SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: Optimistic Goals

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<figure data-orig-width="480" data-orig-height="92" class="tmblr-full"><img data-orig-width="480" data-orig-height="92" src="http://41.media.tumblr.com/0ff9377afa68dc3ad3fe6844aaf1bd38/tumblr_inline_nycbugT0Qm1rr2wit_540.jpg"/></figure><p>Hi everyone!</p><p>This is a week in which we made a big decision: we have to owe up to setting too optimistic goals. Kerbal Space Program is a labor of love, and we want to see the game all it possibly can be. In the case of update 1.1, three weeks of QA & experimentals just wouldn’t do justice to the quality of the game we aim for if you consider that nearly all areas of the game have been updated in some way. And that’s assuming we’d be able to finish the work on that by the end of the week. This will be the largest overhaul to existing parts of the game we have ever done, and that we ever intend to do. Almost every single part of the user interface has been changed. .Releasing the update with minimal testing is going to leave a lot of bugs unsolved and will ruin the experience of everyone who plays the game. As a result, we’ve decided to swallow our collective pride, drop the internal pre-Christmas release deadline and push the release for update 1.1 into 2016 meaning that 1.0.5 will have to hold you over until then. We’re confident you understand this decision and support it. </p><p>This past week then Ted and Joe (Dr Turkey) have been in many meetings, planning the allocation of time and resources for the next couple of months. Pragmatism is key here. Optimizing the internal communication is a big part of this, because all the little changes will amount to large amounts of time won in the long term. On top of all the meetings there we’ve also got some interesting partnerships looming on the horizon, though it’s too early to talk about them. </p><p>Back to development then: it’s getting monotonous saying this but this week is all about more interface work. Felipe (HarvesteR) has updated the final dialog systems that used the old interface system, being amongst others the crew hatch dialog, the science results panel, and the stats tracking prompt on the main menu. Today’s milestone was that all parts of the user interface have either been transferred into the new system already or the work on them has started. A good sign of progress which is very welcome after six to seven months of user interface work.</p><p>More progress comes from Jim (Romfarer) who has been throwing himself at the stage manager and the application launcher positions on the screen, and how that changes in different scenes. Smart use of the screen space in different settings means we’re freeing up much-needed space and remove clutter from the screen so we can fill it with different clutter. </p><p>The antenna relay system is still being worked on: Bob (Roverdude) implemented new mechanics that will encourage developing robust relay networks with buffs, instead of nerfing the current mechanics. A good relay system will for example allow you to return more science from instruments than is currently possible but it will require a lot more work to set up. Think of how the Curiosity rover uses the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to send signals home, or how Philae uses Rosetta to do the same. </p><p>On the contract side of the game, Brian (Arsonide) has written a new system which he’s been looking forward to for quite some time now: instead of the current behavior where the game generates new contracts in a random way within the restraints of player progress, the game will now attach a weight to every type of contract, and use that to learn the player’s preference of contracts, making those contracts that the player prefers more likely to show up. </p><p>Chris (Porkjet) has been tackling the changes that Unity 5 has brought to the shaders. For example, the Blinphong lighting model which is used by most of the part shaders suffers from an odd issue that causes the specular highlights to look as if they are low quality vertex based. Instead of writing a workaround it was a more robust solution to switch to the new ‘standard’ Unity 5 shader. The two shaders are very different though, the new standard shader is a physical based rendering model, which means different inputs (for example smoothness and gloss) and outputs (such as metalness and occlusion) are now required and given. Reworking all the textures from scratch is out of the question because it would simply take far too much time, so a conversion had to be worked out and it ended up working quite well. An outstanding advantage of switching to the new shader system is that we can now have shiny real-time reflections on smooth areas like windows and canopies.</p><p>Dave (TriggerAu) meanwhile has continued work on the KSPedia and finished around 45 screens to the point where they are ready. The QA team is now going over them with a fine-toothed comb, checking them for any errors that may have slipped in. .</p><p>On to the community then: the forums will be migrating from vBulletin 4 to IPS 4 by the end of the week, and we’re bringing back the community to its core, which means some data will unfortunately be lost. Kasper (KasperVld) has been working overtime during the weekend to make sure the old links will keep working where possible, and to finish a test migration of the database. The final bits are still being worked on but we’re very excited to move to a platform that better suits our needs and was actually developed in this decade. </p><p>Unless unforeseen circumstances crop up the forums will be closed Friday and Saturday to make the transfer possible. After the migration some features may initially be missing and some posts will appear as if not updated yet: after the forum is installed it works in the background to update all existing posts. The KSP forum however has over 2.3 million of them and we don’t want to burn down the data center so this process will likely take a couple of days. <br/></p><p>That’s it for this week, be sure to leave your questions on our official forums, Twitter, Facebook or on Reddit!<br/></p>

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yay! and first!
but 2016? :C at least we got an amazing version to play until there! :D

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Good to hear you're not rushing it, take your time, a good, late update is better than a rushed early one. :)

EDIT: I'm [B][I]very[/I][/B] glad to hear about the new contract weighting, that sounds like it'll help with some of the problems the current system has right now. I bet 1.1 will be a great update! :)

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[QUOTE]On the contract side of the game, Brian (Arsonide) has written a new system which he’s been looking forward to for quite some time now: instead of the current behavior where the game generates new contracts in a random way within the restraints of player progress, the game will now attach a weight to every type of contract, and use that to learn the player’s preference of contracts, making those contracts that the player prefers more likely to show up.[/QUOTE]

This right here is now officially my favorite feature in 1.1 - nice move! This will make contracts far more meaningful and enjoyable to the user, as well as opening up tons of doors for customization. Super psyched about it!


[quote]More progress comes from Jim (Romfarer) who has been throwing himself at the stage manager[/quote]

Looking forward to the KSPlay on broadway! Edited by amorymeltzer

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Alright. I was hoping for pre-christmas, but I totally understand the need to push it back to 2016. And I am [I]so gosh darned happy[/I] about switching to the new standard Unity 5 shader. :D

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re the push to 2016: At least you guys are honest about it and seriosuly, take all the time you need to bugtest it. :D

Also, have you guys fixed the scene change memory leak yet? That's kind of one of the last major memory leak issues that are unresolved.

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HAHAHAHAHA xD


How come this date you guys can push back, but 1.0 was a "Hard" release date, and was forced out way too early? You literally run your own business of course you can change the date of a release.

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We just got 1.05, so we'll need more time to wear it out anyway. :wink:

This is a huge release so do it right- looking forward to the new gameplay mechanics and performance increases!

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[quote name='SQUAD']As a result, we’ve decided to swallow our collective pride, drop the internal pre-Christmas release deadline and push the release for update 1.1 into 2016 meaning that 1.0.5 will have to hold you over until then. We’re confident you understand this decision and support it.[/QUOTE]

This is welcome news, considering some past releases looked like they were not being driven by software readiness *cough*1.0*cough*. It's nice to see that there's some understanding of the need to thoroughly test the code thrash that's happening in 1.1, and not stick to schedule, regardless of quality.

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The news just gets more exciting! Bummer that we won't see 1.1 until 2016, but it sounds like it'll be 100% worth the wait. All this re-working and improving of existing systems has me all the way hyped.

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[quote name='SQUAD'] An outstanding advantage of switching to the new shader system is that we can now have shiny real-time reflections on smooth areas like windows and canopies.
[/QUOTE]

I'm liking this ^ YAY!!! Stock reflections on windows!!!!!

Happy Flying
YargJay9991 Edited by YargJay9991
Typo

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Take as long as you need. Take longer if you like!

I'm most looking forward to the shader update. Shiny windows! Does this also mean there may be a new water shader with reflections?
An overhaul of the environmental visuals would go down very well with v1.1

*cough* clouds! *cough*

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I do support and congratulate your decision in delaying the release of 1.1. Take your time to iron out all the bad bugs. Besides, many modders would be to much away during the end of the year holidays. So again, I think this delay is for the best.

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[quote name='SQUAD']On the contract side of the game, Brian (Arsonide) has written a new system which he’s been looking forward to for quite some time now: instead of the current behavior where the game generates new contracts in a random way within the restraints of player progress, the game will now attach a weight to every type of contract, and use that to learn the player’s preference of contracts, making those contracts that the player prefers more likely to show up.[/QUOTE]I have login and ask, if I decline a type of contract will the weight of those eventually drop to 0 or is this simply a positive weighting based on those you accept? How many contracts will I typically have to accept or reject before I start to see an effect? Should I still be using Contract Configurator to completely remove terrible contract types?

This seems a lot like a late game sort of thing, much like the "Leadership Initiative" strategy which has restrictive setup costs making it in no way useful to a player who wants to set their own goals from the beginning.

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Is there an example of what we can expect from the Standard shader? Like, a demo made by Unity or something? Because if so, I wanna see it.

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I'm looking forward to the increased performance of 1.1 and am glad that Squad is taking the time to do the rollout of 1.1 in a manner that we've been asking for for a while - stable releases with most of the bugs eliminated. Way to go, guys! :D <-- me waiting for the new update!

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[quote name='Hobbes Novakoff']Is there an example of what we can expect from the Standard shader? Like, a demo made by Unity or something? Because if so, I wanna see it.[/QUOTE]
[URL]http://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/shader-StandardShader.html[/URL]

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I'm concerned that some Squad-written blogs from the early days of KSP may be lost, if not migrated to the new forums. Squad: please don't lock your development history away from searching by researchers, writers, players. [URL="https://community.invisionpower.com/blogs/"]The IPS main site shows their software supports a "blogs" category[/URL], Squad could reserve this feature for both old and new Squad-written articles.

[SIZE=2](If the entire contents of this forum could be preserved in read-only mode [oldforum.kerbalspaceprogram.com] ... then you'd only need to migrate the accounts, not the data... player postings on IPS could refer to old postings, as needed.)[/SIZE]

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I support your decision to delay 1.1, I'm enjoying 1.05 right now with a new hard mode career anyway :).
[quote name='SQUAD']On the contract side of the game, Brian (Arsonide) has written a new system which he’s been looking forward to for quite some time now: instead of the current behavior where the game generates new contracts in a random way within the restraints of player progress, the game will now attach a weight to every type of contract, and use that to learn the player’s preference of contracts, making those contracts that the player prefers more likely to show up. [/QUOTE]
I like this. May I make a suggestion? If it hasn't already been considered, include a mechanic that prevents too many of the same type of contract from showing up at the same time in queue. aka: do 100 launch a satellite missions, feel like sending a kerbal to another planet instead, and mission control is full of only satellite missions = sad face.

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