Whyren

[1.0.4] Contract Pack: Rover Contracts by Whyren! v3 (July 22, 2015)

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Here is an Opportunity to seize the Spirit of rovers! Have I piqued your Curiosity? YuTu can send manned and unmanned rovers across the system and run them for years beyond their intended life span until the wheels crumble!

This contract pack offers two new missions:

1. Rover Deployment: encourages you to send rovers to planets/moons where you don't have them.

2. Rover Expedition: Detects a location near your rover and requests whatever scientific experiments the rover is equipped with be completed at that location. The more capable the rover, the greater the returns. Take the mission as often as you want and enjoy the challenge and immersion of navigating and studying alien terrain!

See it in action!

http://imgur.com/a/3CFnK

Requires Contract Configurator 1.5.3 or newer.

Waypoint Manager is HIGHLY recommended.

THANK YOU, nightingale, for your tireless work and patient help.

DOWNLOAD:

Dropbox

Kerbal Stuff

This contract pack is lovingly released under the WTFPL.

Change Log:

v1: Release

v2: Added Wheel and Antenna prerequisites for Rover Deployment missions. Seriously nerfed rewards. Didn't realize they were going to be multiplied based on the celestial body.

v3: Rover Expedition mission distance now scales down on smaller planets and moons to compensate for painful traction in low gravity.

Edited by Whyren
Update

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Hey Whyren

This sounds very good, rovers don't receive enough love. I can't test it right now and my carreer savegame is just begining, but I promise I'll give it a try.

Two things you could perhaps enhance a little : one rover per body don't seems (to me) to be enough. Maybe one per biome, or better, one per biome who havn't be visited by a rover yet (no idea if it's possible to check that).

2nd : maybe check if the rover can "act" as a rover. For what I understand you can land a damaged rover and still complete the mission, this sounds wrong to me. Perhaps add a condition to the mission like "move the rover 15m away of the landing site" before completed to be sure the rover is in good condition.

Anyway thanks for the hardwork, i can't wait to try it.

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Awesome stuff, congrats on the release! One suggestion - put it up on KerbalStuff (for nearly automatic CKAN support), and add a KSP-AVC version file so people can get notified of your updates. Excited to see where this goes!

Edited by nightingale

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Great! I agree that rovers don't get enough attention. I will see if I can try it, my current career install is a little finicky at times so I try not to add many things to it.

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Hey Whyren

This sounds very good, rovers don't receive enough love. I can't test it right now and my carreer savegame is just begining, but I promise I'll give it a try.

Two things you could perhaps enhance a little : one rover per body don't seems (to me) to be enough. Maybe one per biome, or better, one per biome who havn't be visited by a rover yet (no idea if it's possible to check that).

2nd : maybe check if the rover can "act" as a rover. For what I understand you can land a damaged rover and still complete the mission, this sounds wrong to me. Perhaps add a condition to the mission like "move the rover 15m away of the landing site" before completed to be sure the rover is in good condition.

Anyway thanks for the hardwork, i can't wait to try it.

Thanks for the great feedback! Rover Expedition missions generate for as many rovers as you have, but I left the deployment missions only on rover-less places because it seems like exploring new places would be a scientific priority, as well as more interesting and fun for the player than having 10 rovers on the same planet. I really wanted to avoid sending rovers to a place and then abandoning them or returning them.

Your second point is one I started with, but the only way I can think to make that happen would be to mandate a specific waypoint. I didn't want to tie anyone's hands as to deployment location. For instance, people playing with Life Support mods may want a manned rover, but that would only be practical if they deployed it near an existing base. I also didn't want to do something like "check for four wheels" because that would stifle people's creativity to make RCS Hover Rovers or something creative like that. I don't want to offend anyone that self-identifies as rover-kin!

I welcome ideas on how to do that without restricting the landing location. For now, I think of the situation of landing a damaged rover like the Chinese YuTu rover. They landed it, it didn't work right. It was still a great accomplishment and they did good research at the site, but they weren't able to take any rover expedition missions like they had hoped. :)

- - - Updated - - -

Awesome stuff, congrats on the release! One suggestion - put it up on KerbalStuff (for nearly automatic CKAN support), and add a KSP-AVC version file so people can get notified of your updates. Excited to see where this goes!

Thanks, Nightingale. I'll look into that stuff maybe tonight or tomorrow. For now, I need to get a rover somewhere besides M-F-Minmus and have a little fun!

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Hey Whyren I was developing something really simmilar (thread) but I think, as the rovers contracts are very simmilar, I'll have to dump the project.

The contracts are very good. Keep at the good work!:D

EDIT: Also, on the rover depolyment contract. A requirement for having wheels unlocked is needed because one of the thinks I hate most is a contract that I can't complete

Edited by CosmoBro

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Hey Whyren I was developing something really simmilar (thread) but I think, as the rovers contracts are very simmilar, I'll have to dump the project.

The contracts are very good. Keep at the good work!:D

EDIT: Also, on the rover depolyment contract. A requirement for having wheels unlocked is needed because one of the thinks I hate most is a contract that I can't complete

I'm sorry! I didn't search the development forum before getting to work. I didn't mean to step on your toes. I agree about the wheel requirement, I'll put that in for the next update.

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I saw the puns. Well played.

That's all I really wanted when I set out to make this. :)

Version 2 is up with some tech requirements and heavily nerfed rewards. Since the Rover Expedition is infinitely repeatable and gets you science I think it is important for the reward level to be very small so you don't clear the tech tree with one rover.

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Awesome! Can you please put it on CKAN?

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Okay, I just added it to Kerbal Stuff. I assume CKAN will magically absorb it at some point?

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Yep, a bot notices a new mod on KerbalStuff and pings us to add it. It should be up within 6 hours of this message.

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Excellent, it is up to personal taste but I believe the fund rewards need to be toned down.

As such I can tone them down myself. Now we just need an auto-drive function for rovers so I don't have to drive for two hours on the mun. :)

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Yessss this is perfect to completely flesh out my contract packs! Was sorely needed for this fills that spot in the career game between simple interplanetary probes/landers and manned missions.

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Excellent, it is up to personal taste but I believe the fund rewards need to be toned down.

As such I can tone them down myself. Now we just need an auto-drive function for rovers so I don't have to drive for two hours on the mun. :)

What level do you think the funds should be at? I don't pretend to know anything about balance. Also give me feedback on the distances. I did my testing on Kerbin (bad idea) but I think actual rover missions should take 10/20/30 minutes (depending on prestige). Long enough that you have to traverse some tricky terrain, but short enough that you aren't annoyed by it.

- - - Updated - - -

Yep, a bot notices a new mod on KerbalStuff and pings us to add it. It should be up within 6 hours of this message.

You are a real American hero.

- - - Updated - - -

Yessss this is perfect to completely flesh out my contract packs! Was sorely needed for this fills that spot in the career game between simple interplanetary probes/landers and manned missions.

I won't claim any sort of creative responsibility. Arsonide had great rover missions in the Fine Print mod back in the day. I don't know why those didn't get translated over to stock like everything else did. The "survey" missions are supposed to fill that gap, but always mix up stuff like "higher than 18,000m" that make them inappropriate for a rover. The one improvement I am proud of, though, is in the ability to get the missions for existing rovers. I always hated the feeling of rovers being a one-off to play around with and then get abandoned.

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Also give me feedback on the distances. I did my testing on Kerbin (bad idea) but I think actual rover missions should take 10/20/30 minutes (depending on prestige). Long enough that you have to traverse some tricky terrain, but short enough that you aren't annoyed by it.

Looking at the stock wheels, they have max speeds of ~20 m/s, so based on this a straight, flat trip of 36 km would take 30 minutes. We're about as off-road as you can get and not be airborne, so we should probably cut that in half again. I would easily say a 20km trip in adverse terrain could take at least a half hour.

Edited by BigFatStupidHead

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Looking at the stock wheels, they have max speeds of ~20 m/s, so based on this a straight, flat trip of 36 km would take 30 minutes. We're about as off-road as you can get and not be airborne, so we should probably cut that in half again. I would easily say a 20km trip in adverse terrain could take at least a half hour.

I've done a couple and half speed is very generous. I've done one on the Mun where I had to climb out of a crater. Had to drive out of the way to find a better spot to climb, and still only made 1-2 m/s all the way up the slope. :) One I did on Minmus I had to spend five minutes braking before dropping off a hill. Right now the distances are: One Star = 3-4km, Two Star = 5-7km, Three Star = 10-12km. Looking forward to hearing back on some successful completion times.

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Anyone have success yet? I tried to test out another mission on Minmus but my rover flipped out and disassembled itself forcefully. Then, my treacherous brain told me that F5 would load the quicksave. Luckily, my two explorers survived but they are stranded until I get another rover to Minmus.

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I got a new rover onto Minmus. It was way better than my last one. Took a three star mission, 15km. Would have taken me 1-1.5 hours to reach that point. I think for my next update, waypoint distance will be multiplied by the ratio of target gravity to Kerbin gravity. That way the more frustrating locales will get shorter goals.

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Version 3 is now live. If a planet's or moon's radius is less than that of Kerbin, the distance is scaled appropriately. Max distance for an Exceptional expedition mission on Kerbin is now 8km. On Minmus that would scale to 1.6km. On the Mun, about 2.5 km. This should make the missions completable within reasonable timeframes.

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Hey Whyren, don't discount missions that can take several sessions to complete. Because we're in rovers, we can safely stop and quicksave practically anytime. One of my favourite missions was a 100km munar rescue that involved navigating around major geographical features to keep up good speed and camping out at night for better visibility driving. Of course, this sort of a mission might be better as something scripted, rather than a random contract.

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Hey Whyren, don't discount missions that can take several sessions to complete. Because we're in rovers, we can safely stop and quicksave practically anytime. One of my favourite missions was a 100km munar rescue that involved navigating around major geographical features to keep up good speed and camping out at night for better visibility driving. Of course, this sort of a mission might be better as something scripted, rather than a random contract.

That does sound epic. My thought, though, was someone who really wanted to put some miles on a rover could always take multiple contracts for it. Try it out and let me know what you think. All I know is I'm trying to get my Minmus rover 17km back to base and I'm on day three and want to kill myself.

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I'm experiencing a little issue with this: The first rover contract says to launch the rover to Kerbin, and set the vessel type to rover. I did this, but it didn't register that the vessel type was changed to rover, and thus did not complete the contract despite having done what it asked. I tried setting the type to rover from both the tracking station and from the probe core, but to no avail.

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