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[WIP][1.8.x] SSTULabs - Low Part Count Solutions (Orbiters, Landers, Lifters) - Dev Thread [11-18-18]


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15 hours ago, SiriusRocketry said:

Is this a high-lag or high part count mod? How many parts does it have and can it run on potato laptops?

There are vast numbers of possible parts included in this mod, but the part count you actually fly is quite small.

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10 hours ago, T-10a said:

Also, how do you balance part costs and mass Shadowmage? I've been working on my own small collection of parts and I want to see how you've balanced them out so I can easily slip new parts in balance-wise.

Most of the mass/volume 'balance' of my parts is based on real-world stats with some basic scaling applied.  Either square or cubic scaling depending on where/what is being balanced.

Cost balance is based on 'stock equivalent functionality'.  For whatever the part/craft does (e.g. one of the SC service modules), I build as close to an equivalent setup using stock parts and note the cost/mass.  Add on a bit of extra cost for 'integration', and then add/subtract more cost based on the mass of the part vs. the stock equivalent (if my part/setup has less mass than stock, it will cost more).

 

In general development news:

The new modular part code is... umm... well.. mostly working.  Far more than I would have thought at this point, but still has some problems to sort out.  Model-module animations also appear to work (deploy solar panels at least; others should work as well as they all use the same code).  But note the sideways solar panels, and lack of textures on stuff... (still lots of it WIP).

But it is positioning and scaling models correctly for the core bits, including dynamic scale-chaining of adapters (note the scaled nosecone on top of the 2-1 adapter; all in a single part...).  Still a bit of cleanup to do on the scaling/positioning of the layout-based module slots (RCS, solar), but even those bits are more working than not (the models are present, but not positioned/rotated properly); probably only a couple lines of code to fix it up next time I get a chance to work on things.

Nh32GkX.png

So I would say that the plugin side of the 'rewrite' is mostly done, and shouldn't have any problem getting it all finished up prior to 1.4.

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I've never been one to focus on aesthetics in KSP. But with the low-part-count solutions in SSTU, I find that I have time to focus on playing with all of the textures (using @Jimbodiah's color presets). 

I wrote a simulated annealing algorithm that tells me the cheapest launcher combination of engines and SRBs (with at least 1.25 initial TWR and a quite liberal amount of delta-v), and tells me the cheapest upper stage engine/fuel combination to reach a given delta-v with TWR > 0.5. I basically did this because there are so many dang engines :)

Anyway, basically I build a payload, which takes a few minutes, design the upper stage and launcher, which also takes a few minutes, and then I end up playing with the aesthetics of the vehicle for longer than it took me to build it. I've almost never cared at all what my KSP contraptions look like until this SSTU save.

I tried SSTU largely because I wanted low part counts to manage FPS and stuttering, but I think my favorite part of SSTU is that the all-in-one nature of so many of the parts means I spend less time remembering every little thing I need to add to make something functional, and spend more time making them look nice and flying interesting missions. 

 

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6 hours ago, Dermeister said:

IS there a version of this mod that does not cut Part count? I like to have the options to add or remove systems and parts to my builds...?

What do you mean by "not cut part count"? You can add as many parts to your rockets as you like, even with this mod. And if you want more parts, you can combine this with other mods.

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18 hours ago, drhay53 said:

and spend more time making them look nice and flying interesting missions.

I spend more time in the VAB than actually flying the things I build :)  Building and making it look good is most of the fun for me, :) especially now with the recoloring.

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2 hours ago, Jimbodiah said:

I spend more time in the VAB than actually flying the things I build :)  Building and making it look good is most of the fun for me, :) especially now with the recoloring.

Random question do you use procedural fairings with textures unlimited? I found a patch somewhere but the fairing seems to reset once I hit the launch button to leave the VAB

I suppose this isn't the right thread for this discussion but I do think it's of interest to general users of SSTU who use procedural fairings. I didn't even think to replace their textures for a long time, even though I was complaining to myself how ugly they were. 

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10 hours ago, Dermeister said:

IS there a version of this mod that does not cut Part count? I like to have the options to add or remove systems and parts to my builds...?

I think you're failing to understand what this mod does.

 

For instance, you can have a fully functional shuttle, with all the bells and whistles (retractable landing gear, lights, fuel and engines), all with about 6 parts. 

An Orion capsule; complete with parachutes, docking port, heat shield, lights, mono prop + thrusters; and all in one part. 

 

It does all of these types of things, and does them really well. Once I tried it... there is no going back; it's now become a must-have on my mod lists. 

 

 

 

 

Issue Report:

One issue I found yesterday was the docking ports with parachutes in them; They don't deploy like they used to. I think the issue is that it's not registering it being at a safe speed (even though it clearly is); and with the parachute armed on re-entry. 

 

I tested this a handful of times yesterday, and found that the other parachutes do deploy (in the capsules and such), but the standalone parachutes in the docking ports don't. 

 

Not sure if this issue has already been brought up?

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by SpaceX
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9 minutes ago, SpaceX said:

One issue I found yesterday was the docking ports with parachutes in them; They don't deploy like they used to. I think the issue is that it's not registering it being at a safe speed (even though it clearly is); and with the parachute armed on re-entry. 

Those are 'mains only' parachutes.  Ideally you should be using a drogue to slow the payload down to <250m/s before the mains can deploy.

(on that note, there is an issue open on the repository regarding adjusting the safe deploy pressure/heat levels for those parts, but I need to know what values to use to make those parts more friendly;  if you wanted, you can try editing those parts' configs to find better values, and then either post that info on the issue ticket)

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26 minutes ago, drhay53 said:

Random question do you use procedural fairings with textures unlimited? I found a patch somewhere but the fairing seems to reset once I hit the launch button to leave the VAB

I suppose this isn't the right thread for this discussion but I do think it's of interest to general users of SSTU who use procedural fairings. I didn't even think to replace their textures for a long time, even though I was complaining to myself how ugly they were. 

Not sure, I think they remained silverish. I'm still waiting for a prodcedural version from SSTU that allows the recoloring and the changing of the shape so we only need one clamshell :wink:  hint hint @Mage

 

16 minutes ago, SpaceX said:

Issue Report:

One issue I found yesterday was the docking ports with parachutes in them; They don't deploy like they used to. I think the issue is that it's not registering it being at a safe speed (even though it clearly is); and with the parachute armed on re-entry. 

I tested this a handful of times yesterday, and found that the other parachutes do deploy (in the capsules and such), but the standalone parachutes in the docking ports don't. 

Not sure if this issue has already been brought up?

This was an issue on Github. I think I solved it by changing the dynamic pressure in the cfg file after Mage gave me that tip, not sure if it was followed up on in new releases.

There is a region where it is safe to open but too high, then when it get's lower the pressure rises again making it unsafe. Check if this is what you are seeing as well.

Edited by Jimbodiah
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30 minutes ago, drhay53 said:

Random question do you use procedural fairings with textures unlimited? I found a patch somewhere but the fairing seems to reset once I hit the launch button to leave the VAB

I suppose this isn't the right thread for this discussion but I do think it's of interest to general users of SSTU who use procedural fairings. I didn't even think to replace their textures for a long time, even though I was complaining to myself how ugly they were. 

Procedural Fairings (the mod), or stock fairings?

Either way -- likely some additional code is needed in TU in order to properly handle the texture/shader swapping.  Stock fairings do some inconsistent things with their textures, so need special code.  Procedural fairings (the mod) is likely similar, needing some additional code/handling in order to set the textures properly.

(hopefully they'll be fixed up with the KSP 1.4 releases of TU, but I don't really have any intention of fixing it before then)

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Any chance of an SSTU clamshell for PF somewhere down the line? Selectable shape (egg, straight, vulcan,...) and recoloring? One of the few parts that are really missing and now that PF/PP aren't supported anymore (iirc), very welcome :cool:

Edited by Jimbodiah
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24 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

Procedural Fairings (the mod), or stock fairings?

Either way -- likely some additional code is needed in TU in order to properly handle the texture/shader swapping.  Stock fairings do some inconsistent things with their textures, so need special code.  Procedural fairings (the mod) is likely similar, needing some additional code/handling in order to set the textures properly.

(hopefully they'll be fixed up with the KSP 1.4 releases of TU, but I don't really have any intention of fixing it before then)

I'm talking about the mod, procedural fairings.

I found a MM patch in one of the threads where someone was making the procedural fairings work with TU. It works in the editor but when launched it reverts to a default. The default is kind of a matte off white, and it's still way better than the ugly textures of procedural fairings.

I'm not asking you to do any work, was just wondering if @Jimbodiah had a patch hidden somewhere since he has so many other SSTU related patches.

Oh, another question; I have EL installed, and the SSTU inflatable station modules require rocket parts to inflate; the SSTU configurable containers allow storage for other EL resources like metal ore and scrap metal, but no storage for rocket parts. Is this an oversight or intended?

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2 hours ago, drhay53 said:

I'm talking about the mod, procedural fairings.

Ahh, yeah, I have no information on those.  I don't use the mod either, so I wouldn't really expect any compatibility to come from my end of things (PF would need to implement whatever fixes/changes are needed to their codebase).

 

2 hours ago, drhay53 said:

Oh, another question; I have EL installed, and the SSTU inflatable station modules require rocket parts to inflate; the SSTU configurable containers allow storage for other EL resources like metal ore and scrap metal, but no storage for rocket parts. Is this an oversight or intended?

Probably an oversight.  I use a bunch of personal patches, and I think one of those adds EPL resources to the MFT tanks.  Although I thought I had already fixed that particular bit...

Hmm.. yeah, looks like 'RocketParts' are already present in the MFT-A configs.  So, really, there shouldn't be any problems.

https://github.com/shadowmage45/SSTULabs/blob/master/GameData/SSTU/Parts/ShipCore/Tanks/SC-MFT-A.cfg#L68

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14 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

Ahh, yeah, I have no information on those.  I don't use the mod either, so I wouldn't really expect any compatibility to come from my end of things (PF would need to implement whatever fixes/changes are needed to their codebase).

 

Probably an oversight.  I use a bunch of personal patches, and I think one of those adds EPL resources to the MFT tanks.  Although I thought I had already fixed that particular bit...

Hmm.. yeah, looks like 'RocketParts' are already present in the MFT-A configs.  So, really, there shouldn't be any problems.

https://github.com/shadowmage45/SSTULabs/blob/master/GameData/SSTU/Parts/ShipCore/Tanks/SC-MFT-A.cfg#L68

Hmm. I see it in my tanks now. So I was either blind before, or it was gated behind a tech node that I've now unlocked? Anyway, sorry for the confusion.

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On 2/11/2018 at 11:29 AM, falken said:

Can anyone help me with adding the engine cluster code to other engines? 

Which mods/engines?

(generally its not 'too hard' for most engines, but becomes aggrivatingly complicated if they didn't use standard scaling in their models, such as many of the stock engine models (LV-909, I'm looking at you))

 

On 2/11/2018 at 12:19 PM, Jimbodiah said:

Looks, euhm... promising?

Hehe, yeah.... doesn't look like much yet.  But considering this was the first time I'de really tried launching KSP with the new plugin code, and that it all worked as well as it did... huge win.

Really though, its the first steps towards a usable 'modular-service-module' part.  Adjustable RCS, solar panels, lots of model setup options including the potential for non-standard form-factors.

Oh... and I just added in some functionality to allow for merging of meshes in model definitions.  Again, this probably seems like a 'huh, what?' to most people... but to me it is a big deal.  Now rather than exporting 80-thousand-million different fuel tank models; I can just export the 5 or so unique meshes to create them and then build them all through config files.  Less modeling+export work (and especially less dealing with Unity Editor and Part Tools) = more time spent on actually productive things as oppose to dealing with terrible UI and counter-productive workflow.  It will be a few more lines of config file to write to setup each model; but I only have to do that once (as opposed to updating/re-exporting models, which happens far more often).

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It's the KS-25-H Thunderstorm cryo engine from DIRECT LV, which uses the Squad assets for their SSME.

I have in the meantime however used your RS25 engine instead, and just upped the gimbal to 15 for my shuttle. I simply used the tweakable movement thing to move the engine plumbing into the rear of the shuttle. All seems to work!

Do you have plans to make a version of the engine with a simple ball mount for shuttle mounting, by the way?

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55 minutes ago, falken said:

Do you have plans to make a version of the engine with a simple ball mount for shuttle mounting, by the way?

Nope.  That is why there is a shuttle fuselage with integrated engines (SC-E-FS) -- takes care of all that positioning/rotating stuff for you (and uses optimized engine models that have the plumbing/MCC removed).

(but you can always do like you already have -- just use the offset tool to position it wherever you want)

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For converting parts to SSTU, look at SSTU Expansion's Bobcat engine system, and adapt as needed. Do note: For the majority of engines, you do NOT scale the engine down to 0.64x, as that is only needed for Realism Overhaul-dependant engine packs. A good rule of thumb for me is the following:

  • Engine height is the difference between the "top" and "bottom" nodes of an engine.
  • partTopY is, well, the Y coordinate of the part top. If the engine looks funky ingame (i.e. it's either floating off the mount or is absorbed in it), use engineYOffset to fix that. If needed, it tends to be the negative version of partTopY.
  • You'll find the engine's fairing will stay if you don't use the transformsToRemove to get rid of it (hint: the fairing transform name is almost always in the module ModuleJettison, in the block jettisonName)
  • For interstages, insert the below code into the engine patch. Then, simply add the SSTU Interstage module (see the base SSTU engines for the module itself), and it will intelligently place this interstage where it is needed.
  • Upper and lower stage mounts are really easy to understand. It simply enables dedicated upper or lower stage mounts to the engine clustering options.
  • Remember, get rid of ALL models, modules and resources in the engine. Simply readd the modules you want after that block. (it allows you to rebalance a part while you're at it if you want :wink:)
  • Here's all the SSTU modules you really need to get functionality comparable to the pre-provided SSTU engines: SSTUModularEngineCluster (the whole engine clustering you're after), SSTUNodeFairing (Since you need to delete the engine fairing transform in SSTUModuleEngineCluster, this adds them back in SSTU style :wink:), and SSTUSelectableNodes (toggleable interstage nodes. Useful especially with Interstage Decouplers or Petal Fairings)
//INTERSTAGE NODE
node_stack_interstage = 0, -1, 0, 0, -1, 0, 2

//REMOVE ALL MODULES AND MODELS
  !mesh = NULL
  !MODEL,* {}
  MODEL
  {
    model = SSTU/Assets/EmptyProxyModel
  }
  !MODULE,* {}
  !RESOURCE,* {}
Edited by T-10a
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58 minutes ago, drhay53 said:

Ran into a strange issue with an exploding part tonight. The SC-C-SM-250 blows up on me when the bottom fairing is toggled on. It blows up as soon as it loads to the launchpad. Here's an imgur album:

https://imgur.com/a/Dq1pp

Here's the craft file:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3anp9h6lh1qb1fg/MunBaseCrew3.craft?dl=0

and an output_log:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6ubxyrmcb2ubgh/output_log (2).txt?dl=0

The SC-C-SM-250 is from Jimbodiah's mod, so maybe ask them on their thread?

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43 minutes ago, T-10a said:

The SC-C-SM-250 is from Jimbodiah's mod, so maybe ask them on their thread?

My bad, you're right, the Orion patch is one of the few from @Jimbodiahs patches that I am using. I use filter extensions with an SSTU config and for some of Jimbodiah's parts, they weren't added to the SSTU category; for some reason these parts are added there. So I assumed they were from the base mod. 

edit: post moved to Jimbodiah's thread. Apologies to Shadowmage if this is annoying; I'm sure it's not fun to have someone else's MM patches cause a bug report on your mod, so I'm definitely sorry if this is Jimbodiah's patch's issue :(

Edit: I tried a similar setup with the default parts and didn't get any explosions, so I'll post this over in Jimbodiah's thread. Thanks for catching my mistake.

Edit2: FWIW, there's a simple bug in Jimbodiah's MM patch that uses a comma instead of a period for 2 numbers in the fairing node config. Fixing those fixes the exploding craft.

Edited by drhay53
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6 hours ago, drhay53 said:

My bad, you're right, the Orion patch is one of the few from @Jimbodiahs patches that I am using. I use filter extensions with an SSTU config and for some of Jimbodiah's parts, they weren't added to the SSTU category; for some reason these parts are added there. So I assumed they were from the base mod. 

edit: post moved to Jimbodiah's thread. Apologies to Shadowmage if this is annoying; I'm sure it's not fun to have someone else's MM patches cause a bug report on your mod, so I'm definitely sorry if this is Jimbodiah's patch's issue :(

Edit: I tried a similar setup with the default parts and didn't get any explosions, so I'll post this over in Jimbodiah's thread. Thanks for catching my mistake.

Edit2: FWIW, there's a simple bug in Jimbodiah's MM patch that uses a comma instead of a period for 2 numbers in the fairing node config. Fixing those fixes the exploding craft.

Good Sir, could we impose upon you to post the fixed code in a code block upon this or @Jimbodiah's patch page as, no offence intended to our friendly patch wizard, the .cfg file for the 2.5m orion system looks like a dropped plate of alphanumeric spaghetti. (at least, my copy does.) 

Thanks awfully.

Edited by Sudragon
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Who doesn't like spaghetti?!

I fixed the issue and also added JPL as the manufacturer so it wil no longer show up with sstu parts. I made this 2.5m clone to get an alternate 3-man CSM combination, but never really used it beyond the capsule itself up to this point.

Edited by Jimbodiah
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