Draconiator

How long do you spend on a build until you're completely happy with it?

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I spend waaaay too much time on builds. Much more time than I should be spending in front of a PC in general.

This means that I have a hangar full of vehicles that were designed to grandiose phantasies of the surely phantastic missions they were meant to be able to accomplish. Missions that then never actually take place, because the time left to fly them is a negative number, and also, because..... I *just* saw someone else's build on this forum and thought "wait a second - you can do THAT?? Let me try this idea for a moment".

Turns out, I have a really interesting definition of "moment".

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I'm with @Capt. Hunt on this one, I will stick with a build until if flies or obviously won't. 

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Until it gets the job done with some efficiency and doesn't look too strange.

So somewhere between 1m and several hours (the latter mainly for 'standard' lifters/crafts).

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Really depends. The more complex the mission, the more time I spend designing the vessels. Just discovered that I am working since March 1on a design that will take a few Kerbals to Jool....

If it is a space plane on the other hand, I usually spend no more than a day, until I just reinvented the already existing design ...

If it is a rocket. Just a few minutes. Since you throw it away anyways, it doesn't deserve so much time.

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Posted (edited)

Stopping by the VAB on a Snowy Evening

by Kebert Frost

Whose builds these are I think I know.   
Jeb’s ship is on the launch pad though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his engines blast and glow.   

His little ship must think it queer   
To launch without a firetruck near   
Between the atmosphere and frozen space   
The darkest evening of the year.   

Jeb gives his harness belts a shake   
To see if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the beeps   
Pray easy lift and downy wake.   

The ship is lovely, dark and sleek,
Still I have design ideas to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep...

 

...in other words, it sometimes takes me days to finish a design, test, retool and eventually launch Mr. Jebs and friends.  I always think of this Robert Frost poem which I have modified for all yers enjoyment. :)

Edited by Red Stapler
spelling poop

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Posted (edited)

Depends. I've been working (And still am) on the F-2 since 2015, since there's almost always a way of making it better, but dropped some prototypes after 2 hours.

Edited by NotAnAimbot

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I can't think of a single design that I was completely happy with. It just reaches a point where further improvements won't be interesting enough to justify any more time. "Good enough for now" is the best state any of my designs have ever attained.

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I can spend hours building my rockets

I aim for an aesthetically pleasing look and shape first, then actually do important stuff lol.

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Trains are very complex machines, so much to consider and debug - its worse moving from a tried and tested design, forced into change by an updated version - wheels being the most common problem.. adding torque, adjusting springs, generator output vs use. indicator lights, running lights.. KAS, KIS items added, battery power/generator fuel.. hours of test runs around KSC and up and down nearby mountains with runs on the mountain loop line - 

that alone takes half a day upto a full day, preparing for a full drive is a multiple weekend thing sometimes, so infact it can take days

Once the actual trains up and running.. she has all she needs to conquer kerbin.. thats when the fun starts.. but not until appropriate music is found on youtube to help with the emotional and attachment side of things both to the train itself and kerbins isolation

its as complex as prepping a real railbound cousin, more so given that a train in KSP generally doesnt have a support network, they become their own self contained slice of kerbin and kerbal life.. trying to anticipate any situations, extreme as they might be, wrong routes taken, extreme downgrades and near "derailments" (Rollovers) recovery systems and finally lights.. what looks right, what gives the best framerate.. wagon load vs practicality.. theres so much

I found the Feline class rover system a week ago, its the long weekend today.. finally the trains been able to leave the confines of 30km away from KSC

Most of the times been spent in SPH, and in configuration files with wordpad.. 

Nothings easy with trains, thats why I love it :)

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I plan what the rockets going to do then I go start building the rocket then I make over it and make it look cool:cool:

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Short answer: Either 5 minutes for a rocket (Satellites, Kerbal Rescue ships, and Rover delivery systems are a common one for reusage), 15-30 for a brand new out of the box spaceplane design, and then 10 minute tweaks constantly for the rest of its existence in the save file if it doesn't explode on contact with the physics system. :D

I typically work under the 'fail faster' idea... mostly because either I'm experimenting or shoving together something I know should work if I don't miss anything silly.  After that it becomes a question of "Is this even the same thing I built originally?!", as I tend to re-use my base models heavily once they're solid.

So, if I slapping together Satellite #BF312 with x dV to get to y random orbit, I slap the thing together, shove a bunch of rockets on it, and test to make sure it actually flies.  If something is utterly silly (flips at 8k, etc) I send it back into the VAB and call it a 'simulation flight'.  Otherwise, off it goes and gets saved with some notations in the name.  IE: Sat K SOI M/G/T/A... for Kerbin SOI Satellite with MatBay, Goo, Temp Guage, and AirPressure detector.  Or "Stn Solar 5K+Sci+Cup", for the very common "5 Kerbal Station to Solar with Science Compartment and Cupola".  You get the drift.  These will get further tweaked for later missions as necessary, or because something didn't go quite right the first time.

However, when tweaking something like an SSTO refueler, same idea happens, just takes a bit more time for me.  Recently I built the Harmony 12t Payload refueler with Panthers/T-30/Thuds... because I wanted to use Thuds, dangit!  The first iteration of it took a bit just making it semi-pretty, slapping on the tanks all over, and balancing load for pre/post fuel dumps. Once that was reasonable, I shoved it off the runway and see if it could fly and what its max speed was without even trying to get to orbit, and if there were any significant stability issues.  A few fixes (and failure to launch) later, and some changes to the wings (stripped a few off) I tested the orbital mechanics. 

Since then, it's undergone constant minor tweaks so it really depends on what you mean by how long I'll spend on a design.  The Harmony has undergone some overhauls since it was first built, to allow for a small fuel compartment for de-orbital burns, adjustments to where the equipment and solar panels are placed, battery levels for night landings, removing 2 tons of jet fuel... etc. None of those happened on the first launch though.  However, it's been to space 10 times so far in my current career.

I think it really comes down to how often I expect to re-use something, or if I'm trying to showcase it when I share a craft file.  If it's just a one-off, meh!  If it's something I'll be re-using, it'll get tweaked... and tweaked again.  (and again... and again... and again... and agai... That's not a refueler plane anymore, is it...? well, I *guess* we could visit Dres...)

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With the sort of craft I build, (Stock warships) I find that I CANNOT build a good craft if I don't have an idea in my head of what it will look or function like. I few times I have layed out a solid core structure, and just deleted the craft as I have no directive to build it after that. Warships take a lot of time to make, I would say I spend around an hour to an hour and a half to finish building, then days and days of 5 minute tweaking and testing.

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On 21.3.2017 at 7:50 AM, Freshmeat said:

Anything between 15 minutes and returning several times over a month.

Yes, it depend on the objective, if its an one time mission like sending the first refueling station to Minmus, it just have to work and not be too expensive. 
For common missions like rescue, i use more time but also make the ship with some flexibility, deep rescue is something who can rescue an kerbal from anywhere in Kerbol SOI outside surface on Mun or Minmus. 
For Eve landing and escape you have to use plenty time testing.
For challenges planning and testing is the purpose. 

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Depending on what I'm doing or where I'm going, it takes up to 3 hours.

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Anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 reverts. :P

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For very complex things like Eve landers or long range SSTOs, it can take DAYS, but for simpler, more routine things, usually from 15 minutes to 30 minutes or so.

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I never really stop. I have ships well over a year (and several game versions) old, and every time the game adds something new, or I add another mod, there's a good chance I'll also tweak whatever ship(s) I happen to be using at the time. So it never really ends with many of mine.

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At the risk of giving a non-answer, I spent "as long as it takes" on a build.  The more complicated the goal, the longer I'll spend on it.  For example, the other day I was working on my manned Duna mission, and I spent a couple of solid hours working on it, and that was even after starting with a pre-existing build.  But, that mission had a lot of scope to it and I had set the bar pretty high in terms of what I wanted to achieve.  For example, I wanted to land three crew on the surface of Duna, the capsule itself had to be able to return to the surface of Kerbin, and most importantly, the main body of the spacecraft had to be both reusable and automated to work as a satellite doing in orbit contracts while the crew is on the surface of Duna, and most importantly it needed enough life-support to last the entire mission (TAC life support).  With all these objectives in mind, it required a lot of problem solving, including some that I've never done before.  While I've done plenty of manned missions before, including to Duna, I've never actually have done one where I've returned the capsule or any part of the lander back to Kerbin.  Up until now every manned lander I've made (at least for trips outside of Kerbin) has been fully disposable, in the sense that it gets used only for trips to the surface and then back to orbit of the planet/moon it landed on, and once the mission is over it is de-orbited.  I return or reuse capsules from the Mün or Minmus very regularly, but this will be the first return of a spacecraft from a surface beyond Kerbin's SOI (as opposed to just returning the Kerbals aboard the orbiting mothership).  Also, I've set the dV requirements rather high for a Duna mission as well, because apart from a couple of drogue chutes, this will be a fully powered landing, so I need enough fuel for both landing and return to orbit, and my regular 25% extra I put in for margin or error, which basically works out to almost the same amount of dV I need to put the spacecraft into orbit of Kerbin.  So it's big, the spaceship it is attached to is big, and the rocket that will launch it is enormous.  I don't remember the exact amount, but I do remember it passing 355tons while I was making it.

On the other hand, some of my contract-sats, I've built in barely 5 minutes, because what I needed I've made tons of times before and didn't require any problem solving.  It's was simply; build generic satellite, add on required pieces, and put on top of generic rocket that I've built probably a hundred times.  And often I can reuse a previous design (only changing the instruments) and then adding it to the KCT build list so it's even quicker then that.

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Depends. If it is just a quick test, 2 minutes. For a launcher for a sattelite, 10. For my more recent things.... hours? Idk, I just play with it and tweak it until everything goes smoothly. Its hard to airdrop a train that doesn't actually want to stay together.

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If it doesn't explode, gets where it needs to go, and I didn't forget anything important like the communication antennas (done that before), it's good in my book!

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