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[KSP 1.2] [2016-10-22] Contract Pack: Parts Unlimited, Ltd. [v0.1] Unlock parts with cash instead of science


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WARNING: This not just a contract pack! It is a totally different way to play career mode. Do not install this on a currently-running career, or uninstall it once installed; I'm not sure what would happen. But if you DO try it, tell me what happens :)

WARNING: This is an alpha release! What does that mean? It means if it screws up your career game, it's not my fault :). Please report it but do not expect sympathy, only thanks for the bug report. You should NEVER install this and use it on a current career anyway, even when it's considered a solid release. This is for advanced users who want to modify some of the core gameplay mechanics of Kerbal Space Program's career mode.

PU_256.png

DESCRIPTION:

This contract pack does 3 things:

  1. Screws up R&D to the point where you can't use it. Science - therefore - is meaningless in your career. You can ignore it, convert it via a Strategy, or whatever.
  2. Adds one contract per part, the cost of which is relative to the part's cost and the reward of which is the use of the part. There is no part testing, no going to Moho or traveling 1500m/s. No right clicking. You take a contract, pay the up-front cost, and get the part. Easy peasy.
  3. (You don't notice this in-game, but will see its effects) Sets up each part in it's own hidden tech tree node. This means you don't get to - or have to - unlock a set of parts. You only unlock those parts you need. For many of us, this could significantly lessen the visible parts while building in the VAB. Never use that micronode? Don't take the contract. Ever. It'll never show up in your list.

NOTES:

  • The basic starter parts are still available from the start. You gotta have SOMETHING to attach your test parts to!
  • You should turn negative funds ON, or you may accidentally cheat by accepting a contract you can't pay for!
  • The first time you load Mission Control the game may pause as it generates over 200 contracts, one for each part. It will be much quicker from that point on.
  • You pretty much MUST use the new "All" tab that Contract Configurator provides. The Available tab will be way too crowded whenever you have a lot of money. If you have a low resolution, you may have to scroll to see all contracts even when everything is collapsed. There's not much I can do about this. Ironically, this was better before they added the new part categories.

DOWNLOAD:

Spacedock
GitHub

INSTALLATION:

Within the install zip file is a GameData folder. Within that folder is a ContractPacks folder. Within THAT folder is a PartsUnlimited folder. Put that folder in your KSP GameData\ContractPacks folder that you got when you installed ContractConfigurator. See Requirements below.

REQUIREMENTS:

Contract Configurator (This is a set of configs for that mod, after all)
Module Manager (but what doesn't these days?)

COMPATIBILITY:

This mod will hopefully be compatible with most if not all other part mods. I tested it quickly with KIS and it seems to work just fine. It may have trouble with any procedural parts mods that unlock size upgrades incrementally, but honestly I don't know how those mods work and don't use them. I'd love to know if they work or not, and if they don't work I'll see what I can do.

CHANGELOG:

0.1: Initial test release - missing only balancing of part costs, agency art, and descriptions. Any and all mods should be supported unless they add their own part categories (like Utilities, Pods, Aero, etc)

BUGS:

  • You can accept contracts in many situations when you don't have the available money to pay for them. This is outside of my control, but I'm releasing anyway because in KSP 1.2 you can enable "Allow Negative Funds" and your funds show up in red. In previous KSP versions, negative funds was an option but didn't display in red so were confusing.
  • Contracts do not auto-complete in Mission Control. You must exit out, let them complete, and then to back in. It's clunky, but not too bad as you generally won't be taking more than a few of these contracts at a time.

TO DO:

  • Balance part costs. Right now most of the contract costs are 30 times the part's cost to unlock in the stock game. I think that'll be okay but I want to balance it between being able to unlock things super quick (which is bad) and slogging through endless missions to earn enough cash to unlock an I-beam (which is also bad). Let me know if you think costs should be higher or lower, and I'll be testing this myself.
  • Part images in the contracts. I don't know if this is possible but if it is, I'll find a way to do it :) If it's not, I'm working on a "descriptive.cfg" to modify those parts with particularly uninformative descriptions, to better describe what part they are and what they do.
  • To keep the number of contract folders down, I may combine certain categories, like say Payload and coupling with structural. I'm not sure yet if this would be better or worse. Opinions welcome.

LICENSE:

GNU GPL3.

THANKS:

To nightingale. Not only for making Contract Configurator and making countless changes to it to accommodate my inane requests, but also for endless patience in helping me understand his frighteningly configurable mod.

DONATIONS

I do not need donations, but if you want to contribute, please donate to SpaceDock:

patreonSD.png

Edited by 5thHorseman
KSP 1.2 Release!
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I made a bad choice.

I totally forgot - in my excitement - that the features I'm utilizing for my pack require the version of Contract Configurator AFTER 1.18.1 to work. You'll have to wait for that to release before downloading this mod.

Edited by 5thHorseman
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Congrats on the release!  I'll try to get the update out in the next day or so.

As far as the contract descriptions go, you may want to consider utilizing @part.Description() in some way (it tends to be more flavour text than useful stuff, but it's better than something generic).

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10 hours ago, nightingale said:

Congrats on the release!  I'll try to get the update out in the next day or so.

As far as the contract descriptions go, you may want to consider utilizing @part.Description() in some way (it tends to be more flavour text than useful stuff, but it's better than something generic).

Thanks. I'm happy with what I've got so far. The tiny bit of testing I've done so far is very promising. I'm really going to beef up the descriptions. In lieu of pictures, I want to give the player as much info as I possibly can to determine what part they're really unlocking.

13 hours ago, BigFatStupidHead said:

I am super glad you've made this. It'll be very exciting to try it out!

I hope you like it! It has a lot of potential I think :)

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I'd love to test this out, too!

Just to be sure I understand:

  • Contracts have negative advances, so you need cash up front to accept them
  • You get a prototype part, slap in on your rocket and get the part for real
  • You said something about techtree. Can you unlock all parts at start (assuming money available), or is there some progression among them?

I'd suggest you use some conditionals in the pricing; like, if it is a structural part the contract price is 4 times part price, if it is a command module then it is 15. Or something (I just pulled these numbers out of... thin air) - edit: check the link on my sig for reference, I use the 'ship type' variable on command pods to choose the amount of supplies to stock them, multipliers and conditionals.

I would also suggest some parts (or classes of parts, such as 'all engines' or 'all reaction wheels') have something more to the contract than just slapping on, but don't know what to suggest for that something at the moment :rolleyes: Static firing tests for engines, perhaps? (like, fire for 10 seconds while stable at ~0m/s, or something)

Edited by monstah
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@BigFatStupidHead There is a problem in the new Contract Configurator update, that has a new fix that I'm testing in a few moments. Assuming that works this will be available as quick as I can make it come after that becomes official. Right now, you can accept contracts in many situations when you should not be able to which makes it very easy to progress - even by accident without intending to "cheat." If it was something that was easier to avoid I'd consider releasing, but I've decided to hold off if I can.

@monstah Actually I've simplified the busy-work somewhat for the player. The "put the part on your vessel" was a bit clunky so I'm trying to make it so the contracts simply auto-complete. Literally, if you have the money you can just unlock all the parts in the game if you so choose. Of course, unless you really give yourself tons of cash to start, you'll not be starting with nearly enough money to unlock a lot of parts. However, by the time you get to orbit you'll be able to unlock enough parts to do most anything you want (in a general sense. You can unlock a nice probe core, or enough plane parts to get started there, or maybe unlock the bare minimum ISRU parts or early solar panels).

Regarding cost balancing, that will be the #1 hardest part for me in this mod. I'll consider all suggestions (and I like your conditional one. It's very easy to modify one part category as they're all in separate config files so balancing in that way is trivial. It's just getting the numbers right that's the hard part :) )

I may - after initial release and balancing - go back to the idea of actually testing parts. However I will NOT accept any test that you can do at the launch pad for free or nearly free. For me, this mod is a way to cut out the drudgery of collecting science. I'm not going to replace it with drudgery in testing parts. :)

EDIT: Oh, and you are correct about negative advances. You accept the contract for -18,000 funds, and that money is instantly deducted from your account. You can consider it the cost to pay people to develop the engine, or the cost to license its use. Your call.

Edited by 5thHorseman
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7 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

It's very easy to modify one part category as they're all in separate config files so balancing in that way is trivial. It's just getting the numbers right that's the hard part :)

I know what you mean. That config on my signature took me a long time, and I never got satisfied with it (I'm not even playing USI-LS at the moment)

7 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

I may - after initial release and balancing - go back to the idea of actually testing parts. However I will NOT accept any test that you can do at the launch pad for free or nearly free. For me, this mod is a way to cut out the drudgery of collecting science. I'm not going to replace it with drudgery in testing parts. :)

Yup! That's why I hadn't suggested anything yet. A static fire test would work if it was hard to keep the rocket in place, and/or if overheat was more of a problem early career. But we can test and balance the basics for now (as soon as it's available), and worry about that later.

Cheers.

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  • 1 month later...

With the release of Contract Configurator for KSP 1.2, and a few changes to KSP (most notably RED NUMBERS for negative funds) I've decided to release this. It should work great, but please note I consider this an ALPHA release.

What does that mean? It means if it screws up your career game, it's not my fault :). Please report it but do not expect sympathy, only thanks for the bug report. You should NEVER install this and use it on a current career anyway, even when it's considered a solid release. This is for advanced users who want to modify some of the core gameplay mechanics of Kerbal Space Program's career mode.

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This mod will be incredible with KR&D. That one uses science points in order to upgrade existing parts. I'm going to use this mod in conjunction with that for my new long-term career (which will involve, amongst other things, a very extensive Eve program).

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7 hours ago, eloquentJane said:

This mod will be incredible with KR&D. That one uses science points in order to upgrade existing parts. I'm going to use this mod in conjunction with that for my new long-term career (which will involve, amongst other things, a very extensive Eve program).

That sounds like a good way to do things.

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1 hour ago, BigFatStupidHead said:

That sounds like a good way to do things.

After some testing, I've realised that I might not be able to do it. This mod causes every part contract to appear at once, which induces severe lag when opening mission control, as well as making it incredibly difficult to find other contracts.

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4 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

After some testing, I've realised that I might not be able to do it. This mod causes every part contract to appear at once, which induces severe lag when opening mission control, as well as making it incredibly difficult to find other contracts.

One important thing with this mod, you MUST use the "all" tab that Contract Configurator added, and the folder-like structure it uses. Also, that delay (which was never even a full second for me) is only the first time you start, as it generates all the contracts.

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36 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

One important thing with this mod, you MUST use the "all" tab that Contract Configurator added, and the folder-like structure it uses. Also, that delay (which was never even a full second for me) is only the first time you start, as it generates all the contracts.

An important addendum. Thanks for the info.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 3 months later...
On 3/31/2017 at 8:41 PM, MysterySloth said:

1) Is this still being developed?

2) Does it work with custom tech trees?

3) Does it work with custom categories, and, if not, ho could i manually add support?

Sorry I've been pretty lax lately.

I do not know if this works in 1.3. It did work fine in the last version of 1.2 though.

It should work with custom tech trees, in that all the parts will have contracts and the trees will be chopped down and used for firewood (i.e., the trees themselves will be not useful at all).

It will not work with custom categories, as I wrote a config for each category. I don't recall if I wrote a config for "everything else" but think I may have. To add support, look at the config for any category. Utility is pretty generic, and Engines shows some custom pricing based on things like Isp.

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