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A "KSP Loading..." Preview: The Mun Launch Site (KSP Enhanced Edition)

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I'm not very excited for this launch pad... it looks very similar to other launch sites, plus starting on the mun just feels like cheating to me.  Will this rob people of the satisfaction of safely making it to the mun by their own efforts?

However, I would be excited to see a 10hr video of Jeb tumbling helplessly across the Munar surface! (ahh! glorious memories of tumbling...)

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13 hours ago, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

I'm happy to ignore it, and it really doesn't matter much to me personally, but I feel like the challenge of just reaching orbit as a new player is one of the best parts of KSP, and this could potentially undermine that.

New players would have to go out of their way to enable it, so unless they specifically want this launchsite, it won't be available.

4 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

To those wondering what the problem is on an optional feature.

The developer of a game about space travel came up with, green lit, designed, and implemented a feature that eliminates the need for space travel in their space travel game.

It's about the intent and design decision, and not whether it's optional or not.

So ignore the fact how this is very useful for designers? If I build a lander, I can immediatly test if it works and can return to Kerbin safely without having to make a placeholder rocket to get it to the Mun to see if it actually works properly. It's a QOL feature that's very useful for people that want it and completely optional for those that don't.

11 hours ago, dlrk said:

It's pretty game/immersion breaking for a game that is fundamentally about exploration to have prebuilt launch sites (i.e. previous visits by Kerbals) on planets/moons we're supposedly exploring.

Don't enable them than. It's not that difficult.

10 hours ago, Snark said:

Suggestion (if this ever comes to PC):  Make it a game option whether it exists or not.

Just from reading the posts here:  some people love the idea, and some people really, really hate it.  There's nothing wrong with that; different people like different things.  I, myself, am in the "really, really hate it" camp-- not saying there's anything inherently "right" about that opinion, and nothing at all wrong with the folks who like it.  But since opinions are so divergent on this matter... wouldn't it be nice if there were a game option so that everyone could win, regardless of which camp they're in?  As opposed to having something that might alienate a potentially large segment of the player base.

More rants about my personal feelings on the matter, put into a spoiler because they're not really relevant to anyone but me, unless people just happen to be interested.

  Reveal hidden contents

I really, really don't want this in my game, ever-- not that there's anything wrong with anyone else wanting it, because after all, different people like different things, and that's fine.  :)

But not only do I have no use for it in my game, but its mere presence would actively make me unhappy and significantly reduce my enjoyment of the game.  "Just don't launch from there" wouldn't address my objection, either.  I could give my reasons why I feel this way, but they're not really germane to the discussion because they're just my personal reasons, are non-negotiable, and there's no point in debating those points because nobody will be able to convince me.

What would remove my objections, would be if there were a specific career option to enable/disable it.  Just as there's currently an "Enable other launchsites" option, I'd want an explicit "Enable Mun launchsite" (or perhaps, if one wants to be more general, "enable off-Kerbin launchsites"), such that if I un-check it, then the Mun launchsite does not exist, at all, in my game.  Not available as a launch option, not present as a CommNet endpoint, no site icon in my map view, no buildings present if I land there.  Gone.

As long as I can have something like that, then other folks can enjoy it to their heart's content and I have no objections.  ;)  But if I can't "make it didn't happen" with a game option-- or, at the very least, straightforwardly mod it out of existence-- then I would be sad.

 

Not sure how you missed all my posts explaining this, but:

Having extra launchsites already is an option in the Difficulty settings and it's not enabled by default.

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4 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

To those wondering what the problem is on an optional feature.

The developer of a game about space travel came up with, green lit, designed, and implemented a feature that eliminates the need for space travel in their space travel game.

It's about the intent and design decision, and not whether it's optional or not.

So why do we have a cheat menu than?

13 hours ago, The Dunatian said:

Not good. Bad even, very bad. If Squad begins releasing DLCs that break the game balance and ruin the game for the rest of us I'm leaving. Not to mention the gigantic change in gameplay this will cause. Please @SQUAD, don't do this on PC.

Here's a bright idea: Don't use it if you don't like it. It's there for people that want and if it is ported to PC I will be using it quite often, but it's completely optional for the people that don't. You're basically telling people they are not allowed to play the game how they want.

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7 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

Here's a bright idea: Don't use it if you don't like it.

I know that seems like a very simple solution, and many will agree with you, but the fact is, others feel very differently because - for them - it's immersion breaking just to have it there. As for me, I feel that new users might be robbing themselves of the exhilaration of getting all the way to the Mün and taking their first steps from the lander onto another celestial body. I know that, for me, that was the most incredible moment I've ever experienced in a game. Similarly, it was a great moment to land my first rover on the Mün and experience how differently it handled there. If I had the ability to launch from the Mün, I would surely have tested some designs there first and walked around a bit, and I know for a fact that I would have missed out on those moments of genuine exploration and wide-eyed childlike fascination.

Those moments changed my life, that's no exaggeration. Since then, I see KSP everywhere - I see nose cones, rocket nozzles and fuel tanks in the shapes of objects around me, I look at the real Moon with a sense of longing that I never had before, I learned how basic orbital mechanics work and how the Apollo project got people to the Moon, because suddenly these things became interesting and made perfect sense to me.

I'm so glad I experienced that first moment I took steps on Mün, and I hope future console users won't miss out on that, because it's just breathtaking.

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1 minute ago, Deddly said:

I know that seems like a very simple solution, and many will agree with you, but the fact is, others feel very differently because - for them - it's immersion breaking just to have it there. As for me, I feel that new users might be robbing themselves of the exhilaration of getting all the way to the Mün and taking their first steps from the lander onto another celestial body. I know that, for me, that was the most incredible moment I've ever experienced in a game. Similarly, it was a great moment to land my first rover on the Mün and experience how differently it handled there. If I had the ability to launch from the Mün, I would surely have tested some designs there first and walked around a bit, and I know for a fact that I would have missed out on those moments of genuine exploration and wide-eyed childlike fascination.

Those moments changed my life, that's no exaggeration. Since then, I see KSP everywhere - I see nose cones, rocket nozzles and fuel tanks in the shapes of objects around me, I look at the real Moon with a sense of longing that I never had before, I learned how basic orbital mechanics work and how the Apollo project got people to the Moon, because suddenly these things became interesting and made perfect sense to me.

I'm so glad I experienced that first moment I took steps on Mün, and I hope future console users won't miss out on that, because it's just breathtaking.

I felt the exact same way, don't get me wrong, but saying that nobody should be able to use this simply because I play the game differently is a bit egotistical, isn't it?

In the same vein you could make the argument that the Cheat and Debug menus should be removed because they allow you skip everything in the game and send anything to any planet or moon. This is just an added feature for people that want to use it. But what people are now doing is basically forcing others to play like them, which, in my opinion, goes completely against KSP's intention of being a creative game where anyone can do what they like in their own way.

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Posted (edited)

My suggestion for this is that there needs to be two categories of “Extra Launchpads” in the options.  This new one is not like the others and this is why youre seeing some pushback here.  One option for normal, on-Kerbin launchpads like Woomerang and the Dessert Launchsite, and one for off-world launchsites like this Munar one, or any future ideas about launchpads everywhere else.  The problem with the “its an option” argument is that without further clarification one can assume it will be contained in the same option that the far more reasonable on-Kerbin launchpads, in an all-or-none kind of way.  That I don’t like.

Its unortunate that it looks more fleshed out than the comically austire Woomerang site.  Dessert got a few more objects added and looks reasonable enough.  

Edited by klesh
iPad typos

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2 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

I felt the exact same way, don't get me wrong, but saying that nobody should be able to use this simply because I play the game differently is a bit egotistical, isn't it?

Maybe you're right. As for me, I'm not concerned about myself, I'm concerned that others might be missing out on something wonderful. And yes, the same thing can be said for the cheat menu, as you mention, but at least you need to read a bit online before realising that even exists.

I suppose it's like when I see someone skipping to the last page of my favourite book. It doesn't affect me. But I know how good that book is, and it makes me sad that someone missed out on the big reveal during the grand finale. Each to their own, but I wanted to put into words how I feel about it.

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After all the talk about this is an awful addition and the back and forth about it, let me just give some constructive feedback and ideas as to how I think this could be implemented in a way that I feel nobody should disagree with.

Requirements:

1. You need to have landed on the Mun in a conventional manner before and have conducted multiple experiments. You need sufficient science data from the Mun to put it shortly.

2. You need to have scanned the majority of the Mun with a Surface Scanner, it doesn't matter which one as long as you've scanned more than, for example, 75%.

3. You need to unlock the capability with Science.

4. You need a rocket capable of lifting multiple tonnes to the surface of the Mun.

To 'construct' the launchsite you will need to launch the rocket once in order to show that it is capable of getting multiple tonnes to the Mun, after that, you can send these rockets automatically to the Mun to build the launchsite. This will require a considerable amount of launches and therefore money; you need a healthy space program to be able to do it in Career mode.

After you've finished the launchsite you can choose to launch craft from there. However, you will need to pay to be able to launch from there. The amount depends on that mass of the craft you want to launch. This would simulate the cost of a bigger rocket taking the craft or parts there.

 

This launchsite could also be turned off completely. In Sandbox you can choose to enable it without all these steps.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Deddly said:

As for me, I feel that new users might be robbing themselves of the exhilaration of getting all the way to the Mün and taking their first steps from the lander onto another celestial body. I know that, for me, that was the most incredible moment I've ever experienced in a game.

There's only 1 screenshot I have ever really kept of my time playing KSP and that is of the first time I ever managed to land my measly craft onto the Mun's surface. I hope that's a testament to the gravitas of that experience.

Edited by Poodmund

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20 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

let me just give some constructive feedback and ideas as to how I think this could be implemented in a way that I feel nobody should disagree with.

*snip*

 

Problem is, it will just be there like all the other extra launchpads.  No cool "space program" game elements to make them occur other than clicking an options selection in a menu.

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3 minutes ago, klesh said:

 

Problem is, it will just be there like all the other extra launchpads.  No cool "space program" game elements to make them occur other than clicking an options selection in a menu.

Did you miss everything else I said where I gave a breakdown of how it could be done?

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1 minute ago, T1mo98 said:

Did you miss everything else I said where I gave a breakdown of how it could be done?

No. Those are fine ideas. Did you miss where I said that's not how they're going to do it?

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Do we at this stage have the slightest clue how it will be implemented, @klesh?

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2 minutes ago, Deddly said:

Do we at this stage have the slightest clue how it will be implemented, @klesh?

Of course they haven't said anyhting outright, but let's be honest.

The slightest clue?  Sure, the precedent of the other 3 additional launchsites having no additional gameplay requirements to activate them.  Do you honestly think its going to have any new kind of gameplay element other than being an "additional launchsite" toggle in the options menu?

 

Thats why my suggestion was simply to nest it within it's own difficulty option; something that has a chance of being done as opposed to coming up with wild criterion that requires all kinds of codework to implement.

 

:)

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A fair point :D

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3 hours ago, T1mo98 said:

Not sure how you missed all my posts explaining this, but:

Having extra launchsites already is an option in the Difficulty settings and it's not enabled by default.

Not sure how you missed reading what I actually wrote, especially given that you just quoted it.  ;)

13 hours ago, Snark said:

Just as there's currently an "Enable other launchsites" option, I'd want an explicit "Enable Mun launchsite" (or perhaps, if one wants to be more general, "enable off-Kerbin launchsites"), such that if I un-check it, then the Mun launchsite does not exist, at all, in my game.  Not available as a launch option, not present as a CommNet endpoint, no site icon in my map view, no buildings present if I land there.  Gone.

I'm well aware of the existing KSP options, thanks, and in general I really like them.  I love the design of this game, I love most of its features (and don't mind the few that I never use, such as strategies), and in general I've always been pretty happy with Squad's design direction.  This one feature is the first time there's been something that seriously gave me the collywobbles.

Lumping it together with generic one-size-fits-all "enable other launchsites" option would not address my concern:

  • turning it off would force me to disable the other Kerbin launchsites, which is not what I want
  • turning it off wouldn't solve the other things I don't want (I want the icon to go away, I want the buildings to go away, I want it completely gone)

My objections to it aren't that "there are currently N launchsites and I don't want there to be N+1".  Rather, I don't want there to be any off-Kerbin launchsites in my game.  If other people want it and would love it, that's great for them-- I just don't want my game to be affected by the feature.

Thus the suggestion for an option to enable /  disable, separate from the one for on-Kerbin launch sites.

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Thats the only way forward whereby everyone wins.  ^

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7 minutes ago, Snark said:

turning it off wouldn't solve the other things I don't want (I want the icon to go away, I want the buildings to go away, I want it completely gone)

Here here.

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8 hours ago, klgraham1013 said:

To those wondering what the problem is on an optional feature.

The developer of a game about space travel came up with, green lit, designed, and implemented a feature that eliminates the need for space travel in their space travel game.

It's about the intent and design decision, and not whether it's optional or not.

You mean the game with a menu that will let you change gravity, fuel consumption, thermal effects, atmospheric effects, drag, and even allow you to teleport into orbit?

 

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I find that I am fascinated after reading through this thread.

The distinction between those vociferously opposed and those in favour seems like a deep psychological divide to me.

I could be wrong, but it seems likely to me that most of those opposed would not be against this if it was a debug menu option next to 'Set Orbit' and called 'Enable Mun Infrastructure' or some such.

The depth of feeling expressed by those opposed to including it in the stock game seems to me to stem from an emotional association with the universe simulated within the game.  The sense of adventure, awe, and wonder at being the first to travel to a dangerous and alien place using brand new, barely tested technology is a very large part of the experience for many, I believe.  I can understand how just having that stuff sitting there on the Mun could actually interfere with the enjoyment experienced while playing.

It makes sense to me, then, that the opposition to this feature being stock and active by default is very deeply felt.

It also makes sense to me that with a deep emotional attachment to a particular type of in-game universe, those players really really want to be able to completely deactivate this feature and be able to do that separately from activating additional launch sites on Kerbin itself.
 

For those who have a very different imagined universe in their mind when playing KSP, the objections described above may not seem to make sense.  Without that same association of specific feelings with the idea of space exploration, it could be very hard to see why this feature matters so much to some players.  There is no doubt in my mind after reading many of the comments that it is a very real and very significant concern for those players.


Happy landings!

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How about this as a simple solution:

Career and Science Modes:
The Mun launchsite is not present at all and cannot be turned on, even if other launchsites are enabled.
This would preserve the immersion of the game in these modes since it matters more.

Sandbox Mode: 
The Mun launchsite is enabled alongside the other launchsites.
This would benefit designers and people who just like to build stuff and test it without having to get everything where it needs to be all the time to test, for example, if a Mun lander works.

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The mun launch site should be an unlock that requires certain things to be landed to unlock. 

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13 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

Career and Science Modes:
The Mun launchsite is not present at all and cannot be turned on, even if other launchsites are enabled.
This would preserve the immersion of the game in these modes since it matters more.

Well, except that I could easily imagine that people in career modes might want it, for their own reasons-- perhaps with some "unlock" criterion or something.  I can easily see how lots of people might find that fun.

I mean, I wouldn't, since that's not what I, personally, want from the game, and I don't expect I'd ever want it turned on in any of my career games.  So your proposed solution would fit me perfectly... but would leave out the folks who like the idea and would like to have it available in some fashion in career.

13 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

Sandbox Mode: 
The Mun launchsite is enabled alongside the other launchsites.
This would benefit designers and people who just like to build stuff and test it without having to get everything where it needs to be all the time to test, for example, if a Mun lander works.

Again, this would suit me fine, since the only way I ever use sandbox mode is in a totally non-RP, "this is just a testbed for trying out stuff, I have no emotional investment here" scenario.  But I know that there are plenty of folks for whom sandbox mode doesn't mean that, and actually have long-running "careers" (English sense of the term, not the specific technical KSP sense) in that mode.  Since I'm not in that group myself, I wouldn't presume to speak for them, but I could imagine that there might be some people in that group who might feel similarly about the Mun launch site to the way I do, and might not want it.

So that's why I like the idea of simply having a separate, independent toggle for enabling/disabling the site, apart from the Kerbin-based ones.  Maybe it would default to "off" for career and "on" for sandbox, but the player could toggle it whichever way they like.

I like that approach because it doesn't make assumptions about what players are likely to want, or which behaviors they associate with which game modes.

On a side note, a slightly related feature that I think would also be worth adding to the game, in a spoiler 'coz it's getting somewhat off topic from the Mun launchsite.

Spoiler

The other thing I'd suggest adding to the game?  Quite aside from the merits of having Mun launchsite feature or not (there's no reason one couldn't add both; one is not a substitute for the other).

"Set surface" cheat.

We already have a "set orbit" feature in the alt+F12 cheat menu, which is really handy for testing purposes.  So, just add one more cheat there, which is "set surface", i.e. allows you to warp a ship to the surface of any body you like.  It would have a "select body" drop-down (just like "set orbit"), but instead of setting orbital parameters, it would set latitude, longitude, and altitude.  Altitude means "height above terrain" and would default to zero (i.e. sitting on the surface), so that if you want to drop a ship from 1000 meters up so you can test the parachutes or whatever, you could do that).  When activated, the ship is placed in the desired position, at zero velocity relative to the surface.

That's kinda apples and oranges to the Mun launchsite.  It doesn't address gameplay issues, theway the Mun launchsite does.  But it seems to me that it would be quite simple to implement, and would be hugely valuable for testing purposes, in the same spirit as the current "set orbit" cheat.

^ I only mention this idea here because of the comment about "Mun launchsite would be useful for testing Mun landers".  I don't think so, or at least, that's not what I'd think would be the right solution for testing purposes.  (After all, what if you want to test a Duna lander, or an Eve lander, or what-have-you?)  I think the Mun launchsite feature would be a gameplay feature much more than a "test" feature, and if we want to enable testing, that's a valid thing to want, too, but could be more simply and flexibly addressed via a different mechanism (per the comments in spoiler above).

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

Well, except that I could easily imagine that people in career modes might want it, for their own reasons-- perhaps with some "unlock" criterion or something.  I can easily see how lots of people might find that fun.

I mean, I wouldn't, since that's not what I, personally, want from the game, and I don't expect I'd ever want it turned on in any of my career games.  So your proposed solution would fit me perfectly... but would leave out the folks who like the idea and would like to have it available in some fashion in career.

Again, this would suit me fine, since the only way I ever use sandbox mode is in a totally non-RP, "this is just a testbed for trying out stuff, I have no emotional investment here" scenario.  But I know that there are plenty of folks for whom sandbox mode doesn't mean that, and actually have long-running "careers" (English sense of the term, not the specific technical KSP sense) in that mode.  Since I'm not in that group myself, I wouldn't presume to speak for them, but I could imagine that there might be some people in that group who might feel similarly about the Mun launch site to the way I do, and might not want it.

So that's why I like the idea of simply having a separate, independent toggle for enabling/disabling the site, apart from the Kerbin-based ones.  Maybe it would default to "off" for career and "on" for sandbox, but the player could toggle it whichever way they like.

I like that approach because it doesn't make assumptions about what players are likely to want, or which behaviors they associate with which game modes.

In that case we would need two toggles I think.
1 to enable it altogether, and 1 to choose wether it's pre-built or wether you need to 'construct' it.

If we add the ability to construct it I refer to my earlier comment in which I proposed a possible way to do it. But that would depend on wether the Devs feel it would me time well spend.

4 hours ago, T1mo98 said:

After all the talk about this is an awful addition and the back and forth about it, let me just give some constructive feedback and ideas as to how I think this could be implemented in a way that I feel nobody should disagree with.

Requirements:

1. You need to have landed on the Mun in a conventional manner before and have conducted multiple experiments. You need sufficient science data from the Mun to put it shortly.

2. You need to have scanned the majority of the Mun with a Surface Scanner, it doesn't matter which one as long as you've scanned more than, for example, 75%.

3. You need to unlock the capability with Science.

4. You need a rocket capable of lifting multiple tonnes to the surface of the Mun.

To 'construct' the launchsite you will need to launch the rocket once in order to show that it is capable of getting multiple tonnes to the Mun, after that, you can send these rockets automatically to the Mun to build the launchsite. This will require a considerable amount of launches and therefore money; you need a healthy space program to be able to do it in Career mode.

After you've finished the launchsite you can choose to launch craft from there. However, you will need to pay to be able to launch from there. The amount depends on that mass of the craft you want to launch. This would simulate the cost of a bigger rocket taking the craft or parts there.

 

This launchsite could also be turned off completely. In Sandbox you can choose to enable it without all these steps.

 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, TimothyC said:

KSP_Loading_2019_02_28.png

What's a "Lauch site"?

"Lauch" is the german word for leek... as we know, we just have successfully grown some seeds on the moon, so Kerbals might have tried it with leek and succeeded big time... as usual.

Edit: It could have gone worse... Earlier in a nuclear missile silo: I said lunch, not launch...

Edited by Frank_G

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