CatastrophicFailure

ALIEN SKIES: A 6.4-scale playthrough of GPP/Rald

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17 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

FrankenFrog

I vote FrankenFrog.

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Year 7, Day 345...Our intrepid, and increasingly unhinged, quartet begin this update with a quick detour to the Kargyre impact basin. It's underwhelming, but not quite so under that they can go outside without suits.

Spoiler


69dOMEN.png

On a related note, somebody take a note to send them hinges in the next care package...

 

That's the end of any hope for a breath of fresh air for a long time. Not at all related to Stinky's overuse of bleach in the lavatory. The crew now being the long, slow climb up the frigid, dust-blown Kharsis Plateau.

FQmlfKZ.png

 

Any hope for a decent view is also quickly lost, however, as they soon disappear into Rald's thick cloud layer. There's a good reason for going this way, other than the gigabytes of science they're recording, that is. RaldSCAN has uncovered yet another hulking, not-possibly-natural formation high on the plateau.

K3uKLln.png

 

It's some sort of enormous pyramid at the 9000-meter level. It's over 17 kilometers across, and a good 8km to the summit, 12,000 meters above the surrounding bedrock.

[COMPUTER SIMULATION]

FZv8jlg.png

 

Early attempts to climb it are, unfortunately, unsuccessful.

ZwOP0Y6.png

What mysteries lay on its shrouded peak? Could that be the only spot for leagues still bathed in unfiltered sunlight?

The science team has nominated Lodvin to go find out.

What?!?

Um, er, congratulations, Lodvin.

I'm not going up there! You saw what happened last time!

Ah... exactly! Lodvin, you're the only one who can go up there! Anyone else would be in grave danger. Everyone knows lightning never strikes twice, so you're effectively, uh, immune... (yeah that sounds good...)

I am?

Of course.

You're sure?

Absolutely.

But it wasn't exactly lightning...

Someone kick him out, please.

Hey!

Ok, fine, but I'm taking this!

HHlGShH.png

Fine. Just be careful, it's not paid off yet. Not paid off yet? Why are we making payments on it, we made it! Who are we making payments to?!? Oh. Alright, then, forget I asked...

 

Hey, it works!

8fLMmUd.png

 

Wooooooo Hoooooo!!!!!

PVd3d6q.png

Just watch your thrust settings at high altitude, 12,000 meters is just above the Jetwing's estimated ceiling, you might not have much margin to--

BANG!

EGb4v7X.png

Ow.

Lovely. 

You're walking home, now.

Who cares, this view is fantastic!

Lodvin...?

Wowwww.....

cHjarsE.png

Er... Lodvin...?

 

Woooooow....

Z8Ajihv.png

...Lodvin?

Wwwwwooooowwwwww.....

Icc61cg.png

 

LODVIN!

What?!

Are you feeling all right?

Yeah, why?

You've been up there for hours...

No I haven't, it's been like two minutes!

Look at the sun...

. . .

How'd that get so high?

Maybe you should head--

I feel funny...

W58BC2s.png

 

My toes are all tingly...

kzhVz3l.png

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Not again--OW!

KYLf95Y.png

Oof!

IlLwdpC.png

D'ouch, my shin!

WRIsope.png

Ow!

ydhq6HK.png

Aaaack!

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Oh, my spleen!

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Ow!

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Why did I not see this coming--ow!

vddnifG.png

THAT's gonna hurt in the morning!

vPlNz52.png

Augh!

G4MJFBT.png

Eep!

ETa4pRV.png

Seriously starting to re-think my life choices here--OW!

VqozosV.png

Are bones supposed to go "crack?"

OaMgX6I.png

Ow!

SEqQzvB.png

Aaaack!

souPtAy.png

How is this even physically possible--OW!

3fwXSSA.png

Ugh, my shoulder just popped out!

ujfvBoH.png

S'ok, it just popped back in.

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Ouch, on the wrong side!

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Just kill me now.

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Get back here, foot, I'm not done with you yet!

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Ooooh this is gonna--

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OW!

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Aiieee!

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What even IS that?!?

y74svG4.png

Why am I still falling--OW!--?

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This thing isn't even that steep--OW!

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Can we just be done now? ACK!

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How can this be boring AND painful?! OW!

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Is that really what my butt looks like?

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Shouldn't those endorphins be kicking in by now?!

FT9ZPeG.png

Y'know, body's natural painkillers--GAAAH!

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Is there a doctor in the house?

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What's up, doc?

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Ok, there's the ground, looks hard... 

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Yep, it is! OW!

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oOF!

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UUuuuuugh...

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Ohhhh....

EVKvXpv.png

I think I pulled something.

lTR376o.png

 

Wow. That was pretty bad. Maybe you should get back inside, now, Lodvin.

Help, I'm stuck in the ladder!

uNH9eP8.png

 

Ohhhhhhhh...

I need a vacation....

W8JLzur.png

 

Don't count on it. You're still paying for that JetWing.

Ow.

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

It's some sort of enormous pyramid at the 9000-meter level. It's over 17 kilometers across, and a good 8km to the summit, 12,000 meters above the surrounding bedrock.

Wow.  Those ancient Raldians could certainly move some dirt!  I hope you can find some traces of their bulldozers and such.  Those would have more practical value than any UFO technology they might have had :) 

Speaking of which, do you think this pyramid is the cork for the cenote back at the ancient city?  Maybe you should try to put it back.  You know, try to get the genie back in the bottle.  It might make life easier for Lodvin.....

 

7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

What even IS that?!?

That's definitely something to put back in the fridge.... :D 

 

7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

I need a vacation....

You know, if the lightning has some beneficial properties, maybe you could lash Lodvin to the rover's masthead.  That way, when he gets zapped again, the current would flow down into the whole crew, and nobody would have to fall down mountainsides :) 

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Year 7, Day 349...

The crew made a unanimous decision to leave the vicinity of the pyramid immediately, despite the pleas of the science team who were busy trying to work out if it might fit into huge hole found in the Ancient City. But more on that later.For now, the crew heads north across the barren Kharsis Plateau. It doesn't take them long to reach the raw scar of Rald's Great Rift Valley, easily visible from the ground on Gael... before Rald suddenly and inexplicably seemed to turn 180 degrees on its axis a few years back. But anyways, the view is... worth seeing, as the constant cloud cover seems to have miraculously disappeared...

Spoiler


DBbyPcM.png

 

It's absolutely breath taking. So the four don their suits, since that's the only way to go outside at this altitude and continue, well, taking breaths.

Oooooohhhhhhh.....

QXqfag6.png

 

Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......................

qw2peew.png

 

Woooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww........................

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It's... so beautiful... I'm almost glad we came...

7lKKS8y.png

Y4n2XCS.png

 

...what?

C2I7xwB.png

Someone get a butter-filled sock...

 

Ahem, yes, well...

While the science team nods their heads to the steady beat of Lodvin getting, er, corrected, for making such a suggestion, they're left with a bigger problem. There's simply no crossing this canyon, it's 9500 meters... Straight. Down.

thvDIMU.png

 

It seems Lodvin is also beginning to show the, er, scars, of his experiences here...

U0x1J5I.png

 

So with that in mind, the crew head back they way they've just come. They'll need to go around the long way. It's time for a road trip!
Road trip? What do you mean, road trip?! They've driven halfway across the planet already!

Weeeeeeelllllllllll...

...I'm runnin' down the road, tryin' to loosen my load,
I've got three kerbelles on my mind.

Oh, please...
One that wants to own me,
One that wants to stone me,
One says she's a friend of mine.

Stop! Stop that right now!

 

So, um, here's the view from the rim of one of Rald's smaller volcanoes. At over 28,000 meters, it's a new record for the persistent RaldBase FrankenFrog.

JxgcI9s.png

 

Finally getting a full-time signal back to Gael again, the crew pauses here for a day to transmit data.

AND LODVIN'S STILL SINGING!

Take it easy, take it easy,
Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

Stop! Stop it! Now you've got the engineering team humming along!

 

Moving on, they reach the rugged scarp of the impossibly massive Kolympus Mons megavolcano. No, no climbing this, either, not with cliffs like that.

Lighten up, while you still can
Don't even try to understand.

Stop!

AFgOQuC.png

h2z6Kv8.png

 

Then it's back northeast, up to the barely noticeable summit of the Large Eroded Volcano. Still 12,000 meters up. At least we lost the constant commlink, I think he's still singing.

pLHVFzZ.png

Just find a place to make your stand,
And take it eeeeeeeeeasy.

I think Lodvin's finally, irreparably, broken.

WWWooooooooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooohhh
WWWooooooooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooohhh
WWWooooooooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooohhh
WWWooooooooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooooo-- ooooooooooooooohhh

NOT THE REST OF YOU, TOO!

Cut it out, you guys are NOT the Eagles! You're like, not even the Partridge Family!

 

Sigh... so after several days of this one song over and over again until their vocal chords are no doubt bleeding, the four nut bars finally return to Rald's vast northern sea.

WkaSepj.png

Here around their one small table, they prepare a gluttonous feast of epic proportions, going through several days worth of ration mush in a matter of hours. And, oddly enough, pausing to give thanks. For what, we're not entirely sure. They're probably plotting to murder the lot of us if they ever when they get back.

Well, we needed to send another care package, anyway. It's a long way across the sea.

 


What is Vlad grinning at now?? I have a bad feeling about this...

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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I can't believe Lodvin passed up several opportunities to fall down more cliffs :)

Very pretty place.  I'll have to give this system a try someday.

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8 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

It seems Lodvin is also beginning to show the, er, scars, of his experiences here...

U0x1J5I.png

This needs to become a meme. Also, the epic views keep coming, like good food onto the table of an absurdly overweight person with a reasonably overweight wallet..

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12 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

 

It's absolutely breath taking. So the foul don their suits, since that's the only way...

This is what I read, and took me minutes to notice the correct wording, swear! 

12 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

the four nut bars finally return

Anything with nuts in it is definitely foul, too! :wink:

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On 11/24/2017 at 11:38 AM, monophonic said:

This is what I read, and took me minutes to notice the correct wording, swear! 

Oh c'mon, I specifically mentioned they have proper bathing facilities now! :sticktongue:

On 11/24/2017 at 7:28 AM, JadeOfMaar said:

Also, the epic views keep coming, like good food onto the table of an absurdly overweight person with a reasonably overweight wallet..

Rald has some really incredible scenery (nudge nudge @KerikBalm), one of the reasons I keep delaying bringing them back. Also, science. But scenery too. I could spend days just exploring the Rift Valley.

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Year 8, Day 27...Another year gone by, another New Year's Eve party where everyone wakes up the next day wearing someone else's pants. If they were lucky. And no one's quite sure who sealed the hatch on the latest care package to Rald, but, those gaskets are expensive, so might as well light the candle.

Spoiler


0NN1V2g.png

 

And... booster sep is good!

vS5LevG.png

Never get tired of seeing this.

 

Followed by successful deployment of the enormous fairing...

YdC4sFO.png

 

And the fourth (are we up to four now? or is it five?) resupply mission to our, er, stranded crew is underway!

2BNl08a.png

 

Once arriving in a polar orbit over Rald, the ubiquitous Mallard upper stage drops its perirald into the atmosphere, then dumps the winged lander...

qrJszzU.png

 

Before boosting itself up into a high-inclination, highly eccentric orbit to act as a polar relay.

RpBiDiR.png

 

Meanwhile, the lander begins its descent. Once again due to orbital mechanics, it's coming in way off target. Fortunately, this time it had a Red Bull (wait, we have those? Since when? I didn't see any in the snack machine...) and uses an aggressive bank to pull its course closer to the FrankenFrog...

hF7JxJ1.png

...before completely running out of electric charge and dropping like a brick. 

 

Fortunately, the engines were activated ahead of time, and once they kick in, power is restored and the care package begins a very extended glide towards the landing site.

BOGjtx4.png

...Since it can't quite maintain altitude in Rald's thin air with those tiny engines.

 

But for once, we're on target, and it's soon overflying the RaldBase...

rAx3KQD.png

...and still going. Turning around is difficult. Again, thin atmosphere.

 

Landing is a bit... squirrelly...

cnm6Dam.png.

Not that way, the other way!

 

Incredibly, the craft straightens out before losing anything too important.

XWL1VON.png

 

With the care package safely stopped, the crew will wait the night before approaching.

Zemd7UC.png

Because the night is dark, and full of... squishy, not-quite-alive lowlands Rald mush. The day is, too, but... 

 

Come daybreak, the RaldBase FrankenFrog trundles over, and Jencine hooks up the all important food siphon.

rfBxJdD.png

 

...Then begins the systematic dismantling and repurposing of the lander's structure.

ozqwhv4.png

 

Inside the storage tube, she finds a plethora of new hardware!

Ugy9r90.png

 

And a short time later, comes up with, well, this...

beqISgy.png

 

The finishing touch: the all important (log spamming, game crashing) aquatic engines! 

Ki2z7kq.png

The rest of the crew seems... entirely too happy about this. What else was in there, guys?! Vlad?? Where's Vlad? Was he anywhere near the rocket the other night??

 

With the latest modifications complete and the cargo unloaded which took far longer than it should have, I'm starting to get worried, the lander has one last task.

V80IVPx.png

 

Now relieved of most of its mass and flying better than it ever did, it begins a new career as a...

d5M9CAU.png

 

...artificial reef, I guess.

0Hh4SEf.png

 

Meanwhile, the FrankenFrog, now ballooned to well over 50 tonnes, sets out to begin sea trials.

kpm1OHg.png

 

Let's hope it can still float or this is going to be a short trip.

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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On 10/29/2017 at 11:00 PM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Well, it's sure flat enough here for an airport. But there's absolutely nothing that actually, well, looks like one. But the ScanSat insists this is the Ancient Airport.

Well, that may be exacerbated by the 6.4x rescale. The airstrip would become 6.4x wider and longer. If the height doesn't scale up 6.4x as well, surface features seem to fade away. I made it for 1x - but now I'm playing everything at 3x (3x for radius and SMA, 1.5x for terrain heigh, 1.25x for atmo height). 

I think you'll agree that this does resemble an airport more:

Spoiler

43mIHlP.png

I even made the airport a slightly different color

MkDuqP0.png

I did tone down the height of the "structures" near the airport though... an earlier version:

WoTJ7Hz.png

You should be able to make out the airport here too, particularly the western "lip" of the runway:

TdcLY7l.png

Which you can see here:

Rkj3quG.png

WOfrP1v.png

eeh14W3.png

It might be possible to make the airport a fixed size by using the same code that is used to make the perfectly flat ground around KSC. The way I have it done now, its part of the height map, and thus its features would scale up as the entire planet is scaled up.

As to the ancient city.... I sort of figured that it (and the other features) were non-cannon "easter eggs" that could be disregarded (like the Apollo 11 monument on Mun), or incorporated into the story to the taste of an individual.

Of course, the features were originally sized for 1x gameplay, and the curvature of 1x bodies is quite significant, so a tall control tower makes sense just to be able to see the end of the runway (which otherwise disappears below the horizon). It is a thin atmosphere, and as you see in my pics, I was coming in for landings above 200 km/h. The low gravity also means you dont have so much braking power... so the super long runways seemed justified... but at 6.4x they are probably way too big, and such a tall viewpoint wouldn't be needed for a more reasonably sized airport when the curvature is lower.

As to the city... its on a pretty flat plain, not too far from water. My idea is that the water level was higher in the past, and the city is on what was once a floodplain. Also with a thin atmosphere, it had less protection from meteroite impacts,  and would be more vulnerable to little tsunamis. The opening in the walls is on a higher end, and faces away from the sea. I guess the walls could just be levees, and the opening had a weaker gate that is now gone. Or maybe as Rald dried up, they needed protection from bands of scavengers trying to raid the last area that maintained an ordered technological civilization?

Also, the massive hole, I kind just intended it as a well. The city would once have been on floodplains with ample access to water, but as the water receded, they chose to dig down rather than abandon it?

But..... in my games, I avoid these features, and just pretend that Rald's life never really got past photosynthetic bacterial mats. 

When I play Rald Space Program (KSC "relocated" to Rald), I pretend that Kerbin had to be abandoned due to some ancient plage (zombie apocalypse?) but some kerbals escaped and made it to Rald. These ancient structures were built by the early colonists, before their civilization collapsed due to increasing environmental strain as the air kept getting thinner, and the water kept receding.

But... fill in any explanation you want, its intentionally ambiguous. If I wanted the "well" narrative to be written in stone, where the city is trying to cope with receding water, I would have also put irrigation canals going from the city, stopping just short of the sea (with the intent that the city died some time ago, and the sea receded even more since then)

Edited by KerikBalm
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17 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Meanwhile, the FrankenFrog, now ballooned to well over 50 tonnes, sets out to begin sea trials.

I like the masts :) 

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On 26.11.2017 at 8:31 AM, CatastrophicFailure said:

Oh c'mon, I specifically mentioned they have proper bathing facilities now! :sticktongue:

Perhaps you should have sent them proper soap too! :sticktongue:

Well, I did really read that bit wrong that way and thought to share my, ahem, amusing moment. Didn't intend to slight you or your story in any way.

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Year 8, Day 27...

Hey, how bout that? It floats!

Spoiler

 

JbnIfoC.png

...and promptly crashes reality itself if we try to measure the delta-V output of these new electric water engines. Strange...

 

The RaldBase FrankenFrog S.S. Baitfish presses north, making 12 m/s in the open sea. The science team has discovered something... also strange, at the north pole of Rald. It's going to be a long, boring voyage across kilometers of open ocean, let's hope the crew can keep it together.

Here, they pass the oddly squared remains of an ancient submerged crater...

CWmiPd1.png

 

Soon after, things begin to seem... off. The base ship keeps pulling ever so slightly to the right. Captain Triti is easily able to correct, but still...

It's all very... strange.

The crew heads on through the night...

TvTJfgY.png

 

...and through the daily Gaelclipse the next morning...

sClq3Xq.png

 

There's a wide, strangely flat strip of land before they reach the polar island. The RaldScan is having difficulty getting an accurate measure of its shoreline.

1C5VHC1.png

 

The crew soon discovery why. It's because there isn't one. There's no shoreline at all, the ocean floor rises up from below in an incredibly steep slope, culminating in a vertical wall several meters high surrounding the outcrop. Curiouser and curiouser. It's almost as if...

Could it be there's some force that doesn't want us going there?

zAkg2XB.png

 

Nah.

Full steam ahead, and flood the rear Hitchiker, we need some attitude!

Leave it to Triti.

Ujt8y6w.png

 

For a wide, perfectly flat stretch of ground, the strip is oddly... not flat. Several times the crew is nearly bounced out of their seats by unseen obstacles. And they've started... humming...

But soon enough, they reach the far... wall. No sense stopping now.

651jHPC.png

 

Thhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....

...weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed!

Hey, stop that!

tlRkUfW.png

If not for the courage of the fearless crew...

Stop it! You're just doing that with the reaction wheels, there's not a cloud in the sky and the water is perfectly calm!

Oh no...

The RaldBase would be lost...

BDj1kYB.png

No, you have to stop! Stop, do you hear me?!?

The RaldBase would be lost!

Stop! No! I know where they're going with this!

 

Thhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

...ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted arctic isle...

No, stop!

OoOtA1u.png

With Triti...

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

And Lodvin too...

NO! NO! IT'S WORSE THAN I FEARED! Haylotte and Jencine are fighting over who gets to be Mary Ann and--

WHO SENT THEM THOSE SHORTS?! WHERE DID THEY GET THOSE SHORTS! VLAD!!!!

STOP! DO NOT! DO NOT!

Oh, no, Jencine won and nooooo!

MY EYES! MY EYES! IT BUUUUURNS!

pM5p55Y.png

You don't need to see this, folks, trust me. It's like a bear in a bathing suit.

I do not have chest hair!

That's the least of your worries, dear.

Hmph!

 

Sigh.

And moments later they're all staring at each other with no idea what happened. The stress is getting to them. There's a few percentage point left, but the science team is wondering if they're all on the verge of a psychotic break.

In fact, the science team is... starting a pool?! Oh c'mon guys, that's not right! Those are your comrades up there!

Nevertheless, the crew presses on, towards that spine-like mountain range in the distance, and the pole beyond.

hJbaFjZ.png

Put me down for √20 in three days... no, it's not a conflict of interest, like you can talk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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It's amazing how you've gradually turned the original base into sea-going ship that actually looks the part.  Was any of that planned in advance or did it just happen?

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Lovely designs and humor that we can rely upon.... but damn if that skybox doesn't make this look like Dante's Space Program: Journey through the seven orbits of Hell

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7 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

It's amazing how you've gradually turned the original base into sea-going ship that actually looks the part.  Was any of that planned in advance or did it just happen?

This was entirely organic. :P Originally, I really did plan to send a rescue mission ASAP (really, I swear!), but the technology wasn't quite there yet. So first I had to keep them all alive for a little bit. And then a little bit longer. And then... well... there's some more science right over there... might as well have them do something useful while they're waiting... and over there... and over just there... and... wow that's an interestingly named biome, I wonder... Then @KerikBalm's little easter eggs began feeding into my plot so nicely, and suddenly: A ship!

There's like 20+ gigabytes on board now still waiting to be transferred, and that's not counting the several gigs they've already sent back. 

 

23 minutes ago, MatterBeam said:

Lovely designs and humor that we can rely upon.... but damn if that skybox doesn't make this look like Dante's Space Program: Journey through the seven orbits of Hell

There's a very specific reason for that skybox. :wink: @JadeOfMaar probably has no idea how much his skybox became the linchpin of my overall storyline. The why and when behind that skybox comes right out of my greater Kerbalverse (expounded upon in the ahem, ever-so-subtle links in my sig). I still don't know if I'll reveal the whole story, here, there, or anywhere; I like to leave the readers with a bit of mystery.

And also, this particular story is tongue-in-cheek enough that I can get away with canonically denying inconvenient gags at will. -_-

 

On 11/26/2017 at 12:42 AM, KerikBalm said:

It might be possible to make the airport a fixed size by using the same code that is used to make the perfectly flat ground around KSC. The way I have it done now, its part of the height map, and thus its features would scale up as the entire planet is scaled up.

Wow. :D That looks so different at regular scale. At 6.4x, the airport is completely flat, ScanSat can't even pick anything up. But the Ancient City is just awesome, the pix really don't do it justice. The way it just sort loomed out of the murk (with the clouds I had at the time) for the first time was creepy as hell. It gives a wonderful otherworldly sense to the place. Your tweaks to the Mars map have added a wonderful bit of story to what would otherwise be some nondescript science gathering... interspersed with epic views. :cool:

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36 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

And also, this particular story is tongue-in-cheek enough that I can get away with canonically denying inconvenient gags at will. -_-

After reading your most-definitely-it-is-a-novel following the oh-so-subtle links in your sig, I"m beginning to think the narrator here is The Kommisar! :D

The Kommisar is completely humorless.  I have some bits of rusty metal embedded in my own bones so know how he feels.  Which is what makes it funny :) 

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1 hour ago, Geschosskopf said:

After reading your most-definitely-it-is-a-novel following the oh-so-subtle links in your sig, I"m beginning to think the narrator here is The Kommisar! :D

The Kommisar is completely humorless.  I have some bits of rusty metal embedded in my own bones so know how he feels.  Which is what makes it funny :) 

Heh, well I can canonically say the Narrator is not that Kommissar.

Tho he's probably a Kommissar, being in charge of a major project and what not... if only out of circumstance. Maybe they've met a Kommissar Konvention or some such, tho.:D

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21 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Heh, well I can canonically say the Narrator is not that Kommissar.

There's more than one? Боже мой! 

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You got TOTM!

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58 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

You got TOTM!

I continue to operate under the theory that this is all just an incredibly vivid dream brought on by late-night snacking and PVC cement fumes, and that any moment now I'm going to wake up with a raging case of indigestion and the cats crushing my chest. :wacko:

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1 hour ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

I continue to operate under the theory that this is all just an incredibly vivid dream brought on by late-night snacking and PVC cement fumes, and that any moment now I'm going to wake up with a raging case of indigestion and the cats crushing my chest. :wacko:

Bah.  You should have had it last month (when no thread in this topic got the honor).  But this, we do not speak of :) 

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23 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Wow. :D That looks so different at regular scale. At 6.4x, the airport is completely flat, ScanSat can't even pick anything up. But the Ancient City is just awesome, the pix really don't do it justice. The way it just sort loomed out of the murk (with the clouds I had at the time) for the first time was creepy as hell. It gives a wonderful otherworldly sense to the place. Your tweaks to the Mars map have added a wonderful bit of story to what would otherwise be some nondescript science gathering... interspersed with epic views. :cool:

I did pick an already very flat area to put that feature. I just picked a pixel, and used the same value to draw two perpendicular lines on the height map, so that those two lines would all have exactly the same height. Then I made two lines on the color map* with slightly lighter colors than the surrounding. The game seems to blend the edges, and I didn't make the color so obvious anyway (it is supposed to be an Easter Egg, and I made it before they had stock biome scanners. I have thought about removing the biomes because they make them too easy to find).

Anyway, if you open RaldHeight.png in the pluginData folder of the Rald folder with MS paint or a similar program, on the left (left and right are reversed from what you see in game), you should be able to find the ancient city feature, and the airport feature. Its most obvious on the left edge... its leftmost edge is at pixels 151, 997-999 - note in game this is the Eastern lip of the runway, I called it the Western lip incorrectly in my previous post (again, left and right are reveresed in the height map).

Use the "paint can" to fill in the runway. It will fill all contiguous tiles of the same value, and clearly reveal a fairly-well defined runway oriented east-wet. It will also reveal a much less well defined runway oriented North-South. You'll see it spilling out well beyond the runway as you'd see indicated by the color map because... as I said... I picked an already flat area to put the airport.

To see just how flat it is... use the "paint-can" on the "streets" of the ancient city as well... it will fill an area far outside of the city walls as well. Its a pretty flat plain on mars (perhaps an ancient floodplain), and reducing all of mars to a 4096x2048 pixel image is going to make some places look even flatter.

I've been thinking of adding just a small amount of "noise" overlay on at a smaller scale, to try and break up the very evident pixelation of the terrain height - but I don't know how I'd keep it from also being applied over all the "easter egg features". If the Easter Egg features had some lumpyness too them due to noise, as opposed to the perfect features now, I don't know how well that would work

Spoiler

ZZbV4Q2.png

A very pixelated and very obvious earlier version:

XrkB1fi.png

* digression on the color map:

Spoiler

the distance "scaled space" color map and up close color map are different to help hide this, and to hide the weird blue edges around the shore if I used the scaled space color map for the up close one as well... although I think it will still draw the oceans, so maybe just using the "RaldUpClose.png" file for both would work. I started with making a blue ocean though to work out how I wanted it to look, and then I matched the height offset to get the right sea level.

 

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11 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

I continue to operate under the theory that this is all just an incredibly vivid dream brought on by late-night snacking and PVC cement fumes, and that any moment now I'm going to wake up with a raging case of indigestion and the cats crushing my chest. 

Seriously, I think this and all three parts of Whispers/Shadows/Revelations of the Kraken are TOTM worthy.  Indeed I'm surprised that none of the other three have tags TOTM tags.

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On 12/3/2017 at 11:44 PM, AVaughan said:

Seriously, I think this and all three parts of Whispers/Shadows/Revelations of the Kraken are TOTM worthy.  Indeed I'm surprised that none of the other three have tags TOTM tags.

:D There are plenty more worthy than me. :blush:

Tho I am still grinning about this. Of course, soon as it happens everything stalls. ATM I'm waiting on a part that may or may not make an appearance. I think I'll give it till this weekend then just work with what I've got. I've got an... interesting... thing in motion. :o

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