Jump to content

KSP needs more purpose.


Recommended Posts

Take this however you wish, it is up to you...

Back in the day I played one of the first available KSP builds. I bought .90 and have played it ever since, 507 hours to be exact (I know that's nothing compared to some).

When you first start a career you have real goals. Launch your first ship, escape the atmo, orbit Kerbin... Ok, you do those and suddenly you are bombarded with a million 'test this part' or 'get a temp here' or 'get so much ore from Mun'. You do those and suddenly it's a repeat of the same 4 or 5 goals, just a different distance or from a different body. Once you get to the Mun the only real challenge (if you want to call it that) is adjusting your ascending/descending node to get to Minmus. Ok, great. Now what.

Other planetary bodies? Sure, just add more fuel and a bigger candle... done. Ok so let's do a simple fuel depot that gets resources from Minmus to make it more efficient to get to those outer bodies... done.

Now at this point you've won the game in theory. You can go back and start a harder career mode but that is simply overcome by driving around KSC until you can get to Minmus and then the science tree is pretty much done...

The game is missing depth. It has so much potential that is just sitting idly by... rotting. There is no story, there are giant worlds of varying sizes with nothing more to do on them than find the handful of Squad monoliths and 'anomalies' such as the arch on the Mun. There is 1 single resource magically available everywhere. The kerbals are alone on their own planet. No other outposts, nations or competition.

Contracts need to quit being a grab bag of the same 4 things just with random variables. It becomes mind-numbing very quickly.

Reputation isn't even relevant in the game. If you have actually had it effect your game then you are REALLY playing it wrong.

So what do we do? IMHO it's time Squad focuses on real content for the game. A long-arcing story that gives you a REAL reason to go to different bodies other than to say "wow, I passed the Eve challenge, yaaaaay!!"

Multiple resources available from different bodies or their moons. Different combinations of resources to create multiple tiers of fuels/parts that require REAL mining, production and logistics to acquire new tech and parts and not just click a button on the tech tree.

Kerbnet was a GREAT step in this direction, More steps like it are needed to keep myself interested. I watch many of the streamers on Twitch but I just get so bored when I fire KSP up myself and quickly just exit out.

I know there are a million mods, some that do a lot for some sort of story line but let's be honest. Most can make the game VERY unstable and many do not play nice with other mods... not to mention the lack of knowledge in one or more fields such as optimization of code or graphics. Not to say that there aren't great mods. There are, absolutely. However, none of them really go all the way on the story idea. Yeah, you can sandbox it and pretend but why start up the game in the first place if you just want to imagine doing things. It's the sense of accomplishment that makes KSP so intriguing along with the science/physics aspect.

Bottom line. KSP needs more purpose in the game and a lot less random repetition.

 

p.s. Some sort of camera replay system for launches/landings would be amazing where you can go back and watch your launch.. think of Madden 20XX replay where you can move the camera and zoom in, etc...

Edited by Pixel Kola
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is true that the contract system is not always providing new challenge to play with. The best point you make in my humble opinion is that the planets and moons need more unique stuffs. 

That being said, i'm more than happy to wait for a really stable game before SQUAD put any man-hours into this. Cleaning codes, optimisation of what is already there, making sure everything works as intended, that is what i'd personally would be wanting to see.

Once the game is working as it should, and 1.2 seems to be a very huge step toward that, then i guess it will be time to actually take a very good look at career and how it could be upgraded into something deeper. But i understand that huge kolonization effort and complex mining operation to make self sustaining bases will probably remain in the realms of modding, as the base game gotta stay "not too heavy" for the average gamer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

Take this however you wish, it is up to you...

Back in the day I played one of the first available KSP builds. I bought .90 and have played it ever since, 507 hours to be exact (I know that's nothing compared to some).

When you first start a career you have real goals. Launch your first ship, escape the atmo, orbit Kerbin... Ok, you do those and suddenly you are bombarded with a million 'test this part' or 'get a temp here' or 'get so much ore from Mun'. You do those and suddenly it's a repeat of the same 4 or 5 goals, just a different distance or from a different body. Once you get to the Mun the only real challenge (if you want to call it that) is adjusting your ascending/descending node to get to Minmus. Ok, great. Now what.

Other planetary bodies? Sure, just add more fuel and a bigger candle... done. Ok so let's do a simple fuel depot that gets resources from Minmus to make it more efficient to get to those outer bodies... done.

Now at this point you've won the game in theory. You can go back and start a harder career mode but that is simply overcome by driving around KSC until you can get to Minmus and then the science tree is pretty much done...

 This is the point where you lost me.  You can't win KSP, what were your criteria for 'winning'?

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

The game is missing depth. It has so much potential that is just sitting idly by... rotting. There is no story, there are giant worlds of varying sizes with nothing more to do on them than find the handful of Squad monoliths and 'anomalies' such as the arch on the Mun. There is 1 single resource magically available everywhere. The kerbals are alone on their own planet. No other outposts, nations or competition.

You are in the wrong genre.  Have you ever played SimCity/Cities: Skylines and thought it needed more story?  Roller Coaster Tycoon or Transportation Tycoon?  Elite?  It's not that kind of game.

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

Contracts need to quit being a grab bag of the same 4 things just with random variables. It becomes mind-numbing very quickly.

There are way more than 4 contract types.  Many don't appear till you unlock appropriate parts.  Have you gotten very far into the tech tree?

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

Reputation isn't even relevant in the game. If you have actually had it effect your game then you are REALLY playing it wrong.

Or maybe you are playing it really wrong.  Reputation affects how prestigious of contracts you receive.  Maybe that is why you have only seen 4 kinds.

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

So what do we do? IMHO it's time Squad focuses on real content for the game. A long-arcing story that gives you a REAL reason to go to different bodies other than to say "wow, I passed the Eve challenge, yaaaaay!!"

Multiple resources available from different bodies or their moons. Different combinations of resources to create multiple tiers of fuels/parts that require REAL mining, production and logistics to acquire new tech and parts and not just click a button on the tech tree.

The resource system sucks.  Adding more resources to it would only compound a problem system with more problems.

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

Kerbnet was a GREAT step in this direction, More steps like it are needed to keep myself interested. I watch many of the streamers on Twitch but I just get so bored when I fire KSP up myself and quickly just exit out.

How does Kerbnet add story?  I like Kerbnet but I'm not following the reasoning.

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

I know there are a million mods, some that do a lot for some sort of story line but let's be honest. Most can make the game VERY unstable and many do not play nice with other mods... not to mention the lack of knowledge in one or more fields such as optimization of code or graphics. Not to say that there aren't great mods. There are, absolutely. However, none of them really go all the way on the story idea. Yeah, you can sandbox it and pretend but why start up the game in the first place if you just want to imagine doing things. It's the sense of accomplishment that makes KSP so intriguing along with the science/physics aspect.

Do any of them really add a story?  I'm not aware of any (but there are a lot of them).

14 minutes ago, Pixel Kola said:

Bottom line. KSP needs more purpose in the game and a lot less random repetition.

Bottom line is tycoon games are not your thing.  Nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has different tastes (I, for example, hate multiplayer first person shooters).  I suggest avoiding the genre as it will leave you bored if you aren't into the never ending sim/tycoon style games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That lack of purpose is something that plagues the political relevance of NASA IRL.  It is really important that common citizens cast their eyes skyward and lust for conquest.  NASA for its part engages in some pretty vigorous PR.   IRL the prospects of worldwide high speed internet, GPS, instant access to 1m satellite imagery and other commercial services keep us interested in LEO.  Fear, legitimate or otherwise, of impacts can get the public behind BLEO missions.

The framework for these things exists already in the contracting system of KSP.  

I think the OP makes an excellent point regarding reputation.  Rewards for contracts should have be multiplied through some value of reputation accrued v. Reputation possible.  If you have a disgraced program, you get less funding until you successfully fly more missions.  Perhaps, below certain levels of reputation a maximum launch cost gets applied by The Royal Society of Kerbonautics?

As is reputation affects contracts, and that's good, but there isn't much financial sting for losing a number of Kerbals.

 

Edited by Jonfliesgoats
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Alshain said:

Bottom line is tycoon games are not your thing.  Nothing to be ashamed of, everyone has different tastes (I, for example, hate multiplayer first person shooters).  I suggest avoiding the genre as it will leave you bored if you aren't into the never ending sim/tycoon style games.

The thing is, Career Mode isn't much of a tycoon game either. I posted the following on a different thread but I'm wondering if it's maybe relevant to this one too? Please note that it was written before details of the latest update (Kerbnet and such) were released, so the first paragraph is slightly outdated. I think the rest of it is still on point though.

"To me, Career mode is Sandbox with a couple of not very interesting constraints. We have a science point grind which drives a very basic tech tree mechanic and a mini-quest generator which lets you grind for funds. Then we have an almost entirely pointless crew experience mechanism with some not very logical rewards and a bare bones base-upgrade mechanic. The way the tech tree is set up doesn't give you a great many options for gathering science and most of those options are dependent on building upgrades or are sufficiently far down the tech tree to be essentially irrelevant. Combine those two factors and you end up with very linear gameplay that you have to try really hard to break away from.

There's been a lot of effort put into simplifying the game mechanics because complex game mechanics were deemed not to be fun. The problem is that now the game mechanics are too simple to allow for many interesting decisions, trade-offs or choices.

Career mode doesn't really know what it wants to be and therefore fails at being anything in particular.

  • It's not an exploration game (which would play really well with the underlying concept of a peaceful species going to space for the sheer fun of it) because you know pretty much all there is to know about the Kerbol system right from the start.
  • It's not any kind of story driven game - and I don't mean a tightly scripted set of missions and cutscenes because that would a) be too limiting and b) most likely be way beyond Squad's budget to do well. I'm thinking more of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri which has story elements and distinct characters woven through it whilst still remaining a pretty open ended strategy game. The kerbals on the other hand are just the same old green, googly eyed rocket fodder that they've always been. We know nothing about them, we're given no reason to care about them, either collectively or individually, there's no worldbuilding at all to speak of. We don't even know why the kerbals have a space program, which is a fairly major flaw in a game called Kerbal Space Program.
  • It's not a character driven game or crew management game - see above.
  • It's definitely not a tycoon or resource management game. Not when the answer to most of your problems can be boiled down to 'grind more satellite missions (or whatever your personal flavour of cheese may be)' or 'visit another Mun / Minmus biome'.

Nope, Career Mode is just a sandbox (albeit a brilliant one) with constraints that feel a bit arbitrary, and progression which manages to be a bad combination of too linear, and too vague. Some folks clearly like it and that's great but for me it just falls flat."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@KSK  What you describe is a tycoon game.  Not all of them have to be identical in nature, but the general idea it is a never ending sandbox-style game (not to be confused with a full sandbox mode) where you complete objectives for currency and build things.  Not all of those have to be there really.  RollerCoaster Tycoon is all of that, KSP is all of that, Transportation Tycoon is all of that.  I've recently been playing Game Dev Tycoon which is all of that. 

SimCity doesn't have objectives you complete for currency, which really means that is a city builder genre, not a tycoon, but they are so similar the lines get blurred. Tropico, for example, is a city builder with tycoon style objectives. 

In general, the common threads are that they generally either last forever, or have the ability to continue forever after completing the primary objective (as in RCT), and they are always player driven rather than story driven.  KSP is a match for this definition, so I don't know by which criteria you say it isn't a tycoon game, but it seems like one to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Alshain said:

 This is the point where you lost me.  You can't win KSP, what were your criteria for 'winning'?

How does Kerbnet add story?  I like Kerbnet but I'm not following the reasoning.

Do any of them really add a story?  I'm not aware of any (but there are a lot of them).

As I understand it, once the tech tree has been fully researched, that is the point you have technically "won" the game, as there is no longer any reason to go anywhere to collect science. You are then left with a "funds-restricted sandbox mode".

The inclusion of KerbNet will now give the player a real reason to complete satellite contracts, instead of just gathering funds.

Yes, several modded contract packs do offer better progression, or a storyline element. The K-Files, the Historical Missions Pack, The Anomaly Surveyor Mission Pack, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have a narrower definition of a tycoon game than you. Whether it's a correct definition is another matter but it's narrower and I think it still encompasses your examples. I say think because I confess that I haven't actually played them, although I have played other games that I'd count as tycoon games and others (such as SimCity) where, as you say, the lines get a bit blurred.

To me, a tycoon game has the elements you describe plus a clear overarching goal plus some element of strategy or planning that determines how well your completed objectives fit together to accomplish that overarching goal.

I'll use SimCity as an example. The overarching objective is (duh) build a city. How big and what style is up to the player of course but at the end of the day you're still building some kind of a city. If the game is going to last any length of time you really need to take that one step further - the overarching objective is to build a financially sustainable city. All the various buildings you plop down (and spend money on) contribute to that objective in a more-or-less efficient way depending on player skill. If you don't develop a certain level of efficiency then the game ends because you go bust - hence the game includes planning elements too. Granted, SimCity doesn't include any 'complete objectives for money' elements although making money is certainly an objective in itself.

I presume the same is roughly true of say, Rollercoaster Tycoon but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Overarching objective - build a rollercoaster park. Plan it well enough that it becomes profitable and (I'll take your word for this) complete various objectives to earn money as part of making it profitable.

KSP on the other hand does not have an overarching goal. OK, I suppose 'build a space program' is a goal of sorts but it's certainly not a clearly defined one. Because of that, there's no real sense of the individual parts of your program contributing to that goal and there's no real planning or strategy involved. Or if there is, it's very rudimentary. Therefore, I don't count KSP as a tycoon game.

Now, there's plenty of planning and resource management at the individual flight level. But so far as the game as a whole is concerned, the only thing an individual flight needs to do is come in under budget, so you can  (eventually)  grind sufficient funds to move on to bigger flights. That's it. KSP isn't so much a tycoon game as a linear string of puzzles joined end to end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Pixel Kola

I understand your desire for purpose in a video game. This is one of the reasons that a friend of mine will not play KSP... there's no way to "win." There is no overarching objective that the game provides to drive the player forward, that is something that the player has to provide for themselves. While KSP does provide contracts which provide some challenges, many of the contracts will feel rather "grindy" after a while as you say. But if you play KSP strictly relying on the contract system for purpose, you will be disappointed as it appears you already are.

KSP invites the player to push themselves... some of my fondest memories of KSP were way back in version 0.18 when I first started playing. There were no contracts, it was just one big sandbox. I challenged myself to go to the Mun before I had a good idea of the fuel requirements. This resulted in a landing with barely any fuel left, and a stranded Jeb on the surface. For some unknown reason, I cared about what happened to my goofy looking little green astronauts, and suddenly I had created a new mission for myself: "Bring Jeb Home!" So I designed a rescue craft, bigger and better than the vehicle than landed Jeb. It was a success (barely) and Jeb was returned home safely with Bill and Bob to thank for his rescue.

That little story is a microcosm of the appeal of KSP to me... the ability to make your own vehicles, missions, and challenges. That is the "purpose" of KSP... the constant asking of "Hey, what if I did this..." and challenging yourself. Many people will struggle with this as most video games will force feed the player the "purpose," to the point where there is little left for the imagination or independent thought. KSP and other games that require an artistic, intentional, or imaginative mind simply will not appeal to everyone, which is really a shame given how much KSP offers in its current form. Sometimes I wonder if more people would be interested if there was a "space race" aspect to the game... two continents on Kerbin competing with one another. Such competition will appeal to different people and possibly draw them into the game more. With this in mind... your sense of purpose may come in the form of multiplayer when SQUAD implements it. Until then I encourage you to find your own sense of purpose in the game.

And I do agree with you that the game has untapped potential, but if past plans are any indication, I am confident that the Devs will integrate content that will add depth, variety, and challenge. I am hoping that the Kerbol system will be more fully fleshed out not just with more celestial bodies to explore, but also more reasons to explore them... and more environmental dangers to have to prepare for. I am certain that KSP will continue to grow for a long time, onward and upward so to say.

Edited by Justicier
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, MailletC said:

As I understand it, once the tech tree has been fully researched, that is the point you have technically "won" the game, as there is no longer any reason to go anywhere to collect science. You are then left with a "funds-restricted sandbox mode".

No, you haven't 'won' the game when you finished the tech tree.  As far as I'm personally concerned the game hasn't really begun until you've finished the tech tree.

Quote

The inclusion of KerbNet will now give the player a real reason to complete satellite contracts, instead of just gathering funds.

Well, that and ComNet as well, but I don't see how that is a story.  But hey, if you like it to be, more power to you :wink:

Quote

Yes, several modded contract packs do offer better progression, or a storyline element. The K-Files, the Historical Missions Pack, The Anomaly Surveyor Mission Pack, etc.

They add contracts, not really much story though.  That's just more objectives.  Again, I guess you could think of that as a story, in which case you will be pleased with 1.2.  The worlds firsts have had an overhaul that least to more of a progressive quest.   Regarding @Pixel Kola's earlier comment on programming quality, if contracts were the concern, Contract Configurator is very well done and most contract packs are based on that mod (and in fact have no programming at all themselves).

@KSK  Alright, but in KSP the overreaching goal is to manage a space program, explore the solar system, and make it profitable enough to fund those ventures.  How is that not clearly defined?  There is no clear definition in SimCity that your goal is to build a city either, but I'm guessing if you bought the game you know that.  Similarly you don't buy a space program game to go farming.

I don't think we have a different definition of Tycoon game, I just think you don't realize KSP fits your definition perfectly.

Edited by Alshain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Pixel Kola said:

Take this however you wish, it is up to you...

Back in the day I played one of the first available KSP builds. I bought .90 and have played it ever since, 507 hours to be exact (I know that's nothing compared to some).

When you first start a career you have real goals. Launch your first ship, escape the atmo, orbit Kerbin... Ok, you do those and suddenly you are bombarded with a million 'test this part' or 'get a temp here' or 'get so much ore from Mun'. You do those and suddenly it's a repeat of the same 4 or 5 goals, just a different distance or from a different body. Once you get to the Mun the only real challenge (if you want to call it that) is adjusting your ascending/descending node to get to Minmus. Ok, great. Now what.

Other planetary bodies? Sure, just add more fuel and a bigger candle... done. Ok so let's do a simple fuel depot that gets resources from Minmus to make it more efficient to get to those outer bodies... done.

Now at this point you've won the game in theory. You can go back and start a harder career mode but that is simply overcome by driving around KSC until you can get to Minmus and then the science tree is pretty much done...

The game is missing depth. It has so much potential that is just sitting idly by... rotting. There is no story, there are giant worlds of varying sizes with nothing more to do on them than find the handful of Squad monoliths and 'anomalies' such as the arch on the Mun. There is 1 single resource magically available everywhere. The kerbals are alone on their own planet. No other outposts, nations or competition.

Contracts need to quit being a grab bag of the same 4 things just with random variables. It becomes mind-numbing very quickly.

Reputation isn't even relevant in the game. If you have actually had it effect your game then you are REALLY playing it wrong.

So what do we do? IMHO it's time Squad focuses on real content for the game. A long-arcing story that gives you a REAL reason to go to different bodies other than to say "wow, I passed the Eve challenge, yaaaaay!!"

Multiple resources available from different bodies or their moons. Different combinations of resources to create multiple tiers of fuels/parts that require REAL mining, production and logistics to acquire new tech and parts and not just click a button on the tech tree.

Kerbnet was a GREAT step in this direction, More steps like it are needed to keep myself interested. I watch many of the streamers on Twitch but I just get so bored when I fire KSP up myself and quickly just exit out.

I know there are a million mods, some that do a lot for some sort of story line but let's be honest. Most can make the game VERY unstable and many do not play nice with other mods... not to mention the lack of knowledge in one or more fields such as optimization of code or graphics. Not to say that there aren't great mods. There are, absolutely. However, none of them really go all the way on the story idea. Yeah, you can sandbox it and pretend but why start up the game in the first place if you just want to imagine doing things. It's the sense of accomplishment that makes KSP so intriguing along with the science/physics aspect.

Bottom line. KSP needs more purpose in the game and a lot less random repetition.

 

p.s. Some sort of camera replay system for launches/landings would be amazing where you can go back and watch your launch.. think of Madden 20XX replay where you can move the camera and zoom in, etc...

This is what challenges are for, to keep people from this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Alshain said:

No, you haven't 'won' the game when you finished the tech tree.  As far as I'm personally concerned the game hasn't really begun until you've finished the tech tree.

Well, to each his own. The major driving force for me is the collection of science to unlock new parts. Once all the parts are unlocked, the motivation rapidly disappears. If there was some "Final Tech Node" to research towards, which cost a huge amount of science, or some "End State" requiring a certain amount of missions, or types, or bases, etc. Right now, career mode has a beginning, a middle, but absolutely no ending. Even in tycoon games, there is some point where you say "I'm done", you don't work on the same city forever. Even Michelangelo put down his paintbrush after a while. I think we look at KSP in different ways. Where you see a "Tycoon" game, where getting all the parts and technologies is only the start of the game, I see a "Simulation" type game, where getting the money and science to unlock new parts and do new missions is the whole point.

Like a racing game, where you race your car, earn money, unlock new parts, and use those parts to win races.

 

Quote

Well, that and ComNet as well, but I don't see how that is a story.  But hey, if you like it to be, more power to you :wink:

They add contracts, not really much story though.  That's just more objectives.

I didn't say KerbNet was a story, I just said it adds incentive to the satellite contracts, which is good. Giving the player more incentive to complete tasks is good!

K-Files has a written storyline, which is a story. The Anomaly Surveyor has a storyline too, where you uncover an ancient mystery by investigating ruins and anomalies. How are those "not much story"?

They are literally stories, with writing and everything. Sometimes a little added flavor can make even the blandest meal taste interesting.

They even give you a new reason to go and visit old locations. Giving the player more incentive to complete tasks is good!

 

Quote

Quite frankly regarding your earlier comment on programming, contract configuration is very well done and most contract packs are based on that mod (and in fact have no programming at all themselves).

Yes, I agree the 'Contract Configurator' mod is a must-have, and has single-handedly allowed for amazing diversity of contracts and missions via add-on contract packs.

Shame the vanilla game couldn't add such diversity and progression with their own contracts. Oh, wait, there's a mod for that. Never mind.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about that for a while maybe is to complicated to add this to KSP or maybe my mind is drifting too much but i thought that may be great to make in everi start of a carrer a quest line. My english is not good enought so i try to explain me better.

To give a big purpose may be squad can genareate 3 or 4 random quest that habe no contract involved.

for this quest will be nice to land in a concrete place and make a kerbal visit certain location like the monolith we found but random and every of these monoliths can give you a clue about where you can find the next

For exemple you see after scanning ALL Kerbin that 1 of this random Monoliths is in a certan location. You send a Kerbal there then you read about the next monolith planet location so you need to go there use the scaners send back data and then use a kerbal to go there and find the next.

After you find the last maybe some nice historical or cachi phrase in the last will apear and maybe the option to start again the quest.

I hope this dosn't sound strange or boring

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Alshain said:

@KSK  Alright, but in KSP the overreaching goal is to manage a space program, explore the solar system, and make it profitable enough to fund those ventures.  How is that not clearly defined?  There is no clear definition in SimCity that your goal is to build a city either, but I'm guessing if you bought the game you know that.  Similarly you don't buy a space program game to go farming.

I don't think we have a different definition of Tycoon game, I just think you don't realize KSP fits your definition perfectly.

If you regard KSP as a tycoon game then yes we do have different definitions. And KSP does not fit mine - but thank you for insisting it does.

SimCity. Says what it does right there in the title. As soon as you start the game it's blindingly clear what the goal is. Whereas your 'clear' overarching goals for KSP are anything but.

Define a space program? That covers everything from pootling around in LKO to building a colony on Eeloo and everything in between. Hardly a clear definition. Assuming that the goals of your particular space program are to explore the solar system, then define 'explore'. Explore the solar system? Which parts of the solar system? (Given that a substantial body of players have apparently never gone interplanetary, I'm not being facetious here.) And how? Run a fly-by mission? Land a probe? Map out a planet? Find all the easter eggs on that planet? Land kerbals there? Bring them home? You can define it any which way you like. Which is one of the beauties of KSP. But clear it is not.

Besides you appear to be  missing my second point which is that a tycoon game should have "some element of strategy or planning that determines how well your completed objectives fit together to accomplish that overarching goal."

KSP fails utterly at that.

Say I decide that my space program is all about getting to Jool. I gather the funds, unlock the requisite science nodes, design my ship and go to Jool. Obviously I flew a lot of other missions first to get those funds and science points but those missions were completely disconnected from my overall goal. It literally does not matter how I chose to grind those funds or grind those points - the previous missions I flew are utterly irrelevant to how I then choose to get to Jool. They stand alone. Anything I put into orbit beforehand I can happily ignore - it has no bearing on my Jool mission. In principle, I could have flown a couple of thousand Kerbin survey missions in atmospheric craft, eking out those science points one by one, gradually building those funds. Then one day, I get up and go to Jool.

That is not a tycoon game. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KSP should ideally have the purpose of "exploration," IMO. Such a purpose is requisite for a "career" type game. Tycoon implies business, and business implies competition, for example. Minus competition, I don;t see how anyone would ever characterize it as a "tycoon" game since success is a given, and a trivial, grindy given at that.

Exploration requires the unknown, however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A tycoon game has customers which roll up and use your rollercoaster, for instance, so you design your rollercoaster to entertain them and extract their money.  (Or to kill them, if you're certain kinds of players.)  KSP doesn't really have these kind of outside entities, except for faceless contracts and strategies.

Edited by Corona688
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KSK said:

SimCity. Says what it does right there in the title. As soon as you start the game it's blindingly clear what the goal is. Whereas your 'clear' overarching goals for KSP are anything but.

Kerbal Space Program says what it does right there in the title.  As soon as you start the game it's blindingly clear the goal is to go to space.

Look, if you don't like it, don't play it.  I like Tycoon games and space travel so I was naturally drawn to it, even before it was a tycoon game.

Edited by Alshain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, KSK said:

It's not an exploration game (which would play really well with the underlying concept of a peaceful species going to space for the sheer fun of it) because you know pretty much all there is to know about the Kerbol system right from the start.

I've actually thought about this a lot, and have come to the conclusion that KSP is an exploration game, but not in the way you expect.

In KSP, you're not exploring the Sun* system, you're exploring the concepts of spaceflight. You're exploring the world of Hohmann transfers, the rocket equation and the laws of planetary motion. You're also exploring rendezvous, docking, gravity assists (whether you want to or not sometimes. I'm looking at YOU, Ike), pinpoint landings... All that. And the game for those things has no leveling up, no tech tree. You progress on that yourself.

The problem isn't that KSP isn't an exploration game, it's that you've explored it.

Another way I look at it is that KSP isn't even a game at all, but a hobby. You don't "beat" a train set. You don't "win" at camping. They are experiences you enjoy and you do them just because you enjoy them. If that's not enough, you need to find a new hobby or find a way to enjoy this hobby again.

*I refuse to call it Kerbol.

Edited by 5thHorseman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kerbal Space Program is a fantastic sandbox. . .but it is a fairly poor game.

Sandbox mode and career mode pull in opposite directions when it comes to game design. . .sandbox is about freedom, whereas career mode is about managing limitations. And presenting the player with meaningful limitations involves setting up meaningful choices. And you can't do that without taking a lot of time and effort designing and balancing the system.

And you can't properly balance the system unless you're willing to stop adding parts

Sandbox is a bucket of legos that you can dump over and do whatever with. Career mode should be a well balanced board game where each piece has its own carefully tuned opportunity costs. And some of those pieces have to be allowed to go obsolete as the game progresses. In career mode, you should not be using your first orbital capsule any more by the time you're launching interplanetary missions. And that is something that stands in direct opposition to sandbox play.

Career mode cannot function as a "sandbox plus" mode. It just doesn't work. They must be allowed to diverge, possibly even to the point of allowing individual parts to have different stats depending on which mode you're playing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess the way I play KSP would bore most of you to tears. I don't need a career mode or even a game generated set of tasks complete. I love the trial and error aspect AND the ability to define my own mission goals. If I decide to define mission parameters to land a probe at (X,Y) on Duna, sample the soil, then return a sample to Kerbin, then... well, let's design the craft, get it launched, and go from there... For me, that's the enjoyment of the game.

Is it a "tycoon" game in the most classic sense? Probably not, but then again, I play this game to explore space...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think with all the new fangled space games coming out/in development we will see KSP get better in this area, in particular improving on the planets. Making the planets into places where there are different levels of challenges, both as individual planets and their actual environments, would be a good step to keep players interested. So, instead of "hey, I've been to Duna," it's "hey, I landed a 50 ton SSTO on the Aldrin Hoodoo on Duna," which gets followed by oohs, aahs, and upvotes. I think KSP is really about pushing limits and doing crazy stuff, as much as vanilla type space exploration themes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Ten Key said:

Career mode cannot function as a "sandbox plus" mode. It just doesn't work. They must be allowed to diverge, possibly even to the point of allowing individual parts to have different stats depending on which mode you're playing. 

I am hopeful that the entire "part upgrade" idea will achieve this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right. This thread needs an extra-crazy opinion-so here it is. As far as I'm concerned, career mode is fine. It serves its purpose, as far as I'm concerned. And that purpose (in my opinion) is to bring, not really progression, but challenge. Doing things on tech below sandbox requires imagination. It requires creative engineering. Doing an unmanned surface return mission to Minmus with only 30 parts, 18 tons, and crappy tech isn't easy, but it's sure an interesting challenge, and one I don't think I would have ever considered undertaking were it not for career mode's limitations (And the caveman challenge, of course. But that presupposes career mode). It doesn't need better missions, not really. The missions are just impetus to go and do crazy things. And, yes, most of the missions are really boring. So don't do them. You don't have to. The exploration contracts (plus unprofitable space stations, because I like space stations) provide enough funds to do lots of things.

Or, to put it in other words, I can throw together and fly a mission to Duna in sandbox in, say, under 2 hours and not much effort, because I've done it before. Undertaking the same mission in career motivates me to think a lot harder about it-to optimize the design, and to not leave some poor Kerbal stuck in a Mk-1 command pod for 2 years straight.

Sure, it could be better. But it's not fundamentally flawed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ten Key said:

They must be allowed to diverge, possibly even to the point of allowing individual parts to have different stats depending on which mode you're playing. 

That has essentially be added to 1.2, but it's not really used just yet.  You can upgrade existing parts through tech tree unlocks (making it different than sandbox at least until fully upgraded) but right now it's just available for modders.

EDIT: Oops, I got ninja'd... by like an hour.

Edited by Alshain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...