NermNermNerm

[1.5.x~1.7.x] ProgressiveColonizationSystem - Life Support & Colonization for more fun in late game

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On 3/18/2019 at 4:43 AM, goldenpsp said:

There are plenty of mods where the parts are licensed in such a way that you could use them.   There are other mods where the parts are licensed ARR but the mod author has stated exceptions could be made but you have to ask.

Yes, for example, MKS is like that.  I approached @Roverdude about using some of his parts, as his licensing model is "ask first".

He said "no", and for very good reasons -- only mod authors really will understand that a part that looks like it's from MKS is having a problem that is coming from the effects of my mod or MKS, and he just doesn't want to deal with the support hassle.

I can definitely appreciate his point of view, so I'm trying to stick to part-packs.

I would definitely like to learn how to slightly re-texture parts (e.g. add decals and such) that make it clear that they're being powered by my mod.

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On 3/18/2019 at 4:57 PM, Enorats said:

So, starting off a new career with this mod - it's almost unplayable. I just lost a mission that was doing a simple flyby of the Mun. Granted, this was prior to upgrading the tracking station.. so I'm eyeballing everything and it's not perfect. My trajectory upon leaving the Mun's SOI took me a bit farther out than I'd have liked, but still well within my ability to correct with available delta-v.. but the trip took a couple extra days and my kerbal went tourist on me.

There needs to be some way to pack extra rations in the early game.. 3 days just isn't enough. As it stands, short of packing an extra command pod I can't do that at the moment.

My second attempt took me just a couple hours short of 3 days to complete, and that was just a simple flyby. Granted, again I was eyeballing everything and didn't get the best return trajectory.. but this isn't unusual for early game missions (at least for me).

Edit: Another issue encountered. Fertilizer is converted to snacks at a 1 to 1 ratio. Fertilizer is not produced on a vessel (no waste recycling or the like), so you have to take it from home if you're building a station (though the mod says you shouldn't?). The only real benefit to bringing fertilizer instead of just snacks is that fertilizer is more dense.. you can pack 1900 into a small container as opposed to like 95 snacks. I guess that's not an issue, though it does create some odd mass fluctuations as resources are converted. All that said - it's extremely expensive in career mode. A small container of fertilizer is a whopping 28,500 credits + 380 for the container. That's more than the entire station I'm launching, and more than the rocket that's launching it. Also, why are there 5 different types of fertilizer and snacks? Wouldn't it be better if progressing in research simply increased the efficiency of your modules? As is, I have to have numerous different types of storage for various types of resources. I don't really like having to launch my station with T0 fertilizer storage, T1 fertilizer storage, T2 fertilizer storage, T0 snack storage, T1 snack storage, T2 snack storage, T4 snack storage.. 

That's necessary if you want to have any "room to grow" in your station as you unlock higher tiers, and it's not exactly ideal.

As to the unfortunate Kerbal - well, I'm afraid I'd call that by design.  A Mun voyage is supposed to be a 1-day affair, and this one appears to have strung out past 9 (the 2 or 3 days on-board and the 7 days of foraging).  Sorry about that!  But this is a life-support mod, and it does add a new way to screw things up, and, given it's your first go at it, well, that's how it often happens.  Or at least it does for me.  I suggest you watch a few ShadowZone videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkKhZJXIx7YkHnpLXxUjYsQ).  And after you get the claw-part unlocked, you can go mount a rescue.

I agree with you that there needs to be a tank earlier in the tech tree.  I didn't notice it before, but the smallest configurable B9 tank is all the way up at "Fuel Systems".  I'll see about starting a pull request in the B9 mod to get the smallest tank bumped up from 'Fuel Systems' to 'General Rocketry'.  I'd also like to find the time to learn enough about creating the art to create a simple cylindrical tank that could be used for early missions.

Fertilizer takes a *long* time to go through at the early tiers.  100 units of fertilizer will last for quite a while.  500 is (as I recall) enough to progress you to Tier-1.

I agree that all the different tiers of stuff makes the UI for changing tank types pretty awful.  My plan is that once I get the thing to basically function in all ways, I'll get after some stuff like that.

However, you might not have noticed that the B9-tank types are configurable in-flight.  Also, it's intended that you might do something like create a Tier-2 base on the surface of a body, and then truck the snacks up to a station in orbit, so your kerbals will consume a mix of agroponics, Tier2 farmed snacks from the surface, and Tier-4 snacks from Kerban.  So having different working tiers on a station at once is within the realm of reality.  And you really don't need a huge variety of tanks.  The bases and such in my playthroughs generally have around 4 tanks, for fertilizer, snacks, and shinies.

Also, it's assumed in this that a Tier-1 base is effectively made obsolete by the advent of tier-2 equipment.  It doesn't have to be so, if you don't want it, but I think most players are happy to send up new ships.  Particularly given that advancing to a new tier is usually a long-term affair.  My own playthrough is sitting at T3 on Minmus, T2 on the Mun, T1 on Duna (waiting for T2 parts) and T1 on Gilly (with a much-anticipated launch to Dres in the offing).

I appreciate the candid feedback!  I hope you'll keep persevering!

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I'm not sure I have the time to do this, but with module manager you (or someone) could:

- take one of the small 1.25m stock tanks. Make it into a new part in your mod's GameData folder (like I think you already have with some other parts).

- add the B9 module to it (I think you can do this?)

- patch it to include your resources like you already do

then you'll have a 1.25m tank available for snacks early in the tech tree. 

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8 hours ago, NermNermNerm said:

Yes, for example, MKS is like that.  I approached @Roverdude about using some of his parts, as his licensing model is "ask first".

He said "no", and for very good reasons -- only mod authors really will understand that a part that looks like it's from MKS is having a problem that is coming from the effects of my mod or MKS, and he just doesn't want to deal with the support hassle.

I can definitely appreciate his point of view, so I'm trying to stick to part-packs.

I would definitely like to learn how to slightly re-texture parts (e.g. add decals and such) that make it clear that they're being powered by my mod.

Also keep in mind that everyone starts at zero.  It may be hard to tell from the beautiful models that @RoverDude has made for MKS.  But I am 99% sure that he did not have any real modeling experience when he started MKS many years ago.  I wish I had old copies of MKS with his old models, as there have been many changes over the years.

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Posted (edited)

Hmm. I didn't think that the mission took quite that long, but I suppose it could have. The return swung me out beyond Mun's orbit a little. Still, I'm not sure a 1 day trip to Mun is feasible.. a flawlessly executed flyby (no orbit or landing) still came in at just under 3 kerbal days. I guess that's one Earth day, maybe that's what you meant?

Most other life support mods allow the starter pod to have a bit more of a lifetime in orbit.. typically 15 or so days in my experience. This one only allows for 3 days before running out of supplies, and I suppose another 7 before going tourist. Others typically allow for some small radial supply tanks early on too, allowing a mk1 pod to go to Minmus easily enough. I should also add that the other pods are more in line with other life support mods, providing several weeks of supplies. Only the mk1 suffers from the 3 day limit.

 

I totally get not wanting to make new parts (I wouldn't even know where to start with a project like that), but the packs you recommended (KPBS and Station Parts Expansion) don't really provide the needed components. For example, KPBS doesn't have any life support tanks that function with this mod at the moment (though I swear it has some, my last Tac-LS game had them..). The station parts pack's smallest tank hold something like 3900 fertilizer.. that's not really much of an issue since it's only half again as heavy as a full snacks tank, but the price tag is nuts. Personally, if I continue using this mod I'll most likely modify a universal storage install to carry the resources from this mod.

 

Definitely keeping an eye on this one. I can't stand playing without some form of life support/habitation requirements to force me to use more than a lander can, and the evolving capabilities portion of this mod seems quite unique. Really love anything that makes me do something a time or two and then automates it from then on as well.. sort of like the old Kerbal Space Transport System mod. All the fun of setting up and testing things, none of the grind.

Edited by Enorats

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I finally finished (mostly) the integration with Extraplanetary Launchpads.  It needs a week of tire-kicking, plus K&K has an integration with EPL, and I want to tweak it to work with my mod.  The whole effort was a good bit more than I had originally anticipated, but in hindsight, I should have seen it coming.  The production pipeline as it was before was built only for tiered stuff, and this required a blending of tiered and untiered production.   That percolated to a bunch of different spots (e.g. the resource transfer system needed to be updated to cope with it.)

Resource Transfer was one of the things I was concerned about.  I didn't want to implement a big GUI for doing inter-vessel resource transfer -- mainly because it's pretty obvious what to do and there's no need to make the player spell it out every single time.  That's still something I believe, and, short of some niggling things with Tier-4 Snacks, I think it works.

I'm also coming to a grudging acceptance that the research model is okay.  But I do think that Scanning research requirements need to be nerfed or dropped.  Right now that's the long-pole for all tiers, and it's also the one that you can't force to go faster in a way that makes sense.

Finally, I've decided to make manufacturing rocket parts really labor-intensive.  The way I have the numbers hashed out right now, one kerbal (Mechanic/Engineer) makes 2.5 parts per day.  That's in stark contrast to EPL, where an engineer can assemble a craft with ~100 parts in a day.  I'm happy with the net-result, even if it is a bit wonky.  It flat out requires a big base.  It also is something you can put off until later - that is build your base up to Tier2 in everything but off-world construction, then make a giant Tier3 base that starts at Tier0 Off-World Construction.  Thing is, once you finish Tier0 research, you can use the parts you crafted to build Tier1 rocket-construction parts and just carry right on until you catch up with the rest of your production chain.

So, I'm going to kick the tires in my own playthrough this week with every expectation that I'll release it next.  I'm confident because right now it appears to be only slightly wonky.  And one thing you can say about KSP and mods, if you get it to only slightly wonky, you're actually doing alright...

And with EPL-integration done, that wraps up my personal list of key features.  After that, my next target is help & documentation.

If there are any YouTubers out there that would be keen to make a video that explains how this Mod works, I'd be very happy to chat about it.

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Posted (edited)

Just updating the thread today - I've been keeping a pretty steady pace of releases at once a week, but this week I'm not going to make one.  I've been fixing things around the edges for the past couple of weeks, but I hit up against a clump of issues that required attacking some of the older chunks of code that I had written before I really understood configuration nodes and what they were all about.  Anyway, it's a pretty widespread but valuable refactor, and I haven't given it enough play-time to be confident that it's really right.

In my own play-through, I only just now got a full Tier4 base up (on Minmus):

rdCJUS2.png

 

So yeah, 17 Kerbals, 8 of them specialized in rocket part production, and not really any to spare among the other 9, and they're pumping out 30 rocket parts/day.  The whole base was, I think, somewhere around 60k parts.  So if the Kerbals here wanted to replicate the base, they'd be at it for 5 years.  I'm not entirely sure if that's a bad number or not yet; my thought is that maybe I'll double the productivity/kerbal of the rocket part producers.

Building all this made it clear that the dialogs need to get better in order to support bigger bases, so that's where I've been at.

Edited by NermNermNerm
can't do math.

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Hey. I want to try this mod. There is a question: will it work with Global Construction? Or just Extraplanetary Launchpads?

 

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I haven't tried it, but I think the answer is going to be 'no'.  When I've used this mod in the past it's been in conjunction with USI, and, at least in that mode, it required "Material Kits", which were part of the USI production chain.

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I spent my dev-time this week mainly on creating a walk-through -- a guide to playing the mod from T0 to T4.  I'm a bit torn on how best to deliver help in KSP:

  1. Mods are inherently community-driven, IMO, the help should be especially so.  Having documentation that's easy to contribute to, and yet still curated, seems to me essential.
  2. I personally don't mind leaving the game to read game rules & such.  In fact I rather prefer it.
  3. An on-line help system is vulnerable to outages.  (E.g. GitHub blocked my account twice while developing this thing because I think it was the clusters of image downloads and thought the images were being used in a spam campaign.)

MechJeb doesn't do a KSPedia entry at all; USI does a really nice KSPedia page, but honestly, I'm often left wondering which documentation I should believe when there are two sources.

At this point, I've got two ideas:

  1. Find a way to generate the KSPedia entry from the wiki.
  2. Have a KSPedia entry that points to the wiki page

Opinions?

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Posted (edited)

Very nice mod! Still early in my save but I love it, gives me more reasons to do stuff.

 

Once thing I hate though, is the limited number of possible containers, so I've made a MM patch to enable any ConfigurableContainer-enabled storage (a mod) to hold PCS ressources. I've tried to make it respect the same ratio between ressources and to roughtly use the same valume as you do.

This way I can make ligth crafts that carry only a handful of snacks as needed for quick excursions to moons & such :)

Here is the patch if you want: https://hastebin.com/afiqoyociw.makefile

Edited by DarkGod

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On 6/25/2019 at 8:41 AM, DarkGod said:

This way I can make ligth crafts that carry only a handful of snacks as needed for quick excursions to moons & such :)

Totally agree with the need for this - I'll have a look at your patch.  I've got it as a high priority to learn how to make parts.

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I'm still sitting on a new release that fixes an assortment of issues I've seen in my own playthrough.

In my playthrough, I've now got Tier-3 on Mun, Tier-4 on Minmus, Tier-3 on Duna and Tier-1 on Gilly.  At this point, I think there's a lot to like about the mod, particularly:

  1. The diet ratios for the tiers is good.  Each tier has the right comfort level.
  2. The crew numbers are good - you have to have a whole lot of kerbals to make things work, and I think that's good.
  3. The Experience Requirements for generalists & specialists work out well.  It's a challenge to rotate the right kerbals through your colonies.
  4. I had a goal of making it not very fiddly with the numbers, and I think I hit that.  You wouldn't want to play this mod at the higher tiers without the built-in calculators, but I never feel a need to reach beyond that to do planning.

There's also some stuff I'm not so happy with:

  1. The aforementioned parts -- the most critical being small containers for early-game.  I also wish for them in my Crush-in scrounging ships.  The built-in supply stashes in command modules really are sufficient, but this is KSP; excess is the watchword.
  2. It gets repetitive.  I've got some ideas for that...
  3. The crew tab in the cupcake dialogs are hard to divine, particularly when you have a mix of specialists and generalists.  I just am completely a blank on how to present the data more clearly.
  4. The density of the "Shinies" resource might be too high.  I find it very challenging to land SSTO's full of shinies.  The watchword here is "might".  I can't tell whether this is a bug or a feature.  Maybe I just need to get better at designing heavy-lift SSTO's.

So like I said, it gets repetitive.  When you reach a new tier you need to float up a new base, a new rover, and haul resources to and from the old and new bases.  At Tier1, it's not a big deal, the Tier-0 base is kinda hardscrabble anyway.  At tier-3, I'm strarting to get bothered because the Tier-2 base was decent, but at Tier-4, my only solace is that this is the last time.

I've got two ideas:

Imagine that you just made Tier4 on Duna!  Yay!  For the next launch window, instead of launching a whole new base, you build a cargo craft that houses a bunch of Retro-Kit parts that are configured for "Duna T3->T4".  You fly that out to Duna and, once you land it close to your base, you click a button somewhere and the retro-kits get consumed and your parts are now Tier 4.  Of course we'd sure want to ensure we had qualified Kerbals to do the upgrades, and maybe it should take some time to get it done.

I'd also like to skip a tier if you've already done this thing before.  In particular, I'd want to skip Tier-1, which is the most boring tier if you've already been through the motions.  My thought is that if you have already got a Tier-4 somewhere and a Tier-2 somewhere else, that'd just flip a bit so that Tier-0 breakthroughs take you straight to Tier-2.

 

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Nice addon so far...

But there is a lack of Snacks for Pods with Crewcapacity > 3 :/

 

i wrote a little MM-patch for scaling snackscapacity depending on crewcapacity.

 

@PART[*]:HAS[#CrewCapacity[>0],!RESOURCE[LifeSupport]]:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    %RESOURCE[Snacks-Tier4]
    {  
        %amount = #$/CrewCapacity$
        %maxAmount = #$/CrewCapacity$
        @amount != 2
        @maxAmount != 2
        @amount *= 3
        @maxAmount *= 3

    }
}

 

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On 7/1/2019 at 3:25 PM, THiGER said:

But there is a lack of Snacks for Pods with Crewcapacity > 3 :/

That's by-design.  If you have a big enough crew cabin to support 4 kerbals, then you must have the necessary tech to  have a variety of storage cans to choose from.  Moreover, if it's a crew cab with 4+, it's going to be a big ship, so there's no reason not to build on your own storage to the vessel of whatever size you need.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if it works like intended, but HydroponicSnacks can't be stored. So you can only produce as many Hydroponic Snacks as you consume and you can't transfer HydroponicSnacks to other Ships or Stations. i wrote a MM-Patch for this and maybe other player also wants to store HydroponicsSnacks....

 

Spoiler

RESOURCE_DEFINITION:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier0
    displayname = HydroSnacks-Tier0
    abbreviation = hSnacks0
    density = 0.002
    hsp = 500
    flowMode = ALL_VESSEL
    transfer = PUMP
    isTweakable = true
    isVisible = true
    unitCost = 15
    volume = 1
}
RESOURCE_DEFINITION:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier1
    displayname = HydroSnacks-Tier1
    abbreviation = hSnacks1
    density = 0.002
    hsp = 500
    flowMode = ALL_VESSEL
    transfer = PUMP
    isTweakable = true
    isVisible = true
    unitCost = 15
    volume = 1
}
RESOURCE_DEFINITION:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier2
    displayname = HydroSnacks-Tier2
    abbreviation = hSnacks2
    density = 0.002
    hsp = 500
    flowMode = ALL_VESSEL
    transfer = PUMP
    isTweakable = true
    isVisible = true
    unitCost = 15
    volume = 1
}
RESOURCE_DEFINITION:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier3
    displayname = HydroSnacks-Tier3
    abbreviation = hSnacks3
    density = 0.002
    hsp = 500
    flowMode = ALL_VESSEL
    transfer = PUMP
    isTweakable = true
    isVisible = true
    unitCost = 15
    volume = 1
}
RESOURCE_DEFINITION:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier4
    displayname = HydroSnacks-Tier4
    abbreviation = hSnacks4
    density = 0.002
    hsp = 500
    flowMode = ALL_VESSEL
    transfer = PUMP
    isTweakable = true
    isVisible = true
    unitCost = 15
    volume = 1
}



B9_TANK_TYPE:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = PksHydroSnacks0
    tankMass = 0.0000
    tankCost = 0
    RESOURCE
    {
        name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier0
        unitsPerVolume = .1
    }
}
B9_TANK_TYPE:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = PksHydroSnacks1
    tankMass = 0.0000
    tankCost = 0
    RESOURCE
    {
        name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier1
        unitsPerVolume = .1
    }
}
B9_TANK_TYPE:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = PksHydroSnacks2
    tankMass = 0.0000
    tankCost = 0
    RESOURCE
    {
        name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier2
        unitsPerVolume = .1
    }
}
B9_TANK_TYPE:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = PksHydroSnacks3
    tankMass = 0.0000
    tankCost = 0
    RESOURCE
    {
        name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier3
        unitsPerVolume = .1
    }
}
B9_TANK_TYPE:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    name = PksHydroSnacks4
    tankMass = 0.0000
    tankCost = 0
    RESOURCE
    {
        name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier4
        unitsPerVolume = .1
    }
}

@PART[sspx-cargo-container*]:AFTER[StationPartsExpansionRedux]:NEEDS[ProgressiveColonizationSystem]
{
    @MODULE[ModuleB9PartSwitch]
    {
        SUBTYPE
        {
            name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier0
            tankType = PksHydroSnacks0
            title = HydroponicSnacks-0
            transform = SnacksDecal
        }
        SUBTYPE
        {
            name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier1
            tankType = PksHydroSnacks1
            title = HydroponicSnacks-1
            transform = SnacksDecal
        }
        SUBTYPE
        {
            name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier2
            tankType = PksHydroSnacks2
            title = HydroponicSnacks-2
            transform = SnacksDecal
        }
        SUBTYPE
        {
            name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier3
            tankType = PksHydroSnacks3
            title = HydroponicSnacks-3
            transform = SnacksDecal
        }
        SUBTYPE
        {
            name = HydroponicSnacks-Tier4
            tankType = PksHydroSnacks4
            title = HydroponicSnacks-4
            transform = SnacksDecal
        }
    }
}

 

 

Edited by THiGER

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On 7/6/2019 at 9:26 AM, THiGER said:

I don't know if it works like intended, but HydroponicSnacks can't be stored

That's intentional, as I didn't want Hydroponics to be any sort of replacement for farming.

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:46 PM, NermNermNerm said:

That's intentional, as I didn't want Hydroponics to be any sort of replacement for farming.

That doesn't make sense.  Make them expensive, but not being able to store them doesn't compute.

Do you have a roadmap for this mod, I really like the way you are approaching it

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On 7/26/2019 at 6:14 AM, linuxgurugamer said:

That doesn't make sense.  Make them expensive, but not being able to store them doesn't compute.

Do you have a roadmap for this mod, I really like the way you are approaching it

Well, it's a game, so making sense isn't necessarily crucial :) 

I'm going for a couple things with Hydroponics:  The first is to avoid what ended up happening in MKS - where hydroponics became just better than agriculture in every way.  The second is that I wanted a concept that bundled food-consumption and "recycling" into one concept that's easier to do math on than, say, where MKS ended up with its recycling+consumption+colony-supplies model.  So the arbitrary "you can't store it" thing reflects both the recycliness of hydroponics and the desire to have a clean break between the landed and en-route/orbital parts of the mission.

From a mission-planning perspective, I think it simplifies matters quite a bit - because what happens in orbit stays in orbit.  In my own playthroughs, I see a couple things:

  1. For there-and-back missions (e.g. your T0 mission), it's best to just calculate how much top-tier snacks you'll need in each phase, and bring that many.  Yes, the landed base can produce snacks that are useful for both the orbital base and the return journey, but I find it best to ignore that and use the extra food as a buffer against crappy maneuver node planning.
  2. Once you get T2+, you'll find there's really no reason for your kerbals to return.  So, once you get to this "permanent" stage, you can pretty much quit doing hydroponics for your orbital base and supply it from local agriculture.
  3. For brief junkets (e.g. you want to take some kerbals from Duna to Ike so they can get their stars), yes, you should bring snacks and yes, you haven't much alternative but to bring T4 snacks because hydroponic modules are too ungainly for short junkets like this.  I find that these missions are so short that it doesn't really impact your planning.  Further, if it's just a flag-collecting journey or some other such thing lasting less than a week, you can skip the snacks and it'll all work out because of the grace-period built into snack consumption.

So anyway, play the mod a while, and you'll see that you don't have much need for stored hydroponic snacks.

It could be that I've nerfed hydroponics a bit too much.  Now it's primarily an en-route aide, and not a great one at that.

 

As to the roadmap, I feel like I'm pretty much done.  Right now I'm in the final phases of testing a couple of capabilities that I've already mentioned before - particularly being able to upgrade modules on-site if you have Extraplanetary Launchpads.  I felt like making the requirement for EPL made sense because if a player doesn't have EPL, then it must mean they don't want the ability to build outside of the KSP.  Maybe they feel like it nerfs the game too much, or maybe it's just too complicated.  If that's so, then upgrading probably won't be their cup of tea either.  If you do have EPL, there are all kinds of wacky things you can do in order to get the effect of upgrade-on-site, and I feel like once you get going with the mod, you're just going to do that, and the consequence of doing that are some wonky-looking bases and a bit of "will-the-kraken-strike" drama that nobody needs.  So yeah, that's a thing now.  I'm happy with that.  The other change that still needs validation in my playthrough is to make it so that once you've unlocked enough T3 techs that you can skip Tier-1 and go right to Tier-2.

 

Once that's done, there'll be no alternative but to face the peril of designing some parts.  I've been cribbing off of a number of other mods and stock parts, but there are a large number of parts that suck:

  1. There's no small snack storage.  Particularly none that looks good on early Minmus missions.
  2. The orbital scanner doesn't look the part.
  3. The factories are identical, and identical to the ISRU parts, and that's highly unfun.
  4. I'd love to have a larger farm part.

But I find the whole process of part design really daunting - I've gotta learn my way around modeling tools (when even picking the modeling tool is a perilous choice, it seems) and nobody is worse at photoshop than I am.

But the most important thing to do is to hear what people think.  I haven't heard a lot of feedback; certainly none from people who had extended experience with it.  That's disappointing, but I suppose pretty much normal.  I didn't provide Roverdude a whole lot of feedback even though I played MKS to death.  But trust me, I'm listening.  Right now the best piece of feedback is from the few folks who complained about the early game experience and suggested that a dedicated food-container with a proper early-game form-factor would be good.  At first I didn't agree, but after a bit of soul-searching, I fully see their point now.  One other piece of feedback I got really early and I'm really glad I listened was that I had a "colony supplies" analog, and (sorry, I forget who), told me to skip it and see how you get on.  I now feel that he was more than correct.

One thing I'm disappointed in with my playthroughs is the role of the manned orbital station.  The scanner, right now, seems a force-fit.  But I'm low on ideas of how to make that better.

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Just wanted to chime in and say that I still haven't really played with the mod much, but it will be one of the core mods if I ever start up another save. I tend to play KSP in spurts and I haven't had one in a while. And to be honest, the last couple of times I've started a save, I didn't play for very long. A couple thousand hours of playing, every time I start something up I'm reminded of the limitations of Unity for what I'd like the game to be. There's a lot of things I always "plan" on doing in KSP, setting up bases and stations all over the solar system, but I never seem to get past Mun/Minmus exploration before I don't feel like putting in the engineering to design the missions anymore.

I do appreciate all the work you've put into the mod and I read all of the updates and posts as I'm subscribed to the thread. Hopefully I'll give it a try one day.

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I released 1.0.7, which includes the changes I mentioned to allow for upgrading parts from Tier-2 onward.  I've used it quite a bit in my own play-through, and I like it.  I added a section about it in the Wiki.  It's a bit challenging to get it done right, but I like to think that anybody familiar with EPL or PKS will be able to piece it together without reading the wiki.

The only rough spot I can find (that I haven't already ironed out) is that the automatic resource transfer system will always want to transfer stuff away from bases that produce stuff.  So, for example, if you have a base that produces rocket parts,  but it doesn't produce enough rocket parts to upgrade everything you want to upgrade, you can't send down more rocket parts easily.  You can do it, but you need KAS or some other shenanigans to link the ships.

My own playthrough is progressing.  I'm Tier-4 at Mun, Minmus, Duna and almost Gilly.  I've got a base on Dres at Tier2 now.  The Dres base was really challenging, as it's a bear to get encounter nodes to Dres and it takes a crapton of Delta-V and you've got to ship a lot of heavy loads out there to ensure that it can be a one-way-trip for the Kerbals.  I just about blew it, coming into Dres too fast and had to eject some Rocket Parts from the crew module, which allowed me to just barely get a capture, then I had to use one of the cargo modules I had sent in earlier to shove the whole mess into a circular orbit.  Then I discovered I didn't have enough power to actually run the ship when I decoupled the supply ship and had to use a bunch of rocket parts to build a wad of RTG's onto the ship.

Planning!  Yeah, that's a thing you can do!  But I didn't.  Or at least not in a timely fashion.  Upon arrival I had a ship with a big slug of reactor fuel a few hundred days away.  So the Tier-0 base sports a veritable porcupine of RTG's - mostly in order to support the ISRU unit.  The next step on Dres is to build a Tier2+ base, plus a crushins rover on the limited budget of rocket parts available.

Have you guys tried Near Future Electrical?  I tried it in the past, but I just installed it again to find a really great new dialog for power & heat management!  It's great stuff!  Perhaps I can find a way to run my Dres base off of Solar after all.

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My 11-year-old son and I talked over the space station problem - he gave me the idea that sounds like it'll kill two birds with one stone, at the cost of raising the difficulty a bit.

The trouble with the station requirement is that what makes the most sense in the game is to not have a space station.  You're better off building a single crew-transit ship with the scanner part just bolted on.  Also, the part only requires one crew, so you end up with a station with one kerbal all alone up there - because until you get Tier-4 hydroponics, it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to have a biologist to run the hydroponics equipment.

The idea we came up is this:  When we design the new scanner part (assuming I ever can find the time to learn how to build cool parts), we'll make it much much bigger than the current part and make it require 2 crew, not one.  That should help on a number of fronts:

  1. It'll make it so that you'll want to have an orbital station that you leave in-place, because you no longer will want to pay the delta-v cost of making it an integral  part of a inter-planetary vessel.
  2. With 2 kerbals to support instead of 1, it'll make sense again to have a biologist on the station to run the hydroponics.
  3. It should help to balance the specialists -- right now you inevitably end up with too many pilots, geologists and biologists.

On the down-side, it'll increase the amount of stuff you'll need to move up to orbit to support the station.

I'm concerned that it'll make early game painful.  I think the way to fix that would be to make a "Scanner-Junior" part that's not-so-massive and only requires one kerbal to operate, but it won't support T2+ operations.

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Posted (edited)

So I've been keeping an eye on this - I'm wanting to try some colonization for some time and despite having installed MKS a number of times, I've never actually USED MKS - and I like how this sounds. Could you add a list of mods required, and supported, to the OP? I see EPL is supported, but you also mention other parts from other mods and I'm not sure which are where? Also, big thanks on the HowTo; it does a good job.

Edited by BigFatStupidHead
I discovered a misspelling, simply shocking!

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Hi, I really like your mod but I have a question regarding the Extraplanetary Launchpads. Is that a soft dependecy or is it included ? Since CKAN did not show it as a dependency. If I download EL will it work out of the box as described ?
Also I just started playing with this mod (a new game of course) but the minimum extra snacks I could take was 100. I would like to see an option to take less in the early game I had to haul the big container on top of my first Mun lander. Perhaps some small snack pack to be put into Kerbal Inventory System slot at least as a soft dependency ?
Thanks again for the hard work

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