SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: Wednesday Edition II

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Hello everyone!

Those of you who are caught up to Squadcast will have heard about last week’s two major announcements: we pushed the antenna and telemetry system back meaning it won’t be a part of update 1.1, and Bill (Taniwha) and Nathan (Claw) have joined the team to help us push towards 1.1 at a record rate. Both Bill and Nathan are people you’ve probably heard of, and both have been doing great work modding KSP, and we’re very happy to have them on board. The (modding) community is a fertile ground for people with talent and if you ask us it truly makes sense to bring some of them on the team officially given their familiarity with the game’s code. It’s a re-emerging trend in the games industry overall perhaps, and we’re very happy to see that people with talent are more often recognised and given the chance to pursue their career in the games industry. We’re getting off track here now though, please give Bill and Nathan a warm welcome!

QA continues, and the rate of bugfixes is definitely higher than the rate of newly discovered bugs, meaning the list of outstanding issues is shrinking quite fast now. Developers are finishing up fixing the bugs on their assigned areas: Felipe (HarvesteR)’s work on the new wheels system has resulted in a now almost release-ready state of this part of the code, much to the delight of Steve (Squelch), Mathew (sal_vager) and the other QA testers.

The same can be said for the staging code, as Jim (Romfarer) fixed the last few major bugs -mostly related to (un)docking vehicles - last week. Staging now works as expected, though we still see some room for improvement in the near (post 1.1) future. In particular Jim is looking at system which merge staging stacks when docking, and the staging indicator light, which might be unclear or counterintuitive. For 1.1 though, you can definitely turn to the KSPedia for more information about how docking and other parts of the game will work.
KSPedia is something we’ve talked a lot about already, because a lot of work is going into making sure the screens are as informative and helpful as possible.

Dave (TriggerAu) and Mike (Mu) on point with their work so far, and for those wondering what the KSPedia will look like a sample of the more than 120 information screens can be found right here. KSPedia is one of the final features that will need QA testing, and it looks like we’ll be able to start that process very soon.

Good news comes our way from Germany: Chris (Porkjet) fixed an issue with specular highlights that was affecting the shaders with the old lighting model in Unity 5. This means that an issue where parts shaders would look quite bad has been fixed for the coming update. On the flip side, the new (PBR) lighting model will also have to be pushed back to beyond 1.1 over performance concerns with the real time reflections. We’ll be looking into creating a more efficient, custom solution for this problem at a later date.

As stated earlier, QA is currently our main focus and developers have been able to briefly leave their assigned systems and look at the bigger issue: Bob (RoverDude) has been looking at bugfixes for the radiators, core heat and resource system; Brian (Arsonide) has been taking a look at the tracking station and map view, fixing discrepancies in the colors of the orbit splines and orbit icons for celestial bodies, patched conics, and orbit renderers (which lead to this screenshot); and Nathanael (Nathankell) is cracking away on various bugfixes, optimization improvements, and maintainability concerns.

For example, the bit of PartModule code that shows how much of a resource is used per second/minute/hour was repeated in a lot of modules, and in ModuleResource, and in a new utility class. Now that code is in only one place: each ModuleResource handles the printing of its own rate, and there’s a single utility method to handle printing all of them. This also means that the output can be tuned per ModuleResource, and that old classes that didn’t use it (solar panels, lights) and one that used a word-for-word clone of the class (generators) now use it, though they still support the old format in cfg.

Other than bugfixes, there are several small quality-of-life improvements: vessels in the tracking station can be sorted in order of when their next manoeuvre node is set to occur, some small menu changes should reduce the amount of clicks needed to perform actions and the landing gear indicator should work more reliably.

On the community front Dan (danRosas) has been working on new banners for our web page and finished the videos that were required for the DICE and SXSW gaming events that are coming up. Andrea (Badie) has been keeping a close eye on our existing social media accounts and has come up with a few neat ideas to get our direct communication with the community to a higher level.

Kasper (KasperVld) has taken the time to visit the Asteroid Day press event at ESA yesterday, as this is an organisation we’re very happy to support. Asteroid Day is a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. If that sounds interesting to you then you can check out their website, or the official KSP Asteroid Day mod that we released last year.

It’s almost a tradition now: poetry in the devnotes. Joe (Dr Turkey) was very eager to work on a poem this week, and we’ll close with his words.

Many announcements,
Welcome Taniwha and Claw!
Buh-bye comms system.

Console Cert almost passed,
Paperwork nearly done,
Only cried twice today!

Hopefully that’s all,
Going back to work and all that…
NOT XCOM I SWEAR!

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Since I haven't done it yet, welcome and congrats Bill and Nathan.

 

Edit: Oh and FIRST!

Edited by Frybert

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Thanks for the info, I look forward to getting straight into 1.1 and doing some roving! I am happy to decided not to implement yet another performance sapping system. Guys KSP needs MAJOR optimization.

 Do you foresee the wheel changes breaking any kind of current craft? -

 

Edited by Majorjim
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Thanks for the devnotes, once again very thorough and informative. Love the new KSPedia screenies, they will most probably be very helpful for players old and new. Had a little laugh at the vessel names in the tracking station screenie!!!

Keep up the good work!

PS: EDIT: Third...! :D

PPS: Can't wait! :D:D

PPPS: Oh wait, I'm hyped! A bit at least... :D:D:D

PPPPS: Can't ... bear ... waiting ... much ... longer ...!!! :D:D:D:D

Edited by StarStreak2109
Ninja'd...
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Dem PowerPoint KSPedia slides though ;)

Also, about these, are the keys just parts of the images or do they actually reflect the control mapping ? (Playing with a non-English keyboard)

Edited by Gaarst

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vessels in the tracking station can be sorted in order of when their next manoeuvre node is set to occur,

YES!

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7 minutes ago, War Eagle 1 said:

Best guesstimate of 1.1 arrival?

I have no idea but early March is what I'm hoping for. It may be Soon(TM)-er but I don't want to get my hopes up yet.

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Yay! Also good one with Dr_Turkey, he's totally on-task right now, killing alien invaders bugs. Totally.

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27 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

vessels in the tracking station can be sorted in order of when their next manoeuvre node is set to occur

Hey @Snark, you're getting your wish! (one of them, at least.) 

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Thanks, as always, for taking the time and energy to communicate this level of detail regarding the development process!

Very encouraging news.  I'm completely supportive of pushing back implementation of the new lighting model.

It's very nice to see such attention and quick response to excellent suggestions which come out of this community.  I don't know how long ago the suggestion was posted about sorting the vessels in the tracking station by which has the soonest maneuver node.  But I sure didn't expect implementation in this version.  Thanks once again to the SQUAD team for their impressive responsiveness to the forum members.

Happy landings!

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39 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

Other than bugfixes, there are several small quality-of-life improvements: vessels in the tracking station can be sorted in order of when their next manoeuvre node is set to occur, some small menu changes should reduce the amount of clicks needed to perform actions and the landing gear indicator should work more reliably

Thats really great news. 

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1 minute ago, JimmyAgent007 said:

I was looking forward to the antenna and telemetry system.  Sucks that it wont be included.  Why did that happen?

Not being scrubbed, just delayed until a later update.

It messed with the entire science system and required too much QA, according to one of the devs

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7 hours ago, SQUAD said:

small quality-of-life improvements: vessels in the tracking station can be sorted in order of when their next manoeuvre node is set to occur

YES!  YES!  Oh, YES!

That's not a "small quality-of-life improvement", that's an freakin' epiphany.

7 hours ago, FullMetalMachinist said:

Hey @Snark, you're getting your wish! (one of them, at least.)

Dang, you said it, brother!

(In case anyone's wondering, here's the thread that Machinist's referring to, in the Suggestions forum.)

[Edit]  Oh.  Apparently there was a mix-up in the dev-notes.  They said "vessels can be sorted", but actually, not.  Later on in this thread down below, Arsonide clarifies that actually, there's no sorting at all.  They're just leaving the existing sort order alone, but adding some info display for any vessels that happen to have maneuver nodes set.

So... it's a nice touch, and glad to have it, but they're not actually adding the feature I was hoping for.  Therefore, I hereby retract the above spasm of glee.  ;)

Edited by Snark

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15 minutes ago, JimmyAgent007 said:

I was looking forward to the antenna and telemetry system.  Sucks that it wont be included.  Why did that happen?

Lengthy discussion about it here (including comments from RoverDude):

The TL;DR:  it's a really big feature and takes a long time because it impacts so much stuff, and they don't want to ship it until it's completely ready.  So it came down to one of these:

  1. ship something before it's really ready, and have lots of bugs
  2. delay the release of 1.1 by a lot, until this one feature is ready
  3. defer the release of this feature to the next release after 1.2

...and they decided to go with #3.  I gotta say I'm glad, in spite of how eager I am to get my hands on the new comms stuff.  #1 would have been terrible, and kudos to Squad for having the spine (and the foresight) not to take that way out.  :)  I much prefer #3 to #2, since there are a lot of other goodies in 1.1, and I think prioritizing getting that out the door is the right move.

Edited by Snark

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Thank you for devnote but weeks pass and more gonna least there is provided in the 1.1! It is disappointing , maybe you are too dispersed now? I sincerely hope a stable update, but I begin to give in to this game floundering in the update. I am always with you, but the 64-bit update is long overdue .

Courage to all the team .

Edited by doudou
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Is there a possibility that some planning to facilitate a none-save breaking transition from 1.1 with remote tech to post 1.2 with roverdude's comms instead of remote tech?

I ask for those of us that would like to start a career save with some sort of comms mechanic involved, but who might want to switch to the new system when it becomes available without having to loose a ton of craft/restart their save. 

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6 minutes ago, Snark said:

...and they decided to go with #3.  I gotta say I'm glad, in spite of how eager I am to get my hands on the new comms stuff.  #1 would have been terrible, and kudos to Squad for having the spine (and the foresight) not to take that way out.  :)  I much prefer #3 to #2, since there are a lot of other goodies in 1.1, and I think prioritizing getting that out the door is the right move.

Just can't get it, why RemoteTech isn't sufficient for you guys?

For me the new antenna system is alittle frightening with its simplified model and transparent bodies. And would the old RT be able to modify it to bring the old hardcore features back? Don't know... I've seen the buoyancy system that is not very good in 1.0.5 but it made Better Buoyancy mod obsolete. Sorry for my pessimism, it's the end of the workday now :)

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just bake the reflection map @ 512... no need for realtime reflection! performance problem solved. No PBR... not even standard shader support (without reflections)???

Edited by nli2work
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You guys still need to hire a proofreader (and I still volunteer). The KSPedia slides you just released have several spelling errors:
- Slide 2: "propellent" should be "propellant"
- Slide 2: "vessels" should be "vessel's"
- Slide 2: There appear to be two spaces between "in" and "docking"
- Slide 2: Period missing after "object"
- Slide 3: Missing "in" between "Ore" and "an asteroid"
- Slide 3: "So you have to rendezvous..." is a fragment
- Slide 4: The opening sentence is a horrible run-on. Suggestion: "Ore can be found on planets in addition to within asteroids. On planets, mining is all about gathering intel."

The list goes on, but I don't want to make you guys feel bad. I assume these slides are rough drafts anyway, but I'm happy to help sort out the writing as needed. ;)

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