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Devnote Tuesday: Wednesday Edition IV


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3 minutes ago, Violent Jeb said:

Why not have everyone fix bugs for a little while, so 1.1.x can come out sooner (maybe it wouldn't take longer to develop that way, with everybody working on it), then worry about the next update? I obv know nothing of this process.

Unlike KSP, where you can sum someone up as either an Engineer, Scientist or Pilot, and they're all of equal ability (given equal experience), unfortunately, the real world doesn't work like that. The "Developer" class is a very broad one, and the skills that can come be brought into a situation very much depend on the individual.

Added to which, throwing more developers at a problem doesn't necessarily speed up bug fixing - you're adding more lines of communication that have to be maintained to ensure everyone is working on *different* issues rather than duplicating effort

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17 minutes ago, Claw said:

We don't usually work inside the main tracker, but rather copy issues over into a development tracker. This makes it easier for the development team to see what's being focused on, and enables tester to better see what's been fixed and ready for testing. It's a smaller subset that we can better control.

Perhaps a sticky on the forum, listing what the main issues are that the team is aware of? Wouldn't that mitigate some of the upsetness we encounter in the forum over Game Breaking™ issues? For example:

Decaying Orbits: Problem and cause identified. Reference frames involved which means hunting down all code involved; expected to be fixed in 1.1.3
Unable to rename ships in tracking center: caused by a simple typo. Fixed in 1.1.3
Landing gear exploding at high speed: intended behavior.  Just because you could drive over rough terrain at 150 mph in 1.0.5 without consequences doesn't mean you can now
Landing gear unable to hold direction on runway: issue with Unity x.y.z. Can be partially mitigated with new parameters in 1.1.3 but only the upgrade to Unity x.y.q in 1.2 is expected to truly fix this.
Landing gear causes Kerbals to bounce on EVA: collider issue. Fixed by putting Kerbals on EVA in a separate layer but this causes lighting problems. Still expected to be fixed in 1.1.3

Etc. I would think that this would reduce a lot of the ranting and raving about the bugs that exist in the game. It would also create some more understanding that "Fix this, Squad" is sometimes unrealistic or that it requires a lot more work than writing those three words.

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Yay devnotes! Nice and meaty. As always, thanks!

3 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Just before we went into feature lock, Jim changed the game to pause when you’re in career mode and enter a KSC facility. This should prevent contracts expiring when you’re looking at the administration center, or hiring new astronauts, or selecting new contracts, and you haven’t killed timewarp before entering the building. You can now relax and take all the time you need to pick the contracts you want.

Huh. I thought this already happened.

3 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Bill (Taniwha) and Nathanael (NathanKell) receded into their offices, crunched a lot of numbers, tested hundreds of cases and came back with a number of code changes that have been described as magical. Spinning references frames and sharpened swizzles had to be slain but orbits are now rock solid.

You are now my two favorite humans on Earth, at least for the next few time units. Wholehearted thanks on this one :)

4 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Brian will look into ways to make reputation more valuable and useful in the game

...and more visible? All I can tell is my reputation is some three-digit number in the blueish range. And also that when a contract gives me 10 rep, I for some reason get a non-integer amount of rep that is less than 10.

I understand (kind of) why the game does this stuff, but either make it more obvious or totally obfuscate it.

 

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8 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

Perhaps a sticky on the forum, listing what the main issues are that the team is aware of?

It's always a difficult balance, but I understand what you mean. When I was only a forum member (way back) I maintained a "know issues and workarounds" thread (several of them). Since I'm actually working on the game now, I spend more time finding and fising things. Also, we are aware of the writeups on all the trackers (public, modder, and even the experimentals and prerelease, despite that all being past). Since we pull from so many places, it's actually beneficial to copy the reports to a central spot. If we moved them, it would look like we were just deleting things from the tracker. If we left them where they are and worked in separate trackers, it would be more complicated and confusing.

We also try to get word out via dev notes and this kind of interaction. For example, wheels are one of the things we have been trying to be very forward about. They are of great concern and we certainly aren't satisfied with their current state. It took a great deal of time to move the EVA kerbals to a new layer to fix the ragdoll issue. With that we have to also spen a lot of time adjusting lights and cameras, so that we have the proper action! And then test it all to see if we missed anything.

It's hard to share that kind of information on a continuous basis, and makes for long dev notes. :P

Also, we had a bit of a break, so we understand that contributed to the anticipation and thirst for knowledge. Point taken, and we will see if there are other, time efficient ways to share.

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14 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

Perhaps a sticky on the forum, listing what the main issues are that the team is aware of? Wouldn't that mitigate some of the upsetness we encounter in the forum over Game Breaking™ issues? For example:

Decaying Orbits: Problem and cause identified. Reference frames involved which means hunting down all code involved; expected to be fixed in 1.1.3
Unable to rename ships in tracking center: caused by a simple typo. Fixed in 1.1.3
Landing gear exploding at high speed: intended behavior.  Just because you could drive over rough terrain at 150 mph in 1.0.5 without consequences doesn't mean you can now
Landing gear unable to hold direction on runway: issue with Unity x.y.z. Can be partially mitigated with new parameters in 1.1.3 but only the upgrade to Unity x.y.q in 1.2 is expected to truly fix this.
Landing gear causes Kerbals to bounce on EVA: collider issue. Fixed by putting Kerbals on EVA in a separate layer but this causes lighting problems. Still expected to be fixed in 1.1.3

Etc. I would think that this would reduce a lot of the ranting and raving about the bugs that exist in the game. It would also create some more understanding that "Fix this, Squad" is sometimes unrealistic or that it requires a lot more work than writing those three words.

That is basically what the devnotes are.

A more organized and detailed effort would take a lot of developer time and slow down development.

 

A short description can be handed to PR people and formed into a coherent statement, but details like you are asking for would take a lot of developer time and effort away from actually fixing bugs.

Granting the public read-only access to their internal bug tracking seems like an alternative, but it might also mean reduced efficiency as they would need to sanitize their comments for public consumption, as opposed to using short-hand and inside-references that may or may not include proprietary information. 

As it is, the dev-notes feel a lot like a weekly stand-up meeting where everyone gives a synopsis of what they were working on, while someone takes notes then forms those notes into a more coherent package suitable for public consumption.

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4 minutes ago, Terwin said:

That is basically what the devnotes are.

A more organized and detailed effort would take a lot of developer time and slow down development.

 

A short description can be handed to PR people and formed into a coherent statement, but details like you are asking for would take a lot of developer time and effort away from actually fixing bugs.

Granting the public read-only access to their internal bug tracking seems like an alternative, but it might also mean reduced efficiency as they would need to sanitize their comments for public consumption, as opposed to using short-hand and inside-references that may or may not include proprietary information. 

As it is, the dev-notes feel a lot like a weekly stand-up meeting where everyone gives a synopsis of what they were working on, while someone takes notes then forms those notes into a more coherent package suitable for public consumption.

I think he was asking for the opposite of details, he was asking for a bullet point list because the dev notes do tend to be some good information mixed in with a very large amount of rambling about nothing (I could do without the poem for example).

Edited by Alshain
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2 hours ago, Claw said:

The graphics overhaul is for rocket parts.

According to the previous devnotes, graphics overhaul for rocket parts was planned for KSP1.2. Unfortunately, I don't see any mention of the reworked rocket parts in today's devnotes. Is this feature still planned for 1.2? Thank you!

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1 hour ago, Claw said:

...For example, wheels are one of the things we have been trying to be very forward about. They are of great concern and we certainly aren't satisfied with their current state....

I think it's worth repeating (I'm sure I did during pre-release) that whilst the wheels remain rather wonky, you've nailed the building blocks of a really good wheel system that gives me really high hopes for the future. Bugs and tweaks notwithstanding the wheel system is light years ahead of what we had before.

Wheels were really my key feature for 1.1, what I had waited a year for. The first time I created a rover in pre-release and noticed the inside wheels turned less into a corner than the outside I swear I let out a little squeal. Then I created an 8x8 and noticed the middle wheels turned less aggressively than the front/rear wheels and a little bit of wee may have come out.

I can't begin to imagine the work which must have gone into a system which can figure out the front/middle/back/inside/outside of an infinitely variable user created multi-wheeled monstrosity and move wheels independently and appropriately to user input. Add to that per wheel stress, suspension, friction and traction and, like I say, you've the building blocks of a fantastic wheel system that blows <1.1 out the water.

Now sure, we've got some quite serious freaky friction and calamitous collider issues to work out, but it's clear you're all acutely aware of these and I see no reason why the won't be fixed in due course.

 

Thanks also for the graphics clarification. Had, perhaps, hoped for more environmental work, but I'm perpetually greedy and EVE/Scatterer/PlanetShine etc. serve me well in the meantime.

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I have long been wanting to have communotrons that have normal range when deployed and reduced range but still possibility to activate when they are retracted. Then you would not need a separate antenna for the launch and an another one to deploy while in orbit. And it would be rather realistic too, only the gain of the antenna would be improved with the deployment.

 

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Also not sure what happened to this on the way to the devnotes, but we did want to specifically thank @ferram4 for the idea on the orbital drift fixes, and @eggrobin as well; we had mentioned that on the thread on orbital decay that @JJE64 started. The resulting method effectively cuts PhysX out of the application of gravity, instead using the rails calculation to figure out where we should be, and what our velocity should be, on the next frame.

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4 hours ago, Enceos said:

Mike (Mu) is taking over AFAIK.

That sounds good.  

However, based on the cadre now in place, I'm sensing a very good "peer -based" dev group - perhaps the "role" of lead developer should be deprecated to be title only.  One person with a vision driving a team is not as powerful or effective an entire team sharing one vision.

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31 minutes ago, NathanKell said:

Also not sure what happened to this on the way to the devnotes, but we did want to specifically thank @ferram4 for the idea on the orbital drift fixes, and @eggrobin as well; we had mentioned that on the thread on orbital decay that @JJE64 started. The resulting method effectively cuts PhysX out of the application of gravity, instead using the rails calculation to figure out where we should be, and what our velocity should be, on the next frame.

thanks for giving us more info @NathanKell

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1 hour ago, NathanKell said:

Also not sure what happened to this on the way to the devnotes, but we did want to specifically thank @ferram4 for the idea on the orbital drift fixes, and @eggrobin as well; we had mentioned that on the thread on orbital decay that @JJE64 started. The resulting method effectively cuts PhysX out of the application of gravity, instead using the rails calculation to figure out where we should be, and what our velocity should be, on the next frame.

It is not the first time that members that are contributing a lot to the game with their mods get forgotten during the process...luckly since you are on board this is not the case :P

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By spinning reference frame, are you guys talking about the bug where if the window goes out of focus (alt+tab or windows key) and are in timewarp while in the map, the map spins around the focal point? It also happens when you mouse over the KSPedia and the windows of some mods such as MechJeb. I know you don't want to get mods involved, but it's just another way of triggering it.

Might be related though, no idea.

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