SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: Looking Back to the Future

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Hello everyone,

Yesterday we shared the news that Felipe ‘HarvesteR’ Falanghe is stepping down as lead developer for Kerbal Space Program to move onto other projects. Of course, everyone here has said their goodbyes to him over the past days already, but we still felt a need to share a few words in the devnotes as well. To Felipe:

Mike (Mu): It has been a real pleasure working with you over the past four years that I’ve worked on KSP. Your departure will be felt in many areas: many people will need to step up and continue where you left off. I wish you all the best for the future.

Dan (danRosas):  I wish you the best in your new endeavours, I was able to peek for more than four years into your ideas and you’re an amazingly talented guy. All the best :)

Jim (Romfarer): The news of your departure was a shock, but at the same time I know in my heart it’s not the last we’ll hear from you. So thank you my friend, I’m looking forward to playing your next game.

Ted (Ted): A sincere thank you for all your brilliant and tireless work on KSP, from bringing it into fruition to guiding it through to release, it has been an absolute pleasure. I wish you the best of luck!

Kasper (KasperVld): You created a game I fell in love with the moment I first installed the demo almost four years ago. Your story of creating a small project that grew over time to the game that Kerbal is today will no doubt continue to serve as an inspiration for a lot of people, ourselves included. Thank you for everything, don’t be a stranger.

Andrea (Badie): Felipe I wish you all the best, you’re a great and talented guy. Thank you for everything you did for KSP, it was a pleasure meeting you and working with you! Thanks!

Bob (Roverdude): Thanks again, Felipe, for bringing KSP to life and sharing such an amazing project - it’s been an honor to work with you!

Brian (Arsonide): The way you brought an idea that started on your kitchen floor to fruition with such resounding success is an inspiration to every aspiring developer. I am staring at my screen, realizing the futility of expressing how awesome it has been to work alongside you with mere words. Take care friend.

Nathanael (NathanKell): Felipe, you’ve brought us brilliant ideas, an addicting game, a renewed love of spaceflight, a glorious sense of fun. And you’ve shared all that with both the team and the entire community. More than that, however, over my year on the dev team I’ve come to know you as a kind, witty, dedicated friend, truly a good human being. That is what I will miss most, though I am excited to see whatever you create next. Thank you for everything, and take with you the bestest of wishes.

Dave (TriggerAu): Felipe, I will just say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am truly at a loss for words.

Steve (Squelch): I feel immensely honoured to have worked with and alongside you. Your vision and knowledge in so many areas are an inspiration. This is evident in the team you’ve attracted around you, so I hope I speak for the rest of the team in saying that the legacy you’ve left will continue to grow. I’m confident that whatever he goes on to do will be incredibly interesting, valuable and fun. Farewell and good luck sir.

Mathew (sal_vager): Thank you for the best game I’ve played, thank you for your imagination, your creativity and your passion that brought us Kerbal Space Program.

Bill (Taniwha): Thank you Felipe, you have created something in KSP that is very much bigger than any game. Best of luck in your future efforts.

Nathan (Claw): I too would like to thank you for your work on KSP: turning your vision into reality, a feat many of us strive to attain. Thanks for creating such a novel and unique universe, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Pablo (Paul Amsterdam): Felipe, thank you for KSP!

Nestor (Nestor): Felipe, thank you for sharing your vision with the world and for this exceptional team that is doing and will keep doing a great job with KSP.

SQUAD (Ezequiel Ayarza, Adrian Goya): Felipe, it’s been a long way together since we started working at SQUAD Marketing, and since we decided to start this awesome adventure Kerbal Space Program. Trusting and believing in each other we started a journey that in the beginning none of us had a clue of where this project was going to get to. That, we think, was one of the keys to the great success of KSP:  just jumping into this dream and doing the best for it. Today we got beyond any expectation and there is a lot of Kerbal to come. Thank you very much for your ideas, creativity, your full dedication and commitment to the game . We wish you all the best for your future and we will always be connected.

Here’s to you, Felipe! You’ve trusted us to take care of your brainchild, and of course we’re all more than willing to do you proud.

Everyone has dove into fixing bugs for patch 1.1.3 and improving on our processes based on the lessons we learned with KSP 1.1. The 1.1.3 patch will be focused on reworking a few systems and fixing a large number of critical bugs that the community found and reported to us, amongst other things we’re working on crashes in the VAB and SPH, and the orbits calculations. The effect of clear minds as a result of the developers taking a vacation has been clearly observed as some very elusive bugs were tracked and fixed this week already.

Amidst the work done to track and fix issues, Mike has started compiling a list of changes for 1.2, although it’s very uncertain at this point, pride of place is a Unity upgrade to 5.3 or 5.4 to fix the serious crash and wheel issues experienced. In addition we’re looking to include antenna telemetry, planetary weighting of contracts, an overhaul of the exploration contracts, and if we can manage it in time the new rocket parts that Chris (Porkjet) has been working on. Apart from adding new features patch 1.2 also provides us with longer development period in which we can address bugs at a more fundamental level, as well as a chance to upgrade the Unity engine from 5.2 to 5.3 or 5.4 which should benefit the stability of the game greatly.

Be sure to tune in to Squadcast this week again, NathanKell will be hosting our weekly development stream and hopefully we’ll have more details to share by then! As always you can leave your questions and comments about KSP on our Forums, on Twitter and Facebook and on the KSP Subreddit. For those of you who want to wish Felipe the best you can leave a message in this forum thread.

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Looking forward to the 1.2 update.

Fare thee well, Felipe.  Thank you for all that is Kerbal.

 

Edited by klgraham1013

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Anyone wanna bet that 1.1.3 will be followed three seconds later by 1.1.4? Not being pessimistic, though-I just like even numbers, they feel better :P

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Glad to know bug stomping is going well. I am curious as to the uncertainty of which unity .3 or .4 will be used. @SQUAD is the uncertainty of 5.3-5.4 based on timing of 1.2 ksp vs how Unity does their thing?

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Just now, AlamoVampire said:

Glad to know bug stomping is going well. I am curious as to the uncertainty of which unity .3 or .4 will be used. @SQUAD is the uncertainty of 5.3-5.4 based on timing of 1.2 ksp vs how Unity does their thing?

Ideally we'd jump right to 5.4, because 5.3 has its own set of issues. However, that is still in beta, so it really depends on Unity's release schedule.

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Those messages are nice. I think every one here echos them to you Felipe. Good luck in the future!

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If updating to Unity 5.3 with KSP 1.2 just means you'll need to update to Unity 5.4 with KSP 1.3.  Wouldn't it be best to just wait for Unity 5.4 to leave beta?

I am no developer, so I lack the knowledge about how these things actually go.

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Ah, so a bunch of wheel/crash issues was connected to Unity bugs?

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Regarding the rocket parts that Porkjet has been working on, is there any news regarding the depth of them?  Such as, if they're just changing the look and texture of them, or are there going to be physical dimension changes too?  I understand if nothing can be revealed at this point since it's leaning really far forward in the 1.2 update, I'm just intrigued.

(I remember in a Squadcast a while ago it was mentioned that each rocket part grouping would have a unique look and feel based on what category it was in or what "company" made it. I'm paraphrasing based on my foggy memory of course.)

Edited by Raptor9

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53 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

The 1.1.3 patch will be focused on reworking a few systems

More headaches for modders :-(

Can you tell us which systems are being reworked?

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33 minutes ago, Temeter said:

Ah, so a bunch of wheel/crash issues was connected to Unity bugs?

The wheel colliders in particular in Unity 5.2.4 are seriously messed-up,  "about as stable as a stack of ping-pong balls" was one of several quotes I found :) (that was from @lo-fi in the Kerbal Foundries thread).  @Claw also reported in the 1.1.2 release Devblog that changes in PhysX also contributed to the problem.

 

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EDIT: Ah, found an interesting thing about the wheel colliders:

http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/unity-5-wheelcollider-component-is-unusable.307099/

Edy (dev of the wheel plugin KSP uses) actually writes about how the current version is basically a total, unintuitive mess which doesn't really work with realistic simulation. New physix version is apparently also guilty, being weird about wheels.

 

7 minutes ago, Laguna said:

The wheel colliders in particular in Unity 5.2.4 are seriously messed-up,  "about as stable as a stack of ping-pong balls" was one of several quotes I found :) (that was from @lo-fi in the Kerbal Foundries thread).  @Claw also reported in the 1.1.2 release Devblog that changes in PhysX also contributed to the problem.

That's actually nice to hear, since it explains the somewhat buggy release. Although the devnote was quite honest with the team being overworked and missing issues.

Edited by Temeter

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1 minute ago, Laguna said:

The wheel colliders in particular in Unity 5.2.4 are seriously messed-up,  "about as stable as a stack of ping-pong balls" was one of several quotes I found :) (that was from @lo-fi in the Kerbal Foundries thread).  @Claw also reported in the 1.1.2 release Devblog that changes in PhysX also contributed to the problem.

 

We (well, mostly @Shadowmage) have even gone to the lengths of creating out own wheel collider - that's how messed up wheel stuff is in 1.1. Needless to say, I stand by my previous comment :wink: 

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2 minutes ago, lo-fi said:

We (well, mostly @Shadowmage) have even gone to the lengths of creating out own wheel collider - that's how messed up wheel stuff is in 1.1. Needless to say, I stand by my previous comment :wink: 

Apparently Edy is also working on a potantial hack. Seems like most of the issues are coming from the new physX vehicle sdk.

Also, thanks! You're doing gods work.

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53 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

If updating to Unity 5.3 with KSP 1.2 just means you'll need to update to Unity 5.4 with KSP 1.3.  Wouldn't it be best to just wait for Unity 5.4 to leave beta?

I am no developer, so I lack the knowledge about how these things actually go.

We know there are serious issues and we'd like to take advantage of Unity updates that fix them. If 5.4 is taking too long to be released and get stable, that would unduly delay fixes for you all.

53 minutes ago, Temeter said:

Ah, so a bunch of wheel/crash issues was connected to Unity bugs?

Yes. We've been talking about that fairly constantly, actually, including one of the first posts in the Grand 1.1 Discussion thread (from @Arsonide who did most of the recent wheel fixes to get them as working as possible).

50 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

More headaches for modders :-(

Can you tell us which systems are being reworked?

We live to make you suffer. And by rework we mean "fix serious bugs / make optimizations so garbage isn't spewed as much / etc." Speaking as a mod dev, not a KSP dev, I'll gladly take some mod fixing and recompiling in exchange for that. I hope you would too.

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Glad to know we're finally getting new rocket parts. God knows how long I've wanted new engines and fuel tanks.

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1 minute ago, Temeter said:

Apparently Edy is also working on a potantial hack. Seems like most of the issues are coming from the new physX vehicle sdk.

Also, thanks! You're doing gods work.

I tried without any of the Squad stock modules, so bypassed all of the vehicle physics hackery. If there's a way to make it work with the wheel colliders Unity gave us, I sure didn't see it. What worked in plain old U5, simply didn't in KSP. Further reading seemed to suggest that the new colliders don't appreciate being attached to rigidbodies via joints (this is fundamental to KSP). Given their appalling friction properties too, the only sane course of action seemed to be "give up and make something better", which I'd strongly suggest Squad consider looking into. Either way, I'm hoping we can release a stable, sane wheel that can be patched into parts without too much pain soonTM

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1 hour ago, linuxgurugamer said:

More headaches for modders :-(

Can you tell us which systems are being reworked?

Stop modding right now if stock fixes give you headaches.

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2 hours ago, SQUAD said:

new rocket parts

I thought this day would never come. Long have I waited and long have I despaired.

Soon the wait will be over.

Also, Schmelta Vee?

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@Arsonide I see. Thanks for the swift reply. Second question, why not just hold back 1.2 until 5.4 is cleared from beta by unity? Would that be better than using 5.3 and its issues?

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1 minute ago, AlamoVampire said:

@Arsonide I see. Thanks for the swift reply. Second question, why not just hold back 1.2 until 5.4 is cleared from beta by unity? Would that be better than using 5.3 and its issues?

Unity does not publish a timeline for when 5.4 will be released. It could be next week on next year. Their public beta is nearly 2 month old so hopefully it won't be much longer but KSP can't wait forever.

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5 minutes ago, sarbian said:

Unity does not publish a timeline for when 5.4 will be released. It could be next week on next year. Their public beta is nearly 2 month old so hopefully it won't be much longer but KSP can't wait forever.

Well, if we can limit the crashing, then that's already a big step forward. Wheels aren't the most important things in a space sim. At least rovers do seem to work fairly well if correctly setup.

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40 minutes ago, lo-fi said:

I tried without any of the Squad stock modules, so bypassed all of the vehicle physics hackery. If there's a way to make it work with the wheel colliders Unity gave us, I sure didn't see it. What worked in plain old U5, simply didn't in KSP. Further reading seemed to suggest that the new colliders don't appreciate being attached to rigidbodies via joints (this is fundamental to KSP). Given their appalling friction properties too, the only sane course of action seemed to be "give up and make something better", which I'd strongly suggest Squad consider looking into. Either way, I'm hoping we can release a stable, sane wheel that can be patched into parts without too much pain soonTM

You could try contacting Edy directly vis-a-vis the work your team is doing? That would hopefully be a very productive discussion.

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