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  1. Parallax Parallax completely recreates the surfaces of the planets, from the environment all the way down to the terrain detail. It combines a tessellation and displacement terrain shader as well as a completely new scatter system to vastly improve the planet surfaces. Parallax uses GPU instancing for surface objects in order to render massive amounts of geometry at amazing performance. See Installation Instructions below. Also see the Troubleshooting section below, and direct users here if things are not working! Watch the new trailer here: Features Overview Parallax completely replaces the terrain shader used in the normal game as well as its scatter system for placing thousands of objects over great distances. Here are some of the key features of this mod: High quality terrain tessellation shader, like in No Man's Sky Trees, grass and many other types of foliage Procedural rocks and objects Collisions with surface objects Self shadowing Completely new planetary surface textures Improvements The shader that Squad uses for Kerbal Space Program's terrain is extremely limited. Parallax's original feature was a brand new terrain shader, but the scope has expanded to surface objects as well. Parallax improves upon the stock shader in a number of ways, for example: Normal mapped lighting is accurate and faces the right way on a surface at any angle Tessellation allows surfaces to have much more complexity, allowing for the creation of lifelike planet surfaces No lines/artifacts, unlike the stock shader The scatter system is also a massive improvement over Squad's implementation: Millions of objects can be generated almost instantly using compute shaders Each object is drawn using GPU instancing, meaning there are significantly less draw calls. This improves rendering performance massively Frustum culling for each object Objects are collideable On-demand loading Availability System Requirements: Minimum - Scatters disabled: CPU: Parallax does not have much of a CPU impact, so this isn't really a concern GPU: Must support shader model 3.0, RAM: 4GB (With scatter objects disabled) Minimum - Scatters enabled GPU: Must support shader model 5.0 Renderer: Recommended to use DX11, but OpenGL is supported. Due to limitations, Mac OSX is not supported since Apple dropped support for OpenGL. Linux works running OpenGL. Must support Async GPU Readback (if you do not know what this is, do not worry) RAM: 6GB Recommended: GPU: DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0 RAM: 8GB You can follow Parallax's development here: https://github.com/Gameslinx/Tessellation/ Installation Instructions for installing Parallax and its scatters: Download Parallax, Parallax_StockTextures and Parallax_ScatterTextures from the GitHub release page. Download and install Kopernicus. Minimum version release 139 or later. Open the Parallax zip and move the Parallax Folder to GameData. Open the Parallax_StockTextures zip and move the Parallax_StockTextures folder to GameData. Open the Parallax_ScatterTextures.zip and move the Parallax_StockTextures folder to GameData, merging it with the existing folder. Yes, they are named the same. This is intentional. Do not miss this step. Launch the game, and set your terrain quality to High. Set your terrain shader quality to High or Ultra. Ultra will enable tessellation. Optional: This patch will disable the bubbles / life on Eve: https://drive.google.com/file/d/16-nTUbRgQescq4ajQtka1cJnaOzPcgPy/view Need a video? Check below Troubleshooting Did installation not go as planned? Expand this spoiler to see common errors when installing and how to resolve them. FAQ Right now, there are a few frequently asked questions. I hope I can answer some of them here: What is the performance impact? You can expect to run Parallax fairly well on a GT 960M or better. Is this for stock? Yes! This also works on planet mods that support it. Why are lots of lights laggy? For some reason, KSP uses Unity's "Forward Rendering" path instead of the "Deferred Rendering" path. This means that for every pixel light in the scene, the tessellation is re-calculated. With lots of lights, this can add up very quickly. Until KSP moves to the Deferred rendering path, there is nothing I can do about this. Do I need a NASA Supercomputer? No Does this work with EVE and Scatterer? Yes. Parallax was developed alongside Scatterer, so I recommend for the best results you use them both together. Can I change the settings? There is a config within the GameData/Parallax folder. This controls the quality of the terrain shader as well as options for the scatter system Will you release documentation for modders? Yes, documentation is in the works and will be updated frequently on the github wiki. Does this work with Rescale / Sigma Dimensions? Yes, but check for configs as some values must be adjusted for things to look correct. Can I use textures from Parallax_StockTextures in my own configs? While the license does allow you to use them, I would much prefer if you don't. The stock textures are to improve the stock game. I don't want to see loads of config packs using those textures because it takes away the uniqueness of the ones I created for the stock planets. Please - Don't be lazy, make your own. Download You can download Parallax for KSP 1.12.x here: Parallax: https://github.com/Gameslinx/Tessellation/releases Please read the install instructions. If you are reporting a bug, if applicable, please let me know the steps to reproduce the error. This is extremely useful. Donations If you would like to donate to show thanks for the mod or to support its development, there is a link to my Patreon below. You unlock some cool perks by donating too! Donations are by no means asked for, but are greatly appreciated. Thank you for downloading the mod or if you're a long time supporter, thank you for sticking with it throughout its development Licensing Parallax is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This means that you are free to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following conditions: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use. NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. From: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0
  2. https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Mission, or DART, is now going to happen! Hopefully! I think that's what the announcement was for, anyway, maybe it's been planned far earlier and this is the first I've heard of it, but there are all of a sudden dozens of articles, so I'll start the thread. Scheduled to launch in 2020 or 2021 as a secondary payload on a military or communications satellite launching to geosynchronous orbit, DART will be a small space probe weighing about 500kg, which will have an ion engine and roll out solar arrays. In October 2022, it will approach the Didymos system, a binary system of asteroids with one 800m in diameter and the other 150m. Then it will crash into the smaller one at about 6 kilometers per second to test how much the collision will alter its orbit, which will be observed with ground based telescopes. It is hoped that this will evaluate the impact method of asteroid redirection in case an asteroid is found on a collision course with Earth. It's about time we tested something like this, even though it will barely change the velocity of the asteroid!
  3. Kerbals, at their core, are loyal and brave and fearless. Not to mention complete snack-hounds who love nothing more than the promise of Minmus being any variety of mint-flavored ice cream. They look to the skies every day, dreaming of the day that they can finally prove their second satellite is in fact tasty and ready to be served and eaten at the next Kerbsgiving feast. Ah, just think about how lovely that's going to taste. Unfortunately, we have a serious problem. Kerbals can tend to be lazy and unmotivated, not wishing to actually DO anything other than daydream of the snacks. Someone else will surely bring them, right? Someone else will run to the store and pick them up, or fly to Minmus and bring back loads of minty frozen concoctions. Right? Won't they? Well...no, they won't. If all Kerbals are waiting for someone else to go get snacks and such, then nobody is going to go get them. We need to find a way to motivate Kerbals to get up off their lazy heinies and do some work around here. And here at World's Firsts Record-Keeping, we believe we have found a way to properly motivate Kerbals into performing hard labor. We present to you... The All-Contract Challenge You have undoubtedly heard of the No-Contract Challenge, right? Well, that challenge has made Kerbals lazy, providing absolutely no motivation to go out and earn science and funds to keep the KSC operating and advancing our technology. They no longer want to do something without having a reason, so we're going to overload them with enough contracts to make sure that they have something to do. This should be the right motivation to get them out of bed and off to the stars! Or, at least off to the grocery store to refill their snack supplies! Completion Goals Upgrade all buildings at the KSC to level 3 Complete the Tech Tree Game Setup Start a new Career game on any difficulty level. The following must be true regardless of whatever other settings you use: Kerbals do NOT level up immediately Kerbals respawn after 1 hour Allow flight reversion KerbNet must be turned ON You are free to use any mods that you wish. Keep in mind that some contract packs may make this challenge much easier than it should be. Rules All activities must have a contract. Want to plant a flag on the Mun? Want to get science in space around Minmus? Want to go to Eve? You MUST have a contract for the activity. You are free to mine science around the KSC without a contract. You may gather science at any biome on Kerbin that you land in. You may use the jumping trick to get an EVA report flying over Kerbin's Shores. You may roll off the KSC to get science at Kerbin's Shores, but you may not roll into the water to get science there. If you want science splashed down, you must have launched and flown and then landed in the water. Planting a Flag and collecting science are 2 different activities, and therefore each requires their own contract. This is only an example, and should be carried out throughout the challenge. That is, rescuing a Kerbal from somewhere does not grant you the ability to also collect science unless you have a contract to do so. Any contract that allows you to collect science can be used to collect ALL the science you can at that location. Whatever gadgets you have access to, as well as EVA/Sample reports. You may collect science from multiple biomes in the same launch. For example, if you have a contract to collect science from the surface of the Mun, you are allowed to land in multiple biomes on the Mun and collect the science from all of them if you have the ability to do so prior to returning to Kerbin to complete the contract. The exceptions to this are collecting Mun Stones, Green Stones, Volcanic Rock, or doing rover arm scans as they all have their own contracts. Administration Strategies are not only allowed, but might be the only way to complete the Tech Tree. Pictures of the actual contracts are not required, but you are free to take them and show us anyhow! At Kerbin's World's Firsts Society, we encourage you to take photos like you are on vacation in a foreign country. Please, we want to see what you come up with! Once you complete a contract, you have to wait for that contract to come back around to do those activities again. You are free to fast-forward as often and as far as you wish to get whatever contracts you are looking for. If there is anything I may have missed, or something you want clarification on, please ask! This thought was borne out of re-reading the No-Contract Challenge, as well as going through the Safety First Challenge. I thought "If we can do it this way, why can't we turn this puppy around on its fat head and try it another way?".
  4. The KSP forum moderator's team presents the Threads of the Month October 2022 Edition October is here! For those of us in North America, summer is now over and autumn is showing it's colors. For those south of the Equator, spring is in the air! And as I do in each of these threads, I am asking a favor - if you see an interesting thread - NOMINATE IT! The instructions for nominating a thread are at the bottom of this post. For those out there who like the nerdy parts of the TOTM: To continue what I started in May 2021, I began keeping some forum statistics to respond to those claiming the forum was dying. In September, there were 387 new forum accounts (an increase of 46, or up 13.48% from August). Out of the new forum members that joined last month, there were 25 who were active and participating in the forum. This conversion means 6.45% of the new users who registered their accounts are now contributing members of our community! (This increased from last month; 6.15% of the new members became active and contributing members). If you’re interested in seeing the new members of our forum, you can click here! Now, without further delay, I present to you the threads of the month for October: Fan-fiction, Mission Reports, and Kerbal Space Program-inspired Creative Works: This category features a thread (or threads) that, while not directly Kerbal Space Program related, may be a creative work, fan-fiction, or other presentation related to the game. There were no threads nominated for this category this month. Forum Member Created Challenges and Missions: This category contains missions and challenges created by you, the members of our gaming community. Many excellent missions and challenges threads are created that expand our fun with the game and press our skills, creativity, and sometimes, luck beyond what we get accustomed to. Let’s face it, we all have our go-to design basics and even our go-to vehicles we like to use. So sometimes, a good challenge can cause us to think of another way to achieve our goals. Nothing can be as frustrating as trying to figure out what to do next! You have an hour (or half a day) to spend playing your favorite game, you have it already running, the craft editor open, and there you sit - with not an idea bouncing between the ears on what to build next! Maybe I'm the only one that has that happen. There are two things that help get me out of the lack of imagination blues - watching really bad science fiction and visiting the member created challenges section of the forum. And in this challenge, submitted by @Scarecrow71, the challenge is introduced in the most humorous way befitting of a Kerbalnaut challenge: So, if you're looking for a good laugh, a good challenge, and some genuine fun, why not give this challenge a try? Game Support/Game Mod of the Month: This category features either help with the game (stock or modded) or mods that add quality-of-life gameplay improvements to Kerbal Space Program. This month, there was one mod which stood above all others nominated for this category. In this mod, by @Gameslinx, Parallax gives Kerbal Space Program the stunning surface features for the planets many of us have desired for years. @Gameslinx introduces this mod: If you are looking to add a "wow" factor to KSP and are ready to really lose yourself in hours of gameplay, then this is the mod for you. Please read the OP, as there is a lot of helpful information to guide you through the process of setting up this mod. I know we say this about most visual mods - but this one is a game changer and sets the bar high. It turns Kerbal Space Program into a completely new experience and will provide breathtaking views of Kerbin and the rest of the stock planets. Even on my potato this mod works well! General community threads of the month: This category features a thread that adds to the community and doesn’t fit the game support/game mod categories. Last month all eyes were turned skyward as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the long anticipated Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). Since the 1960s, this concept has been the fodder of cheap science fiction. Social media has been buzzing with the speculation about the success of the test. And of course, our forum has been no exception. In this thread, started earlier this year by @Ultimate Steve , there's been a lot of discussion during all stages of the mission, including the most recent phase. As NASA and other space agencies around the world begin analyzing the data gained from the test, the world will soon know if DART was successful. Video-based Fan-fiction, Mission Reports, and Kerbal Space Program-inspired Creative Works: This category features a video or other form of cinematography of a Kerbal mission report using in-game video recorded game play. There were no threads nominated for this category this month. Honorable mentions: Sometimes it’s a challenge to choose which threads are going to receive the honor of being selected as the Thread of the Month for our five categories. We get so many good nominations each month to choose from, but we limit it to one for each type. Threads nominated but not selected as a thread of the month become honorable mentions. The honorable mentions for this month are: [1.12.x] Artemis Construction Kit | Stockalike Orion & SLS | v1.3.0 | (SLS Block 2!) by @BenJee Kerbal Ball by @ColdJ SHADO UFO by @ColdJ The honorable mentions for this month may not have made the Thread of The Month, but if you think they might be worthy of another opportunity, please renominate it! Congratulations to all the winners of the Thread of the Month! We want to thank our forum members, @Rodger, @zer0Kerbal, and the members of the moderation team and staff who nominated this month’s contenders. Thank you so much for helping us identify noteworthy threads and bringing their awareness to our forum community. We’d appreciate your continued help in the future. The odds and ends: TO NOMINATE A THREAD FOR CONSIDERATION: If you find a thread you feel should be considered for next month’s thread of the month, then use the “report comment” feature (the three dots on the upper right corner of the comment box) to report the comment. Please put in the text field of the report post “Nomination for thread of the month,” and we will do the rest! You can always nominate more than one thread, too. And the last word this post: I'd like to thank a few people who continue to trust me enough to continue to support and allow me to contribute to the forum. I'd like to thank the Lead Moderator, @Vanamonde for bringing me on as a moderator, a decision that I'm sure has had moments where he often wonders why he did it. I'd also like to thank @Ghostii_Space, our community manager and @Nerdy_Mike, the KSP Franchise Community Lead, for allowing me to continue to serve our Kerbal Space Program forum community through the monthly Threads of the Month post. In case you missed last month’s threads of the month, you can click here.
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