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[WIP][Plugin][1.0.5] NIMBY - Restricted Recovery - Alpha1


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(first OP on the new forums, excuse the formatting)

Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) - A plugin that restricts vessel recovery to a limited range around "recovery beacons" inspired by @inigma's request. The operation is simple: if you're within range of a beacon then recovery works as normal, but if you're out of range you'll receive a message stating that no recovery is possible.

Why would I want to limit my recovery options? Perhaps you like the extra challenge of trying to land near a particular spot and the engineering challenge of building rescue vehicles for ships that land out of reach. Perhaps you roleplay different countries and vessels landing in a foreign country can't be easily recovered intact. Whatever your reason, if you want the option then here it is!

 

This mod is a work in progress. There is a playable alpha (a proof of concept basically) available on GitHub, which I will link below. I barely have time for my main projects though, so if someone wants to take this up (perhaps someone who has an interest in learning to mod but would like some help along the way) then I'd happily work with them or even pass it off entirely. If not, then I'll continue on it in my spare time :P

 

By default the KSC is the only recovery beacon and has a range of 100km. You can create additional beacons in the Beacons.cfg file (which is automatically generated after you load a save and go into flight or the tracking station).

Alpha Download and Source Code

License is MIT, which is a very open license (so feel free to submit pull requests, make forks, do whatever)

A picture provided by inigma:

Spoiler

4Wvl0L9.png

 

Some ideas for future features (in no particular order):

  • A GUI to create/edit static recovery beacons
  • A part that provides a mobile recovery beacon. From a career perspective this would be how you expand your recovery zones (rather than adding static beacons in the config)
  • A GUI to show the distance and direction to the closest beacon
  • Showing beacons (and possibly their zones) on the map
  • Non-circular zones (for outlining land masses/"countries")
  • Non-Kerbin beacons for recovery on other Celestial bodies
  • Saving beacons per-save rather than globally (but with part-based beacons, is this needed?)
  • Adjust recovery rates based on distance to the beacon, rather than KSC (so recovering on top of a beacon but on the other side of Kerbin could net 100% instead of 10%)

 

The default Beacons.cfg (which will also give you an idea of how to create additional static recovery beacons):

Beacon
{
	name = KSC
	latitude = -0.0917535793462422
	longitude = 285.370302576335
	range = 100000
}

 

Edited by magico13
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This sounds neat!

The idea of mobile beacons sounds a little OP though, as there would be little reason to actually pickup and return a re-entered craft to the KSC.
This might be totally out of the scope, but how hard would it be to have a contract generate on vehicles outside beacon range that would reward you for manual retrieval? Although I guess RP is it's own reward :P

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6 hours ago, Venusgate said:

This sounds neat!

The idea of mobile beacons sounds a little OP though, as there would be little reason to actually pickup and return a re-entered craft to the KSC.
This might be totally out of the scope, but how hard would it be to have a contract generate on vehicles outside beacon range that would reward you for manual retrieval? Although I guess RP is it's own reward :P

Mobile recovery zone beacons would allow the creation of mobile craft and servicing carriers, orbital scrapyards, mobile or orbital bases, and general scrap cleanup vessels (think garbage scow). Or give the player the option to designate a vessel as recoverable anywhere. 

 

Beacons themselves and crafts with beacons attached should be recoverable but a warning popup asking the player if they really want to recover the beacon and thus shutdown an active recovery zone.   Ill add that as an enhancement.

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8 hours ago, Venusgate said:

The idea of mobile beacons sounds a little OP though, as there would be little reason to actually pickup and return a re-entered craft to the KSC.
This might be totally out of the scope, but how hard would it be to have a contract generate on vehicles outside beacon range that would reward you for manual retrieval? Although I guess RP is it's own reward :P

They'd be balanced by (minimally) cost and weight. I imagine the required parts being heavy, bulky, and expensive. Definitely not something you add onto normal launches (unless you want to lose a lot of dV). They'd also be fairly short range: probably only a few tens of kilometers maximum. Also, they'd require a crew of kerbals, likely engineers. Total Kerbal level could affect maximum range maybe.

 

If I end up designing the parts then a short range beacon (maximum 10km or so) might fit in a mk2 cargo bay (aka, 1.25m diameter) while a normal range (maybe 100km max) would fit in the mk3 cargo bay (2.5 meters. Possibly larger/heavier than the ISRU part. That's actually a good part to use as a comparison).

 

As for contracts, that's a cool idea. No idea how to do it, but definitely a cool thought, and it makes sense with the recent switch over to contextual contracts. There might be ways to do that with Contract Configurator.

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I updated #3 with details.  I think part should actually be the equivalent size of mechjebs part. The beacon is just that... a radio. Requiring a manned Kerbal presence would balance the freedom to having a static vs mobile beacon in addition to distance limits.

Edited by inigma
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I think we have opposite ideas for what the beacon does. In my mind it's a part you place as part of a base to allow vessels to be recovered in a range around them, and eventually you'd cover all or most of Kerbin with them if you wanted to. Like the Deep Space Network, but for recovering vessels instead of deep space communications. It adds a way to expend money and time to set up the infrastructure to make things simpler in the future.

I think you meant #5 :P What you're talking about sounds like a part that lets you recover the selected vessel and maybe vessels within a very short range. I'm not sure why you wouldn't put it on every single ship if it's that small and lightweight, which negates the purpose of the mod. A kerbal isn't going to be able to drag a vessel back to the KSC, but if you can recover the ship by adding a lightweight part then that's basically the same thing.

If you want something with a very short range (250 meters) but can be used in an aircraft carrier or even a large airplane then I'd suggest something (at least) the size of the 1.25 meter ISRU module. It's large enough not to be used on every ship, but small enough that you can easily incorporate it into designs. The "beacon" isn't the radio in my mind (every capsule has a radio for locating it already), it's the infrastructure required to fully recover a vessel, which shouldn't be a small thing. Honestly I'd like to see something like MKS or EPL where you have to have several (sizeable) parts to meet the requirements, requiring a full base to be set up to have the recovery function fully work. If we abstract that to just being a single part (or a few parts), I'd like to see it as something (minimally) like this: 

duna3_zps7d356951.jpg

 

Maybe a short range beacon only needs something the size of a 1.25 meter fuel tank and an attached antenna. That might be big enough to discourage using it all the time, but you could fit it onto a boat or a manned rover without trouble.

Edited by magico13
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19 hours ago, magico13 said:

I think we have opposite ideas for what the beacon does. In my mind it's a part you place as part of a base to allow vessels to be recovered in a range around them, and eventually you'd cover all or most of Kerbin with them if you wanted to. Like the Deep Space Network, but for recovering vessels instead of deep space communications. It adds a way to expend money and time to set up the infrastructure to make things simpler in the future.

I think you meant #5 :P What you're talking about sounds like a part that lets you recover the selected vessel and maybe vessels within a very short range. I'm not sure why you wouldn't put it on every single ship if it's that small and lightweight, which negates the purpose of the mod. A kerbal isn't going to be able to drag a vessel back to the KSC, but if you can recover the ship by adding a lightweight part then that's basically the same thing.

If you want something with a very short range (250 meters) but can be used in an aircraft carrier or even a large airplane then I'd suggest something (at least) the size of the 1.25 meter ISRU module. It's large enough not to be used on every ship, but small enough that you can easily incorporate it into designs. The "beacon" isn't the radio in my mind (every capsule has a radio for locating it already), it's the infrastructure required to fully recover a vessel, which shouldn't be a small thing. Honestly I'd like to see something like MKS or EPL where you have to have several (sizeable) parts to meet the requirements, requiring a full base to be set up to have the recovery function fully work. If we abstract that to just being a single part (or a few parts), I'd like to see it as something (minimally) like this: 

duna3_zps7d356951.jpg

 

Maybe a short range beacon only needs something the size of a 1.25 meter fuel tank and an attached antenna. That might be big enough to discourage using it all the time, but you could fit it onto a boat or a manned rover without trouble.

This implementation of a beacon idea makes better sense. Thanks for explaining it! Let's go with that for now.

So essentially start with a single part, but expand it to include various requirements: manned by 5 Kerbals (like Remote Tech requires for remote control bases), and maybe additional parts or modules.

My idea was essentially along the lines of supporting a smaller ship beacon that could be put onto a scrap cleaner craft design to capture and "process" space debris out of existence.   Perhaps if this were so, the beacon would only be allowed to be used a short number of times, its distance limited to 50m, and very expensive. Obviously at that point it's not a "beacon" in that sense, but more like a separate scrap processing module part. Seeing as how this is a very specific part for a very specific task, this would be an enhancement after your beacon idea above is implemented.

 

So if I were to summarize our combined ideas (names are subjective):

- all parts to Command & Control category:

NIMBY Recovery Zone Beacon:
1.25 meter part capable of fitting in a mk2 bay.
- Requires 2 manned Kerbals to activate
- Requires static placement (0 surface speed, disabled if not)
- (Enhancement when Processing Core developed): Initial maximum range of 1000m but can be extended with additional modules attached.
- (Enhancement when Recycling Unit developed): 100 recovery uses.
- 125k funds

NIMBY Field Emitter Core:
1.25 meter part capable of fitting in a mk2 bay.
- Requires NIMBY Zone Field Emitter Beacon attached
- Requires 1 manned Kerbal to activate
- Requires static placement
- Increases NIMBY Recovery Zone Beacon range to 1000km.
- 125k funds

NIMBY Recycling Unit:
Part capable of fitting in a mk3 bay
- Requires NIMBY Zone Field Emitter Beacon attached
- Requires NIMBY Processing Core attached
- Requires 2 manned Kerbals to activate
- Requires static placement
- Enables NIMBY Recovery Zone Field Emitter Beacon to process unlimited recoveries
- 350k funds

NIMBY Mobile Processing Core: (for mobile scrapyard/salvage ships?)
Part capable of fitting inside a mk1 fuselage
- Requires 1 manned Kerbal (no manual activation needed)
- Single use recovery (either self, or nearby craft)
- Range of only 50m
- 50k funds

NIMBY Mobile Recovery Zone System: (for carriers and orbital bases)
1.25 meter part capable of fitting in a mk2 bay.
- Requires 5 manned Kerbals
- Unlimited processing of recoveries but only within 250m range.
- 400k funds

 

Thoughts on the above layout? Is this somewhat what you were thinking?
 

 

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  • 2 months later...
7 minutes ago, MatterBeam said:

Just to confirm, this can work on other planets, and it is a physical part we can transport to other planets?

Neither of those are true (yet). There's discussion about that. Making it be tied to a part isn't too hard, making it work on other planets might require some serious tricks.

Right now all it does is restrict recovery to within 100km of KSC, and through the config file you can add additional regions. If/when I get back to this the first step will be adding it to parts. Other planets is much later.

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  • 1 month later...

I have some Ideas for this.

1.The Mobile Beacon cannot be recovered unless it is near the KSC.

2. The Amount of money that you get back depends on how high level the workers are

3. The craft takes time to be recovered/the higher level the engineers are, the faster it is.

4 using the timed recovery system, you can tell the engineers to do a fast, low quality job, or a slow, high quality job for extra money.

~~ Maybe ~~  5. Each Beacon has a crew capacity

6. Having multiple beacons allows the craft to be scrapped faster, but needs to have extra people.

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On the topic of recovering space debris with a beacon....

it is far better in terms of "reality" and "Role play ability" to just use the explosives mods and have a kerbal go on eva and detonate the space junk.  Or build a "recovery" ship to go up and clamp on to it, deorbit, and parachute it to safety if it is an expensive part you want to recover funds from.

I have used both of these options many times to give my career games an immersion.  it makes design time planning to recover the expensive bits a real plus, but also gives you some RP missions to go and have Jeb recover a dead satellite or destroy that debris field made up of spent SRB hulls.

 

I would say the beacon needs to be a base...  MKS et. al.  or something like an Aircraft carrier for an "At Sea" recovery like NASA did.  so yes Huge part(s)  not something you fly over and magically recover.  you need a permanent installation or a huge ship / Fleet of recovery vehicles on land.  make us work for it.  maker it be something we have to plan for design and execute.  this is what makes career mod fun.  solving problems that you never expected. 

 

"Go to the other side of kerbin and recover that pod... oh and the crew before they starve.   because their re entry was FUBAR (KUBAR?) and they over shot the landing window by 2 hours.  and now they have 3.5 days of food left in their capsule before they starve. we need to go get that pod and all the science data from Duna... oh and save the Kerbals if you can."

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@Bit Fiddler I've been thinking about this mod again and that's the sort of route I have planned. This is supposed to encourage building vehicles to recover the landed pods and to try to provide incentive for precision landings. Setting up "beacons" will require non-trivial amounts of infrastructure (though it will always be Stock + any parts added in this mod). At minimum a science lab with antennae and a crew of engineer Kerbals for fairly short range (a few km) recoveries. Larger ranges will require larger bases, but the details haven't been worked out yet. Mobile recovery options might be provided, or they might be required to be in a fixed position for a period of time before they'll start working (ie, you can build a mobile base but it must spend a week in a location before it can be used for recovery).

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

The forum says this is a "quite old" thread, but I see a brand new version just popped out in space dock. Please correct me if there is another thread to this.

On to the subject:  WOW! What a great idea for a mod. Is the "mobile beacon" working?

 

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13 minutes ago, Daniel Prates said:

The forum says this is a "quite old" thread, but I see a brand new version just popped out in space dock. Please correct me if there is another thread to this.

On to the subject:  WOW! What a great idea for a mod. Is the "mobile beacon" working?

 

 

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It's easier for me to maintain as a modlet and I don't intend on doing a whole lot extra on it (I've got other projects that eat up a lot of time). Mobile beacons are not a thing yet, but I don't think will be too hard to create so I may try to do that this week, depending on what project I end up working on.

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2 hours ago, magico13 said:

It's easier for me to maintain as a modlet and I don't intend on doing a whole lot extra on it (I've got other projects that eat up a lot of time). Mobile beacons are not a thing yet, but I don't think will be too hard to create so I may try to do that this week, depending on what project I end up working on.

Please please! :D

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Not to overdo the scope creep, but a few mechanics that could make mobile 'beacons' interesting:

1) They can have a mass limit (So bigger craft could require more extensive/heavier facilities for recovery)

2) They cannot recover themselves.

Those two restrictions alone would grant a whole bunch of interesting implications. How much modeling is done in support of it, of course, is another question... but it would certainly seem like fun. :) Good luck!

Edited by Reiver
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