The Flying Kerbal

Session Length

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I'm just curious how long people will play KSP at any one time?

My limit seems to be an absolute maximum of about an hour and a half.  After that and I start suffering from a brutal headache and have no option but to turn it off.

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Hmm, this sounds kinda worrying. Do you suffer from headaches a lot? From watching TV? Does it happen with other games too? Or is this a specific problem with KSP?

If it is solely with KSP, then your graphic settings might mess up your eyes, refresh-rates or what have you. If its from all games in general, you could try a better screen, maybe need glasses, or try to change the distance to the screen etc.

Myself I need to restart the game after a few hours (like 2 or 3) but just to empty the RAM (or whatever a restart does to make the game run a bit smoother again) But other than that I could play all night long.

With that being said, I used to get headaches from using a cheap screen in the past, or from being exposed to too much harsh light during the day etc. On my "headache-days" I use lightly amber tinted sunglasses now and it relieves a lot of the unpleasantness.

Edited by Dafni

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I'm prone to headaches anyway, but I think part of my problem is that as I really don't know what I'm doing I have to concentrate so hard to accomplish anything in KSP, that it's ending up with a bit of tension.

I don't think it's the screen, I bought a new computer towards the end of October or beginning of November, and without trying to blow my own trumpet, I dug deep into the wallet and bought a really nice one.  The screen is excellent, way better than any I've used before including the rubbish I have to contend with at work, and no TV doesn't cause me any problems.

I really do think it's just that I put so much effort into KSP that it's a side effect.

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Could be. Sounds like the screen should be fine indeed. What about other games? Something that takes less concentration? Or something that takes even more? I know that is a tough one, I myself play only KSP these days and I suspect the same goes for you too.

If the tension you get by focusing so hard is indeed the problem, there is a lot of hope for improvement of your situation. Force yourself to relax (I know its easier said than done), take short breaks, breath slow and deep for a moment, massage your own temples shoulders etc, consciously relax your jaw and facial muscles, or muscles in general, stuff like that.

Do you have any other moments of this strong tension that cause headaches in your daily life? It is definitely a possibility. I hope you can find a way to improve your experience.

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At the moment KSP is the only game I play.  I intend to purchase Elite Dangerous in the near future, but right now I'm a bit strapped for cash after Xmas so that one's on hold.

In the real world I seldom get too stressed or tense about things.  I do have a problem with the eyesight which will need treatment at some stage, but while I admit that might be part of the problem, as I can use a computer all day at work without any side effects, I really don't think this is a major contributor to the KSP headache.

No, I think it's just the sheer effort of getting these rockets to go up that's the problem, the muscles in the back of my neck be as taut as a drum snare after a session of this game.  Forcing myself to relax is probably not going to work, that really is not easy as you admit in your comment, but taking short breaks etc. sound like suggestions definitely worth trying.  In addition, when I've played a bit more and learned exactly what I have to do to master the basics, then I suspect things won't be so demanding to accomplish.  Also, and as I said in another post, I've been actually playing the KSP Demo lately, and people tend to think the full game is not as much hard work because of the much wider selection of more suitable parts for specific missions etc.  Once I complete one last mission in the Demo I'll be getting back into the full game; I wonder will that make a difference? 

 

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Maybe it is a good idea to play the trainings (they can be found in the main menu). These teach you all the basics. In addition, the trainings are not so long, so you can take a break after each training (or after each failure, which is inevitable, especially in the more difficult trainings such as docking and landing).

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2 hours ago, The Flying Kerbal said:

Once I complete one last mission in the Demo I'll be getting back into the full game; I wonder will that make a difference?

I think rather your gained experience will benefit you more than the full game itself. The tense moments of launches and landings etc will definitely become less nerve-racking with more practice and confidence. I was the same as you (minus the headaches), always tense and very focused playing this game, but now it even became a very relaxing thing to do. I still might get a bit tense in hairy situations when I play my main mission save with no reverts, but its nowhere near as bad as when I started out.

Good luck and many rewarding and relaxing KSP moments

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Anything from 30 minutes to 12 hours...

Re headaches, are you sure your monitor isn't using a flickering backlight? Some cheaper units use that to adjust brightness (rather than dimming the LEDs like you'd expect...) and it can be quite uncomfortable for some people.

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I myself can play it a maximum of 2-3 hours normally due to either rage quits or boredom. If I wanted to, though, I could probably play it for as long as my eyes can stand it.

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31 minutes ago, eddiew said:

Anything from 30 minutes to 12 hours...

 

Sounds about right.

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20 minutes to all day. 

If you are struggling to the point of headaches, I suggest you get Mechjeb. It will do the things that are stressing you out. Watching you will get a better idea of how it should work. Then when you try it on your own, you'll feel more confident.

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I found out it takes me a minimum of 30-45 min at least to do anything relevant. Shorter session are often stuff that I left from previous session or just quick R&D on already design ships.

on the other hand I usually find myself playing more often around 1.5- hours. As I play at night, longer sessions are exhausting and I rarelly have time to play longer than that at the moment.

but this is enough time to get really frustrated on missions ending in awesome explosion or to find your mighty kerbals stranded somewhere due to lack of problems foreseeing

 

anyway, this game is one of the few I can play on a daily basis without getting bored

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Typically 4 to 6 hours a day... because real life intervenes. Sometimes, when I don't really have time, I'll start the game and let it run just so time progresses - always listening however for KAC alarms.

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11 minutes ago, psychopoak said:

I found out it takes me a minimum of 30-45 min at least to do anything relevant. Shorter session are often stuff that I left from previous session or just quick R&D on already design ships.

I can agree to that. Usually, I put off KSP until weekend as workday evenings rarely have long enough free time for meaningful play. As for OP, this game is played as much in spreadsheets, web pages, textbooks and paper notes as the actual game. It does make the game rather demanding, but on the other hand you don't need to worry about Elite if you buy this. I have played for 1000 hours over two years, and it is not an uncommon amount of play time. Third best value for money when talking PC games (Diablo II and Minecraft both have significantly more hours due to being older)

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it seems like I can play for extended periods of time, and have. Some times I sit down at 6 pm after dinner and work and poof. Before I know it, it's midnight and the wife is all liquided off, haha

Edited by Leafbaron

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I had periods, where I'd play 12 hours, have a 2-hour nap, play another 6 hours, sleep 6 hours, then back to KSP. Nowadays I limit myself, some 1-2h in the evening, 2-4h in the morning before work, some more on weekends.

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I have a minimum length, as in, if I cant get at least a couple of hours in, I dont even start.

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Most of my sessions have a minimum length rather than a maximum.  I hate to abandon a good mission in the middle.  But I also like to watch things on my other monitor while I play (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.) KSP is loads of fun, but not something that requires my full focus while I play it (it can be a kind of zen that way.)  So sometimes I wait until I have a number of things I want to watch queued up,  then watch them all, and I end my session when I am near to done watching.  Usually this is at least an hour, sometimes it goes for three or four hours, depending on how much media I want to consume at the moment.  

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I usually go a couple hours at night, but I've had a session go for multiple days when flying around Kerbin; that was mostly with the game paused while sleeping/working/eating.

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I've played for many hours on end - even up to most of a weekend. It wasn't headaches that started to affect me, it was "mousing elbow" from holding my mouse too firmly for too long.

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Usually, I'll play 3-4 hours, but it depends on what I'm doing in game as I do something slightly different: I tend to separate what I'm doing into "actions". These actions could be anything from doing a crew rotation, launching a payload, or building something in the VAB. Each of these could take up to hour, so usually it comes out to the 3-4 actions. However, if I'm having problems building, launching, docking, or dealing with whatever else Murphy's law can throw at me, it might take much longer.

It also has to do with how much energy I have, so I could be shorter and be 1-2 hours, OR go much longer and have it end up being something like 6 or 7 hours.

Edited by Mrsupersonic8
wording wordy words

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10 hours ago, The Flying Kerbal said:

. . .as I can use a computer all day at work without any side effects, I really don't think this is a major contributor to the KSP headache.

No, I think it's just the sheer effort of getting these rockets to go up that's the problem, the muscles in the back of my neck be as taut as a drum snare after a session of this game.

It sounds like you might have a posture problem, actually. I had this happen with a game once. . .my seating arrangement was fine, but I was trying to focus so much that I would end up hunched forward without realizing it. Try to pay some attention to how you're sitting while playing, maybe try a foot rest of some sort. 

You might try turning down the brightness on your monitor a bit and see if that helps. That's more of an eye strain issue, but. . .it couldn't hurt to try. 

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In my first month of having the game, there was a 3-day period on a break from school during which I played from morning to sunup the next day three times in a row. 50ish of 72 hours were spent on KSP. (I turned off the in-game music about half-way through.) I kept a missions logbook, too--this was back when I was anti-MJ and used a pen, paper, and calculator to find delta v and TWR on every stage, on every ship, on every mission... Phew, I forgot how great those early days were! I wonder if I still have that journal lying around...?

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My record is 22.5 hours in one session. Only interrupted by the occasional biological break.

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