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[WIP][1.3] Modular Pod Extensions


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While messing around thinking of payloads suitable for a Nexus, I started working on a giant 70 foot (half scale) re-entry pod.  That thing rapidly became a monster.  A single part that's a small town with tanks and labs, and observation decks and it needed cargo space, etc etc.  So, eventually my brain suggested the following ideas to me, way later than required to maintain sanity.

If instead of making one giant preconfigured pod, I made a series of pod floors, that are interchangeable, then the whole thing becomes reconfigurable.  Also, it solves a bunch of problems with large craft the moment there's even one floor.  (assuming I'm not completely loony, I'll be starting at the smallest size)

So, seeing as the 2.5m to 3.75m pod module is now mostly functional, I'm releasing this into the wild.  At this first release, there's four parts.  There's a crew quarters part, with a fairly early WIP interior.  There's a science lab with a link to that same sketchy interior.  This will change later as I furnish the interiors.  There's a fairly early WIP fuel tank in two flavours, monoPropellant and dual fuel.  Nothing has real fuel or realism overhaul configs yet. 

Please note: The fuel tanks are by no means complete.  But, I'm calling the crewed pod variants "textured".  BUT, it's my first attempt at a stock look.  So if people have suggestions (apart from the dark-light contrast on the panel dirtiness being too strong, which I know about and am looking at fixing) please let me know.  The top and bottom hatchy type image is outright stolen from Squad's large pod.  Shamelessly.  The rest is me messing about in layers in GIMP, mostly getting stuff on the right layers (but not always, which is why that shading is tricky to fix).  Don't forget to look under the flag.  :-)

Anyway, pics or it didn't happen.  (part album here http://imgur.com/a/c2GKt )

Mhg1zYp.png

QG7OvzU.png

 

Download from SpaceDock http://kerbalspaceprogram.eu/mod/1017/ModularPods

 

[ edit - I thought I'd already put this here, but I haven't.... derp ]

Here's the plan, as of writing, of which parts I will be doing.  I do stumble on extra things, like the combined heat shield and engine, as I go, so the plan is unlikely to survive exactly as it is to the end.  I may also give up before getting to Mk16 parts, but I definitely want to get to at least a size 8 base, maybe more if I rescale my Nexus to 64% instead of 50%.

 

Sizes
Size 2 to Size 3  
from 2.5m to 3.75m

Size 3 to Size 4  
from 3.75m to 5m

Size 4 to Size 5  
from 5m to 6.25m

Size 5 to Size 6  
from 6.25m to 7.5m

Size 6 to Size 7  
from 7.5m to 8.75m

Size 7 to Size 8  
from 8.75m to 10m

Size 8 to Size 9  
from 10m to 11.25m

Size 9 to Size 10  
from 11.25m to 12.5m

Size 10 to Size 11  
from 12.5m to 13.75m

Size 11 to Size 12  
from 13.75m to 15m

Size 12 to Size 13  
from 15m to 16.25m

Size 13 to Size 14  
from 16.25m to 17.5m

Size 14 to Size 15  
from 17.5m to 18.75m

Size 15 to Size 16  
from 18.75m to 20m

Parts planned for each of the sizes above

Service Module  
A combined fuel tank, battery pack, RCS, antenna unit
(Done for Sz2-3)

MonoPropellantTank  
A fuel tank for monopropellant
(Done for Sz2-3)

BiPropellantTank  
A fuel tank for liquid fuel and oxidizer
(Done for Sz2-3 and Sz3-4)

Crew Quarters and Control  
A control pod with some extra seating
(Done for Sz2-3)

ScienceLab  
A science lab with experiments and a science bay
(Done for Sz2-3)

Cargo  
Stores things behind doors
(Done for Sz2-3)

HeatShield  
Protects things from re-entry heat

Battery  
- might not do this.  If I do, I might modify the plan to just do a short cylindrical battery like the stock inline batteries for each size beyond stock -

Reactor  
A reactor for electrical power

XenonTank  
A fuel tank for Xenon gas

OreTank  
A tank for storing crushed ore

SimpleAdapter  
Hollow structural component for bridging part sizes

ShieldAeroSpike  
Aerospike style engine using a heat shield as it's truncated spike
(Done for Sz2-3 and Sz3-4)

 

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
The PLAN
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They look really good, and it's a nice idea!

Edit: I gave it a try, i know it's a WIP, the design is awesome but the textures really need more resolution, it looks too pixelated in game. That said, I love it!

Edited by Elkram
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2 hours ago, Elkram said:

They look really good, and it's a nice idea!

Edit: I gave it a try, i know it's a WIP, the design is awesome but the textures really need more resolution, it looks too pixelated in game. That said, I love it!

Can you take a screenshot and post it?  The texture maps are exactly the same size as the stock pods.  At first I though it might have been in the DDS conversion, but I just tested the version I uploaded and can't see it being overly pixelated.

There is detail that comes out pixelated, like the writing and warning signs, but Squad's writing and warning signs is pixelated as well.  There's just no way around that without absurd amounts of resolution. 

1 hour ago, eloquentJane said:

I can see this becoming one of my favourite mods.

I feel like it may benefit the appearance of things for the top attachment node to be inset slightly into the pod. That way the transition between sizes would look more consistent.

I considered that.  I'm a bit nervy about doing it though.  Because nothing in the stock parts do any insetting.  Some join flush (eg same fuel tanks stacked), but not by way of some clever shape.

That said, I'll look at a join part, that sits between and makes them flush, and if that significantly improves the look, I'll more seriously think of making the tops inset to fit the shape above.

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9 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

I considered that.  I'm a bit nervy about doing it though.  Because nothing in the stock parts do any insetting.  Some join flush (eg same fuel tanks stacked), but not by way of some clever shape.

That said, I'll look at a join part, that sits between and makes them flush, and if that significantly improves the look, I'll more seriously think of making the tops inset to fit the shape above.

An example of a mod that does it is Mark One Laboratory Extensions. There's a part in that which extends the stock 1.25m command pod to hold an extra kerbal, and the top node is inset so that it fits pretty much seamlessly with the pod. In that instance, it definitely does improve the appearance.

Also, since you're including size ranges that most mods don't use (the common ones are 1.25m, 1.875m, 2.5m, 3.75m, 5m, and sometimes 7.5m and 10m) perhaps it would be a good idea to include decouplers in the less-used sizes, and conical adapters for transitioning between existing parts and your pods. I know that I certainly would rather have one or two crew pods with a large adapter than a huge stack of pods to move from 3.75m to 5m.

Edited by eloquentJane
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9 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

An example of a mod that does it is Mark One Laboratory Extensions. There's a part in that which extends the stock 1.25m command pod to hold an extra kerbal, and the top node is inset so that it fits pretty much seamlessly with the pod. In that instance, it definitely does improve the appearance.

Also, since you're including size ranges that most mods don't use (the common ones are 1.25m, 1.875m, 2.5m, 3.75m, 5m, and sometimes 7.5m and 10m) perhaps it would be a good idea to include decouplers in the less-used sizes, and conical adapters for transitioning between existing parts and your pods. I know that I certainly would rather have one or two crew pods with a large adapter than a huge stack of pods to move from 3.75m to 5m.

The plan is to include plain adapters as well.  The only sizes that won't match standard kerbal multiples of 1.25m will be ones to match the Nexus parts.  And I'm not yet sure I'll even bother with those.  :-)  If you're checking that table on Spacedock, remember those are radiuses.  The N value is basically the KSP "Size", aka mulitplier of 1.25m diameter.

Decouplers are a good idea.

I'll take another (closer) look at M.O.L.E.

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41 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

Can you take a screenshot and post it?  The texture maps are exactly the same size as the stock pods.  At first I though it might have been in the DDS conversion, but I just tested the version I uploaded and can't see it being overly pixelated.

There is detail that comes out pixelated, like the writing and warning signs, but Squad's writing and warning signs is pixelated as well.  There's just no way around that without absurd amounts of resolution. 

I considered that.  I'm a bit nervy about doing it though.  Because nothing in the stock parts do any insetting.  Some join flush (eg same fuel tanks stacked), but not by way of some clever shape.

That said, I'll look at a join part, that sits between and makes them flush, and if that significantly improves the look, I'll more seriously think of making the tops inset to fit the shape above.

http://imgur.com/gallery/lLTvB

There ya go, I really see a difference in quality, mostly in lines and borders, but maybe I'm a little picky. I love your design anyway. Maximize the view.

Just thinking about it, maybe you could let it stay like that and just add an extra high quality texture, optional.

Edited by Elkram
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3 hours ago, Elkram said:

http://imgur.com/gallery/lLTvB

There ya go, I really see a difference in quality, mostly in lines and borders, but maybe I'm a little picky. I love your design anyway. Maximize the view.

Just thinking about it, maybe you could let it stay like that and just add an extra high quality texture, optional.

Thanks.  It's pixelation because the lines in gimp are not along a nice angle where it behaves nicely.  I can probably clean it up some.  But, now that I look, the main difference in quality will be because Squad unwrapped their object much better than I did.  The sloping sidewalls of the pod use a large proportion of the image, and mine are split up and shoved into corners.  I'm mildly horrified by redoing the texture from scratch, but I'm rapidly accumulating reasons. 

4 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

I agree that there needs to be something to cover the gap.

After taking a closer look at the stock pod, what it needs is that inset.  The stock pod extends well below where a cone with a base of 2.5m would stop.  So my blind assumptions of where to fit my own extensions in can't just be covered up.  The Mk1-2 pod needs to be lowered into mine.  When I do that in the VAB (yay part clipping), there's only a small edge to cover up.  Which would be easily adjusted for if I'm creating an inset anyway.

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6 minutes ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

After taking a closer look at the stock pod, what it needs is that inset.  The stock pod extends well below where a cone with a base of 2.5m would stop.  So my blind assumptions of where to fit my own extensions in can't just be covered up.  The Mk1-2 pod needs to be lowered into mine.  When I do that in the VAB (yay part clipping), there's only a small edge to cover up.  Which would be easily adjusted for if I'm creating an inset anyway.

The easiest thing to do then, IMO, would be to import the Mk1-2 .mu via Blender if you haven't yet, adjust the model as needed to fix the seam, and then have the attach node for the extensions be offset down so that they attach flush in game without needing the gizmos.

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17 minutes ago, CobaltWolf said:

The easiest thing to do then, IMO, would be to import the Mk1-2 .mu via Blender if you haven't yet, adjust the model as needed to fix the seam, and then have the attach node for the extensions be offset down so that they attach flush in game without needing the gizmos.

Yep.  Doing a quick and dirt edition right now.

pRJsSFL.png

eoCDih2.png

 

As I said, quick and dirty.  :-)

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
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Nice idea! This is like MOLE for the Mk1-2 pod. If I could add feedback, it'd be to try to match the colour tones of the pod a little bit better, even perhaps reuse some of the Mk1-2 texture. Also, as much as it bugs me that the pod's hatch is asymmetrical, you should try to match your hatch up with the ladder on the pod.

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Quick check for re-unwrapping.

xDf6dTo.png

I took some lessons from looking at the unwrapping by Squad, and I've taken a step further.  So there's an extra large portion of the total texture space devoted to the main surfaces.  There's very little pixelation on the text or the line.  I'll need to redo the texture of course.  But I was going to have to to A: change the shape, B: correct issues where I had shading for some panels on the wrong layer in GIMP.

Shown is two parts joined to Mk1-2pods at the new stack node (top) and at the old node (bottom). 

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4 hours ago, StevieC said:

Small suggestion: Make the pod-extensions' built-in ladders line up with that of the stock Mk1-2 pod

I will be adding a ladder matching the stock ladder.  I won't be moving my hatch, but I'll add a second ladder in line with the stock.  I'm still trying to decide if I should add rungs or just texture markings like the pod has.

5 hours ago, LitaAlto said:

My favorite thing? That you have a Terms Of Use on the side of the pod extension. 

:-)

It's a pity it's so pixelated, it's KSP's "No Warranty" and "Limited Damages" section of T&C.  I'm hoping with the revised unwrapping that there'll be at least some hints of the words showing.

 

No such luck.  Quick cut n paste into Gimp, rotate, shear, cut, shear, cut shear, etc shows it'll still be pretty unreadable.  I made the sub headings slightly larger, so you can almost make out guesses of what they might be.

rvNkbZT.png

Also, new ladder rungs

StMM9xc.png

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
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Personally, I'd say if you're going for a stockalike look, try to match the stock pod's staggered textured rungs. Your call, but that's what I think would give it a more stockalike appearance.

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3 hours ago, StevieC said:

Personally, I'd say if you're going for a stockalike look, try to match the stock pod's staggered textured rungs. Your call, but that's what I think would give it a more stockalike appearance.

Probably.  It just seems lazy.  :-)  It's not all stock parts that use that, there's plenty of ladder rungs on other parts.  But, yeah, to match the pod that will be inset, would be the way to go I think.

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