SQUAD

A "KSP Loading..." Preview: the Mk2 Lander Can

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5 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

We've played with it - vision when used as a rover is very solid.

Glad to read that, it's (I think) one of the solid point of the Mk1 & Mk2 cans (even if possibly to rarely used): the lower front window, for landing and rover.
I never noticed that the IVA of the current Mk2 was already shaped like the future rover Mk2 can, meaning that despite a round external shape, the internal volume is rectangular.

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29 minutes ago, RoverDude said:

vision when used as a rover is very solid.

ironic considering how delicate and flimsy the viewing windows look from the outside! -ZING! (sarcasm)

but in seriousness looking at existing parts like the m2 inline cockpit it doesn't look like it would be to intrusive to the players internal visibility to add some slightly beefier support and corner beveling to look consistent with the games other big windows. 
Mk2_InlineCockpit.png

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Great, it's all good working as a rover cockpit... but...weirdly... it's called the 'Mk2 Lander Can't. Shouldn't its primary function be as a capsule that allows for easy landing?

Edited by Poodmund

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I generally like it, all the detailing etc, and the rover version is a nice touch. I do feel that the windows are too big - glass is *heavy* and weight is a premium in space. That's the primary reason why the Apollo LEM windows were reduced in size over time:

378808main_image_1445_800-600.jpg

zlmmewc.jpg

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Less mass, better visibility, and way more versatile.  Great work on the revamp.  This was a part I always tried - unsuccessfully - to love.

Generally I like the styling and the larger windows, though I can understand the comments.  But I can't wait to try out the new version!

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9 hours ago, 2204happy said:

Will this be released in 1.5.2 or 1.6

It's part of the work we already started for 1.6

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Hey squad.

One thing I've wanted for a while (like just prior to MH release) was an option to upgrade seating capacity in both Mk1 and Mk2 cans.  Visually it works (MacLuky made a 3 seater mk1) making them a 2 and 3 seater respectively.  

Even if you don't want to release it with them could you please add an unused seat to both IVAs like you did with the Mobile Procossing Lab and the Mk3 Cockpit.  Modders have been able to add the crew compliment just via cfg file. (Just a little please with a wee bit more grated and sprinkled on top for more flavouring).  Thanks for considering such a request.

Also not there isn't a 3 seat landing option in stock. 4 seats is taken by the hitchhiker :)

I'm undecided on the windows along with others but as a latter item in the tech tree I guess it could work.

Peace.

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So it seems almost half of the discussion in this thread is with regards to the new window layout on the front of the lander capsule and so there is obviously an issue to be raised here. There are a few points or 'things' I think that are important to raise or muse over.

1. The 'Preview Channel' team that consists of QA testers, Media testers etc. (that we have learnt in the past get shown previews of art to comment on prior to public showing) are not giving enough feedback or enough high quality feedback with respect to the new parts' design from a structural design standpoint, from a technical art standpoint and from an aesthetical style standpoint. This is having a detrimental effect as the artists are not getting feedback on their art to then rectify prominent design issues before showing it to the public or before release.

2. The 'Preview Channel' team are giving feedback and critique on the parts but the artist(s) creating this/these parts may be too stubborn or may have a too large of an ego to acknowledge that there are design issues with said parts and does not intend to consider making any further changes to the part design... nullifying the point of feedback and critique. I have no idea who did the art for this part specifically and please not that this is not an accusation of character, merely conjecture.

3. The 'Preview Channel' are all signing the praises of the designs of the previewed parts before public showing and therefore the part is shown to the public as is but there is a large disconnect between the 'Preview Channel's' feedback compared to a large portion of the general public consumer comments.

Now... none of these may have any weight or substance and at this point all that it serves for me to conject about this above is to stir the rumour mill which doesn't serve anyone any good, however, if there is truth in any of the above then it is concerning due to the following:

WRT #1. If the feedback the artists are receiving is consistently poor, low in quality and/or quantity and does not contain the background knowledge with respect to the design from a modelling/texturing/coding standpoint then maybe it seems like it is the time for new 'Feedback Givers' to be taken on that can assist the art team in creating parts that fulfill their function and also appease the vast majority of the community.

WRT #2. If this is the case, it is a very sad situation. As a designer, the only way to improve your skillset from an overall design standpoint is to broaden your views with regards to your own designs and acknowledge that other people's opinions on your work usually hold great weight as you become blind to the innadequacies in your own design work... all designers and artists suffer from this. If an artist is unwilling to take on feedback and critique in their work, I guess that is then the responsibility of the Lead Art Director to ensure that this mentality does not remain as it becomes quite poisonous within a team (this is from personal experience).

WRT #3. If this is true then it is concerning as there is a strong disconnect between the 'Yes Men' of the 'Preview Channel' and the common opinion and thoughts of the community at large. Again, this may be resolved by allowing more people to give feedback or take on further feedback from public preview releases and then rework the art.

---

In any case, none of this resolves the specific issue that has been brought up by a lot of people in this thread with regards to the windows but there are a couple of ways that I see this progressing:

A. Nothing with regards to the part design changes. If the windows are modified it would require the artist to change the geometry on the model mesh, redo the UV-Maps and also ammend the texture to suit. Depending on the level of ability of the artist this could take anywhere between an hour or a day judging from various other artists I have witnessed doing similar work.

B. The windows are modifed reflecting the critique and feedback given in this thread and most of the community is appeased.

C. The windows are modified but don't get much positive feedback with regards to the new changes... then go back Point A. or B. above.

---

Personally, I feel that there is enough of the proportion of discussion in this topic with regards to the windows to clearly identify that there is an issue here. Whether changes get made going forward is neither here nor there when it comes to public discussion on this forum but it would be nice to think that discussion is CERTAINLY being had behind closed doors.

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I have mostly liked the new updated artwork and really appreciate the work you guys have been putting into it. So I really hate to be critical but I just cant hold my comment.That window looks HORRIBLE !  Sorry  just no nice way to put it. I like the idea of the lander to rover mesh switch. Just "please" "please" change the windows.  Sorry to sound so negative on this one. I liked the re-texture of the adapters last week. So the the first thing that stood out I really had to comment on was the window and that's the most obvious problem. But after going back and looking at the images I have to say the Whole thing looks fine as the Rover model. But the lander can looks Bad . I would not use it if you made me choose between it and the old one. I do like the new hatches. but really  dislike the texturing on the rest of the lander can. The top and bottom look the most out of place. The new foil texture you guys used on the probe cores and new structural panels in the DLC is really good. Why not use the foil texture on the top and bottom of the can? those panels or whatever they are look not so good. Right now the whole thing looks more like some modern pre-built house from IKEA than a lander. The rover is pretty plain but looks OK .    

Edited by Delbrutis
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I like the windows and don't understand the assertion that they're supposedly too fragile. If you want to talk fragility, the original LEM could not support its own weight in earth gravity, so that's not necessarily a problem even if it were true. 

As for a negative reaction in this thread being put forth as proof of a systemic problem in part design, it's only fair to point out that everything Squad previews in these threads receives a negative reaction. 

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6 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

I like the windows and don't understand the assertion that they're supposedly too fragile. If you want to talk fragility, the original LEM could not support its own weight in earth gravity, so that's not necessarily a problem even if it were true.

I think the concerns were more about pressure-worthiness.  The "issue" isn't resistance to G-force, it's resistance to pressure differential between inside and outside.  My impression is that what people are objecting to is the presence of very large windows with sharp corners on them.

I put the word "issue" in quotes because whether it's actually an issue for a given player depends on what that player cares about.  To be clear, that concern isn't a gameplay one-- it's about "realism", i.e. is the part modeled in a way that's consistent with IRL design principles for spacecraft (such as "what shape do windows need to be in order to be pressure-resistant").  Some players care about the realism a lot-- others not so much.  It's an art concern rather than a gameplay concern.

 

The other concern that I'm seeing from people is a playability one, namely:  the amount of downward visibility from the "full-sized" variant, which is important for lander pods if they're being flown in IVA.  That particular concern doesn't affect me, personally (since I never play in IVA)-- but I know that there are plenty of players out there who do play in IVA, and this would certainly be a valid concern for them.

What's not clear to me, though, is whether that concern is actually a problem in this case.  Because what would really matter is, "how well can you actually see when you're in IVA", and since we haven't seen any screenshots of IVA yet, we really don't know whether the downward visibility is actually a problem.  Certainly we can speculate, from the external screenshot, that it may be a problem-- but without actually getting our hands on something playable, and/or seeing IVA screenshots, we don't actually know.

One thing that would be helpful (in terms of addressing player concerns) would be if someone inside the design team could comment on the matter-- i.e. "yes, we've looked at the downward IVA visibility from the lander can, and <results>."

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26 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

it's only far to point out that everything Squad previews in these threads receives a negative reaction. 

The rovemate revamp didn't really, and the TKR couplers seemed fairly well received.

 

The problem some people are having with the windows stems from an understanding of how aircraft and spacecraft that have to maintain cabin pressure work. Straight up corners in the windows are a weakness that will often lead to catastrophic faults (look at airliner windows ,and how they're always rounded). This problem was discovered by the british at the beginning of the jet age, when the Comet kept explosively decompressing in flight. 

Speaking of the LEM...

99-15227h.jpg

Rounded corners! 

Its windows were rounded too!

 

The second problem people are having is a bit more of a subjective one, where they feel like the window frames seem flimsy at that width. While it's not solid, it certainly looks like the cabin took inspiration from the SEV, which had beefy window frames. With that in mind, I sorta tried to mock this up earlier today, really only meant to put it in a few discord servers for a lark, but I might as well share it here. I basically just doubled the thickness of all the frame pieces, except the center. I widened that one out symmetrically.

exqiBQW.png

Even without rounding the corners, and despite the crudity of my photoshop, i think it's a noted improvement.

 

The third problem is basically what Snark just said, fears that the lower windows aren't angled enough to have decent downward visibility. But, like he also said, we don't know that yet. We haven't seen an IVA yet, so it's all guessing. Perhaps the kerbals will be very close to the window, or sitting up above it a bit so they can look down into them better.

 

Anyway that's a ramble and a half. It was probably unnecessary given Snark just said basically same thing, but shorter. 

But i already had this typed up, so I dunno.

Edited by Lupi

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24 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

As for a negative reaction in this thread being put forth as proof of a systemic problem in part design, it's only fair to point out that everything Squad previews in these threads receives a negative reaction. 

I would vehemently state that this is not the case as there have been a few cases where parts have received almost unanimous praise i.e. Mk1 Lander Capsule, last weeks adapters are just to name a couple. Don't make this a SQUAD vs Community situation please.

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On a positive note:  one of the things I really like about this thread is the fact that we're having this conversation now, i.e. still (presumably) a few months before KSP 1.6 comes out.

Nestor already says above that this part is slated for KSP 1.6.  And per other stuff that Squad has announced previously, I seem to recall that they're planning their "point" releases for the stock game at roughly three-month intervals.  Since KSP 1.5 only came out a couple of weeks ago, that means we likely have at least a couple of months to go before this revamped Mk2 lander can becomes a reality for KSP players.

Which would mean that we're getting an early, early peek at the design-- really early in the design cycle of the next update.

To me, that's a very encouraging sign.  It means they're sharing the design with us when there's still a lot of runway still ahead of them before they ship it-- which means there's a good opportunity to gather feedback from the community, and hopefully address any major concerns.

Of course, that's no guarantee-- they'll ship what they feel is appropriate to ship, and just because one or two or ten people wish for a thing in this thread doesn't guarantee that it will actually be acted upon.  But since there's still a long road ahead before it ships, there's at least that possibility-- and I think the fact that they've chosen to share early does a good job of speaking towards their good intentions.

So, my suggestion would be... keep up the feedback, folks.  :)  Squad has basically extended a hand of friendship by posting this stuff this early-- let's hold up our end of the bargain by providing constructive feedback about the things that we like-or-don't.

(So far, based on what I've seen in this thread up to this point, I think we're holding up our end reasonably well.  ;)  Just sayin' "let's keep doing that," is all.)

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

<snippity do-da, snippity-ay>

This to a tee. Strong, strong agreement here. Civil suggestion and constructive talk did a lot more to get those tanks and SRBs changed in 1.5 than yelling did.

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2 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

As for a negative reaction in this thread being put forth as proof of a systemic problem in part design, it's only fair to point out that everything Squad previews in these threads receives a negative reaction. 

Excuse me? :/

 If you want negativity and arguments I suggest you start a thread for it in the lounge or something. This isn't 1.3 dev there is no place for squad vs. community talk like this here...

p.s. Rounded corners are consistent with how other worthwile parts handle windows regardless of any real life examples you toss about and consistency is part of good design.

Edited by passinglurker

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Tho I would not mind to see the window frames get beefed up a little, Perhaps Kerbals have discovered "transparent aluminum?"  ;)     

Kudos for rethinking this part in such detail, and giving it new utility. This is far from a simple "reskin"  :)  :)    

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25 minutes ago, basic.syntax said:

Tho I would not mind to see the window frames get beefed up a little, Perhaps Kerbals have discovered "transparent aluminum?"  ;)    

There is precedent I wouldn't mind a big retro monolithic viewing bubble if the mk1 cockpit can get away with a bubble canopy in space. but the thin sharp supports are still a no go for me its too dissimilar to the other styles of windows in game. Gotta think how this looks when someone uses the butterstick as a bridge for a grand tour ship. ;)

Edited by passinglurker

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Maybe I've been spending too much time with spaceplane bits and Porkjet's influence and design aesthetics has rubbed off on me, but the design of the windows just look off to me,  like not stock*, in that the window design seems at odds with the more unified visual design aesthetic the rest of the remodeled stock parts are going for.
*Yes, stock design has been heterogeneous, a consequence of different artists at different times, as exemplified in the design of the original Mk2 LC  (flanges that don't match up with 2.5m tanks, original window box design, etc.), and 'stock' or 'not stock' can at times be little more than a subjective judgement, hence the whole art pass to unify things.
My Photoshop skillz are lacking, so quick Blender render instead, but perhaps a window design something more along the lines of this?
UApMbJ8.png
Window frames are still present and jut out from the surface,, though to a lesser degree, and get a bit more detail than 'rectangle'; window has been split into a few more panes to reduce overall pane size while retaining similar area; other KSP pods and cockpits generally don't go for large scale windows - the mk1 inline cockpit has the bubble canopy, true, but it was going for a fighterjet inspired look - and windows themselves have been given rounded corners, in keeping with other KSP pod/cockpit designs; lower windows are regressed into hull for better down visibility, while also serving as a visual callback to the flange on the original design.

The rest of the Mk2 can - hatches/servicebays/bulkheads/alternate rover config - looks good. (I included some on the mockup solely since it seemed lacking without them, rather than further suggested changes.)

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Nice work Squad - it's the last part i expected to get touched :)

Although it seems a little... geometric to me? I mean i know it's a lander can and it needs to fit inline with the 2.5m stack, but there's been so much creativity with the other parts this doesn't seem very inspired. That MH Apollo LEM can was top notch, the probe revamps look amazing.. this doesn't fit in the design language. The peak of the space race was in the 70's and that time period was all about the curves, and a lot of my work tries to marry that into the "Kerbal" aesthetic. Curved windows, punched holes in the metal structure to save weight, structural ribbing to add strength with the bare minimum of mass. Hard rules in real life spacecraft design! :D  That, and those elements make for great visual interest, and draws your eye to the part and helps sell it as something that could physically exist.   

eC0EAi1.png

Excuse my blotchy photoshop, but i think doing revamps is a great opportunity to be creative and have fun with new directions with your designs. I mean, your art team have shown it with that beautiful MK1 pod, the probes, the MH parts. Don't restrict yourselves to basic shapes :)

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I think what @SQUAD was going for was a balance between a round lander can and a rover cockpit inspired by the prototype rover in the 1st picture.

ק×�×�×¥:Small Pressurized Rover 01.jpg     Image result for mars exploration zones

However, perhaps a more up-to-date analogue with a front window assembly like in the second picture above might be an acceptable compromise.  The windows have more rounded and beveled corners, with trapezoidal shaped windows, and perhaps even better downward visibility.  Of course, as stated by several posts above, since we have no idea the IVA seating positions of the revised lander can, we really can't make any solid assumptions regarding the downward visibility.

I like the window layout of @SuicidalInsanity's example two posts above this one, but I still like the idea of a protruding window frame assembly, whether it's on the lander or rover variant.  Maybe have the center row of windows pulled out a little bit, with the top and bottom rows angled out more to meet them like the second rover picture.

Either way, the current lander can/rover cockpit is a dramatic improvement over the existing Mk2, and I look forward to using it. :)

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