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Your Favourite Feature in KSP


quasarrgames
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The fact that it's so approachable that kids are pretty sure they can do something with it... and they learn a lot when they try.

One of my kids felt such pride when she got a rocket into orbit (and won herself a full copy of the game), and the other one sure is trying.  And every time I take it to the local science museum to show kids some quick orbital mechanics, they love checking it out and beg their parents like crazy.

Edited by Nikolai
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I'm not exactly sure what they mean by "feature".

What I love is there are so many facets to the game... it's like having half a dozen different games in one.  One day you might be launching rockets, the next your building and flying jets, a third day could be spent just roving around another planet like a driving game.  Then maybe a day spent just docking space station parts... then back to building or launching rockets.

I don't know if facet and feature could be considered the same thing, but if so, then I say these critics aren't looking deep enough into the game.  :sticktongue:

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I like the building rockets and shooting them into space part.

 

Seriously though, I couldn't really single out one feature, as the game in its entirety offers such a superb and unique experience which no other game can offer. And all the little features just make it a more deep, exciting and colorful experience, but none is more important than the other (it's like which of your organs are you the happiest to have).

Also, kudos for creating thist thread. There is too much complaining and moaning on these forums, it's great to have a thread encouraging people to think of and express the positive sides of the game (and to give a little credit to squad, who have created what brings so many hours of joy many many people).

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The sheer scale of it: I remember back in the days when my first rocket actualy reached a height where I could see the  curvature of the earth and later getting close to Mun and seeing it fill my entire screen, that was truly elevating.

And even though you might not call it a feature but there has been no other "game" that gave me this kind of sense of archievement, not even a fully modded (Living)Silent Hunter III, nor Europa Barbarorum or Crusader Kings or whatever (which does'nt mean I wouldn't come back to them).

I am actually quite happy to not having played KSP for such a long time, because it still lies all ahead of me (+it's much more fleshed out now)and even then there is so much more with all them mods.

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I bought the game in 0.23 so I'll split my answer in two.

Features that were in when I bought the game:

1) Linux support. Without it I would have been a lot less likely to ever play KSP. Indeed I might not have got back into PC gaming without it.
2) Orbital mechanics. Like, that's the core of KSP.
3) Having a demo. That's what I played first, that's what grabbed me and made me fall in love with this rocketry game.

Features that arrived after I bought KSP:

1) "SuperSAS" - hold prograde, manouvre, etc. I know it's a bit jittery still, but it's really made my FAR launches lovely, and been a big boon to low-thrust ion ships which I now enjoy using.
2) 0.23.5's stiffened joints. No more strut spam!
3) Editor gizmos. So much more freedom. It can be a double-edged sword though, with the time I waste placing parts pixel-perfect now.

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13 minutes ago, Hobbes Novakoff said:

So much this. Every time I play Besiege I have to spend an hour recuperating in the KSP editor.

True, but Besiege kinda has it easy since it's voxel. KSP is different since there are so many places to put an object.

Also, thanks for my 99th rep!

Edited by Sequinox
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This is a great thread. :)

I think my favorite feature is adding my own flags to the game, particularly after they started showing up on the side of parts. It's just that little personal touch that lets you really feel like your space program is yours.

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Set to a possibly recognizable tune:

Liftoffs from launchpads with boosters a-flaming
Wobbling and flipping while Squad I'm a-blaming
Rockets with nosecones and spaceplanes with wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Little green guys who are brainlessly grinning
Figuring out why this ship won't stop spinning
Deep satisfaction that launch always brings
These are a few of my favorite things

Transfer ellipses with nodes for maneuvers,
Tweakable gimbal for thrust-vectored louvers,
Surge past Mach One, punch a hole in the sky:
Couldn't stop playing but I don't care why

When the drag bites, when the chute rips
When I'm feeling sad
I just fly a few of my favorite ships
And then I don't feel so bad

Suicide burn to a scary swift landing,
Broke off the legs but who cares, it's still standing
Oberth maneuvers and gravity slings
These are a few of my favorite things

Drills are a-drilling while fuel is refining
Staging for splitting and ports for combining
Adding a mod for some gas-giant rings
These are a few of my favorite things

Mainsails and Skippers and Sparks and Reliants
Coming back home with a full load of science
Shrieking reentry with heat shield ablaze
Playing two years and it's not just a phase!

When the drag bites, when the chute rips
When I'm feeling sad
I just fly a few of my favorite ships
And then I don't feel so bad

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I find it impossible to pick one favourite feature out of the many dumbstruckingly good things that shape this game. Since this is a thread devoted to saying nice things, I'll shamelessly pick my "top three" features, which I hope to get away with because it enables me to say more nice things.

3. I really like that "Sandbox" is an official game mode, and I don't have to complete a tech tree if that happens to be not my thing.

2. Maneuver nodes. This is an incredible accomplishment of user interface design. It is very difficult to make a highly complex, mathematical topic intuitively accessible to, basically, anyone who can playfully push a mouse across a desk while looking at a screen. In terms of providing non-experts with an understanding of a complex subject matter, maneuver nodes relate to the topic of orbital mechanics like Gapminder1 relates to data visualisation. The fact that the idea seems obvious once you have seen it actually serves as an indicator of how well it was done.

1. The game idea itself. I mean, come on, I get to play Aerospace-Lego, and have a whole physics-based solar system to throw my contraptions around in? How could I possibly resist?

_______________________________________________
1 Press "Play" button at bottom left. Currently doesn't seem to work with Firefox.
 

Edited by n.b.z.
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The resource flow simulation ..

Its beautiful

 

(long explaination ahead)

 

 

Something that few people might not even realise exists but its because that it does...and does well.. That a diesel electric locomotive is possible (even if it generates monoprop these days)

 

See these rover wheels and engines..they all have a hidden throttle thats tied to resources.. A kind of power curve depending on the number of that resource present.. Its by default a thin line..but modded simply its a full throttle system I exploit to control the locomotives speed and torque with the engines

 

Say if a rover wheel requires 10 electric charge points to work..

 

At 3 points itll creep forwards.. At 5 youll have half speed and at 10  being generated youll have the wheels full power and so on

 

The "underpowered" state isnt quite true or false..its a scale and with lots of fine tuning..can be used as a method of control

 

But! Oddly..its quirky.. Say if that rover wheel is a group of 12 wheels as per a standard land-train loco.. The maths get a bit strange..

You cant simply multiply the same curve for 1 wheel to power output of the engines alternator..

Youll either end up with too much power..thus less power curve vs RPM.. Or too little where random wheels go underpowred state too deeply and drag the locomotive to one side

 

The solution in part is to have 2 engines generating roughly half power each with a few points knocked off.. Or added depending on the rover wheels requirement modded thirst

Then running as a twin pair started at different times linked to the same throttle... Suddenly youll get all wheels responding to the twin engines alternators as if theres a current restriction overcome by having 2 units vs the one

 

Youll still get the occasional underpowered state on 1 or 2 wheels that you can juggle around.. Disabling one or two wheels from wherever they might be an activating more symetrical ones to give a straight track.. It happens more during lower RPM though hence the reason for the generators now making monoprop and rover wheels using it... Nose mounted SAS  RCS keeps the train straight at lower rpms

 

All up..as long as you got something like mechjeb.. KOS or even a steering wheel pedal acting as the "gear" in pressing rover wheels permenantly forward to engage the transmission

 

Then with fine adjustments..a bit of experience and dedication to alter the resource values between the wheels vs weight vs generation in the respective config files (my wheels weigh 1 ton)

... Because of the hidden resource simulation within KSP

 

A passable and fully awesome hybrid transmission is possible.. Its taken me years to perfect but this is what powers my trains.. 

 

https://youtu.be/zRw8jySTZ0w

 

 

At its very core its a stock feature.. And for that im very thankful..

 

Squad has done what very few games have done.. Its a beautiful thing... If underappreciated

 

Power simulation... KSPs best feature :)

Edited by Overland
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Oh @Overland, what a guy you are. I always enjoy reading your posts and marveling at your craft and your knowledge of the games physics.

And @Snark, what can I say, that poem/song is awesome, I hope somebody at SQUAD sees this too.

 

cheers

Daf

Edited by Dafni
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It's been said before, but how easy it is to mod the game. Any part can be completely overhauled by changing a few values in a text document. All mods have their own, custom named folder making it easy to install and uninstall them. You don't have to hunt through 5 different folders deleting traces of a mod if you want to get rid of it *cough* orbiter *cough*

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I like the fact that we even have the "what is missing" discussions the OP pointed out, as silly as that sounds. It shows that we're still excited about the game, and want it to be better, instead of just good.

After all, if all these features were really showstoppers by their absence…we'd all be playing something else, right?

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On 1/24/2016 at 11:46 PM, regex said:

I love almost everything about this game except for career mode and the science implementation (although science mode is pretty cool).  Sure, it's watered down for the masses and there's still an entire elephant in the room but the recent updates have been fantastic.

Talk more of the good things in the game, like the OP wants us to, don't limit it to "all good except for" :( 

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17 minutes ago, Javster said:

Talk more of the good things in the game, like the OP wants us to, don't limit it to "all good except for" :( 

I did...  Christ you people are negative...

Edited by regex
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