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KSP Weekly: The Galilean Telescope


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Welcome to KSP Weekly everyone. What a week! We had an eclipse (although it was only a partial one from our perspective at the KSP HQ), the pre-release of update 1.3.1, many advancements in all our projects, and today also marks the 408th anniversary of the demonstration of one of Galileo Galilei’s first telescopes to Venetian lawmakers. Telescopes were a profitable sideline for Galileo, who sold them to merchants who found them useful both at sea and as items of trade. It’s needless to say that Galileo Galilei is unequivocally one of the most important figures in modern Science. Native to Italy, Galilei was a polymath: astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician. He is a central figure in the transition from natural philosophy to modern science and in the transformation of the scientific Renaissance into a scientific revolution. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, the observation of Saturn’s rings (though he could not see them well enough to discern their true nature) and the analysis of sunspots. But we’ll leave his story for another time, since there’s a lot to share about KSP development, so let’s begin.

As expected, many preparations had to be done for yesterday’s Update 1.3.1 pre-release. Testing and last minute bug fixing was included, but also the wide array of tasks that involve making a build available to the public. Check out this link to learn more about this pre-release and the ways you can help us out to polish the final details before the official release.

The updated version of KSP for consoles was also part of this week’s agenda. Thanks to the conjoint effort of the external testing team, the QA team and Blitworks a few issues were resolved. Among these, there was a high priority bug that occured when ‘back’ was selected from the ‘LaunchPad not clear’ prompt, all vessel icons in KSC view lost functionality and remained in fixed locations on the screen despite any camera movements. The 'Options’ button ('Menu’ button for Xbox One) also lost functionality and couldn’t be used unless another area was visited. Similarly, a critical bug was also fixed recently. This one was triggered when the game was paused while in cursor mode during a flight, and 'Return to Space Center’ was selected, the game would then become stuck in the 'Stages’ section and unable to continue until reboot. The release for the updated version on consoles has been taking this long because we are investing more resources to ensure that the game experience for console players is greatly improved, and despite the bugs we have been telling you about, we are very happy with the results we’ve been getting with our friends at Blitworks. We can’t wait to see the response of the community once they get their hands on the final product.

Moving on to the Making History Expansion, this week included more Design and Architecture work, but devs also worked on a few features. For instance, they have been working on a feature that will allow Mission Players to see their target orbit when an orbit test is attached to the current node of a mission. The idea is that Mission Players will get a visual cue when an orbit test is active and be able to see it in the mapview, similar to how they appear now for satellite contracts. Additionally, the team has been working on the Orbit Adjustment Gizmo for the Mission Builder. This allows the creator to set orbits visually when creating their mission for placing vessels to start, or target orbits for missions. To do this we’ve been working with some extensions of the orbit rendering code to make it visually appealing. Similarly, the implementation of the feature for placing targets above surfaces within the Graphic Action Pane was part of this week’s assignments. This feature, while not finished yet, will not only allow Mission Builders to place targets with a simple click on their missions, but provide a visual representation of the “space” the player needs to fly through. The gizmo will let Mission Builders shift along the surface of the body - The latitude, longitude, the circumference line of the gizmo sets the “accuracy” of the target by resizing the area on the surface and a Z axis for setting the target altitude.

As part of the Expansion’s new features, it’s also worth noting that players will be able to build missions with vessels in all situations, and any number of vessels will spawn in their designated locations and situations on mission start. Full vessel building capabilities for Mission Builders and Mission Players was completed and the team began work on Part Failure and Repair functionality as parameters for mission design.

On the artistic side of the development, there has also been advancements. Remember the new 1.25m-0.625m Service Module Parts we mentioned a few weeks ago? Well the team has defined some functionality for these new parts. Specifically, we needed something where players could store fuel, batteries, and other parts but still retain all of the exterior surface area for attaching other parts (like RCS thrusters, etc.) - something the current service bay can’t really do due to the large doors.  We also needed to allow the player to access (easily) the parts inside - something hard to do without doors. The new Service Modules feature fully surface attachable (and in some cases, jettisonable) shells, but also allow the player to toggle a cutaway view for accessing the internal parts. Note that this can only be done on the active vessel - these are cutaways for internal access, not doors for EVA operations (for that, use a Service Bay). Check it out!

And that’s not all, the artists did also work on the new Gemini - inspired Service Module’s geometry, one of the early stages on making a new part. After establishing the geometry of a part, the artists work on textures and currently an engine inspired by the LR-87 American liquid-propellant rocket engine is on that stage. Hopefully we’ll be able to show you a preview soon. However, we can show you something else now… The artists finished the Voskhod 1-inspired IVA this week, so check it out!

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!

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That IVA looks awesome! How are the Voskhod and Vostok parts differentiated? Are there external differences? Does only the Voskhod have the airlock mount?

The Apollo on the otherhand... well, I don't really think that name is applicable to that creation. Looks nothing like it. Glad that @RoverDude appears to have sorted the windows though. :)

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7 hours ago, SQUAD said:

Some day... some day... will be the very last time I have to see that confounded message ever again. And it will be an exceptionally good day.

"Cannot deploy while stowed." Sigh.

 

Other than that: I really like the extra usability features for the new part, and 1.3.1pre is looking good. Speaking of which: weekend plans changed! :D

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I believe the cosmonauts all sat in the same plane rather than a tiered arrangement (if we are going for the "all historical" thing) :wink:

Other than that - nice work @SQUAD.  Keep going please.

EDIT: on the GIF it looks like the entire vessel is going to disassemble itself when its panels are ejected (slow down the GIF and watch it) - that's weird and disturbing - like a mini-kraken is in there somewhere. Also, what's up with the mono tanks and the black cross pattern... or are the each actually two tanks clipped together? And finally, does it matter that an antenna is extended for it to function from a comms perspective and can it still provide command control inside a service module whilst not extended?

EDIT2/3: and it still will not directly launch under mac OS. Jeeze... and don't state the "it's because Apple change the way they deal with unsigned applications" shtick - there're hundreds of apps that launch just fine. I give up on this point.

Edited by Wallygator
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45 minutes ago, Wallygator said:

EDIT: on the GIF it looks like the entire vessel is going to disassemble itself when its panels are ejected (slow down the GIF and watch it) - that's weird and disturbing - like a mini-kraken is in there somewhere.

Spoiler

KKPU32S.png

That looks super weird. So does it work like a decoupler or seperator? or more like fairing panels, that go away on reload? And what happens to the previously attached parts?

49 minutes ago, Wallygator said:

Also, what's up with the mono tanks and the black cross pattern... or are the each actually two tanks clipped together?

I believe they are the new ones designed for the Vostok (about half the size of the current monoprop balls). They were shown a few weeks/months back.

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12 hours ago, SQUAD said:

The new Service Modules feature fully surface attachable (and in some cases, jettisonable) shells

The function is cool but they seem too large for the part you showed them attached to. The inner part seems the right size but the shell on top sticks out where it connects to the pod.

It may be the angle we were shown it but it seems to need reducing by a few percent.

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24 minutes ago, Wallygator said:

on the GIF it looks like the entire vessel is going to disassemble itself when its panels are ejected (slow down the GIF and watch it) - that's weird and disturbing - like a mini-kraken is in there somewhere.

Considering the video is called "ClutteredRecklessAiredaleterrier", I think no one is actually suggesting it to be safe and sound. :D

 

26 minutes ago, Wallygator said:

Also, what's up with the mono tanks and the black cross pattern... or are the each actually two tanks clipped together?

They look a bit smaller than a Jr docking port, too small to be either of the existing Stratus-V tanks, so they must be the new ones, sized for the new set.

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6 hours ago, Wallygator said:

EDIT2: and it still will not directly launch under mac OS. Jeeze... and don't state the "it's because Apple change the way they deal with unsigned applications" shtick - there're hundreds of apps that launch just fine.

If you install ksp from the squad store (idk about steam) make sure you download the .pkg and not the .zip. It directly launches if you use the .pkg to install ksp.  

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3 hours ago, RoverDude said:

Usual caveats, WIP parts (we're aware of the sizing issue where the pod joins the little service module adapter), also still fiddling a bit with colliders :)

I'm not a fan of the proportions (LONG BOYE) but the texturing is definitely better than the last few WIP shots. :)

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7 hours ago, Wallygator said:

on the GIF it looks like the entire vessel is going to disassemble itself when its panels are ejected (slow down the GIF and watch it) - that's weird and disturbing - like a mini-kraken is in there somewhere.

I tried to slow the video down to 0.125x speed, and just like described, it did look like the craft was about to RUD.

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3 hours ago, RoverDude said:

Usual caveats, WIP parts (we're aware of the sizing issue where the pod joins the little service module adapter), also still fiddling a bit with colliders :)

Are you aware and acknowledging that the profile is too long? and are you gonna do something about it? Even with the "legoism" philosophy a replica needs to at least nail the profile.

Old pic of the good Apollo kerbal replica for reference.
Nertea's reaction on reddit since the devnotes get buried fast there

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1 hour ago, Bottle Rocketeer 500 said:

I tried to slow the video down to 0.125x speed, and just like described, it did look like the craft was about to RUD.

It's also not exactly encouraging that the attached RCS ports detach and go flying off into space:

2PhshxI.gif

But presumably what we're mainly intended to take away from this is that there's a transparency option so you can see and click inside a closed bay without crazy camera clipping. That's nice, since no part has that yet.

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2 hours ago, HebaruSan said:

It's also not exactly encouraging that the attached RCS ports detach and go flying off into space:

Not sure why that should be particularly troublesome. That's the stock behaviour of parts radially attached to separators/decouplers (which I suspect is the basis for the stageable shell pieces): all the parts get detached at staging it, and fly off by themselves. It can make them lethal shrapnel... or it works perfectly fine, depending on how mindful one places the parts. If you know how it works you can design/plan appropriately.

Personally, I'd probably have attached the RCS ports to the inner surfaces (or the Jr port) and offset them, clipping just the exhaust nozzle out, thereby making sure they remain attached after the shell pieces fly off. It may even have prevented the shell pieces from clipping into the service bay when staged - which looks like may be happening as a result of rebounding from the loose RCS ports.

Of course without having access to the part yet, that's pure speculation.

Edited by swjr-swis
Only separators, not decouplers. I knew that, still typed it anyway *and* posted it. Sigh.
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36 minutes ago, swjr-swis said:

Not sure why that should be particularly troublesome.

It's just an attention-to-detail thing. Lore-wise, they were presumably welded on to the plates, and not prone to popping off. Not a big deal, but it could determine whether we're able to do missions simulating SpaceX recovering fairings, for example.

36 minutes ago, swjr-swis said:

That's the stock behaviour of parts radially attached to separators/decouplers (which I suspect is the basis for the stageable shell pieces): all the parts get detached at staging it, and fly off by themselves.

I may be misinterpreting your point, but I'm not seeing that behavior in testing (yes, they're radially attached to the decoupler, with crossfeed enabled):

ENQvRds.png

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22 hours ago, SQUAD said:

However, we can show you something else now… The artists finished the Voskhod 1 IVA this week, so check it out!

Is it my imagination, or are the seats in the wrong orientation for Voskhod?

Vostok_and_Voskhod_crew_seating.png

 

Note the hatch, and how it goes from being over the cosmonaut's head on Vostok to being off on the cosmonauts' right side on Voskhod? 

Voskhod 1 Interior -- See how the vizor scope and instrument stack are on the left side now, instead of below and in front of the pilot's seat? And how the instruments have not been rotated to match the new seat positions, so they're 90 degrees off from the cosmonaut's viewpoint? I know this is a minor thing, but it was a visible side effect off the Vostok --> Voskhod evolution and doesn't seem all that difficult to implement. 

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