Columbia

A guide to posting a craft in the KSP Forums [PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING]

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Columbia    2289

The Spacecraft Exchange is admittedly one of the most important and significant sections of the forums and somewhat straightforward as well. However, while it is straightforward and easy to learn via looking at a few threads, it's somewhat different from the other Forum sections and a few things need to be taken into account especially when posting a ship, making a thread for all your ships, and commenting on the work of others.

This guide is by no means supposed to dictate how one must post his ships. That said, let's move on to the tutorial!

1. Before uploading a ship

The Kerbal Space Program Forum has a set of rules along with a few threads made by both moderators and players alike to assist one in using the forums and giving one an insight on how things work. I'd suggest you read them along with a few ship threads in the Spacecraft Exchange to get a feel of what the forum is like.

The Forum Rules are rather long but it's something that's essential to read before posting.

This guide by Mad Rocket Scientist gives a nice insight to how the forums work.

And the Good Conduct guide is especially important when replying to others' ships.

After reading those, and a few threads on the Spacecraft Exchange, you should be good to go.

2. Uploading a ship

The way one uploads a ship varies a lot, but most follow a certain format of images, description, stats and such.

Note: Images are not necessarily required, but highly, highly encouraged. As some people might say, "No pics, no clicks." Photos (taken in daylight if possible) are essential for people to see what your creation looks like. You can take screenshots using F1 and accessing them in the KSP screenshot folder in its directory.

And to take note, there are different categories of ships. If it is a modded ship, list the number of mods. If it is a replica, you are encouraged to name it by the ship you are replicating. If it is a cargo ship/SSTO, list the tonnage (if you can). 

If you plan to release it in a thread, here's what you need to do:

-Find a KSP craft file site/file hosting website such as Google Drive or Dropbox, and host your craft file there to download. KerbalX (made by forum user katateochi) is a very good option if you plan on posting a lot of ships, and has extra features such as mod detection and a separate upvote-downvote and comment system. I suggest you go check that out as well.

Note: Mediafire is banned from the forum due to the explicit content of the ads they host, which actually angered some after it happened. Links to mediafire will automatically be censored -- There are quite a few allowed aternatives out there, so it's best you use them. Make sure you have screenshots of the ship you are planning to upload.

To make a ship thread, go to the Spacecraft Exchange section. There you will find threads such as the Open Source Construction Techniques thread and others -- Click on the "Start New Topic" thread.

From there, you have a canvas to make your thread.

Uploading and embedding images can be done by going to imgur.com, clicking on "upload images",

m5ExV8N.png

selecting your screenshots and dragging them in the webpage, and uploading them (if you upload multiple, you'll have an option to make an Imgur album. We will cover this in a bit.) 

From there, you should see either this:

eSNMlub.png

Or this. Depending if you have one image or an album of images.

sS94uZ4.png

Now, you have two options:

-Copy the link under "BBCode (Forums)" and paste it in.

-Copy the link under "Direct Link", select "Insert other media" in the forum editor and paste the link.

And I believe I should mention Imgur albums which are highly convenient for browsing through the images one by one.

Alright, assuming you have uploaded multiple images in one go, it's mostly an album already. 

Look at the link of your album.

 

See the part after the imgur.com/a/? Copy it. In my case, it's "lygOg".

Now, go to the Create New Topic thread. See this icon in the editor?

 

Click on that, paste the "album ID" and there you have it.

As of August 3, 2016, the Imgur albums have been borked in the forums for a while now because it underwent an update --- Will update thread further.

Ship specifications

Try to list the part count, length and width of your ship, as well as its capabilities. Most of these can be found in the Engineer's report in the editor.

If you're making a modded ship and you're not exactly sure what mods are used, go over to KerbalX (you need an account but it's worth it IMO) and it will detect the part count, mods used and what you need. Many use it for craft file hosting and it does the task well. 

Now that you have these set in stone, most people usually follow a certain format of:

1. A description of the ship or an overview of the replicated ship if replica

2. Images/an album

3. Performance notes

4. Part count, etc. Etc.

So with that in mind, here's how a typical replica thread (which is pretty common by the way) for, let's say, a space shuttle. Note that the specifications are mostly fake and made up, and this is merely based on own experience. Make your thread as colorful as you'd like it to be -- maybe even make a logo for the ship.

U0bhEPz.jpg

But it may vary. It's up to you how the thread looks. Just remember to add images, a description and a craft file at least. Once you're done, press the "Submit topic" button.

Post-release

You've gotten your first ship uploaded! It will now appear at the top of the Spacecraft Exchange, and maybe get replies, or be overtaken by other threads.

Now, there are still a few things to take in mind: The Spacecraft Exchange is pretty crowded. There's a very large chance that your first ship may not do well in terms of attention, garnering 1 or 0 replies. This is pretty normal. It usually means that you're new and so may not get as much attention, your screenshots might be too difficult to see, or your thread may just be somewhat neglected. 

It's alright to "bump" your thread for an update on the ship, or something such as asking for feedback, but try not making it a habit.

Constructive criticism

Often-times, especially if you're new to social communities, you may be told something that's meant to help you but you might take it the wrong way. For example, if someone told you that the ship needs refinement in some areas, try your best to take that into account for your ship and improve it. You don't have to follow what everyone thinks, but try taking that into account. If you really feel that a post is merely slanderous, attacking or overall pointless, report it to the moderators -- It will get removed if it is deemed to violate the forum rules. At the same time, try to be constructive when commenting on the ships of others.

Other important links

The Work-In-Progress Design Thread  Here, you can post about ships you're still working on and receive feedback from other forum-ers about it. It's a good place to see your creations in the eyes of someone else judging it.

The Open Source Construction Techniques for Craft Aesthetics Thread -- Figured something out about how certain parts can be used to add aesthetic looks to a ship, or realized how certain parts can be used for aesthetics? Post about it here and share your knowledge.

Spacecraft Fridays home thread -- Spacecraft Fridays is a weekly overview featuring some of the ships from the week that were found to be of interest. One can volunteer to hand-pick the ships and make the thread about it, being done every Friday.

 

Happy craft-building!

Edited by Columbia

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Rune    4356

Nice idea! And pretty good presentation.

 

Rune. Very stick-able, in other words. :wink:

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Raptor9    1340

Definitely needs a Sticky-bomb :)

Edited by Raptor9

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Columbia    2289

Thanks everyone! I'll try expanding this guide as much as I can.

Companies, craft repositories and role-playing

As you explore the Spacecraft Exchange, you might see threads titled with names that seem to fit for a vendor or company. Upon checking them out, you might notice that they're full of multiple ships. What exactly are they, and how do you make one?

Role-Playing 

If you've read the forum rules, you may come upon a rule that seems a little strange and out of place: That role-playing isn't allowed in the forums.

It may seem strange, but the reason for this is (to put it really short) it's far harder to moderate and can easily lead to people acting in ways that violates the other rules with the excuse that it is mere role-play.

 

Now, believe it or not, this rule is very vital to the Spacecraft Exchange, especially since a former sub-section -- The Rocket Builders -- were victim to it because companies existed that role-played a lot. 

The main purpose of the Rocket Builders -- To have a repository of ships in one thread -- may still be done but to a lesser extent. They are not companies, and they're there just to have a single thread for their ships.

Setting one up 

It's a similar principle to the above, except on a bit of a larger scale. Of course the ships you have must have images and a craft file, but a description may be made shorter and specifications made shorter as well.

If you look around some of the threads, they usually have:

-Logo (Totally optional)

-A bit of an introduction (Hello, Welcome! This is where I will post all my ships, etc, etc.)

-Classification (Rocket, plane, replica, what-have-you)

-Ships under that classification

To give you a better idea:

"Hello everyone! This thread is where I'll be posting most of my ships. I'll be putting my classifications where appropriate.

Aircraft

[image]

A replica of the F-16. Flies pretty well, very maneuverable.

Mods used: Tweakscale, BDArmory

Craft File:

Rockets

[Image]

Stock Saturn V replica with Skylab. It's very heavy and difficult to fly, but it has a lot of Delta-V.

Craft File: 

I'll add more as I build more. Thanks for viewing, feedback is appreciated!"

You could classify it any way you want, date built, part count, version built, theme, what have you. In fact, you don't need a classification at all if you don't want it on your thread. Again, it can vary.

Taking requests

Some ship-builders accept requests for ships, and that's alright. Just make sure you have the time and patience to be handling them, though. The better quality your ships are, the more people will expect from you. If you have a busy schedule, it's best not to. If you're ready for it and have a lot of spare time on your hands as well as the patience, go all out if you'd like.

When you should set one up

At best, if you don't have any ships, it's best to make a few to feature before making such a thread. It's generally not such a good idea to set up a ship repository without any ships. If you have 2-3 ships ready for upload, the time is ripe. Make a logo if you like, feature it in your signature maybe (though don't advertise it *too* much) and you have your own ship repository!

Edited by Columbia

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Columbia    2289

Oddly enough, I only had one typo during the second part but typing the first part, I had about.. 7-9 typos. 

Damn.

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pTrevTrevs    2289

Well, all I can is is that it's about time we had one of these. Maybe now we'll see more well crafted threads. This definitely should be stickied!

Hmm, this also reminds me that I need to get around to making my own showcase thread...

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Columbia    2289
23 hours ago, pTrevTrevs said:

Well, all I can is is that it's about time we had one of these. Maybe now we'll see more well crafted threads. This definitely should be stickied!

Hmm, this also reminds me that I need to get around to making my own showcase thread...

That's true, the forum's pretty difficult to use when you're new, not to mention having to read through the forum rules. I hoped this guide would assist them in uploading their first ship :wink:

On 6/1/2016 at 9:56 AM, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

Great looking guide!  I'm sorry I can't rep you right now, I'm all out.

Thanks, it's alright!

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Columbia    2289

FAQ of things that haven't been answered above

-What are the Constellation Mission Packs?

A while ago, some forumers were building packs of shios that replicated what the Constellation Missions were supposed to be. They soon made their own discussion thread with guides and such.

-What's Spacecraft Fridays?

As said above, it's a a thing similar to the Daily Kerbal. Every Friday depending on the OP's timezone, a new thread is released featuring some of the best ships made and released during that week. It's community-done, so if you have the time, you could contribute to it.

-Why was Mediafire banned?

Some of the ads on their site were vulgar and inappropriate for the younger audience, and it was banned from the forums to prevent the younger audience from stumbling upon them.

-Why do some users feature their companies in their signatures?

To let others know that they have a company that some people may visit and find. It's rare that your company will get immensely popular with people unless you're already well known or have really good ships.

-Some links are broken and have no "www.website.com" part in their URL.

Mediafire's been banned from the forums due to hosting.. inappropriate ads. That's a removed Mediafire link. Try dropbox, Google Drive or KerbalX.

-Why do some people make a video of their ships?

It shows their craft's capabilities off far better than images. Plus, it would gain more views given that it can be seen on another website.

 

Edited by Columbia

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Columbia    2289

Advertising, threads and signatures

Another quick guide on how to properly use your signature for advertising your company.

1. What is a forum signature?

To put it briefly, your forum signature appears below your posts and enables anyone who sees your post to also see what you have done. It's a good way to show your company/ships off, and others use it to add quotes (Say, the one I have right now about Beethoven.)

2. "Advertising"

Optimal size is important -- If it's too big, some people might see it as annoying, and it might not even fit. If it's too small, well, people won't notice. Most of the time, if you're advertising a ship, a picture and text is enough ("Stock Tiger 1 Replica with BDArmory variant") but if you're artistic enough, you can use any editing program (GIMP, Illustrator, Photoshop..) and design a logo. This works best for repositories of ships. Remember to embed the link into the image.

It should give one an idea of what the ship is, while not being too prominent. And after all, it's good to adorn your signature with some crafts every so often.

3. Shameless plugging too much

While there's nothing wrong with putting your company in your signature, literally attempting to show it off in every possible scenario *might* result in people looking at you from a negative light. If you feel your craft deserves mention, go for it, but try not to overdo it/complain when it's ignored.

4. Examples

Here are a few examples on how most logos look like. It uses the ships I made (I know that I just said not to do shameless plugging too much, but..)

o59gUB0.png

It's simplistic and straight to the point while giving a preview to the ship.

If you'd like, take this a step further and use blueprints and/or vectors for your logo.

Adobe Illustrator is a good program for this. Adobe Photoshop and GIMP work as well, but they're pixel based.

1utf9WG.png

If done well, it could potentially get you some well-deserved praise/ make your signature look prettier. Best of luck!

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pTrevTrevs    2289

I'm surprised this hasn't been stickied yet, we need it so badly.

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Columbia    2289

Common Expressions and words in the Spacecraft Exchange:

"No pics, no clicks."

This one is very common, it usually means that, at least from the viewer's end, your ship has no pictures yet has a description, mostly meaning to imply that having no visible pictures (Hence, no pics) means that no one will download your ship (No clicks.) 

So, when you see someone respond as such, try uploading an image using the instructions above, or other forum guides. Whichever comes first.

"Try using Editor Extensions"

It's mostly self-explanatory, really. Editor Extensions, well, extends the capabilities of ship building in the VAB and SPH by modifying Root Functions, adding more Symmetry options, as well as filling in what NoOffsetLimits used to do in the past -- remove the limits of the Offset function. Might not sound like much, but is really helpful when trying to improve structural stability, move things to places for better aesthetics, and making stock bearings, which I'll explain in the next question:

"Stock Bearing"

A bearing enables one object to slide freely around another -- Think of car wheels, propeller engines, tank turrets and doors -- They all have bearings/hinges. And it's mostly considered a feat if you manage to build one that's reliable. And it can be used for a variety of purposes as well. 

So when you see someone boasting (more of getting deserved praise) for having built a reliable stock bearing, it means they've basically made a freely-rotating joint.

"Ninja'd!"

It's not as common as the forum games, but it's still used.

To explain, let me describe a scenario:

User A asks a question.

User B starts writing his response (which might have either taken him long or User C may have started typing before he did),

And in the process, User C posts his response which happens to be answering the question similarly, like User B did.

User B has been.. ninja'd.

Basically, it's when you write a response but a similar one is posted by another user before you without your knowledge (Until you post it, the page refreshes and you see the other user's response before yours.)

 

If you have a suggestion on what more to add, let me know.

 

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sal_vager    5744

Thinking about it, though we can have (and have had) too many pinned threads, threads like this do need to be easily accessible to new members.

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Majorjim!    5967
Just now, sal_vager said:

Thinking about it, though we can have (and have had) too many pinned threads, threads like this do need to be easily accessible to new members.

Tricky situation.. Thanks for the reply though Sal.

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Rune    4356
20 minutes ago, sal_vager said:

Thinking about it, though we can have (and have had) too many pinned threads, threads like this do need to be easily accessible to new members.

Considering that you have both a showcase, and the repository of showcases pinned, I think that the way to make some room on the top is clear. Not a lot of activity in the OSCTCA thread lately either...

 

Rune. This could go inside a tutorial compilation, but as you say, it needs some visibility.

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9 minutes ago, Rune said:

Considering that you have both a showcase, and the repository of showcases pinned, I think that the way to make some room on the top is clear. Not a lot of activity in the OSCTCA thread lately either...

 

Rune. This could go inside a tutorial compilation, but as you say, it needs some visibility.

 

OSCTCA should probably be redone, anyway. Most of the posts are pre-migration, meaning that the hyperlinks to specific techniques are broken, and nobody wants to wade through forty-odd pages to find the one post they're actually looking for. 

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6 hours ago, SingABrightSong said:

 

OSCTCA should probably be redone, anyway. Most of the posts are pre-migration, meaning that the hyperlinks to specific techniques are broken, and nobody wants to wade through forty-odd pages to find the one post they're actually looking for. 

OSCTCA is still more useful then the showcase master thread, or the modded craft repository, both of which are no longer being maintained.

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pTrevTrevs    2289
2 hours ago, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

OSCTCA is still more useful then the showcase master thread, or the modded craft repository, both of which are no longer being maintained.

Is @GusTurbo even still active? If he is and doesn't want to, I wouldn't mind setting up a successor thread, but I'll wait for his permission first.

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Zucal    1483

@pTrevTrevs He's not been on in 2 months. Feel free to start a new one IMO, I'm happy to contribute some stuff to kick it off.

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pTrevTrevs    2289
2 hours ago, Zucal said:

@pTrevTrevs He's not been on in 2 months. Feel free to start a new one IMO, I'm happy to contribute some stuff to kick it off.

Alright then, I'll get one going tomorrow if I have time, and have the mods shut it down should Gus return.

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