G'th

[WIP] Real IVAs for BDB

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Posted (edited)

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Quite some time ago, @MOARdV inspired me with his FASA Gemini IVA to create a set of IVA's for the Apollo Command Module and Lunar Module that had the same kind of features. 

IE, realistic instruments in a realistic recreation of the actual interior layout of the real modules. Between the functionality provided by RPM and now MAS, and the lovely collection of props that @alexustas has developed, this has been more than possible for quite some time. And yet we're still stuck with super simplistic IVA's. Not that this is the modder's fault. To my understanding IVA's aren't the funnest thing to put together compared to parts, and this is worsened when we want more than just MFD's or stock style toddler buttons. 

Due to procrastination and many life issues, I never really got started short of thinking up all the features I'd want to include by the end of it. But, for various reasons, I've found the kick in the pants to start working on it in earnest. 

While I've yet to actually start working on it, i wanted to create this thread here to gather my thoughts about what I want to do so I don't get distracted by them. I'm an idea person and all this crap is distracting. So I'm going to vomit it all up here. And I do humbly request that I be spared the usual "You're planning too much stuff when you haven't even installed Unity yet Gth" type stuff. I don't expect much of this to be within reach anytime soon, but they are things I want to shoot for eventually. 

---

Phase 0:  Convert/Create a series of MAS props to cover the entire range of NASA IVA's from Mercury to Apollo.  This will be relatively simple, just a time consuming process. I'm doing this as in order to properly replicate the real interiors, a set of props will need to be created specifically for this purpose, and as MAS is set to replace RPM, there's no reason to try and create a bunch of props for RPM. (originally some of the initial ivas would have been half and half or even full RPM) 

I have set up an excel file documenting each and every single switch in all four vessels (those being Mercury, Gemini, Apollo CM, and Apollo LM) to track my progress. 

Phase 1: Creation of IVA's.  This is going to follow a simple pattern. Once I complete a set of props for the IVA, I will put the IVA together and release. So this means Mercury will come first, then gemini, and so on. Plan is for Lunar Module to come stock with emergency 3 seat option. Whether it will just be an open 3rd seat (and the module only configured for 2 kerbals obviously) or some kind of IVA switch mechanism is unclear at this time. 

Phase 2: Re-model of Apollo Command Module IVA. The Initial one will be set up to work and have something for it, but a re-model is something I"ll have to tackle and that will take time. So instead of leaving the set incomplete I will put out a basic one using hte model we have, then release a revamped version once the new model is finished and set up. This may also be accompanied by a Hammock mode for the LM to roleplay those rest periods on the Mun.

Phase 3: ETS specific IVA's for Apollo. With new model, it will be worthwhile to create these properly. 

Phase 4: Features.  This will likely be a split from this specific mod, but this is where things like simulation mode will be researched and developed. 

___

Space where I thank all the people that helped me through the nonsense:

Kinetic Sloth - for helping me work through the kinks of working with unity.

MoarDV - for being the holy grandfather of IVA stuff. 

Edited by G'th
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4 hours ago, G'th said:

From general knowledge, may have to reach out on how to get certain props converted over to MAS so as to ensure I have all props necessary. Will need to explore what has already been converted.

ASET Props has all of the models you will probably need for developing Apollo-era control panels.  His modular toggle switches have many, many configuration options, but I think I've only converted a few specialized switches for MAS.  Fortunately, once you have the template put together for a style of switch, it's a fairly simple (but tedious) task of duplicating it for other switches.  It's one case where I really should automate the process with a script or a simple program.

4 hours ago, G'th said:

Can certain functions in the IVA be tied to the same inputs. Power requires correct start up procedures.

MAS supports Lua scripting, so if you can write Lua script, you can write a lot of complexity into the controls.  You could set up your controls so certain switches have to be on in order for the controls to do anything - the MRK IVA in MAS demonstrates this with a few instrument systems (the Apollo-style FDAI in seat 2, the Soyuz-style Globus in the center column, the clock system on the left panel, etc).  You could conceivably make the controls more complex than that even.

One issue I ran into with the IVA for the BDB Apollo when I looked at it a year or so ago was that the seats were way too high relative to the instrument panel.  That severely limited the usefulness of the panel, since a lot of instruments had to be placed way below eye level, making them hard to read.  Since the IVA was a public domain model, I was able to shift the seats downwards some, so it helped.

Please feel free to PM me with any questions you have related to MAS, prop configuration, and so forth.

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8 hours ago, MOARdV said:

ASET Props has all of the models you will probably need for developing Apollo-era control panels.  His modular toggle switches have many, many configuration options, but I think I've only converted a few specialized switches for MAS.  Fortunately, once you have the template put together for a style of switch, it's a fairly simple (but tedious) task of duplicating it for other switches.  It's one case where I really should automate the process with a script or a simple program.

MAS supports Lua scripting, so if you can write Lua script, you can write a lot of complexity into the controls.  You could set up your controls so certain switches have to be on in order for the controls to do anything - the MRK IVA in MAS demonstrates this with a few instrument systems (the Apollo-style FDAI in seat 2, the Soyuz-style Globus in the center column, the clock system on the left panel, etc).  You could conceivably make the controls more complex than that even.

One issue I ran into with the IVA for the BDB Apollo when I looked at it a year or so ago was that the seats were way too high relative to the instrument panel.  That severely limited the usefulness of the panel, since a lot of instruments had to be placed way below eye level, making them hard to read.  Since the IVA was a public domain model, I was able to shift the seats downwards some, so it helped.

Please feel free to PM me with any questions you have related to MAS, prop configuration, and so forth.

Indeed! That is certainly some exciting news.

Regarding the IVA, Cobalt tells me the cockpit needs a new model (which was likely to be part of the plan eventually anyway) so coupled with this I have some work to do.

I think the initial plan is I'll get my feet wet using the IVA as is and go from there. View issues for the panel can be fixed in the interim with different camera views, would just need a way to mark where to click for them. 

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^ Why thank you.

VAWTI4V.png

With KineticSloth helping me work through the kinks of Unity I've started in earnest working on this. As you can see there, I've placed my first prop.

The plan for phase one right now is to populate the CM and LM with MAS props and get them all working in-game. Accuracy in placement will be important, but right now this is more about teaching myself not only about how to populate and organize the IVA, but also in making sure it works properly when I bring it into the game. And of course, this will also restore the functionality of the IVA for gameplay purposes (as currently with RPM its unusable), which is part of what kicked me in the rear to start doing this.

 

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So this is the BDB Apollo, not the new SQUAD Mk1-3 pod, correct?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, theonegalen said:

So this is the BDB Apollo, not the new SQUAD Mk1-3 pod, correct?

Yes, thats correct.

Edited by Stone Blue

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Posted (edited)

IRhNZ7h.png

More progress. Its a little slow going as I'm still familiarizing myself with how Parttools is organized and I'm also constantly adjusting hte placement and sizes of everything.

Also may as well include that I'm going to redo the Mercury and Gemini capsules as well. They'll be fairly simple to knock out once the CM/LM are complete.

Edited by G'th
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Posted (edited)

@MOARdV @alexustas

I have a question for you guys. Figured this would be easier than PMing you given this question kinda goes both ways.

Anyway, I'm running into an issue that, while for now I can work around, in the future is going be rather problematic. And that is the sheer amount of analog switches that the CM has. Placing them isn't an issue, but what I'm concerned about is having these switches actually do something. In the prop packs I can find -some- switches that are already designated as things I can use for certain functions (Like an abort switch, and a staging switch for instance). But there is also a lot missing. 

This is most apparent as what I'd like to do is have analog style switches for all of the control functions (Like SAS, direction holds, etc) and unless I"m just missing them, they're not already set up.

So to get to the point, is it possible to place a blank switch, and then configure it for these functions, or is going to be a matter of setting up an entire new prop? Neither one really bothers me (because either way its a matter of messing around with configs from my understanding), but I'm not sure how to approach it. 

At the stage I'm at now with the IVA much of whats left to populate is just switches. And while most of them will just be blanks (as not every switch in the CM has a gameplay counterpart in KSP), where applicable it would be good to have some of the switches be functional. 

And for everybody else, here's a picture of where I'm at.  The locations are a tad bit more accurate now for what I'm working with with this model. And I'm also aware the scaling may be...off on some objects. This will be tweaked and fine tuned as I go along. Right now I"m mostly concerned with getting stuff into the IVA and approximately where it should be. Then I'll tweak from there to get it as perfect as it can get before its time to make a new IVA model altogether.

AtRBflt.png

What we're looking at is essentially the left section of the Instrument Panel and part of the center section. This is where most players would want to be spending their IVA time as this is where all of the controls and readouts are concentrated. 

Also, started working on Mercury. Going considerably faster for obvious reasons.

aBqoPrl.png

 

Edited by G'th
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5 hours ago, G'th said:

In the prop packs I can find -some- switches that are already designated as things I can use for certain functions (Like an abort switch, and a staging switch for instance). But there is also a lot missing.

Apology first, this is going to be a long-winded tutorial.  I'll try to clean this up and put it on the MAS wiki later.

The switches in the ASET props pack are all RPM controls.  There aren't any official ASET MAS controls - all ASET MAS props are part of the MAS distribution, prefixed with "MAS_" in the prop name.  You'll have to make new prop configs for the switches that are missing.  I have very few mechanical switches converted to MAS, and alexustas does not have any MAS-enabled props released to the public.

The first post in the ASET Props Pack has links to the ASET Modular Push Buttons manual and the ASET Modular Toggle Switch manual.  If you don't already have those two PDF files, go get them.  They'll make customization of props *vastly* easier.

Next, since you're mostly needing toggle switches, browse to GameData/MOARdV/MAS_ASET/Switch_Toggle_Modular.  These are all of the toggle switches I've configured for MAS (not a lot, since I'm currently working in a modern IVA design with few mechanical switches).  Copy any one of those to your own props working directory.  For the sake of illustration, grab MAS_toggle_IMP_Power.cfg and open it in your favorite text editor.

A quick tour of the MAS prop config: At the top is the name.  That'll change, obviously, to reflect what the switch does.  The next few entries are MODEL nodes.  Refer to the ASET Modular Toggle Switch Manual, and you'll see what each of these components are, and what options you have for changing them.  These control a) how the model looks, and b) which parts you can click on.

In this prop's case, you have the TgglBase, which is used on every prop.  The TggleBase includes the transforms for adding labels to the switch, as described in the manual.  Next, there is TgglLever_Type_5, which is a conventional toggle switch.  For an Apollo-style toggle, you may want to use Type 1 or Type 3.  After the lever, there's TggleBase_Bcklt_12, which is a simple rounded square border.  There are several options here, depending on whether you use a guard on the switch or not (the IMP Power switch does not, but the manual shows you toggle guards, and MAS_toggle_Abort uses a guard).  Lastly, there's the collider model, TgglCollider_SNGL.  You can select between 1, 2, or 3 colliders, depending on the action the switch will perform.  For an action group toggle, for instance, a single collider is sufficient.  This prop does not use a switch cover, but the abort switch does.

All of these switch component options may seem overwhelming, but remember that you don't have to customize every single switch's model.  If you get a particular combination you like, you can copy the config, change the name, label, and actions, and that's it.  Maybe 1-2 minutes per prop once the basic style is done.

Anyway, let's assume we're making the Action Group 1 toggle.  In your copy of the file, change the name to something like MAS_toggle_AG1 (and change the file name so it is easier to find).  Beneath the MODEL nodes is a single MODULE, the MASComponent.  This module is the guts of a MAS prop.  In this particular IVA, it consists of four subcomponents.  Some props may have more, some fewer.

The COLLIDER_EVENT determines what happens when the prop is clicked.  Since this prop has a single collider (per the MODEL node), there is only one COLLIDER_EVENT.  The name in the "collider" section corresponds with the one collider named in the manual for the single collider prop.  Right now, its onClick function is a little bit complicated, but you can ignore that for now.  Change the onClick to "onClick = fc.ToggleActionGroup(1)".  This means every time the switch is clicked on, it will toggle AG 1.

Beneath the COLLDER_EVENT is a ROTATION node.  This node rotates part of the prop.  The "transform" that it rotates is the controlled transform for that lever style.  You will want to change the variable to "variable = fc.GetActionGroup(1)", so the switch position updates when the action group is toggled.  The range / blend / cycleRate entries here are used so that the switch doesn't instantly flip on and off, so it looks a little more realistic.

The TEXT_LABEL has a lot of fields in it.  As it is configured now, it works well for the IVAs I build.  You may want to tweak some of those, like font size and transformOffset.  The down side to TEXT_LABEL is that it is not visible in Unity - you will have to launch KSP and enter IVA to see how it looks.  At the very bottom of this node is the text - you'll probably want to change it to "text = AG1".  If you wanted a label on the bottom of the switch, you would add another TEXT_LABEL node, changing the transform and anchor, and possibly transformOffset.  The "variable" entry and "blend" do a couple of things - first, the blend allows the brightness of the text label to change smoothly like it is connected to a dimmer switch (which is exactly what the prop MAS_swRotary_InstrumentLight is).  Second, fc.Conditioned() allows MAS to cut off the value when there is no power on the vessel, or randomly when g-forces exceed a limit.  Those details are configured in the MASFlightComputer.  The active color is the emissive color of the text when the backlight is fully active.  The passive color is the diffuse color of the text when the backlight is off.

Last is the COLOR_SHIFT.  This node controls the other illuminated portions of the prop - the border and the illuminated cap on the toggle switch.  Once more, this prop uses fc.Conditioned() to cut off the backlight under some circumstances.  The passiveColor in this case is the emissive color of the prop when it is "off".

So, wall of text... The upside is, once you've made it through all of that to configure the AG 1 switch, all you have to do to make the AG 2 switch is copy the file, change the name of the file, change the "name" field at the top of the new config file, and change the number in ToggleActionGroup, GetActionGroup, and the text field of the TEXT_LABEL, and you've finished AG 2.  And, once the AG switches are done, it may be a little easier to figure out how to make other switches.

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Ohhhh, I have Apollo with a full IVA from ASET, but it does not give anything except cheap ponts, it's not useful in the KSP, this game is not for realists...

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4 hours ago, DECQ said:

Ohhhh, I have Apollo with a full IVA from ASET, but it does not give anything except cheap ponts, it's not useful in the KSP, this game is not for realists...

If you're talking about the Mk1-2 ASET IVA, I assure you it is entirely useful. 

 

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10 hours ago, DECQ said:

Ohhhh, I have Apollo with a full IVA from ASET, but it does not give anything except cheap ponts, it's not useful in the KSP, this game is not for realists...

A well put together IVA is certainly useful in KSP, particularly for people who DO want realism. (thats why there's dozens mods that increase the realism of the game) 

And besides, realism aside, its just that much more satisfying to land somewhere and never once go into an external view. Or even a map view for that matter.

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If they are like the one you showed, they add some fun to the game.  I keep meaning to see if we can hook a agc to ksp..... Anyone try that yet?  Not sure if you need the real code, but you can probably use mech Jeb and or gravity turn to have a prop that does what the Apollo computer.

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On 4/19/2018 at 9:56 AM, debaker02 said:

If they are like the one you showed, they add some fun to the game.  I keep meaning to see if we can hook a agc to ksp..... Anyone try that yet?  Not sure if you need the real code, but you can probably use mech Jeb and or gravity turn to have a prop that does what the Apollo computer.

MechJEB can sort of replicate what the AGC did, and for gameplay purposes its more than suitable.  But for a real AGC it'd be a bit more involved. But thats for later. I do plan on eventually creating an even more realistic experience, and a working AGC (whether its MechJEB based or otherwise) will be among the features of that.

But in the meantime to update everyone, works' been crunching on me lately so I haven't had the energy to go through it yet, but the plan right now is being amended as follows (and I'll update the main post here shortly):

Phase 0:  Convert/Create a series of MAS props to cover the entire range of NASA IVA's from Mercury to Apollo.  This will be relatively simple, just a time consuming process. I'm doing this as in order to properly replicate the real interiors, a set of props will need to be created specifically for this purpose, and as MAS is set to replace RPM, there's no reason to try and create a bunch of props for RPM. (originally some of the initial ivas would have been half and half or even full RPM) 

I have set up an excel file documenting each and every single switch in all four vessels (those being Mercury, Gemini, Apollo CM, and Apollo LM) to track my progress. 

Phase 1: Creation of IVA's.  This is going to follow a simple pattern. Once I complete a set of props for the IVA, I will put the IVA together and release. So this means Mercury will come first, then gemini, and so on. Plan is for Lunar Module to come stock with emergency 3 seat option. Whether it will just be an open 3rd seat (and the module only configured for 2 kerbals obviously) or some kind of IVA switch mechanism is unclear at this time. 

Phase 2: Re-model of Apollo Command Module IVA. The Initial one will be set up to work and have something for it, but a re-model is something I"ll have to tackle and that will take time. So instead of leaving the set incomplete I will put out a basic one using hte model we have, then release a revamped version once the new model is finished and set up. This may also be accompanied by a Hammock mode for the LM to roleplay those rest periods on the Mun.

Phase 3: ETS specific IVA's for Apollo. With new model, it will be worthwhile to create these properly. 

Phase 4: Features.  This will likely be a split from this specific mod, but this is where things like simulation mode will be researched and developed. 

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Posted (edited)

Sounds great. I hope you'll share your props with your fellow IVA developers. I'd hate to duplicate effort.

I'll have more free time when I graduate in two weeks, and will be converting my Warbird Cockpits mod to MAS soon after. At that time, I should be able to help out with configuring props we'll both be using.

Edited by theonegalen

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9 hours ago, theonegalen said:

Sounds great. I hope you'll share your props with your fellow IVA developers. I'd hate to duplicate effort.

I'll have more free time when I graduate in two weeks, and will be converting my Warbird Cockpits mod to MAS soon after. At that time, I should be able to help out with configuring props we'll both be using.

Certainly, though be forewarned most of the props converted would actually be specific to the spacecraft in question. Not that they still couldn't be used, but even so. Short of what I'm dubbing "Gameplay" props that are specifically configured to attach to KSP functions (and not just be empty or designated for Simulation purposes) most of the props will just be there for show.

This is most apparent in the CM. If I kept it strictly to the props you'd actually use at this stage, it'd just be the left instrument panel and part of the center panel.

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Any update on this mod I found this form a bit ago and have been waiting to use it it looked like it will be just what I want in my game. Thank you for working on this

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