SQUAD

KSP Loading... Breaking Ground under the spotlight!

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Welcome to our official newsletter, KSP Loading…!  Do you want to learn about all the current developments of KSP? Here’s the place to be, so let’s get started!

Breaking Ground Expansion

With the release of the Kerbal Space Program: Breaking Ground Expansion just around the corner, our team is working very hard to wrap up the final details for this exciting DLC. We also thought this would be a good opportunity to dive into a little bit more depth and give you a better idea of what you can expect in Breaking Ground.

As we mentioned previously, this DLC is all about exploration, experimentation and technological breakthroughs. We want to give you more reasons to explore Kerbin’s solar system, more things to do while you’re on a celestial body and exciting new robotics parts that add a whole new level of complexity allowing you to build even more incredible crafts.

Deployed Science

This feature will allow you to deploy experiments on the surface of celestial bodies to take measurements over time. You will need to bring these experiments with you, unpack them from storage containers on your craft and set them up to run. In order to do so you will need to place a central station, one or more power generating devices and possibly a booster antenna to get your science base set up. The experiments and power generators will run better if the right kind of Kerbal sets them up, thus giving you more reasons to bring Kerbals with different professions on an adventure.

We wanted to broaden the possibilities for future development, adding a time-based mechanic with deployed science, which also introduces inventory into stock KSP.
- Paul Boyle, Lead Designer

Let’s look at the equipment available for Deployed Science:

Probodobodyne Experiment Control Station

This part is crucial if you want to generate any useful data. Acting as the hub for all other experiments, the Experiment Control Station will distribute and control both power and data from nearby deployed parts, as well as coordinate the transmission of science back to Kerbin.

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Mini-NUK-PD Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

No science base will run without power, and the Mini-NUK-PD Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator will provide plenty of power to run a central station and deployed science experiments. If deployed by an engineer it will more efficient, if they are a high level one then even more.

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OX-Stat-PD Photovoltaic Panel

An alternative power generator is the OX-Stat-PD Photovoltaic Panel, which will also be more efficient when properly set up by a trained engineer.

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Communotron Ground HG-48

Although the Experiment Control Station has its own data transmission device, if you’re on a faraway planet, you might need to bring the Communotron Ground HG-48 antenna with you to boost the signal of your deployed science base.

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Go-ob ED Monitor

The Goo Observation: Extended Duration Monitor watches the always enigmatic Mystery Goo for a long period of time on a planetary body. As with all the other deployed science experiments, the data collection speed will be increased when placed by a scientist, especially a ranked-up scientist.

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PD-3 Weather Analyzer

This multi-function experiment gathers data on wind, pressure, temperature and humidity to generate a picture of the planet’s climate model over time. Naturally it will only function on a planet with an atmosphere.

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Ionographer PD-22

This experiment allows Kerbals to analyze different particles and radiation incident on planetary bodies with no atmosphere.

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Grand Slam Passive Seismometer

Unlike other experiments, the Grand Slam Passive Seismometer only operates under one condition… when controlled seismic events are created by crashing something into a planet. In addition to the excitement and fun of smashing things, you’ll collect data instantaneously with this device.

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Click here to see all images of the Deployed Science experiments in high-res.

Surface Features

Surface features add a new component to the exploration of planets and satellites in the KSP solar system. These are items of scientific interest scattered across all celestial bodies.  These features include meteorites, craters, mineral formations, and even stranger planetary oddities. Surface features vary in size and Kerbal astronauts will be able to pick up and return the smallest of them for study back at KSC. However, larger ones will need to be scanned and analyzed on-site by the newly developed Rover Arms.

Exploring celestial bodies and using rovers has never had as much value as we would have liked, and while the real Opportunity is now quietly resting on Mars, we wanted to give the players the opportunity to do more valuable science driving across Duna (and the other bodies) in KSP. So we added interesting new features to the surface of the planets that can be explored and have experiments performed on them.
- Jamie Leighton, Lead Developer

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Rover Arms

These parts are used to gather scientific data from surface features. The Rover Arms come in three levels that you unlock via Research and Development, each of which has more sensors and tools that allow you to collect more science from the same surface feature. Only the largest Rover Arm has the full suite of scientific instruments, so you might want to unlock that one as soon as possible!

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Click here to see all these and a couple more images of Surface Features and the Rover Arm in high-res.

Robotics

With Breaking Ground, you will see four types of robotic parts - hinges, pistons, rotors and rotational servos. Available in a range of shapes and sizes these new parts operate under realistic physics, with real forces and torques, electricity consumption and even motor mass accounted for. We are also including a controller part that will let you coordinate the behavior of many different parts on your craft.

Giving our community the ability to build even more complex creations might seem like a strange idea for anyone familiar with KSP, but it is something the whole team is passionate about. I’m really looking forward to seeing what people can make and animate with the new parts and controller combination.
- David Tregoning, Lead Developer

Hinges

Hinges will give you a limited angle of rotation between two parts. Perfect to create jointed machines for example.

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Piston

The pistons give you linear motion. If set up right, they will allow you to create all sorts of craft with hydraulic-like mechanisms.

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Rotor

Not much to explain about the rotor, it will allow you to generate torque around its axis. Maybe you’ll build a spinning space station or ferris wheel with this, or any other rotational contraption you can think of.

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Rotational servo

The Rotational servo will give you precise control of angular position. Using proportional control, servos have unlimited potential to create all sorts of inventions, where you want to have precise control of the position of certain parts.

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KAL Controller

The KAL-1000 controller can sequence the actions of all the robotics parts, and a number of other fields.  Its gives you access to a powerful track editor tool to let you set up how parts will behave over time. Using the controller, you can set up complex cranes, walking craft, disco lighting or whatever your heart desires.

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Click here to see the Robotic Parts images in high-res.

The New Suit

This futuristic-looking suit was designed to match the spirit of Breaking Ground. It not only looks great on Kerbals, but its seams glow in the dark when you turn on the helmet lights!

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For the spacesuit we tried a few options based on existing concepts from real life space programs, but some of those looked too slim or too sci-fi-ish. We also tried different helmets, but something felt weird about the shapes, and as the Kerbal helmet is iconic, we kept the classic shape when designing a new one. Apart from the design, we wanted to give the suit something that the others don’t have: An emissive light at the seams, something that comes in handy to help find your Kerbals when they are far from the sun or on the dark side of a planet! At first, we thought skinning the accordion arms would be problematic, but we managed to do it, and we are pretty happy with the result. We hope you like it as much as we do!
- Rafael Gonzalez, Lead Artist

Click here to see the Suits in high-res.

Additions to the base game

With the release of Breaking Ground, the base game is also getting some updates that will add a few new features.

For starters, the inventory mechanic that is used by deployed science will be available in the base code, for modders to use and extend as they wish.  

Additionally, we’re adding two extensions to our action group system. The first one adds another type of action group for controls that let you bind input controls to fields - an axis group. The second adds Action Sets, which allow you to enable or disable sets of axis or action groups.  

This extends what you can do with a limited number of keys, letting you put your craft into different modes of operation.  You can even override the base controls with the action set feature, further fine tuning the interface between you and your craft. We developed these extensions to give players more options to control their robotics, but it certainly will be useful for stock and modded players as well.

Finally, we’ve added EVA portraits, so that you can check data on your Kerbals even when they’re out and about.

Remember, you can share and download crafts and missions on Curse, KerbalX, the KSP Forum and the KSP Steam Workshop.

That’s it for this edition. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates!

Happy launchings!

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Posted (edited)

Ooohh   First :D.

This DLC and update is looking good.

 

Edit...

Is there any change to the 'detection' mechanic, and/or will the new surface features show up in the same way as anomalies do currently?

Edited by pandaman

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Posted (edited)

Oooooh yaaaaaaaaa!

My most burning question is: Will the action group extensions be available “on the fly”? I’ve been wanting a way to edit, or at least view, action groups after launching a vehicle for, like, ever!

Edited by StrandedonEarth

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Grand slam... Now we truly have an excuse to CRASH for real science! : P (Or if you're creative, make a debris slinging robot with a creative ammo storage that can be reloaded many times, totally doing this!). I am so 200% sold on this!

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The bigger the impact, the more the science?

All future landers will definitely be lifting with, and then dropping, the descent stage!

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Very, very welcome update. I love the nod to the Apollo ALSEP style for the experiments. Classy. I also like the scientist/engineer requirements for more effective. It compels us to be creative in getting more than just a single Kerbal to the surface.

We expected hinges and rotors...but the hydraulics, cylinders and servos is so, such much a win for diverse new spacecraft. KSP players I've seen have been creative with synthesizing features that weren't meant to work together. I can't wait to see what these players make (and what I can make, myself).

The various surface features will be great if--IF--they are numerous enough per biome. I love driving my rovers but for some, they'd rather get to them. Perhaps finding these will be integrated into KerbNet, as are anomalies?

Wow...three models of rover arms? You couldn't make me more happier if you paid me. Looking forward to all of this.

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Thank you for releasing all the details!

Love the fact that you have telescoping hydraulics and rotational servos. 

Adding the inventory system to the base game is fantastic as well.

Also glad that you guys are developing the stock mechanics now to allow for future developments. Good to see long term planning. 

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I'm definitely going to be attempting a variable wing plane with those Alligator Hinges! F-14 here I come!

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Looking like a decent, well rounded addition to the game so far. :D

Upon reading the article, I found this statement to be rather odd:

38 minutes ago, SQUAD said:
Giving our community the ability to build even more complex creations might seem like a strange idea for anyone familiar with KSP...

- David Tregoning, Lead Developer

Surely giving the player the ability to make more complex designs and craft is a good thing... why would that be strange? Is there some deep-rooted animosity at SQUAD HQ towards large, complex vessels (apart from the performance hit)? :

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Unlike the making history dlc, I'm very excited to play with this. I may have to cut my vacation from KSP short.

Great job Squad. 

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I. Am. So. Happy. This. Is. Coming! 

And modders, I cannot wait to see what you'll be able to create with the new tools!

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I already have my $15 waiting for release.

Are we there yet?

how about now?

 

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I wonder if there are robotic sounds, or if sounds are being overlooked yet more.

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It

s just as beautiful as i thought it would be... Imagine the modding potential!

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54 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:

Oooooh yaaaaaaaaa!

My most burning question is: Will the action group extensions be available “on the fly”? I’ve been wanting a way to edit, or at least view, action groups after launching a vehicle for, like, ever!

This in particular is more important now than ever before with the additional functions being added for action groups.

Even just a right click option in the command module/probe PAW that lists them all would be good enough for now. 

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So many new possibilities for explosions =D

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, MechBFP said:

This in particular is more important now than ever before with the additional functions being added for action groups.

Even just a right click option in the command module/probe PAW that lists them all would be good enough for now. 

We have needed this forever, to be able to edit action groups on the fly and view them! please make it so Squad! This would be a perfect thing for the next major update if they can't get it in with the DLC yet.

Edited by Dirt The Space Dirt Fox

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This is the best Dev Notes you guys have released for nearly half a year. Kudos, and god speed on the bug hunt in the last moments before release. 

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Loving this new DLC!

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