So this idea has been bounding around the inside of my cranium for god knows how long. I haven't made any progress on realizing any of it, so maybe someone else could if they're interested
In career mode, I've lost interest in "researching" engines and unlocking them in the tech tree without any effort. I don't think I'm alone when I don't see the correlation between gathering samples of dirt from Duna and the new breakthrough in engine technology xDD
Not that it harms anyone. It's a game first and simulator second. But I thought of a way to fix it. Actually researching engine configurations with a low ram-impact.
So here's the idea. Model 3 sets of parts for each engine module. Each part has different stats and a different function. You can only attach them to a parent part. A diagram explains it better.
The different modules are: Fuel pump and Engine Bell (to keep it simple. For stuff like Realism Overhaul, you could go in-depth and add more Module Variety)
You'd have to test different configurations of engines. Different modules could be switched out. You might need more gimbal-range, so you might switch out an engine bell. You might need more DeltaV so you switch out the fuel pump for a more efficient fuel pump.
Also, you wouldn't be given engine stats in the VAB for different configurations. You'd need to actually go out on the launchpad with it and do a test burn (or you could wing it and hope for the best with an untested rocket xD )
It could add so much more depth to rocket development! You could call your engine configuration yours! Of course, you'd only start out with just 18 configurations, but think of what Real Fuels could do to change that! If it's able to be modded, then you could have so many undiscovered configurations that fit your requirements perfectly... but you need to find it and test it first.
Few last words:
When it comes to selection, you could have a procedural parts kinda setup where you start with a base-plate and switch the modules like textures. Or physical parts that you drop onto attachments only available for that part. Idk xD
And whoever stumbles upon this and wants to give it a go, I'm not telling you how to develop it. I wish you the best of luck! :DD
Thank you for listening :}}