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Why Are You (Still) Playing Kerbal Space Program


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So it's January 1st once again and here I am wondering why I am still playing KSP and ignoring many of my AAA games in favour of a game that could be considered boring by many... but definitely not by me.

You see, it's the old Lego and Minecraft thing... You only get out as much as you put into something. Games which are absolutely amazing like Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Tony Hawk 5... no... NO... DEFINITELY not Tony Hawk 5.... where was I? Oh yeah, those amazing games lose their shine because they are fixed in what you can do (even Fallout where you can now build settlements still is limited)... but even the base game of KSP, Lego and Minecraft have unending possibilities. On top of it, KSP is not limited to a specific age group (ie no sex and/or violence and/or swearing... welllllll okay, there is SOME violence when you crash but you just grow new Kerbals after all). AND it's educational. Learning that you cannot just aim for the moon and fly toward it and have a hope of landing on it. AND learning that sometimes you have to burn away from a target to get closer to it (sounds bonkers but true)... and dropping stuff into the sun isn't as easy as it seems (so I found that Orbital Mechanics is not the name for a space garage after all. Who knew???).

Yup... KSP could only be better if it enabled mods... but what's that you say... MODS EXIST? Yup... KSP turns from a small indie game into something freaking huge when you include all the vast number of mods out of there. Some are crap but the majoriity are beyond amazing. Some include scifi spaceships... some include real ones like the SpaceX craft and NASA favourites like Apollo and Mercury and Gemeni. Even Russia and Chinese craft are available. Others turn the game from a basic space simulator into a real depiction of our solar system. Utilities range from making re-entry harder to including autopilot systems that assist in your flight across the solar system.

The only limitation to the mods scene is memory due to being limited to the 32 bit version of Unity. The 64 bit version of Unity (which is the engine KSP runs on) is currently unstable... still... So currently you find that you can add stuff to KSP... find it runs crap and then have to chop out bits you don't need just to make it run stable. Then you find more mods you want and have to chop out other bits to get those to work. But is all the hassle worth it... DEFINITELY.

Then you can play the game your way... Be it in Sandbox mode... be it in Science mode... or be it in full on Career mode. All are fun.

Yes... You can say that I just adore this game/simulator/time travel machine (start playing in the morning and you wonder why it's gone dark outside and people are banging on your door wondering where you have vanished to... true story!). There really isn't anything as good out there that lets you run NASA your way...

And NO... out of all the excellent AAA games released in 2015 I have to say that KSP was STILL my game of the year... That's every year since 2012 for me now... since I watched this following video in fact (thank you so much NerdCubed, for all the hours I've lost playing this game heh... oh and go to 6:45 where he shows off KSP... as he says, It's basically NASA if run by an... idiot)... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n1g3oTXjDM

Kerbal Space Program - BEST GAME EVER! Thanks HarvesteR and team. You guy's rock. :cool:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! and here's to making 2016 an even better KSP year. Soooooo when is the Kerbal Movie coming out???

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Why am I still playing (since v18.3, I lost track of which year that was:D) ...

Well, like you, I still love it.  I like the fact that I can plan and execute deeply complex missions that last days or weeks in real life, or simply mess about in planes for an hour.

I like that I can immerse myself in this little universe on my own without some d*ck with an ego problem running up to stab me in the back saying 'take that noob'.

I like space 'stuff', and that I can (sort of) emulate my childhood heroes that I watched in the 1960s and 70s. And I am learning 'real' stuff in the process, not just stuff that has no use outside the game.

It is of course subjective, but to me it's the best game I have played so far, without question.

Edited by pandaman
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Pandaman, I actually watched the lunar landing live (well, at least on the probable delay tape that NASA used in case something horrible happened... They say they didn't but seeing the craft blow up live on TV would be horrible). My dad actually did me a mapping board that he taped a flight path of the Apollo craft onto so I could track it with drawing pins with little notes while sat in front of the TV. I was 8 years old and it got me well and truly hooked. In fact Gagarin launched less than a month after I was born so you could say I am a child of the space age. Oh and my dad being a scifi fan also influenced me and my sister too.

I've never found a space game that has entranced me as much as this game and I've been playing computer games since before PC's even existed... My first game was on an IBM 370/158 mainframe... Then on Dec PDP-11's. These were all games that literally spit numbers at you and had no graphics at all (mainly because it was on teletypes heh. Actually come to think of it, the first space game I played was one I wrote in ALGOL on an Elliot 803 and those teletypes ran on compressed air... I kid you not. So yeah.... I have been playing space games for ages. I even played lunar lander by post when I was at Grammar School in the computer science class (you had to send your burn guesses to a guy who worked at the university and he returned your printout showing what happened.. and yeah, we all crashed).

So yeah... I guess I am a space fan... and totally bummed that we aren't on the moon now... Great that Tim Peake is on the ISS though (I'm a brit). I think the US just lost their way. Oh and regarding the myth that we didn't land on the moon... then why are we still using the Lunar Laser Measurement mirror that Armstrong and Aldrin left behind. Oh and the big one that 15 left (think it was 15).

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@NeoMorph That makes you a couple of months or so older than me then._:D

I was glued to the telly when the Apollo stuff was on too, I think I saw the landing live, but Armstrong's 'small step', most likely, a few hours after it happened as that was about 2am or so here in the UK (boring stuff like bed time).  My dad was never a Sci Fi fan (and still isn't) but he was interested in space and science and things.  I think if KSP had been able to run on a ZX80 he may have enjoyed it, but as you'll remember we had to program our own games then.

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My first computer was a TRS-80 16k Level II... and I bought a few games but programmed loads myself. I left 6th form and went to work for the NCB at the UK central computer center (where I managed to totally take over the mainframe the one time due to a glitch... My terminal was running REALLY fast so I should have realised... but everyone else in the country was yelling at my boss, asking him what happened to their computer access hehe). Ironically that first job had me in Systems Support where we were supposed to help the idiots who didn't know what they were doing. I just made the OS on the mainframe go into a recursive loop and when we sent the bug report to IBM it made them put back the release a couple of months just to fix it... (I was sooooooo proud that day lolz). Yup, ,my talent was trying to make things break by doing crazy stuff.... I was king of the bug finders (and still am to this day). In fact I just managed to kill Jeb by getting out of the capsule during the last part of re-entry.... He skipped off the atmosphere so he never even touched the ground and then died from the excessive G force...Damned Kraken... He bounced at around 4k up which I have NEVER seen before today heh.

Back to computers.... I had a Commodore 64 which I programmed a ton of games on... then ripped apart and modded to hell. Even had the REALLY expensive Flight SImulator II which had a total of... ONE AIRCRAFT... Sublogic made it back then before it was messed about by Microsoft... Those were the days eh... Hell, they knitted the Apollo programs....actually more likely weaved it. If you don't believe me just look it up. They even called it LOL memory... I KID YOU NOT....CRAZY days. Just watch this...

 

Edited by NeoMorph
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I like the challenge, but moreso it gets to a point where you start getting good at things, then really good at things, then you start really pushing designs and missions and that's where the real fun starts... It's also a very immersive game, I am getting a bit anxious about my first kerballed Duna mission that launches in only 60 kerbal days haha.

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I like using the mods that make it more difficult. TAC life support, Deadly re-entry,  FAR, Persistent Rotation, Remotetech etc. I also like to do a Dead is dead runthrough every so often. Give me a target of getting to a planet of moon and investigate the minerals etc. AND ONLY HAVE A FIXED NUMBER OF KERBALS. It makes you much more safety concious. I have to say "LIVE" or "SIM" before I launch... if it's sim I just revert back to the VAB... if it's live however, if something goes wrong I have to save my kerbals. I lost three Kerbals in one go when I managed to save them during an aborted takeoff..... sounds weird that I lost them if I saved them.... But I managed to get them safely on the ground when an SRB which was doing loop-de-loops managed to clip another part which deflected it and then it came down like a missile and blew up the capsule. The air was blue that day.... but dead is dead... Lost Valentina on that mission. Was really sad.

In my current playthrough I've already lost Bill when the parachutes opened too early and burned up. Jeb managed to survive by jumping out but Bill died. Deadly Reentry plus FAR is really tough on landing Kerbals safely. BUT I LOVE IT.

Oh and good luck on your Duna mission.

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For me, KSP offers a little bit of everything I like. I've always enjoyed logistics-type games (Railroad Tycoon, Cities in Motion, etc) and piloting games (flight and train sims) and physics games (when I can find some...mostly bridge designers), and KSP has all of those things. But my favorite thing to do in the game is to build space stations around Kerbin, especially now with KIS/KAS and the ability to have gendered docking ports. Being able to build a space station in parts and rearranging pieces during construction to get the final format I want is really a soothing process...sort of like a really laid back puzzle game, and it brings some aspect of building out of the VAB and into orbit.

But even when I'm not playing the game for a few months at a time, making mods for it has always been fun--a chore--but fun. Learning to program is difficult unless there's a real application for your application, and making things for KSP really helps me to focus on getting something working.

 

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Greetings,

Though I wont say it is the best game ever, it is one of the best games that you can do what you want with and play how you want to play it; very few games if any can allow such variation; it has probly even began the best player-creative-modable-space-video-game in a genre all it's own; and my computer can handle it ! That is why I play KSP and is one of my top games.

But it does have a fair amount of work to it to even start playing it career-wise the way I play; which is mostly realistic.

Cmdr Zeta

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Main reason : MMMOOOODDDDSSSSS GALORE. (yes I LOVE mods)

Second reason : Been only to mun and minmus. (So far mostly "legitimately")

third Reason : my background (my windows 10 background is litterally KSP photos :P )

4th reason : moderating KSP  Twitch Stream channels.

Edited by Joshwoo69
are you my clarity
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The only other game that comes close to KSP in terms of hours played for me is Mount and Blade. I had plans to pay other stuff this Christmas, but no, KSP had to hog all of my free time again. I think I might be addicted. ^_^

Edited by Fleb
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On 1/1/2016 at 1:49 PM, NeoMorph said:

The 64 bit version of Unity (which is the engine KSP runs on) is currently unstable...

When it's said that it's unstable it really means it's not stable enough for release. As someone who can't play without 64 bit, I know that it's pretty wonky for a release.
Hell, It might even be a Kraken filled nightmare for some players. So more like unstable*.

Anyway, good post!

 

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38 minutes ago, Sequinox said:

When it's said that it's unstable it really means it's not stable enough for release. As someone who can't play without 64 bit, I know that it's pretty wonky for a release.
Hell, It might even be a Kraken filled nightmare for some players. So more like unstable*.
 

The day that 64 bit Unity becomes stable enough for a KSP release AND that all my favourite mods will run on it without crapping out... Well, that will be the day I scream "HALLELUJAH"... and then vanish for several months heh.

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6 minutes ago, NeoMorph said:

 

The day that 64 bit Unity becomes stable enough for a KSP release AND that all my favourite mods will run on it without crapping out... Well, that will be the day I scream "HALLELUJAH"... and then vanish for several months heh.

Agreed. I run 64 bit with mods and it usually work perfect. Never a single crash. So annoying to play career on, however. The buildings show up as fully upgraded about 99% of time. This is one of it's biggest issues.

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Why Am I (Still) Playing Kerbal Space Program?

  • It's Fun.
  • I like building stuff.
  • It's got a ton of awesome mods.
  • It's got stable 64bit, for the running of said mods.
  • It has a GNU/Linux native build (I'd boot Windows to play it, but hassle outweighs Fun eventually).
48 minutes ago, NeoMorph said:

The day that 64 bit Unity becomes stable enough for a KSP release AND that all my favourite mods will run on it without crapping out...

...Was some time ago. :P

That said, currently taking time out of KSP to play some (also GNU/Linux native) old-school RPG ATM... But I'll be back.

Edited by steve_v
Argh, copy-paste grammar.
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Why am I still playing?  Realism Overhaul.  By 0.23 I realized how much Squad had sold their players short with the toy solar system and lack of realistic detail.  By 0.25 I couldn't really take vanilla KSP, or any achievements therein, seriously.  Much as I really like the advances that KSP has made into 1.0 and > the game is still a shade of what it could have been.

I'm taking a break right now, playing some TerraFirmaCraft because I'm so burnt out after two straight years of playing, modding, and helping other modders here.

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