beast, but a flesh and blood kerbal. "Thomlock?" "You betcha. Miss me?" --
  5. Perfect. That lighting bug is more a Unity thing than KSP. Has to do with the planet textures being in scaled space (on the soundstage wall) instead of “real” space. Any light source that’s “bright” enough will do it once the planet changes from a rendered mesh to a texture with a normalmap. I suspect this is the reason KSP lights got nerfed. The values needed to satisfy the light deities seem to change with every release and Unity version. Engine Lighting mod was good about glowing the planet up too. (And I futzed around with my build of it for RSS/RO in KSP v1.1.3 long enough to just say ‘eh, whatev’ and move on.) I wouldn’t so much call it a bug as an unintended artifact. “Working as Coded” as we say in the business.
  6. What did you do in KSP today?

    Spent a bit of time this weekend installing the latest version of KSP (v1.3.1) and getting all the mods up to date, which mostly went well. Had an issue with one particular mod causing a crash, but I only need the parts and not the plugin so I'll push on until it gets patched. I'm not overly thrilled with this version of KSP either (lots of weird UI and control bugs if you alter any of the default settings), but I can only stick around in v1.1.3 and v1.2.2 for so long. Other than that, I decided to reskin kerbal EVA suits. Nothing too drastic, just tired of the old red/pink highlights the stock suits have. I'm also creating suits and helmets for the three main castes, the tourists, and a generic one for everybody else (such as my custom "kerbal" caste). Also adding rank pips to the front of the helmets (and maybe the suits). Caste icons will be displayed on the helmet on the side where the compass rose / 4-point star is presently (and again, maybe on the suit). Still working on the suit itself (I want to do something different with the mitten/arm joint, need to finish reworking the straps, and there are still some details to add or fix), but I think I'm happy with the jetpack and helmet. The helmet is lined with a cloth that I can only compare to a mish-mash between the upholstery from my grandparent's old sofa and a bowl of macaroni and cheese.
  7. At this point I half expect any life found on Laythe to be a sneaky kerbal-eating bacteria that somehow survives everything BARIS throws at it and returns to Kerbin, resulting in the extinction of all known life.
  8. A Thread for Writers to talk about Writing

    I’m a bit opposite of @Just Jim in this respect - I always listen to music of some sort. Same when I work, in that I’ve conditioned my brain to crank out [stuff] when music is playing. IIRC, music stimulates the same parts of the brain as are needed for my work. It’s mostly classical / incidental music, mind you, or some new age-ish atmospheric music. And maybe some metal. And some rock. And lots of electronica. But usually just incidentals and (not overly bombastic) orchestral soundtracks. Much of Forgotten was written to the varied sounds of Springsteen. The only correct response to that is “We’re not gonna take it.” (Which somehow didn’t make the cut for the official soundtrack....) The “score” soundtrack for Iron Iggle is nice too.
  9. Forgotten Space Program

    Semi-Officially I’m waiting for RSS/RO to be updated to 1.3.*, which increasingly looks unlikely to happen in-full (lots of work, not enough hands). I know bits and pieces of the core RO mod need work, just not sure which bits and what pieces. RaiderNick’s parts are updated to 1.3.* last I checked, so there’s at least that. Still need procedural parts to work at a minimum, along with FAR (which I think v0.15.9 of works in KSP 1.3.*, I just haven’t tried it yet). And probably RealHeat or DeadlyReentry or some flavour thereof. I still have a “working” (and backed up) install of RSS/RO/RP0 on 1.1.3. And I think I had it working in 1.2.1, but as I recall the core-KSP bugs were worse in 1.2.1 than in 1.1.3 so I stayed in 1.1.3. I can always go back to that. Unofficially I’m waiting for more free time. Baseball season is almost over (grumble grumble Wahoos grumble grumble), and football is kinda headed down the “meh” path, so I’m likely to start spending more time again on Saturday mid-days in KSP. Thankfully much of Houston has returned to “normal”-ish and the post-storm craziness has died down. I do wish the city would cut their grass so I could stop ODing on allergy meds.
  10. Forgotten Space Program

    An older version of Tantares. I wasn’t aware that Beale had finally removed them, but I do know they had some issues both with ablator and the new aero system. Basically they’d never reenter the atmosphere, prefering to skip off more than halfway around Kerbin. And even once they were in the atmosphere it was nigh impossible for them to slow down to a safe parachute deployment speed. Not sure if the older Tantares versions are still out there. Also not sure if they’d work at all anymore. The Carbon flights were all back in KSP v1.0.5. So much has changed. I’ve also used the much older Home Grown Rockets Vostok capsules from time to time, but that was many years ago. I actually was using the IVA from the HGR Vostok as the IVA for the Tantares one.
  11. Thread to complain bout stuff

    Been there. Folks never believe me when I say drilling (or in my case burning with a cauterizing needle) a hole through your fingernail to relieve pressure from an injury feels great. (At least in comparison to how it felt a few moments before.)
  12. Kerbal Space Program 1.3.1 is live!

    I’d gladly pay for a Latin language pack and localization. Not much, mind you.
  13. I’m not sure I believe you.... Especially after SLOB Mk2 hit the soundstage wall shortly thereafter! I noticed KSP v1.3.1 was released today. Think I might give BARIS and this new patch a quick spin this weekend while I’m migrating the forgotten things forward to v1.3.1. That seems like exactly the type of failure mod this game has always needed. Decidedly more tongue-in-cheek than whatever RSS/RO/RP0 used.
  14. Forgotten Space Program

    Cache Invalidation and Naming Things I was planning to have the next post up last Sunday night. And then again this Sunday night. I’m actually quite far along in this save now, and have most of the screenshots edited and whatnot for the next several posts. It’s just I’ve run up against an invisible wall, and I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this next bit. Logically I know what needs to happen plot-wise, but I’ve set myself into a rather peculiar wrinkle and I can’t get my space iron to work. (And to top it off I’m having trouble coming up with a chapter title... little things.) So here’s a sneak-peak screenshot I’m quite fond of to tide you over until I can clear this mental log jam. Cheers,