Sign in to follow this  
rodion_herrera

Realism vs. Unbridled Creativity

Recommended Posts

Since v1.0 was released, people have been introduced (and somewhat rudely for others) into the new aerodynamics and heating system. Those who have been using the FAR mod before 1.0 was released have already been baptized into this kind of aerodynamics and are not that affected by the change. And there are some (like myself) who are NOT FAR users, yet I totally understand and appreciate the changes and have quickly adapted to the new system and have absolutely no problems modifying my existing designs and making new ones, and they all fly well.

Then of course, on the negative side of things, tons of threads have cropped up about how this new aerodynamics have "ruined" fun for them. Then later, some of these people got confused at why Squad kept changing the rules on aerodynamics and heating after releasing the 1.0.1 patch. This definition of ruined fun seems to come mainly from people who had existing aircraft or SSTO-spaceplane designs, and found that their designs no longer work in the new system, or that new designs they create don't seem to fly well in the new methodology in modelling Kerbin's atmosphere.

Let's see this from the perspective of SQUAD aiming for more "realism", which I know is a touchy subject, but I believe we all agree that the basic premise of a game like KSP is that, while there really are no Kerbals and there is really no such planetary system as Kerbol's, the laws of Physics SHOULD work in ANY part of the universe (well hopefully Kerbol System doesn't reside in some other universe with it's own set of physics laws). This means, even if Kerbin is not Earth, proportionally, what SHOULD work on Earth's atmosphere should be mimicked by Kerbin's atmosphere, albeit on a smaller scale.

So this is what I have observed in most of the rant threads expressing disappointment and even disgust at the new aerodynamics. Although not many share screenshots of their creations, I've noticed this pattern--the more their crafts deviate from proven, real-world designs (I.e. outrageous craft with tons of stuff that would induce drag etc.), the more it is not going to work well in the new Kerbin atmosphere. I kept saying that my previous edited/tweaked craft works well now in 1.x.x, and the new creations I've made also work well. And I can see the difference why. In the case of my new creations, what I've been designing/making so far, are close approximations of high speed, high altitude real-world aircraft, such as the XB-70, or the X-15, or the SR-71. Which means, chances are, in a simulated atmosphere trying to replicate reality, these designs would indeed work as expected, and they will perform predictably. Now, as to my pre-1.0 designs, esp. my SSTO-spaceplanes, I have to admit that they didn't work when I tried them immediately after the 1.0 update, and thus had to modify them, and these modifcations involved removing every part on the craft that defied realism (i.e. lots of protruding items like batteries, RCS blocks, antennae, etc. and unbalanced fuel tanks). These changes basically forced me to see my craft more as something that would mimic a real-world design. So after my changes, they too flew well and could finally reach LKO.

Now, after establishing this rule, that it seems, if you copy a working, tried and true real-world design (with all parts logically assembled), chances are, your aircraft or SSTO-spaceplane will work in 1.0, the big question now is, did it just kill creativity and fun in designing? Perhaps in a way yes, but only if your mind is inflexible to the changes. Real world aircraft designers are also creative people, and perhaps they initially designed their aircraft with some creative biases in mind, but later found out (after wind tunnel tests or simulations) that their designs don't work well given the rules of real-world aerodynamics. Thus this didn't take away from their creativity--they simply had to adapt and use that creativity to modify their designs and eventually come up with the design that DOES work. In other words, there is really no such thing as pure unbridled creativity when it comes to designing real world stuff--you have to bow down to the rules of physics, but take note that it doesn't kill creativity, it just makes you work harder at coming up with a good design.

I believe that if these disgruntled individuals take a step back and see the whole design process in this light, they will appreciate the new aerodynamic system (yes, it's not perfect, but I have faith that SQUAD will keep hammering it until we are satisfied with the definition of a "realistic" atmosphere) more and bring back the "fun" that they supposedly lost when 1.x.x was introduced. And this is also why the fun never left my KSP--I accepted the change and wrapped my own creativity around the new rules. That's how you adapt.

Edited by rodion_herrera
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am only upset about 1.0.1/2... 1.0.1 is less realistic (EX: fighter jet in max thrust dive slows down, regardless of out streamlined it is, and rockets need to fly straight up for many kilometers before starting a gravity turn), and it is less fun, for those same reasons I just mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am only upset about 1.0.1/2... 1.0.1 is less realistic (EX: fighter jet in max thrust dive slows down, regardless of out streamlined it is, and rockets need to fly straight up for many kilometers before starting a gravity turn), and it is less fun, for those same reasons I just mentioned.

They will keep hammering it, I'm confident about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never played with FAR. New aero doesn't bother me yet. My current issue is the amount of grindiness. I'll get through it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am only upset about 1.0.1/2... 1.0.1 is less realistic (EX: fighter jet in max thrust dive slows down, regardless of out streamlined it is, and rockets need to fly straight up for many kilometers before starting a gravity turn), and it is less fun, for those same reasons I just mentioned.

I've been using my standard FAR gravity turn with my 1.02 rockets: turn 5 degrees once the rocket reaches 70 m/s, and then follow prograde until the apoapsis is high enough. There's some variation, depending on how the TWR changes during the ascent, but the basic idea remains the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been using my standard FAR gravity turn with my 1.02 rockets: turn 5 degrees once the rocket reaches 70 m/s, and then follow prograde until the apoapsis is high enough. There's some variation, depending on how the TWR changes during the ascent, but the basic idea remains the same.

Sure, it works, but what is most efficient delta-v wise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been using my standard FAR gravity turn with my 1.02 rockets: turn 5 degrees once the rocket reaches 70 m/s, and then follow prograde until the apoapsis is high enough. There's some variation, depending on how the TWR changes during the ascent, but the basic idea remains the same.

And we don't have to probably wonder why Ferram did this. :)

- - - Updated - - -

Sure, it works, but what is most efficient delta-v wise?

The heartstone of science is experimentation. Do experiments. For me now, this alone gives KSP a "career mode" without having to start a true KSP career.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure, it works, but what is most efficient delta-v wise?

I haven't had the time to determine that yet. If the situation is similar to FAR, then the optimal ascent path will be different for each rocket.

And don't be too obsessed with efficiency, especially if it ruins the fun. KSP is forgiving enough that you almost never have to be efficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think when I started playing KSP I was more into the 'fun' aspect, and just assumed that everything was realistic. As time has gone on I've learnt a huge amount more about how things actually work and have begun to yearn for more realism and detail, which KSP is sorely lacking (though still way ahead of other space games). I'm finding that realism doesn't stop creativity and instead it encourages it.

1.0 has been a mixed bag in terms of realism. While aerodynamics and re-entry heat have improved it, all the parts have been changed to favour purely balance and realism has gone out the window with those. (aka the LV-909 having a similar power and effectiveness to a hair dryer at Kerbin sea level)

However I'm also a big fan of near future tech which many see as extremely unrealistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the new aero, but Squad really need to work on the SAS and the jerkiness of the controls; getting to orbit seems like a constant fight against the controls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely like a little bit less drag, maybe not quite to the point of 1.0.0, but less than it is now. The way I see it, changing the drag could've been the fastest way for Squad to get the parachute issues fixed, as far as the extremely high g-forces we were getting while deploying before. I'm not sure how easy it would be to change how fast the chute opens up vs. how much drag they create, but they would've had to lower the drag on the parachutes to lower the g-forces, and then crafts might not have been able to slow down enough for a safe landing.

Another thing is that I'd much rather have them overdue it on the drag with the hotfix to get parachutes working and get rid of "mach 1 by the end of the runway", because now they fine tune the drag down as they have a little more time, instead of having to bump the drag up again later. I think we've all seen how much commotion increasing the drag can cause.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there even any reason that jets have 1000 Kn thrust? Planes went so fast before because the jets are too powerful at low attitude, that does not mean drag should be increased by a third! Nerf low altitude jet thrust instead, problem solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To simplify the argument most people, including myself, are unhappy about the lack of thrust jet engines have, not about the new aero package. Some say this is more realistic. I would say that there is nothing to compare it to as the only possible design that might work in the real world is the Sabre engine and that is mainly down to its pre-cooler technology. If proven successful maybe in 30 years time there could be many types of engines that work like this and work better.

Until then, in the Kerbal universe, we are stuck with an under-performing engine which requires very specific design parameters for it to be useful in a game were bespoke parts are not possible. I like the fact that there is more realism in 1.0 and above but if it stifles creativity too much then it will be a race to a single design that can do the job the best and everyone will just fly that. That is not what this game has been about over the last 4 years as shown by the constantly amazing creations that have existed in the Spacecraft Exchange for a long time.

I get people want more realism but are there really people out there that gain satisfaction from the fact that many people can no longer make the kind of crafts they want? That's weird.

Edited by Redshift OTF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....snip...I believe that if these disgruntled individuals take a step back and see the whole design process in this light, they will appreciate the new aerodynamic system (yes, it's not perfect, but I have faith that SQUAD will keep hammering it until we are satisfied with the definition of a "realistic" atmosphere) more and bring back the "fun" that they supposedly lost when 1.x.x was introduced. And this is also why the fun never left my KSP--I accepted the change and wrapped my own creativity around the new rules. That's how you adapt.

I don't know how i can completely agree with the OP with regard to 1.0, but at the same time i cannot escape feeling deflated after trying to enjoy 1.0.2. I have tried 3-4 times and played for about 6-10h but i allways close the game feeling it's not how it should be.

Funny thing is, i spent most of my game time in 1.0 complaining. But also adapting and re-trying and having a good time overall. Invulnerable parachutes sucked though ^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To simplify the argument most people, including myself, are unhappy about the lack of thrust jet engines have, not about the new aero package. Some say this is more realistic. I would say that there is nothing to compare it to as the only possible design that might work in the real world is the Sabre engine and that is mainly down to its pre-cooler technology. If proven successful maybe in 30 years time there could be many types of engines that work like this and work better.

Until then, in the Kerbal universe, we are stuck with an under-performing engine which requires very specific design parameters for it to be useful in a game were bespoke parts are not possible. I like the fact that there is more realism in 1.0 and above but if it stifles creativity too much then it will be a race to a single design that can do the job the best and everyone will just fly that. That is not what this game has been about over the last 4 years as shown by the constantly amazing creations that have existed in the Spacecraft Exchange for a long time.

I get people want more realism but are there really people out there that gain satisfaction from the fact that many people can no longer make the kind of crafts they want? That's weird.

I had no intent to appear as if I "gain satisfaction" out of seeing others fail at adapting to the new way of building things. I was merely offering an attempt at encouragement to keep trying designs which follow more real-world design parameters. And my post was actually asking the question if it DOES kill creativity, and I have merely expressed my side of this question. Maybe I'm also on the side of those who want to keep telling SQUAD to keep hammering on it, but not necessarily saying stuff like "I want my money back."

Edited by rodion_herrera
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had no intent to appear as if I "gain satisfaction" out of seeing others fail at adapting to the new way of building things. I was merely offering an attempt at encouragement to keep trying designs which follow more real-world design parameters. And my post was actually asking the question if it DOES kill creativity, and I have merely expressed my side of this question. Maybe I'm also on the side of those who want to keep telling SQUAD to keep hammering on it, but not necessarily saying stuff like "I want my money back."

Please accept my apologies. My comments weren't specifically directed at you but some other posters in other threads. I probably should have made my comments there. I am passionate about creativity as you can tell and you brought up a good area for debate. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never played with FAR. New aero doesn't bother me yet. My current issue is the amount of grindiness. I'll get through it.

I stopped bothering with career ages ago due to this and the fact that my playstyle doesnt fit into career one bit. Whats the point of career when there is no incentives to build tanks, fighters, warships, capital ships, and fighting glorious battles in space just makes you loose funds :D That and i dont quite enjoy grinding in thsi kind of game, if i want to grind something ill go play WOT or some other MMO, its not like there is a lack of grinding in games or even real life (work sometimes gets that way).

That aside, i dont mind the new aero, but i feel 1.0 was way less limiting (and wasnt exactly unrealistic either) especially for SSTOs and spaceplanes. i am no space/atmosphere expert, so i cant exactly say what is or isnt realistic (im still assuming FAR is the closest we will ever get to 100% realism anyways), but i will say that ive found 1.0 more fun then the 1.0.1 drag increases. I still feel KSP should be more about fun (at least stock), but thats my opinion.

Finally, one minor thing ive found kinda limiting, is that the turbojet is completely worthless for every possible use. If you are trying to make a conventional plane, the regular jet is better (20000 isp FTW), and its still going to push you way faster then it would in the past, and as for SSTO/spaceplane, your far better off with the rapiers as they dont cut out as quickly and let you pull higher escape speeds before your forced to switch over to rocket mode/other engines. Is there a reason to use turbojets anymore, i think not, ok slightly better ISP then rapiers, but they have roughly equal weight, wont get you up to 1600m/s before you need rockets, and are only a little bit better at lower speeds. The aircraft choise (at least for me) is a pick between whether i want atmospheric only aircraft using regular jet, or a space capable craft that forces the use of rapiers (which happen to not be all that bad ISP wise in rocket mode compared to alternatives).

Edited by panzer1b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is there a reason to use turbojets anymore, i think not

Again, this tone is speaking towards a bias of "seasoned" KSP players who just want to get the "oomph" or the most bang for the buck out of every part. What about those who just want to test out jets in atmosphere?

Case in point. While I really don't know the real reason behind it, and most say it's because he didn't have the academic pedigree to qualify for it, Chuck Yeager, the test pilot who broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 (an atmospheric rocket plane) but never became an astronaut, did say once, that he wasn't interested in space flight and wanted to keep testing aircraft in-atmosphere (the most probable reason was because he didn't have the engineering background to work with complex spacecraft). My point being, there is a great variety in KSP users, and much more now, that more people are coming in because of the media exposure now that v1.0 is out. True that eventually, some of these users would "evolve" to the point wherein probably they would also join the "most bang for the buck" crowd, but again, lots of different people out there, who may have their own definition of what is "useful", or "fun" in KSP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beofre 1.0 Turbojets were an alternative to Rapiers on space planes/ssto's. You could have the easy design of the Rapiers or you could swap them for Turbojets and use your own custom rocket engines on your craft and have a bit of extra thrust as your reward as Turbojets produced more air breathing thrust than Rapiers. It was a nice flexible choice. Now it's like Turbojets, they're only a more powerful alternative of the basic jet engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you guys about flexibility but I don't know. As someone who grew up in the latter part of the 60's "space race", I really shook my head when, back in 2013 (when I first got KSP), I saw guys using purely turbojets (plus radials like the twitch or thud just to circularize) to get to LKO. I know, fun yes, but, somehow, there are also those types of individuals who don't see the fun in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure if the laws of physic were more lax then you would be able to build things more freely, but IMO real creativity shines when it has to deal with constraints and find a way to work around them. When we all have to deal with those same constraints, its more impressive when someone finds an especially cool way to overcome those constraints.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sure if the laws of physic were more lax then you would be able to build things more freely, but IMO real creativity shines when it has to deal with constraints and find a way to work around them. When we all have to deal with those same constraints, its more impressive when someone finds an especially cool way to overcome those constraints.

My points exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm with you guys about flexibility but I don't know. As someone who grew up in the latter part of the 60's "space race", I really shook my head when, back in 2013 (when I first got KSP), I saw guys using purely turbojets (plus radials like the twitch or thud just to circularize) to get to LKO. I know, fun yes, but, somehow, there are also those types of individuals who don't see the fun in that.

Sure, yep, you have a point but no-one is forced to build SSTO's/space planes. That is kind of what I meant by people finding satisfaction in others not being able to create certain designs anymore. And they were more luxury items that needed to be very well tweaked to be reasonably useful. I made an SSTO that got to Laythe surface and back. Some might groan at that but it was at the edge of the design curve. Couldn't even carry a payload. If anyone wanted to take anything serious into space or interplanetary they would use rockets. I know I did. SSTO's were never a shortcut to a goal, they were the hard route that took great creativity and skill imo.

I appreciate your sensible view on this though, even if we don't agree. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SSTO's were never a shortcut to a goal, they were the hard route that took great creativity and skill imo.
I would argue they are even more so now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would argue they are even more so now.

I would only agree with this statement if my old designs from pre-1.0 won't make it to LKO (with a few alternations that would consider the changes in aero/heat). But they did work, and the lessons I got from the changes, I applied to my new creations and since then I never have problems getting to LKO using an SSTO spaceplane. So I find it difficult to agree with that statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this