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If You Ran KSP's Development...


quasarrgames
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Sure seems like a lot of people have some not-so-pent-up anger that SQUAD isn't developing KSP the way they want it to be.

So, here's my question for you: If you ran KSP's Development, what would you do? What would be your development roadmap?

Me? Well, this would be my plan for development:

1.1

-I'd restore jet engines to their old glory. Either by making RAPIERS more expensive but able to go up to about 1750m/s, or by adding an sr-72-esque hypersonic engine that performs about as well as the concept, or by simply making precoolers do their job.

-i'd also add a fighter cockpit and an electric propeller. Don't worry, then aircraft changes would be DONE.

-this would be on top of the other awesomeness of the 1.1 update (although really, it's not that much to add)

1.2

-i'd give dres an asteroid ring where asteroids would be extremely likely to spawn, and a couple pol-sized moons

-i'd make asteroids spawn to be up to a kilometer in diameter

-i'd add a small nuclear reactor, some new tanks, and a VASIMR-type engine

-i'd beautify planets a little, along with a crapload of optimizations

1.3

-i'd make a new ore resource that could be refined and assembled into spaceships

-i'd add ice geysers and cryovolcanoes

-maybe life support?

1.4

-possibly procedural kuiper belt planets

then, at about march 2017, ksp's development would be done.

so, what about you?

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If I was supreme ruler of the democratic peoples developers of KSP...

Implement something akin to real fuels lite.

Make planet terrain procedural and deformable, via voxels or other procedural landscape techniques. (See: Astroneers, MineCraft)

With the planet terrain change, implement geysers, below surface seas, volcanoes, cryo and regular.

Completely remove the current science system and contract system, basically remove career mode as we know it.

Replace the current probe cores basically being piloted crafts with a dynamic Scratch-like programming interface that would allow you to program maneuvers, science and other things. With an option to go back to the old system, or go to a pure programming language a la kOS.

On the science side, have science experiments be based on real science. Magnetometers, soil samplers, etc. (See Magic Orbital Science.)

Increase the KSP system size to about 1/2 of Earth size rather than 1/10th.

Allow for procedural system generation based on seeds, and then whenever you create a new game you can have the option of using the stock system, a completely random system or entering a seed.

Implement FAR.

Clouds, Distant Object Enhancement, Planet Shine and Scatterer.

That's all I can think of right now.

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First of all more spacestation/base building parts. Including something kis/kas like mechanic.

Also very high on my priority list would be to make whole kerbol system proceduraly generated (while also leaving an option to use current system if you want). And you wouldnt see the planets and their orbits first. You would have to do research (with telescopes and probes and such) to get info about the system. But that would be a lot of work and it would have to be a goal for a longer time...

Also life support system (optional to use of course)

Visual and performance upgrades.

Option to add ablative coating to (spaceplane) parts.

Visual and performance updates.

Better contract system if possible (altough world first awards helps a lot already)

Weather effects

Roughly in order with most important stuff for me on top

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I think one of the biggest things the game needs is more stuff to do in space. Half the challenge is building a big-enough launcher to get your vessel up there, but then it's just flying around. Resource mining was a big improvement, but I'd love to see more surface exploration. Perhaps procedurally-generated terrain scatter that gives extra science?

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I'm actually pretty happy with the way things are going, but I'll play.

1.1 With Unity upgraded we could see things like:

-First graphics pass, some upgraded textures for planets and some of the 2.5m parts, and added clouds.

-Turn the Gravoli detector into a biome and topographic mapper to aid in landing at night and under cloud cover as well as science collection.

-Add Porkjet's turbines and toss in a lift-fan and a toggleable 90 degree thrust vector for the VTOL folks.

-Roverdude's new antennae system.

1.2 Next I'd most like to see some big passes on some of the existing gameplay mechanics.

-De-grind science, especially the experiments themselves to make them each unique, mostly automatic, and valuable in-game outside the tech tree. I've posted some thoughts on this here.

-Complete building tiers, (bring back the barn! :P), adding a mission pre-planner and transfer alarm clock, smoothing out and removing some of the grind from upgrades.

-Begin to flesh out experience, either removing the need to return to kerbin to level up or create a mechanism to do so without it. I'd personally like to see kerbals cross-trainable, with a simple skill-tree with three linear branches. Kerbal skills aught also to be more understandable from a UI standpoint, so you could see in flight and in the Astronaut Complex how far along each kerbal is and what it would take to upgrade them.

-Graphics polish

1.3 At this point I could see diving into some more in-depth content, primarily:

-Life support! This is a hard nut to crack, but I like the general depth of USILS with a few changes. I've posted thoughts on this here.

-A mechanic to measure a kerbals' happiness in flight, (see above) so there would be a gameplay reason for players to use habitation modules and bring larger crews instead of stuffing one scientist in a landercan and sending him off to eeloo. With a few greenhouses and habitation parts all of a sudden real off-world colonization becomes part of the game and not just a role-playing element.

-Complete some of the higher level kerbal skills, including adding a KAS type system.

-Add some much more interesting surface features like geysers, volcanoes, mineral formations, perhaps even fossil beds and microbes. They could be surrounded by small biomes that would show up when mapped, but still had to be searched for on the surface a bit.

This would satisfy me a great deal, after that I guess we could see GP2 and fun things like under-sea exploration.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I'd love to see:

• stockification of KIS/KAS (and, while I'm at it, Waypoint Manager and Action Groups Manager)

• more stuff to do (base-building, science experiments), or at least interesting places to visit, on planets

• ability to build new parts from mined resources in situ

• hinges and other moving parts

• more career options for our brave kerbalnauts

• more variations on rescue missions (e.g. send an engineer up to orbit and repack a craft's parachutes so it can land safely; send an engineer to Mun to repair a broken rover wheel; send a crate of supplies to a Duna colony; send a scientist to reset some experiments; etc.)

• reasons to care about pilots after researching probe cores

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I'd open source game on similar rules like Space Engineers.

Also:

- add proper resource loading instead of loading everything at once

- procedural planets terrain with much more detail ^_^

- stock KAS, KIS, Kerbal Engineer Redux, RasterPropMonitor

- simple, modable life support

- better career (less grind, yearly budget, more strategic thinking)

If I would have unlimited resources:

- colonisation mode with planetary base management (similar to Rimworld)

- ingame CKAN and ingame craft exchange. Also I'd ban "No Derivatives licensed" mods and enforce Semantic Versioning

- ingame tool to plan missions similar to KSP TOT

- procedural everything but with constraints in career mode

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Game modes

  • Completely overhaul career mode and partially overhaul the science system.
  • Sandbox mode is not totally limitless.

Sandbox

  • Reputation bar still available, but only "decorative," does not actually affect anything. Slowly returns to 0 if you are not doing anything. It sort of tells you what the public thinks of your space program. That way you can make the public hate you by killing hundreds of kerbals, but it won't actually affect your space program.
  • Science can still be gained, and is directly turned into reputation.
  • Research and Development Building can view the science you've gotten (the tech tree screen is replaced with the science archives)
  • Kerbin World Firsts still available
  • Mission Control will still give missions from Kerbin World Firsts, but they only affect reputation and are not affected themselves by reputation.
  • You can switch between whatever building tier you want, and you won't be prevented from launching anything.
  • ...However you will see the engineer report glow red telling you that you are over the career mode limit.
  • All of these changes can be ignored and played just like the current sandbox if you want to.
  • The upcoming communications system for 1.1 will still be limited in sandbox.

Solar System

  • I would make the Kerbol system Earth-sized, and have an official rebalance of (and creation of new) stock parts to match, however I would not make it Realism Overhaul levels.
  • Minmus would be in a Cruithne-like orbit around the Sun in resonance with Kerbin.
  • Laythe would be a bit smaller (0.7 Kerbin size instead of 0.8).
  • All of the asteroids would get voronoi craters added to them.
  • We'd get a second gas planet and moons, and we'd hire the people behind Outer Planets Mod to make them (but not a direct implementation of Sarnus!)
  • Do whatever it takes to get working axial tilt on planets. (not just changing the orbit inclination like RSS does! Actual axial tilt that can be different for each planet)
  • Planets would have magnetic fields which interact with the craft and crew, and have science value.
  • BRING BACK THE MAGIC BOULER.

Fuels/Propellants/OtherResources

Ted said that he doesn't think KSP should have different fuel types, and for a 1/10 scale universe I agree. However, under the 10x scale, we kind of need to be able to have various different types of fuel densities without it being over the top. LiquidFuel and Oxidizer are still magical no-name resource canonically, as LF can be either RP-1 or Hydrazine.

I would have two types of liquid fuel and oxidizer, set via tweakables in the tanks and engines (a Mainsail can be configured to run with two different fuel mixes).

  • LiquidFuel and Oxidizer or LF+Ox (The default fuel mix, behaves like Hydrazine and N2O2. Not particularly efficient, but high density.)
  • Hydrogen and Oxygen or H2+O2 (Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxium. They are very low density and high efficiency)
  • LiquidFuel and Oxygen or LF+O2 (RP-1 and Liquid Oxygen. The Oxium is low density and takes up much of the fuel tank's volume. The LiquidFuel is high density. They are more efficient than LF+Ox and less efficient than H2+O2.)
  • LiquidFuel and IntakeAir or LF (Jet Fuel)
  • Hydrogen and IntakeAir or H2 (Only available in higher tech jets, default fuel for RAPIER engine)
  • Hydrogen or H2 (Just Hydrogen alone in a tank, not combining with any air or oxidizer. You'd see this in Atomic Rockets)
  • XenonGas or Xe (Ion engine propellant)
  • SolidFuel or SF (Exactly the same as now, although the actual motors would be rebalanced)
  • Monopropellant or MP (Behaves like Hydrogen Peroxide or Hydrazine)
  • Water or H2O (Drinking for Kerbals*, potential high density and low efficiency Atomic Rocket propellant. Can be converted to H2+O2 in an ISRU module.)
  • Macguffinite (New name for Ore. Can be refined in an ISRU into LF, Ox, and Water. Not a full mass conversion.)
  • Snacks (Potential life support resource if one is ever implemented. *I'm not sure KSP actually needs life support)

Kerbals

  • Pilot Kerbals can do the SAS hold or hold a particular pitch, roll, or yaw relative to the horizon. Probes can only do SAS Stability Hold or Manuever Hold.
  • High tier Engineers can change the fuel type of an engine in-flight.
  • Kerbal skills are still useful in sandbox.
  • Engineer Kerbals can overthrust an engine by increasing power output up to 130%, however it will come at the cost of much much higher heat production so can only be used for a short time. To add to all of this, the Kerbal must be on EVA to change the engine overthrust being on or off.
  • Kerbals can grab onto each other ("docking together") and can transfer fuel between each other.
  • EVA suit model overhauled to match the cinematic suits (but not nearly the same detail level. They just need to look similar)
  • Scientists can use cameras on EVA.
  • Given different colored EVA suits and models to show what their class and rank (tier) is.
  • Kerbal models are completely moddable. (Humans in RSS?!)

Resource Detection

  • Scanning requires a line of sight detection. You don't just instantly get an entire map, you do have to put it in orbit. This removes the fake feeling limitation of being in a certain orbit for it to work. This one would feel more real. Advantage being you can get a low detail, partial map of a planet or moon when flying by. You also don't have to be in a polar orbit, you just only get the areas you go over.

Planetary Discovery

  • When you first start a career mode game, the planets are not in their full and total detail. In fact, all except for Mun, Duna, Eve, and Jool are mere colored spheres (where the color is just the same as the orbit line color)
  • Mun is fairly well mapped, but only on the near side.
  • Duna is a flat sphere with three splotchy colors representing the highlands (light red/orange), lowlands (dark red/brown), and ice caps (white). No particularly good detail or accuracy.
  • Eve is a flat sphere with two splotchy colors representing the land (purple) and the oceans (silver-grey).
  • Cameras are used for three things:
    -A new type of science instrument
    -For in-game screenshot saving and keeping (you can view them in the science archives)
    -for mapping planets.
  • Cameras can provide detail. The lower quality the camera, the lower quality the map is. If you take a picture of a planet using the camera, only the portion of the planet that is visible is put on the map view.
  • Scaledspace and Localspace in the flight view both have the correct, real image of the planet. It's just the map view that looks different. This would likely require splitting map view from the flight scaledspace.
  • Telescopes are cameras with a very high quality and very low field of view. They can view planets from a distance and get decent pictures of them, but the best pictures are from high quality cameras in low orbits.
  • Mapping cameras are the only cameras that can give a planet a heightmap from the map view. They slowly drain electric charge and constantly beam back the data they gather from the planets they orbit back to KSC (assuming their antenna can reach!)
  • Probably more that I forgot about.

Part models

  • Porkjet is awesome. I can't wait to see what he can do to the rocket engines!
  • No more tankbutts.
  • Mainsail can fit on a 1.25m fuselage if you want it to, just like the Vector. Basically, the size of the part's connecter should be no larger than the actual engine part itself. Every engine should have as versatile placement capabilities as the Vector.
  • All engine fairing adapters should be able to be made any size (Mainsail could have a 1.25m adaptor or a 1.25m-3.75m adapter or whatever)
  • The fairing model and texture is kind of sacky, as well as the fact you can't make the base any diameter you want. I don't think there's any need to have more than one fairing part if it is already procedural. Also, you should totally be able to run engines inside of fairings. Not RCS thrusters, just engines. I can't deploy an engine inside a non-detached fairing, and people who like to make stock propeller things would have a much better time if they could have their engines work inside fairings.
  • Textureswap for tanks maybe? That way we can have Black and White Saturn Vs and Orange SLS/STS colors on the Kerbodyne tanks, for instance.
  • Dear god, the Poodle. I cringe at the poodle. The Poodle has a terrible, terrible, terrible model.
  • Potentially get Hoojiwana to work for a part revamp alongside Porkjet?
  • I feel really bad saying this because he's an awesome coder and modder and cool person in general, but RoverDude's models are rather lacking in quality compared to what Porkjet has been pumping out. The antennas here don't look as bad as the service bays or heatshields, but they could definitely be better.
  • Implement Porkjet's Atomic Age and the upcoming LivingSpace mods.

Building models

  • The tier 1 and 2 buildings dont look particularly great. Aside from a few problems with the models physically (from floating yellow stripes to see-through holes in the buildings, there's also the fact that they just don't look all that great from a design standpoint.
  • Upcoming Deep Space Network for 1.1 will have tracking stations constructed around Kerbin as the DSN gets larger and larger.

And probably a lot more too.

The good news is that some of this stuff is planned, and that makes me happy. I am not particularly unhappy about the way KSP's development is going, but if I could change it I would. It's perfectly fine for Squad to go their own way. Except for career mode. It doesn't look like a career mode revamp is on the table at this point, and career mode is really a weak point .

Edited by GregroxMun
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Game modes

  • Completely overhaul career mode and partially overhaul the science system.
  • Sandbox mode is not totally limitless.

Sandbox

  • Reputation bar still available, but only "decorative," does not actually affect anything. Slowly returns to 0 if you are not doing anything. It sort of tells you what the public thinks of your space program. That way you can make the public hate you by killing hundreds of kerbals, but it won't actually affect your space program.
  • Science can still be gained, and is directly turned into reputation.
  • Research and Development Building can view the science you've gotten (the tech tree screen is replaced with the science archives)
  • Kerbin World Firsts still available
  • Mission Control will still give missions from Kerbin World Firsts, but they only affect reputation and are not affected themselves by reputation.
  • You can switch between whatever building tier you want, and you won't be prevented from launching anything.
  • ...However you will see the engineer report glow red telling you that you are over the career mode limit.
  • All of these changes can be ignored and played just like the current sandbox if you want to.
  • The upcoming communications system for 1.1 will still be limited in sandbox.

Solar System

  • I would make the Kerbol system Earth-sized, and have an official rebalance of (and creation of new) stock parts to match, however I would not make it Realism Overhaul levels.
  • Minmus would be in a Cruithne-like orbit around the Sun in resonance with Kerbin.
  • Laythe would be a bit smaller (0.7 Kerbin size instead of 0.8).
  • All of the asteroids would get voronoi craters added to them.
  • We'd get a second gas planet and moons, and we'd hire the people behind Outer Planets Mod to make them (but not a direct implementation of Sarnus!)
  • Do whatever it takes to get working axial tilt on planets. (not just changing the orbit inclination like RSS does! Actual axial tilt that can be different for each planet)
  • Planets would have magnetic fields which interact with the craft and crew, and have science value.
  • BRING BACK THE MAGIC BOULER.

Fuels/Propellants/OtherResources

Ted said that he doesn't think KSP should have different fuel types, and for a 1/10 scale universe I agree. However, under the 10x scale, we kind of need to be able to have various different types of fuel densities without it being over the top. LiquidFuel and Oxidizer are still magical no-name resource canonically, as LF can be either RP-1 or Hydrazine.

I would have two types of liquid fuel and oxidizer, set via tweakables in the tanks and engines (a Mainsail can be configured to run with two different fuel mixes).

  • LiquidFuel and Oxidizer or LF+Ox (The default fuel mix, behaves like Hydrazine and N2O2. Not particularly efficient, but high density.)
  • Hydrogen and Oxygen or H2+O2 (Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxium. They are very low density and high efficiency)
  • LiquidFuel and Oxygen or LF+O2 (RP-1 and Liquid Oxygen. The Oxium is low density and takes up much of the fuel tank's volume. The LiquidFuel is high density. They are more efficient than LF+Ox and less efficient than H2+O2.)
  • LiquidFuel and IntakeAir or LF (Jet Fuel)
  • Hydrogen and IntakeAir or H2 (Only available in higher tech jets, default fuel for RAPIER engine)
  • Hydrogen or H2 (Just Hydrogen alone in a tank, not combining with any air or oxidizer. You'd see this in Atomic Rockets)
  • XenonGas or Xe (Ion engine propellant)
  • SolidFuel or SF (Exactly the same as now, although the actual motors would be rebalanced)
  • Monopropellant or MP (Behaves like Hydrogen Peroxide or Hydrazine)
  • Water or H2O (Drinking for Kerbals*, potential high density and low efficiency Atomic Rocket propellant. Can be converted to H2+O2 in an ISRU module.)
  • Macguffinite (New name for Ore. Can be refined in an ISRU into LF, Ox, and Water. Not a full mass conversion.)
  • Snacks (Potential life support resource if one is ever implemented. *I'm not sure KSP actually needs life support)

Kerbals

  • Pilot Kerbals can do the SAS hold or hold a particular pitch, roll, or yaw relative to the horizon. Probes can only do SAS Stability Hold or Manuever Hold.
  • High tier Engineers can change the fuel type of an engine in-flight.
  • Kerbal skills are still useful in sandbox.
  • Engineer Kerbals can overthrust an engine by increasing power output up to 130%, however it will come at the cost of much much higher heat production so can only be used for a short time. To add to all of this, the Kerbal must be on EVA to change the engine overthrust being on or off.
  • Kerbals can grab onto each other ("docking together") and can transfer fuel between each other.
  • EVA suit model overhauled to match the cinematic suits (but not nearly the same detail level. They just need to look similar)
  • Scientists can use cameras on EVA.
  • Given different colored EVA suits and models to show what their class and rank (tier) is.
  • Kerbal models are completely moddable. (Humans in RSS?!)

Resource Detection

  • Scanning requires a line of sight detection. You don't just instantly get an entire map, you do have to put it in orbit. This removes the fake feeling limitation of being in a certain orbit for it to work. This one would feel more real. Advantage being you can get a low detail, partial map of a planet or moon when flying by. You also don't have to be in a polar orbit, you just only get the areas you go over.

Planetary Discovery

  • When you first start a career mode game, the planets are not in their full and total detail. In fact, all except for Mun, Duna, Eve, and Jool are mere colored spheres (where the color is just the same as the orbit line color)
  • Mun is fairly well mapped, but only on the near side.
  • Duna is a flat sphere with three splotchy colors representing the highlands (light red/orange), lowlands (dark red/brown), and ice caps (white). No particularly good detail or accuracy.
  • Eve is a flat sphere with two splotchy colors representing the land (purple) and the oceans (silver-grey).
  • Cameras are used for three things:
    -A new type of science instrument
    -For in-game screenshot saving and keeping (you can view them in the science archives)
    -for mapping planets.
  • Cameras can provide detail. The lower quality the camera, the lower quality the map is. If you take a picture of a planet using the camera, only the portion of the planet that is visible is put on the map view.
  • Scaledspace and Localspace in the flight view both have the correct, real image of the planet. It's just the map view that looks different. This would likely require splitting map view from the flight scaledspace.
  • Telescopes are cameras with a very high quality and very low field of view. They can view planets from a distance and get decent pictures of them, but the best pictures are from high quality cameras in low orbits.
  • Mapping cameras are the only cameras that can give a planet a heightmap from the map view. They slowly drain electric charge and constantly beam back the data they gather from the planets they orbit back to KSC (assuming their antenna can reach!)
  • Probably more that I forgot about.

Part models

  • Porkjet is awesome. I can't wait to see what he can do to the rocket engines!
  • No more tankbutts.
  • Mainsail can fit on a 1.25m fuselage if you want it to, just like the Vector. Basically, the size of the part's connecter should be no larger than the actual engine part itself. Every engine should have as versatile placement capabilities as the Vector.
  • All engine fairing adapters should be able to be made any size (Mainsail could have a 1.25m adaptor or a 1.25m-3.75m adapter or whatever)
  • The fairing model and texture is kind of sacky, as well as the fact you can't make the base any diameter you want. I don't think there's any need to have more than one fairing part if it is already procedural. Also, you should totally be able to run engines inside of fairings. Not RCS thrusters, just engines. I can't deploy an engine inside a non-detached fairing, and people who like to make stock propeller things would have a much better time if they could have their engines work inside fairings.
  • Textureswap for tanks maybe? That way we can have Black and White Saturn Vs and Orange SLS/STS colors on the Kerbodyne tanks, for instance.
  • Dear god, the Poodle. I cringe at the poodle. The Poodle has a terrible, terrible, terrible model.
  • Potentially get Hoojiwana to work for a part revamp alongside Porkjet?
  • I feel really bad saying this because he's an awesome coder and modder and cool person in general, but RoverDude's models are rather lacking in quality compared to what Porkjet has been pumping out. The antennas here don't look as bad as the service bays or heatshields, but they could definitely be better.
  • Implement Porkjet's Atomic Age and the upcoming LivingSpace mods.

Building models

  • The tier 1 and 2 buildings dont look particularly great. Aside from a few problems with the models physically (from floating yellow stripes to see-through holes in the buildings, there's also the fact that they just don't look all that great from a design standpoint.
  • Upcoming Deep Space Network for 1.1 will have tracking stations constructed around Kerbin as the DSN gets larger and larger.

And probably a lot more too.

The good news is that some of this stuff is planned, and that makes me happy. I am not particularly unhappy about the way KSP's development is going, but if I could change it I would. It's perfectly fine for Squad to go their own way. Except for career mode. It doesn't look like a career mode revamp is on the table at this point, and career mode is really a weak point .

Impressive. Absolutely correct, except for:

Too many diferent fuels would clutter the game

Having to discover planets would be a pain in the ***

Scaling the Kerbol System would also make the game slower = more boring

Other than that, 11/10

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Eh, it's not another one of those request threads so I guess I'll join in:

Parts:

-Electric props

-pWings (maybe)

-Damage (simple decals like scorch marks, holes causing fuel spills making the tanks more prone to catching fire, etc.)

-Camera/telescope parts

-Inflatable habs for surface bases

-LF/LF+OX/MONOPROP tweakable for tanks

+Hire some more people who have very similar art style to PorkJet's to help him finish the work faster.

Planets:

-Rehire NovaSilisko to redo them so they look more like in Alternis (great mod btw)

-Change Eve's and Jool's colours to sth more sane

-Add meteorites(?) randomly entering the atmosphere from time to time. Same thing for volcanoes and occasional water on Duna (maybe something else?)

-Procedural craters on more bodies (currently on Mun only)

KSC:

-Rehire bac9 so he could bring his magic back and redo the low and mid tier buildings

-More places with runways and to launch rockets from

-Make that damn telescope in R&D functional to observe not only planets but also other parts of the universe (great way to educate kids about what else is up there)

Gameplay mechanics:

-Better Kerbal XP

-KAC implementation

-KER readouts

-KIS/KAS implementation

-Simplified Life Support (food only, kerbals need EC to stay alive, greenhouses)

That's about all, I think.

Edited by Veeltch
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Utilize the power of Unity5 to give the Kerbals proper ultra-low poly hair-dos.

Discuss the possibility of pseudo (code trickery)- Lagrange points to up the science learning value.

Even bigger lifters ala SpaceY

More rover options, the ability to target an area/or place multiple points and the rover will drive there.

And of course, keep the bugtracker down! *grumbles from the staff*

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A preliminary note: To do this I'm going to have to make some stuff up because Squad quite reasonably don't make everything about their business public. This thread is not the place to argue over whether that stuff is right or wrong. Just enjoy the story.


In the role of Squad...

We are not in as good a position as we would like. We rushed 1.0 out for business reasons and it had a bunch of problems that have persisted through to 1.0.4 and that's annoyed many in the fanbase - though we know there are those who will seemingly be annoyed whatever we do. 1.0.5 has been an improvement and is still in afterglow of the release hype-er-nova but that's going to cool. Existing players clearly want the game to run better, with fewer bugs and less performance, but we believe that sales will be boosted more by cool new features. Sales of KSP on PC are slowing and we suspect it might be meeting saturation but we hope we can still reach more people.

1.1 was supposed to be a big deal for the existing players, but that's been delayed and delayed again. That's why we brought out 1.0.5, but there's only so much Cool Stuff it could have with the engine limits.

Looking forward, on the programming side of things, we need to make a decision soon: Do we bring in new coders? The existing team are clearly having trouble porting KSP to Unity 5, but there's the adage that adding manpower to a late project makes it later. NathanKell has done good work but he's not quite what we need. Getting Flying Tiger to work on the PC version is a contractual and legal mess and that's a non-starter. In the event we opt to hire one or more new developers with Unity 5 expertise. We hope that with strong management from our new producer progress on the coding side of 1.1 will pick up, but we worry that maybe we've got too many people trying to hack on the core code. The code really wants a decent refactor to make it easier to fix bugs and add features in, but there just isn't time to do that, that's a job to kick into the long grass.

This is critical because we also need to look at the visual side of things. Parts we have covered; any of Porkject, Necrobones, or Ven will do a great job of overhauling the rocket parts to a high standard. We also develop some art style guidelines for them to try and improve consistency. We expect much if not all of the parts overhaul to be done for 1.1.

The planets and the environment are a bit trickier. There's been a lot of great mod work in that area, but somehow we feel it would be better to have our in-house artists work on it. Call it a gut feeling. This work will take longer and it's not likely to make 1.1, but probably 1.2. Unity still limits us and the newly revamped planets and moons are set to look awesome, but any player who spends a bit of time will realise they're still as samey as ever. But this doesn't really matter - the *gorgeous* screenshots sell the game. This revamp may be our last chance to reconsider the size of the Kerbin system, but we leave it as it is - it's familiar and while it may cause some gameplay oddities, changing it would cause more trouble not least wreaking havoc on saves and player craft designs.

Then there's the big one: multiplayer. Because that is a whole untapped market of potential customers, who so far have seen that KSP is single-player only and turned away because of that. After KSP 1.1 is out, we need to devote a lot of efforts to getting multiplayer in. That will mean that the bugfixes and performance improvements the existing fanbase want will be slower coming, but the boost from Unity 5 can be ridden on for a bit and we hope to keep a steady incremental stream of updates coming.

In the longer term we need to decide where we want to go as a company. Mojang's approach of keeping on refining their single big title then selling up and retiring without money worries worked great for them, but we don't know if it's right for Squad. Maybe we can come up with some new games instead. That is a question for the future though.


A concluding note. This is not necessarily what I, as a player and fan of KSP, want Squad to do. This is what I would do if I was in charge at Squad. The chief "conflict" as it were is that we existing players aren't directly making revenues for Squad, it's the possible new customers who are. Hopefully others can appreciate this.

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I kind of know what I would do.

1.1

- Unity 5.

- Classical soundtrack.

- IVA sound effects such as alarms, shaking, communication between mission control and the pod.

- 1.8 meter rocket parts.

- Gendered docking ports.

- Implement a simple morale system based on happiness.

- Varying kerbal weights and having those weights actually take effect onboard a vessel.

1.2

- Kerbals have different appearances.

- Moving around in IVA.

- Simple life support.

- Simple radiation (well radiation is fairly simple already)

- Simple muscle atrophy.

- Habitat parts to combat all three bad things.

- System that makes it so you can simulate gravity to combat atrophy without the need for special parts.

- Kerbals don't like being cooped up in tiny pods for 3 months.

- Kerbals like getting luxuries like books and letters and fresh food.

- Things can get broken and kerbals can fix them.

1.3

- Science overhaul

- Tech tree overhaul and mod support.

- More variation on fuels.

1.4

- Cities.

- Kerbals wander around the space center, and some gather around to watch rocket launches.

- Bugfixing.

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Impressive. Absolutely correct, except for:

Too many diferent fuels would clutter the game

Having to discover planets would be a pain in the ***

Scaling the Kerbol System would also make the game slower = more boring

Other than that, 11/10

You may very well be correct about different fuels.

You're not discovering the planets so much as finding out what they look like beyond their color.

Disagree that making the game slower makes it more boring. That's like saying stock scale is more boring than Toy Solar System. (Hint: It's not). The point in having Kerbin be full scale is so that the designs for spacecraft are more authentic, things that could actually function in the real world. Maybe include a 1/10 Full scale mode for an option to go back to the pre-rescale stock system. Heck, while they're at it they could include an optional Real Solar System mode. Imagine that!

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