-MM-

[1.4.2] Kerbal Research & Development

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I always thought that science-points lose a lot of their value in the endgame once you have unlocked the entire tech-tree, which is why I made this mod. With Kerbal R&D you can spend science points to improve the stats of the parts you have already unlocked in a career game. At first the investment will be rather small, but the cost goes up exponentially so you will always have a good reason to bring back every last bit of science from your missions.

IFZ3Tvn.png

More images: http://imgur.com/a/2J020

License:  CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0

At the moment you can improve the following stats:

  • Dry mass of all parts (reduced mass of a part when empty)
  • Atmospheric and vacuum ISP of Engines (improving their fuel efficiency)
  • Fuel flow of Engines and RCS-Thrusters (increasing their maximum thrust)
  • Torque of reaction wheels
  • Charge rate of solar panels
  • Crash tolerance of landing legs
  • Battery capacity
  • Efficiency of Generators (eg RTGs)
  • Efficiency of Resource Converters
  • Safe deployment-speed of Parachutes
  • Maximum internal- and skin-temperature of all parts
  • Fuel pressure (capacity of fuel tanks)

The upgrades are tracked separately for each part and vessel, which means any research you do doesn't affect your ships and stations already in orbit. The cost of each upgrade and the improvement it will bring can be tweaked for each part via simple configuration files.

You can download the latest version of this mod from GitHub

This mod requires the mod Module Manager to work.

Please note that this mod is not 100% compatible with other mods which modify parts at runtime (eg TweakScale or InterstellarFuelSwitch).

Edited by -MM-
Added link to license (it wasn't here on the OP, but was present in the readme.md on the github site)

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Nice Concept, I will give this a try, hopefully it plays well with all the thousands other mods i have installed =D

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1 hour ago, Filigan said:

Nice Concept, I will give this a try, hopefully it plays well with all the thousands other mods i have installed =D

I agree, this mod looks really cool! I'm just afraid of what it will do to my mods. I'll give this a try on my stock KSP.

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Yes, I would advise to try it out with a stock version of KSP. It works fine with my other mods which I have installed, but I fear that mods which also modify part-stats like TweakScale or Procedural Parts won't work as expected.

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I love the idea.  Needs to be expanded and fleshed out more.  Just a few more ideas for you:

How about improved energy efficiency, lowering power consumption of parts.

And improved energy generation from alternators/solar panels/RTGs/fuel cells (and lower consumable consumption for fuel cells).

Probably also improved (lower) heat generation from drills.

And maybe improved crash tolerances for parts (or at least landing gear/struts and wheels)

Edited by bgeery

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This looks like a great mod! I'm just reaching endgame in my Alternis Kerbol save, but I like the layout and I was hoping I could keep myself entertained on it for a while, and this mod looks like just the perfect one for me. I'll give it a shot and let you know of any bugs from all of the mods I have installed!

EDIT: Alright, taking a look at the mod so far, I think it needs to be nerfed a little bit - I spent 400 science points and increased the ISP of the Nerv to 960, increased the thrust to 93.6kN, and decreased the dry mass to 2.1t, which is a bit overpowered. For balance issues, I think that EITHER costs should be initially doubled (i.e. the first purchase is twice what it was and then scales accordingly), or the ISP/dry mass buffs should be reduced to half of what they are.

Also - I think it would be appropriate to make upgrades to fuel tanks apply to all tanks in that takes group, i.e. you can buff all of the FL-Ts simultaneously, all of the Kerbodyne S3s simultaneously, etc.

Thoughts?

Edited by wolfman29

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Thanks for the feedback.

I've just committed a new version which now includes upgrades for solar panels (improving the charge rate) as well as crash tolerance for landing legs. In theory we could improve the tolerance for every part, but I think only landing legs are sensible.

Fuel cells and RTGs are a little bit more difficult though because they use generic Generator- and Converter-Modules instead of distinct modules like "ModuleDeployableSolarPanel", maybe I can include them later.

Grouping different parts of the same class together as wolfman29 has suggested would require a bigger rewriting of the code as well as more configuration options to define which parts should get upgraded together (just using regex to match the names will probably be too dangerous), which is why I hesitate to include this feature. And concerning the balancing of costs and benefits: I'm still testing myself if some values should be tweaked. Originally I wanted to have diminishing returns with each new upgrade, but this made the mod quite boring very fast.
You can however experiment yourself by modifying the values in the included "parts.cfg" file. Each change should carry over nicely into any existing savegame you might already have.

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I really like the idea! I am not playing KSP at the moment but this is definitively going on the list of things to add when I give it another go.

You write in your post that you see it mainly used in the endgame, but I think with the right balancing it will be give an interesting addition much earlier, when it will make you think if you rather spend science on researching a new part or to improve one you already have instead. To not take away the need to research new parts altogether some sort of increasing cost (maybe doubling) for each step of improvement seems logical.

Letting only the number of improvements you already used on a part decide the cost of the next upgrade and not the type of them, would make the decision what upgrades to get much more strategic (If your first upgrade is ISPVac it could cost you 20 science, but if you had any other upgrade before, the same ISPVac upgrade would cost 40 science instead) but you will have to decide if this would be interesting. And I think crash tolerance, maximum heat, and maybe even science gain from experiments should be improveable as well, but obviously it shouldn't be overpowered. Maybe initial improvement costs should depend on the part class so that it will be rather expensive to squeeze more science out of experiments or to keep wings from burning up. Another thing you could think about is lowering the starting values of a new part to not make it too overpowered.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to see where you will have brought this mod when I get back to KSP.

Edited by mysteriosmind

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Congratulations for this very promising mod!

To have improvable batteries will be great, I ever thought that the consumption rate is too high in KSP.

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Minor bug report - I downloaded the latest version, and it still doesn't seem able to modify the crash tolerance of the landing struts or the charge rate of the solar panels. I checked the .cfg, and it says to add the relevant module to the relevant parts, but it didn't actually have those parts included. How do I go about doing this? Or is this a true bug?

EDIT: Apparently, I didn't install properly or something - it works!

Edited by wolfman29

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How about temperature tolerance?  I'd love to jack up the tolerance on the mk1 parts (along with solar panels, etc.)

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That mod looks realy cool! I will give it a try tonight.

Question: would it be possible to alter cost as well? Like a 'mass production' development?

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Wow.  Awesome idea.  I'm looking forward to giving this a go... once I manage to complete the tech tree!

With RAM limitations is this a mod to install later on in a save?

Peace.

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This mod is nice. But i already have problems with getting enough science. I was wondering if you could do an xp setting instead. so when a part has been in orbit around for example kerbin it gets some xp. and if its recovered, if it has gotten enough xp, you can increase a stat. for example an orbit or landing on mun would give more xp than orbiting kerbin. and landing on eve or orbiting jool would get even more xp and so on. but you have to recover the part, or have an engineer make a service report and transmit that back for lesser amount of xp, to improve the part. nice day.

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This mod really makes me want to play again (holding off until 64bit and no memory leaks.)  As RedParadize said, reducing costs would be an excellent option too.

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Quote

(...) You write in your post that you see it mainly used in the endgame, but I think with the right balancing it will be give an interesting addition much earlier, when it will make you think if you rather spend science on researching a new part or to improve one you already have instead. To not take away the need to research new parts altogether some sort of increasing cost (maybe doubling) for each step of improvement seems logical. (...)

Yes, I have started a new game myself recently and I found it quite fun to just tweak the parts I already have instead of saving up science points for new ones, basically makes the whole research progression more stretched out...

On 20.12.2015 at 8:08 PM, Nansuchao said:

(...) To have improvable batteries will be great, I ever thought that the consumption rate is too high in KSP.

I agree, I've put battery capacity on the top of the wish-list.

15 hours ago, BitPoet said:

How about temperature tolerance?  I'd love to jack up the tolerance on the mk1 parts (along with solar panels, etc.)

Hm, I would have to look into this a little bit more. Maybe there is something that can be done with parts like encased, retracted solar panels and parachute-boxes, but we have to be careful here not to create parts that are too unrealistic.

14 hours ago, RedParadize said:

(...) Question: would it be possible to alter cost as well? Like a 'mass production' development?

Should be possible, but I don't think that reduced part-costs are a good fit for this mod. I feel this should be done via the strategies in the administration facility.

13 hours ago, theJesuit said:

(...) With RAM limitations is this a mod to install later on in a save?

The memory-impact should be minimal. There is just a little bit of code and an toolbar-icon.

13 hours ago, abowl said:

This mod is nice. But i already have problems with getting enough science. I was wondering if you could do an xp setting instead. so when a part has been in orbit around for example kerbin it gets some xp. and if its recovered, if it has gotten enough xp, you can increase a stat. for example an orbit or landing on mun would give more xp than orbiting kerbin. and landing on eve or orbiting jool would get even more xp and so on. but you have to recover the part, or have an engineer make a service report and transmit that back for lesser amount of xp, to improve the part. nice day.

Yes, I had a similar idea: Maybe we could track in which conditions each part was used or how long (like it is done in the TestFlight mod), to gain some practical experience with the part. The xp-gain can simply scale with the difficulty factor of the target-body that already exists to scale science-gains in the vanilla game. Upgrades could then require not only science points but also a certain amount of practical experience. Without practical xp the science cost could be significantly higher. This way you will have a reason to launch a few test-flights with newly designed rockets before starting a real mission. And having more use-cases for those engineers would be nice as well.
Building this feature would probably take quite a bit of time and effort though and I am unsure if the increased complexity would be really that much fun. Any thoughts on this?

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Maybe the ability to add ablator material to parts?  Up the cost and weight, obviously.

Worked for the X-15

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Tremendous idea!  I'll give it a try.  I have long wished for a mod that would give us something to do with science points once we've unlocked the whole tech tree.  Thank you for making this.

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I'm using this in my current playthrough very early in the tech tree.

More efficient SRBs and LV-909s are a wonderful combo.

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Well, I am going to try this out now, but yes!  A reason for doing more science:

Please consider, Antennas [better range] Batteries [more efficient ]

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On 22/12/2015 at 0:03 PM, -MM- said:

Yes, I have started a new game myself recently and I found it quite fun to just tweak the parts I already have instead of saving up science points for new ones, basically makes the whole research progression more stretched out...

I agree, I've put battery capacity on the top of the wish-list.

Hm, I would have to look into this a little bit more. Maybe there is something that can be done with parts like encased, retracted solar panels and parachute-boxes, but we have to be careful here not to create parts that are too unrealistic.

Should be possible, but I don't think that reduced part-costs are a good fit for this mod. I feel this should be done via the strategies in the administration facility.

The memory-impact should be minimal. There is just a little bit of code and an toolbar-icon.

Yes, I had a similar idea: Maybe we could track in which conditions each part was used or how long (like it is done in the TestFlight mod), to gain some practical experience with the part. The xp-gain can simply scale with the difficulty factor of the target-body that already exists to scale science-gains in the vanilla game. Upgrades could then require not only science points but also a certain amount of practical experience. Without practical xp the science cost could be significantly higher. This way you will have a reason to launch a few test-flights with newly designed rockets before starting a real mission. And having more use-cases for those engineers would be nice as well.
Building this feature would probably take quite a bit of time and effort though and I am unsure if the increased complexity would be really that much fun. Any thoughts on this?

Ah, i see you replied to my post. After thinking about it, for simplicitys sake i think its better to keep it unlocked with science. It also makes sense because as you mention near the end game it would be nice to have something to do with excess science :) Have a nice day.

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Happy new year to everyone!

I've just uploaded a new version which now allows you to upgrade the Capacity of Batteries (the science-cost depends on the initial capacity) as well as the Efficiency of Generators (RTGs) and Resource Converters (Convert-O-Tron).

 

On 22.12.2015 at 8:14 PM, gamerscircle said:

Well, I am going to try this out now, but yes!  A reason for doing more science:

Please consider, Antennas [better range] Batteries [more efficient ]

I am a big fan of the remote-tech mod myself and think upgradeable antenna ranges would be a great idea indeed. However since the range of antennas is only provided by the mod and not by the stock parts itself, I would rather wait for the next KSP update when this function is supposed to be included in the base-game.

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This looks great! I'll be checking it out when 1.1 comes out :) Only reason I'm holding off now is I'm sticking with 1.0.4 as it's too much of a headache to get all the mod updates etc playing nice with my existing save and already planning on a fresh start with 1.1 so that won't be an issue :)

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