SQUAD

KSP Weekly: The Moon Race

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9 hours ago, SQUAD said:
Bug fixing was included in this week’s agenda and among this final sweep, we implemented an auto spring/damper to the wheel suspension system in order to diminish involuntary bouncing. We also adjusted the wheel friction and suspension parameters to tackle this problem. We expect that this will improve the behavior of the wheels and legs in the game.

 

For me, this is the single most important thing.  Wahoo!

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2 hours ago, nestor said:

No, ABOUT 3 months between each 1.x release and hotfixes in between if necessary. 

Consider complex mods that hook deep into KSP internals like FAR, Kopernicus, Sigma:Dimensions and Realistic Progression Zero.  All of those probably need at least a recompile, followed by a significant amount of testing to verify things still work properly, even if they aren't affected by any API changes.  (Many of these probably hook into KSP internals that aren't even mentioned in the API, so even if there are no official API changes, they might still be affected up other internal changes).  So that means a rebuild and retest for every release, including each hotfix. 

That is potentially putting too much work on these mod developers to keep these mods up to date.  Now if something like FAR isn't up to date, then mods that depend on it (eg RO) can't release an up to date version either.  That means mods like Kopernicus need to potentially keep supporting older versions so that RO players can play on an older ksp version.  This potentially further increases workload on the mod author.  Consider if a bug is found in the 1.4.5 version of Kopernicus which also affects the 1.3.1 and 1.2.2 versions.  Since FAR and RO aren't available for 1.4.x, the Kopernicus dev now has to choose whether to just fix, test and release a 1.4.5 version, or also fix, test and release a 1.3.1 version (still used by RO players) and possibly also the 1.2.2 version (which is still used by the latest official RP-0 release).  

I think doing a new release every 3 months is probably too often for some mod authors to keep up, especially if there are hotfix releases as well.  That will further fragment the KSP community.  I suggest dropping to a 6 monthly or even 12 month release cycle.  (Assuming that the console version is going to get more updates, you could alternate PC release, then console release 3 or 6 months later, which would make it easier for the testing team to spend a couple of months focusing on testing the upcoming release).

I also think you should go back to a public opt-in beta of 2-4 weeks.  That will hopefully long enough that most new issues can be caught and fixed before the official release so that hot-fixes aren't needed.  Mod authors can simply skip the beta versions.  The vanilla game could even benefit from more experienced players suddenly playing without their normal mods for a few weeks.  

 

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1 hour ago, AVaughan said:

Consider complex mods that hook deep into KSP internals like FAR, Kopernicus, Sigma:Dimensions and Realistic Progression Zero.  All of those probably need at least a recompile, followed by a significant amount of testing to verify things still work properly, even if they aren't affected by any API changes.  (Many of these probably hook into KSP internals that aren't even mentioned in the API, so even if there are no official API changes, they might still be affected up other internal changes).  So that means a rebuild and retest for every release, including each hotfix. 

That is potentially putting too much work on these mod developers to keep these mods up to date.  Now if something like FAR isn't up to date, then mods that depend on it (eg RO) can't release an up to date version either.  That means mods like Kopernicus need to potentially keep supporting older versions so that RO players can play on an older ksp version.  This potentially further increases workload on the mod author.  Consider if a bug is found in the 1.4.5 version of Kopernicus which also affects the 1.3.1 and 1.2.2 versions.  Since FAR and RO aren't available for 1.4.x, the Kopernicus dev now has to choose whether to just fix, test and release a 1.4.5 version, or also fix, test and release a 1.3.1 version (still used by RO players) and possibly also the 1.2.2 version (which is still used by the latest official RP-0 release).  

I think doing a new release every 3 months is probably too often for some mod authors to keep up, especially if there are hotfix releases as well.  That will further fragment the KSP community.  I suggest dropping to a 6 monthly or even 12 month release cycle.  (Assuming that the console version is going to get more updates, you could alternate PC release, then console release 3 or 6 months later, which would make it easier for the testing team to spend a couple of months focusing on testing the upcoming release).

I also think you should go back to a public opt-in beta of 2-4 weeks.  That will hopefully long enough that most new issues can be caught and fixed before the official release so that hot-fixes aren't needed.  Mod authors can simply skip the beta versions.  The vanilla game could even benefit from more experienced players suddenly playing without their normal mods for a few weeks.  

 

If a mod is hooked into the internals of KSP beyond the public published API then they are breaking the rules. Mods are only permitted to use Public API published methods and variables.
I personally have a number of mods. None of which needed a recompile for 1.4.x. If a mod does require a re-compile it takes all of 5mins.
So by your line - you’d rather an update and free content every 6-12 months instead of every 3 months? If I understand you correctly?

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1 hour ago, AVaughan said:

</snip>

I think doing a new release every 3 months is probably too often for some mod authors to keep up, especially if there are hotfix releases as well.  That will further fragment the KSP community.  I suggest dropping to a 6 monthly or even 12 month release cycle.  (Assuming that the console version is going to get more updates, you could alternate PC release, then console release 3 or 6 months later, which would make it easier for the testing team to spend a couple of months focusing on testing the upcoming release).

</snip>

 

There are some very complex mods out there yes. The previous release history was 6+ releases a year, this process is designed to reduce that number and give some more info around timing etc to help everyone. I wrote a bit more on that earlier: 

 

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Well.

This week i have nothing to criticise, and this means something.

Those new Tanks look just consistent to each other. Thats Great.

Well as far as somethings just tend to look TOO good i have one question:

Those promised, regularily frequent Updates, will they be free of Charge ? Or will just now enter the monetarising aspect of the new Owner enters Place ?

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40 minutes ago, Sirad said:

Those promised, regularly (spelling correction by severedsolo) frequent Updates, will they be free of Charge ? Or will just now enter the monetarising aspect of the new Owner enters Place ?

I don't know what the deal was for post 1.0 players, but those of us who bought it in Early Access were promised free game updates for life (DLC excluded if you bought it after the cutoff) - there's nothing in here to suggest that these new updates are going to be DLC. Squad aren't stupid they aren't going to suddenly risk the PR nightmare that charging for updates would produce.

As an aside (and this isn't aimed at you directly, more musing out loud) - every time i see a post like this it makes me smile a bit.

Most games (even Early Access ones) you get your features on release and maybe a few patches and that's your lot. KSP "released" officially 3 years ago, but we continue to get content updates - so when I see a post like yours, it makes me appreciate how lucky we really are here in the KSP universe, but it makes me think that it gets people a little suspicious - ie "this is too good to be true, where's the catch. When are you going to start milking me for money"

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, HansonKerman said:

Very nice. Like I said, sorta abandons the "lying by the side of the road" feel to Kerbalkind, but still... shiny!

 

The new lighting looks nice.

 

I don't think any of that sense is really leaving in 1.5. Look at the various dents and blemishes all over the Stayputnik. As far as I can see it's still 'little green guys in tin cans'.

Edited by RealKerbal3x
changed wording a little
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1 hour ago, Sirad said:

Those promised, regularily frequent Updates, will they be free of Charge ? Or will just now enter the monetarising aspect of the new Owner enters Place ?

I have kind of the opposite problem. I do appreciate the resources that go into all this artwork and code, and I wish I could send Squad some money.

I couldn't think of a good way to buy software gubbins like cosmetic DLC. That sort of thing is mostly a non-starter.

So can you guys put out some merch? Like the old Shapeways figures, posters, t-shirts, enamel pins, or something?

Since this is all digital, I don't even have a retail box to put on the shelf.

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Thumbs up!

The new parts, and the suits, are looking great.  Big thanks to Squad for putting out the prototypes and listening to the community.  Feedback - positive or negative - has come good.  And having three or four variants of common parts really helps with creating new and interesting ship designs and avoids monotony.  That makes more Fun.

Farewell to KSP Weekly.  I'll miss looking out for the post each Friday (though I was busy and missed this one).  But looking forward to KSP Loading...  Hopefully it will keep up the momentum.  Please do include the space news and history inserts.  And please do keep the forum as the go-to place for news.  Yes, social media channels are essential these days, too, but (amazingly?!) some of us don't use them for lots of reasons.

(And from a Windoze player... I do feel for the console guys... here's hoping that there's some really good news for them very soon.)

Really happy to hear that serious work has been done on the landing gear.  'Nuff said ;).

The move to a regular release schedule could be a good one, IMO.  (Does this mean Squad have transitioned to an Agile/Sprint type dev process?).  Glad also to hear that thought has been given to the hard-working modders in connection with that.  Anything to ease the process of updating / regression testing mods against a new game release is a Good Thing.

 

 

 

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The SRBs shroud each other when stacked? Does this mean they act as fuel segments for custom length? Or this just for decoupling?

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15 hours ago, SQUAD said:
The new development news format will be called KSP Loading…” and will be a newsletter that compiles all the current developments of KSP intermittently between each update. 

So, "The Daily Kerbal" became "The KSP Weekly" and now becomes "The KSP Intermittent". 

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21 minutes ago, Foxster said:

So, "The Daily Kerbal" became "The KSP Weekly" and now becomes "The KSP Intermittent". 

While we might not be getting development news quite as often, it'll be more in-depth. I do hope they keep the space news segment though.

1 hour ago, GeneCash said:

So can you guys put out some merch? Like the old Shapeways figures, posters, t-shirts, enamel pins, or something?

Since this is all digital, I don't even have a retail box to put on the shelf.

I'd like some merch! The only thing I have is a t-shirt (not an official one, IIRC) so some KSP tat seems to be in order.

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43 minutes ago, Frozen_Heart said:

The SRBs shroud each other when stacked? Does this mean they act as fuel segments for custom length? Or this just for decoupling?

 Quite curious about this too! 

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11 minutes ago, bonyetty said:

 Quite curious about this too! 

That’d be the closest thing in stock we’d get to procedural SRBs.

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2 hours ago, GeneCash said:

I have kind of the opposite problem. I do appreciate the resources that go into all this artwork and code, and I wish I could send Squad some money.

You are aware that you can buy as many licenses for KSP as you want? Whenever you feel like you need to give SQUAD twenty currency, just buy another one...

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9 hours ago, Redneck said:

BTW I am not liking the social media idea mentioned elsewhere in this thread...never have

Squad have a history of favoring social media over their official forum.  I remember a time when Twitter was the best place for KSP information.

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20 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

Squad have a history of favoring social media over their official forum.  I remember a time when Twitter was the best place for KSP information.

And Reddit :D

But they did listen to feedback about that, and things have changed a lot :)

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15 hours ago, TriggerAu said:

I feel here I can add some info from a dev directly, and hopefully alleviate some of that uncertainty. Its definitely not a plan to say whatever's in the development version at the end of three months is what gets released - there's been no "deadline" to push it out the door in this process. It is the next iteration in our improvement of processes becoming more mature and complete. We've been improving these over time for the last few years. 

Thank you for the clarification.

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4 hours ago, GeneCash said:

I have kind of the opposite problem. I do appreciate the resources that go into all this artwork and code, and I wish I could send Squad some money.

 

I think it should be no hassle to get the bank account data from Squad and sending them some money.

Just write an email to info@squad.com.mx  and ask for Bank data. Then afterwards come back and tell us how much money you contributed. that would be a good way, instead of writing over something that wouldnt happen init ?

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5 hours ago, severedsolo said:

As an aside (and this isn't aimed at you directly, more musing out loud) - every time i see a post like this it makes me smile a bit.

I just was asking a simple question. And the typical replys that come up long before those, who know, (The team here or T2 or whoever decides that) Answers it, makes me smile too.

Something about the Past that does not answer what may happen in the Future.  (sigh)

I, for myself regret to see this game as a sort of 'Replacement Religion' and rather see it as a Game. A Game has costs, a Game holds Fun. Whatever Squad promised to us early acessors was not Part of any License agreement we signed so far so ANYTHING can happen nor? (if the 'we get any upgrades for free' was ever part of any license agreement, im wrong but....)

There is the Team that may or may not answer this question. Defending something in advance by the obvious 'we got it all for free' does not in any way answers the Question.

Sorry.

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I’m looking forward to all of these improvements, but the 3-month continuous evolution cycle does have me a bit concerned.

I’m the type of player who likes to play Career mode, and when a major version of KSP comes out, I start from scratch.  Not so much because of worries about a saved game getting broken, but because I didn’t get a chance to try out newly added capabilities in their logical progression of availability.  Similarly, simply using Career Options or Alt-F12 to cheat myself an appropriate amount of funds, science, and pre-positioned payloads to catch up where I left off is incredibly unsatisfying - I didn’t earn it.

I’ll also point out that I haven’t started a serious Career mode game in 1.4.X because of the steady trickle of bugfixes and the modding community’s (justifiable) reluctance to update when there’s another KSP update “just around the corner”.  I can’t remember the last time I started up KSP after I heard 1.5 was coming soon.

My solution to these problems is that KSP adds a “Civilization Progression” selection for new Mission initializations.  For the sake of simplicity, I recommend the following:

- A ”Kerbin System" level of progression that starts the player off with sufficient Tech (perhaps all of TL4 plus a random selection of TL5 and maybe TL6), KSC facilities, and funding to provide a spring-board for crewed missions to the Mun and Minmus.  Include an appropriate random selection of science reports, and/or evidence of contract fulfillment, with a few randomly positioned satellites and landers - with parts not exceeding the minimum Tech level - around the Kerbin-Mun-Minmus system.

- An “Interplanetary Exploration” level of progression that starts off with more tech (all of TL6; random TL7 - 8), facilities progression, and funding to conduct crewed landing missions to the easier locations, such as Duna, Gilly, Dres, etc..  Likewise, back it up with semi-plausible evidence of progression in the form of more science reports, additional satellites and landers, and maybe a space station (unpopulated, so Life Support modded games don’t start off with starving Kerbals) or two in the Kerbin-Mun-Minmus system.

I think this would alleviate some of the consternation for players who want to earn their way to the top of the tech tree, but also don’t want to get left behind every time KSP and associated mods do a major version jump.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, JPLRepo said:

If a mod is hooked into the internals of KSP beyond the public published API then they are breaking the rules. Mods are only permitted to use Public API published methods and variables.
I personally have a number of mods. None of which needed a recompile for 1.4.x. If a mod does require a re-compile it takes all of 5mins.

Personally I have no idea whether any of the mods I mentioned are using anything beyond the public API.  But even if they stay to the public API, there is always a chance that any bug fix or refactoring of KSP's internal code might expose a new edge-case or bug that breaks the mod, even when the public API is unchanged.  The rebuild itself only takes a couple of minutes, but as I said above testing can take much longer.

9 hours ago, AVaughan said:

All of those probably need at least a recompile, followed by a significant amount of testing to verify things still work properly, even if they aren't affected by any API changes.

Even if there are no API changes, the testing of a complex mod can take a lot longer than 5 minutes. It's potentially even worse if something is broken, and you need multiple hours to debug and then fix it, with a period of testing after attempt, and then need to retest everything afterwards, since there is always a possibility that you might have broken something else.  If you are a dependency of other mods, it's also possible that you need to test against both vanilla and those mods, because otherwise you won't catch bugs that are the result of mod interactions.  If you depend on other mods, then it is possible you can't even test your mod until all those other mods have made a release compatible with the new KSP version.  (I'll note that RO and especially RP-0 depend on lots of other mods).

According to the wiki, KSP 1.3 released on May 25, 2017.  According to Github, Ferram released the 1.3 FAR version on 22 Aug 2017.  (Note that is 3 months after the KSP release).   KSP 1.3.1 released on 5 October 2017.  The 1.3.1 version of FAR was released on 2 Apr 2018.  (Note that this is after 1.4.2 was already out).  Now from memory the changes between KSP 1.3 and KSP 1.3.1 were pretty minor, so I'm not sure why it took 7 months to release an official release.  I'm pretty sure there were builds available for people to test months before the official release.  (Maybe @ferram4 or someone else with knowledge of FAR development could comment on the reason for the delay).  As I said above we still don't have an official 1.4.x FAR release, and the way things are going I'm concerned that if KSP starts releasing every 3 months, we might never get an official FAR release for the most recent version.  (And without FAR, we might not get a RO release, and without RO we won't get a RP-0 release either).  As I said above I view this fragmentation of the KSP versions that the modding community is trying to support as a problem, and I think that releases every 3 months will just make it worse, especially if each release is followed by 2-3 patch versions over the next month, leaving only 2 months to update large mod sets like RO/RP-0 before the next KSP release.

I'll also point out that Kopernicus is version locked.   Again I'm not sure why, but presumably the Kopernicus developer(s) have their reasons.  Perhaps they either expect breakage with (some) new KSP versions, or want to spend time testing with a new KSP version before making an official release (perhaps to save themselves from a wave of bug reports when something does break).    

8 hours ago, JPLRepo said:

So by your line - you’d rather an update and free content every 6-12 months instead of every 3 months? If I understand you correctly?

My whole attitude to 1.5 is pretty "ho hum" atm.  It's possible I might have missed some things, but most of what you have announced seems to be new graphics with a few changes/bug fixes to core KSP.  Even the change to maneuver nodes you mentioned last week isn't something that improves the game for me, since I normally have mechJeb and/or KER installed and often better burn time installed anyway.  (Note I'm not suggesting that those changes aren't a welcome improvement to vanilla, but that I already have similar functionality from the mods that I install anyway).  I'm way more interested in new gameplay, and can't recall anything that you have announced for 1.5 that excites me. 

The new graphics don't excite me.  For roughly half the examples you have shown, I actually prefer the old versions.  For the rest I'm concerned that the improvements in visuals will come at the cost of reduced rendering performance on my 9 year old Radeon HD5770.  Note that if I actually cared about better graphics, then I'd have a better graphics card.  The steam integration from 1.4.4 is another thing that I just don't care about, even though I use steam, and install mods through steam workshop for other games.   (I'm not into missions, nor am I interested in downloading other people's craft files.  I also move ksp to another folder outside of steam before installing mods, so I doubt that steam workshop would even work in my modded install.  I'm also against adding KSP mods to steam workshop, since to the best of my limited understanding, steam workshop doesn't support installing the correct version of mods if people roll back to KSP 1.3.1 to play RO). 

So unless your "update and free content" is adding either new gameplay, or better performance, or better compatibility with updated hardware/operating systems, or significant quality of life improvements, then yeah I'd rather a bigger release every 12 months (with a couple of minor patch releases over the next month or two), than a release every 3 months that just adds churn and additional workload to the people trying to maintain complex mods.  (Even if you are adding new gameplay, I doubt you will develop something that adds a significant new gameplay in 3 months, so just develop the new gameplay and whatever other new features/graphics you want, then push a new release when everything is ready, which is probably no more often than every 6 months anyway).

8 hours ago, TriggerAu said:

There are some very complex mods out there yes. The previous release history was 6+ releases a year, this process is designed to reduce that number and give some more info around timing etc to help everyone.

Well let's talk about the previous releases.

1.2  Released 11th October, 2016.   1.2.1 Released 1st November, 2016.   1.2.2  Released 6th December, 2016.  So 2 patch releases to stabilize the 1.2.x series over roughly a 2 month period.

1.3  Released 25th May, 2017.  1.3.1 Released 05th October, 2017.  1.3.1 was more a minor feature release than a bug fix release, so arguably 1.3 was stable at release, and new features were added 4 months later.  Note this is 5 releases over almost exactly 12 months,  2 of which (1.2.1 and 1.2.2) were what I'll call bug-fix type releases.  1.3 followed about 7 months after 1.2,  (and 5 months after the 1.2.2 patch).

1.4  Released 06th March, 2018.   1.4.1  Released 13th March, 2018.   1.4.2  Released 28th March, 2018.   1.4.3  Released 27th April, 2018.   1.4.4   Released 21th June, 2018.    1.4.5  Released 26th July, 2018.   

I'm going to argue that 1.4.0 was almost a public beta for the 1.4.1 "Making History" release that was scheduled for 1 week later.  1.4.2 was a bug fix release that was pushed 2 days before Easter.  My personal opinion is that it was pushed without enough testing because Squad wanted us to give us an improved version to play with during Easter.   I consider 1.4.3 to be a fairly stable release.  So 3 or 4 patches (depending on whether you want to count the 1.4 release;  personally I consider it a public beta rather than a release) to get a stable 1.4.x release over roughly 2 months, then a minor patch with new features + bug fixes for 1.4.4, and then another bug-fix release with 1.4.5.

There are a few points I want to make here.  Firstly both 1.2.x and 1.3.x were in better shape at release than 1.4.x.  If I recall correctly, both had an opt-in public beta over a few weeks prior to release which meant many of the bugs were fixed before the official release.   This meant that Squad had access to a lot more testers than it's internal QA/external testing group could provide, and could push bug-fixes quickly and get confirmation that they had indeed fixed the issues people had reported.   During that test phase mod authors could easily say "I'm not supporting the beta, I'll update this mod after the official release."

Secondly even with that testing it took 2 months to stabilise the 1.2.x series.  What would have happened if there was a policy of a new release every 3 months in place in 2016?  Would it have been possible to get something worthy of a new release out one month after 1.2.2?  What about churn for mod authors with 3 releases over 3 months?  (Please don't say that you would have just held most of the fixes for the release 3 months after 1.2.  1.4 demonstrated that it can take you several attempts to actually fix the bugs that people have reported).

Thirdly 1.4.x looks like it was rushed out without enough testing.  I think it would have benefited from a public beta like the 1.2 and 1.3 series.  (I will admit that you probably wouldn't want to do a public beta for Making History, but you should have been able to do a public pre-release beta of 1.4.0, which would have let you deal with issues like the re-entry effects, jet engine sounds etc before the Making History release). 

I think the community would be better served by going back to public opt-in betas for new releases, and aiming for something like the 1.3 release.  ie squash all the bugs you can before the official release, so that hopefully you don't need to do any patch releases.  Then if you do need a patch release aim to get it out within a few weeks of the official release, then give mod developers and players 5+ months before the next release.   Enough time that mod authors get to relax and play between updating their mods for new patches.  Enough time that hopefully large mod packs like RO and RP-0 can hopefully get everything updated, tested and released.

8 hours ago, TriggerAu said:

The previous release history was 6+ releases a year, this process is designed to reduce that number and give some more info around timing etc to help everyone.

I'm not advocating for more releases, I'm advocating for less.  Ideally one release every 6-12 months, with that release ideally being bug free enough that you don't need to do any patch releases.  (If the release is buggy, then by all means push a patch release or two if necessary, but hopefully you can get it stable in a few weeks.  Mod authors who don't want to do multiple build-test-release cycles can even wait a few weeks before updating especially if you are transparent and say, we plan to ship a patch release in the next couple of weeks if a patch is necessary). 

In my opinion maintainers of large complex mods need a larger breathing space between patches than 3 months.  6-12 months seems more reasonable to me than 3 months.  (Consider a mod author who wants to update their large complex mod, then spend roughly 80-100 hours playing a campaign with it as a playtest before deciding it is ready to release.   If they can can play an average of 8 hours a week, how many months is that playtest going to take)?

53 minutes ago, Sirad said:

I think it should be no hassle to get the bank account data from Squad and sending them some money.

Just write an email to info@squad.com.mx  and ask for Bank data. Then afterwards come back and tell us how much money you contributed. that would be a good way, instead of writing over something that wouldnt happen init ?

Personally I would be more inclined to post in KerbalEdu offering to donate one or two full copies of the game to interested schools/libraries etc.

Edited by AVaughan
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3 minutes ago, AVaughan said:

@ferram4

 

Personally I would be more inclined to post in KerbalEdu offering to donate one or two full copies of the game to interested schools/libraries etc.

Yes of course. That would fit quite 2 good causes. He can donate all his money and do something good to make this game available for others.

 

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I'd like to say, I'm just advocating for finishing the game.  ...but I know I'm in the minority on that.

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19 hours ago, SQUAD said:
Finally, we want to let you know that this is going to be the last KSP Weekly in its current format, but don’t you worry! This doesn’t mean that we will stop giving you development news; on the contrary, the reason we’re doing this is to reinvent the way we give updates to our fans. We want to provide you with more relevant, substantial and focused updates about everything that happens within the KSP HQ. The idea here is quality instead of quantity. The new development news format will be called KSP Loading…” and will be a newsletter that compiles all the current developments of KSP intermittently between each update. We will however share small bits of day-to-day developments more casually throughout our social media channels - e.g. screenshots, short videos, and Devblog posts among other cool things.

So...not to be rude but basically; you're going to blast disparate parts of the development news across the 4 corners of the internet to a bunch of people who don't care, instead of catering to your most involved players who all congregate here? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

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