SQUAD

Devnote Tuesday: QA focus

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Lots of discussion once again on career mode/science, and there is no one way to make everyone happy. I think the options/resource sliders that you can tweak when starting a game are pretty powerful, and that combined with Contract Configurator makes the game pretty customizable.

For fun I'll throw out another career idea:

The tech tree is gone, replaced by a system where closed tech branches "get the OK to proceed," aka open up, when X amount of science is obtained from Y body. The tech can then be unlocked for use by using funds. The balance will give enough tech to proceed to the next logical planet, yet give skilled players enough to shoot for more advanced ones. Extra science from a body can be traded in for funds at a rate that increases based on where it was obtained from. The main benefit: getting cool new parts is a great motivation to get players to go interplanetary, as opposed to contracts. Currently one can unlock the tech tree without leaving Kerbin's SOI, which seems a bit too easy IMO. Also, it makes "realistic" sense in a way- the space program has to prove it can comfortably achieve certain goals before moving on to harder ones.

Just another career mode idea, nothing to see here :)

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15 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

In other words, you want a different game.

To an extent, I do, in fact. I love KSP because of the topic it covers more than anything else. It's a great sandbox simulation of a complex subject. But make no mistake, KSP as it currently stands has little to no gameplay mechanics in relation to what I would define as a "game". There is no set goal (fine for some, troublesome for others, like myself; I want/need an objective/purpose OTHER than anything I can come up with myself); the token gameplay mechanics that are implemented are half-baked, ill-thought out, or just make no sense; there's no end-game content/activities for long-term play past meeting any goals. A lot of this can be corrected by mods, but a "game" that relies on community supplied mods is not a game in itself: it's a platform for a game.

To top this off, KSP is a cluster of a programming project. Engine refactor post-commercial release that's advertised as a Patch/Update? I have never seen that done before, not without a full version release. (Or a re-released edition, like Directors cuts, but those also add more content like a mini-expansion... Or as it's known these days, DLC Add-on.)

For gameplay mechanics, Career is a joke. Funds don't really mean much except in the early game. It (along with a player's patience and ability to multi-task) is just a limiter on how many craft you can have active at any point. Fine, but that's about it's ONLY purpose. Science as a resource that easy but tedious to acquire is just boring. And you can practically ignore Reputation. Strategies make no sense (assuming they even work right...). The research system is fairly limited (this I can forgive a bit due to the sheer number of parts in the game that would have to be tracked for a GOOD research tree...) Pilot stats mean nothing in practice. Pilot levels have little bearing in typical play. (Probe cores can supplement Pilots, not breaking things make Engineers pointless, and Scientists make a tedious mechanic either more or less tedious depending on how much you care about efficiency; the increasing hiring cost makes no bloody sense either. I'd rather pay a daily wage to my kerbonauts.) Lastly, the various mechanics barely feedback into one another. You can practically remove any of those mechanics and it wouldn't affect basic play in career. What kind of game has mechanics that don't support one another?

If I look at KSP as just a game in it stands now, it's boring as hell. Everything is tedium. (Unless you're an engineer who spends more time designing than "playing".) There's little to no incentive to do anything once you get used to playing. Practically all the real fun and joy of KSP lies in the first-time experience. "Woo! Rocket didn't blow up on launch!", "Yay! Space!", "Heck yeah! Orbit!" etc. If you get adept at it, everything is a repetitive chore. "Okay, circularizing burn now", "Apo burn #3", "Ah, there's the Mun, time to burn", etc. If I understand and know how to launch a rocket into orbit routinely, why must I do it for the umpteenth time to do anything that would be new to me? At some point, I should be able to graduate from the micromanagement to macro-management. Do I really need to personally be involved in every action in the game? I say no: by "end-game" (whatever that is), I should be able to just say, "Okay, at this point, do a 100m/s burn for injection. Then at intercept periapsis, circularize." I shouldn't need to be personally present for a craft to accomplish that.

...All right, now I'm really starting to rant. I'm gonna cut myself short now. There's more I can/want to say to explain my view more/better, but I've been at this long enough. I'll shut up now.

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1 minute ago, StahnAileron said:

To an extent, I do, in fact.

While I agree with some of your points I don't think such massive rewrites of several core systems is something that can be solved in free updates.

We've discussed a theoretical KSP2 several times on the forums, and I think you've outlined several things that could make such a beast possible.

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1 hour ago, GorillaZilla said:

I've hated the current science system from the start because of how nonsensical and arbitrary it is,  might has well have been:

"collect samples  of all the different coloured and flavoured jelly beans that are scattered throughout the solar system, ,  bring them home and funnel them into the magical jelly bean grinder that then poops out completely unrelated knowledge and blueprints of new technologies and parts,  and special new jelly bean scoops that can scoop up the special harder to scoop beans you couldn't scoop before......."

Considering that the primary game-play is the building and flying of rockets, what is wrong with using a tried and true approach to getting better gear availability for the game modes where that is part of the process?

It uses well established mechanics used in many other games and provides almost no additional learning curve for that aspect of the game.

Sounds like a good idea if one of your objectives is to limit the steepness of what is necessarily a rather steep learning curve for new players...

This is not the 'Kerbal Research Simulator' after all.

1 hour ago, GorillaZilla said:

And its true for me too, in a way, the current Science system killed the game for me.   

Sandbox mode has none of that.  If the science collecting add-on functionality is not to your liking, the stock game has a play option where that is not an issue.

And if you still want to have contracts and funding, you can just bump up both the starting science and the science bonus and unlock the entire tree in your first few launches.

 

1 hour ago, GorillaZilla said:

The basics of the new system would be:

The people of the world want to know what is out there and how the universe works....   

So they pay and donate you cash in return for experiment data and accounts of first hand kerbal experiences on what you find out there,   you use that cash + time + feedback from real world flight testing    to further develop the technology you need to get out further and faster to find out more about that's out there,  which of course,  you and the world want to know....  

 

1 hour ago, GorillaZilla said:

And for example If you want better rocket engines,   Flying with what you have at the start,  and running them in different conditions,  speeds and atmospheric compositions, pressures and temperatures while attempting to achieve your own self set goals of higher and faster....

Will build up flight data on rocket engine dynamics...  which your engineers and scientists can use alongside cash and time to shed light on ways to improve understanding of rocket engine technology which opens up ideas for new rocket engine designs,  which when flown themselves with their differences and application of new ideas shed more light on how rocketry works when run in different conditions...

...

So, in short you want a very complex and 'realistic' research game in place of the current science system.

With a nice, fat learning curve on top of the already existent learning curve for the actual rocket science.

Sort of like a 'spreadsheets to get the parts to get to space' type game.

 

I'm kind of glad SQUAD never attempted such a complex and convoluted monstrosity as I would never have heard about it from the dozen players who would actually have enough bloody-minded determination(or initial aerospace research training) to get past the horrendous learning curve and actually get to the point where they could enjoy the game and do what they want to do.(assuming SQUAD could get it out the door before running out of money of course)

 

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37 minutes ago, Terwin said:

Considering that the primary game-play is the building and flying of rockets

I too consider that the primary game-play.

I play mainly career because it fits my style and my own story.

But I acknowledge that not everyone is playing the game the same way or want the same thing from playing.

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1 hour ago, Terwin said:

I'm kind of glad SQUAD never attempted such a complex and convoluted monstrosity as I would never have heard about it from the dozen players who would actually have enough bloody-minded determination(or initial aerospace research training) to get past the horrendous learning curve and actually get to the point where they could enjoy the game and do what they want to do.(assuming SQUAD could get it out the door before running out of money of course

 

I don't think you read the meaning of my post correctly,  If anything is a complex convoluted monstrosity,  it's whatever you were imagining while reading it.   (and also the contracts system, THAT is a complex convoluted monstrosity with all it's clauses and stipulations and Lawyer infestation)

I'll explain it simply without any of the surrounding fluff that's there to put things in context.

Technology points for using your parts in ways/situations they have not been used before*,   Technology points + cash are used to unlock Nodes.  And Node's parts become available for use after a certain amount of time has passed after you have chosen to unlock using points and cash.

 

Roughly analogous to real life,  makes sense,  but is still Simples :-)

 

 

 

 

And if done correctly,  it would for the most part manage itself in the background,  and simply notify you when new shiny things are available because of what you have been doing in the game....

 

Science traded in for cash,    Cash,  + real world experience(testing) + time = new technology

 

Science collection should chug away in the background so you can get on with actually playing the core game,  which is the designing,  building and flying (Crashing)  of Rockets....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*which represents experience from real world practice of theory......

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GorillaZilla

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3 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

While I agree with some of your points I don't think such massive rewrites of several core systems is something that can be solved in free updates.

This is precisely why I find the current code refactor so odd. Something that historically is usually a new release, not an update. It's also why I think KSP shouldn't have been release in the state it was in. v1.0 was more sandbox simulator tech demo advertised as a game. Commercial 1.0 KSP was more a proof of concept than finished product because the tech and experience didn't exist to help meet the ambitions it had. (I'd say expectations, but most expectations can never be met unless they've been tempered in/by reality.)

3 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

We've discussed a theoretical KSP2 several times on the forums, and I think you've outlined several things that could make such a beast possible.

At this point, I think this is what KSP needs to be a full-fledged game rather than this ill-conceived approximation of a game. At least the programming issues are getting hammered out and rectified (though that should've been most done before commercial release.) Once they get KSP to not be what sounds like spaghetti code, the next step to tackle would be actual gameplay mechanics and progression. (Any complaints about added content can wait until there's a game for content to be used in. Extra parts/planets/things won't inherently make good/interesting gameplay.)

If anything, I think one fault of SQUAD is the lack of a roadmap for long-term play. At this point, looking back, it feels like they were too shortsighted with getting something to meet the basic ambition of the game (which I think was "fun/amusing entry lego-style rocket simulator"). The long term aims weren't planned or got short-changed in the process. As I've mention many times across the forum, the gameplay mechanics feel arbitrary and tacked on to tick a box on a checklist instead of being fleshed out and made meaningful.

I've mostly gotten my $30 out of KSP (got it at v0.90). Being able to design and semi-realistically fly my own aircraft within certain limitations was worth it. I just wish there was more activities to do that felt rewarding without feeling tedious. (I know it Kerbal SPACE Program, but I'd like more content on Kerbin for just airplanes. Yeah, there are mods, but modders can only do so much if there's little to no framework in place to support them.) I'd honestly welcome a KSP2 and let KSP1 languish in just bug-maintenance if it meant KSP2 could correct everything wrong with KSP1 while improving what it got right. I'd pay another $30-$40 for that privilege.

Edited by StahnAileron
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4 minutes ago, StahnAileron said:

This is precisely why I find the current code refactor so odd. Something that historically is usually a new release, not an update.

It's far from odd for a game based on a 3rd-party engine.

Adapting to changes and new features is part of the price you pay if you can't afford to spend the time and resources to build from scratch.

And the always ongoing choice of polish or rewrite of old code also comes with the territory of a pre-release funded indie game

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2 hours ago, GorillaZilla said:

I don't think you read the meaning of my post correctly,  If anything is a complex convoluted monstrosity,  it's whatever you were imagining while reading it.   (and also the contracts system, THAT is a complex convoluted monstrosity with all it's clauses and stipulations and Lawyer infestation)

I'll explain it simply without any of the surrounding fluff that's there to put things in context.

Technology points for using your parts in ways/situations they have not been used before*,   Technology points + cash are used to unlock Nodes.  And Node's parts become available for use after a certain amount of time has passed after you have chosen to unlock using points and cash.

 

Roughly analogous to real life,  makes sense,  but is still Simples :-)

 

Yes situational awareness is nice and simple.  It is not like there are trillion dollar companies spending billions of dollars trying to get enough situational awareness to let a car drive itself or anything.

The simplest approximation would be each distinct part having a record of each biome it has visited and when the craft is recovered the 'points' for each part that has been in a biome that distinct part has not been in before(as in no Rhino engine has ever been recovered after being landed at the shore), it will contribute a certain number of 'points' to a specified list of 'improvement targets' to let you unlock new parts.

Even then you are tracking each biome for each part in the game(and any modders that want to add parts will also need to define what sorts of research they can help with).  This adds a non-trivial additional memory overhead for each loaded part, meaning that before 64 bit KSP 100+ part ships might well have been flatly impossible, while bringing two 60 part ships inside the same physics bubble would have crashed the game.  And of course adding things like 20 additional stylized wing parts would also be akin to cheating the system because now you can get a lot more aerodynamics science progress just from using those wings around the KSC.

And remember, this is the *simplest* version of what you are asking for, one that still has nonsensical activities like taking jet engines biome hopping on the Mun to unlock new jet engines.  To do this research system in a way that would make you happy would probably require more development time than having SQUAD write their own game engine, and I would rather have SQUAD throw in something simplistic like the current system, than never be able to bring the game to market at all.

 

 

2 hours ago, GorillaZilla said:

Science traded in for cash,    Cash,  + real world experience(testing) + time = new technology

 

Science collection should chug away in the background so you can get on with actually playing the core game,  which is the designing,  building and flying (Crashing)  of Rockets....

 

*which represents experience from real world practice of theory......

Why bother with collecting science for cash when I could even more easily set up the 'Kerbal Fuel Refinery Service' to convert ore to fuel on the launchpad and make money that way?

That is a good 'real world' way to make money, but hardly seems like the type of behavior you want to encourage in a game about rocket ships...

 

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On 9/3/2016 at 6:44 AM, 5thHorseman said:

I ask a different question: Why do we have to click at all? I brought the Kerbals along. I threw in the cash for the extra fuel. Why can't THEY run the experiments themselves? And isn't there some underling on the ground who can tell the probe to do these experiments as well? I play this game to build and fly rocket ships, not hunt for 4-pixel-wide doodads stuck to my ship so I can right click them.

I won't play anymore without some sort of automated science gathering mod, ever since the time I realized I did not ONCE look at the planet I was flying by on close approach, so engrossed was I with "clicking all the things." And that was one click each (I consider that "maximum science") so no, reducing it to once won't help.

One of the biggest concerns with how science is treated in KSP, that I agree with, is that there isn't enough to do once you get to a planet or moon, and that the experiments seem decoupled from what it actually takes to advance the relevant technologies. But most suggestions for improving this usually end up requiring such a massive overhaul of the system that I don't think it could be implemented until a 2.0 edition. A new game.

I suggest something a bit more moderate.

Instead of entire expansive biomes being representative of all of the science available in that area you should have to explore the surface within biomes and use your scientific instruments to guide you to pockets of high value samples sprinkled around within the biome. Imagine if the value of surface samples followed a random distribution between and within biomes in the same way that ore concentration is revealed by the orbital scanner and surface scanner. Sites of particular value would essentially be highly localized "Easter eggs" that increased the science data returned, even perhaps allowing full transmission values from the surface. The gravity experiment, seismic detector, thermometer and all would be used to help guide you to these pockets to sample. Examining these sites should generate a contract branch that helps you explore nearby related features and return reputation and funds as you do so. This would make EVA exploration worthwhile and increase the utility of rovers and planes.

If a player chooses a science career then running science experiments should be part of the fun and a gameplay investment. The best games are the ones that allow you to expand upon the potential you have built from the resources you've invested previously. More boldly, it would be nice if there was a "recipe" of experimental data that could be combined inside the mobile processing lab that would lead to "scientific breakthroughs" for the body that you are investigating. You should be able to add to the body of knowledge for that world with these breakthroughs that would give you valuable information about how to explore that world in future missions. It could unlock radar altitude data for landing, increase resistance to crash damage, improve the performance of engines, reduce heat damage, increase the efficiency of solar panels and RTGs, etc...

Edited by HvP

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So something like Pokemon GO but with science?

 

Ive always seen science as 'nerd bait' for Kerbals.  Taking samples of the mun might not let you make better rockets but it may attract new scientists to the field because you accoplished something.  Sort of indirectly improving your rockets with mun rocks.  Just skipping the middle bit.

 

Id also like some degree of science over time, but in real time that ignores time warp.  So you cant just set something simple up and time warp the tech tree.

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2 hours ago, Curveball Anders said:

It's far from odd for a game based on a 3rd-party engine.

Adapting to changes and new features is part of the price you pay if you can't afford to spend the time and resources to build from scratch.

And the always ongoing choice of polish or rewrite of old code also comes with the territory of a pre-release funded indie game

I get changing engines, platform updates, and such, but not post-commercial release. They usually lock the platform at that point for ease of maintenance. I know of minor point updates (I think Satellite Reign or Wasteland 2 did a release that was a based on a point release update to the platform, like Unity 5.0 to 5.1 as an example), but not wholesale rewrites of the underlying program. Especially within a year of commercial release.

Granted, KSP had some questionable programming it seems, but that makes me feel that KSP wasn't ready for prime time yet even more. (Yes, I know there's more that just coding decisions to make. They are a business that needs to make a profit and all.) *sigh* I apologize; I guess I've just gotten sick and tired of the currently mentality in software development to "release now, fix later (if ever)". I was fine with post-release patches on the PC side (PC was way more complex than fixed-specs platforms), but once the always connected consoles started allowing patches, it's been downhill since. It bled over to PC, taking it from "reasonable and understandable" to "tolerated" to "*insert profanity* *insert company*". Now it's just a fact of life. (Disclosure: I've been a regular PC gamer since about 2000 when I got my own PC, even if it was a hand-me-down. I've played consoles since 1990. Had to say this so I don't started a platform war blaming consoles for problem on the PC. Developers and/or publishers are to blame more than the platform.)

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3 hours ago, JimmyAgent007 said:

So something like Pokemon GO but with science?

 

Ive always seen science as 'nerd bait' for Kerbals.  Taking samples of the mun might not let you make better rockets but it may attract new scientists to the field because you accoplished something.  Sort of indirectly improving your rockets with mun rocks.  Just skipping the middle bit.

 

Id also like some degree of science over time, but in real time that ignores time warp.  So you cant just set something simple up and time warp the tech tree.

A bit like that, yes. If the reputation meter was more prominent and you could target which contract paths you wanted to explore then I could definitely see a reputation reward for hitting some of these high value sites being translated into recruiting more scientists. Maybe even reducing the cost of hiring Kerbals from the Astronaut Complex.

My line of thinking was that atmospheric scans of Kerbin's atmosphere provided a buff to engines used on Kerbin, but you would have to do the scans for Duna and Laythe if you wanted the improvements to work in their atmospheres. Pressure and gravity scans could reveal information that would tell you when to set your parachutes to auto-deploy. That would also encourage players to send small, light uncrewed probes to sample the atmosphere before designing big manned missions to those worlds, because then you could benefit from having engines tuned to land in their specific environments; to know the elevations within scanned biomes; and understand at what air density mark a parachute is safe to deploy on that world without tearing it apart.

Surface samples and seismic scans could increase the thermal efficiency and ore extraction rate of ore drills within only those specific biomes that were tested. Thermometers and Science Jr. labs could test the radiant energy and micrometeorite prevalence in orbit of different worlds to boost the strength and efficiency of solar panels and radiators operating around those worlds. Maybe you have to have a thermometer on a craft for ISRUs, radiators and other heat managements systems to work at peak efficiency. Or even have thermometers work as thermostats to auto-deploy radiators when necessary.

Kerbal EVA reports from the surface could expose previously hidden waypoint markers for exploration contracts within specific biomes. EVA reports from orbit could unlock a wider area at a time, but surface reports would unlock a greater local density of targets.

There's a lot of related opportunities to make the science experiments contribute to the gameplay rather than slowing it down.

Edited by HvP

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6 hours ago, Terwin said:

 

Yes situational awareness is nice and simple.  It is not like there are trillion dollar companies spending billions of dollars trying to get enough situational awareness to let a car drive itself or anything.

The simplest approximation would be each distinct part having a record of each biome it has visited and when the craft is recovered the 'points' for each part that has been in a biome that distinct part has not been in before(as in no Rhino engine has ever been recovered after being landed at the shore), it will contribute a certain number of 'points' to a specified list of 'improvement targets' to let you unlock new parts.

Even then you are tracking each biome for each part in the game(and any modders that want to add parts will also need to define what sorts of research they can help with).  This adds a non-trivial additional memory overhead for each loaded part, meaning that before 64 bit KSP 100+ part ships might well have been flatly impossible, while bringing two 60 part ships inside the same physics bubble would have crashed the game.  And of course adding things like 20 additional stylized wing parts would also be akin to cheating the system because now you can get a lot more aerodynamics science progress just from using those wings around the KSC.

And remember, this is the *simplest* version of what you are asking for, one that still has nonsensical activities like taking jet engines biome hopping on the Mun to unlock new jet engines.  To do this research system in a way that would make you happy would probably require more development time than having SQUAD write their own game engine, and I would rather have SQUAD throw in something simplistic like the current system, than never be able to bring the game to market at all.

 

 

Why bother with collecting science for cash when I could even more easily set up the 'Kerbal Fuel Refinery Service' to convert ore to fuel on the launchpad and make money that way?

That is a good 'real world' way to make money, but hardly seems like the type of behavior you want to encourage in a game about rocket ships...

 

Now I KNOW you are not reading my posts correctly,  I said nothing about Biomes,  or tracking every part all the time,  you just assumed and imagined something crazy,  the Simplest Approximation you just provided was of the Complex and twisted "Lum the Mad/Bergholt Stuttley Johnson" monstrosity you must have cooked up in your head.

And using a refinery on the launchpad to generate money?   That's just as ludicrous a game mechanic as your wild and unkempt imagination.

 

I suppose,  If I want something Done properly I have to do it myself.      I don't trust an automated system to handle Funds and advancement much anyway.     I'll Manage it myself.  I'll just strip out everything insane and nonsensical out of the game,  then just keep tabs on what the kids are doing in their saves,  and add extra Cash,   and add in new parts via file editing depending on what I see they have accomplished.    Personal management trumps any automated system,  Especially if Loons like you are running the Asylum,  no offense intended.

 

The modded version I'll put together will be aimed at realistic yet simplistic and fun,   roughly based on real world history of achievement and progression.   Something that will give a good idea about the real world realities of physics, flight,  and spaceflight.  Something where things learned in the game relate to real life,  and in turn knowledge and mathematics from real life will be applicable in game.

For incentive I'm thinking small real world prizes scattered around the solar system,   objects of varying sizes, shapes and appearances that need to be brought back to the launchpad to claim the prize,   a few sweets and knickknacks about KSC,  Slightly more substantial things around kerbin,  and so on.  The further and harder to return,  the better the prize.     Up to perhaps a Firestorm Flux  being a 5 ton crate on Europa perhaps...   I Do have an unbuilt custom brushless Hyper 7 under the eves,  that would make a good endgame prize.....   But where to put it and how heavy you think?      Real world rockets,  up to Nervas (or maybe theoretically possible drives too,  Project Orion at the most extreme end) and RSS....  

 

Edited by GorillaZilla

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@GorillaZilla and @Waxing_Kibbous, There's a thread for you here. There are reasons this isn't a great idea, mainly that if you base tech tree development on funds rather than experimentation players will just find the most lucrative thing and repeat it until the tech tree is complete. In many ways this makes the grind situation worse.

Science could definitely get some love I just don't think this is the best way to go about it.

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18 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

@GorillaZilla and @Waxing_Kibbous, There's a thread for you here. There are reasons this isn't a great idea, mainly that if you base tech tree development on funds rather than experimentation players will just find the most lucrative thing and repeat it until the tech tree is complete. In many ways this makes the grind situation worse.

Science could definitely get some love I just don't think this is the best way to go about it.

Only partially based on funds,  the main bulk of unlocking would literally be Technology points literally gained through wild experimentation.....

Appears that proper and thorough reading,  and divination of all possible meanings of what someone has said, until coming to the one that makes the most sense is a skill that is rarer than I expected it to be,  which makes things rather difficult when trying to use such a crude language to get ones thoughts across.

 

No matter,  disregard my suggestions.   I've decided to take the matter into my own hands as I said in the post above.

 

Apologies if this causes any offense,  It's not intended.  And thank you for trying to help regardless :-)

 

This is another thing that makes KSP great,  the ease of access to changing the game to fix what is broken yourself ;-)

 

 

Edited by GorillaZilla

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Discussing how Career should be implemented is like claiming how much better it would be if the sun rose in the west instead of in the east.

You might have good, yes great arguments to support your cause. It might be *so* much better than what we have right now.

Now think of what's required to make it happen (hunt: it won't).

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3 hours ago, Kerbart said:

 

Now think of what's required to make it happen (hunt: it won't).

Career mode needs hunting! @SQUAD make it happen!

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15 hours ago, GorillaZilla said:

Technology points + cash are used to unlock Nodes.  And Node's parts become available for use after a certain amount of time has passed after you have chosen to unlock using points and cash.

 

Roughly analogous to real life,  makes sense,  but is still Simples :-)

Science traded in for cash,    Cash,  + real world experience(testing) + time = new technology

So instead of flying, collecting and unlocking you want it to be flying, collecting ... and then simply time warp? Fly simple missions without new parts until research is done? That would serve no purpose in my eyes.

Also:

12 hours ago, JimmyAgent007 said:

Ive always seen science as 'nerd bait' for Kerbals.  Taking samples of the mun might not let you make better rockets but it may attract new scientists to the field because you accoplished something.  Sort of indirectly improving your rockets with mun rocks.  Just skipping the middle bit.

This is the way I have been looking at research in KSP all the time, cutting out the "publish and monetize science" part and just use it directly as a currency.

 

12 hours ago, StahnAileron said:

I get changing engines, platform updates, and such, but not post-commercial release. They usually lock the platform at that point for ease of maintenance. I know of minor point updates (I think Satellite Reign or Wasteland 2 did a release that was a based on a point release update to the platform, like Unity 5.0 to 5.1 as an example), but not wholesale rewrites of the underlying program. Especially within a year of commercial release.

So you rather would have Squad remain on an outdated platform with all its bugs (wheels) and limitaions (32bit)?

 

10 hours ago, HvP said:

A bit like that, yes. If the reputation meter was more prominent and you could target which contract paths you wanted to explore then I could definitely see a reputation reward for hitting some of these high value sites being translated into recruiting more scientists. Maybe even reducing the cost of hiring Kerbals from the Astronaut Complex.

My line of thinking was that atmospheric scans of Kerbin's atmosphere provided a buff to engines used on Kerbin, but you would have to do the scans for Duna and Laythe if you wanted the improvements to work in their atmospheres. Pressure and gravity scans could reveal information that would tell you when to set your parachutes to auto-deploy. That would also encourage players to send small, light uncrewed probes to sample the atmosphere before designing big manned missions to those worlds, because then you could benefit from having engines tuned to land in their specific environments; to know the elevations within scanned biomes; and understand at what air density mark a parachute is safe to deploy on that world without tearing it apart.

Surface samples and seismic scans could increase the thermal efficiency and ore extraction rate of ore drills within only those specific biomes that were tested. Thermometers and Science Jr. labs could test the radiant energy and micrometeorite prevalence in orbit of different worlds to boost the strength and efficiency of solar panels and radiators operating around those worlds. Maybe you have to have a thermometer on a craft for ISRUs, radiators and other heat managements systems to work at peak efficiency. Or even have thermometers work as thermostats to auto-deploy radiators when necessary.

Kerbal EVA reports from the surface could expose previously hidden waypoint markers for exploration contracts within specific biomes. EVA reports from orbit could unlock a wider area at a time, but surface reports would unlock a greater local density of targets.

It is a long standing rule that parts will not change their abilites, not with engineers on board, nor with new tech nodes unlocked. And the bigger part of the community stands behind this, is actually responsible for engineers not buffing engines by the uproar the devs' suggestion caused.
I also concur with this decision, only thing I keep trying to implant into the devs' minds is probe cores getting upgrades to keep them being useful - I like the sputnikess small satellites.

Regarding your last paragraph and what HvP wrote:

12 hours ago, HvP said:

Instead of entire expansive biomes being representative of all of the science available in that area you should have to explore the surface within biomes and use your scientific instruments to guide you to pockets of high value samples sprinkled around within the biome. Imagine if the value of surface samples followed a random distribution between and within biomes in the same way that ore concentration is revealed by the orbital scanner and surface scanner. Sites of particular value would essentially be highly localized "Easter eggs" that increased the science data returned, even perhaps allowing full transmission values from the surface. The gravity experiment, seismic detector, thermometer and all would be used to help guide you to these pockets to sample. Examining these sites should generate a contract branch that helps you explore nearby related features and return reputation and funds as you do so. This would make EVA exploration worthwhile and increase the utility of rovers and planes.

This is actually already possible with the contract system. The science output of these contracts just is not very high. Maybe this should be reworked, like the tourist contracts giving more reputation than others.

 

Regarding the clickiness of the science system - there are action groups - and mods or the simple option to reconfig the game to allow for 100% science to be 100% transmittable in the first go. (Might add that to my long neglected post of small tweaks.)

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Well, from all this I conclude that squad has pulled a "Bloody Stupid Johnson"  By trying to put a half baked,  poorly thought out career mode in the game in the first place.

They would have better spent that time and effort on fixing bugs,  and improving the underlying foundation of the game,  and left modders the keys to make all the different flavors of progression system that all the different people want.

There is no best sauce,  just a different best sauce for each and every single person.

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2 hours ago, KerbMav said:

So you rather would have Squad remain on an outdated platform with all its bugs (wheels) and limitaions (32bit)?

I never said anything like that at all. I simply point out something that usually doesn't happen. Also, wheels got broken and the platform officially updated to 64-bits in 1.1. Granted, I'm playing KSP 1.0.5, but wheels/legs work there and I'm using the 64-bit workaround with minimal problems. (The only major headache for me I was able to trace back to RPM. Since I don't use IVA, removing RPM solved it.) The only problems I consider major with 1.0.5 is the un-optimized code and the 32-bit limitation (which probably could be mitigated a bit if the code was optimized.) Wheels aren't the best, but they work.

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On 02/09/2016 at 10:17 AM, Terwin said:

I see it as an incentive to bring along a scientist and a lab.

If you bring both of those, you can get all the science for each biome in one trip.

Kind of makes sense that if you want that last bit of science that you probably want to bring a scientist and lb with you, and anything less will mean lots of trips.

I understand that, but I think not having to return the experiment in the first place is reason enough to bring a scientist. You'll have to return him/her eventually, but it doesn't have to be in this mission, and you get the full science while on the field (plus, reusable experiments!).

Having to bring repeated results from the same experiment/biome to me is just more clicking.

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14 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

@GorillaZilla and @Waxing_Kibbous, There's a thread for you here. There are reasons this isn't a great idea, mainly that if you base tech tree development on funds rather than experimentation players will just find the most lucrative thing and repeat it until the tech tree is complete. In many ways this makes the grind situation worse.

Science could definitely get some love I just don't think this is the best way to go about it.

* just want to say that in my suggestion science would still be used to unlock tech. Just a rough idea how it would work:

Getting 500 science around Kerbin would unlock a Kerbin tech branch that would open up things like light landers for moon exploration. The parts in the newly unlocked branch would then cost money to unlock.

Getting 1500 science around the Mun would unlock a Mun tech branch, unlocking 3000 science around Minmus would unlock the Minmus Branch, these would open up tech that would make a Duna mission feasible, and so on. This is just an idea that could encourage more interplanetary travel, but it would be a bear to balance- aaaand it won't happen anyway so I'll stop typing now :P

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3 hours ago, Waxing_Kibbous said:

* just want to say that in my suggestion science would still be used to unlock tech. Just a rough idea how it would work:

Getting 500 science around Kerbin would unlock a Kerbin tech branch that would open up things like light landers for moon exploration. The parts in the newly unlocked branch would then cost money to unlock.

Getting 1500 science around the Mun would unlock a Mun tech branch, unlocking 3000 science around Minmus would unlock the Minmus Branch, these would open up tech that would make a Duna mission feasible, and so on. This is just an idea that could encourage more interplanetary travel, but it would be a bear to balance- aaaand it won't happen anyway so I'll stop typing now :P

It was spedifically decided to leave it up to the player where he wants to go first/next. Even the contract system tries to be open in this regard.

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