SQUAD

KSP Weekly: The Arecibo Message

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SQUAD    20248
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Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. Next week marks the 18th anniversary of the retransmission of the Arecibo Message. An interstellar radio message originally broadcasted in 1974 towards the M13 globular cluster some 25,000 light years away from Earth, sent in the hope that extraterrestrial intelligence might receive and decipher it. Named after the Puerto Rican radio telescope from which it was sent, the message was written by Dr. Frank Drake, creator of the Drake equation (a probabilistic argument used to arrive at an estimate of the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy), with help from Carl Sagan, among others. This message carries basic information about humanity and Earth and consists of seven parts: The numbers one to ten; the atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); the formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA; the number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA; a graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth; a graphic of the Solar System indicating which of the planets the message is coming from; and a graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension (the physical diameter) of the transmitting antenna dish. We don’t know if somebody else has received the message, maybe we’ll never know or maybe some little green men experimenting with their space program have and they are doing everything they can to pay us a visit. But we’re here to talk about everything Kerbal, so let’s begin.

Let’s begin with KSP for consoles, where the QA team has been working on testing and providing feedback on the new control scheme. Blitworks is making great progress and we are looking forward to testing every fresh new build coming out of the oven, they are very solid right now and still getting better each time.

In other news,  the team continues trawling the bugtracker, looking for bugs to confirm and prioritize, one of which is a grammar library issue that affects some Linux players. Our sincere thanks go to those that not only took the time to report the problem, but aided in diagnosing and testing a potential fix. Meanwhile more bugs have been fixed for the upcoming 1.3.1 patch release. For instance: The Sun movement has been fixed, so we still retain our shadow rough patch/fix while also restoring the movement of the sun back to the way it was before (nice and smooth). Similarly, Kerbals can no longer EVA from inside fairings (but can from interstage fairings) to avoid exploding vessels.

Naturally, the work on the Making History Expansion continues and at good pace if we may say so. This last week, for example, various aspects of its design have been looked at and worked on. We have been working on getting all of the usable nodes for a mission displayed in lists and creating the nodes when they’re dragged onto the canvas. In the “Infrastructure” portion of the Mission’s Expansions we’ve been finalizing work around the way expansions are built and loaded. This uses the AssetBundle feature of Unity to package up the content we set as Expansion only. On the loading side we have an extra loader that then reads in the info about the expansion and loads the components from the bundles. We also spent some time making the same architecture work without the asset bundles in the editor -  so our devs can work as lazily as possible and not have to build the bundles for every change made (at their request) :P. Additionally, we have been working on the feature of the Mission Builder that allows mission creators to select if vessels will be built by the player of the mission or if they will be assigned from a list of custom ones by the creator. For this, we are using in-house built internal logic for setting a vessel starting state. Lastly for the development updates has been the very fun task for the new expansion that handles the logic of the Undo and Redo functionality in the Mission Builder, we are doing our best to nail this task to be as memory efficient, stable and functional as possible. In the end the system will allow mods to register their own undo actions and custom controls.

On an artistic level, we keep on working on the Lunar Landing module and Vostok 1’s IVAs, all while the QA team continues to test and revise the initial Mission Expansion builds, making sure the core game still functions correctly after the usual post release code merges while work is done on the expansion. There’s still much to do, but every day it gets closer to a functioning system that we can start testing in earnest.

By the way, as you have already noticed, the Steam Summer Sale has begun and we have also made sure our minds, bodies, and wallets are prepared for this exciting event. And of course, Kerbals couldn’t be left out of this craze, so we prepared a huge discount you should definitely check out.

Finally, we encourage you to participate in our latest KSP Challenge - Crosswise the Sea! This time around, the challenge consist of flying across the sea in an airplane and land safely, using stock parts only. Pretty straightforward, right? So, are you up to the challenge? Let’s see who can build the most original airplane. Check it out, share your creations and win a special official badge in the process!

That’s it for this week. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates!

Happy launchings!

 

P.S: If you are near the L.A. area, KSP streamer @Avera9eJoe let us know that he has been planning a community get-together on Asteroid Day. If you’re interested in going, send him a PM! Here is what he has to say:

Hello again everyone! With Asteroid Day coinciding with my summer vacation, I’m planning a casual get-together at the California Science Center. We’ll be meeting at 10:00am PST on June 30th outside the main doors and visiting the free Air and Space exhibits and paid Space Shuttle Endeavor pavilion before having lunch and going our separate ways. Please send me a PM if you can make it. I look forwards to seeing some of you in person! Thanks :)

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Vallius    116

Really, I'm first? Well looks like your keeping at it SQUAD. :-)

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Angel-125    6475

And today SpaceX landed a reused booster for the second time! :)

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Vallius    116

This wasn't the 3rd flight for the same booster, was it? Judging by the landing, I kind of doubt they'll fly this one again.

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Angel-125    6475
Just now, Vallius said:

This wasn't the 3rd flight for the same booster, was it? Judging by the landing, I kind of doubt they'll fly this one again.

No, it was the second flight. It sounded like it landed pretty hard 

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StrandedonEarth    2003

Sounds like some good work being done. I like this new release time for KSP Weekly, as I can read it while in the carpool home from work  

Oh sure, now there's a Kerbal Konvention at the CSC, when I was just there 2 weeks ago  FYI, when I was there the Shuttle Exhibit was free (unless that changed for summer) but you were still supposed to reserve a ticket.  Probably a crowd control thing, but they never asked for mine.

 

 

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klgraham1013    2493
58 minutes ago, SQUAD said:

upcoming 1.3.1 patch release

I look forward to it.  Not that I have much to complain about.

Just had a though.  I wonder if the 1.3.1 release will be synchronized with Making History...

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TheEpicSquared    1887
5 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

I look forward to it.  Not that I have much to complain about.

Just had a though.  I wonder if the 1.3.1 release will be synchronized with Making History...

Hmm. It looks like the expansion is coming along well, so maybe. 

If that happens, I wonder if they'll release it during the Steam Summer Sale, so all us Steam users can get a discount. :P 

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klgraham1013    2493
1 hour ago, TheEpicSquared said:

Hmm. It looks like the expansion is coming along well, so maybe. 

If that happens, I wonder if they'll release it during the Steam Summer Sale, so all us Steam users can get a discount. :P 

I'm doubtful Making History is coming along that quickly.

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I've really been looking forward to the Making History stuff and, of course, the new parts, but the more I hear about the Mission Builder the cooler it sounds. Challenges are already a blast, but I think this thing is going to make the entire challenge system better. From the sound of it, creating challenges is going to be almost as much fun as completing them. Can't wait.

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swjr-swis    1454
2 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Similarly, Kerbals can no longer EVA from inside fairings (but can from interstage fairings) to avoid exploding vessels.

Sigh... really? Is this 'protection' something I can turn off at my own risk, preferably with a toggle of some kind? Fairings are the only procedural enclosure option we have in the stock game... don't just take that away.

 

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klgraham1013    2493
19 minutes ago, swjr-swis said:

Sigh... really? Is this 'protection' something I can turn off at my own risk, preferably with a toggle of some kind? Fairings are the only procedural enclosure option we have in the stock game... don't just take that away.

 

What sort of contraption did you use this for?

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passinglurker    1384
4 hours ago, SQUAD said:

finalizing work around the way expansions are built and loaded. This uses the AssetBundle feature of Unity to package up the content we set as Expansion only.

Ok big question here is what is being packaged in the asset bundles. These can't be unpacked and repacked willy nilly thats kinda the point but if stuff like the art and config files are packaged inside then that basically means no modding those assets. No rebalancing, no alternate textures, no meshes mapped to those texture sheets for ram free parts, and worst of all no cracking things open to see how they work to help teach yourself.

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DeltaDizzy    659
5 hours ago, SQUAD said:
P.S: If you are near the L.A. area, KSP streamer @Avera9eJoe let us know that he has been planning a community get-together on Asteroid Day. If you’re interested in going, send him a PM! Here is what he has to say:

Hello again everyone! With Asteroid Day coinciding with my summer vacation, I’m planning a casual get-together at the California Science Center. We’ll be meeting at 10:00am PST on June 30th outside the main doors and visiting the free Air and Space exhibits and paid Space Shuttle Endeavor pavilion before having lunch and going our separate ways. Please send me a PM if you can make it. I look forwards to seeing some of you in person! Thanks :)

 

;.;

 

The day I decide to take a vacation to New Hampshire, too. Endeavour is my favorite shuttle as well.

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sgt_flyer    1586
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, swjr-swis said:

Sigh... really? Is this 'protection' something I can turn off at my own risk, preferably with a toggle of some kind? Fairings are the only procedural enclosure option we have in the stock game... don't just take that away.

 

The change makes sense because of the collider geometry of the nose fairings ('closed' nose fairings colliders are completely filled, only switching to the correct collider shape after decoupling to save on the requiered computing)

it's this way since the unity port, because of the way colliders are handled (the current version of unity physic's engine now rely on convex colliders, instead of being able to use concave colliders like before)

anything you decouple (or a kerbal leaving his capsule) within a nose fairing is going to be violently ejected because it will be within a solid geometry :)

squad made it that way because on the initial fairing release, having hollow fairings was the root cause of the large delay (>1mn in several cases!) on scene loading of large rockets. For the large fairing, it was roughly 12 rectangular colliders per height segment of a nose fairing ! - so collider count grew up way too fast with large nose fairings)

while when filled, for a nose fairing, they can use a single cylinder /conic collider for each height segment.

Still, interstage style fairings (you can close it around a nose part (ex : an FL adapter) still retain the hollow style colliders when closed :) (so we can have f9 style interstages)

if you want to make hollow habitats for kerbals, simply close the fairing around another part :)

this is the case since the unity port (tested the hell out of those things during the beta of the unity port)

Edited by sgt_flyer

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scottadges    136
On 6/23/2017 at 3:03 PM, SQUAD said:

...maybe some little green men experimenting with their space program have and they are doing everything they can to pay us a visit.

I see what you did there... :P

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JPLRepo    2804
14 hours ago, sgt_flyer said:

The change makes sense because of the collider geometry of the nose fairings ('closed' nose fairings colliders are completely filled, only switching to the correct collider shape after decoupling to save on the requiered computing)

it's this way since the unity port, because of the way colliders are handled (the current version of unity physic's engine now rely on convex colliders, instead of being able to use concave colliders like before)

anything you decouple (or a kerbal leaving his capsule) within a nose fairing is going to be violently ejected because it will be within a solid geometry :)

squad made it that way because on the initial fairing release, having hollow fairings was the root cause of the large delay (>1mn in several cases!) on scene loading of large rockets. For the large fairing, it was roughly 12 rectangular colliders per height segment of a nose fairing ! - so collider count grew up way too fast with large nose fairings)

while when filled, for a nose fairing, they can use a single cylinder /conic collider for each height segment.

Still, interstage style fairings (you can close it around a nose part (ex : an FL adapter) still retain the hollow style colliders when closed :) (so we can have f9 style interstages)

if you want to make hollow habitats for kerbals, simply close the fairing around another part :)

this is the case since the unity port (tested the hell out of those things during the beta of the unity port)

This is correct. closed fairings use different colliders to interstage. Having kerbals EVA inside them creates interesting results. Hence, It makes the most sense to not allow EVA for closed fairings.
Interstage fairings retain the ability to EVA inside them due to the different colliders.

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TriggerAu    2665
On 6/24/2017 at 10:57 AM, passinglurker said:

Ok big question here is what is being packaged in the asset bundles. These can't be unpacked and repacked willy nilly thats kinda the point but if stuff like the art and config files are packaged inside then that basically means no modding those assets. No rebalancing, no alternate textures, no meshes mapped to those texture sheets for ram free parts, and worst of all no cracking things open to see how they work to help teach yourself.

I'll publish a dev article with more details once all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. Perhaps save the doom and gloom ideas for later, we are (as always) concious of the modding community, etc and is why we are designing things to be as modding friendly as we can.

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KerbMav    918
53 minutes ago, TriggerAu said:

I'll publish a dev article with more details once all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. Perhaps save the doom and gloom ideas for later, we are (as always) concious of the modding community, etc and is why we are designing things to be as modding friendly as we can.

Back in the day when I was deep into SimCity 4 and took part in the still very active community, someone said that putting all a mods file into a single asset-bundle-file fastended load times on game start. So everyone who knew how took their downloaded mods and put them into one neat file.

I wonder if this would be helpful for KSP too? If all the assets could still be easily addressed while bundled into one file - making one more step in enhancing performance of the game?

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RCWoody    3

Why does nobody respond to me when I try to send an email to the "Contact Us"?

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JPLRepo    2804
16 minutes ago, RCWoody said:

Why does nobody respond to me when I try to send an email to the "Contact Us"?

Can you specify which "Contact us" you are referring to? and what email address you sent your email to?
Once the office opens on Monday I can follow it up and ensure someone responds.

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RCWoody    3
9 minutes ago, JPLRepo said:

Can you specify which "Contact us" you are referring to? and what email address you sent your email to?
Once the office opens on Monday I can follow it up and ensure someone responds.

The contact us at the bottom of the mobile page. I used the email address linked to my account. I've tried to message about 5 times in the past 2 weeks and no reply.

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cfds    172
On 23.6.2017 at 10:03 PM, SQUAD said:

Similarly, Kerbals can no longer EVA from inside fairings (but can from interstage fairings) to avoid exploding vessels.

As long as this "fix" does not affect Procedural Fairings...

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mystik    62
On 23.06.2017 at 11:03 PM, SQUAD said:

In other news,  the team continues trawling the bugtracker, looking for bugs to confirm and prioritize, one of which is a grammar library issue that affects some Linux players. Our sincere thanks go to those that not only took the time to report the problem, but aided in diagnosing and testing a potential fix. Meanwhile more bugs have been fixed for the upcoming 1.3.1 patch release. For instance: The Sun movement has been fixed, so we still retain our shadow rough patch/fix while also restoring the movement of the sun back to the way it was before (nice and smooth). Similarly, Kerbals can no longer EVA from inside fairings (but can from interstage fairings) to avoid exploding vessels.

A few notes, because I feel a bit of criticism is due:

1. The bugtracker is a mess. Hardly any issues are handled at any point. I reported one about fairings showing the wrong price on ship reloading in december 2016 and even now, not even an "assigned" or "confirmed" status. Granted, it is a small bug, but it is a bug still.

2. I think it is time to introduce new features. Language stuff was fun and stuff, but I think it's time for game improvement. We need the following:

Integrated transfer planner

Integrated alarm reminder (like when you want to receive a notice that a ship has reached a certain point in space or has changed an object)

Upgrade the visuals and atmosphere, like SVE mod does, because right now it is very bland to play vanilla as it has no personality. If you are worried about performance, include the option for advanced graphics and keep the current "lame" graphics as an option for potato computers

More ambient sounds (have you heard of chatterer? yeah, that adds 50% to sound ambiance, which is a shame that it is neglected by squad)

New songs in space. Seriously. We need to hear more of this electronic relaxing music. Add some variety. It's a shame to have such a small playlist

More parts. Wings are a nightmare to build because you need to add tons of parts to get a good wing profile. Add a variety of wings as well as prefabricated tails. If you are so worried about performance, make one part that acts as a wing or tail, instead of having 50 parts doing the same

Fix existing parts like the overheating RTGs and the small mining drill that is just terrible and speaking of drills, fix the current issue with the drills that are missing the action groups

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KSK    4322

And so I say to you, oh my brothers and sisters, that a great day shall come to pass. For on that day, SQUAD will send down a report from on high and lo the people will be content. And there shall be no panicking nor gnashing of teeth and yea verily there shall be no interminable riding of personal hobby horses nor recycling of old suggestions.

And cats shall lie down with dogs and the internet shall know peace.

But today is not that day.

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