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Devnote Tuesday: New Office

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Nah, let her suffer. One more voice to convince the devs that information deprivation is stupid.

Wow, regex, a little harsh don't you think? Iv'e always regarded your cynical critique constructive and informative, but let her get a foot in the door.

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[...]which is a definite improvement compared to how it was a month or so ago, when we gauged progress by how far we could get without seeing some major crash.

Hey, what a coincidence; that's exactly how I gauge progress when I play KSP, too...

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<b>Andrea (Badie)</b></p><blockquote><p>This was my first week as Community Manager for KSP. I’ve been learning and meeting people thanks to Kasper, he has been so patient. Working with everyone here has been amazing.</p><p>This week I’ll try to learn more and play KSP a little better, I felt so sad cause i’m really bad at it, but I watched Scott Manley’s tutorials and I hope they’ll help me.</p></blockquote>

Build Helicopters. They are tricky, but great for learning finesse and fine flying. You'll get good fairly quick.....or kill off Jeb.....lots. :)

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It'd be nice to see some shots of how Unity 5 is making the game look with the new rendering/lighting pipeline now that it's relatively stable

What about getting Badie to do a Squadcast with Maxmaps, alternating Badie playing with Max in-call/chat for half then Max playing with Badie in-call/chat for the other half?

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Still waiting for some mention of fixes for all the old, pre-1.0 bugs... News on "Office relocations" just doesn't get me all that excited somehow.

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Perhaps if someone started a thread in suggestions and development discussion, called "ask the devs questions about KSP?" I think that that make a big difference in how people think about the devs, and overall development. They wouldn't have to spend all day on it, just 15 minutes everyday for every dev would be enough to answer most people's questions. Just my USD $0.02.

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Am I the only one wondering if clouds can finally become a thing in this update?

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Nah, let her suffer. One more voice to convince the devs that information deprivation is stupid.

Isn't that a bit too... harsh?

Anyways, great devnotes! And best of luck learning the game, Andrea. Welcome again!

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Wow, regex, a little harsh don't you think? Iv'e always regarded your cynical critique constructive and informative, but let her get a foot in the door.
Isn't that a bit too... harsh?
What, suggesting that she play fully stock (and suffer) instead of using an informational mod like KER (thus adding another voice to the cry for more information because hiding it is stupid)?

Since when is suggesting that someone play the game stock, and thus get a feeling for just how lacking it is, harsh?

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Am I the only one wondering if clouds can finally become a thing in this update?

Maybe (hopefully) according to the last Squadcast (from the squadcast summary thread)

@50:00

Q: Planned enhancements like EVE to stock?

A: Currently the memory limit is a problem. But if U5 goes great AND 64 bit works, then it can happen.

Q: Will the 32 bit version have clouds? (I think this means, "assuming the 64 bit version gets them")

A: Sure, but if it can't, then it would "not be wise" to be held back by it. (I read this as, if 32 bit can't have them, then 64 bit will get them anyway).

So probably not the U5 update or 1.1 (if they end up being separate), but at least they're thinking about it

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I must agree. Where the heck is the delta-v readout? Or TWR?

(I know, it's they're KER or MJ, but we all want it in stock :) KSP needs to bombard us with more information than we can handle, not starve us with less than we need... I love this game, but I wouldn't if it wasn't moddable :blush:)

I must respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. As a non-engineer the game would've scared me off if I had gotten 'KER' amounts of information on the screen the first times I played the game, and I can imagine the same goes for many people. Personally I prefer to play the game intuitively, which means that often times I do over- or underengineer a rocket and will have to make some changes. I can see the appeal of KER too, but I feel that for many beginning players it would be more of a showstopper than a helpful tool, especially if they don't know what all those numbers mean. It was in fact one of the reasons I uninstalled Mechjeb when I started playing.

We know that delta-v readouts will be coming to the game, although I must say I'm not sure exactly when that will be, but the game is perfectly enjoyable without the maths, and to some people even more so for it. If you do prefer the readouts, as you said, there's mods.

Another great example of what an extraordinary and positive impact Kerbal Space Program has had in the real-world. The fact that such fund-raising can be done through a game like KSP is a testament to the community as well.

I can only agree with this, I love the community and I can name a dozen examples of great things that came from it at any time of the day.

You guys should head on over to Paradox forums to see how Devnotes are done because yours are pretty much the worst and most uninformative I have ever seen. At least you're consistent I suppose...

At the moment the grunt of the work is done in the background, updating KSP from running on Unity 4 to it running on Unity 5. In the end we're pretty sure this pays off with increased performance and possibly stable 64 bit clients for Windows and OSX. For now though, that means we're not making a lot of visible progress and thus we don't have much to share in the way of information on new features. When the engine update is complete, we essentially hope to have exactly the same game but with increased performance and some under the hood improvements.

Would it be unheard of to add pictures (gasp!) to the devnotes? And could we maybe get a thread that's similar to this one but for the devs? They very rarely post on regular threads and, even with the denotes, they still feel distant.

As above, I could add pictures but they'd just be screenshots from my own game, as we don't have anything to show in the way of new features. I realize the devnotes are a bit empty nowadays, but that's due to the nature of the work that's being done. Pictures of the renovated office will be coming once it's complete though, Max said he wanted to give you guys some sort of tour around the office, so I'll keep bothering him about that :)

Perhaps if someone started a thread in suggestions and development discussion, called "ask the devs questions about KSP?" I think that that make a big difference in how people think about the devs, and overall development. They wouldn't have to spend all day on it, just 15 minutes everyday for every dev would be enough to answer most people's questions. Just my USD $0.02.

Ask away! I keep an eye on the devnote threads every week to see if people ask questions that relate to the notes and if those pop up I forward them to the responsible developer :)

Am I the only one wondering if clouds can finally become a thing in this update?

I don't think it's for this update but as NoMrBond posted above me it's definitely something we can look into.

Edited by KasperVld

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You guys should head on over to Paradox forums to see how Devnotes are done because yours are pretty much the worst and most uninformative I have ever seen. At least you're consistent I suppose...

Nice to see that that communities everywhere are the same: Lametations, flaming and whines.

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Crossing fingers for a 64 bit stable version. I'm not really playing KSP until we get that and Unity5... just keeping in shape

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Pretty much, but for me:

Crossing fingers for a 64 bit stable less buggy version. I'm not really playing KSP until we get that and Unity5 reasonable performance... just keeping in shape.

- - - Updated - - -

I must respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. As a non-engineer the game would've scared me off if I had gotten 'KER' amounts of information on the screen the first times I played the game...

A simple "show detailed craft stats" button/switch (off by default) would fix this... very much like what the KER app icon does. If it's too scary, or you don't know what it does, don't click on it.

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A simple "show detailed craft stats" button/switch (off by default) would fix this... very much like what the KER app icon does. If it's too scary, or you don't know what it does, don't click on it.

I agree with this 100%. The game already provides specific impulse and thrust power for engines, which are things that newbies would have no idea about...yet they're in the game anyways.

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I must respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. As a non-engineer the game would've scared me off if I had gotten 'KER' amounts of information on the screen the first times I played the game, and I can imagine the same goes for many people. Personally I prefer to play the game intuitively, which means that often times I do over- or underengineer a rocket and will have to make some changes. I can see the appeal of KER too, but I feel that for many beginning players it would be more of a showstopper than a helpful tool, especially if they don't know what all those numbers mean. It was in fact one of the reasons I uninstalled Mechjeb when I started playing.

We know that delta-v readouts will be coming to the game, although I must say I'm not sure exactly when that will be, but the game is perfectly enjoyable without the maths, and to some people even more so for it. If you do prefer the readouts, as you said, there's mods.

Alright, it's my turn to respectfully disagree. :)

I completely understand your point of view, Kasper. It seems as if you're leaving out the Delta-V readouts because you don't want new players to be overwhelmed. But there would be plenty of ways to ensure that KSP veterans could get a high-quality stock readout and the newbies could still enjoy the game.

~~~

Way #1: Hide it away!

There are plenty of tabs in the VAB/SPH that newbies very rarely open. These tabs are in the so-called "Advanced Mode," meaning that at least theoretically, more advanced players want to use them. Why not put an engineering readout right under the 'Action Group' button or something? It could be toggled off initially, making it all but invisible for budding KSPers but easy to find for veterans.

Way #2: Add a 'Help' Option!

I really want this implemented.

It would be nice to have a mode where you can mouse around the screen and hover over various tabs and bits. Once your cursor was over said tab, it would tell you exactly what the tab meant and what it was used for. You could even do the same for things like "Mass," "Gimbal," or "Intake Air," or for the things on any engineering readout. This would have helped me tremendously as a new KSP player, and it would have made the game quite a bit more approachable (which seems to be your goal here).

Way #3: Add it later in Career Mode!

Of course, such an engineering readout would likely only be accessible near the end of a Career mode game (with a fully or mostly upgraded VAB/SPH, for example), ensuring that new players that start with Career mode won't get the full blast of science until they actually know what it means.

~~~

So, all in all, there are several ways of doing this. It's not as difficult to implement an advanced feature without scaring newbies as it may seem... in my opinion at least.

-Upsilon

Edited by UpsilonAerospace

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I must respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. As a non-engineer the game would've scared me off if I had gotten 'KER' amounts of information on the screen the first times I played the game, and I can imagine the same goes for many people. Personally I prefer to play the game intuitively, which means that often times I do over- or underengineer a rocket and will have to make some changes. I can see the appeal of KER too, but I feel that for many beginning players it would be more of a showstopper than a helpful tool, especially if they don't know what all those numbers mean. It was in fact one of the reasons I uninstalled Mechjeb when I started playing.

KSP is crying out for a manual. There are so many hidden buttons and functions its crazy. Even after a thousand hours I still don't know what everything does which is absolutely nuts. It really wouldn't take much time to make guys seriously.

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KSP is crying out for a manual. There are so many hidden buttons and functions its crazy. Even after a thousand hours I still don't know what everything does which is absolutely nuts. It really wouldn't take much time to make guys seriously.

Roger this.

One of the things that could bear both better documentation, and rationalization and simplification, is the plethora of options in the settings screen. The graphics settings in particular are obscure to the ordinary user (and it's hard, even testing things out in-game, to tell if one has made appropriate adjustments...or even changed anything at all with the adjustments).

And the control settings have gotten especially baroque and labyrinthine...I'm not even sure what my Rumblepad will do outside of basic flight situations anymore, or what I meant for them to do. I had figured out a lot of it long ago, mostly by trial-and-error...but changes in the settings file over recent versions have left me more lost than I was before.

(And that, by the way, has been one of the biggest headaches of upgrading from one version of KSP to the next: having to fire up WinMerge and reconcile the new default config file with the one I'd customized for the last version. The other great headache, of course, is mod updating and reinstallation--a situation which I can only hope will stabilize more once KSP has left beta...or whatever else you want to call the state of affairs of being a more-or-less finished product and less in flux.)

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I completely understand your point of view, Kasper. It seems as if you're leaving out the Delta-V readouts because you don't want new players to be overwhelmed. But there would be plenty of ways to ensure that KSP veterans could get a high-quality stock readout and the newbies could still enjoy the game.
To expand on this post, there are many ways to present information and KSP generally fails at it. Information is scattered all over the place in different screens and lacks coherency; the information that is available is rarely where you expect or need it. For instance, during launch it is very useful to have the apoapsis and periapsis, and the times to, available on the flight screen where you can see the navball and watch fuel display but instead of presenting that there you must open the map view and then toggle the navball so you can actually control the launch. Meanwhile, your staging and fuel information is left behind. Then there's the duration for intercept burn which is hidden on the map view in an obscure place instead of on the flight screen (or hell, even on the closest approach marker) where you can watch the approach and the navball. Altitude from the ground is hidden in the IVA, and isn't even available for probes, instead of being on the flight screen where you need it.

It's little things like this that make playing KSP frustrating and why one of the first mods suggested for a new player is something like KER or MechJeb, which provide that information where it is needed.

As for locking information behind the tech tree, I am completely against it for the simple reason that Tsiolkovsky's equation was derived as early as 1813 (according to Wikipedia). While deriving it may not be simple, the equation itself is the simplest of rocket science. TWR is in a similar boat. This is basic stuff you need to help you into orbit. If you don't want to play with it you shouldn't have to (toggle it with a button somewhere) but there is no case for hiding it behind a "progression wall".

Edited by regex

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Tying info to the tech tree also has the effect of making the game harder at the beginning, when the player is at the steep part of the learning curve, and easier later in the game, when the player presumably has learned to do things better even without the data. It's similar to tying maneuver nodes to building upgrades: Nodes are a great way to use trial and error to learn how to maneuver without burning all your fuel and failing the mission, but we don't get them until the player is fairly far along.

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Way #2: Add a 'Help' Option!

I really want this implemented.

It would be nice to have a mode where you can mouse around the screen and hover over various tabs and bits. Once your cursor was over said tab, it would tell you exactly what the tab meant and what it was used for. You could even do the same for things like "Mass," "Gimbal," or "Intake Air," or for the things on any engineering readout. This would have helped me tremendously as a new KSP player, and it would have made the game quite a bit more approachable (which seems to be your goal here).

-Upsilon

I... Jeez... I can't tell you just how extremely useful this feature would be... I spent at least ten hours rooting around the KSP wiki as well as in Wikipedia pages when just beginning. Even way back in version 0.13 when I started I remember looking up "engine gimbal" as well as TWR and the relation between COL and COM. Having a simple to use (though probably a pain to implement) hover-over function would be extremely handy. Even if it said one short sentence and then had a link to a wiki page, it would be amazing. Flat out amazing. This also could possibly make a good project to collaborate with the community for definitions or even partner with Wikipedia. Someone start a poll please... This feature would be so useful... <3

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... It's similar to tying maneuver nodes to building upgrades: Nodes are a great way to use trial and error to learn how to maneuver without burning all your fuel and failing the mission, but we don't get them until the player is fairly far along.
What if, instead of tying this to building upgrade levels, maneuver nodes were unlocked once the player orbits Mun or Minimus? Reaching them is the first objective / challenge a new player faces, and one that is the easiest to achieve by seat-of-pants flying.

- - - Updated - - -

It would be nice to have a mode where you can mouse around the screen and hover over various tabs and bits. Once your cursor was over said tab, it would tell you exactly what the tab meant and what it was used for.
Cross fingers, but, Mu may have this one covered! I hope he's following the excellent replies to this Devnote.
I have written a new tooltip system which is a lot simpler than our previous one. Have also liberally been putting tooltips on everything.

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I must respectfully disagree with this viewpoint. As a non-engineer the game would've scared me off if I had gotten 'KER' amounts of information on the screen the first times I played the game, and I can imagine the same goes for many people. Personally I prefer to play the game intuitively, which means that often times I do over- or underengineer a rocket and will have to make some changes. I can see the appeal of KER too, but I feel that for many beginning players it would be more of a showstopper than a helpful tool, especially if they don't know what all those numbers mean. It was in fact one of the reasons I uninstalled Mechjeb when I started playing.

We know that delta-v readouts will be coming to the game, although I must say I'm not sure exactly when that will be, but the game is perfectly enjoyable without the maths, and to some people even more so for it. If you do prefer the readouts, as you said, there's mods.

[...]

Ask away! I keep an eye on the devnote threads every week to see if people ask questions that relate to the notes and if those pop up I forward them to the responsible developer :)

[...]/QUOTE]

I see what you mean, but I think the things I use most in KER are delta-v, and TWR, which I don't think would make me feel to overloaded, and the overload could be eased using some of the methods that upsilon describes.

Thanks! I will remember that.

KSP is crying out for a manual. There are so many hidden buttons and functions its crazy. Even after a thousand hours I still don't know what everything does which is absolutely nuts. It really wouldn't take much time to make guys seriously.

I agree.

If you're focused on a planet is map view, you can backspace to go back to the craft you're controlling. If you double click on the windows in IVA, the camera moves closer. caps lock turns on fine controls. Shift in the VAB allows finer placement with angle snap. Alt disallows surface attachment. If you turn down the RGB sliders on lights, they get dimmer overall. If you right click in space center view, you rotate the camera. If you left click, you translate. alt-> and alt-< Turns on physical warp, even in space, or with the engines on. In .90, off-centerline engines started to provide roll control.

You just learned something. Maybe I should help fix the wiki.

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You guys should head on over to Paradox forums to see how Devnotes are done because yours are pretty much the worst and most uninformative I have ever seen. At least you're consistent I suppose...

mumble-a-groan-a-doo-grumble-dee-grump?

Ease down. Let them go on in their own way.

This informational bulimia is getting crazy.

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What if, instead of tying this to building upgrade levels, maneuver nodes were unlocked once the player orbits Mun or Minimus? Reaching them is the first objective / challenge a new player faces, and one that is the easiest to achieve by seat-of-pants flying.

Doesn't change what the actual point is, that the player is getting more tools to make the game easier as they progress, rather than having the game get harder. I'm not sure I agree with that analysis, though I have thought it felt that way at times myself.

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