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SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: Experimenting and Researching

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That is an extremely inefficient way to encounter Duna, and the tutorial should at least show a technique that is easily adapted to the most efficient way.

I don't think "extremely inefficient" is very accurate. I'd be interested to actually see the numbers, but I'd bet it was only 10-20% inefficient. While it is many times easier for a new player.

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That is an extremely inefficient way to encounter Duna, and the tutorial should at least show a technique that is easily adapted to the most efficient way.

I suggested the same one post before.

The reason behind this is that is simple and easy to understand.

You teach this way first so beginners have an easy way to fly, lets say, Duna, and not feel overwhelmed by the amount of concepts they need to learn.

Then you tell them "ok, now there's a better way to do it"

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I don't think "extremely inefficient" is very accurate. I'd be interested to actually see the numbers, but I'd bet it was only 10-20% inefficient. While it is many times easier for a new player.

I just checked this out with a ship I happened to have in LKO. Pe 76km and Ap 106, if you're curious.

From LKO, it took about 936 dV to leave Kerbin's SOI.

From the resultant Sun orbit (that is at roughly Kerbin's orbit) it took 850 more dV to reach Duna's Orbit. That's 1786 total dV using the easy method for newbies.

From LKO going right to Duna, I got 1046. That's 110 more dV than just getting out of Kerbin's SOI, and 740 less than the easy method. It's less than 2/3 the dV and probably half the size ship.

However...

You teach this way first so beginners have an easy way to fly, lets say, Duna, and not feel overwhelmed by the amount of concepts they need to learn.

Then you tell them "ok, now there's a better way to do it"

If they're doing 2 tutorials, then I say sure. Just make sure the player knows that one is "easy" while the other is "correct."

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The tech tree as a cfg is a good idea. Maybe this would allow novel ideas for unlocking stuff (via testing contracts, for example).

Oh, I did exactly this(mod to unlock tech tree via testing contracts) after 0.24 was released. But after almost all work was done and mod was 90% ready(all that left is to completely fill techtree config that I implemented) I testplayed it one last time and decided that it came out really awkward and didn't add much fun to gameplay. So I never released it. There were no ways to control tech tree in some comfortable way, only dirty hacks that could break any moment. I really hope there will be better solution in 1.0

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If they're doing 2 tutorials, then I say sure. Just make sure the player knows that one is "easy" while the other is "correct."

Exactly, that's my point :)

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I have posted this elsewhere and I'm going to post it again because it grinds away at my soul.

The release animations are a waste of time! please redirect that art and animation talent to producing and refining IN-GAME CONTENT.

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Can I please make a request?

Can the crew name generator be made to pull from a .cfg file? That way we can easily mod it to create "real world" names for our Kerbals, or modders can release packs to expand the variety of names, like KPseudonym does now. I'm guessing the introduction of female Kerbals is going to break that mod.

While I'm at it, will the gender of the Kerbals be decided by their name, like their profession is? Or is that all going to be separated out in the future?

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An easily editable tech tree? Yas! YAAAASSSS! (sorry :P)

Also, I like the idea of how you want to do the tech tree nodes. I get the difficulty with the tech tree. A lot of people say it doesn't make sense in comparison to what a space-faring society would likely already have at the start of the game (and they're not wrong) but re-doing such a tech tree in a way that makes it very playable is another story. What one would likely end up having is having Kerbal Space Program turn into Kerbal Plane Program, where you get to fly probes...eventually. And maybe if you get enough science you might get equipment to eventually launch manned missions. But that's clearly not how the game was intended to be played.

The only suggestion I would make is to move the probe parts up by at least one node (at least the starting ones). To wait until tech level 4 to get a now virtually useless probe part (the Stayputnik) given it's lack of SAS is kind of silly. I might move that all the way up to a level 2 node, and move all the others up one node level. I get that the point of the game is to fly Kerbals, but it would be nice to get probe parts a tad earlier. As for things like getting batteries and ladders later in the game, that's actually never really bothered me that much b/c we get a basic battery pretty early, and you can do a lot with that without needing other battery upgrades immediately.

Can I please make a request?

Can the crew name generator be made to pull from a .cfg file? That way we can easily mod it to create "real world" names for our Kerbals, or modders can release packs to expand the variety of names, like KPseudonym does now. I'm guessing the introduction of female Kerbals is going to break that mod.

While I'm at it, will the gender of the Kerbals be decided by their name, like their profession is? Or is that all going to be separated out in the future?

Well, you can edit the persistence file to edit Kerbal names now if you would like. I use the Crew Manifest mod myself to do it (though I think you're asking about a pre-determined list of names, right?). More useful to me would be allowing the career type to be toggleable. I probably get why they don't - if it were toggleable you could just train a bunch of level 5 pilots, then "retrain" them to be Scientists and Engineers, who are now all level 5 as well (because level and career type are separate values) and there would be no way for the game to "know" that one made that change. So I suspect the career-type-by-hash has something to do with that. But it would be nice if there were SOME way to control that.

- - - Updated - - -

I have posted this elsewhere and I'm going to post it again because it grinds away at my soul.

The release animations are a waste of time! please redirect that art and animation talent to producing and refining IN-GAME CONTENT.

Marketing is almost never a waste of time. And that's what that is in the end - a marketing piece. If anything, I would say having one for 1.0 is more important than for the alpha releases.

Um, not to sound obvious, but why continue with a tech tree when you have just presented a brilliant solution to the tech tree issue to begin with? Wouldn't the solution be to have a contract unlock the tech node, so every game has a different tech progression that doesn't require a tree, but can utilize a matrix so we have much higher replay value? You can even set the tech up in layers to match the contracts and use the difficulty setting to determine how many layers are revealed for early purchase (for those that don't like the idea of a procedural tech tree).

It just seems to me that going with the option that generates the most replay value and requires the least amount of work from you guys is win-win.

Because having a tree may require you to unlock parts that you frankly don't need or want to get to nodes you DO need or want. Just having a grid doesn't do that. Have a contract to unlock a node you don't need? Pft, skip it. If anything, I'm not sure the tech tree implements this well enough. I'm not a big plane person so I'll tend to keep the entire string of plane parts unresearched for quite a while until finally I'm just forced to unlock them for some reason for I finally feel like, maybe, I should go back and research them.

Edited by FleetAdmiralJ

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The release animations are a waste of time!

For current players you might have a valid point, but there are maybe a couple of things you haven't considered:

1) Perhaps they really enjoy having these animations made, which means they enjoy making the game more? Don't underestimate the value of having developers who actually enjoy what they are doing instead of only doing it as a job.

2) A good animation releasing the game is like advertising and can even go viral if it is popular. It can also become part of the game as an intro, which is not at all uncommon.

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<p>Instead of arbitrarily deciding on a new tech tree layout, we’re going to do this in a more ‘scientific’ way. I’ve created a new version of the tech tree which features absolutely no dependencies between nodes. This means all notes are researchable from the start.

Funny thing: This was almost EXACTLY what I suggested half a year ago. OK, not with same costs, but basically the opportunity to research all tech depending on your very own needs and demands.

I still like the idea - and if you'd include that in stock game, I'd gladly start a new career, although I'm pretty good at my current one ;)

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I have posted this elsewhere and I'm going to post it again because it grinds away at my soul.

The release animations are a waste of time! please redirect that art and animation talent to producing and refining IN-GAME CONTENT.

So much of this!! Why are you wasting time on something that lasts less than a minute? Use the time to fix the BUGS that are there still after four or five updates!!

"Now that we have perfected digital eyelash rendering everything will be perfect"...

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And I am going to repeat this devnote after devnote until it hopefully get's addressed: PLEASE, fix the memory leak that occurs when changing instances at the space center because it is one of the game breaking bugs especially for moderate to heavy modded games.

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Why are you wasting time on something that lasts less than a minute? Use the time to fix the BUGS that are there still after four or five updates!!

Could it be a possibility that the people working on animations are skilled in that area, but not in coding?

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So much of this!! Why are you wasting time on something that lasts less than a minute? Use the time to fix the BUGS that are there still after four or five updates!!

I would be shocked if the guy who is making the animations could reliably correct long-standing bugs in the game.

EDIT: Ninja'd!

- - - Updated - - -

And I am going to repeat this devnote after devnote until it hopefully get's addressed: PLEASE, fix the memory leak that occurs when changing instances at the space center because it is one of the game breaking bugs especially for moderate to heavy modded games.

They did. It was in the last devnote or maybe the one before that. Or maybe it was just an announcement by someone. But anyway, they got that one.

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Deddly, 5thHorseman:

That's crazy talk. Don't you know that man-hours are one great big undifferentiated resource pool, and that any which are not spent on [thing I don't care about] can be applied directly to [thing I want]?

:P

(and just in case Snuggler and Jim don't get it: this is sarcasm.)

Edited by Commander Zoom

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Don't you know that man-hours are one great big undifferentiated resource pool...?

You're right. I was completely forgetting that SQUAD have an administration building in real life and can simply trade one type of resource for another.

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You're right. I was completely forgetting that SQUAD have an administration building in real life and can simply trade one type of resource for another.
Edited by TheMoonRover

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I meant fixing and revising muddy textures and outdated or redundant models

Ah OK, thanks for clarifying that. Mind you, my response you quoted was for Majorjim, and he was using your quote to support the idea of fixing bugs instead of making animations - two very different sets of skills. You can find my reply to your comment about animations being a waste of time on page 6 of this thread.

Edited by Deddly

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I'm really curious why there's a hard deadline. Is the rent due? Is it something political in Mexico? Did Steam come calling? Are you guys just really stubborn? Did 4Chan's release time chart just really get to you?

I get the feeling that this is going to be a very bad thing for the game.

Edited by technicalfool
bbcode fix'd

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Probably a no more just one more turn update obsession.. But in the end I hope they choose quantity and quality rather than quick for 1.0 ....

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regex : Clearly they coded a big April 1st joke and don't want it to be wasted.

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Marketing is almost never a waste of time. And that's what that is in the end - a marketing piece. If anything, I would say having one for 1.0 is more important than for the alpha releases.

For current players you might have a valid point, but there are maybe a couple of things you haven't considered:

1) Perhaps they really enjoy having these animations made, which means they enjoy making the game more? Don't underestimate the value of having developers who actually enjoy what they are doing instead of only doing it as a job.

I would have thought if developers don't enjoy making game content then they shouldn't be game developers and should step aside and make way for people who do enjoy making game content. (again, please know I'm not directing this at Dan or any squad staff, I say this purely as a counter to your point.)

2) A good animation releasing the game is like advertising and can even go viral if it is popular. It can also become part of the game as an intro, which is not at all uncommon.

Ok, I get that. I guess my issue is with the past dev time spent making promo videos for each alpha release. Now with Max asking for community feed back about which features to postpone/drop (I know that not what he said but that is pretty much what he asked) I think this gives cause to scrutinize Squads time management and work priorities.

IMO in the lead up to v1.0, squads animation and art talent should be focused on improving and refining in-game visuals and art assets to make them as good as they can be.

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Hmmm, I find the notion that Valve might be concerned about any "unfinished" game absolutely hilarious.

HL3 WHEN

;)

Great devnotes as always Squad, can't wait to see 1.0!

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