Snark

I get to interview Star Theory tomorrow. Give me your questions!

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[UPDATE, morning of Friday 8/30:  Folks, I've now got 49 questions to ask in 30 minutes, I think I'm about out of space.  So I probably won't be able to add any more questions now, gonna call this "closed".  Feel free to post your questions if you have them, but I probably won't get to further questions (beyond the ones listed here) in today's interview.  Will post more after the interview, with answers.]

[UPDATE 2, afternoon of Friday 8/30:  OK, all done with the interview, got through all the questions!  Answers to be posted Soon™.]

[UPDATE 3, evening of Friday 8/30:  Answers posted!  See bottom of this post for direct link to results.]

 

So, as some of you may have heard, a group of us got to spend a day with Star Theory yesterday, and talk to the devs, designers, producers, etc.  Details here.  Great day, got to see lots of cool stuff, had a lot of questions answered.

However, the time was finite, and there's still plenty left to ask.  And... we get to interview them at PAX West tomorrow!  :D

So, tomorrow afternoon Seattle time (i.e. a bit over 24 hours from now), I'm going to have 30 minutes, myself, to sit down with Star Theory and ask them anything I want.  I view myself as kind of an "ambassador for the forums", so I'd like to represent you guys and, as much as possible, ask the things you'd like to know.

So... do you have any questions you'd like to ask Star Theory about KSP2?  Let me know!  (Before the morning of Friday, August 30, Seattle time.)  I'll ask as many of them as I can, and I'll post the results here sometime afterwards, as soon as practical.

Here's your chance, folks.  Let 'er rip.

Some caveats:

  • I make no guarantees that I will actually ask your particular question.  I'll do my best, but please bear in mind that I have only 30 minutes, and I do have quite a few questions of my own to ask, and some questions may have detailed answers.  And I don't know how many of you may submit questions here.
  • There's no guarantee that a particular question I do ask, will get an answer.  There's plenty of stuff that they either don't know yet or are not yet at liberty to discuss, so an answer may come back as "no comment" or something like that.
  • I reserve the right to pick which questions to ask.   I'm not making promises, and like I said, I do have my own questions and I'm gonna be asking those.  :sticktongue:  But I'll do my best for you guys.  You're kinda like family at this point.  :)

 

My requests / recommendations to you:

  • Best questions are ones with short answers.  Remember, time's short, and there are lots of questions.  The shorter your question is to ask and answer, the easier it is for me to slip it in with the rest.  For example, "Will you do X?" is a much easier question than "Explain how the design for X will work".
  • "No comment" means "no comment".   There are some questions that have already been publicly asked, and already answered with "no comment".  If they've already said that, then asking them a second time won't change the answer and just wastes time.  So no point in asking those.  See spoiler below.

 

Questions that have already been asked & answered

(See spoiler for full content, but one biggie:  no information about multi-player is available yet, so don't bother asking.)

Spoiler

(This section is still incomplete, there are known answers that aren't here yet, it's just that I have my hands really full.  Will fill in as time permits.)

 

Definite answers:

  • Microtransactions, loot boxes, real-world currency for in-game purchases?  No.
  • DRM-free, like KSP?  Yes (at least for single-player; multiplayer still not settled how it will work)
  • Dynamic weather, like wind and rain?  No.
  • What's with the crawlers on the launch pad?  Just eye candy, not for rockets.  Rockets launch to the pad, same as always.  The crawlers are just for the launch towers.

Partial / tentative answers:

  • Individual part config in mod-friendly way?  Definitely will be modder-friendly, whatever they do.  Snark's inference is that individual part config is most likely.
  • Is there life support?  "No comment", but delivered in a "that's a loaded question" kind of way.  Snark's guess:  probably something involving colonies.
  • Action replay?  Probably not
  • How many star systems?  "Multiple".  (In other words, at least two besides the home system, but they're keeping mum beyond that.)

No comment, definitely no answers:

  • Anything about multiplayer.

 

Questions that I'll try to ask, time permitting
(in some cases I've paraphrased your original question, my apologies)

Spoiler
  • Topics of general interest:
    • Will single player still have the same familiar game modes, e.g. sandbox, science, career?
    • Will science and R&D still work pretty much the same way?  What's the tech tree like?  Same sorts of science experiments?  New ones?
    • How customizable will the UI be?  (navball position, etc.)
    • When / to what degree will Star Theory devs start engaging with players in the KSP forums?  (e.g. to answer questions, get feedback, etc.)
  • From @Gordon Fecyk (link): "Will KSP2 work on a locked-down PC? As in, can be installed by an admin user, but then run by non-admin users, without permissions hacks?"
  • From @steuben (link): "Merch. Will we be getting KSP2 themed merch?"
  • From @Raptor9 (link):
    • Will we have the ability to refuel or transfer resources to craft on a planet/moon surface without the need to dock with them? Like attachable fuel hoses or some other mechanic of that nature?
    • Will we see parts inspired from existing real-world spacecraft that have yet to be featured in KSP1? Such as Soyuz, Orion (the crew vehicle, not the nuclear explosion drive :P), SpaceX
    • Will any new parts be based on cancelled concepts like NASA's Constellation program or on un-built proposals like Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp? (the "Orion" drive being a very general concept, whereas these are more specific from a stylistic standpoint)
    • Will there be periodic equipment failures / maintenance?
    • Will there be specific hazards to exploration (e.g. sand traps for rovers)?
    • Will there be camera tools to make it easier for people to put together their own cinematics? (flyby, etc.)
  • From @linecrafter (link):
    • Will we have any form of automation? For example, if I were to launch my Daedalus and then swap over to some other craft, would the Daedalus continue accelerating? Or would I have to be in control of the Daedalus throughout the entire thrusting cycle?
    • Underwater Exploration , what can you find?
    • What about jet engines and airplanes?
    • Will part damage work like KSP 1?
  • From @Norcalplanner (link):
    • "Will it be possible to start a new career on a planet other than Kerbin?"
    • "Will it be possible to start a new career at a further tier in the tech tree? I.e., starting a career in the tech equivalent of 1970s as opposed to the 1950s?"
  • From @EchoLima (link):
    • "Will career mode still be kerbal focused (ie will the tech tree start with manned parts)?"
  • From @KnutG (link):
    • "Will the "anomalies" from KSP1 still exist? Will there be new alienartifacts on new planets?"
    • "Is there life more than trees and cactus and Kerbals in KSP2? Can the Kerbals find something out there?"
  • From @KerikBalm (link): "Will we get something like air augmented rockets for use on worlds without oxygen in the atmosphere (and without using lots of future tech)"
  • From @Vexillar (link):
    • "Will it be possible to fly multiple ships in atmosphere "at the same time" - for example, to emulate a SpaceX booster recovery? [And if so, how does the gameplay do that?]"
    • "will there be flags and decals in KSP2?"
    • "When will Star Theory devs make an appearance on the forum?"
  • From @HebaruSan (link):  Will any KSP1 features be dropped, and if so, which?  (e.g. ISRU, CommNet, heating, asteroids, etc.)
  • From @Teek (link):
    • "Science!  I'm assuming we won't get much in the way of details, but I'm curious whether Star Theory has put any thoughts into the original Science system, whether they think it will need to be reworked (simple changes to # of science rewarded, science required for each research, tier ordering etc) or completely revamped (as in entirely new systems of research and unlocking tech) or if it will largely stay the same."
    • "Kerbal Activity on EVA:  We've seen a lot of functionality get added on to Kerbals' EVA activities over the years (collecting samples, repairing or resetting equipment, deploying gear, etc.)  Has Star Theory been looking into further expanding what Kerbals can do outside of their ships?"
  • From @Angel-125 (link): "Will we get KAS/KIS functionality in the stock game? If not, how will the game engine handle parts being added or removed dynamically after launch?"
  • From @PDCWolf (link):
    • Ansel support?
    • Multiple launch sites?
    • What about scenario creation?
  • From @Marachdrifter (link):
    • Will there be multi monitor support ?
    • Will it be possible to build a colony on Kerbin, e.g. so that the player can make their own alternate launch sites?
  • From @SpaceFace545 (link):  Will there be mods for console?  i.e. some sort of modhub
  • From @adsii1970 (link): Will we see more variety of biomes / geology?  e.g. volcanism, very dense atmospheres, completely liquid planets
  • From @Mikki (link):  Will kerbals get more vocalizations along with the new emotes?
  • From @Psycho_zs (link): Are vessels still a tree structure?  Can there be multi-path / loops?
  • From @NoMrBond (link):  Will there be a playable demo?
  • From @nikokespprfan (link):
    • Will we be able to mod new science "situations", e.g. if we wanted to have experiments for upper / middle / lower atmosphere?  (In KSP 1 it's an enum and therefore can't be modded.)
    • Will there be bigger asteroids?
  • From @RedKraken (link): Will you use Unity ECS? https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/03/08/on-dots-entity-component-system/
  • From @whale_2 (link):  What's the plan for Mac and Linux support?
  • From @DMagic (link):  Will there be tools for porting KSP 1 part mods to KSP 2?  Will something like PartTools be a thing? Are they using PBR shaders, and will they be providing any tools to help people convert existing mod textures to PBR?
  • From @NoMrBond (link): Will they include FleX support for GPGPU acceleration?
  • From @VaPaL (link): Will there be tools to aid inter-planetary missions? Not necessarly a transfer window calculator, but something better than guessing angles or using a protractor placed on the screen.
  • From @AVaughan (link):  Will there be persistent rotation?  Or will timewarp stop it, like KSP 1?
  • From @T1mo98 (link):
    • Will sound be muffled as you gain altitude?
    • Will Making History parts be carried over?

 

[UPDATE:  Answers to the questions!  See the post linked below for all the questions and answers from the interview.]

 

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Posted (edited)

Will spacecraft built in KSP have the same performance in KSP2? (I know they said you can't convert craft, but you can always replicate them.)

EDIT: I meant performance in terms of flying.

Edited by fulgur

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Can't think of a better 'Forum Rep' than your good self.

I enjoyed the 'relaxed' report/drinks session from Scott's phone.  Very informative and reassuring.  Above all, have a good time tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

Wow! Nice gig, there.

I'm an IT professional, which means I'm a nitpicker and I complain about bad software design a lot. The current PC edition of KSP runs only if non-admin users can write to the location where KSP runs from. The same goes for mods. I get frustrated when I have to grant a non-admin user read/write access to the same place where a program runs from, because it means said non-admin can put an unwanted / unauthorized program there and run it. Now that might seem relevant only in a business environment, but also think about a desktop PC shared by a family with inquisitive kids.

Will KSP2 work on a locked-down PC? As in, can be installed by an admin user, but then run by non-admin users, without permissions hacks?

19 minutes ago, Snark said:

Before the morning of Friday, August 29, Seattle time.

I don't know what year you're doing this interview in, but 29 August in 2019 is a Thursday. As in today. (I'll see myself out, now...)

Edited by Gordon Fecyk
29 August? As in today?

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Could we get some clarifications on Rask and Rusk's orbital setup or physical parameters? How is the binary thing going to be implented? Many are simply complaining and pushing for 'n-body dynamics' when its perfectly possible to set one up under patched conics. I really just want to be excited for a lava binary, and this doesn't help matters. Some word on that would be great.

also ask them when can i get my compensation for stealing my idea i even have proof i made it first lmao

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Posted (edited)

1) Will we have the ability to refuel or transfer resources to craft on a planet/moon surface without the need to dock with them? Like attachable fuel hoses or some other mechanic of that nature?

2) Will we see parts inspired from existing real-world spacecraft that have yet to be featured in KSP1? Such as Soyuz, Orion (the crew vehicle, not the nuclear explosion drive :P), SpaceX, gimbaling SRB's?

3) Will any new parts be based on cancelled concepts like NASA's Constellation program or on un-built proposals like Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp? (the "Orion" drive being a very general concept, whereas these are more specific from a stylistic standpoint)

4) Will there be any hazards to exploration, such as thick sand to trap rovers, high winds or duststorms, geysers like on Enceladus that could divert or damage spacecraft, or periodic equipment failures/maintenance?

Thanks @Snark

Edited by Raptor9

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15 minutes ago, fulgur said:

Will spacecraft built in KSP have the same performance in KSP2? (I know they said you can't convert craft, but you can always replicate them.)

By "performance" do you mean rocketry performance, like Isp and thrust and what-not?  Or do you mean PC performance, as in "how many parts can I add before my framerate starts to drop"?

If you're asking the former (craft behavior), I think the answer is "probably yes".  My impression from talking to them today is that they really don't want to discombobulate or confuse people who are already used to KSP, so for example they're keeping pretty much all the stock parts (though giving them a total cosmetic makeover, they're gorgeous), and the kerbal solar system has all the same planets at the same sizes and locations with the same gravity and so forth.  So I'd guess that they'll probably keep pretty much the same stats for the parts.

If you're asking the latter (PC performance, framerate, etc.), then that should get a lot better.  They're putting tons of effort into optimizing the performance, and they explicitly said they want to support craft with considerably higher part counts.  "Get it to run fast" is being baked into it from the ground up, that was a top priority from the beginning.

 

12 minutes ago, pandaman said:

I enjoyed the 'relaxed' report/drinks session from Scott's phone.

Well, I enjoyed being there.  :)   (We decided we should go out for Mexican in honor of Squad, so I took 'em to my favorite Mexican place.  Awesome duck burritos.  Yes, you heard that right.  Mmmmmm.)

 

10 minutes ago, Gordon Fecyk said:

Will KSP2 work on a locked-down PC? As in, can be installed by an admin user, but then run by non-admin users, without permissions hacks?

I think the answer will probably end up being the same as for KSP 1, based on what I've heard thus far.  But it may not have occurred to them to address this, so I'll try to ask.

 

8 minutes ago, Xurkitree said:

Could we get some clarifications on Rask and Rusk's orbital setup or physical parameters? How is the binary thing going to be implented? Many are simply complaining and pushing for 'n-body dynamics' when its perfectly possible to set one up under patched conics. I really just want to be excited for a lava binary, and this doesn't help matters. Some word on that would be great.

Probably not going to get any more numeric specifics than we have now-- they were kinda tight with details about that, I think it's still very much a work in progress.  They will not be doing N-body, that's definitive.  My impression is that it'll basically be patched conics, with some sort of special allowance for the binary thing.

5 minutes ago, steuben said:

Merch. Will we be getting KSP2 themed merch?

Good one, I'll try to ask.

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Do we still have part configs with dedicated part files or is it different in KSP2? (Good to know for modders)

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3 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

1) Will we have the ability to refuel or transfer resources to craft on a planet/moon surface without the need to dock with them? Like attachable fuel hoses or some other mechanic of that nature?

Good one, will try to ask.

3 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

2) Will we see parts inspired from existing real-world spacecraft that have yet to be featured in KSP1? Such as Soyuz, Orion (the crew vehicle, not the nuclear explosion drive :P), SpaceX, gimbaling SRB's?

About the SRBs:  the answer would have been "no", but yesterday we asked them about that and they were all astonished: "what? real-world SRBs can gimbal?" and excitedly reached for something to write that down, and then someone (I think it was Scott Manley, but don't recall for sure) took 'em over to their model of the space shuttle and pointed at the various bits on the SRBs and explained at length.  So, maybe we'll get that after all.  :)  They clearly are really eager for feedback and input.

As for the other part, good one, I'll try to ask 'em.

6 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

3) Will any new parts be based on cancelled concepts like NASA's Constellation program or on un-built proposals like Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp? (the "Orion" drive being a very general concept, whereas these are more specific from a stylistic standpoint)

That one I don't know specifically, but it's been kinda sorta answered in that they've made a lot of effort to talk to actual NASA people and the like, and tried to base their somewhat-future parts based on real concepts.  I'll try to ask.

7 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

4) Will there be any hazards to exploration, such as thick sand to trap rovers, high winds or duststorms, geysers like on Enceladus that could divert or damage spacecraft, or periodic equipment failures/maintenance?

There won't be any dynamic weather (e.g. wind or rain storms, etc.)-- we asked about that specifically, and the answer was definite.

As for periodic equipment failures/maintenance, and special exploration hazards-- good one, I'll try to ask.

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Will we have any form of automation? For example, if I were to launch my Daedalus and then swap over to some other craft, would the Daedalus continue accelerating? Or would I have to be in control of the Daedalus throughout the entire thrusting cycle?

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Posted (edited)

1. Will there be new planets/moons orbiting kerbol/sun (saturn/uranus/neptune analogues)?

2. Will there still be a sandbox mode with everything unlocked?

3. Will colonies always be under player control or will they do things on their own?

4. Any types of automation?

Edited by nsgallup

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Posted (edited)

I just watched scott's stream recording and i'm writing out everything they didn't ask or would make sense to know more about

  • IS LANDING GEAR FIXED???
  • Any more info about multiplayer?
  • Binary planets, what is their solution to make it work with patched conics?
  • Underwater Exploration , what can you find?
  • Can you collide with rocks in rings?
  • Any info about life support?
  • Any info on jet engines and airplanes?
  • Action replay?
  • Any info about robotics?
  • What happened to dres? They mentioned they made it interesting
  • What can we expect from part damage?
  • Will there be any structures / cities on Kerbin?
  • Career/Science mode?
  • The guys mentioned a crawler for rockets , how will that work?
  • Can UI be customized?
  • Would it be possible to make automated ships delivering resources from many colonies to one spot?
Edited by linecrafter
added one more question

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8 minutes ago, damonvv said:

Do we still have part configs with dedicated part files or is it different in KSP2? (Good to know for modders)

The exact answer is unknown, but kinda-sorta know.  They're very aware of modders and are clearly bending over backwards to try to make the game easily accessible to them.  So I would say that the answer to your question is probably yes... and if by any chance the answer is "no", then it will be something else that's at least as accessible.

They really, really want this game to be easily moddable.  That's presumably why, when they invited nine of us to come, fully a third of us are modders.  They're clearly making this a priority.

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Will it be possible to start a new career on a planet other than Kerbin?

Will it be possible to start a new career at a further tier in the tech tree? I.e., starting a career in the tech equivalent of 1970s as opposed to the 1950s?

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OK @Snark, I’ve got a question too. Could you possibly ask how the game will perform on lower-end systems, particularly those without dedicated graphics cards? I’m in the borderline potato camp myself and want to know whether I’ll have to throw a grand at a new computer just to play KSP2.

Thank you..you’re the best person I can think of for a forum rep :D

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Posted (edited)

How many star systems will there be?

Edited by DunaManiac

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Posted (edited)

Will career mode still be kerbal focused (ie will the tech tree start with manned parts)?

When will Star Theory devs make an appearance on the forum?

Edited by EchoLima
Removed a random question

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Will planets and the distances between them scale with difficulty? E.G. a harder difficulty mode scales stock system to 2.5x

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Posted (edited)

Will any features from KSP1 be dropped, and if so, which?

Lots of folks seem to be assuming that it will support everything we have today, but if this is a total rewrite from scratch, that is a bit hard to believe. ISRU, CommNet, asteroids, heating, robotics, etc.; there's a lot to re-implement.

Edited by HebaruSan

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First, congrats on this!  Really cool opportunity, I hope you enjoy it and get some great info from Star Theory!

I suppose my biggest questions are:

1) We've seen pre-alpha footage of some very wobbly vehicles in atmosphere, as well as some very large and seemingly rigid interstellar vessels in orbit.  Has Star Theory been working on anything to keep  large builds stable, or implemented measures for players to add rigidity to their builds?

2) Science!  I'm assuming we won't get much in the way of details, but I'm curious whether Star Theory has put any thoughts into the original Science system, whether they think it will need to be reworked (simple changes to # of science rewarded, science required for each research, tier ordering etc) or completely revamped (as in entirely new systems of research and unlocking tech) or if it will largely stay the same.

3) Kerbal Activity on EVA:  We've seen a lot of functionality get added on to Kerbals' EVA activities over the years (collecting samples, repairing or resetting equipment, deploying gear, etc.)  Has Star Theory been looking into further expanding what Kerbals can do outside of their ships?

There are many other questions, of course, but plenty of others have either already asked them (or may well ask them.)  I'm sure whatever you pick will be great, best of luck with the interview!

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  • will the planets be moddable with just config files or relatively simple scripts? Basically, will Kopernicus still be necessary?
  • on the other hand, they've mentioned considering Lua, which is great, but will modders who want to still be able to use C#?
  • thrust during time warp, it was implied but if possible I'd like to know for sure :-)
  • will RTGs decay? Please make RTGs decay

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Posted (edited)

What type of depth will the resource system have? (Like factorio, few basic resources but a lot of processing, or like astroneer, a lot of resources, but little processing.)

Will the building choices for ground colonies move beyond just cylinders and domes as the colony grows and advances?

Edited by shdwlrd
I can't spell

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Posted (edited)

Will we get KAS/KIS functionality in the stock game? If not, how will the game engine handle parts being added or removed dynamically after launch?

Edited by Angel-125

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Posted (edited)

That's great to hear!! Here's some of mine then :)

  • How will science change in the game (if changed at all)? Could we see a rework to make it better?
  • On that note, will the way R&D works change as well?
  • What will be the minimum/maximum "sizes" of parts? In stock right now, parts can go up to 3.75m, will rockets be able to get wider than this without added boosters? And by how much?
  • Will there be multiple types of the same engine? Say, multiple sizes of NERVs, multiple ion drives, etc, so you have more variety, or will you have incremental sizing for most/all parts instead that achieves the same thing? Like procedural parts, but with fixed sizes if that makes sense?
  • And I second the question of - will features be dropped from KSP1? And as an add-on, will features from DLCs (robotic parts), be added to the base game?

 

Edited by Spaceception
Added some stuff

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