Should there be terraforming in KSP?  

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  1. 1. Should there be terraforming in KSP? (1 vote per person, please!)

    • Yes, I would love terraforming!
    • No, I want to keep the regular stock planets!


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Wouldn't it be cool to stand on the vast, green plains of Duna, Tylo, or the Mun? Or to swim in their oceans? I know this might be a bit, how do I say it, hard to implement, but it would be awesome to have the Mun have an atmosphere and life, unlike the grey/gray rock it is now. Now, I play Spore, and in that game it is way, way, way too easy to terraform planets. But we don't want to have something like trying to terraform planets in real life either, because you would have to go through many, many complex steps to even get the project going, not counting the hundreds of kerbin years that the player would have to wait through to even get it somewhat kerbin-like. We need something inbetween Spore's terraforming, and real life's terraforming, something intermediate. Anyway, while you people are discussing this, I'm going to finish eating my corn dogs. :wink:

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Honestly, I'd say no. In my opinion, KSP is a game about space exploration and a sandbox for building wild contraptions to have fun with. Yes, you can build colonies and bases and things, but terraforming IRL would take many many years, and yes, aside from the implementation factor, it would be a boring mechanic in comparison to building jet aircraft, rockets, and space stations.

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I say they would need to hash out base building to be better. By "better" I mean useful (not much incentive right now other than player-induced needs/wants.) What's the point in terraforming if you can't even put a base to good, constant use, much less a whole celestial body? Yes, there's mining, but other than fuel (in stock), there's not much to be done. There are labs for science, but once you have the full Tech Tree unlocked, science doesn't matter. As a pure sand box game (with an inkling of a "campaign" in career mode), KSP doesn't even really have a late-game direction, much less end-game.

KSP needs more functionality before terraforming is even a thought to consider. (And that's not even considering time scales for true terraforming endeavors.) I'd be happy if the devs can implement something like EPL. (I WANT to use EPL, but the manufacturing chain for EPL and the mods that support it make me hate myself for thinking about it.) Honestly, once the devs get KSP rock-solid (at some point sooner rather than later, I hope), I would love it if they added stock support for multiple launch locations and In-Situ vessel manufacturing. (Then again, I would also like them to support persistent vessels between launches. The "recover, rebuild, re-launch" method kinda irks me for some reason. I like the idea of investing fund in a vessel and not being able to convert the vessel back into funds as incentive to think of reusability. Persistent parts and vessels would be the way, kinda like KCT, but in stock as a gameplay option.)

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I would say a definite "no".  Aside from the level of technical investment involved, it would completely get away from the main theme of KSP, which is flying rocket ships.  Given how many engineer-hours of time it would take to put in a feature like this-- which many players wouldn't even use, I expect-- I'd rather see Squad put that time into something that fits more with the theme of designing, building, and flying spacecraft.

If you want some variety in the solar system, there are plenty of mods out there that do it, and Kopernicus makes it pretty easy to tinker with things on your own.

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You can mod that though:

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I only added a green tint to the water, but I did something similar to a modified mars:

You can do something similar to Duna if you want:

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Maybe if it could be made to fit in with the game well, e.g. adding contracts for doing this and involving maybe periodically having to send rockets with special parts to the planet you're terraforming and scientists to study the on going effects with new improved instruments...it could be an interesting addition, maybe around KSP version 3.0. 

The time factor thing, well as you said it could be sped up a bit maybe it takes say 50 years to accomplish (instead of thousands) because of some breakthrough in technique, but the work to do it could start fairly early in the game.  So this might actually give a good reason for establishing bases and colonies and early science outposts.  There could be new reasons to set up mining (to extract needed minerals/organic compounds) and devices that need to be set up in various places to convert those minerals to release gases needed to start building an atmosphere.  Then later new transport contracts to bring the needed early microbes etc.  Finally some seeding ships to bring more advanced life forms.  Another thing that could add interest would be the capture and redirection of icy asteroids to send them colliding into the surface mainly for the water .

I'm not sure about doing it on a low gravity place like the mun as it would seem like it would be hard to keep an atmosphere intact heck even Mars has problems with this (you'd certainly have to have ongoing processes that would keep the atmosphere stable), though maybe if it turned out to have a protective magnetic core which seems unlikely. 

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Maybe, the one thing that would be kind of cool, would be a part to put on rovers to act as a grader to flatten out selected areas, and it would be time based as well as dependent on the planet surface. One could build bases on the finished area easier and it would make rovers more useful.

 

I imagine the mechanics and coding involved would be pretty complex though, and until bases become more important in stock it doesn't seem necessary.

Edited by Waxing_Kibbous

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47 minutes ago, Waxing_Kibbous said:

Maybe, the one thing that would be kind of cool, would be a part to put on rovers to act as a grader to flatten out selected areas, and it would be time based as well as dependent on the planet surface. One could build bases on the finished area easier and it would make rovers more useful.

I imagine the mechanics and coding involved would be pretty complex though, and until bases become more important in stock it doesn't seem necessary.

I'd imagine something like this would require a complete overhaul of how the planets are built. Not being a programmer, the only way I've ever seen terrain deformation done is with voxels. Think Astroneer.

I would go absolutely nuts if this were a thing in KSP. Terrain deformation and massive base building operations are near the top of the list of things I want for KSP. Of course, I'd want to have to build actual Mun-movers, and not just run around with a giant cartoon deformation gun like Astroneer.

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We don't need terraforming (kerbiforming?). We would need in situ construction long before changing planets.

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2 hours ago, blorgon said:

I'd imagine something like this would require a complete overhaul of how the planets are built. Not being a programmer, the only way I've ever seen terrain deformation done is with voxels. Think Astroneer.

It's been a while since I've done 3D stuff but I'm pretty sure you can do smoothing stuff with plain old vertex meshes- I know that programs like Sculptris and Blender had sculpting tools that could flatten regions, and now that I think of it you can use the scale widget on one axis to do something similar. The devil is in the details though!

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Not a good fit for KSP. The timescales involved are completely outside the scope of the game and the stock game mechanics are far too simple (or in many cases non-existent)  to implement terraforming in any sort of meaningful way. And by meaningful, I mean something more interesting and interactive than dropping a magic terraforming box on the planet of your choice and hitting the timewarp button.

 

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I do like the idea, but it feels like something that should be left to modders. Maybe some ridiculous 1000 ton device that you have to sit down on the surface of your target planet for N years, divided by the number of devices you've put down.

Or as @KerikBalm suggests, the planets can be tweaked with Kopernicus. I keep toying with giving Tylo a thin atmosphere, because I feel like it's too darn big to be a total vacuum... 

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I disagree. Kerbal technology in the game is supposed to be comparable to today's technology, and you won't see any trees on Mars any time soon, so no, no terraformers.

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6 minutes ago, b0ss said:

you won't see any trees on Mars any time soon

I dunno, people keep seeing all kinds of things on Mars pictures. Cactii, lizards, bears, facehuggers, women. Surely there's gotta be tree-like vegetation too, to support all that fauna...

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Like everyone else I don't think there should be terraforming, but as I mentioned earlier it would be cool if asteroids made impact craters.

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It would be cool to have teraforming, but only if it is unlocked at the very end of  the tech tree. and maby take a long time and be done in a realistic way.  

Edited by zebidia kerman

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The most I think would be appropriate would be to allow flattening off area of ground to create runways and landing areas etc.  That seems a logical part of creating a ground station that is easily achievable with fairly simple technology that could (I guess) be achieved by adding things on top of the existing planetary terrain, like the KSC is now, so wouldn't need to modify the planet itself.

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Terraforming is something which realistically would take decades or centuries to perfect a planetary environment. I feel like it doesn't fit with the theme of KSP (although if there was a game that was focused on survival sandbox terraforming of a barren world I would probably play it to be honest).

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I'd like terraforming, but before we could even think of that we'd need massive orbital infrastructure construction to be implemented, too.

 

Which sounds awesome. Let's terraform the whole Kerbal system!

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Even though i would like Terraforming in KSP, i think it does not fit in KSP. I think KSP is more of an exploration game wich is kind of in our current technology range. Not a futuristic sci-fi type of game. But boi! You just said you liked the idea! Im confused! Thats because it would be great for a futuristic sci-fi DLC, mod or addon. Just not the stock game.

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I agree with the people who've said general base building, and especially terrain deformation, would be better.

Deformation in particular opens up a lot! Change asteroid behaviour slightly, and we'll all have subtlety different planets over time. Leave crash craters to mark the epic failures alongside the flags for the successes. Grading that high ore area for smooth landing and better base building. Carve a canyon through the mountains for aerial races or to simplify a train route...

With those things stock, I'd probably appreciate a terraforming mod built off of them, but as in life, it's an end game goal. :P

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