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KSP Weekly: Under the surface of Titan


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As just another upset console player, i have to say these weekly updates reveal a lot. Last year it was reference of a QA now its a full time QA. Just as now its a dedicated team working on solving issues. So either they are taking it more seriously or just adding emphasis to the wording of the typical lip service we have been feed since the first time around. Maybe had there been these teams in place over the last 18 months the enhanced edition could have been called the working edition.

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2 hours ago, KonsoleMinimalist said:

Maybe had there been these teams in place over the last 18 months the enhanced edition could have been called the working edition.

I recall Squad saying they started receiving assistance from an external QA team shortly after Take-Two purchased KSP. Additional resources from Take-Two, such as a dedicated QA team, were touted as a benefit of the IP sale. It was announced on March 31st, 2017 that Take-Two purchased KSP. I'd conservatively guess that Squad/Blitworks had access to this QA team for at least 6 months before the Enhanced Edition launched.

It's not hard to imagine that this niche, build-your-own-vehicles-that-function-according-to-real-world-physics-and-go-anywhere-in-a-one-tenth-scale-solar-system game proved challenging to QA. Being a rather unique experience with a rather difficult learning curve would make finding and documenting bugs more difficult, but some things, like control issues caused by poor communication or poor UI design, are fundamental of all games and would not require a robust knowledge of KSP and orbital mechanics.

I don't know how the Enhanced Edition launched with such poor in-game communication about controls like setting trim, or with UI that just doesn't work under certain circumstances. Bugs are one thing -- they can be tough to find/reproduce at times -- but controls, UI, and tutorials explaining both that run at first game launch and are repeatable on demand are fundamentals that should be unmissable in a complicated game.

But then again, even on PC there's keyboard commands I never knew existed until I read about it on the forums; they aren't really mentioned outside of configuration files. Also, there's UI elements that have barely been discussed as well. Maybe some/all of this stuff made it's way into the KSPedia and I've just never looked. Either way, I guess it shouldn't be a big surprise that the console versions aren't much better in that regard.

It seems they were rather overconfident in calling it the Enhanced Edition.

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9 hours ago, Mako said:

even on PC there's keyboard commands I never knew existed until I read about it on the forums

I've found its common for games bought online to not have any guide for the controls. I happen to stumble upon them looking through the wiki.

9 hours ago, Mako said:

Bugs are one thing -- they can be tough to find/reproduce at times -- but controls, UI, and tutorials explaining both that run at first game launch and are repeatable on demand are fundamentals that should be unmissable in a complicated game

If you look at the PC controls for KSP, almost all of the keys for a 109 key keyboard is used for something. (My quick count is 133 different key and axis bindings for all scenes.) Now do that three times for the consoles. I can see some commands and UI control things getting missed during testing.

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3 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

I've found its common for games bought online to not have any guide for the controls. I happen to stumble upon them looking through the wiki.

If you look at the PC controls for KSP, almost all of the keys for a 109 key keyboard is used for something. (My quick count is 133 different key and axis bindings for all scenes.) Now do that three times for the consoles. I can see some commands and UI control things getting missed during testing.

Just because it's common doesn't mean that it's the best way to do things. I'm of the opinion that it presents the game as unpolished. For an indie title from a smaller studio many folks will probably make an exception. I know I do. But very often a polished game isn't one that's going to ask it's players to stop playing the game to go figure out how to play the game. The game's community should not have to be the best place to go to learn how to interact with the game.

Here's the thing: when you've released something broken and then over a year later you claim to have fixed it and it is now "Enhanced" you should take every effort to make sure easily catchable things like controls are fully tested, explained, and working. Testing controls has to be the easiest thing about testing KSP. In a game where testing everything could prove a challenge especially for a team with little to no experience with KSP, testing the controls should be easier as it's pretty straightforward to determine and compare the expected result to the actual result.

If you call something "Enhanced" and don't deliver a product the customers perceive as enhanced, it will likely go over poorly for everyone involved. Controls, UI interaction, and the in-game communication of both could have been one of the easier ways to prove how enhanced the re-release is, but they dropped the ball. I'm hopeful that at least with the patch(es), they'll get the controls and UI working right, but I hold no hope for the in-game communication as its never been particularly good.

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Please make personnel (personal?) parachutes available at level zero. The most likely time to need them is when you're buzzing around Kerbin in a low tech aircraft that might not be able to land gracefully! :) 

Also tell Bob (I assume it is Bob in the teaser image, since Jeb would not panic and nobody needs an engineer in a 2-kerman pod) to calm down. He should know he can just take hold of his tether and reel himself back to the capsule :wink: 

Edited by eddiew
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I would say personal parachutes need to be deployable like regular ones.  Maybe cut the altitude the deploy at but still like stock parachutes.  The time when you are coming down too fast on re-entry having past 900 m/s but have no real parachutes=time to grab what science you can, let go, and deploy

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28 minutes ago, eddiew said:

Please make personnel (personal?) parachutes available at level zero. The most likely time to need them is when you're buzzing around Kerbin in a low tech aircraft that might not be able to land gracefully! 

Which means they'll probably be locked behind a building upgrade or something.

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52 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

Which means they'll probably be locked behind a building upgrade or something.

I actually thought they would have tied it to a building upgrade instead of astronaut level similar to the ability to EVA. But I suppose it hardly matters what Squad choses when you can just mod it to behave how you prefer.

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49 minutes ago, Mako said:

I actually thought they would have tied it to a building upgrade instead of astronaut level similar to the ability to EVA. But I suppose it hardly matters what Squad choses when you can just mod it to behave how you prefer.

Well, yeah, there's at least one mod for EVA parachutes :)  But I'm trying to suggest that the more advanced you are, the less you need them. They're almost exclusively useful for when your craft has NOT come back from orbit, so launch failures or aircraft, both of which for most players are early game. There's little point bailing out at 4km/s because you realised your pod can't take the heat...

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I suspect that the reason they wanted to make personal parachutes available was because that was how Vostok cosmonauts landed safely, by ejecting from their capsules during descent.  Additionally, the Gemini spacecraft didn't have a launch escape system like the Mercury and Apollo spacecraft, so the astronauts were supposed to eject.

In KSP however, it would be beneficial to have this capability if you haven't unlocked the launch escape system part yet.  But that really doesn't do you any good if you haven't unlocked the parachutes either (whether it be through an Astronaut Complex upgrade or Kerbal XP level), especially early in the career.  @SQUAD mentioned they were doing a stats rebalance of existing parts and reviewing the tech tree to see where the new parts would fit (Feb 2nd Weekly; they don't explicitly say they're adjusting placement of existing parts, but that doesn't mean they won't), I just hope there is some tradeoff to allow some sort of Kerbalnaut emergency abort procedure early in your career, for those hardcore players that play without reverting. :P

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1 hour ago, eddiew said:

Well, yeah, there's at least one mod for EVA parachutes :)  But I'm trying to suggest that the more advanced you are, the less you need them. They're almost exclusively useful for when your craft has NOT come back from orbit, so launch failures or aircraft, both of which for most players are early game. There's little point bailing out at 4km/s because you realised your pod can't take the heat...

I completely understood your point. My point wasn't that there's already a mod for parachutes, it was that however Squad decides to restrict parachute access a person could always make a mod to make parachute access different.

If you think parachutes should be available at Level 0, guess what! There will probably be a mod for that. If you think they should be available at the same time as EVAs, guess what! There will probably be a mod for that.

It doesn't really matter how Squad decides to do it, you can change it to be how you want with mods. Hooray mods!

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14 minutes ago, KerbMav said:

Because you only take specialists on flights with proven crafts?

Yes. Definitely.

But the ones on unproven craft have more need to know how to properly use parachutes, yes? So the lower level crew members should definitely be more capable of using parachutes, while it makes sense that more advanced specialists need chutes less, so they'd be less capable of steering or even activating them.

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5 hours ago, KerbMav said:

Hm. Parachutes for pilots at level zero, steerable at level two or three - other professions one level later?

Because you only take specialists on flights with proven crafts?

 

4 hours ago, stibbons said:

Yes. Definitely.

But the ones on unproven craft have more need to know how to properly use parachutes, yes? So the lower level crew members should definitely be more capable of using parachutes, while it makes sense that more advanced specialists need chutes less, so they'd be less capable of steering or even activating them.

I think it would be cool for basic pilots to just have parachutes, lvl 2-3 to be able to steer at an extremely slow rate, lvl4 to increase the steering speed rate and all lvls+ will actually increase the effectiveness of the parachutes, meaning you can activate the parachute at lower altitudes and still slow down enough :). Then the high up lvls could be used in precise landings, using a combo of low altitude deploy and slightly sped up steering.

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