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Public Service Announcement regarding Aero


DuoDex
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I agree wally... fun is pretty important in a game!

One thing to consider is the requirements if we try to make things "too" realistic. Real aircraft and rockets tend to have lots and lots of flight instruments, and they're not just there for funsies. here is the cockpit of a cessna 180, which is a pretty simple aircraft.

In KSP we have a navball that's meant to provide most of the information. You'll also be using the altimeter, and throttle indicator now and then, and more advanced players might look at their vertical velocity and g-meter once in a while. That's not sufficient instrumentation if you want to go a long way down the realism path,

We're already pushing the limits of the instrumentation we have with 1.0.2 physics. A "pretty standard" rocket will want to flip if it's very slightly away from prograde when passing through mach 1. You can add fins to correct for this, but "real" rockets don't all have fins. The best you can do in KSP (if you want to fly it manually) is "try to keep it pointing prograde". But the navball doesn't provide information at a high enough resolution for you to know that you are a fraction of a degree away from porgrade, which means you can't fly it "manually" with the available instrumentation.

Is that bad? Well, only if we want KSP to be a game where you can fly your rocket manually with the instrumentation available. If we don't want that... ie, if we want a realistic simulator, we'll probably need to add a lot more realistic instrumentation, and maybe have all our launches be computer controlled. But is that still KSP, or have we just remade orbiter at that point?

This already happens in KSP by the way... people who go with mods that add realism also tend to have more realistic instrumentation (FAR is the obvious example). It seems to me that this is the right way to do things: the basic game should be, well, "basic". Simplified instrumentation, simplified controls, and along with that an appropriately simplified flight model. If you then want to press that towards a simulation, go with mods that add these features. it makes a lot less sense for the devs to spend a huge amount of time making a high fidelity simulator, and then have players download mods to simplify all of that.

All fair points, However...

I'm not advocating a plethora of "realistic instrumentation". I am advocating that the aero and space flight physics FRAMEWORK should be consistent. If there needs to be a relative feedback loop with buffering implemented in the existing stock control GUI then fine. If a player wants to load a mod to gain extended control features, fine.

Its the physics framework which needs to be consistent and believable.

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I've only skimmed this thread and I'm sure this has been mentioned; isn't this going to be a problem for challenges?

I know we've already had the option to enable things like infinite fuel, hack gravity etc which would be cheating in a challenge, but even from a set of pictures it's not hard to tell when someone has infinite fuel on. Tweaks to the aero model will be much harder to spot and could mean the difference between completing a challenge or not.

So what I propose is that if you do make a change to any of the physics related settings and anything else that effects game-play, but not things like toggling aero-forces markers, entry heat bars etc, then a little icon should appear in the corner of the screen. The icon will be an indicator to challenge judges that the physics settings are not stock and (as a useful feature for the user) clicking the icon will restore settings to default. Do you think that's a good idea?

This is a poor argument as the stock experience needs to be standardized for anyone who shares craft files

This is also a good point.

What if changes to physics settings are stored in craft files? So each craft could actually have it's own set of physics rules. If you go to launch a craft and it has different physics settings then it should popup a message saying "this craft would like to make the following changes to physics.....Do you want to accept these changes?". That way folk can still share craft that require different physics rules without having to laboriously document all their changes and if you do download a craft with altered physics you can either choose to use it's physics settings or carry on with how you have it set (stock or otherwise).

(and if craft files did contain physics setting info, I'd make that info available on craft pages on KerbalX.com)

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I am advocating that the aero and space flight physics FRAMEWORK should be consistent.

Absolutely, I think everyone can agree with this. I also think some degree of stability is important... large changes to the fundamental physics of the game as we move further past 1.0 are probably to be avoided as much as possible. OK, for now there's some refinement to be done, so we'll let it slide. But hopefully we can get something pretty decent locked down pretty quickly.

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I'm not complaining about the 1.0.2 model, I just think that there should be one aero that everyone uses so craft files can be exchanged and other peoples achievements/accomplishments can be appreciated.

Why it is so difficult to make an agreement that craft exchangers use default values? Why you think that your special needs are much more valuable than others? I am sure that there are very small number of people who cheats in challenges compared to people who want to adjust physics. For example, it is probably impossible to combine traditional staged rockets and SSTO spaceplanes into the same game so that both are well balanced. SSTOs are much more advanced technology. In real world nobody will use staged rockets in space exploration after SSTO plane is developed. They are as impossible to "balance" than horse riding and flying by a jet airliner. Why it is bad thing that SSTO guys could adjust atmosphere to make possible what they want and rocket guys can get their challenge by using such a settings that SSTOs are impossible? At least there could be couple of options for different game styles (for example for SSTO planes and for traditional rockets).

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Hey Hannu, what's a good aerocapture altitude if I perform a Hohmann transfer from Kerbin to Duna? What should my TWR be on the launchpad? When should I start my gravity turn? How fast should my spaceplane be going before I switch to rockets, and at what altitude? How many air intakes does it need? Can you link me to a delta-v map of the Kerbal system?

Edited by allmhuran
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Why it is so difficult to make an agreement that craft exchangers use default values? Why you think that your special needs are much more valuable than others? I am sure that there are very small number of people who cheats in challenges compared to people who want to adjust physics. For example, it is probably impossible to combine traditional staged rockets and SSTO spaceplanes into the same game so that both are well balanced. SSTOs are much more advanced technology. In real world nobody will use staged rockets in space exploration after SSTO plane is developed. They are as impossible to "balance" than horse riding and flying by a jet airliner. Why it is bad thing that SSTO guys could adjust atmosphere to make possible what they want and rocket guys can get their challenge by using such a settings that SSTOs are impossible? At least there could be couple of options for different game styles (for example for SSTO planes and for traditional rockets).

As you say, SSTO's are very advanced technology. Maybe instead of changing the laws of the universe there should just be some particularly powerful SSTO engines that you can only unlock at the very end of the tech tree. People who just want to build airplanes can play a sandbox game and everyone else can build rockets and then eventually unlock super engines (linear aerospike anyone?) and then stop using rockets and switch to SSTO's just like we would in real life. It seems this would make more sense that having fundamentally different laws of physics for different play styles.

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This is a poor argument as the stock experience needs to be standardized for anyone who shares craft files

It's not even about sharing crafts. Changing resolution isn't in any way comparable to changing the game physics. Come on people. Let's hold our companies to a higher standard than that.

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You already change your resolution, so why worry about changing aerodynamic coefficients!

Next week on this is a finished game

Doesn't seem to have hurt reviews or sales much. All my worries about an unfinished 1.0 hurting reviews... It seems I was mistaken on that one.

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My other issue with post-1.0 KSP and the move towards realism: I no longer feel comfortable sitting down with an 8-year-old and having them build and fly rockets. Yeah, you can turn off aero failures and heating, but thrust scaling with ISP is a LOT harder for a kid to wrap their heads around.

I was about to introduce KSP to my nephew and my ex's kids, now I don't think it's viable.

Anyone else here have kids? Would you, do you still play with them?

The 8 year old me would have ate that game up. I was already flying model rockets and building contraptions out of lego and erector sets.

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Wallygator gave a good explanation on the last page about the physics problem.

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As you say, SSTO's are very advanced technology. Maybe instead of changing the laws of the universe there should just be some particularly powerful SSTO engines that you can only unlock at the very end of the tech tree. People who just want to build airplanes can play a sandbox game and everyone else can build rockets and then eventually unlock super engines (linear aerospike anyone?) and then stop using rockets and switch to SSTO's just like we would in real life. It seems this would make more sense that having fundamentally different laws of physics for different play styles.

I agree that it is one possibility but not perfect for all. Some people want to build only planes and others want to build rockets. For example I would lose interest in SSTO -phase. I like to do something like mankind's current and near future space exploration. Plan missions with very tight dv budgets and build huge staged rockets to lift manned and unmanned probes to destinations. Piloting is not so fun. More piloting intensive SSTO phase would be too routine business after building of working plane. And somebody else thinks visa versa.

Larger problem is SQUADs tendency to make physical things too easy. Current dv to orbit is too low relative to ISPs of engines because it does not need real staging. Deadly re-entry effects are ridiculously weak. Re-entry should be hard and dangerous thing which needs planning and compromises. It is OK, if they retain possibility to change things through modding or editing files.

It seems that SQUAD have intended their game to versatile audience through relatively free modding of everything. In that sense I would say, that they should not lock physical parameters from modders and maybe they can also give straight control to parameters through debug menu. At least craft exchange and competition should not prevent that. It is so easy to use default values or decide together other parameters.

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Hey Hannu, what's a good aerocapture altitude if I perform a Hohmann transfer from Kerbin to Duna?

I am not yet so far in my new game.

What should my TWR be on the launchpad?

1.25 - 1.4.

When should I start my gravity turn?

Almost immediately after liftoff.

How fast should my spaceplane be going before I switch to rockets, and at what altitude? How many air intakes does it need?

I have never tried to build spaceplanes.

Can you link me to a delta-v map of the Kerbal system?

http://alexmoon.github.io/ksp/

However, I did not understood what is link between your questions and the topic of this discussion.

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The link to the thread is that all your answers assume stock aerodynamics, when the implication is that he could be very far from stock aerodynamic settings. Of course, the obvious retort is "load default physics, try again". Anyone could have edited the part files before 1.0 and asked for help with a heavily modded 5,000 kN Nerva, and we'd have said the same thing. Now that you can change aerodynamics in 1.0, however, people apparently have the ability to tweak the game to their liking and that's a terrible thing.

I imagine in a week or so somebody will have published a physics config that has created a realistic simulation that translates Mercury's re-entry flight directly into the game with a Mk1 and a heatshield, while someone else will have a nicely polished stock variant. We might see these two physics styles exist as "SEAR" and "BAR" mods... yes. And when asking for help flying, you might say, "I'm using BAR, how do I spaceplane?" Then everyone using BAR will know their expertise applied...

You know, I don't think this change is as big as people pretend it is.

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However, I did not understood what is link between your questions and the topic of this discussion.
They were arguing for a consistent stock game experience in a roundabout sort of way. Which is kind of funny because they were arguing for customizing with mods earlier, which is pretty much the same thing as moving some sliders in the grand scheme of things.

Getting the settings right is pretty tough, if playing around with Physics.cfg has shown me anything. As far as heating goes, if you favor blunt bodies then spaceplanes become unreasonably hard, and if you favor spaceplanes then blunt bodies become unreasonably easy. Seriously. If capsules are realistic then spaceplanes heat up a lot on the way up, you have to flutter throttle and watch the temps, etc... It's pretty punishing. Finding a middle ground that everyone likes will be tough (I like it hot for spaceplanes for the challenge~, others might not like any heat).

And that brings us back to our point of contention, a unified stock experience. People have been asking for "difficulty sliders" for ages and, now that we have them, they're realizing the chaos they cause in the community.

Anyway, I'm sure Squad are working hard on balancing this.

Edited by regex
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As far as heating goes, if you favor blunt bodies then spaceplanes become unreasonably hard, and if you favor spaceplanes then blunt bodies become unreasonably easy. Seriously. If capsules are realistic then spaceplanes heat up a lot on the way up, you have to flutter throttle and watch the temps, etc... It's pretty punishing. Finding a middle ground that everyone likes will be tough (I like it hot for spaceplanes for the challenge~, others might not like any heat).

I fear that there is no such middle ground. If you try to please everybody almost everybody feels bad. I prefer adjustments. Then everybody can choose what they want.

And that brings us back to our point of contention, a unified stock experience. People have been asking for "difficulty sliders" for ages and, now that we have them, they're realizing the chaos they cause in the community.

It should be obvious that they who want unified stock experience do not touch default values. There are always some defaults by SQUAD which could be considered as "stock physics".

The link to the thread is that all your answers assume stock aerodynamics, when the implication is that he could be very far from stock aerodynamic settings. Of course, the obvious retort is "load default physics, try again". Anyone could have edited the part files before 1.0 and asked for help with a heavily modded 5,000 kN Nerva, and we'd have said the same thing. Now that you can change aerodynamics in 1.0, however, people apparently have the ability to tweak the game to their liking and that's a terrible thing.

Is that kind of extreme stupidity really a problem? Probably most people understand that if they adjust physical parameters to extremes they can not ask anything. And even weak adjustments can have unforeseeable results that have to study carefully. I think that large majority of gamers (especially those who want just fun without math and physics) do not touch physics sliders or install such mods.

Even if there were such askers, is that enough good reason to prevent willing people adjust phyiscs?

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that's why they went sky diving! They needed hands on experience with real aerodynamics. :P
It all makes sense! #jebilluminated420noscopejetfuelmeltssteelbeams
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Stock should at the very least have the entire system bumped up in size by 2-3 times. I played 32x (3.2x kerbol system RSS) and it worked really well with stock parts (with FAR). I think somewhere in there dv to orbit matches old stock (regex, you did that calculation, right?).

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Yea, it took me a minute to see the changes.. Not that I experienced the changes.

But I was viewing a tutorial and the submitter stated that "aero dynamics" wasn't a thing.

So a few minor tests with nose cones and no-nose cones and I came to realize it was indeed a thing.. now..

And its great.

I really love the fact that the Devs are keeping this a "Game" first but also giving us the flexibility to change it into what "we" desire as far as tweaking the physics.

.

Keep up the amazing work!!

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Stock should at the very least have the entire system bumped up in size by 2-3 times. I played 32x (3.2x kerbol system RSS) and it worked really well with stock parts (with FAR). I think somewhere in there dv to orbit matches old stock (regex, you did that calculation, right?).
1.75x or 2x IIRC, and you need to reduce Kerbin's rotation because it spins like a damn top. E: and raising the atmosphere a bit helps, too.
regex, by "unreasonably hard" you mean they get BBQ'd even when entering at 40 degrees AoA and losing lots of speed in high atmosphere?
No, spaceplanes reenter like blunt bodies so there shouldn't be any real problems there. What I'm talking about is getting out of the atmosphere. Edited by regex
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Oh, that could definitely be a problem... Maybe that could be solved by messing with spaceplane parts settings?
Spaceplane wings are already fantastic radiators and the intakes will soak up massive levels of heating. Like I said, it's tough to balance those sorts of things, and I'm not talking from the experience of those in the know, who have done the testing and programming.
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Is that kind of extreme stupidity really a problem? Probably most people understand that if they adjust physical parameters to extremes they can not ask anything. And even weak adjustments can have unforeseeable results that have to study carefully. I think that large majority of gamers (especially those who want just fun without math and physics) do not touch physics sliders or install such mods.

Even if there were such askers, is that enough good reason to prevent willing people adjust physics?

Why no, no it isn't. Well I see we've settled this matter.

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